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Apple May Be Fashionably Late To The Smartwatch Party, But The iWatch

Just because you may be fashionably late to a party doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to be the life of said party. Any time a new device comes out, especially one that is able to generate a whole new section of technology, it seems like everyone jumps on board. This is typical if companies...

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The New iOS 8 Is Taking A Few Shots At Android And Making Us More Connected Than Ever

Posted by mluciano | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products | Posted on 04-06-2014

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Just in case you’ve not been on the internet at all with the past couple of days, Apple just recently had their WWDC 2014 event. Let me just be the first to say that I was quite impressed with what I saw. While there may not have been any new hardware announced (does the iWatch even exist???), there was still quite a lot that was shown off. Obviously the two biggest parts of the keynotes, again in case you missed it, were the announcements of the new OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and the new iOS 8! Yes, the next big iOS update is here, so for all of us iPhone and iPad users, this is the part where you pay attention.

The biggest addition that I saw to the new iOS is a little feature called “Handoff”. Handoff is basically a new way to continue working on something from one device to another. Seamless continuity if you will. Lets say for example you’re viewing a spreadsheet or working on an email from your computer but you need to go somewhere. Simply pick up where you left off via another Apple device that’s synced up. All you need to do is swipe up from the bottom left corner if you’re continuing on a mobile device, or click a button if you’re continuing on your Mac. This isn’t really like working with your iCloud. Although you can still sync data, this type of seamless transition is strictly based off of location proximity and your mobile Apple devices. There’s no waiting or loading the data from the cloud. It’s just there!

The next thing that I saw coming with the new update was the HealthKit. Now this is essentially two different app platforms, but it controls the new Health fitness tracker app, and the new HomeKit. This is where Apple has Android beat. Apple owns the iPhone. They have all of the rights. They own the technology that has all of the sensors needed to gather the health data. Android does not. Android still needs separate manufacturers to come up with their own initiatives as they don’t own that type of technology. Samsung has been the only real taker for that sort of app project, with their “S Health”. Needless to say, Apple has the one up on Android in that department.

The HomeKit is the part of the app platform that truly impressed me. This is where virtually EVERYTHING became connected. It’s Apple’s idea of the completely connected home. Once everything is set up correctly and synced together, all you need to do is tell your old pal Siri to “get ready for bed” and a number of crazy things will happen. Your thermostat lowers the temperature. Your garage door gets closed. Your door could even lock for you! It’s the things like this and the Handoff app that show me just how connected Apple is trying to make everything, and personally, I’m totally fine with it!

Android isn’t necessarily a bad OS, and they don’t make necessarily bad products. I’ve seen my fair share of people walking around with them and I even owned a Droid phone for a while (I wasn’t exactly pleased). Even though they remain popular and have their own following, I feel that Apple has just tremendously outclassed them with this new update and its features. Good work Apple, good work.

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Apple Still Going Strong, Despite the Perception They Aren’t

Posted by jdkenny | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 24-04-2013

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With all of the new Android devices being released almost weekly, and the major decline in Apple’s stock since last fall, you would think that Apple is about to go out of business. This, of course, is an exaggeration as Apple just release their Q2 (Second Quarter) earnings numbers on Tuesday and they beat Wall Street’s expectations. Apple accrued a profit of $9.5 billion and a revenue of $43.6 billion. These revenues are slightly higher than what experts were predicting, but not quite as high a profit as Apple has had in the past.

This is welcome news for the technology giant that has seen its stock drop over 300 points from a high of  $705 a share to a low of under $400 a share since last September. Much of the concern has been over the fact that iPhone sales have been in decline, though still a massive source of revenue. iPhone sales for the last quarter were over 37.4 million units. While this is a great sales number, the growth of iPhone sales has slow quite a bit. One product, however, that showed a tremendous growth rate was the iPad. Compared to last year, iPad sales were up 65% to over 19 million units sold. The main thing that can be taken away from these figures is that Apple is still selling millions of products, but some new, “innovative” features may be necessary for continued growth.

The increased competition from new, high quality Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S III has had a major impact on iPhone sales. Many experts are wondering if Apple will be able to keep up with the “cutting edge” Android devices that are taking more and more of the smartphone market. Many are also speculating if Apple will release an iPhone with a larger display this year to keep up with the trend of larger smartphone screens, but CEO Tim Cook shot many of those theories down. Cook, after being asked about possibly shipping an iPhone with a 5 inch display, went on to list many of the tradeoffs and problems that come with a display that size. He detailed resolution, color quality, brightness, and so on as being issues that would keep Apple from shipping a display that size “while these tradeoffs exist”. This may sound ridiculous to those Android customers that have displays over 5″, but Apple has shown that they are “slow” to adopt a trend until it is proven and established. The best example of this would be their decision not to implement LTE connectivity into their devices until it was a “proven” and widespread standard.

