Friday, April 29, 2016

Apple is reportedly Setting up a 'Car Lab' in Berlin


Apple’s iCar Officially Named Project Titan

Apple is a company with a lot of secrets and its rumoured iCar is officially named Project Titan. The Cupertino tech giant intends to enter the electric vehicle market and is probably moving ahead. As per reports by Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine, Apple plans to set up a dedicated `car lab’ in Berlin. The facility is said to be intended to tap into key talent from the automotive industry in the country, employing between 15 to 20 top class men as well as women from the German automotive industry having backgrounds in engineering, software, hardware and sales.

 The workers at the car lab have been described as progressive thinkers in their own respective fields who have agreed to work with Apple after their ideas for invention were subdued by the more conservative outlooks of their earlier employers.

The labisalso exploring more routine characteristics of bringing a car to market such as who would partner with Apple in the country, a fact which could impact Europe-wide production or distribution that regulation would require to be followed as well as evaluating how far ahead the competitors are.It remains a mystery as to what the iCar would really be an autonomous vehicle to compete Google or something in between.

Branded Vehicle to Hit the Road of Germany – 2019 -2020

The Frankfurter Allgemeine had also claimed that an Apple branded vehicle could hit the roads of Germany in 2019-2020. Sources claim that it could be a small vehicle and launch on a car sharing model identical to service like Zipcar which would involve short-term rental or per minute billing instead of customers buying iCar out-right. Considering the price premium of most of the products of Apple, this could be a blessing to the consumers while also enabling Apple to test demand before a wider release.

Interestingly, automotive manufacturer Magna International has been named as a production partner. Parts-maker owned by Austrian-Canadian businessman Frank Stronach has apparently cut production on the Mini range of BMW, enabling capacity for hypothetical car of Apple. The launch window of 2019 repeats the earlier reports that Apple intends getting a vehicle on the road before the decade is out.

 Last autumn, Apple seemed to be hiring specialist in the vehicle industry and as reported by Reuters at the time, significant figures comprising of Jamie Carnegie Mellon University and Xianquao Tong, who came from Nvidia after creating computer vision software for driver assistance systems.

Technology in Development Stage

The article goes on to recap the earlier speculation regarding the rumoured vehicle research of Apple, observing that the first car of the company will be electric though also claims that it would be lacking self-driving abilities since the required technology seems to be yet in the development stage. Besides this the report claims that Apple is investigating a vehicle sharing model alike to BMW’s Drive-Now and European car rental service Sixt, due to the lack of a nationwide distribution network of the company.

 Related to the earlier rumours, Austrian contract manufacturer of high-end cars Magna Steyr has also been mentioned as a partner for vehicle creation on completion of the R&D. The bulk of research and development is presumed to be taking place in an Apple leased Sunnyvale campus in California, where motor noises were heard, giving rise to speculation that the building is a secret car testing facility for the automotive project of Apple.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Apple Revenue Falls for First Time Since 2003


iPhone Officially in Decline

Apple has reported a drop of 13% on Tuesday, in its second quarter revenue as sales of iPhone had fallen. The quarterly sales reported by the technology giant was $50.56bn down from $58bn last year, which is the first fall in sales for the company since 2003. Apple had sold about 51.2 million iPhone during the quarter, down from 61.2 million the same quarter of 2015.China had been a weak spot where the sales had fallen by 26% and the results were hit by the influence of a stronger dollar.

 Apple shares had fallen by 8% after several hours of trading and its shares had dropped close to 20% over the last twelve months. Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple had commented that the company had performed well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds. Slowdown in sales in established markets had not been much of an issue for Apple, since China has always been there to support its earnings, keeping it posting, after each quarter of record breaking profits. The whole company tends to suffer with regards to revenues in China taking a hit. The most successful technology product in history, the iPhone, is now officially in decline.

Smartphone Boom beyond Its Extraordinary Peak

The company had notified about three months ago and to see the numbers for real would give investors reason for concern. Some have been considering the recent incidents as a sign that it is the end of a gold age for hardware makers and the smartphone boom is beyond its extraordinary peak. Apple, more than any other company, apparently needs the next runaway success sort to come along. The Apple Watch will be bringing in an estimated $1bn every quarter though that would not be sufficient.

It would require another punch like the iPhone but there seems to be no sign of one coming up soon. Quarterly profit of Apple had dropped to $10.5bn from $13.5bn. However, it had been reported that it would return $50bn to the shareholders through an increase in share buybacks as well as a 10% increase in quarterly dividends. The company had cautioned, back in January, that it had been facing its slowest-ever increase in orders for the iPhone and the same would cut into second quarter earnings.

