Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘apple

Need a Lyft?

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If you’re looking for a new iPad, Apple is offering up a couple of new options.

A new 10.5” iPad Air ($499), and a 7.9” iPad mini ($399), both with retina displays, the A12 Bionic chip, and support for the first-gen Apple pencil.

For those keeping score, that mini has the same screen size as the previous generation. 9to5Mac writes that the Air is “a halfway house between the $329 iPad and $799+ iPad Pro tiers.”

On the dealmaking and moneyraising fronts, there’s also news from this Monday.

Fidelity National Information Services Inc. said it has agreed to acuire Worldpay Inc for roughly $35 billion in cash and stock, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Why do we care?

This deal would build a global payments giant and back-end financial services business in a sector “under pressure to cut costs, develop new products and add customers.”

The combined FIS and Worldpay expects to generate $500 million in additional revenue and annual cost cuts of about $400 million through combining their one-stop shop services to process online and in-store payments and manage transactions in multiple currencies. The enlarged group, which expects to have annual revenue of about $12.3 billion, also will offer services to manage fraud and advanced data analytics, the companies said.

 FIS helps banks process credit-card transactions, service auto loans and handle back-office functions for money managers among a range of services that it offers. The company says its technology is used in managing transactions involving more than $9 trillion annually.

Finally, if you’re looking for a lift, ride-share company Lyft today disclosed it hopes to raise over $2 billion in its IPO, at an initial market cap that could top $19 billion. 

Lyft is expecting to offer 30.77 million shares valued at between $62 and $68 per share, and its IPO road-show is expected to kick off today.

Might be cheaper to ride a scooter.

Written by turbotodd

March 18, 2019 at 10:25 am

Posted in 2019, apple

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Game On

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Happy Hump Day.

As Steve Ballmer once said on a Microsoft event stage, “Developers, developers, developers.”

He was huffing and puffing and sweating profusely when he said it, but the sentiment remained the same.

And still relevant.

By way of example, earlier today Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on a new initiative entitled “Marzipan” which is intended to make it easier for developers to build apps, games, etc. for all its main devices “in one fell swoop.” 

In other words, developers will have a new software development kit that will allow them to port their iPad apps to Macs, as opposed to having to write the underlying code twice.

Bloomberg also reports that in 2020 Apple will plan to expand the kit so that iPhone apps can be converted into Mac apps similarly.

By 2021, the idea is that developers will be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps into a “single binary,” which would in turn prevent them from having to submit their efforts to different Apple app stores.

On the gaming front, Fortune is reporting that Google is expected to announce a new game streaming service at next month’s Game Developer’s Conference. 

The gaming unit is expected to be a Netflix-like streaming service, building on the success of Project Stream. Games are run on cloud servers and streamed directly to players’ PCs, tablets, TVs, or pretty much anything with a screen. That’s fairly typical with films and programs these days, but the interactive nature of games (and the historically laggy qualities of most internet connections ) have made it impractical.

Lots of competition in them thar game streaming hills: Steam, Epic Games, Sony Playstation, etc.

But it was also a $36 billion business in 2017, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and more and more games will be moving out of retail and into the cloud.

In other words, game on.

Written by turbotodd

February 20, 2019 at 11:55 am

Posted in google, apple, app store, 2019

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What A Week in Tech (and Privacy)

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What a headspinning week in tech!

I don’t really even know where to begin.

On the one hand, we saw more stratospheric (and sometimes recordbreaking) tech earnings from the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.

On the other, we saw more privacy gaffes that make me think my personal digital data was a lot safer during the 2016 elections than it was here in the present of 2018.

The New York Times’ Mike Isaac suggested in an article yesterday that Tim Cook and Apple held significant cards in their enterprise agreement faceoff with Facebook.

And Kara Swisher wrote in the Gray Lady that Tim Cook “has become the critic-in-chief for Facebook” — particularly when it comes to privacy matters — even as Apple had to face up to its own privacy snafu with FaceTime Group chats (although Apple said today it had fixed that particular flaw).

Thankfully I don’t use such group chats, but it was still not exactly reassuring that the privacy industrial complex is clearly growing bigger and making billions and still doing a sheit job of protecting our data.

Those two missions — making lots and lots and lots of money and protecting users’ personal information — now seem to be not only completely at odds, but almost at war.

And that’s before we really turn the volume up on artificial intelligence’s capabilities and the genies (and demons) that that could unleash.

TGIF.  I need a beer.

Please, just don’t tell my Facebook page or my FaceTime app — my insurance company might be listening.

Written by turbotodd

February 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Posted in 2019, apple, facebook

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A Cold Apple

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I feel for you people living in Chicago and Minneapolis and other parts in the north.  I though 51 below 0 was reserved for the North or South Pole.

Stay warm, keep those body parts covered, wear goggles.

I knew there was a reason I moved back to Texas.

I was about to go off and write a post-Davos artificial intelligence or 5G screed, but I’ve been too busy at work, so they’ll have to wait.

Instead, I wanted to take a quick glance at Apple’s earnings announced after the market closed yesterday.

The headline from Apple’s earnings release was that revenue was down 5 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $84.3 billion, with revenue from the iPhone having declined 15 percent from the prior year.

