Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

Tweet More, iPhone Less

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Having trouble writing everything you want to write on Twitter in 140 characters or less?

Well, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen feels your pain and wrote that “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).”

This feature will be available to only a small number of users for now (and it wasn’t clear at press time if President Donald J. Trump would be included in the pilot).

For my money, Twitter has always been about less being more. I have to “cram” all the time, and I avoid sending episodic Tweets at all cost. Call me old school.

In the meanwhile, over on the sidelines, Facebook has just inked a multiyear deal with NFL to distribute game highlights and other content, and in return, NFL Films will produce content packages for Facebook Watch.

It was unclear at press time whether Mark Zuckerberg would be standing or kneeling.

If you just feel like hitting the open road with not a care in the world, you might want to keep an eye on Ford and Lyft’s new partnership to develop and test autonomous vehicle designs and technology. The destination: To put Ford’s cars on Lyft’s networks. No comment yet from G.M., one of Lyft’s biggest investors and partners.

Could be very awkward out there on the autonomous Route 66!

And as if Apple needed any more production headaches after their recent and marvelous launch shindig? First there was a software issue with the Apple Watch Series 3 which caused the Watch to connect to unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks instead of handing off to LTE.

Then there was news that there have been production issues with the new Face ID componentry that has something to do with manufacturing yields for the “Romeo” modules (the “Juliet” modules are producing just fine, but hey, you can’t have a Juliet without a Romeo. That’s just bad Shakespeare…and juju!)

And now, the iPhone 8 has a “crackling” earpiece that’s disrupting the audio experience when people try to make phone calls.

To which I ask, who makes phone calls using an iPhone anymore??

 

Written by turbotodd

September 27, 2017 at 9:13 am

All You Need is Love…and $999

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Well, I was able to make my way through the entire Apple keynote today LIVE (via streaming video) from the new Steve Jobs Theater on the also new Apple Park spaceship-like campus.

The opening video was clever, as it showed people walking into the new theater for the first time ever. Accompanying the walk-in video was The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.”

Yes, all you need is love, and $999, if you wish to purchase the new Apple X (pronounced “ten,” not “ex”) 64GB iPhone, whose new features include an A11 Bionic neural engine chip, a first-of-its-kind OLED screen, and a new Facial ID security feature that makes Touch ID obsolete and has a 1 in a million (according to Apple) chance of being hacked.

No doubt, it’s a gorgeous new smartphone, and yes, it’s being released in the 10th anniversary year of the original iPhone’s introduction. But unless you’re really excited by the novelty of the Face ID authentication or the “Super Retina Display” or the increased speeds and feeds of the A11 bionic neural networking chip, then this particular “one more thing” may just be that.

Apple also introduced the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which also come with the A11 chip, which is optimized for 3D games and Metal 2, paving the way for Apple’s coming Augmented Reality onslaught. Both the iPhone 8 devices and the X will now be charged via Qi-standards based wireless chargers, which apparently will create a new cottage industry of 3rd party opportunities for the likes of Mophie.

For me, the upside surprise came with the new Apple Watch Series 3, one which has built-in LTE and gets us closer than ever to Dick Tracy-land. In fact, the demo involved the presenter making a live Watch-to-Watch call to another Apple employee who was out on a body of water somewhere paddle boarding. Thankfully, she didn’t fall in while on camera, but the new Apple Watch working as a phone with no iPhone in sight was, well, a welcome sight. Too bad I just bought a Series 1 earlier this year!

In terms of software, I should have known better — there wasn’t much on offer for what clearly was an Apple fall hardware announcement. There were some cute new animated emojis using the Face ID tech: “animojis.” The Apple Watch includes some new heart monitoring capabilities, including the ability to monitor for atrial fibrillation (if your heart is fibrillating, put down your Apple Watch and call your doctor, FAST!).

My favorite was what looks to be a killer new AR game called “The Machines” where you can point your iPhone 8 (but what about my SE??) and shoot stuff with your friends.

And if you *were* awaiting news about the new iOS 11, Apple indicated it would be available for download starting a week from today (September 19th).

As for buying new stuff, I’ll stick with my year-old Apple iPhone SE for now — it still has a headphone jack I can actually plug stuff into, even if I do have to … first world deep sigh … plug it in as well every night to charge the thing. Oh, the horror….

Written by turbotodd

September 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

What I’m Looking For In Today’s Apple Announcements

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In a phrase, not much.

