The iPad's lack of multitasking ability has been a constant source of attacks by rival tablet makers' TV ads, and a much requested feature by iPad users. Several weeks ago a rumor surfaced that Apple would add multitasking functionality with the release of iOS 8. Now, according to New York Times technology writer, Brian X. Chen, it appears unlikely that the multitasking ability will be unveiled at WWDC 2014.
In a recent tweet, Chen said that he had been told "the split-screen feature isn't ready yet and won't be shown at WWDC," apparently it is still a work in progress. This is far from a death knell however, as 9to5Mac reports that "iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development."
Earlier this month, IDC (International Data Corporation) predicted an industry-wide slump in tablet sales for 2014 and into 2015. The market research firm's pessimism stems from disappointing sales and a dwindling year-over-year growth. Even Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which still leads in overall sales, saw a -16.1% year-over-year growth from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014. Now IDC is lowering expectations again.
IDC released new projections on Thursday in which it lowered its expectations on 2014 sales of tablets and 2-in-1s from 260.9 million units to 245.4 million. This would represent a 12.1 percent year-over-year growth, which is a far cry from 2013's 51.8 percent.
On Wednesday Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Japan's largest mobile carrier, NTT DOCOMO, announced that the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display would both be available on the DOCOMO network early next month.
According to the press release, both models will officially be available on June 10th, but pre-orders will begin on June 2nd through the carrier's website.
The move has been anticipated by industry analysts ever since NTT DOCOMO added the iPhone to its lineup last September, after having initially held off. A growing exodus of customers changed the company's decision.
iOS accessory maker Case-Mate is offering 40% off all its iPhone and iPad accessories this Memorial Day Weekend. The sale begins today and ends on Monday, May 26, 2014, 11:59 EST. You can take advantage of this deal by visiting Case-Mate.com and using the promo code AFMD40 at checkout.
Case-Mate does not offer a lot of options for the iPad Air, but it does carry several cases and stands for the second-, third- and fourth-generation iPad, both iPad mini models, plus it is home to a plethora of iPhone offerings.
Case-Mate's iPhone cases range from the basic to the over-the-top. For example, the "Brilliance" case features genuine crystal with a premium leather accent and retails for $80.
Sproing Interactive's turn-based strategy game Panzer Tactics has been remade for the iPad by bitComposer Games. The original title was released to the Nintendo DS in 2007. Panzer Tactics HD is a World War II tactical game where players can control either the Soviet Red Army, the German Wehrmacht or the Western Allies in three separate campaigns. The initial $4.99 download fee nabs you the single-player German army campaign. The other two campaigns featuring the Soviet army and Western Allies can be purchased separately as in-app purchases.
The full version of Panzer Tactics HD features 33 historical missions, over 150 sea, land and air units for you to command and 33 heroic officers to motivate your troops. The original game was met with mixed reviews due to its sloppy multiplayer modes, but its single player campaigns were mostly praised by video game critics. The iOS version of the game promises to deliver an intense battle simulation where "mistakes are mercilessly exploited and punished".
With its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) just a week and a half away, Apple has released a schedule for the event and launched an updated WWDC app for the iPad and iPhone.
Apple today announced that WWDC 2014 will kick off at San Francisco's Moscone Center West with a keynote presentation at 10:00 AM Monday, June 2. After lunch there will be a "Platforms State of the Union" followed by Apple design awards. The technical sessions and labs begin on Tuesday and, as you can see on the schedule on the WWDC site, much of it remains under wraps. Many of the time slots are labeled "This one is sealed," "No comment," "We're not telling" and so on. To give you an idea of what to expect, some of the sessions that aren't classified include titles such as:
There is a whole lot of buying going on in the tech industry right now. According to multiple reports, Twitter is considering a deal to buy SoundCloud, and the Google-owned YouTube is close to acquiring Twitch. SoundCloud is a free music and audio-sharing service with over 250 million users. The proposed acquisition comes after Twitter shuddered its own failed #Music app in April. Twitter hopes the addition of SoundCloud will help the company take advantage of users who share music on the microblogging service and enable it to grow its user base.
Meanwhile, YouTube has set its sights on the live-streaming service Twitch. According to inside sources, YouTube has outbid several companies such as Microsoft and is close to acquiring Twitch for $1 billion. If the deal goes through, YouTube will own one of the most popular video game streaming services with over 1 million users. Variety claims the deal is "expected to be announced imminently," but according to The Wall Street Journal the "talks are at an early stage, and a deal isn't imminent".
The secret sharing app Whisper has added a new option which reveals whispers from other users that relate to your own. The app still keeps your whispers anonymous, but it now displays related posts so you can interact with like minded people in the community. Version 4.0 of the app also adds the ability for users to easily search over 200 categories and see secrets based on location.
Whisper is an anonymous social community where users are encouraged to share their thoughts with the world. Members can post their "whispers" to a "realtime stream" for instant gratification and interact with other members while keeping their true identity a secret. The app features a selection of photos and creative fonts for users to use, and it allows users to follow and comment on topics they find interesting.
Here are this week's most noteworthy iPad games released to the App Store between 05/11/14 to 05/17/14.. Click here for a complete list of new iPhone Apps and Games also released this week. Apple's Free App of the Week is the hotel booking app Kayak Pro. The app will be free on the App store until 05/22/14.
If you love demon babies and hate fairies then this is the game for you. In Demons vs Fairyland you must summon an army of skeletons, zombies and other monsters to stop the fairies from stealing your children!
A photo of what looks to be a possible iPad Pro industrial prototype was discovered on Chinese site Weibo.com by French site Nowhereelse.fr.
The photo shows a very rough rendering of what appears to be an aluminum back plate of a very large iPad casing. You can see an etched circle at the top left for the rear facing camera and an Apple symbol in the middle. Though it is impossible to determine the precise measurements from the picture, it is clearly larger than the 9.7" iPad Air. It isn't clear where the specifications for this mockup came from so, as always, don't take it as gospel.