Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘apple’ Category

Apple Acquires Workflow

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Happy Thursday… Much as with March Madness, there were some significant upsets yesterday in the Dell World Golf Championships here in Austin Texas… Most tragic was last year’s winner, Jason Day, announcing his withdrawal from the tournament after six holes due to his mother’s terminal cancer. He held a gutwrenching press conference, but the former world number one golfer clearly has his priorities in the right place.

Jason, here’s wishing you and your entire family all the best as your mom fights for her life. For those of us familiar with your backstory, we know how much of a fighter she is and how much she helped you get to where you are today.

Now, back to the technology news of the day: Apple has finalized a deal to acquire Workflow, a tool that lets you put together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks.

TechCrunch reported the news, but was unable to get financial details for the deal. As they write:

Workflow has been around for a couple of years and we’ve covered it and its updates. It shares some similarity with the service IFTTT, in that it allows people to group together a bunch of actions that can allow them to perform complicated tasks with one tap. It had built up a sizeable number of users and downloads over the past few years.
– via TechCrunch

They also report that the Workflow app will continue to be made available on the App Store and will be made free later today.

Which makes all you people who bought the app in the last week suckers.

Written by turbotodd

March 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

Apple’s Augmented Reality

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We’re well into March Madness and it sounds like there have been some major bracket busting upsets.

I don’t have a dog in this hunt, so I’ll keep my observations to myself.

The SXSW circus is over and the tent’s (and corporate takeovers) are quickly being demolished.

Thanks, Garth Brooks, for coming to Austin to close out the show. Here’s hoping you found some friends in low places.

Looking forward, Bloomberg has a piece out today on Apple’s next big thing, augmented reality:

As previously reported by Bloomberg, Apple is working on several AR products, including digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer. While the glasses are a ways off, AR features could show up in the iPhone sooner.
– via Bloomberg.com

Investors impatient for Apple’s next breakthrough will be happy to know that Cook is very serious about AR. People with knowledge of the company’s plans say Apple has embarked on an ambitious bid to bring the technology to the masses—an effort Cook and his team see as the best way for the company to dominate the next generation of gadgetry and keep people wedded to its ecosystem.
– via Bloomberg.com

Bloomberg observes the global market for AR will “surge 80 percent to $165 billion by 2024.”

Them’s a lot of Pokemon.

Written by turbotodd

March 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Building iPhones in Bangalore

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More Apple news overnight…

The company will soon start to manufacture its iPhone SE model in Bangalore through its subcontractor, Wistron.

This would be Apple’s first move to assemble its iPhones in India. However, as the Economic Times of India observes, “the biggest hurdle preventing Apple from cornering a larger slice of the Indian smartphone pie” is its price points. A new model iPhone in India starts at upwards of Rs 50,000 (roughly $745 U.S.).

MacRumors explains that Apple had been in talks with the Indian federal government to garner possible tax concessions if the company agreed to manufacture its phones locally, but that apparently the “initial manufacturing of the iPhone SE is not contingent on any such concessions.”

It goes on to explain that this move into India “looks to offset slowing growth in China by boosting its share of the Indian phone market.”

The iPhone is expected to come in at around Rs 28,460 (roughly $424).

Note: I’m a proud iPhone SE owner my own self. I opted to get the four-inch model because I like the smaller form factor than the 6/7, and with a Mophie case lasts a full day burning up the AC/DC. I also like the fact when I’m riding the bus to work I can hold and operate it with a single hand and thumb. The tradeoff is definitely smaller screen size, but for me the SE strikes the right balance.

Written by turbotodd

February 17, 2017 at 8:17 am

Posted in 2017, apple, iPhone

Apple Announces WWDC 2017: June 5-9

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Apple has announced its developer conference, WWDC 2017, will be held June 5th to June 9th, and will change venues from previous years to the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.

9to5 Mac is reporting that Apple is expected to unveil the next major versions of its software operating systems, including iOS 11, macOS 10.13, and updates to tvOS and watchOS.

Why the change of venue?

TechCrunch suggests San Jose is simply more convenient to Apple’s HQ in Cupertino (15 minutes to San Jose vs. 45 to San Francisco, where the Moscone Center is located).

Because there are an expected 1,000 Apple engineers that will be addressing the Apple developer community, it’s more convenient for the Apple participants. For the independent Apple developer, it’s less of a hit to the pocketbook (in terms of travel, hotel costs, etc.)

The conference price is expected to cost roughly the same, $1,599.

