DigitalOutbox Episode 135
DigitalOutbox Episode 135 – iOS6, Maps and UK Pirates
2:31 – Manchester is the UK piracy capital
– Manchester has been named the piracy capital of the UK, according to a new study seen exclusively by the BBC. The research said there were more illegal downloads per person in the city than any other in the country, followed by Nottingham and Southampton.
– The statistics, from monitoring service Musicmetric, conclude that in the first half of 2012, UK users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles.
– The data, collected independently by Musicmetric and seen exclusively by the BBC, is believed to be the biggest analysis of its kind to be conducted.
– Globally, the research suggested that the UK is a significant player on the world stage as a country of illegal music downloaders. The country was placed second in the world in terms of pure volume of illegal activity, with Musicmetric logging 43,263,582 downloads in the first six months of this year.
– The US topped the list, with 96,681,133 downloads tracked in the same period. Italy (33,158,943), Canada (23,959,924) and Brazil (19,724,522) made up the remainder of the top five.
– Musicmetric’s findings said that singer Ed Sheeran was the most pirated act in the UK for the first half of 2012, followed by hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks and Barbadian megastar Rihanna. The data suggested that Ed Sheeran’s 2011 album + (Plus) was illegally downloaded an average of 55,512 times every month, and was the most popular download in over 460 towns and cities in the UK.
– Legal UK sales of his album in the first half of 2012 hit the 448,000 mark – making it the fourth most popular album behind releases from Adele, Emeli Sande and Lana Del Rey.
6:44 – Amazon brings Cloud Player music service to the UK
– Amazon Cloud Player now live in the UK as of now, offering 5GB of online storage and the ability to stream 250 of your tracks (or 256Kbps matched versions) to a range of devices free of charge. Adding extra storage will cost from £6 per year for 20GB, rising to £320 p/a for a full terabyte. If you’re a heavy user, though, you may also need to fork out £22 p/a for the right to stream up to 250,000 of your tracks.
9:11 – iOS6 – updated maps disappoint
– iOS6 released
– 200 new features – allegedly
– Maps is one of the high profile changes
– Replaces Google maps with Apple’s own version
– Cleaner look, free navigation, 3d maps for a few select citites
– Local transit features gone
– Many satellite images are poor especially across the UK
– Searching is poor or worse innacurate
– Among the user complaints regarding Apple’s maps sent to the BBC were:
– Users have complained about the quality of satellite images in the new software (bottom)
– Some towns appear to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.
– Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
– Satellite images of various locations, particularly in Scotland, are obscured by cloud.
– A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above.
– Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.
– But don’t worry – Apple want US to fix it – http://www.imore.com/how-add-location-or-report-problem-ios-6-maps
– Crowd sourcing will address the shortfalls over time
18:34 – Record preorders for the boring iPhone 5
– Apple today announced that it managed to rack up 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in 24 hours, two times as many as it managed for the iPhone 4S last year, which sold over 1 million devices during its first 24 hours of pre-order sales. That’s a new record, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been watching the progress of iPhone pre-order sales since the device originally hit the market.
– The iPhone 4S eventually went on to sell more than 4 million devices over the course of its first weekend actually on store shelves, so expect the iPhone 5 to blow past that milestone, too. The iPhone 5 is initially available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., adding two new countries (Hong Kong and Singapore) to the list of launch regions for the iPhone 4s, so expect that to influence early sales as well, especially since Hong Kong is a popular destination for those looking to resell the iPhone at a premium on the grey market in China.
20:22 – HTC Windows Phone 8X
– HTC is unveiling its flagship Windows Phone 8 handset today, the Windows Phone 8X. The branding might sound Microsoft-like, but there’s a good reason for that — the two companies have joined forces on a marketing campaign that will make HTC the face of Windows Phone 8.
– The 8X will ship in a choice of four colors in early November, ones that represent the bold colors of Windows Phone 8. California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow will all be available — with accent colors in the Windows Phone 8 interface to match the hardware color. European operators will only stock blue, black, and yellow versions — and while HTC refused to reveal which operators will stock each color, it insisted that it is not restricting colors to certain carriers at this time. The 8X takes advantage of a 4.3-inch 720p HD super LCD 2 display with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and NFC support.
