Friday, August 1, 2014

Apple in Talk with Swell - Spotify Style Streaming App

Apple swell
It is believed that Apple is in talks to buy Swell, a Spotify style streaming app for talk radio in a $30 million deal to stir up traditional broadcasting. Swell, whose headquarters is in California, utilises a sophisticated algorithm to take a lot of different talk shows and podcast, presenting them as personalised radio station.

The iPhone maker have their own podcast streaming service though the lack lustre app has been struggling to draw a mainstream audience and hence Apple has plans to use Swell’s technology for improvement of the project.

The app has been shaped from past observation of user’s listening habits so that the listener’s station gets tailored according to their interest over a period of time. Moreover they would also be capable to link their profile to Twitter as well as Facebook in order that the app can provide information with regards to their interest through conversation with their friends.

Type of Pandora for News Radio

Presently, Swell pulls contents from US and Canadian broadcasters though it is also available all over the world with the potential to redraw the hierarchy of traditional radio broadcasters.Swell is a type of Pandora for news radio, for the uninitiated and one listens to what it plays and if it is not of one’s choice, they can swipe and move on.

The app has the tendency to learn one’s preferences over a period of time and offers personalized listening experience together with unlimited audio streaming from iTunes, ABC, ESPN, NPR, BBC, CBC, TED and much. As per Re/code, Swell has high engagement among users though it has failed to gain a large following.

Swell would be shutting its present service down as part of the deal with Apple as per Re/Code and the technology news site and Apple would be using Swell’s technology in offering updated service to user of iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple, Swell Deal following a String of Acquisitions

Many of the employees of Swell will reportedly move to Apple under the term of their agreement, following the acquisition and Swell that is available on Apple devices running iOS 6 or later had been beta testing Android app though it did not release it to the general public.

This deal flows out to a string of acquisition that Apple has made during the past few months which include the $3 billion purchase of Beats, the biggest ever, this May, the music streaming headphones which were founded by Dr Dre the rapper as well as the veteran music producer, Jimmy Iovine. Besides this, Apple has also confirmed that last week it had acquired BookLamp, a company which enhances the book recommendation process, a streaming service for books, which would be utilised to try and tackle Amazon’s dominant hold on eBook industry which according to reports is around $10 to $15 million.

The deal will enhance the growing importance that Apple has been placing on being the interface through which users’ stream traditional media. This is the second windfall for its Chief Executive, Ram Ramkumar who had sold his previous venture, which was an image recognition start-up, to Amazon in the year 2009 known as SnapTell.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Apple’s Mid 2014 Mac Mini to Support Documents

Mac Mini
Apple has added another unannounced reference to mid-2014 Mac mini in order to support documents with regards to Boot Camp drivers as well as software for Windows compatibility suggesting that the company would be planning for a long awaited refreshing on one of its smallest desktop product.

As Apple goes through its annual hardware refresh expedition with tweaked iMacs, MacBook Airs together with the present MacBook Pro along with Retina display, the Mac mini was not considered since October 2012 when up-gradation of the computer’s CPUs to the then current Intel Ivy Bridge silicon was done by Apple.

The Mac mini is the only computer of Apple vestigial non-Retina MacBook Pro that had not been upgraded and any mid 2014 refresh would make a tremendous change with new CPUs giving the Mini better CPU as well as GPU performance with reduced power consumption.

An addition of a better GPU together with Thunderbolt 2.0 port to the Mini would also make it a capable 4K workstation with useful capability, that OS X Yosemite has been optimized for high density displays.OS X’s support for 4K displays has been improved with the 10.9.3 update though the 15 inch 2013 Retina MacBook Pro together with Mac Pro seems to be the only system which benefits from it. Until now, the only Mac hardware updates included minor CPU changes and reduction in prices.

Boot Camp 5 Supporting 65 Bit Versions

Earlier the MacBook Air and iMac were both shuffled and the Retina MacBook Pro had got a minor bump. According to a screenshot of a web cached version on themodified document, reference is made to a mid-2014 Mac mini using Boot Camp 5 supporting 64bit versions of Microsoft’s Windows 7 and Windows 7.