Developers will be able to register for a WWDC ticket starting March 27. Then, there will be a lottery to select the attendees (demand usually exceeds ticket supply!)

Written by turbotodd

February 16, 2017 at 9:16 am

Posted in 2017, apple, developers, wwdc

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The Data Unlimited

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Lotsa news on the telecommunications and smartphone front leading up to Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress later this month.

Verizon threw down its gauntlet on unlimited data, its first since 2011 according to MacRumors. The new plan unveiled Sunday includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data, and will cost $80/month for a single smartphone or tablet.

But unlimited isn’t completely unlimited, as “Verizon Unlimited” includes a potential slowdown after customers exceed 22 GB of data usage in a single billing cycle.

Over at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, they’re looking to introduce their own code-named processor, “Pinecone” within the month, writes Ars Technica. This moves Xiaomi into an alternative smartphone processor universe, considering that most every Android OEM other than Samsung and Huawei have been Qualcomm customers.

Meanwhile, Android Authority reported that Huawei defied slowing global smartphone sales trends and shipped 139M units in 2016, a nearly 30 percent YOY increase. It’s consumer division revenues grew 42% to $26B.

But probably the most intriguing numbers to recently appear were new device activations leading into the Christmas holidays. Flurry has apparently done this analysis every year for several years, and this year, the headline was this: For every Samsung device activated, Apple saw two activated devices (44 percent for Apple, 21 percent for Samsung).

Admittedly, Samsung had a bit of a rough 2016, but yet and still, 2 to 1…and this as Apple recently announced record earnings, sending their stock price to an all-time high.

The sub-headline was that the so-called “phablet” was the dominant form factor by the end of 2016 (with phablet being defined as a smartphone having a screen intermediate in size, between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.

Written by turbotodd

February 14, 2017 at 8:52 am

Apple Expected To Join Partnership On AI

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Apple Inc. is set to join the Partnership on AI, an artificial intelligence research group that includes Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. IBM, and Microsoft Corp., according to Bloomberg.

Despite having initiated somewhat of a lead on the rest of the industry with the introduction of the Siri virtual assistant in 2011, poor Siri seems to have been held back in AI school.

The Partneship on AI is a tech industry body that was established to agree on best practices in the use of artificial intelligence. It was formed in September, with part of its brief to make recommendations in the areas of ethics, fairness, inclusivity, privacy and trustworthiness

Apple’s admission into the group could be announced as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the situation.

9to5 Mac suggests Apple’s reluctance to join may have been prompted by secrecy concerns. In addition to its ethics focus, the group has an emphasis on collaboration between researchers working for different companies.

Siri, fingers crossed…Siri, did you hear me?…SIRI!???!!!!

Written by turbotodd

January 26, 2017 at 8:12 am

Posted in 2017, AI, apple, siri

Siri, Where’s My AirPods?

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AppleInsider recently reported that Apple’s latest iOS 10.3 beta release addresses the concerns of people already worrying about losing their precious AirPods.

I’d be worried too at $160 a pop (and $69 replacement per earbud).

Some clever third-party developer launched an app earlier this month that uses AirPod’s Bluetooth signal strength to track down the missing buds, and soon thereafter Apple removed that app from the App Store.

Also in the new iOS 10, Apple is working to crack down on those reminders we iOS users get to rate programs in the App Store. The new policy will include a mechanism that limits developers to seeking reviews and ratings up to three times per year.

In the meantime, I have my own short review to share of my new Apple Watch. I wrote two years ago in February 2015 how I had made an appointment to go into my local Apple store and check out the latest device. I liked it, but knew it was first generation, and I’ve been burned enough buying the first time around that I figured I’d wait for the second.

Ironically, I ended up buying a Series 1 anyway, only two years later. Why? Cost, for one, but also because the Series 2 doesn’t bring that many new advantages over the Series 1 other than the full waterproofing and embedded GPS. And, of course, because the software has been updated a couple of generations since then (it’s all about the software, bay-bay).

My impressions thus far?

First, it was extremely easy to set up.

Second, it’s been very easy to learn how to use thus far.

Third, as so many people will tell you, the notifications (and haptic sensor) are probably the “killer app,” making it very easy to glance at your wrist to check for new messages or get that text from your significant other.

But that’s just a first impression…let me get a few more days under my belt and I can probably tell you more.

Just don’t ask me to review your latest app over and over again in the meantime. : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by turbotodd

January 25, 2017 at 8:49 am

Posted in 2017, apple, apple watch, iOS

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