Saturday, June 28, 2014

Apple’s Launch of Colourful New iPod Touch

An updated version of iPad touch device with a new 16GB model has been launched by Apple adding a rear facing camera which now comes in a range of four colours like its more expensive versions and though this updated version is not yet available in the UK, the UK Apple Store website indicates that the old model of 16GB silver model marked as `currently unavailable.

Till now, the 16GB iPod Touch was available only in grey colour and though a sensible choice, it failed to reach the hearts of design fans and hence Apple is hoping that the new range of colours would draw more fans towards it.

The updated version retains the four inch retina screen and A5 processor of the earlier 16GB version which is a throwback to the previous generation of iPod touch with the addition of a five megapixel iSight camera which comes with an LED flash and onscreen filter to jazz shots, to its existing FaceTime HD camera.

Equipped with 5 Megapixel/4 In. Retina/A5 Chip 

The new version is priced at $199 in the US while Apple had sold the16GB version of its fifth generation iPod Touch for $229 without the rear camera and in only one colour option. Available in vibrant colours like pink, yellow and blue, the iPod touch besides being equipped with a five megapixel, a 4 inch Retina display and A5 chip, has a FaceTime camera with 1080p HD video recording, as stated by Apple.

Moreover, the iPod also has a fingerprint resistant oleo phobic coating which will enable it to remain beautiful and bright.Now with this new launch, customers in the US have the choice of buying the new iPod touch in the same range of different available colours on the 32 GB and 64GB models.

Apple’s iconic music player sales had slumped in recent years while smartphones have compensated all the functions of the standalone digital music player and Apple considered revamping the market by bringing in a lot of features on the iPhone like a camera and access to a variety of apps to the iPhone touch on the App Store.

Featuring iOS 7 Operating System

The new updated versions come as two different iPhone with a 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch screen which are rumoured to have gone into production and the current iPhone 5s has 4 inch display.

With difficulties in the production of a large screen model, the 4.7 inch version would probably be released first, somewhere around early autumn.

The iPod was responsible in bringing in the major share of Apple’s revenue but had been dwindling recently in smartphones which gained more popularity.

The iPhone and iPad presently are the company’s biggest earners where Apple in the last quarters released figure of 2.7 m iPods sold.

Apple had also launched its range of portable media players in 2001 on iPod in various versions like iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPod Touch and iPod Classic.

The iPod touch will feature the iOS 7 operating system as well as offer more than 200 features, inclusive of camera app filters and probably later this year the device would be supporting the latest iOS 8 versions.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Apple Campus – Spaceship Project

Apple Campus
Construction on the Apple Campus, the `Spaceship’, project is in progress and is believed to reach completion in mid-2016. The new Apple campus is referred by many as the Spaceship campus because of its flying saucer like design.

 The previous shots taken of the site showed that all the buildings had been demolished and the land was cleared for construction of the new spaceship style HQ. It is doughnuts shaped four storeys circular building which will have huge walls of glass, housing around 14,000 employees of Apple in Cupertino, California enabling them to look out from both sides of the ring.

An architect,Peter Arbour, for Seele, the company which makes glass staircases in Apple stores, all around the world, informed Bloomberg that it was like a six kilometres of glass. Apple had received the final approval from the City of Cupertino last November to start building the 2.8 million square foot campus where the earlier HP campus had previously stood on the site and now had been demolished.

The new campus is located around a mile east of its existing headquarters which is also based in the heart of Silicon Valley in Cupertino.The building which has been designed by Lord Norman Foster will be powered by renewable energy which will be sourced from fuel cell plants together with rooftop photovoltaic arrays.

Underground Car Parking Facilities 

A presentation to the City Council in the year 2011 was given by late CEO with regards to the proposed building’s aesthetics and surround environment of the project, where most of the building’s car parking facilities would be underground providing space for 6,000 indigenous trees which would include persimmons, apples, plums, cherry and apricots.

Due to the advanced natural ventilation along with radiant cooling, the need for air conditioning would not be necessary. The European headquarters of Apple are based in Cork in southern Ireland having around 3,300 staff working there.

Architects for the colossal structure have been appointed from the British firm Foster+Partners whose previous projects include Canary Wharf Underground Station, Stansted Airport, London’s Millenium Bridge, Wembley Stadium, HSBC HQ at Canary Wharf, the Maclaren Technology Centre and the Heast Tower in New York.

