Monday, November 23, 2015

Apple Pencil Gets a Twisty Torture Test


Apple Pencil – Concern Due to Awkward Position while Charging

The Apple Pencil could be a smart piece of technology though one thing that several people have been speculating is how susceptible it could be at the time of charging. At first glance, it tends to stick out of the iPad Pro which does not seem to be a clever idea. It has sparked some concern due to its awkward position while being charged. The Pencils placed into the power port on the iPad Pro, sticks out from there, open to the world where anyone passing could bump into it.

However, it looks like Apple had given it a though and there is a pivot mechanism within the connector created to take the strain should the pencil be knocked. Zach Straley, video blogger, tried his utmost in breaking it putting it through a gradual torture tests, ramping and though he eventually succeeded, he had to work hard in doing so.

Torture test is an evaluation of the ability of an item to endure extreme condition and such types of test can be conducted by product manufacturers, reviewers as well as end users. A torture test usually focuses the element to various severe trials which surpasses anything it would probably encounter in the real world practice.

Sporting an Unintentional Angle

Straley started off with an unboxing and a quick demonstration on the working of the Pencil and began with some wiggling, followed by more rigorous twists and tugs.

At one stage of time he could hear it cracking as he picked the iPad up using the Pencil as a lever, The Pencil had the tendency of popping out of the port when pressure was applied. Moreover it also performed some gymnastics when tugged from side to side.

Straley states that it is like they have created a hinge within the pencil in order that it would actually bend. The torture test processes to a set-up wherein the Pencil extends in the air when the iPad is placed on the table and this high tech writing device tends to end up sporting an unintentional angle. This means that one would have to take care while charging the Pencil.

Implemented for Marking/Drawing/Sketching/Taking Notes

Tim Cook and Jony Ive have been debating that the Pencil seems to be much more than a stylus even if the others may have to wait for some time to find out. The Apple Pencil is not intended to be utilised as a stylus which acts as a replacement for the finger.

 Ive is of the opinion that the design makes it clear that the Pencil could be implemented specially for marking, drawing, sketching and taking notes. He informed that the Pencil is a natural extension, in some ways of Apple’s iOS progress and the multi-touch user interface needs only fingers for operating and making it instinctive. However, assured activities such as drawing or sketching could be accomplished better with a tradition type factor tools.

There seems to be a familiar history of torture test for tech objects. Apple Watch had been subjected to drowning; boiling as well as dropping earlier in the year which makes the Apple Pencil’s trials to be a bit tame.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Apple Appears to Be Promoting Its Own Apps In The iPhone App Store’s Top Charts


Apple Utilising Top Charts Section – Promoting Its Application

Apple has been utilising the Top Charts section of its iPhone App Store, in higher positions than they would otherwise rank, for promoting its application by citing apps like Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, Pages and iTunes. When seen on an iPhone, these apps are perceived intermingled in the Top 20 Free application on the phone, though when viewed from the desktop version of the App Store, they tend to be either not present within the Top 20 or rather in a different position.

This difference could be associated to a bug in Apple’s App Store ranking system though if that is the case it could be an insistent one.It does not seem to impact the relative rankings of several of the other Top application other than Apples’.

Facebook Messenger still seems to be at the top of the App Store, followed by Acapella from PicPlayPost then YouTube and then Facebook. But in the desktop version of the store, a game known as Twist is ranked higher than Instagran and Snapchat and on the iPhone 6s version of the App Store, Twist is seen immediately after these two applications, even when the two charts had been seen simultaneously.

Top Free Charts Listing – Differs from Device to Device

Another interesting fact is that Top Free charts listings tend to differ from device to device Sensor Tower, the app store optimization firm began exploring this strange behaviour recently. Apple’s apps seemed to show up in random positions on the App store app on the iPhone as per earlier findings and at times would remain listed in the Top Charts even after they were installed on the end user’s device.

 The company was warned about this behaviour when it observed that its ranking data was not matching with what was appearing in the App Store. As per Sensor Tower’s data, only GarageBand and iTune U should be ranking in the Top 10, though not the productivity suite app or iMovie of Apple’s. Apple Store was first tested by Sensor Tower on many phones running the new version of iOS (9.1) and has now also tested it on iPhone 6 and iPad mini. They came across the same differences as well as noticed that the problem does not affect the iTunes App Store for iPhone on the desktop.