But revenue from all other products and services grew 19 percent.

Revenue from China dropped 27 percent from a year ago, down from $13.17 billion to $17.96 billion. 

According to a report from CNBC:

Investors had feared slowing sales in China since CEO Tim Cook warned earlier this month of economic pressures in the region that led the company to lower its guidance for the quarter. In addition to weak iPhone sales, Cook blamed trade tensions between the U.S. and China for the slowdown in sales.

“If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100 percent from iPhone and it’s primarily in greater China,” Cook told CNBC’s Josh Lipton in an interview following the Apple’s revised guidance announcement. “It’s clear that the economy began to slow there for the second half and what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy.”

The earnings broke the same day that Apple conceded it had a major security flaw in its FaceTime app, discovered earlier this month by a 14-year old student in Arizona.

Apple has disabled the Group FaceTime feature while it works on a fix.

Written by turbotodd

January 30, 2019 at 10:51 am

Posted in 2019, apple

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Apple Pays, GDP Strays

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The World Economic Forum has kicked off in Davos, and today the Dow is down some 300 points.

IMF Chair Christine Lagarde cut the global growth forecast for 2019 from 3.7 to 3.5 percent, saying the move was “due to the high level of economic risks that are accelerating around the globe.”

She cited the U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, and China’s slowing economy as factors in the down estimate.

But there are companies out there doing their part to ensure that everybody gets paid. 

For instance, Apple announced that 74 of the top 100 U.S. merchants now accept Apple Pay, including Target and Taco Bell. 

Finally, a reason to really use my Apple Watch for something besides a timer for Trader Joe heat ups!

And speaking of fast food, sorry, but Traders Joe may be the order of the day, as Munchery has announced it is going to end operations effective immediately and will refund any outstanding orders.

Munchery had raised some $125.4 million in venture capital and, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, its kitchens had reportedly produced many more orders than they sold.

A recipe for ______.

Written by turbotodd

January 22, 2019 at 11:19 am

It’s Been Awhile…Happy VR New Year!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted…enjoyed a much needed holiday respite away from technology.

Well, not ALL technology. While I was away, I dusted off my Oculus Go and really went to town with the thing, in a way that I hadn’t the prior 7 months.

My follow-up verdict: I’m more bullish on VR now that I’ve spent more time with the thing.

Mostly, I’ve been playing games (“End Space,” “Rush,” “Void Race,” and “Gunjack” are some standouts).  I also bought a Bluetooth gamepad so that I move beyond depending just on the OG controller that comes with and use something a little more user friendly.

The game pad made a big difference in gmaes like “Gunjack” where one is shooting alien spacecraft and needs great agility (and, yet, subtlety, at the same time). 

I’ve also used OG for more mundane tasks like watching “Netflix,” which appears as a big movie screen in front of one’s eyes.

Despite the heavy lift of getting someone to put these VR goggles on, the opportunity for transcendent experiences, I believe, is quite palpable.

And the use cases beyond games seem endless…military training…pilot training…high end commercial and residential real estate…real-time collaboration and working..I could go on and on.

And apparently I’m not alone. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen recently said the following in an episode of the a a16z podcast: 

I think AR has tons of potential applications, both at work and at home. [But] I think VR is going to be about 1,000 times bigger. In the Valley right now, this is a very contrarian view. The general theme that you hear is that AR will be bigger than VR, and obviously it should be. If you can do things overlaid over the real world, that should be inherently more interesting than having to construct a synthetic world.

I just think that’s only true for people who live in a really interesting place in the real world. But only something like .1 percent and 1 percent of people on Earth live in a place where they wake up every morning and think, Wow, there are so many interesting things to see. So for everyone who doesn’t already live on a college campus or in Silicon Valley or in a major other city, the new environments we’re going to be able to create in VR will inherently be much more interesting. And there will be a lot more of them.

Using the “Gala360” app, I was able to do just that, see something new (to me).

For a mere $3.99, I bought and downloaded the app and the next thing I know I was walking around and checking out the Taj Mahal in 3D, a place I’d never visited but had always wanted to see.

VR replaces long distance: It’s the next best thing to (really) being there. 

Whether it becomes 1,000 times bigger than augmented reality, I’ll leave that to others to argue.

But at a time when the tech industry and key players like Apple are struggling — in terms of both perception and innovation, there are much worse investments one could make than alternate realities, virtual or otherwise.

Written by turbotodd

January 8, 2019 at 10:36 am

Posted in 2019, virtual reality, VR

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Apple a Day

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Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is “experimenting” with iPhone marketing strategies it rarely uses, including discount promotions with generous device buyback terms, to help bolster sales of its new line of smartphones.

Apparently they were selling below expectations, and not coincidentally Apple has lost about a fifth of market value since the start of October. And iPhone supplier Cirrus Logic cut its holiday quarter sales forecast 16 percent due to slack demand.

You can visit apple.com if you want to see whether or not your older iPhone is eligible for the trade-in, one which is lowering the cost of an XR model by up to $300.

 

Written by turbotodd

December 5, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Posted in 2018, apple, iPhone

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