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Apple Daily: Apple Tops Samsung in Smartphone Sales, Hires Own Security Force

A new report shows just how impressive Apple’s fourth quarter for 2014 was, and this one claims iPhones finally outsold Samsung handsets. In addition, Apple’s now saying “no” to contracted security guards for most of its operations, opting instead to create its own security force.

Gartner: Apple Overtook Samsung in Smartphone Sales in Q4 2014

Apple’s explosive fourth quarter for 2014 was reportedly good enough for the Cupertino company to emerge as the world’s largest smartphone maker. According to a new report from Gartner, Apple beat Samsung in worldwide smartphone sales for the first time since 2011, thanks to 74.8 million smartphone sales compared to Samsung’s 73 million.

Impressive, but it’s ultimately a tough call. Back in January, Strategy Analytics reported that Apple had actually tied for the fourth quarter. And the same cautionary footnote expressed then remains — namely, that Samsung doesn’t officially report the numbers for its smartphone sales. As a consequence, most Samsung figures reported by research firms like Gartner are based on highly educated guesses.

It’s also important to note that Apple may have dominated the fourth quarter, but its sales considerably lagged behind of those of Samsung for the entire year. The Korean tech giant sold an estimated 307.6 million smartphones in 2014, accounting for a 24.7 percent share of the market, while Apple’s 191.4 iPhone sales allowed it to close the year with a 15.4 percent share of the smartphone market.

Apple is Hiring Its Former Contracted Security Guards for Full-Time, In-House Positions

Apple CEO Tim Cook once said that he wanted Apple to be a “force for good” under his tenure, and he appears to be extending that philosophy to a greater percentage of the workforce associated with the company. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Apple will no longer use contracted security guards for the majority of its operations. Instead, the guards will be members of Apple’s own security team, and they’ll share the same benefits enjoyed by other employees, such as full health insurance coverage, parental leave of absence, and contributions to retirement funds.

That doesn’t mean Apple will stop using contracted security guards entirely — indeed, the guards at Apple’s upcoming “Spring Forward” event on Monday largely won’t be a part of Apple’s workforce. Still, Apple has apparently already puts its words into action, as MacRumors reports that some security guards with “Apple Security” shirts were reportedly seen watching over San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center over the weekend as crews prepared for the upcoming event.

Notably, most of the new security hires will come from the same group of contracted guards that’s already used to working with Apple.

“We will be hiring a large number of full-time people to handle our day-to-day security needs,” an Apple spokeswoman told the San Jose Mercury News. “We hope that virtually all of these positions will be filled by employees from our current security vendor and we’re working closely with them on this process.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: New Apple Watch Details; New Steve Jobs Bio; Mac Photos Beta

Tim Cook relayed a lot of details about the upcoming Apple Watch to employees at the main Berlin Apple Store, and most of them leaked out into the public. Let’s hope Cook still has some some surprises in store for next Monday! In other news, there’s a new Steve Jobs biography on the way, and if you’ve been itching to try out the new Photos for Mac app, you can hop in today if you have beta access.

Cook Spills ‘Tons’ of Details About Apple Watch During German Visit

Apple’s next big media event, thought to focus heavily on the Apple Watch, is still a week away, but Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently just can’t contain his excitement about the device. Cook revealed some of the features of the upcoming watch to employees of Berlin’s flagship store during a recent visit to Germany.

According to 9to5Mac, Cook said that with an Apple Watch, we’ll be able to open the doors to hotel rooms (notably at Apple-loving Starwood Hotels) and order ahead of time from chains like Panera Bread, which is already in the process of making an Apple Watch app. We’ll also apparently see a lot of health-related apps next Monday (although no specifics were given), and Cook has reportedly invited more than 100 developers to Cupertino to test and design apps ahead of time.

Cook also mentioned that the Apple Watch is expected to launch in Germany specifically in April — the same month it’s set to launch in the United States — and that means it will likely launch in other European countries at the same time. (It’s likely, however, they’ll have to wait a week or two during the same month.)

In addition, Cook noted that he sees Apple Pay as a global service, and that there’s a chance that we could see it “in Europe generally this year.”

New Steve Jobs Biography to Hit Shelves on March 24

There’s currently a movie starring Michael Fassbender in the works based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography of Steve Jobs, but that apparently isn’t stopping anyone from attempting to tell the tale even better. On March 24, Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader will hit store shelves as well, and this latest effort purports to provide fascinating new stories about the Apple co-founder and to portray him as a man who “wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strength over time.”

The book was co-written by Brent Schlender, a journalist who interviewed Jobs several times throughout his life for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Fortune, and Rick Tetzeli, the executive editor at Fast Company. The biography is particularly notable since it draws so heavily on Schlender’s own interviews with Jobs, and it’s reportedly chock-full of new stories from other Apple worthies such as Eddy Cue and Jony Ive.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball (via MacRumors) received an advance copy of the book, and he claims that it’s the “the book about Steve Jobs that the world deserves.”

The book itself can be preordered on Amazon for hardcover, Kindle, or Audible.

Apple’s Latest OS X Public Beta Includes New Photos App

If you’re enrolled in Apple’s OS X open beta testing program, the company’s got a special prize in store for you today — as of the latest build for OS X 10.10.3, you can now try out of the upcoming Photos for Mac OS X app.

