Tag Archives: iPhone

Tuesday Talk ~ Moan fest


(Image from Apple Insider)

I feel Tuesday Talk has become a moan-fest about what Apple could be, its failings and what the Inc could do better. It didn’t used to be this way – when I used to write about Apple for the New Zealand Herald it was to continuously trumpet Apple’s successes. Apple is still ‘successful’ in that it has a global presence and makes tons of money, of course, but for the last two years Apple seems to have been focussing its energies and resources on … gosh, I don’t know what. Not tech and innovation anyway. At least not visibly.
Apple Watch just turned two, and I was always amazed by this product, mostly because it had serious competitors out there in the market place before it was even actually a product. Rumours of the Apple Watch sparked companies to create smart watches that would be ‘better’ than ‘anything Apple could produce’ … except Apple hadn’t produced anything. That’s pretty incredible power right there.
But was Apple Watch the last really innovative thing Apple did? The Watch is beautifully built, and much more useful than you’d think at first sight. But Apple lost control of the market for a device it hadn’t even released, then had to work to regain the market it had itself created. Apple did, eventually, but this was a bizarre situation that it inadvertently orchestrated for itself.

Since the Watch introduction, Mac lines have languished; iPhone has had some regular updates that haven’t been groundbreaking but definitely very good; iPad has had some regularising updates and its lineup has been refined. But for the rest, Apple now has to do something truly incredible at the World Wide Developers Conference in June on more than one front. The tech world will be focussed on Apple like never before.
But why has Apple been acting this way? That’s what I can’t work out. John Gruber, who I interviewed a few years ago in Wellington, reckons Apple’s team focus has been too much on iPhone.
Sure, under Jobs, Apple would focus its key team members on different projects one after another: a project would get the love, then the love would get moved on to another category. This approach made perfect sense when Apple was lean, a little desperate and lacked resources and power – but now that Apple has resources and power to burn, this approach no longer makes any sense. At all.
Frankly, I’m amazed Apple is still doing this. Indeed, Bryan Chaffin reckons Apple’s Achilles heel is the leadership team’s slavish devotion to maintaining a tiny executive inner circle. This appears to have led to positional nest-feathering and structured, impenetrable ennui. We are supposed to be impressed when Cook, Schiller et al even talk in public, when I’d rather see them releasing new products. I actually don’t care who these people are, they’re not my Apple rock stars. Apple’s products should be.

Even Virtual Reality … sure, I’m excited Apple has set up an AR/VR lab in Wellington, New Zealand. Who wouldn’t be? But really? Google, Microsoft and other big players have been exploring this space for years already. Does Apple really think a white headset with an Apple logo on it at twice the price is all Apple is capable of? All we expect? I really, really hope not. Apple needs to work hard to be a relevant player in this space if it’s going to enter it at all. Apple has been publicly ignoring virtual reality while hiring and acquiring experts at an impressive rate.
Meanwhile, Apple as a gaming platform has had some remarkable successes in iDevices, yet it’s still largely ignored on Mac as it has been for decades. This shouldn’t matter to people who use Macs for anything but gaming, but it does: Macs still have second-rate video cards compared to cheaper PCs largely because it can’t be bothered to attract decent games, which challenge and raise technical specs on PCs. This is galling – yet it has always been galling.
Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be changed. It’s also galling because virtual reality games will explode.

So I have one message, Apple: please, please get your sh_t together!
I’d much rather be writing positive commentary.

Stylus for any iPad, mobile AR, Samsung problems, Paris transport, Apple Watch turns two


The Pinpoint X-Spring Precision Stylus & Pen is a joy to use — Not everybody has an iPad Pro, but everyone can benefit from using stylus-enabled apps on any iPad. Today’s Apple World Today Deals Shop special is for a combination stylus and pen that you’ll find to be a joy to use. The Pinpoint X-Spring Precision Stylus & Pen from Joy Factory is available for $14.95, 57% off the usual price of $34.95.

Tractica: mobile AR markets to reach 1.9 billion unique monthly active users — Apple is almost certainly planning to enter the augmented reality (AR) market, and now is a good time. Between 2008 and 2015, augmented reality (AR) was a technology gimmick looking for a market.
Now, according to a new report from Tractica, the expanding use cases for mobile AR will lead to growth from 342.8 million unique monthly active users (MAUs) globally in 2016 to nearly 1.9 billion MAUs by 2022.  During this period, the market intelligence firm forecasts that worldwide mobile AR revenue will rise from $749.0 million to $18.5 billion annually, according to the market research group. [Except Apple use to lead tech, not come lately.]

