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It is a tech myth that Google Maps is the only robust maps software out there, but yet many general users believe that myth. Of course, Mountain View’s service is probably the most complete service and dominates the market, but Nokia’s HERE Maps suite has been providing a compelling alternative for some time.

HERE Maps has been well received on Android after earlier being a hit on Windows Phone, while Nokia has long said that it was working on an iOS version for Apple's products. The Finnish company has made good on that promise by revealing that the iOS version of HERE Maps is will be landing on Apple devices this week.. The app comes with numerous features, such as offline navigation, voice navigation for transport and people, lane switching, traffic guidance, and public transport schedules. All of the features are also available offline thanks to GPS; that includes all the voice navigation and voice options.

More than 200 country maps are available, as well as whole continent maps, and you can download them to store on your device. The app is now available for iOS, but there has been a delay in the software, so it will not be available for the App Store for another one or two days.

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The iPhone has been popular from day one, we all know that, and we all know that it is the most popular smartphone on the market, the launch of the iPhone 6 proved that. However, since the launch of the first iPhone way back when the smartphone idea was in its infancy, how well as the device performed? Well, we have some news of solid figures straight from Apple.

Sure, Cupertino is not usually quick to discuss figures about sales, preferring to generalize instead. That was not the case this week during the company’s event that the iPhone has sold over 700 million units, a whopping number in just seven years. This number in fact easily makes the iPhone the most successful smartphone range of all time, easily surpassing the numbers achieved by Samsung’s Galaxy S range, which is admittedly younger.

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Another hint of Samsung’s decline, further proof of the dominance of the iPhone 6, or just pure luck? It is probably a case of all three as Apple outsold Samsung around the world during the fourth quarter of 2014. It is the first time since 2011 that Cupertino has positioned itself as numero uno in the global smartphone market.
Of course, Apple is number one in many other aspects, but being top in hardware sales has eluded the company as the sheer output of Samsung put the Korean company on top. However, the truly phenomenal success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has set Apple apart in this industry in so many ways. With 74.8 million unit sales, the iPhone surpassed Samsung’s entire smartphone range, which pulled in 73 million unit.
It is a stark contrast from the previous year where Samsung dominated with 83.3 million units sold and Apple managed just 50.2 million. The numbers show obviously that Apple grew by a large amount (49% in fact), and Samsung fell considerably (12.4%). With the iPhone 6 now maturing and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 fresh on the market, it is likely normal service will resume in the coming quarters. Although, it is still a startling result for Apple and will be further cause for concern for Samsung.
Apple held 20.4% of the smartphone market after the fourth quarter according to industry researcher Gartner, while Samsung held 19.4%. Other researchers have varied opinions, for example IDC pegged Samsung as still on top. Either way, the rate in which Apple close the gap is impressive as the iPhone 6 proved itself to be the best performing (from a sales perspective) smartphone of all time.
In other areas of the research, Chinese company Lenovo said when it bought Motorola late last year that it had created the third largest smartphone company in the process. The boast has been proven true according to Gartner, as the company says Lenovo/Motorola took third place in the market with a 6.6% share. Huawei continued to do well in fourth place, but fellow Chinese company Xiaomi is hot on the tail in fifth.
Android continued to dominate the mobile space and was on 80.7% of all smartphone activated throughout 2014. However, Apple kept its own momentum and is easily the most profitable company, despite Android’s perceived dominance. Cupertino raked in 89% of all money made from smartphones in 2014, not bad considering iOS takes just 15.4% of the market.

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If you own a 16GB iOS device you should be prepared for many frustrating times ahead, times where you will be juggling apps to find space. That’s because Apple has just increased the allotted size for developers to work with. Since the App Store made its debut in 2008, apps have been limited to 2GB in size, but Cupertino has now doubled that, giving developers 4GB to play with.

The file size limit for downloads over cellular connection still sits at 100MB, which seems very low these days with many apps higher than that. Apple says the increase to 4GB for Wi-Fi downloads means developers can use “more media in your submission and provide a more complete, rich user experience upon installation”.

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Apple has been enjoying a stellar start to 2014 where the company has put to an end doubts about its dominance. The company sold as many smartphones as Samsung last quarter, recorded the most profitable three months in history, and saw just about everyone give it a good old pat on the back. The celebration is not over for Cupertino though as it became the most valuable company in history this week.

The company’s shares closed Tuesday as $122.02, which means that the market capitalization of Apple values the brand at more than $700 billion. Wall Street is now saying that Apple is worth $710.7 billion, making it the first company to ever crack that magic $700 billion mark. It is also significantly more than the current second place company could manage.

That company was oil giant Exxon, which closed with a market capitalization of $385 billion. Compared to tech rivals, Apple is worth more than Google and Microsoft combined.

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iOS 8 may only be midway through its life cycle, but Apple is obviously already preparing its follow up, iOS 9. Codenamed Monarch, it has been popping up lately with several sources spilling the proverbial beans on the software. Likely to be announced early this summer and rolled out with new products in the fall, iOS 9 will reportedly be much more stable platform.

A new report says that Apple will not necessarily be chasing a slew of new features with iOS 9, but will instead be focusing on optimizing the software, making it more stable, and getting more consistent speed performance. Certainly, iOS 8 has not been as well received as previous iterations, with many complaining that it was rather rough around the edges. Apple has largely resolved any teething problems, but will be looking to avoid them altogether with iOS 9.

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The iPad Air
Apple is already deep into development on iOS 9 and the software will almost certainly be announced at the company’s WWDC event in June before launching on new devices in the fall. Codenamed Monarch, iOS 9 is shaping up to be a piece of software that will smooth over cracks in iOS 8, rather than being a huge overhaul. Read More »

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Apple’s iOS 8 has enjoyed solid adoption rates, much better than anything Android can dream of, but not as good as the uptake of iOS 8. The OS had found its way to 46% of all iOS devices within a few days of its release, but since then the growth has been slower. However, slow and steady has definitely been the iOS 8 way and Apple has announced that adoption levels are now at 72%.
Cupertino released its newest data that revealed 25% of users are still rocking iOS 7, while just 3% are still back on earlier builds (that are now obsolete in terms of updates).
Of course, Android and iOS have been locked in a long battle, but this is one area where Apple win hands down. For example, Android 5.0 Lollipop has been available since the start of November, but per Google’ latest data, Lollipop has only found its way to 1.6% of Android devices. That’s a number iOS 8 achieved more than twenty fold within days of release.

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