Archive for Apple

Misunderstanding the point of Face ID

It is ironic that, at the same time as people are railing against the low security of Face ID, the iPhone is also being criticized for being the phone of choice among sexual predators because it’s so secure. They have achieved a positively Schr?dinger-like level of security.

From On the face of it: Misunderstanding the point of Face ID

How Apple Built An iPhone Camera That Makes Everyone A Professional Photographer

“If you look at the Dutch Masters and compare them to the paintings that were being done in Asia, stylistically they’re different,” Johnnie Manzari, a designer on Apple’s Human Interface Team, says. “So we asked why are they different? And what elements of those styles can we recreate with software?”

And then Apple went into the studio and attempted to do just that. “We spent a lot of time shining light on people and moving them around — a lot of time,” Manzari says. “We had some engineers trying to understand the contours of a face and how we could apply lighting to them through software, and we had other silicon engineers just working to make the process super-fast. We really did a lot of work.”

“There’s the Augmented Reality team, saying, ‘Hey, we need more from the camera because we want to make AR a better experience and the camera plays a role in that,'” Schiller says. “And the team that’s creating Face ID, they need camera technology and hardware, software, sensors, and lenses to support on-device biometric identification. And so there are many roles the camera plays, either as a primary thing — to take a picture — or as a support thing, to help unlock your phone or enable an AR experience. And so there’s a great deal of work between all the teams and all of these elements.”

Source: How Apple Built An iPhone Camera That Makes Everyone A Professional Photographer

Original Apple Watch Doesn’t Support watchOS 4 Heart Rate Features

If you’re planning on using the new heart rate monitoring features in watchOS 4 on your original Apple Watch think again because they aren’t there. Apple Watch Series 0, as it’s now called, can track your heart rate, but the new monitoring options require an Apple Watch Series 1 or newer.

Apple Watch heart rate monitoring features in watchOS 4

watchOS 4 heart rate monitoring features require Apple Watch Series 1 or newer

If you have the original Apple Watch (introduced in April 2015 and discontinued in September 2016) you can’t take advantage of heart rate notifications and resting heart rate tracking. Apple hasn’t said why, so we can only speculate is has something to do with the Apple S1 processor used in the original model.

Source: Original Apple Watch Doesn’t Support watchOS 4 Heart Rate Features – The Mac Observer

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Series 2 vs Series 1 vs Apple Watch (2015): What’s the difference?

  • Original (2015) and Series 1: Splash proof, composite back, 450nits OLED Retina display, Ion-X glass for screen protection
  • Series 2 and Series 3 (GPS): Waterproof, composite back, 1000nits OLED Retina display, Ion-X glass for screen protection or sapphire on stainless steel and ceramic models
  • Series 3 (GPS & Cellular): Waterproof, ceramic back, 1000nits OLED Retina display, Ion-X glass for screen protection on aluminium or sapphire on stainless steel and ceramic models Same rectangular design across all models, all straps compatible
  • Series 1: Standard Apple Watch model in aluminium with Sport Band
  • Series 3 (GPS only): Standard Apple Watch model or Nike+ model
  • Series 3 (GPS & Cellular): Standard model in aluminium or stainless steel, Nike+ model, Hermès model, Edition model
  • 38mm and 42mm size options
  • Original (2015): S1 processor, HR, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, splashproof
  • Series 1: S1P processor, HR, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, 8GB capacity, splashproof
  • Series 2: S2 processor, HR, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, built-in GPS 8GB capacity, waterproof
  • Series 3 (GPS): S3 processor, W2 wireless chip, HR, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, ambient light sensor, built-in GPS, 8GB capacity, waterproof, Siri speaks
  • Series 3 (GPS & Cellular): S3 processor, W2 wireless chip, HR, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, ambient light sensor, built-in GPS, 16GB capacity, waterproof, LTE connectivity, Siri speaks

Source: Apple Watch Series 3 vs Series 2 vs Series 1 vs Apple Watch (2015): What’s the difference? – Pocket-lint

10.5″ iPad Pro – not the same old iPad

  • 20% larger screen and has a new resolution – 2224 by 1668 @264 PPI. It is also fully-laminated LCD so the pixels feel like they’re right on the glass. Brightness increase to 600 nits, Wide color display which is is Apple’s name for the DCI-P3 color space
  • The screen now refreshes at a 120 Hz which is double than that of the previous iPad Pros and has a new anti-reflective coating that cuts down on reflectivity by 40 percent versus the last iPad Pro.
  • 6 core A10X Fusion CPU – 3 high frequency and 3 low. The 3 passive cores are useful for background processes and for when you’re not pushing your iPad Pro.
  • 12 core GPU which provides a 40% gain in graphics performance over the A9X chip and part of the reason why the iPad Pro is so swift is because of the way Apple architected the chip; the CPU and GPU share the same on-board RAM, so there’s no waiting for the graphics to go out and grab separate memory.
  • 4 GB of RAM. The last generation 9.7 inch iPad Pro only got 2 GB of RAM.
  • It still samples the Apple Pencil at 240 Hz. but as the screen refresh rate is now 120 Hz, the latency on the Pencil has been reduced by a lot. From 50 MS on the previous iPad Pros to 20 MS on the new ones
  • Same cameras as iPhone 7’s single camera setup. On the back, is the 12 MP shooter that comes with optical image stabilization and 4K video recording as well as a ƒ/1.8 aperture. Front facing camera is now 7 MP.
  • Slo-mo video now has support for 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps
  • TouchID 2 – so much faster
  • Four speaker audio – I can actually hear some bass now as well as a more full sound.
  • Embedded Apple Sim
  • LTE Advanced – has 25 bands now vs the previous 21
  • Optional – Fast charging via additional 29w power supply and USB-C -> Lightning cable
  • Optional – Full Size Keyboard via the Smart Connector