First, I’m excited about seeing the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new spaceship HQ.

Second, while I *am* interested in seeing the specs, speeds and feeds of the reported Apple X and iPhone 8 models, I’m not sure there’s anything transformative that will appear (maybe the presumed "Face ID" facial recognition will be interesting).

The new LTE-enabled Apple Watch? Well, I waited two years to buy the Apple Watch, and Apple told me it had to be tethered to my iPhone and that for my watch to work, I would have to carry my iPhone everywhere I go.

So I did. And I do!

The new Apple TV…meh. I already got one and I hardly use the thing, and I don’t think 4K support will be the kickstarter.

Which leaves us with…what?

Software.

I’m looking to see how the software changes and improves.

I’m looking to see if Siri is getting smarter and more usable.

I’m really looking to see if iOS 11 delivers on some needed improvements…a new, designed Control Center (for better shortcuts and preferred app settings)…Document scanner in Notes…Drag and drop with the iPad…Instant Markup with the Apple Pencil (through a variety of apps)…In short, I’m looking to see if the iPad Pro could actually start me down the road to using the iPad as an MBP replacement.

Other than that, I don’t expect much. : 0

Don’t get me wrong, because I am, indeed, invested heavily in the Apple ecosystem.

But in the past I’ve also bought into too much hype of these types of announcements.

So rather than drool over my screen like a fanboy ready to wait in line for the iPhone X until next February, I’m instead looking for some serious progress on the software front.

Siri, are you listening?

Written by turbotodd

September 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

iPhone Shmyphone

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Apparently I missed the whole iPhone 10-year anniversary celebration thing yesterday.

Judging from my RSS feeds, though, there was a lot of fond remembrances of how much the iPhone changed the world, even if the original 2G phone connections were lethally slow.
In 2007, I was still a diehard BlackBerry user — my Bold took me around the world and back again, and it did email really, really well (and worked in just about every country I flew to).

But eventually I pried my cold, live hands from the BlackBerry keyboard and migrated to the iPhone. I’d already been a Mac user since…well, I won’t say when…and it only seemed logical.

I’m not one of those who holds the iPhone up on the altar of technology worship. Nor do I denigrate the iPhone because it’s presence has led to no end of human folly and absurdities due to its use or misuse. And don’t ask me to name any of them, because I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

No, for me, the iPhone is a tool, plain and simple. A wonderous one, one that allows me to stay in touch with people all over the globe at the touch of a button.

One that allows me to watch human calamity in real-time from afar.

One that allows me, for good and bad, to respond to work email from anywhere I have a data connection (which is almost everywhere, but not completely).

One that allows me to learn new things, entertain myself, buy stuff, take pictures and videos….we all know what it does for us, personally.

What it does for culture and society and the broader world? Well, I can make a strong argument that it brings us all closer together, but others would argue it does just the opposite, that it takes us further apart.

As with anything, and as with any technology, it’s really all relative and depends on your point of view.

As I look back on the first ten years of the iPhone, I force myself to remember that these devices are called “smartphones.”

Whether or not the iPhone (and subsequent smartphones) have made us any smarter is probably still up for debate.

Whether or not I would pretty much be lost without my own is not.

Are you paying attention to me? Are you still reading this?!

Look at me and stop looking at that damned phone!

: )

Written by turbotodd

June 30, 2017 at 9:06 am

Apple Earnings And AirPods

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Apple announced its latest earnings report, and while the company doesn’t typically break out sales of its Apple Watch, Cook did note that the revenue in the last year from Apple’s wearables business was “the size of a Fortune 500 company.”

As The Verge pointed out, the smallest Fortune 500 company “pulled in $5.1 billion in revenue last year.”

The Apple announced its latest earnings report, and while the company doesn’t typically break out sales of its Apple Watch, Cook did note that the revenue in the last year from Apple’s wearables business was “the size of a Fortune 500 company.” wearables business consists of the Apple Watch, the Beats headphones, and the company’s newest entrant, AirPods (more on those in a moment).

As The Verge pointed out, the smallest Fortune 500 company “pulled in $5.1 billion in revenue last year.”

The Apples wearables business consists of the Apple Watch, the Beats headphones, and the company’s newest entrant, AirPods (more on those in a moment).

CNBC reported that Apple iPhone unit shipments were off the mark, selling 50.8M against a 52M expectation. And while 451 Research highlights that smartphone buying intent has fallen to a nine-year low, Wall Street projections suggest some 300M iPhones could be set for an upgrade this fall.

