Apple announces record-smashing 10 million iPhone 6/Plus opening weekend sales!

When Apple sold 9 million iPhones in the opening weekend of iPhone 5S and 5C last year, it was assumed that would be the zenith; the cheaper 5C offered more opportunity, and launching in China for the first time offered untold opportunity. And then this year Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units, with no China (yet) and a lot more cash at stake.

The report comes after Apple’s initial announcement that it had moved 4 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets the very first day. As it turns out, it almost kept that pace up through out the weekend. And that was with supply constraints. According to CEO Tim Cook:

“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”

What Apple didn’t reveal is the breakdown of unit sales between the 6 and 6 Plus, although it’s not clear how helpful it would have been if they had; the 6 Plus hit shipping delays far faster in a way that hinted more at severe supply constraints than overwhelming demand.

Still, 10 million is hugely impressive given that the phones are pricier and lack the scale of launch countries that the iPhone 5 and 5S did. We’ll see how the numbers fully shake out once Apple catches up to the demand. In the meantime, a record is a record, and it seems as though the company hasn’t lost any of its shine.

iOS 8 is Out and Already Breaking People’s iPhones!

ios 8

Apple iOS 8 is barely 12 hours old and already the software update is being hit hard on Twitter, with hundreds reporting crashing apps as well as stalled updates.

Ironically it seems Twitter is the largest app offender at the moment with users taking to the social site to complain about its app not working with iOS 8.

Another common cause seems to be people trying to download the update on older devices like the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 and iPad 3.

While the app-specific crashes appear to be affecting everyone the operating system problems appear to be localised to Apple’s older devices, the same applies to stalled updates with the download crashing as well as mid-install crashes appearing to be a common theme as well.

Apple is also currently fighting a bug that has caused it to pull almost all of the HealthKit compatible apps from the App Store.

On the other hand:

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn’t Do On iOS 7

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

Load up iOS 8 and you might not notice the difference straight away, but there are plenty of little tweaks and changes behind the scenes. Here are 25 different things you can do on your device that you couldn’t do yesterday.

1. Install another keyboard

That’s right—it’s finally possible to install third-party keyboards on iOS once you’ve made the jump to 8.0. You can pick up Swype for $0.99, Fleksy for $0.99, or SwiftKey for free, and more alternatives will appear in the months ahead.

2. See what’s using your battery

Apple is promising better battery life on the iPhone 6 models, but it’s useful to stay on top of it. Delve into the Settings app and select General then Usage. Tap on the Battery Usage entry and you can see exactly which apps are taking up all of your precious battery power.

3. Shoot timelapse video

iOS 7 had slow motion, iOS 8 has timelapse. You’ll find the new option in your Camera app and it captures one frame of video every second. Timelapse videos can be identified in your photo stream by the small timer icon in the lower left corner.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

4. Get out of group chats

If you’re in a Messages conversation that has more than two participants, you can now give it a name, mute it, share your location, or get out of it with a couple of taps. Select the Detailsoption from the conversation screen to bring up the new options.

5. Send out your phone’s last location

Find My iPhone isn’t new, but there is a new option in iOS—head to the iCloud section of Settings, tap Find My iPhone and enable Send Last Location. When the battery in your device gets critically low, it will ping out a location report before it dies, giving you a better chance of finding a dead device.

6. Search the Web from Spotlight

Swipe down on the home screen to access Spotlight, type out a few words and you’ll notice that Web links now appear alongside results from apps. Results from Maps may also be included. The Spotlight section in the Settings app lets you change this behavior.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

7. Send voice messages

Actually typing out your iMessages is so September 16—now you can speak them in a kind of instant voicemail fashion. Press and hold the record button in the bottom right corner to speak. To listen to a message, press play or hold your device up to your ear with the conversation in view.

8. Trash and flag emails more easily

There are some handy extra features added to the native Mail app in iOS 8. One of them is the ability to left swipe to bring up options for trashing and flagging messages. Swiping right reveals the option to mark as unread, unchanged from iOS 7.

9. Use Siri like Shazam

There aren’t many changes to Siri this time around (the digital assistant often gets minor upgrades between iOS releases) but there is now Shazam-style music recognition. Activate Siri with a hold of the Home button and ask “What song is playing?” to run the query.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

10. Share with the family

One of the biggest iOS 8 upgrades which you may already be aware of is Family Sharing. It lets you spread purchases of apps, music, movies, photos and so on between other users running iOS 8 devices. Head into the Settings app then tap iCloud and Set Up Family Sharing to get it up and running.

11. Go gray

We’re not sure exactly how useful this one is for most people, but we wouldn’t want the Accessibility options to go overlooked when it comes to new features. Tap Accessibility on the General page in Settings and there’s a new Grayscale option you can activate. It’s very Casablanca.

12. Search with DuckDuckGo

If you’ve had just about all you can take from Google and its over-zealous tracking, Safari lets you change the default search provider for the first time. DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and Bing are the new options, which you can find in the Safari section of the Settings app.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

13. Track your health

Well… eventually. Due to some teething problems Apple has had to pull third-party app updatesthat try and tap into its new HealthKit platform. The standalone Health app is still available though, as long as you’re using an iPhone 4s (or above) or the latest iPod touch.