Device Explicit Charts Between Two Different Models

Sensor Tower, however found that an iPhone which runs on the older version of the iOS software (8.3), did not have the same issue like the other devices. The problem seems to be odd since it cannot be duplicated always. Ariel Michaeli, AppFigures CEO for instance had informed that he envisages the same Top charts on his iPhone as well as the desktop.

Without the official confirmation of Apple where no comment has yet been provided, one cannot officially mark this as being Apple’s direct, manual operation of the Top Charts ranking and it could be a bug. It is worth mentioning that it would not be the first time that Apple’s own apps have mysteriously appeared in the Top Charts on some devices and not the others. Apple has always had device explicit charts between two different models of the same device for instance two iPhones.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Google X Hopes to Launch Drone Deliveries by 2017


Google – Drone Delivery Business – 2017

Google plans to launch its drone delivery business in the next couple of years wherein the research lab Google X has revealed its plans recently, for its program. Known as the Project Wing, it intends having a commercial business in 2017. The engineer and executive of Project wing, Dave Vos, at an annual Air Traffic Control conference at Washington DC; who was a keynote speaker, shared the plans of the company with regards to its upcoming aircraft from Google X which is presently Alphabet Company.

 Vos confirmed stating that they expect to operate a delivery service with their Wing vehicle by 2017. However the Federal Aviation Administration – FAA has not settled the new rules and regulations yet, regarding how the commercial drones need to operate, but the company had so far evaded some of the preventive legislation in California.

Inspite of the doubt, Google is still keen on this state-of-the art innovation. The Project Wind has some focus in mind as the Amazon Prime Air that aims in bringing the packages of the customers within a time span of 30 minutes utilising the drones. The Wing aircrafts had been showed already last month, but the commercial use of them is not known.

Online Shopping Sites – Specific Air Space for Commercial Drones

The drone race is not exclusively by Google but Alibaba, Amazon and possibly Walmart would also be joining in the competition. Google’s competitors in fact have an improved track record in delivering logistics and a managing committee.

The only state in the United States permitting any kind of drone delivery till now is Virginia but this could bring about a change in the years to come. Alphabet – GOOGL, Tech30, earlier Google and Amazon – AMZN, Tech30, have both confronted regulatory roadblocks in the United States for drone delivery programs. Amazon had called on U.S. regulators to act quicker.

Online shopping site had recently planned that specific air space to be selected for commercial drones in order to deliver packages. No comments have been provided by Alphabet. The company has refrained from commenting on its plan beyond what Vos had shared during the annual Air Traffic Control conference.

Drone Delivery Soon a Reality

Project Wing had been announced in August 2014 on YouTube showing a field test with its most practical example in Australia that was around 1.5 metres wide and 0.8 metres tall. It shared the same four propeller quad copter design as prevalent consumer drones.

The company has a global vision and there is a possibility that autonomous drone delivery would soon be a reality. Project Wing seems to be a very aspiring program and Google X will definitely make it happen in the next two years. The project will see unmanned self-flying drones delivering packages to customers but no more details regarding what the package would contain has been provided.

The task force have also been working on options ensuring that the drone do not violate on airspace utilised by bigger aircraft. Alphabet is also in talks with the FAA regarding an air traffic control system for drone flights at an altitude of below 500 feet. On Finalization of the rules, Alphabet together with Amazon would use small drones for package delivery together with other consumer services. So, all spectators of drone need to look out for this huge invention in 2017.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ultra-Hard Glass Could Put an End to Smashed Phone Screens


Ultra-Hard Glass – End to Smashed Phone Screens

A new kind of glass which tends to be stronger than steel putting an end to smashed phone screens has been developed by scientists in Japan. Due to a the latest kind of ultra-hard glass which is said to be almost as strong as steel, smartphone screen would no longer tend to get smashed.

Smartphone tend to have a big problem besides a short battery life and breakable touchscreens. Several of the smartphones either have cracked or broken screens and screen protectors apparently are not of much help. A survey was also conducted by Motorola and it was found that around one-in-five smartphone users were presently using a device with cracked or shattered screen.

However, scientists from the University of Tokyo and Japan’s Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute have developed a new material made by using alumina, which is an oxide of aluminium. Earlier efforts in using alumina in glass had been futile since it tends to crystallise on touching the sides of a container.