Earth Friendly and Self Sufficient

Norman Foster in an interview with Architectural Record commented on how he had been inspired with the idea of a London square with houses surrounding a parkand this eventually led him into the circular design surrounding the large outdoor park.

He further revealed that according to the original plan, there was no circular `spaceship’ structure and the structure of one building with a park was the result of very intensive process. Aiming to be earth friendly and self-sufficient, the materials used for the construction are of the highest quality.

According to an insider, all of the interior wood is harvested from specific species of maple with only finer quality `heartwood’ at the centre of the trees would be used. A segment of the building is the restaurant opening up to the landscape and to combat the size of the building the section have been divided into cafes, lobbies and entrances.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Apple to Partner Foxconn for Next Generation iPhone 6

iPhone 6
It was recently reported that Apple would partner manufacturer Foxconn and hire some 100,000 workers in a ramp up for July production of the next generation iPhone 6, thereby enhancing the company’s total iPhone manufacturing workforce by ten percent while secondary supplier Pegatron would also be preparing to increase its recruitment efforts after netting in a thirty percent share of orders.

Sources well versed with Apple’s supply chain, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News has reported that the hiring spree of 100,000 of Foxconn would result in improving the company’s iPhone workforce when compared to the past production of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s.

Some have stated that with the combination of Pegatron’s recruitment efforts, the manufacture of Apple’s iPhone 6 is expected to drive the largest job creation boom mainland, China has ever seen in recent time.

Huge Expansion to Two Production Lines

Moreover, the mass recruitment campaign as claimed by sources is that Foxconn has been planning to make huge expansions to two production lines in order to meet anticipated high demand for the forthcoming handset line. Foxconn is also considered to be responsible for the bulk order of Apple’s iPhone.

Some sources havealso been reporting that the company would be handling all assembly of the rumoured 5.5 inch `phablet’, version of the device. According to reports, Foxconn would be producing seventy percent of the iPhone 6 units while Pegatron, the supplier would be handling some thirty percent of order, a consistent figure of recent rumours and it is not clear if the share would be representative of iPhone 6 version or not.

The timing of these hiring seems to be perfect for the rumoured iPhone 6 with reports of the production to ramp up ahead of its scheduled launch in the usual time frame in September and most of the attention is focused on iPhone 6, a 4.7 inch model which is expected to draw the bulk of sale.

Apple has been working on an even larger 5.5 inch model which would be launched along with or in the month following the debut of the 4.7 inch model.

Screen Size – 4.7 & 5.5 with Multiple Sensors

Many are expecting Apple to release two iPhone models somewhere this year with bigger screens of 4.7 and 5.5 inch in size and a number of supposed iPhone 6 mockups have surfaced on the internet with some indications on the final designs of the duo handset.

The duo handset comes with larger screen with thinner design with faster next gen `A8’CPU where the launch willbe during Fall 2014. Besides the bigger screen, the iPhone 6 will also be featuring multiple sensors which would enable the device to measure altitudes together with atmospheric pressure as well as provide different other information with regards to weather like humidity and temperature.

Speculations are doing the rounds for some time now about Pegatron gaining a foothold in Apple’s premium handset assembly business though the exact share of orders given out to the firm is not established yet. Reports of Foxconn’s intention of hiring as well as the iPhone6 issue leaked following previous reports stating that the production for the iPhone 6 is set to be ramped up in July ahead of its release date sometime in September.

Marbel Electric Skateboard – Operated with iOS Device

Marbel Electric Skateboard
Commuters living in the city who would prefer to get from their home to their office by longboards will soon be given an option that can be operated with their iOS device in the form of Marbel electric skateboard. The Marbel Board is a Kickstarter project which has already blown past its $90,000 funding goal having another 23 days still remaining.

As per its description, the Marbel electric skateboard is 30 mm thick, weighing around 9.9 pounds, is made up of custom moulded deck of carbon fibre and kevlar to enable it to last long and needs around ninety minutes of charging for every ten miles. Its batteries are placed in a compartment inside the deck while the motors are mounted on the rear axle which can scurry across the pavement and uphill, up to 20 miles per hour having a 10 mile range before the battery finally runs out.

It is also the world’s lightest electric skateboard costing around $1,200 to $2000.The purpose of the Marbel skateboard was to create the lightest electric vehicle in the world with amazing user experience.