It could be needed, as Mac growth was tepid at 4 percent YOY, iPad units fell 13 percent YOY, and Apple’s China sales fell 12 percent YOY.

On the upside, the App Store was up 40 percent and Apple’s developer community grew by over 20 percent, according to Cook.

Now back to those AirPods.

They seem to be a sleeper hit. You can’t find them anywhere, save for maybe Craig’s List, and I’ve been told there’s at least a six week wait.

So while Apple may have missed on their AirPods demand forecast, those folks who *do* have them in hand (or, in ear, as it were) seem to love them madly.

Tech.pinion’s Ben Bajarin partnered with Experian to track down 942 people willing to take a quick AirPods user survey. Customer sat with the AirPods is at 98%! — that’s 82 percent “Very Satisfied” and 16% “Satisfied.”

That’s a record for customer sat for a new product from Apple, according to Bajarin. He points out that the iPhone had a 92 percent customer sat level when it was released in 2007, and the Apple Watch came close at 97 percent in 2015.

The Net Promoter Score for AirPods is also off the charts at 75 (the iPhone’s NPS is 72).

Writes Bajarin: Product and NPS specialists will tell you anything above 50 is excellent and anything above 70 is world class.

So what gives? Bajarin suggests it’s partially the fact that AirPods users are most likely early adopters, so they’re going to be inclined to love the product.

But I also have to think the fact that these are the first wireless ear buds from Apple, ones which automagically synch up with Apple devices (Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc.), and have good sound and battery life are big contributors to their speedy success.

And, based on some of the survey verbatims, they just seem to work better than prior Bluetooth headphones.

Imagine that. A new product that just works.

CNBC reported that Apple iPhone unit shipments were off the mark, selling 50.8M against a 52M expectation. And while 451 Research highlights that smartphone buying intent has fallen to a nine-year low, Wall Street projections suggest some 300M iPhones could be set for an upgrade this fall.

It could be needed, as Mac growth was tepid at 4 percent YOY, iPad units fell 13 percent YOY, and Apple’s China sales fell 12 percent YOY.

On the upside, the App Store was up 40 percent and Apple’s developer community grew by over 20 percent, according to Cook.

Now back to those AirPods.

They seem to be a sleeper hit. You can’t find them anywhere, save for maybe Craig’s List, and I’ve been told there’s at least a six week wait.

So while Apple may have missed on their AirPods demand forecast, those folks who *do* have them in hand (or, in ear, as it were) seem to love them madly.

Tech.pinion’s Ben Bajarin partnered with Experian to track down 942 people willing to take a quick AirPods user survey. Customer sat with the AirPods is at 98%! — that’s 82 percent “Very Satisfied” and 16% “Satisfied.”

That’s a record for customer sat for a new product from Apple, according to Bajarin. He points out that the iPhone had a 92 percent customer sat level when it was released in 2007, and the Apple Watch came close at 97 percent in 2015.

The Net Promoter Score for AirPods is also off the charts at 75 (the iPhone’s NPS is 72).

Writes Bajarin: Product and NPS specialists will tell you anything above 50 is excellent and anything above 70 is world class.

So what gives? Bajarin suggests its partially the fact that AirPods users are most likely early adopters, so they’re going to be inclined to love the product.

But I also have to think the fact that these are the first wireless ear buds from Apple, ones which automagically synch up with Apple devices (Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc.), and have good sound and battery life are big contributors to their speedy success.

And, based on some of the survey verbatims, they just seem to work better than prior Bluetooth headphones.

Imagine that. A new product that just works.

Written by turbotodd

May 3, 2017 at 9:52 am

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 App Store Price Increases

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The BBC is reporting that Apple is expected to shortly raise prices for what it charges for apps in select countries, including the UK, India, and Turkey.

The increase is about a 25 percent one over previous currency conversions, which for the UK was 79p.

Now, Apple intends to numerically match the U.S. cost, meaning a $.99 app in the U.S. will now be 99p in the UK.

9to5 Mac asserts that the rising prices for both apps and in-app purchases is due to changes in exchange rates and taxation policy. Call it “The Brexit Effect,” which has led to weakened pound exchange rate post-Brexit.

Also figuring into the equation is the UK’s 20 percent value-added tax.

Apple app developers should check the official documentation for the full details and breakdown of the app cost increases.

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Posted in 2017, apple, apps, developers, iPhone

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