The research team however utilised oxygen gas in pushing the materials in the air and have used lasers to melt them, thus producing a glass which seems to be colourless, extremely hard and transparent.

Screens Thinner & Lighter

Besides being hard, the new substance also seems to be very thin, enabling mobile phone screens to become thinner as well as lighter than before. Reports of the results provided by the scientists in the journal Scientific Reports state that thinner and lighter glasses are desired for the fabrication of windows in buildings and cars and cover glasses for smartphones.

From the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, Dr Atsunobu Masuno informed the Asahi Shinbun newspaper that he along with his team hopes to commercialise the technique in the span of five years. The scientists are of the opinion that it could be the best since the earlier attempts to develop such a type of glass had failed. The ultra-hard glass tends to have various advantages besides being tough and very thin thus making the mobile phone screens thinner and lighter.

Shatterproof Display – An Assimilated System of Five Layers

Remarkable displays for the gadgets to capture the growing marker had been developed by tech companies.Displays always tend to give buyer first impressions which is a lasting impression and hence companies such as Apple and Samsung have invested on great screens. iPhone 6S series has a 3D touch with high resolution of 1,242x 2,208 pixels while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a remarkable resolution of 2,560 x 1,140 pixels QHD.

The phone has a curved display on both ends. Besides this, Motorola had launched a smartphone which has one of the toughestscreens and the device is called the Moto X Force which was launched last month. It has a shatterproof display due to an assimilated system of five layers which tend to absorb shock from an impact.

The embedded lens and display are warranted against cracking and shattering for a period of four years from the initial date of purchase. However, the phone is not shockproof or intended to withstand all types of damage from dropping.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Google Maps for the iPhone Gets a Helpful New Navigation Feature


Google Maps – Spoken Traffic Direction

Google - GOOG Maps, in the latest update for iOS users has learned to portray and tell and the app would now be using spoken traffic directions when you tend to hit a slowdown ahead. Prior to the start of a trip, it would give you a verbal summary of the traffic condition. While moving, Google Maps tends to support in avoiding tunnels which are overcrowded as well as highway routes with accidents.

This feature tends to automatically pop up while utilising the Navigation feature to provide spoken turn-by-turn directions. The app would talk in mid-journey notifying of any incident which would lengthen the journey and provided options to reroute. It seems that Google is drawingout some of Waze’s best features.

Google had acquired Waze for $1.1 billion in 2003, a sum which seemed small in contrast to some of the latest acquisitions and funding sequences. Waze, significant of its secondary community based navigation app, Google would be integrating real time information with explanations for what could be causing the delays in Maps so thatdrivers would be able to avoid slowdowns flawlessly than earlier. This feature has been made available since May to Android users.

Voice Navigations & Alerts

Waze’s app got a new pretty redesign and it leaves one to wonder why it has not just replaced Google Map as the flagship navigation service for Google. Google Maps envisages more updates than iOS, in Android version and already tends to sport voice navigation as well as alerts.

This is one of the several features that Google has added to Google Maps for iOS this year and others comprise of the ability of sending location one would find on the browser of the phone, enhanced public transit direction for navigating cities as well as to see where one is going prior to departure with a Street View thumbnail on the map.

Besides the added spoken traffic alerts, Google also states that the latest update enables the user to easily add new and missing businesses from the sidebar. If one intends to install the update, they could check out the Google Maps page on the iTunes App Store.

Does Not Incorporate with Siri

Google Maps does not incorporate with Siri and does not run in the background like Apple Maps and the reason is that Apple does not give its third-party inventers, access to the APIs it tends to use to try and have an advantage over them.

 Google Maps tend to falter where any app would. One concern with regards to Google’s fault comes in the traffic estimates. Often the app tends to offer a route which tends to suffer from heavy traffic when it only affects a tiny portion of the trip.

Since one gets to view the actual traffic on the route before confirmation, it is only something to warn you regarding the traffic which will probably have no effect on the trip. It is hard to beat Google Maps, no matter what kind of transportation one would be using to move around. It seems easy to use with features found only in standalone GPS units, like lane guidance.

It is ahead of Apple especially when it comes to car and pedestrian navigation. Moreover, its accurate maps mean that one will never get lost. With the combination of accurate traffic information from Waze, Google Maps seems to be an easy choice for Editor’s Choice award.