Simple to Use, Efficient and Exhilarating to Ride

The description on Kickstarter reveals that they hadspent two years of dedication in engineering and designing the Marbel Electric skateboard, which is the lightest electric skateboard ever created with the help of modern technologies, amazing team as well as the support from community and managed to build the Marbel Board which is simple to use, besides being efficient and exhilarating to ride.

Another amazing feature of the Marbel Skateboard is that it gets connected to the iOS or Android device through an app in order to get customized in your riding style and also control the throttle. Users also have the option in selecting from the three pre-defined ride modes, tweak the acceleration, and adjust the top speed, map out the rides and much more.

Handheld remote Throttle/Touch Controls

Riders can now control the skateboard by using a handheld remote throttle or through touch controls in a companion iPhone app while enabling users to choose the different modes for Marbel’s power circuitry, like the starter mode which limits the top speed to six miles per hour or an `eco’, mode which dynamically adjusts power output to the maximize range.

 In addition to this, the app also provides various other convenient features like an anti-theft mode that prevents the board from being used when locked with the app and a map showing the riders exactly how far they can go before the Marbel battery dies out. Marbel has also chosen to build a Wi-Fi hotspot in the board instead of connecting through the Bluetooth and this decision could prove to be a problem for riders who prefer to stream music or other media over a mobile data connection at the time of riding.

The design team had envisioned the Marbel Board replacing bikes and cars for short commutes as well as urban travel thus eliminating the worry over fuel cost together with parking issues which is the most prevailing issue at the moment.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Apple updates Support Communities forum with instant search box, streamlined UI

apple forum
Apple Updates Forum Style Support Communities Webpage

It has been reported that Apple has recently updated its forum style Support communities’ webpage with a new dual-purpose text input which has the capabilities of both searching as well as posting, together with a fresh look which is more in line with other pages on the corporate website.

 The change to the Apple Support Communities site is a huge central text entry box which rolls out in search function with submission of question and till date, these two assets were separate entities. The updated search box being instant, dynamically runs searches for relevant topics for discussion matches when users edit in text, with a list of possible hits from the Communities websites.

Another option is that the registered members havinga valid Apple ID can also type in a query and have it posted to appropriate forum with the click of a large button indicating `Submit my question to the community’.

New Exploration Features 

Other changes comprises of new exploration features which enables users to a browse the Community pages by way of topic and category with options which include past and current software, iCloud developer forums together with tutorials and much more.

Revamping of forum views has also been done with a sliding carousel bar at the top of each page indicating popular threads and discussions within a particular section.

With the new social features, Apple now has quick links to `Activity’, at the top of the redesigned site thus making it easy to be on top of forum, one is interested in, as well as view likes from other users.

`People’, tab, which is another quick link, enables users to search for forum members with links to redesigned profile pages for each of them.

Much Cleaner and More Streamlined

With Apple’s flip to its new design for its Support Communities forums, users can now discuss problems and troubleshooting products through Apple’s website.

This updated Apple Support Communities design has brought about a much cleaner and as well as more streamlined feel and look which extends through the Support Communities sites inclusive of the individual forum pages.

Besides a redesigned user interface, Apple has also build in new social features with improved search engine in the Support Communities site where the search bar displays question when user type and submit them.

Apple has been working in offering a more consistent online presence by way of building site design changes which would incorporate fewer text links and more iconography.

New Layout – Tailored to Touchscreen

Apple Support Communities will bring together all users from across the globe to discuss Apple’s products and topic, as conveyed through an official introduction. Moreover, the Support Communities would provide a huge amount of information with regards to Apple hardware and software products to enable users to get the most from their purchases while at the same time also help other Apple Support Communities’ users in answering their questions.

With most of the customers reaching the corporate’s website through iPads and iPhones, this new layout seems to be moving towards a tailored to touchscreen instead of a keyboard and mouse input.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rumors swirl around Apple’s iPhone 6

iPhone 6
Rumours regarding Apple’s much awaited iPhone 6, is mounting up and though an official release date has not been given by Apple, it is reported that the features in its upcoming release of the iPhone continues to swirl with many coming up from different sources adding more credibility to the presences of the features in the updated versions of the favourite smartphone.

In the ultra-competitive market for smartphone, the release of the iPhone seems to be a critical one for Apple to maintain its market and several industry observers are looking forward to various significant new features in the new iPhone.

