Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad may see its first year of decline as "worldwide tablet growth is expected to slow to 7.2% in 2014," according to the market research company IDC. Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, said iPad sales are decreasing due to the longer lifecycle of tablets. This means tablet owners tend to upgrade to newer models less than they do with smartphones.
"What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years," said Reith.
Reith believes Apple's support of older devices is what is driving people to hang on to their tablets longer than expected. For example, an Apple product such as the iPad 2 normally has three years before it stops supporting the newest iOS release, and the device still has plenty of life even after it is discontinued.
After using Apple's stock iOS keyboard for so many years it is hard for iPad and iPhone users to get used to third-party keyboards. Some users even find Apple's new iOS 8 predictive suggestions annoying and were more than happy to disable the feature in the Settings app. However, this doesn't mean that iOS users should give up on third-party keyboards altogether. For example, if you hate the predictive typing bar at the top of Apple's stock iOS 8 keyboard but like the idea of word predictions, the Crimson Keyboard offers word suggestions just above the keys instead. This may be a better solution for some users who hate how the predictive typing bar draws their eyes away from their keys or text box while they're are typing.
Crimson Keyboard also eliminates the annoying autocorrect found on iOS devices and replaces it with its own feature that displays corrections in red also just above the keys. Users can quickly select the Smart Predictions or Passive Correction suggestions by simply swiping up, instead of having to break their typing stroke to tap away an iOS autocorrection.
There are a variety of reasons one might want to hide or restrict access to apps on their iPad or iPhone. For example, you may want to limit the amount of time your child surfs the web on their device, or you may want stop someone from accessing the camera on your iPad. You can do this by removing some select stock apps from your Home screen. Here's how:
Navigate to Settings > General > Restrictions. Your device will ask you to pick a passcode the first time that you open the Restrictions panel. Enter a 4 digit passcode only you will remember and proceed to the Restirctions settings page. From here you will see a list sliders for stock apps such as Safari and FaceTime. Tapping any of these sliders will turn them to OFF / White and will remove that app's icon from your Home screen.
Apple released iOS 8.1.1 on Monday. The update improved stability and performance for both the iPhone 4s and iPad 2, and patched the Pangu jailbreak for iOS 8 devices. Apple also released its WatchKit SDK and first beta for iOS 8.2 to developers on Tuesday. According to the release notes, iOS 8.2 along with WatchKit allows developers to create apps for the Apple Watch, which is launching next year.
Apple dealt a blow to Freemium games by replacing the "Free" download button with a "Get" button on the App Store. The move is to help identify apps that claim to be free but include in-app purchases. It was also a big week for sequels on the App Store. Five Nights at Freddy's 2, Earn to Die 2 and the prequel Kingdom Rush Origins were all released this week and blew up the Top Paid App Charts.
It was a big week for the App Store as two of the most anticipated sequels launched for iOS devices. Five Nights at Freddy's made the leap from Steam to iOS on Thursday, and Ironhide Games Studio released Kingdom Rush Origins, which is actually a prequel. As expected, both titles shot to the top of the Apple app charts and are now two of the most downloaded paid games of the week.
In other App Store news, Telltale revealed all the characters in its upcoming Game of Thrones series, and Disney Interactive announced that Disney Infinity 2.0 will be coming to both the iPad and iPhone in December.
Telltale Games has made a name for itself by bringing the popular Walking Dead franchise to iOS devices and other platforms as an interactive episodic video game, and now the studio is tackling HBO's popular series Game of Thrones. Unlike The Walking Dead game where players assume the role of a character not found in the comic book or TV series, players will be able to play as five different members of House Forrester, a banner house mentioned briefly in the fifth book “A Dance with Dragons".
Telltale released the first trailer and revealed some of the main characters who will appear in the game to various websites on Thursday. No release date or price has been announced, but Telltale series normally cost around $4.99 per episode. The first season of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series will include six episodes.
Not to be outdone by Walmart, Best Buy has launched its own pre-Black Friday sale one day early and is offering up to $100 off on select iPad Air models. Customers can save $80 on the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $100 on the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model via Bestbuy.com. This isn't the best Black Friday iPad deal we have seen, considering you can nab a 16GB iPad Air 2 for $489 and receive a $100 gift card with your purchase from Walmart starting tomorrow. It is up to you if want to nab an iPad now or risk missing out during the week and a half long Black Friday frenzy.
Other Best Buy Apple deals include the fifth-generation iPod touch for $249.99 ($50 in savings) and Solo HD Drenched Beats for $99 headphones ($70 in savings). Best Buy is dropping the price of the iPad Air by $100 and the iPad mini 3 by $75 for its actual Black Friday sale.
Walmart today announced that it will be rolling out some of its Black Friday deals one week early starting Friday, Nov. 21 at 8:00 a.m.. The retailer will also match some of its competitions Black Friday deals on 40-inch LED HDTVs, LEGO sets and more. One deal that popped up on Walmart.com is a PlayStation 4 bundle with Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us for only $399.99. This is a great deal considering the console itself retails for the same price, so you're basically getting two games for free.
As for Apple products, Walmart shoppers will be able to nab a 16GB iPad Air 2 for $489 and receive a $100 Walmart gift card with their purchase. Walmart is also giving away a $75 gift card with the purchase of an iPhone 6, and the new Apple smartphone will be available for only $179 with a two year service agreement on Sprint, AT&T or Verizon. The iPhone 5s will be on sale for $79 with a new contract.
After releasing iOS 8.1.1 to the general public, Apple has opened up its WatchKit SDK and first beta for iOS 8.2 to developers. WatchKit is the tool that allows developers to create third-party apps for the Apple Watch, which is launching in 2015. Larger companies such as ESPN have had early access to the developer software, but now any member of Apple's developer program can access WatchKit through the portal.
Developers can also now access the first beta of iOS 8.2 on the dev center. The update seems mostly geared towards testing WatchKit apps, according to the release notes:
Apple today released iOS 8.1.1 for the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. The update includes various bug fixes and "stability and performance improvements" for both the iPhone 4s and iPad 2. It was originally revealed by Arts Technica that iOS 8 ran slower on Apple's older hardware. This prompted some iPad 2 users to stick to iOS 7 and miss out on the new features found in iOS 8, but now users with older devices can upgrade... Unless you're jailbroken and want your device to stay that way!
iOS 8.1.1 also patches an exploit used by the Pangu8 jailbreak. This means anyone with a jailbroken device running iOS 8.1 should avoid iOS 8.1.1. If you're running iOS 8.0 and haven't jailbroken yet, you can still do so but you will not be able to upgrade to iOS 8.1. You can learn how to jailbreak your iPad or iPhone using Mac OS X here or using Windows here.