Samsung’s fix for red-tinted Galaxy S8 screens forces users to self-calibrate — With a growing number of complaints about a red-tinged screen in some owners with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the company is issuing a software patch allowing users expanded options for correcting the problem in software by placing the responsibility for colour accuracy even more in user’s hands – in other words, they’re being told how to colour-calibrate their own handsets.

Apple Maps has added transit directions for Paris, France — The apps, for both iOS and macOS, gained the public transit on the weekend, including both the city’s Metro subway and above-ground train lines like the RER and Transilien networks.
Station entrances are marked clearly, and a tap on any stations shows all connecting lines and information on pending departures. In addition to the train systems, Paris transit directions include buses, Autolib car sharing, and Velib bike sharing.

On its 2nd anniversary, Apple Watch settling into role as fitness & notification wearable with Siri, Apple Pay — Originally pitched as a multitude of things, including an intimate communication tool and new frontier for mobile apps, the Apple Watch has been refined and simplified in the two years since its debut, focusing on what Apple has determined to be the fledgling device’s core strengths.

SearchAds to include New Zealand, Augmented Reality glasses interface


New Zealand will get SearchAds on ANZAC Day

Apple to expand Search Ads to three international markets, debuts new management tools — Apple on Wednesday announced Search Ads will arrive in three new countries on April 25 (our ANZAC Day), the service’s first expansion since a launch in September, and introduced a few ad management tools to streamline the process for developers.
Search Ads allow developers to purchase promotional ads that show up in iOS App Store searches. Available on devices running iOS 10, the feature uses special algorithms to ensure promoted apps relate to consumer queries, thus boosting app discoverability. Apple’s upcoming expansion delivers the service to users in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Apple’s Augmented Reality plans may include iPhone 8 Smart Connector for special glasses — Apple’s iPhone 8 will reportedly include an iPad Pro-like smart connector that may be the link up for augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. The report is tenuous, but the idea that Apple is ready to introduce its augmented reality platform this fall is interesting. [You know what? Apple’s future devices might include anything.]

Which iPad? Always Online, Chinese streaming, Wunderlist replacement, Note 8 copies iPhone 7


(Image from Apple Inc)

Which 9.7″ iPad is right for you? In the market for a new 9.7-inch tablet? Having trouble deciding between the all-new 2017 iPad and the older but more powerful iPad Pro? AppleInsider breaks down the pros and cons of each model in this video comparison.

AlwaysOnline adds 14 countries to iPad Apple SIM plans, cuts prices — On Wednesday, AlwaysOnline Wireless, one of several data carriers serving iPads equipped with an Apple SIM, announced its expansion to 14 more countries, as well as broad price cuts to attract users. The new regions are Armenia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Jordan, Morocco, and Uruguay. Overall, AlwaysOnline now has a presence in 88 markets. [New Zealand was already supported.]

Chinese regulators want to talk to Apple about live streaming titles on the App Store — Beijing’s Internet regulators plans to summon Apple and urge the tech giant to tighten up checks on software applications available in the Apple Store, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The report noted that officers with the law enforcement team met with company reps about the examination of live stream apps.

Microsoft debuts Wunderlist replacement To-Do on iPhone, Mac & iPad coming soon — Microsoft on Wednesday released the first edition of To-Do, an app that will eventually replace the popular multi-platform title Wunderlist, which it acquired back in 2015.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 to feature dual camera array ala iPhone 7 Plus — Looking to recover from last year’s exploding Note 7 fiasco, Samsung is expected to launch its first ever dual camera handset in the Note 8 later this year, according to a report from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. [I find this ‘flattery’ most insincere.]

 

iWork apps become free, Condé Nast shoot, iPhone thief ‘found’, new fiery Samsung, Logitech HomeKit POP, Pornhub app


Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, GarageBand now all free for  iOS and macOS users — Apple is removing the price tag from its Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie and GarageBand apps and making ’em all free for macOS and iOS users.
Previously, all of these apps were available at no charge only for folks who bought a new Mac or iOS device. Now you can download ’em for free at the Mac App Store and Apple App Store even if you don’t have the latest hardware. [By coincidence, I needed Keynote on an older iPad at work but didn’t add it because it would have cost me NZ$14.95 just two days ago.]