 The updated build of Boot Camp 5 version 5.1.5640 needs current Mac hardware that was released earlier than 2013 which should be noted that the Boot Camp version 5.1.5671 supports Mac to 2011. It is not known which build Apple intends for use with the 2014 Mac mini.

With the addition of an unannounced updated Mac mini, a support document may suggest that Apple may be working on an overhaul and presumed that the news may have been updated through error.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display/mid 2014 update

The MacBook Pro with Retina display line-up received the mid 2014 update; Apple could have modified the Boot Camp document through default instead of including the new Retina MacBook.

With a popular niche audience, the Mac mini has fallen since stronger sellers like the iMac, Mac Pro together with MacBook line-up still continue in expanding their capabilities with scope for marketing the Mac mini as seen from the various online forums that are posted including various active threads on Apple’s very own Support Communities forum even though Apple has slowed down on upgrading the tiny desktop with updated internals.

If the entry point to a real system is not an error; we would be seeing a new Mac Mini soon somewhere in late August. Apple reserves the label `mid’ for systems which have been released in late spring or summer and Mac’s release in September or later will instead get the `late’ label.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yelp’s Amazing Features – An Update to its iOS

Recently, Yelp has come up with an update to its iOSapp which would now enable users in uploading short video clip of duration of 12 seconds long together with written reviews and pictures. Yelp has introduced thisamazing feature which would now help users to add short videos showing off aspects such as lighting, ambiance, noise level together with other features of local businesses which are not easily captured in photographs and this feature is made available to all users across the globe.

Photos add a great deal of visual element to reviews and Yelper uploads over 23,000 of them each day from mobile apps. Visuals are of great importance to Yelper as they spend around 2.5 times longer on business pages with images instead of those without them and with the use of the iPhone, Yelp app cannow take around 3 – 12 second videos on favourite local businesses and capture the details better than photos.

Yelp’s new function of version 8.1 has brought about a new dimension to crowd sourced business as well as restaurant guide enabling users to post review videos within 3 to 12 seconds duration. Earlier user reviews were limited to pictures and text.

App with Minor User Interface Tweaks/Bug Fixes

The video review tool could also be accessed from the main page of the app via the central button which when selected, passes out into Check in, Review and Photo or Video options.

Users can switch from still shots to video with dedicated toggle button through the photo or video screen and the new function has given rise to new review possibilities Yelp users who can now describe products in a better way, take note of restaurant’s ambiance or add short videos with narrations to their reviews.

The updated Yelp app also comes with minor user interface tweaks and bug fixes along with the new video capabilities and Yelp is available as a free 30.7 MB download from App Store. The short videos are good in conveying the atmosphere of a business helping others in anticipating their experience like viewing the images of delicious dishes but not being able to convey if the ambiance is more of a date or night or family friendly.

Real Life Consumer Experience 

Yelp states that a video are not meant to be video reviews but snippets to embody the atmosphere of a place. It can show the size and space of a hotel room and the way a chef places the assembled dishes or a layout of a retail shop.

Yelp video helps to convey more details regarding the same. Yelp helps to see what a real life consumer experience looks like without editing or narration; it could be an extension of the visual experience. Together with various rich local reviews, consumers are relying on the Yelp community’s suggestions, business attributes, photos and video to enable them in making better decision on their expenditure and which local businesses they would want to support.

Users could make use of the video feature by opting for Yelp which conveys more through its feature showing the size and space of an atmosphere.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Apple’s MacBook Pro with 16 GB RAM

MacBook Pro
It was recently rumoured that Apple’s MacBook Pro line-up is likely to receive an update and a leak suggesting that all 15 inch models will be standard with a 16 gigabytes of RAM.

 As per French website MacG citing confirmation from a reliable source, the new 13 inch MacBook Pro with the Retina display is presumed to be identified as `J44a’, model while the new 15 inch model is said to be as `J45a’.

Beside this no other information has been on the new high end MacBook Pro modes though in-store signage from China was rumoured, that the new 15 inch models will have slight increase in CPU speed which comes with 16 gigabytes of RAMs in all the models.

The advertisement also conveys that the models would be coming at the same price as the prevailing offerings. This update on a scale from mild to wild is on a mild side wherein the clock speed is improved by 100 MHz to 1.4 GHz giving it a negligible and a modest performance.