– HTC is shipping Beats Audio support on both of its Windows Phone 8 handsets, with an extra amplifier for audio out on the 8X to power larger headphones in the Beats range without distortion. A notification will launch the Beats Audio app on Windows Phone 8 once headphones are plugged in, allowing users to turn the Beats integration on or off.
– On the camera side of things, HTC has opted to include an 8-megapixel shooter on the rear of the device with the usual LED flash. That’s a fairly standard affair for most flagship smartphones these days, but HTC has gone one step further with the front facing camera. A 2.1-megapixel camera is available for Skype or forward facing shots, with an f/2.0 lens and BSI sensor to help with low-light shots. The 88 degrees wide angle lens will also work well for forward facing group shots and 1080p video recording.
23:11 – MS Employees to get Surface Tablet
– Microsoft has found an eager early audience for its Windows-8-powered Surface Ultrabook: its own employees.
– The software giant is reportedly giving each of its 94,000 full-time staff a Surface computer for work and home use, in a gesture of mass Windows 8 munificence announced at the company’s annual staff meeting in Seattle’s KeyArena.
– Employees are also getting new Windows Phone 8 handsets – a repeat of the giveaway Microsoft made of phones running Windows 7.
24:07 – Yahoo replace RIM smartphones
– New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer just sent an email to all of Yahoo’s full time and part time employees in the US, promising them a new Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone.
– We learned about this plan from an internal memo, which we received from one source and confirmed with another.
– Through the program, Yahoo employees will have a choice of phones: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920.
– Yahoo is also going to pay its employees data and phone bills.
25:20 – Twitter hearts Facebook
– Changes to profiles and mobile app’s ape Facebook
– Starting today you can make your presence on Twitter more meaningful with new Twitter profiles. Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android or twitter.com, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo, which appears above your Tweets, to express yourself instantly, anywhere.
– New profiles also help you get to know people better through their pictures. Photo streams now appear below anyone’s most recent Tweets on iPhone, Android and iPad. Swipe through the stream to see the photos other users have shared or tap any thumbnail to view their photos in fullscreen.
– While the header photo keeps your profile simple and consistent on iPhone, iPad and Android, you will also still have an additional photo – a background photo – on twitter.com. Upload a background image to complement your header and profile photos.
28:51 – Google acquire Snapseed
– Google has agreed to acquire Nik Software, the German developer of photography app Snapseed, for an undisclosed amount. Sources close to the deal tell The Verge that while Nik Software produces all sorts of apps for photographers like Color Efex Pro and Dfine for Mac and Windows, iOS app Snapseed was the golden egg in the acquisition. The $4.99 app won Apple’s coveted iPad App Of The Year award in 2011 for its inventive multitouch photo editing interface, and gaines over nine million users during its first year on sale. Nik Software also sells Snapseed for Mac and Windows, and the company is apparently working on an Android app as well.
– “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” Google+ boss Vic Gundotra wrote in a blog post. Snapseed is no Instagram in terms of popularity, but the two apps’ use of filters and various means of manipulating images serve a similar purpose. The portion of Nik Software that worked on Snapseed, which includes the company’s San Diego outpost, will relocate to Google headquarters in Mountain View to work directly on Google+, sources say.
29:37 – BBC announce new media player and updates for iPlayer on Android
– The BBC has confirmed plans to launch a new version of its iPlayer app for Android devices which will use its own BBC Media Player technology to securely stream audio and video, replacing Flash on android
– The technology, which was developed in-house at the BBC’s Future Media division, is already being used for the mobile website version of iPlayer according to a blog post by executive product manager Chris Yanda.
– “Next week we plan to release a new version of BBC iPlayer on Android which will use this player. Other applications and websites will follow,” he writes, before telling Android owners that “I want to reassure you that Android is an important platform for us”.
31:33 – New slimmer PS3
– The PS3 Even Slimmer takes up just three-quarters of the space the PS3 Slim does. It’ll come in 12GB and 500GB capacities, Sony said today at the console revamp’s Tokyo Game Show debut.
– The former contains Flash storage only – though Sony will offer a 250GB HDD add-on. It’s aimed at folk keen to use the PS3 as a media player.
– The 500GB PS3 will arrive on 28 September, priced at €299 (£240) and bundled with Fifa 13. The 12GB model will cost €229 (£184) and will arrive on 12 October.