Conde Nast uses Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus to shoot covers for Bon Appetit, Traveler [sic] — Publisher Conde Nast is continuing to use the powerful camera of the iPhone 7 Plus to its advantage in important areas of its publications, with two magazines using photographs generated by Apple-produced smartphone for their cover shots.

Apple’s Find my iPhone fingers a phone finagler — Over 100 attendees of the Coachella music festival in Southern California this weekend were separated from their mobile devices by a pickpocket working the crowds. Fortunately, Apple’s Find My iPhone feature saved the day by helping locate the pilfered phones, allegedly nabbed by Reinaldo De Jesus Henao of New York. Astute iPhone users ended up saving the day, not just for their fellow iOS users but also the Android victims at the event.

Teardown finds Samsung Galaxy S8+ battery ‘virtually identical’ to fire-prone Note 7 — Samsung is apparently confident that a rash of fires with its Note 7 phablet were caused by manufacturing errors, and not design or parts, as it has adopted many of the same features, down to one of the same battery manufacturers, with the ‘new’ Galaxy S8+.

Logitech announces the HomeKit-compatible POP Smart Button — Logitech has announced a new version of its POP Home Switch that works to turn HomeKit accessories or scenes on or off with the push of a button. The new POP Smart Button (US$59.95) and POP Add-on Smart Button (US$39.95) will be available at Apple stores and Apple.com stores (no date set yet) exclusively at launch, with expansion to other retailers at a later date.

Pornhub launches TrickPics for iOS, an AR photo filter for censoring nude selfies — Though its listing on the App Store is decidedly vague, a new app dubbed TrickPics is actually the creation of pornography streaming site Pornhub, allowing users to censor nude photographs on their iPhone with augmented reality [woa, who’d a thunk?!].

Apple’s GPU, tvOS rumour


A new tvOS might get picture in picture

One Apple GPU, one giant leap in graphics for iPhone 8 — Apple is building its own GPU architecture, but why? Rather than being motivated by simple cost savings, evidence points to the timing of a significant technical leap forward that could be as big of an advance as iOS was ten years ago. An Apple GPU could be designed to serve specific use cases Imagination Technology, which currently serves Apple’s iOS GPU needs, doesn’t have any reason to address.

Rumour claims Apple TV to get multi-user support, picture-in-picture with ‘tvOS 11’ — With tvOS 11, likely to be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the Apple TV will allegedly gain a pair of demanded features from the company’s other platforms. Multi-user support will tailor onscreen content to the active profile/Apple ID, Israeli site The Verifier said on Sunday, citing a “reliable source.” People should not only see their personal Apple Music, iCloud, and iTunes content, but also their own apps.

App Store China, Apple Podcasts


Apple now China’s largest Western software seller, thanks to booming App Store — Geographic app store estimates spanning multiple companies and platforms suggest that Apple’s App Store, buoyed by growth beyond just games, is the top individual seller by company in China, although not by platform.

iTunes Podcasts now called Apple Podcasts — Apple changed the name of its podcast app from iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. The move includes branding within iTunes, in the Podcasts app, and the Listen on Apple Podcasts badge that replaces Listen on iTunes Podcasts.

Diabetes team, 64-bit Earth, hovering selfies, iPads and iPhones in service


Hover Camera Passport has gone on sale in Apple Stores (image from Tech Co)

Apple has team of biomedical engineers working on diabetes treatment technology — Apple has had a small team of biomedical engineers working on a secret initiative to develop non-invasive glucose sensors in what it hopes would be a game-changer for diabetes treatment, CNBCreports. [Can’t really call it ‘secret’ any more then, can we?]

‘New’ Google Earth may usher in much-needed 64-bit iPhone & iPad app — Google will announce a “brand new experience” for Google Earth on April 18th, something which could simultaneously signal a much-needed upgrade of the Earth iOS app to 64-bit code.

Remarkable Hover Camera Passport arrives at Apple retail stores and Apple.com — Have you ever wanted your own personal camera drone, but found that the devices on the market were too expensive and/or had a difficult learning curve? Last fall, the Hover Camera Passport (US$499) was introduced and it changed the world of photography forever with a small, lightweight, flying high-definition camera that is primarily self-flying.
Now Zero Zero Robotics has announced the flying travel-friendly camera is available exclusively on Apple.com and in Apple retail outlets [although I don’t see it in the NZ online Apple Store, although it does appear available from this link for NZ$599].