 The overall performance of graphics remains the same,though the Intel i5 processor which is used by Apple in the refreshed MacBook Air has similar graphics which operates at the same earlier speed.

Broadwell CPU to hit the Market

Other specification remain unchanged namely Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. With regards to memory and storage it remains the same and the MacBook Air accommodates 4 GB RAM as well as 128 GB flash storage in its base configuration.

The battery life is at an estimated nine hours between charges for the 11 inch model, while the 13 inch model remains at12 hours. Apple states that the power efficiency for iTunes movie playback has done good improvement with the updated CPU. Intel has promised its first Broadwell CPU will hit the market before the end of the year but speculations are on whether they would be arriving in time or in enough capacity in order to power any new Macs.

Apple had launched a new $1,099 Mac in June and had reached a new price point with low end processor. Moreover the company had also dropped the price in April on its MacBook Air range with a new entry price of $899, with an increase on the speed of its processor by 100 megahertz.

Redesigned MacBook Air

With plans to debut the new 12 inch MacBook model this year together with Retina display it is suggested that this model could be a redesigned MacBook Air and also the first to feature a pixel packing screen while others are of the opinion that Apple could be waiting for Intel’s Broadwell CPUs to be launch the said updated model.

The codename `Broadwell’, is used to refer a 14 nanometer die shrink of Intel’s previous 22 nanometer Haswell architecture and according to Intel it is a new smaller design, bringing about a 30 percent cut in power consumption and simultaneously offering the same horsepower.

The Retina MacBook Air of 12 inch model is rumoured to sport a fan less design that may need cooler with efficient CPUs. It is also expected from Apple to achieve an exceptionally thinner version design along with new click less trackpad and few inputs and outputs.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Apple’s First Beta of OS X Yosemite

Apple’s first public beta of its forthcoming OS X 10.10 software update known as Yosemite will be available for download on July 24th this year for testing in advance of its schedule release till fall. Developers have been speculating with the beta of this software since Apple had announced the operating system at WWDC earlier in June. Users who have signed up for Apple’s public OS X Yosemite beta program, can access the beta without the need of a developer account.

 It works when a user signs up with Apple ID on the beta program website, they in turn receives a mail with a link along with an activation code to download the updated Yosemite build and while developers get updates to their beta versions once in every two weeks, members of public beta will be receiving only a few updates till Yosemite launches it in fall while users’ versions will speed up with the final release version, then. This means that the user will not have to wipe the system and re-install the final release when it will be made available, but will already be in possession of it.

OS X Beta Program at Official Site

Users can take the opportunity to sign up for the OS X Beta Program at its official site, once launched which will enable them to install, test and also provide feedback.

The launch of Yosemite public beta was first announced on Wednesday by Jim Darlymple of the Loop. Users on signing up with their Apple ID will use a redemption code in order to download and install the OS X Yosemite Beta from Mac App Stores and if they tend to encounter any problem, the same can be addressed directly to Apple with the built-in Feedback Assistant application.

Users are also cautioned by Apple that some new features may be unavailable which may include phone calls, SMS, Instant Hotspot, Handoff and iCloud drive while Spotlight suggestions are currently for U.S. only. Some of the services and applications may not be compatible at present with Yosemite.

Focus on Continuity between OS X and iOS

Upgrade may need a Mac running OS X Mavericks that is available at no cost on the Mac App Store and it is recommended by Apple to install the OS X Yosemite Beta on a secondary Mac because the software is in its pre-release testing stage and may have certain issues. The first announcement by Apple regarding its Beta Seed Program was done in April, opening its OS X beta testing process to willing participants of Mac. Users could test pre-release maintenance and security updates to OS X 10.9 Mavericks this year, but the new launch will mark the first time that OS X 10.10 Yosemite would be made available for officially test for non-developers.

Apple now have their focus on continuity between OS X and iOS with its next updates since users will be in a position to hand off content with ease from their iPhone or iPad to their Mac whenever they are within the range. Besides this, user would also be capable of answering and placing calls or responds to text messages via Bluetooth to an iPhone.