Tag Archives: apple

“Apple Watch would be a good name for Gwyneth Paltrow’s nanny”

The title, courtesy of @OhNoSheTwitnt, a.k.a, Ann Coultergeist. The below, from @KeirSimmons.

My new #AppleWatch ... So proud. #Apple #AppleLive

 

And then, there are the Android users, who still think specs are what drive consumer purchases:

Dear iPhone 6 users: Welcome to 2012!

 

 

Finally, everyone thinks the iWatch is stupid:

We wanted to honor Steve Jobs' vision for the future, but then we said , 'Screw it, let's honor Casio's vision for the nineteen-eighties instead'

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Via Happy Place, FAIL BlogFAIL Blog, Laughing Squid and Laughing Squid

‘Felicity’ Mentioned iPads In 1999

That’s right, 10+ years before the iPad was announced, it had a brief moment (with Spanish subtitles) in the third episode of season two of Felicity. The episode’s script is credited to Andrea Newman, who went on to be a co-executive producer of Cold Case and Chicago Fire, and apparently can divine the future. The show was created by J.J. Abrams, who went on to direct a couple of Star Trek and Star Wars movies.

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From YouTube

J.D. Power’s 2013 Smartphone Satisfaction Survey

Apple easily won the survey, for the ninth time in a row. Last year, them and HTC were the only ones above the industry average; this year, Apple was alone in that regard. Nokia improved a lot, thanks to their Windows phone, and it, Samsung, Motorola and HTC were virtually tied for second place. Way down at the bottom, LG and Blackberry.

2013 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power

 

The survey asks people who have had their smartphone for less than a year to rate it based on performance, physical design, features, and ease of operation.

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From J.D. Power, via iMore

Quite Possibly The First Good Review Apple Maps Has Ever Gotten

PC Magazine did a very rigorous test involving three people driving to the same stops, but using three different navigation systems: Google Maps, Waze and Apple Maps. Since it came out in the fall of 2012, Apple Maps has been the app everyone loves to hate, because it supposedly led people into lakes and off roads. Waze is one of those apps with a crazy core following: it’s crowd sourced and people can report police, hazards, traffic, etc. Google Maps, of course, was welcomed back to iOS with open arms at the end of 2012.

Apple Maps icon

Apple Maps icon

 

So in this test, the guy using Apple Maps arrived at the destination first, followed by Google Maps, followed by Waze. Which wouldn’t be significant, except for the fact that apparently everyone expected Apple Maps to send the guy into San Francisco Bay.

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From PC Magazine, via iMore

The Complete History Of Siri

The Huffington Post has a long and detailed article on how Siri came to be. It all started in 2003, when DARPA awarded a 150M$ contract to build a virtual assistant that learned from watching people work. The program was called CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes), was led by the R&D non-profit SRI International, and was the largest artificial intelligence undertaking in history. An engineer named Adam Cheyer was responsible for integrating the work done by the 27 teams on the gigantic project, and he also spent half his time working on another virtual assistant made by a parallel project called Vanguard. A general manager at Motorola named Dag Kittlaus saw the prototype of the Vanguard assistant, fell in love, quit Motorola, and took a job at SRI in 2007.

The original Siri app

 

Soon after, in early 2008, Kittlaus and Cheyer along with another guy named Gruber got 8.5M$ in investor funding for a startup which would merge the best parts of the CALO and Vanguard projects. They left SRI — which licensed the necessary technology to them in exchange for a stake in the new venture — and started a company called Siri. In early 2010, they released the first Siri app for the iPhone which, by all accounts, was much more powerful than the current Siri which is embedded in the iPhone. The original, standalone Siri was much more intuitive and much more connected to the web: it was much better at inferring meaning from sentences, and could access and consume data from a lot more web services.

A few weeks after the app was released, Steve Jobs called Kittlaus and bought the startup. Interestingly, part of the buyout deal cancelled another deal Siri already had pending with Verizon, which would have made it a default app on all Verizon Droid phones. In other words, Siri almost became a Google Android staple, rather than an integrated part of the iPhone. Verizon even had commercials made.

As it turned out, Siri became a lot dumber once this integration was complete, for a few reasons: first, Apple is a global company and the original Siri could really only support American English, so it had to be retooled to be an international app. Second, deals with partner web services became a lot more difficult with the biggest company on Earth — compared to a small startup — so Siri became less connected. Third, one could originally talk or type to Siri, but the typing option was taken away by Apple, for unknown reasons. Fourth, her snarky personality was changed, to accommodate the much larger user base that iPhones have.

Still, Apple keeps improving the feature, despite that only one of the three co-founders of Siri still works at the company, and the fact that two of its main champions, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall (the creator of iOS), are also no longer there. A Fortune magazine test showed that from iOS 5 to 6, Siri’s correct answer rate increased from 68% to 77% — from a D to a C — which, as bad as that sounds, is still slightly better than Google Now.