NHL coaches provided with iPad Pros during Stanley Cup Playoffs — Coaches in the NHL are going to be given more help in analysing their team’s performance during hockey matches, with the league reportedly providing iPad Pros to teams and officials in time for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Motorola Solutions to equip Victoria Police with 10K iPhones, iPads in A$50M deal — Motorola Solutions has signed a deal with the police in Victoria, Australia, which will provide 10,000 frontline officers with access to iPhones and iPads, in order to provide real-time information to officers and help improve their productivity. The deal is worth A$50 million.

Illustrator on iPad, Clips downloads, TestFlight update, 10 years iOS, quiet patch, iPhone 5 rumour


Robert Generette III on Adobe Illustrator Draw on iPad Pro with Pencil

Artist Rob Zilla shows potential of iPad Pro with Adobe Illustrator Draw, Apple Pencil — Apple is showcasing illustrations of stars from the NBA created by artist Robert Generette III, also known as ‘Rob Zilla’, showing off the high-quality artwork that can be created on the iPad Pro using the Apple Pencil and Adobe Illustrator Draw. [It’s pretty cool watching the drawing emerge step by step.]

Apple’s Clips sees over 500,000 downloads in its first four days of release — Apple’s new, free Clips app saw between 500,000 and a million downloads, according to estimates from app store analytics firm App Annie – as noted by TechCrunch. This is good, but Clips hasn’t yet broken into the top 20 apps by ranking in the US App Store’s Top Charts.

Apple updates TestFlight, its iOS app testing platform — Apple has released an update to TestFlight, its free iOS app testing platform that’s part of iTunes Connect. It now provides multiple build support, enhanced group capabilities, and improved tester management—making it even easier to test your apps.

Ten Year Illustrated History of iOS — German software company fournova has put together a delightful illustrated history of iOS to mark its ten hear history. It starts with the Steve Jobs introducing a device that runs on special version of what was then called OS X. Each iteration of iOS through iOS 10 then gets its own panel highlighting what was new and some of the people involved with presenting it. It’s a fun look through the years, and I saw a couple of things I hadn’t thought about in a long time.

Apple quietly patched iPhone vulnerability allowing unauthorized collection of sensor data [u] — Apple in 2016 issued a fix for a website-based iOS exploit that might have allowed hackers to collect sensor data from iPhones, and potentially learn many things about their targets – even their passcodes, researchers revealed this week. [In other words, if you update your iPhone/iPad, hackers can no longer do this.]
Apple’s software fix for this actually came back with iOS 9.3, released in March last year. That update also introduced Night Shift and secure Notes, while solving a security gap in iMessage.

No, Apple isn’t dropping iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c support in iOS 10.3.2 — There’s a report making the rounds claiming Apple is dropping support for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c in iOS 10.3.2, and they’re wrong. Apple hasn’t ever cut device support with a minor point update, and that holds true for iOS 10.3.2.

iPhone trends, Apple chips, Qualcomm slap, suing Swatch


(Image from GearMix)

US teen iPhone ownership hits all-time high, interest in Apple Watch ticks up — Apple’s mobile products continue to rise in popularity amongst US teens, as fresh survey data from Piper Jaffray shows more than three out of every four teens now own an iPhone and even more intend to buy. Meanwhile TrendForce reckons iPhone production volume is down, but overall sales are improving.

‘Strong evidence’ Apple working on custom power chips for 2019 iPhones — Apple is likely developing custom power management chips, working on the technology at facilities in Germany and the US, an analyst said on Tuesday, believing Apple is setting up power-management design centers in Munich and California. Bankhaus Lampe’s Karsten Iltgen further claims that “about 80” Apple engineers are already working on a custom chip, with plans to use it in iPhones “as early as 2019.”

Qualcomm slaps Apple with countersuit over patent royalties, claims unspecified damages — Responding to a volley of patent royalty lawsuits initiated by Apple, Qualcomm on Monday escalated the legal battle with a countersuit claiming the litigation is a gambit seeking lower licensing fees. Qualcomm is citing 35 specific defenses to Apple’s allegations.

Apple sues Swatch over ‘Tick different’ trademark — Swiss watch conglomerate Swatch is again under fire for allegedly capitalising on successful Apple marketing. The watchmaker is being taken to court for emblazoning ‘Tick different’ on certain watch models, a phrase Apple claims is a play on its 1990s ‘Think Different’ ad campaign.
Lodged last week, Apple’s complaint is being adjudicated by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, reports Watson. In order to successfully argue its case, Apple will have to prove that at least 50 percent of consumers associate “Think Different” with Apple branding. [Unlikely – Apple’s slogan was popular when Apple had a tiny following compared to today.]