Apple’s iOS devices have today been cleared for use on United States military networks by the Defense Department, Bloomberg reports. The move comes after Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 and the latest devices from BlackBerry gained government clearance earlier this month.
The Defense Department said in a statement today that it has approved iOS devices — including the iPhone and the iPad — running Apple’s latest iOS 6 operating system. These will join the 41,000 Apple products already in use by the Defense Department.
The Pentagon has traditionally relied on BlackBerry devices, which are famous for their security, and it has more than 470,000 of them in its network. But BlackBerry’s latest smartphones will now face competition from the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone when it comes to government use.
The military wants its employees to have the freedom to use commercial products on its networks, and it even plans to create its own mobile app store by hiring contractors to build a system capable of handling as many as 8 million devices.
Next time Maverick, Goose and Ice Man enter the Danger Zone, they’ll be flying about 40 pounds lighter, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s recent decision to replace bulky flight bags with iPads… a move which could save the government $50 million in the next ten years.
With more and more commercial airlines ditching flight bags for iPads, the Air Force is following suit, purchasing up to 18,000 iPads for the Air Mobility Command, which provides Air Force cargo, passenger transport, refueling and aeromedical evacuation services.
“We’re saving about 90 pounds of paper per aircraft and limiting the need for each crew member to carry a 30 to 40 pound paper pile [of flight manuals],” said Major Brian Moritz, EFB program manager, in a phone interview with The Street. “It adds up to quite a lot of weight in paper.”
And digitizing all that paper ends up resulting in big fuel savings: AMC expects to save $750,000 on fuel every year just by leaving the heavy flight bags stuffed with tens of thousands of documents behind.
If you’re interested in what it’s like to fly with an iPad, we’ve taken an in-depth look at an iPad-equipped airplane before.
An email from late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs to then CEO of News Corp. James Murdoch suggests the Cupertino company was looking to set the price of e-books sold through the iBookstore at rates higher than market leader Amazon, says the U.S. Department of Justice.
First mentioned by the Justice Department court filings for its upcoming antitrust suit against Apple, the email was published in full today by AllThingsD, giving a glimpse at how the DOJ plans to run its case.
As seen above, the email may not be as damning as alluded to by the DOJ when it quoted the letter in a findings of facts filing.
The DOJ's excerpt from its memo:
“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.”
Jobs wrote the note to Murdoch, whose company owns HarperCollins, hoping to get the major book publisher on board with Apple's iBookstore. However, when read as part of the longer email, the snippet seems somewhat less important to the DOJ's argument that Apple colluded to fix e-book prices above prevailing costs set by Amazon.
“Heck, Amazon is selling these books at $9.99, and who knows maybe they are right and we will fail even at $12.99. But we’re willing to try at the prices we proposed. We are not willing to try at higher prices, because we are pretty sure we’ll all fail.”
For its part, Apple denies the claims, asserting that the e-book industry has actaully thrived after the iBookstore launched in 2010.
“We helped transform the eBook market with the introduction of the iBookstore in 2010 bringing consumers an expanded selection of eBooks and delivering innovative new features," said Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr on Tuesday.
Both sides will present their respective arguments when they meet at a bench trial on June 3.
An iPhone-driven e-wallet service from Apple could simplify checking out at the store by presenting users with options based on data such as their location, current balance, or applicable rewards cards.
The details come from a patent application continuation published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday entitled "Payment Options Based on Location." Discovered by AppleInsider, the filing describes an e-wallet system that would provide users with "smart menus" based on the context of a transaction.
In the application, Apple notes that even with current physical wallets, consumers generally opt for the payment option that is most convenient at the time. For example, a shopper may simply grab the credit card that is at the top of their wallet, without considering that alternative payment options could offer more benefits.
Credit card companies that provide customers with rewards frequently offer bonus points during certain periods for specific types of transactions, such as restaurants or gas. A smart, connected e-wallet system from Apple could be aware of those rewards, and would recommend cards to customers based on this data.
Apple's proposed system could also identify a user's location and determine what store they are at. Much like Passbook already automatically displays store cards, Apple's e-wallet system could provide users with the applicable store card as part of the checkout process.
The application shows a system that would allow an iPhone to manage multiple credit card accounts. With the appropriate login information, Apple could even track remaining balances on these accounts, and make contextual recommendations at checkout based on such data.
The system could even allow customers to review potential financing plans when making a purchase. In one example, the user is presented with an interest rate, minimum monthly payment, and any applicable late fees or due dates.
Users could also manually manage a list of stores, and modify their preferred payment method for each location. Stores could be organized in categories, making businesses easier to find and edit.... [Read More]
Cards could even be ranked generally in order of priority. For example, a user may place their Discover card at No. 1, but in the event that a store does not accept that card, the system could then attempt to use the shopper's No. 2 card of choice, Mastercard.
In illustrations included with the filing, Apple's e-wallet functionality is driven by a new application named "Shopping." It features an old fashioned cash register as its icon.
The application shows Apple's payment system driven by an iPhone with an included near-field communications chip. To date, no Apple hardware has included NFC functionality, as the
Apple’s current flagship store in San Francisco is in something of a cramped location, so Apple wants to move it three blocks away, to Union Square.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Apple has submitted plans to open a new retail store on Union Square, replacing its nine-year-old store at Stockton and Ellis streets a few blocks away.
Supervisor David Chiu said he hoped the new silver box-shaped computer store and customer service center would “turbo-charge” the Union Square area, which has long been home to many of the city’s high-end retailers.
The new outlet will occupy the space at Stockton and Post streets formerly occupied by Levi’s and be about 45 percent larger than the existing space, though it will include all the same features.
In addition to being larger, the new location will actually employ more workers, although not 45% more: instead, Apple expects just 50 new jobs to be added.
San Francisco is hopeful that while the new Apple Store may be further away from a public transit stop, it will increase foot traffic in Union Square and help boost sales for other businesses in that area. Seems likely.
No date for the move has yet been announced.
Blackberry Messenger might finally be coming to iOS this summer… but it’s just been confirmed that doesn’t mean a native iPad version.
The depressing word comes straight from Blackberry’s software portfolio chief Vivek Bhardwaj, who confirmed to Trusted Reviews:
At this point it is iOS and Android, and that’s iOS phones running iOS 6 and higher… Smartphone is our real focus and again it comes back to what BBM is. If you look BBM and the engagement and the activity, it’s because it is mobile, because people are on the go.
This isn’t too surprising: Blackberry’s never really been comfortable with tablets, and their own tablet, the Playbook, is widely considered a dud.
That’s not to say iPad won’t get BBM eventually, of course, but it is a low priority for Blackberry right now. At least iPad isn’t alone in being neglected here: it doesn’t seem as if Blackberry’s taking tablets seriously on any platform.
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