Apple will squeeze more photos into your iPhone with HEIF

  • Photos using HEIF take up half the space as a JPEG, or alternatively offer crisper, more detailed and colorful images at the same size.
  • HEIF offers a lot more than just smaller photo file sizes, and indeed those other features are a big part of why Apple picked it. HEIF is actually a container that can hold a lot more than just a single image. It’s a good way to store an animated image like an Apple live photo, for example, or one of those eerily compelling half-moving, half-still images called a cinemagraph. It also can hold a collection of photos taken in a burst, though Apple isn’t using it for that purpose, at least now. It can also hold audio, video and text information, too — imagine a short video clip with a caption that you might post on Snapchat.
  • Here’s another thing HEIF can do: store extra data called a depth map that records how far away each part of a scene is from the camera that took the photo“In iOS 11, we’re storing the depth map as part of what we capture. We’re giving you and your app access to the photo and the depth map, so you can load it up use this to do your own creative effects,” Marineau-Mes told app developers.
  • The biggest problem is that most devices and programs don’t know how to read HEIF files. Adobe Systems’ Photoshop, for example, has no support. Nor do any web browsers. And it’s tough to get new formats to catch on. Microsoft improved on JPEG with a format called JPEG XR, but it never got traction. Google’s WebP format is now common on the web, but it’s not used anywhere else. Even Google’s Android phones can’t take WebP photos.
  • Another problem: HEIF is based on the HEVC video format, and HEVC is clouded by expensive patent licensing concerns. That could keep important potential allies like Google away.
  • Will Apple go through my photo archive and replace all my JPEG photos with HEIF photos?
    Converting photos from one lossy compression format like JPEG to another degrades the image. Apple will only use HEIF for new photos.

Source: Apple will squeeze more photos into your iPhone. Here’s how


HomePod’s sound output clearly stood out from that of Amazon Echo and Sonos Play 3. In fact, it made the Amazon Echo sound like a cheap toy, and the Sonos Play 3 sounded so inferior, I wondered if something was wrong with the Sonos.

Source: HomePod

Apple Silicon and Machine Learning

I think we might be seeing another moat built, this time across the fields of Augmented Reality (AR), Machine Vision (MV), and, more generally, Machine Learning (ML).

At last week’s WWDC, Apple introduced ARKit (video here), a programming framework that lets developers build Augmented Reality into their applications. The demos (a minute into the video) are enticing: A child’s bedroom is turned into a “virtual storybook”; an Ikea app lets users place virtual furniture in their physical living room.

As many observers have pointed out, Apple just created the largest installed base of AR-capable devices. There may be more Android devices than iPhones and iPads, but the Android software isn’t coupled to hardware. The wall protecting the massive Android castle is fractured. Naturally, Apple was only too happy to compare the 7% of Android smartphones running the latest OS release to the 86% of iPhones running iOS 10.

Source: Apple Silicon and Machine Learning – Monday Note

WWDC 2017?—?Some Thoughts – Learning By Shipping

I’ve lived through all the Apple migrations and all the DOS/Windows migrations and not only is this among the most feature-rich releases, it is actually running right now on my Mac (and iPhone) after an in-place upgrade. I seriously sat there watching the install process thinking “this is going to take like a day to finish and it will probably fail and roll back in the middle or something”. After about 30 minutes the whole thing was complete. The amount of amazing engineering that went into both the creation and deployment of APFS is mind-blowing. And that it was done on phones, watches, and PCs is nothing short of spectacular and except for maybe the transition from FAT to FAT32, I can’t recall anything even close to this. There are a ton of features under the covers that will surface in use of Apple devices, but mostly it will just make everything better seamlessly.

Source: WWDC 2017?—?Some Thoughts – Learning By Shipping

High praise from the former president of the Windows division

macOS High Sierra – Reader can now be set as default mode

Reader has mostly languished over the past few years, but in iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra it’s back in the spotlight, and it’s gotten a wide-reaching upgrade. You can now set Reader as the default mode for “every web article that supports it,” which will potentially turn a lot of articles into something that looks more like a PDF than graphics-laden web page. (Previously, you had to first load the site and then toggle into Reader, which at least gave ads a chance to show up before you bid them adieu.)

Source: Apple Can Afford To Mess With Annoying, Snoopy Ads–And At WWDC, It Did