14. Set timed photos

Most third-party iOS camera apps have a self-timer mode, and now Apple has added the functionality into the native app too. Tap the timer icon that appears by the on-screen shutter button to choose between a three second and a ten second delay.

15. Customize sharing

With iOS 8, Apple devices now have a far more flexible sharing system for getting your content out into different apps. As with Android, though, this can lead to the Share menu getting a little overwhelming—tap the More button next to the sharing options to change their order or to prevent some of them from appearing at all.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

16. Answer calls on an iPad

You’ll need to wait for OS X Yosemite to officially arrive before you can pass calls between computers and mobile devices, but if your iPhone and iPad are both updated to iOS 8 and on the same Wi-Fi network then you can take calls from your iPhone on your tablet. The same Apple ID and associated number need to be set on both devices too.

17. Scan credit cards

The digital money revolution continues apace: Not only does iOS 8 bring Apple Pay to the table, it also lets you scan in credit cards rather than wasting time typing out all of the details. Look for the Scan Credit Card option in Safari when you’re entering payment details.

18. Upgrade to iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive is iCloud 2.0 and all of Apple’s apps and services will be upgrading to it eventually. It’s currently only compatible with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, so don’t upgrade until all of your devices and computers are running the latest software. When you’re ready to take the plunge, the option is rather predictably on the iCloud screen in the Settings app.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

19. Hide photos

If you’re a hard-working tech journalist you probably have several thousand screenshots taking up room in your photo stream that you don’t necessarily want to see day after day. Any image can be hidden from the Moments, Collections, and Years views by long-pressing on it; the actual file isn’t deleted from your device, however.

20. Find recent contacts

The multi-tasking screen (two taps on the Home button) now features a list of recent contacts as well as recent apps. Tap on any friend, relative, colleague or random acquaintance to see the different ways in which you can interact with the person in question.

21. Edit the Today page

Swipe down from the top of the screen and you’ll notice there’s a new Edit button on the Today page. Tap on this to control which ‘widgets’ are allowed to show up and in what order; there’s also the option to prevent specific apps from appearing on this page.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

22. Respond to notifications

The iOS 8 Notification Center is smarter than the one in iOS 7. You can now reply to messages directly from the pull-down menu, for example—swipe right-to-left to bring up the new options for a notification.

23. Change photo exposure

As in iOS 7, you can tap on a part of the picture in the Camera app to change the focus point. In iOS 8, a sunlight icon appears next to the focus frame—slide this up or down with your finger to change the exposure level and the amount of light let into your shot.

24. Show the desktop site

In iOS 8 you can force the browser to bring up the full desktop version of any site by tapping on the address bar (to get to the grid of favorite sites), then swiping down and tapping Request Desktop Site.

25 Things You Can Do On iOS 8 That You Couldn't Do On iOS 7

25. Paste GIFs into Notes

Good news, animated GIF fans—you can copy and paste these magical moving images into your Notes app or select them from your photo library. Now your off-hand scribblings can be brought to life like never before.

Talking Tom Cat apps are bigger than Twitter!

Earlier this month, Twitter revealed that it now has 184m monthly active mobile users. That puts it 46m behind the antics of a cartoon cat and his animal friends.

App developer Outfit7 says its Talking Tom and Friends apps now have 230m monthly active users across iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The apps have been downloaded more than 1.5bn times since the launch of the first, Talking Tom Cat, in June 2010.

The company says its monthly active user count is up 35% in the last four months, which is likely due to the release in November 2013 of My Talking Tom, a free-to-play game starring the squeaky feline character. That game was downloaded 27m times in its first month on the app stores.

Outfit7 has released 14 of the apps, recently rebranding the series from Talking Friends to Talking Tom and Friends, to reflect the popularity of its main character. The series reached 100m downloads in April 2011,360m by March 2012, and 1bn by June 2013, at which point the apps had 170m monthly active users.

The developer has also followed a similar strategy to other character-based mobile game hits like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope by expanding into toys and online video. Outfit7 worked with Disney on a series of 12 Talking Friends videos that have been watched more than 408m times on YouTube, including 151m times alone for music video You Get Me.

“Talking Tom and Friends is one of the only global brands to achieve download billionaire status, while also being strong in both entertainment and games,” said Outfit7 chief operating officer Alessandro Traverso in a statement, following the new milestones. “The development of our TV series demonstrates the global appetite for a property that is, at its core, true interactive entertainment.”

The company’s apps have courted controversy in their rise to success, however. In October 2012, ads for payday lender Wonga were found in the Talking Ginger app, while in February 2013, an ad promoting a contest to win an iPad led users to a £4-a-week mobile content subscription service.

Meanwhile, My Talking Tom upped the ante on Outfit7’s use of in-app purchases, selling virtual coins in quantities worth up to £69.99 at a time. The Talking Tom and Friends apps aren’t just for kids, but they have a massive audience of children – the key target for the company’s video and merchandise activities.

“There are a lot of things changing from the legal perspective, in the US and EU, and our plans are to be the leaders and not the followers in terms of implementing all the changes requested by COPPA and the EU,”chief executive Samo Login told The Guardian last year.

“We will be one of the first companies that will be prepared for that, because we believe we should be an example. We have a huge user-base among kids, and we can’t afford to take that lightly.”