Archive for Apple

Why Apple’s acquisition of Shazam is important

But where Shazam could really help Siri’s ears is with HomePod. Apple wants its new home speaker to “reinvent home music,” but if all it does is sound good, that’s hardly revolutionary. If Apple could leverage its Shazam acquisition to build some serious smarts into HomePod, it could be a difference maker. We will already be able to ask Siri to play things like the most popular song in 1986, but Shazam could amplify its knowledge considerably. It would be great to tap your AirPods and ask “Play the song that goes like this …” or “Play that Ed Sheeran song about Ireland.” Shazam might not be able to do that now, but the groundwork is certainly in place, particularly when paired with Apple’s own AI musical capabilities.

And it could go beyond simple song identification too. Apple could use Shazam to create personalized playlists right on HomePod, based on your listening habits and tastes. Apple Music already creates mixes that are pretty great, but Apple’s machine learning could use what it hears to create customized playlists for the time of day that only play in our homes. That alone could be a reason to spend $350 on a HomePod.

Source: Why Apple’s acquisition of Shazam is important | Macworld

Android to iPhone, part two: What I’ve liked about switching to the iPhone X

I know a lot of people turn off haptic feedback on their smartphone. That is because, I have now learned, essentially every Android smartphone has absolutely awful haptics. Your $930 Galaxy Note8 has haptic feedback that is, frankly, bad. So does every other Android phone. Yes, the difference is that clear after going to the iPhone X.

Apple’s Taptic Engine doesn’t just buzz – it clicks, it taps, it knocks. And it can do so with an incredible range of intensities and precision. If I had to analogize, it’s sort of like having used crappy $10 earbuds your entire life and then someone hands you a set of $300 open-back Sennheisers. You didn’t know your music could sound that much better until your ears heard it for themselves. The same thing applies with the Taptic Engine: you won’t get it if you haven’t used it.

Source: Android to iPhone, part two: What I’ve liked about switching to the iPhone X

Face ID’s Innovation: Continuous Authentication

I believe Face ID is slower at actual recognition than Touch ID, but it’s nearly impossible to notice due to the implementation. In the time it takes to move your finger to the Touch ID sensor, Face ID could have already unlocked your iPhone.

That’s the real Face ID revolution. Since you’re almost always looking at your phone while you’re using it, Face ID enables what I call “continuous authentication.”

Source: Face ID’s Innovation: Continuous Authentication – TidBITS

A closer look at the capabilities and risks of iPhone X face mapping

In clause 5.1.2 (iii) of the developer guidelines, Apple writes:

Data gathered from the HomeKit API or from depth and/or facial mapping tools (e.g. ARKit, Camera APIs, or Photo APIs) may not be used for advertising or other use-based data mining, including by third parties.

It also forbids developers from using the iPhone X’s depth sensing module to try to create user profiles for the purpose of identifying and tracking anonymous users of the phone — writing in 5.1.2 (i):

You may not attempt, facilitate, or encourage others to identify anonymous users or reconstruct user profiles based on data collected from depth and/or facial mapping tools (e.g. ARKit, Camera APIs, or Photo APIs), or data that you say has been collected in an “anonymized,” “aggregated,” or otherwise non-identifiable way.

While another clause (2.5.13) in the policy requires developers not to use the TrueDepth camera system’s facial mapping capabilities for account authentication purposes.

Rather developers are required to stick to using the dedicated API Apple provides for interfacing with Face ID (and/or other iOS authentication mechanisms). So basically, devs can’t use the iPhone X’s sensor hardware to try and build their own version of ‘Face ID’ and deploy it on the iPhone X (as you’d expect).

They’re also barred from letting kids younger than 13 authenticate using facial recognition.

Apps using facial recognition for account authentication must use LocalAuthentication (and not ARKit or other facial recognition technology), and must use an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.

Source: A closer look at the capabilities and risks of iPhone X face mapping | TechCrunch

iPhone X: Tomorrow’s iPhone today

Multitasking gestures have been updated, too. To bring up the app switcher, swipe up and hold your finger on the center of the screen for a few seconds. To switch quickly between apps, swipe left or right across the very bottom of the screen, where the bright bar lives.

There’s more. Siri is still a press-and-hold action, but it’s now on the side (sleep/wake) button. Likewise, Apple Pay’s double-tap gesture still applies, but you now do it to the side button. Taking a screen shot now requires that you press the volume up button and the side button simultaneously. To force the phone to shut down, you press and hold the side button and either one of the volume buttons. To force a reboot of a hopelessly stuck phone, you now need to do the iPhone X version of control-alt-delete — pressing the volume up button, followed by the volume down button, followed by a press-and-hold on the side button.

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Apple says that certain sunglasses may defeat Face ID—it all depends on if they have a coating that blocks infrared light in the 940 nanometer range, so you’ll need to test your sunglasses to be sure that they work.