One thing is certain after this reporting of revenue from Apple, they are still an extremely valuable company. Posting a revenue of over $43 billion is something that is truly “mind-boggling” and is almost hard to comprehend. That being said, Apple will need to “up its game” with their new product releases and updates this year. One area that both customers and critics agree needs to be updated is the operating system on Apple’s mobile products, iOS. Since the iPhone’s debut in 2007, iOS has been updated each year with a host of new features and abilities but has not had a drastic U/I (user interface) overhaul. Many are pointing to the customizability of the Android operating system as something that Apple needs to adopt in their new version of iOS that will most likely be released this fall. It remains to be seen what Apple will actually do, but the anticipation for their updated products and software is sure to be widespread.

Sources – http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/23/4258068/apple-posts-9-5b-profit-on-43-6b-in-revenuehttp://www.theverge.com/2013/4/23/4258544/tim-cook-says-5-inch-iphone-display-would-have-too-many-tradeoffs

 

 

After a Victory Over Samsung, Apple Turns Its Sights on Google

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 28-08-2012

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Apple vs GoogleFresh off its $1.05 billion patent lawsuit victory over Samsung, Apple is turning its sights on another tech giant, this one a little bigger than Samsung, however. After suing the crap out of Samsung for patent infringement, Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly in talks with Google CEO Larry Page about numerous intellectual property matters, including those at the center of the ongoing patent disputes between both companies.

These talks, which have taken place sort of secretively, began last week over the phone and will continue in the coming weeks. In addition to that, discussions involving lower-level executives for both companies are also being conducted. Cook has always said that these patent suits, including the one against Samsung, weren’t about attacking Android, which the late CEO Steve Jobs vowed.

Instead, Cook claims that the suits are to protect Apple’s properties. However, there is a fear now that the ruling laid forth last week has set the stage for additional lawsuits against other Android device makers. According to a statement from Google about the Apple-Samsung verdict, “The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims.”

Google also added, “Most of these don’t relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don’t want anything to limit that.”

However, Google and Apple are discussing infringement issues in private. One possible scenario, according to sources, that is being contemplated by the two companies could be an actual truce involving disputes over basic Android features and functions. Unfortunately, it is still unclear if the two CEOs are discussing a broad settlement covering a wide array of disputes or are focusing on a more limited set of issues.

With the recent win over Samsung, Apple may be feeling pretty good about itself, which could be why it has decided to take on Google. The problem here is that Google is a little more powerful than Samsung. I’m curious to see if Apple will be able to give a one-two punch right to the face of Android by taking down Google right after defeating Samsung.

Source: Tom’s Hardware – Google and Apple CEOs Talking Over Patent Issues

 

New 3D Google Maps Coming to iOS

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 05-06-2012

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3D Google Maps on iPadGoogle recently unveiled what it is calling the “next dimension” of its Google Maps service with new full 3D renderings for Google Earth that were demonstrated live on Apple’s iPad. Google has been utilizing automated technology to extract data from aerial models captured by planes owned by Google. Google uses the imagery from these planes to create 3D mapping imagery.

Images of the ground are taken at 45 degrees from four different angles. Those pics and data can then be combined to recreate maps in 3D. The entire process allows 3D maps to be created without human interaction, which was necessary with previous iterations of 3D imagery in Google Earth.

Google first demonstrated the technology by showing off individual buildings and cities on Apple’s iPad instead of an Android device. However, Google did announce that the service would be coming to both iOS devices and Android devices and that the technology would be part of both the Google Maps service and the company’s Google Earth application.

Google also hopes that it will have communities of nearly 300 million people mapped out in its new space. In addition to that, the company revealed that it will bring an offline version for its Maps software to Android devices and is working “very hard” to bring offline maps to iOS as well, though it hasn’t offered up a time table for that.

This reveal comes just days before Apple is supposed to hold its own keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference. At the conference Apple is expected to unveil an all new version of the Maps software for iOS, which will get rid of Google Maps.

It has already been reported that Apple’s new mapping technology will reach iOS later on this year and is expected to be a part of iOS 6, the much anticipated next-gen operating system from the company. The mapping intentions of Apple have also been clear since 2009 when the company started acquiring mapping technology companies. In that year Apple purchased Placebase, Poly9 in 2010 and C3 in 2011.

Source: Apple Insider – Google unveils new 3D maps coming to iOS and Android