Apple has been facing stiff competition in the market of its smartphones with the Android operating system. In April, Android held 52.5% of the market when compared to Apple’s 41.4%, as per the updated research from analytics specialist comScore.

iPhone with Larger Screen/1GB RAM

It has been reported by Reuter, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes that the new iPhone would have a larger screen which would measure around four inches diagonally. Several other outlets have also reported about the new iPhone which will have the A5X chip, the same chip which is now found in the iPad.

Besides this, the new iPhone would also have RAM of 1GB up from the 512 MB of RAM which is normally found in the iPhone 4S which will enhance the performance with the combination of these two factors.It is assumed that the new iPhone would be running iOS 6 as the operating system and would probably be launched this month at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and iOS 6 would be the next release of Apple’s mobile operating system.

Moreover the new iPhone having access to 4G cellular signals, would also be able to connect to 4G LTE networks enabling users to upload as well as download data more quickly.

Sapphire Display – Enhancing Protection 

This feature has been provided since the iPhone 4S does not have it, though the new iPad offers this feature. It is also reported by analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets who had the opportunity of touring the facilities of Apple suppliers, that the new version will be having a sleek look which may require a Unibody case which is an extruded aluminium case found presently on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

The iPhone 6 is rumoured to be having everything from its screen size, release date and its camera technology. Apple is expected to use a sapphire display for the iPhone 6 which will cost Apple a bunch of money no doubt but will provide a device which would be impossible to break or scratch and the material would be enhancing the protection that is not currently found on any of the iPhones which Apple has been selling.

Apple remained unavailable for comments on the `when and what’, of the latest entry though based on observations and track records by industry analysts as well as observers, the added features looks to be reasonable bets for the latest iPhone and the same is expected to be released sometime later this year.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple – Refreshing the iMac Line-up

A recent report from French blog site, MacGeneration has revealed that Apple would very soon upgrade the iMac and will be refreshing the iMac line-up most probably by next week which will be accompanied with speed upgrades.

With four flavours of Apple’s ultra-thin all in one, the site has portrayed the potential upgrades such as: the $1,499 21.5 inch 2.9 GHz version which would see its CPU speed increase by a full 3 GHz while its Turbo Boost feature that automatically manages individual cores of the processor for improved power efficiency as well as performance would go up from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.

According to MacGeneration, the $1,299 inch 2.7 GHz would have no changes. While the $1,799 27 inch 3.2 GHz variant would be increasing its processor speed to 3.3 GHz together with a Turbo Speed bump from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz, the $1,999 27 inch 3.4 GHz version would increase in CPU speed to 3.5 GHz and the Turbo Speed’s performance would grow from 3.8 GHz to 3.9GHz.

These speeds are for the basic models and buyers can upgrade the speed of both the processor and the Turbo Boost when configuring the unit by paying a small fee.

Improvements – Higher Resolution Retina Display

Since its last redesign in late 2012, the iMac has retained the same look and it has greatly benefited from minor upgrades during its processing power.

Though it is not known when Apple would be changing the design of the already thin looking all in one computer, users are hoping to get at least other improvements like a higher resolution Retina Display. Presuming the details of the report to be true, presently, it seems that with this latest upgrade to the iMac, it would not be offering a Retina Display option.

Rumours have been coming in for some time that Apple would be bringing the higher resolution Reina Display to the iMac and a 5,120 x 2,880 pixel wallpaper image which has been released by Apple somewhere last year had hinted that a Retina display would be destined for the iMac together with external monitors.

Apple to expand the Technology to iMac

Apple’s MacBook Pro line-up for long had been supporting a Retina Display like the iPhone and iPad and potential buyers are going through frustration since Apple has not yet expanded the technology to the iMac or the MacBook Air.

 From a recent clue from Appleinsider, it was suggested that this would be the year for the Retina Display iMac and a code discovered in the beta of Apple’s recently announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite OS shows higher resolution setting for an unknown computer which would be the iMac.

Soon Apple would be releasing the new iMac models as per insider sources and instead of fancy new Retina displays, the upgrade is expected to be little more than minor processor speed bumps. Moreover, according to some sources speaking with the France based MacG website, the processor speed upgrade may also come with an updated Thunderbolt 2 connector along with a little price drop

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Apple’s update for Virtual Currency Transaction

Apple’s update for Virtual Currency Transaction
Apple has now updated its iOS App Store guideline enabling software developers to include virtual currency transactions in their application like Bitcoin which had previously been banned.

Apple had previously opposed Bitcoin and other crypto currencies and Bitcoin wallet apps inclusive of Blockchain which had been removed from its App Store leading in a backlash from bitcoin community.