The iPhone X camera is slightly more advanced than the one on the iPhone 8 Plus, most specifically its telephoto camera module: It’s got a wider aperture (ƒ/2.4 versus ƒ/2.8 on the iPhone 8 Plus), and it’s got built-in optical image stabilization, which is only available on the wide-angle camera on the iPhone 8 Plus. And of course, the iPhone X camera can also shoot portrait images via its front-facing selfie camera, thanks to all the same depth-sensing technology that lets it run Face ID.

One other interesting note: This is the first iPhone to support magnetic cases. Apple is, of course, selling a $100 folio case of its own that takes advantage of the built-in sensor to put the phone to sleep when the folio’s cover is closed, and wakes it up when the cover is opened.

I’m also curious to see what new apps will be built to take advantage of the depth-sensing features of the front-facing camera on the iPhone X.

Source: iPhone X: Tomorrow’s iPhone today – Six Colors

Apple Is Facing a Double Standard

Apple is a Silicon Valley and Wall Street leader. The company has the most profitable and best-selling smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, and wireless pair of headphones in the market. Apple has grown its user base by 10x over the past 10 years and is bringing in nearly more revenue than Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook combined. This level of success places a bull’s-eye on Apple’s back and rightly so. Leaders should be held to a higher standard.

However, a trend has developed where a number of tech companies are said to be outperforming Apple. Despite being cast as leaders, these companies aren’t judged by the same high standards as Apple. Microsoft, Samsung, and Google are said to be one-upping Apple in core competencies like hardware and design. Yet, these companies don’t face anywhere near the amount of criticism thrown at Apple.

Source: Above Avalon: Apple Is Facing a Double Standard

Apple’s Best Product Is Its Privacy Stance

That’s no casual decision. I’ve put considerable time and thought into how I store my photos in general, as well as how I back up my information overall. Despite all the bottomless storage features offered by tech giants like Google and Amazon, I default to keeping my most valuable data with Apple. Why I chose this matters, so let’s talk about it.

First and foremost, there’s the issue of these companies’ business models. The goal of each outfit is to make the most money it can for its shareholders, naturally, and in that sense Apple — pricing its products at a premium — is the most visible example of the maxim. But $1,000 iPhones and pricey accessories aside, at least the company is only buttering its bread on one side.

Source: Forget iPhone X—Apple’s Best Product Is Its Privacy Stance | Time.com

Apple’s iPhone X: The First Field Report

Remember, as cool as the original iPhone was, it didn’t really begin changing the world until Apple let third-party software developers take advantage of its innards—stuff like the camera, GPS, and other sensors. Maybe something similar, albeit not on such a grand scale, will happen with the iPhone X. Those who shell out the cash for this device will enjoy their screen and battery life today. But the real payoff of the iPhone X might come when we figure out what it can do tomorrow.

Source: Apple’s iPhone X: The First Field Report | WIRED

Why are Apple’s chips faster than Qualcomm’s?

Why

On paper, the multi-core result of the hexa-core A11 is 50 percent faster than the octa-core Snapdragon 835. As I mentioned above though, Geekbench doesn’t test other parts of the SoC. Things like the DSP, the ISP and any AI-related functions will influence the day-to-day experience of any devices using these processors. However, when it comes to raw CPU speed, the A11 is the clear winner.

This can be a bit hard for Android fans to stomach. So what is the reason? First we need a bit of a history lesson.

What is different about Apple’s CPU cores?

There are several key things to recognize about Apple’s CPU cores.

First, Apple had a head-start over just about everyone when it comes to 64-bit ARM based CPUs.

Second, Apple’s SoC efforts are tightly coupled to its handset releases.

Third, Apple’s CPUs are big and in this game, big means expensive.

Fourth, Apple’s CPUs have big caches.

Fifth, and finally, Apple’s plan of making processors with wide pipelines at (initially) lower clock speeds has come to fruition. In very broad terms, SoC makers can either make a CPU core with a narrow pipe, but run that pipe at high clock frequencies; or use a wider pipe, but at lower clock speeds. Like a real world water pipe, you can either pump water at high pressure through a narrower pipe or at lower pressure through a wider pipe. In both cases you can theoretically achieve the same throughput. ARM falls squarely in the narrow pipeline camp, while Apple is in the wider pipeline camp.

Source: Why are Apple’s chips faster than Qualcomm’s? – Gary explains | AndroidAuthority

iPhone XX Futurology 

Why still think there will even be an iPhone? What about AR glasses and VR goggles and flying cars? Technology doesn’t move as fast as people think. 100 years ago people were convinced we’d be living in colonies on Mars and food would materialize from pills. Instead we haven’t put a person on a new celestial body in 50 years and Soylent not only tastes bad but made people sick. The iPhone will still be around in 2027 and will still mostly look like the smartphones we use today.

Source: iPhone XX Futurology – Mike Rundle – Medium

People have been asking me for my opinions on the iPhoneX and Future Apple. I Point them here. Man so much good stuff in this article, I could just post the whole thing… instead just go read it.