BitStream is all of yesterday's small helpings of news and rumors all in one place. It's an essential part of a balanced, tech-reading diet.
For iOS 9, stability will be a feature and not a footnote
9to5Mac's Mark Gurman explains that for Apple's big software release in 2015, Cupertino may be just focused on making sure the operating system sucks less after years of new additions and features have made the platform a little wonky. Gurman explains:
For 2015, iOS 9, which is codenamed Monarch, is going to include a collection of under-the-hood improvements. Sources tell us that iOS 9 engineers are putting a "huge" focus on fixing bugs, maintaining stability, and boosting performance for the new operating system, rather than solely focusing on delivering major new feature additions. Apple will also continue to make efforts to keep the size of the OS and updates manageable, especially for the many millions of iOS device owners with 16GB devices.
So iOS 9 may be like the Snow Leopard of iPhone updates.
This is still all just rumors at the moment, but if true, the iOS of 2015 won't look much different (if at all) from last year's, though what devices will still supported remains a question. iOS 8 pretty much made the iPhone 4s obsolete from a software perspective, and Gurman thinks it could continue its device-killing ways with iPhone 5c, the original iPad Mini, and the fifth generation iPod Touch. [9to5Mac]
[And no, that GIF isn't really an "iPhone" in a strict sense of the word]
Microsoft and Samsung finally quit their Android quarrel
For years, Samsung has paid out royalties to Microsoft per every device that runs Android, which stems from an agreement made in 2011 before Android became the dominant force in the smartphone market. Since then, it's been a considerable source of revenue for Microsoft and massive detriment to Samsung.
Ever since Microsoft snatched up Nokia, Samsung has been looking for ways to invalidate the agreement and may have finally found a way. Now, the two companies have come to some sort of agreement that will end this financial quarrel.
The exact details of this new arrangement are uncertain, but rumors back in January hinted that Samsung wanted to make more Windows Phones but wouldn't do so with the current royalties agreement in place. It's possible that Samsung used the promise of a renewed hardware partnership as a bargaining chip.
Dial S for Snapchat....then Dial M for Murder
Man, kids these days.
In a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a 16-year-old teenager is being charged with the murder of the fellow classmate. Usually, that's enough to make for a pretty macabre story, but it gets even weirder. The main evidence in the case? A Snapchat he sent to friends(?) of himself posing with the dead body after he had shot his victim in the face. O_O
The clearly deranged teenage killer hoped Snapchat would wipe the message away in a few seconds, but one recipient had a quick smartphone trigger finger and saved the image. [Pittsburg Tribune-Review]
- An admittedly sketchy rumor says that Apple's mysterious camera-equipped vans could be "giving Tesla a run for its money" with deeply integrated iPhone support....but we're still pretty sure it's just Street View-style maps. [9to5Mac]
Your Apps, Updated
- Skype adds back the ability to use the service with third-party apps, one of the more popular features with developers. [VentureBeat]
- Now anyone can sign up and look at the preview of Microsoft Office 2016. [Neowin]
- To keep up with the fast-paced ridesharing industry, the San Francisco-based Sidecar will now offer same-day delivery services. [Sidecar]
- Imgur removes makes all its pro features free but brings back ads and downgrades all of its previously "pro" users. [The Next Web]
- Lucky owners of the HTC One (M8) on T-Mobile will be able to get Android Lollipop, starting today. [T-Mobile]
- There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to Windows 10, but it seems that lower end devices will not be blessed with all its software upgrades. [The Verge]
- Sony releases the Xperia E4, a budget-smartphone that promises 2-day battery life. But whether it will be making its way to the U.S. is still uncertain.
Bucket of Random
- Qualcomm finally puts to rest its antitrust problems in China—as long as they pay $975 million that is. [Bloomberg Business]
- Dish's Sling TV launched yesterday, and with it came with a little surprise. AMC is now pa part of the cord-cutting revolution. [The Washington Post]
- Netflix comes to Cuba but is really only good news for the rich. Internet availability is a more concerning issue. [Netflix]