Videos on social site Reddit started appearing with displeased bitcoin supporters destroying Apple devices due to the banning of Blockchain and a subsequent petition with a move to reinstate the wallet app was supported with 6,000 signatures.

Nic Cary, CEO of Blockchain responded to a query on Twitter with regards to when a new app for the iOS would be expected to which he responded saying that it would be as soon as Apple re-approves the same and Tim Cook would get to know that Blockchain is wanted back in the App Store.

In Compliance with all State & Federal Laws

The update which was issued recently states that the `app may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions’.

Apple had not specified which virtual currencies had been approved though many are presuming that Bitcoin would be included as it is the most widely used virtual currency presently.

The policy change is considered as a significant shift for Apple and the company did not initially consider the use of virtual currencies within its application but had eliminated a number of Bitcoin wallet apps from its App Store.

Apple had offered no explanation for this and no option to appeal but rather stated that the removal was due to an unresolved issue.

Virtual Currencies Built on Shared Software

The removed apps, Blockchain which had been available on the App Store for two years had been downloaded more than 120,000 times and after Apple had removed the app, several people had posted videos of themselves destroying their iPhones.

Gliph developers Rob Banagale had also told Bloomberg that he was planning to submit a revised version of his app to Apple which would restore its ability in sending and receiving payments in bitcoins.

Virtual currencies are built on shared software which mines or generates coins carrying out complicated calculations operated on computers and are not backed by any government of central bank. They are bought and sold on a peer to peer network independent of any central control.

Bitcoin a more Interesting Value Proposition 

It was reported that satellite TV operator Dish Network would be accepting Bitcoin payment from customers from the third quarter and would be joining companies like and Zynga for virtual currency acceptance.

Cary was of the opinion that as a result of Apple’s treatment of bitcoin app in its Apps Store, it would be playing catch-up with rival mobile operating systems and developers would not be quick in embracing the iOS platform.

It is unknown whether the outcome of this will lead Apple to focus on its own virtual currency but Cary states that there would be nothing innovative about iMoney and bitcoin seems to be a more interesting value proposition.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Apple’s Brand New Xcode Programming Language

Apple recently unveiled Swift, a brand new Xcode programming language which is said to be superior to Objective C, considering it to be fast, modern and interactive. With plans to gradually retire the long used Objective C, Apple will be introducing the programming language known as Swift for designing apps and application to run on Apple iOS devices as well as Apple Macintosh computers.

Apple demonstrated the Swift playground where developers could write code with display of results shown as soon as the code was written. Apple states that Swift was designed from ground up for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.

Swift was designed to be intuitive and easy to use as popular interpreted language like Python and JavaScript keeping in mind the speed and the flexibility of compiled languages like C++. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who introduced the language to the surprised audience at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, held in San Francisco recently, he stated that besides being fast and modern it is also designed for safety enabling a level of interactive development one may not have envisaged before on the platform.

Swift for Basic Apps – Social Networking/Advanced 3D Games

Swift could be used for basic apps such as social networking or even advanced 3D games with the new `Metal’, graphics optimization since it can be operated with Objective C enabling developers to seamlessly interchange languages. Cook also stated that Swift was designed to do away with entire categories of common programming errors.

Swift includes generics enabling developers to get more done with less code written wherein an entire list of images was loaded with a simple line of code. Besides generics, it also includes modern constructs like closure, type inference, multiple return types, operator overloads as well as other time saving capabilities which the developers may want to see in their language.

Moreover it also enables developers to see the whole history of a value over time while the application runs. Swift has full control of time where the developer has the capabilities to fast forward or backward and see how their app might react in some situations.

Swift has Power of Objective C

Swift will have complete Xcode support when shipped while a language guide is already made available on the iBookstore to developers, where they can submit apps written in Swift to the App Store when iOS 8 will be launched later this year. Several Apple developers were thrilled with the Swift news and applauded Cook on the introduction to the language.

Though Apple has done a good job of maintaining the language and its developer ecosystem, Objective C tends to suffer from undue complexity in several ways according to program director for software development research at IDC, Al Hilwa. A programming language, Objective C, was based on C, which on its own is difficult to master.

 Moreover, the approach which Objective C takes in passing messages within an application or between applications is also difficult to learn. Cook also informed the audience that Swift has the power of Objective C without the burden of C and also compared some benchmarks which portrayed Swift code running much faster than Python and as quickly as Objective C.