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From The Huffington Post and Fortune, via iMore

Islam’s Got Nothing On Apple

That first one is Hinduism.

 

Let’s hope the Apple extremists don’t start making Improvised Explosive iDevices.

 

Via Cheezburger

That iPhone Is Probably The Most Secure Thing You Own

Ever since the 3GS model, iPhones have had built-in, automatic hardware encryption. That, coupled with a robust operating system with very few security flaws, makes it simple to keep anyone from getting to your data: just turn on password protection for the lock screen (Settings –> General –> Passcode Lock) and pick a strong password, which has more than 10 characters that aren’t words in the dictionary. Once the phone is powered off, it would take even the NSA 25 years to crack its security.

 

This is because Apple uses 256-bit AES encryption keys that are stored in the phone’s hardware — the same technology used by the government to store top-secret data. Each iPhone has its own key that is randomly generated and stored nowhere else in the world but on that phone. All the data stored on it is always encrypted using that key, meaning that if someone took its memory out manually and tried to read it, it would look like gibberish, unless they had the key with which to decrypt it. The only way to get that key is from the phone itself, while it’s running.

If the phone has no PIN set, getting the key is fairly trivial — but if it does have one, then the intruder would have to guess it first. Using software, PINs can be entered about 12x per second, so what makes breaking in take longer is how many passwords the intruder has to enter before guessing correctly. The longer the password, the more possible combinations of letters and numbers there are to try, and they grow exponentially: a 4-digit PIN takes 13 minutes to guess, a 6-digit one takes a day, and a 10-digit PIN takes 2.5 years.

The strong encryption key and PIN lock — combined with the option to wipe the phone’s data after 10 incorrect PIN entries and the Find My iPhone feature — most likely makes it the hardest consumer good from which to steal information, including safes. The only other smartphone with similar data protection is the once-mighty Blackberry. There are, however, two gotchas to watch out for, both related to data duplication:

  1. The cloud: almost all the information on the iPhone can and usually is pulled from or duplicated on a computer on the Internet. If someone breaks into that computer, they have access to it without going through your phone.
  2. Your home computer: when you sync the iPhones with iTunes, a popular option is to backup the phone’s contents on that computer. Someone could easily hack into that backup file and get all the data on your iPhone, without ever touching it. It might be a little out of date, but still a major treasure trove.

From Technology Review, via Slashdot

The iPhone 5 and iPad Mini Will Probably Be Announced September 12th

Apple generally announces updates once a year and the iPhone 4S was announced in October of 2011. According to iMore, sources are saying that this year’s announcement will happen on September 12th, and that the new, smaller, 7″ iPad will be announced the same day. They’ll both be in stores 9 days later, on September 21st. The small iPad might be called “iPad mini”, but no one really knows.  And the new smartphone might be the iPhone 5, but then again, it might not: the iPad 3 was just called the “new iPad”, so the phone might just be the “new iPhone”. According to the available evidence — which, with Apple’s secrecy, is never much — the new iPhone will be a little bigger, will have a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, a smaller dock connector, iOS 6, and will support 4G LTE. Again, all rumors and speculation based on leaks.

iPad mini concept drawing

 

via iMore

Google’s Nexus Tablet Isn’t Helping Wrap Rage

Like road rage, wrap rage is one of those things that comes out after a long day in which just nothing seems to go right, and all you want to do is open a package, but you can’t! You can’t, because it’s like a tiny Fort Knox for the gadget inside, specially designed to cause the most frustration possible when trying to open it. No, that’s not a joke; plastic clamshells are made with two requirements:

  • Make it easier for employees to stock
  • Make it harder for shoplifters to steal

The customer doesn’t figure into that equation at all, despite the fact that we’re the ones paying for it. Earlier this year, plastic clamshell packaging was voted the worst piece of design ever done by the users of Quora. Most manufacturers besides Apple don’t see anything wrong with that, but stores like Amazon and Walmart are trying to convince their manufacturers to actually think of the customers for a change. In the meantime, the latest news in the field is Google’s Nexus tablet, which is supposed to compete with the iPad, but unlike the iPad is thoroughly frustrating to even take out of its box. Below, a montage of frustrating Nexus unboxings, followed by a nice iPad one, followed by a hilarious clip of Larry David trying to open a clamshell on Curb Your Enthusiasm:

Via The Atlantic and The Atlantic Wire

The iPad Is Now Legally Cooler Than Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet

Apple has been suing Samsung in ten countries all over the world to stop the sale of its tablets, because they are too much like the iPad. It’s had mixed success so far, winning an injunction to stop the sale of Samsung tablets in the EU, then seeing that applied to just Germany, getting a ban for the tablets in Australia, then seeing it temporarily lifted, and getting a ban for US sales. The latest battle happened in the UK, where Apple lost because the judge couldn’t really buy Apple’s claim that anyone would mistake the Samsung tablets for iPads:

They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different. – Judge Colin Birss

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

 

It technically counts as a win for Samsung, but does it really count as a win in real life?

 

Via CBS News