Apple to issue emergency software fix for major Message-crashing bug!

iOS Messages Bug Fix

In case you haven’t already heard, a pesky iOS bug unearthed earlier this week has been causing iPhones to crash and reboot when a precise string of characters is received as a text message. Additionally, the bug can also cause the Messages app to crash repeatedly upon opening.

Thankfully, Apple not too long ago issued a statement to CNBC indicating that they’re aware of the issue and that they plan to “make a fix available in a software update.”

Though there’s no indication of when a software update might come down the pipeline, we imagine it will be much sooner rather than later before news of the bug becomes even more widely known.

As reported earlier today, the problem stems from the way iOS processes the offending Unicode text when received in the form of a Messages banner notification. What makes this particular bug so frustrating is that there isn’t much one can do to prevent a mischievous friend from sending the text message in question to your device.

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Google search results on the iPhone and iPad will soon include iOS apps

Google search results on the iPhone and iPad will soon include iOS appsGoogle announced today that it will soon start indexing iPhone and iPad apps.

Just like Google does on Android for Google Play apps, iOS app indexing will basically allow users to open apps from the search result page, should a certain iPhone or iPad app appear to be relevant to a particular search query.

The search engine giant announced that indexed iOS apps will start showing in iPhone and iPad search results in the coming weeks. At first, just a select range of apps will be included, but Google promised to expand the technology to other app developers “as soon as possible”.

iOS apps will appear in search engine results both from the Google Search iOS app and the Chrome iOS browser, but only if the user is signed into his Google account.

Interested developers can get the full documentation on iOS app indexing from the source link below. Furthermore, Google will also be holding a special talk at this week’s Google I/O developer conference that should help devs make the most out of the new feature.

Apple is the most valuable brand for 2015, Google second, research firm Millard Brown claims

Apple is the most valuable brand for 2015, Google second, research firm Millard Brown claims

In the world of technology, having a discernible brand surely goes a long way. According to Millward Brown, a Kantar-owned company that focuses on brands and their value, Apple is 2015’s holder of the most valuable world in the world, leaving one of its biggest rivals, Google, distant second.

Interestingly, Millward Brown’s 2014 global brand ranking list featured the vice versa situation, with Google at the top and Apple behind, but Cupertino has seen a 67% spike in its brand value to $247 billion, which ensured it the current top spot. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Apple was also the company with the most valuable brand in the world.

Although unnecessary, Millward Brown says that this wild increase in value is due to the successful market performance of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but you already suspected that this was the reason, right?

The third spot in Millward Brown’s 2015 brand ranking list is occupied by no other than Microsoft, which has also seen a 28% rise in its brand value and is currently worth $115 billion.

We also have Samsung at the 45th spot with a brand evaluation of $21.6 billion. There’s hardly any other smartphone maker in the Top 100.

Apple iOS 9 to Feature Force Touch, New Keyboard and Group Read Receipts!

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The next-generation iPhone will feature some form of Force Touch as one of the biggest new additions to the hardware, a rumor that has been circulating since the beginning of the year and only gaining forward momentum. The report today, however, specifically mentions that Apple has designed iOS 9 “to be Force Touch-ready” and is already hard at work with developers to integrate the technology into various apps.

Since Apple’s work on Force Touch runs the gamut of iOS devices, there’s also a possibility of updated Force Touch displays on new iPad models sometime this year. All iOS versions of Force Touch are also expected to provide the real-time haptic feedback buzz similar to that of the Apple Watch to provide users a physical response when their deep presses have been noticed. As 9to5Mac points out, however, since any new Force Touch on iOS announcement automatically requires the confirmation of new hardware, any iPhone and iPad support for the feature is unlikely to happen at WWDC.

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Next, Apple is rumored to be working on a new keyboard experience for iOS 9, with the company experimenting on multiple designs, like one that is “slightly longer than the current keyboard” and provides users with a more robust suite of editing options while in portrait mode. Also in the works is a more accessible way to access the QuickType keyboard and a redesign to the unpopular Shift Key to provide an easier visual understanding of when shift or caps lock is engaged.

Today’s report also falls in line with previous rumors reporting that Canada will be the first country outside of the United States to support Apple Pay, with the report claiming that iOS 9’s Passbook app includes a “necessary foundation” to support various banks, credit and debit cards, and credit unions within the country. Although Canada is well-prepared for such a service, with many retailers and businesses across the country equipped with the contactless payment terminals needed for Apple Pay, such an expansion outside of the United States has proved difficult for Apple, especially in places like China, so a WWDC announcement yet again seems unlikely.

The final minor update to iOS 9 reported today includes the addition of read receipts to both group chats in iMessage as well as on a per-contact basis. Users will be able to turn on the read receipt functionality for specific recipients while leaving the read status of a message in the dark for other contacts. The company also seems to be considering removing the little-used Game Center app altogether in iOS 9, and minor data points suggest a few additions and updates to the new Health app, as well.

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Apple’s Q2 2015 earnings: 61.2M iPhones, 12.62M iPads, $58.01B revenue!

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Apple has posted its [fiscal] second quarter earnings report for 2015 this afternoon, and they are impressive. The Cupertino company beat Wall Street estimates, recording $58.01 billion in revenue on the back of strong iPhone sales.

More than 61 million iPhones were purchased during the usually-slow, post-holiday second quarter. That’s over 4 million above analyst estimates, and it looks like the handset did particularly well in China—up 72% year-over-year.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers this year, vs. Q2 in 2014:

  • Revenue: $58.01 billion vs. $45.6 billion last year
  • iPhone units: 61.2 million vs. 43.7 million last year
  • iPad units: 12.62 million vs. 16.35 million last year
  • Mac units: 4.56 million vs. 4.1 million last year

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And here are some comments from CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri:

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”

“The tremendous customer demand for our products and services in the March quarter drove revenue growth of 27 percent and EPS growth of 40 percent,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Cash flow from operations was also outstanding at $19.1 billion.”

There seems to be a trend developing in Apple’s recent earnings reports: the iPhone surprises with stronger-than-expected sales while iPad sales continue to dwindle. Mac sales still look good, especially in an overall-down PC market.

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