The app is designed to replace both iPhoto and Aperture, although most of the people who’ve had a chance to try it out claims it improves on the former but falls considerably short of the options provided by the latter. Try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

The patch also comes with a page for picking emoji, which also categorizes emoji and introduces racially diverse emojis and skin-tone modifiers. There’s even a new emoji for watches, which has amusingly been redesigned to resemble an Apple Watch.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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The Week’s 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, February 28


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Apple Daily: Apple Watch Will Replace Car Keys; iOS 8.2 Monday Release?

In today’s Apple Daily, Tim Cook claims that the Apple Watch could at last rid us of the need to carry car keys. In another news, we might see iOS 8.2 as early as next Monday.

Tim Cook: Apple Watch Will Replace Car Keys, Hold Charge for a Day

Apple CEO Tim Cook still won’t say anything concrete about the so-called “iCar,” but it’s clear he has automobiles on his mind. In an interview at the Covent Garden Apple Store in London by the Telegraph, Cook said that the Apple Watch would eventually be able to “replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used by many vehicles.”

Photo: Kensington Leverne/Telegraph

And that’s about it. Cook apparently didn’t mention whether this service could somehow be integrated into existing cars, if such a feature will have something to do with Apple’s CarPlay service, or if it’ll have to wait for technology that’s still in the works.

In addition, Cook said that the iPhone’s battery will last all day (which marks an improvement from some of the reports not long after the initial announcement), thanks to “special magnet technology” that’s said to be as beautiful as it is efficient.

We’ll know for for ourselves a little over a week from now. As always, we’ll be on hand to report Apple’s news during the event as it’s announced.

iOS 8.2 Could Be Here by Monday

The next time Apple Daily rolls around, there’s a good chance we’ll be talking about the release of iOS 8.2., at least if the sources who spoke with BGR truly know their stuff. The patch, which contains supporting files for the upcoming Apple Watch, has long been suspected to appear sometime in March, but BGR’s sources say it might be released to the public as early as Monday.

The date is significant, as that would put it exactly one week ahead of Apple’s “Spring Forward” media event on March 9, which the Cupertino company is expected to use to unveil more information pertaining to the Apple Watch. The report also mentioned that two more betas might be in the works for iOS 8.3 (which places a heavy emphasis on new emoji) before its supposed release in April, even though the patch has already gone through two betas thus far.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: March 9 Media Event; iCloud & Apple Maps Updates

Apple has finally sent out invitations for its next media event, which will likely focus on pricing and peripherals for the upcoming Apple Watch. In other news, Apple has at last opened its iWork for iCloud to everyone, and the Cupertino company is adding spiffy little cosmetic features to Apple Maps.

Apple to Hold Media Event on March 9; Apple Watch Set for April

Apple’s next big media event will take place on Monday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time, according to invitations that the Cupertino company sent out this morning. The event will be held at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and it’s widely thought that Apple will use the occasion to provide more details about the upcoming Apple Watch.

The clues aren’t just in the timing, but in the name itself, which reads “Spring Forward” in reference to the switch to Daylight Saving Time that occurs on the day before in the U.S. And since most of us will be setting our non-digital clocks ahead an hour on that date, it’d be a nifty way to discuss a “time change” by revealing details such as the full pricing structure and specific accessories for the long-awaited piece of wearable tech.

While the event is thought to place a special focus on the Apple Watch, it’s possible Apple will round off the event with slightly less groundbreaking announcements, such as the long-rumored launch of the 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display.

As for the Apple Watch itself, Cook said not long after the origibal reveal that the device would ship in April, and alleged insider sources who spoke with MacRumors claim that we’ll see the launch more toward the start of the month than the end — possibly between April 6 and April 10.

Apple Opens iWork for iCloud to Everyone

Apple’s iWork for iCloud suite of productivity apps just became a lot more useful, particularly for the poor saps out there who don’t own an Apple device. As of today, the web-based versions of Apple’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are available for everyone.

That was quick. News that the beta version embraced such inclusivity dropped on February 13, and apparently Apple determined that everything’s working according to plan in that short a time. New users who sign up for an account through the site get access to 1 GB of free storage, which can then be used to edit and store documents for retrieval anywhere where there’s an Internet connection (as long as it’s through recent versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer).

In the past, Apple’s iWork suite was limited to users who owned an Apple device, which greatly limited its appeal on professional circles in light of that glaring limitation in comparison to Google Drive or Microsoft office. With the doors now flung open, however, there’s a chance that could change.

Apple Brings Animated Landmarks to Apple Maps

Apple’s been busy lately trying to turn Apple Maps into something useful and interactive, whether it’s through the upcoming inclusion of information from GasBuddy and GreatSchools that we mentioned yesterday or via those “mystery cars” that seem designed for a Google Street View-like service. But judging from new features introduced to its 3D Flyover map of London late yesterday (via the Daily Mail), it’s also trying to make the service more fun.

Visitors who look up London through Apple’s Maps app will now see some impressive little cosmetic features, such as the correct time on the famous tower housing Big Ben, and a constant spin on the London Eye (London’s gigantic Ferris wheel). It’s pure fluff, but it does help make Apple Maps stand out a bit from its competition. According to the Mail, Apple will start rolling out similar features for other cities within the coming weeks. In addition, Apple has also introduced new Apple Flyovers for several cities around the world (including Edinburgh, Venice, and Guadalajara). 

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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