Apple – Expects Access to Service, Restored Soon

Decreasing growth in the sales of smartphone had an impact on the overall industry and companies have been stressed in locating the next area of innovation. Geoff Blaber from CCS Insight had stated that the industry is in a lull between the mobile boom and what comes next in automotive, the connected home, health and industrial applications of the internet of things. Its service unit had been one bright spot for Apple which comprises of App Store downloads, Apple Pay and Apple Music.

 The separation experienced a 20% growth when compared to the same quarter in 2015. But the growth could be threatened at the unit by a new law passed in March, in China which needs all content shown to Chinese people to be stored on servers based on the Chinese mainland. This resulted in Apple’s iBooks and iTunes movies services to be shut down in the country. Apple has stated that it expects access to the service would be restored very soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Raspberry Pi Gets an 8-megapixel Sony Camera Upgrade


Raspberry Pi – Various Restores, Camera Module Unchanged

Since its launch three years ago, though Raspberry Pi had undergone various restores, its first official accessory, a 5-megapixel OmniVision camera module tends to remain unchanged. That is owing to the Raspberry Pi Foundation together with its partners buying a massive amount of sensors that are not only keeping the price low but also permits it to have surplus of stock for the future. As per CEO Eben Upton, those reserves seem to be running low and it is time to show off the new merchandise, two new cameras powered a Sony IMX219 8-megapixel sensor.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation like several of the big smartphone and tablet makers has been using Sony’s mobile imaging smarts for its new visible-light as well as infrared cameras. The IMX219 tends to have a fixed focus sensor which has the potential of outputting 3280 x 2464 photos and 1080p HD video at 30fps. Upton has stated that it was chosen for its impressive image quality, low-light performance as well as colour fidelity that perform nicely with the Raspberry Pi’s VideoCore IV CPU. VideoCore IV comprises of a sophisticated image sensor pipeline – ISP.

YUV Format Output Images

This tends to cover raw Bayer-format RFB input images from the sensor into YUV format output images, while correcting for sensor as well as module artefacts like thermal and shot noise, faulty pixels, image distortion and lens shading. Tuning the ISP to function with a particular sensor seems to be time-consuming, specialist activity, where there are only some people with the required skills.

This was done after some specialist tuning by Naush Patuck, former Broadcom imaging engineer who had volunteered to take this on for IMX219. The purpose of auto white balance – AWB is to improve the true colours in a scene irrespective of the colour temperature of the light lighting it and filming a white object must result in white pixels in sunlight or under LED, florescent or incandescent lights. These pairs are seen before and after images which Naush had tuned, who has done a wonderful job under challenging situation.

Open Doors to Hyperspectral Imaging Hacks

The hardware tends to retain the same price prior to taxes as its predecessor, as is the normal case with any new Raspberry Pi launch. The sensorOmniVision OV5647used in the original camera module together with its infrared sensitive sibling had reached its limit towards the end of 2014 and hence a new sensor was found with Sony coming to the rescue. The Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 and NoIR Camera Module v2 are said to be on sale from the usual Pi suppliers comprising of RS Components, Element14 and The Pi Hut and in spite of its upgrade, the cost of the camera is just $25.Being the first official accessory back in 2013, they have found their way in a bunch of fun projects comprising of telescopes, science lesion, kites as well as Naturebytes camera trap and have joined the Pi NoIR infrared-sensitive version that only enables to see in the dark though it also opens the door to hyperspectral imaging hacks. The object of auto

Saturday, April 23, 2016

User Experience Design Blog: Examples of What to Emulate

The user experience industry is a constantly evolving one. For both seasoned practitioners and newbies, it is important to stay abreast of developments and be in the know about what is happening. The best way to do this is by following a user experience design blog, or a few really, to stay current. It's easy to set up an RSS feed in your email, and just receive the updates in your inbox. You can then choose to read it immediately, or set it aside for further reading later on.

The Best User Experience Design Blog

The good thing about following more than one user experience design blog is that you get to read the opinions and thoughts of recognized industry leaders. You can also follow niche blogs that discuss new trends and innovative topics.

Here are the top user design blogs in the industry:

1. Nielsen Norman Group

The Nielsen Normal Group or NNG is considered as an authority user experience design blog. It is one of the longest running blogs that discuss and cover everything about the UX topic. This blog is known for its insightful pieces which are backed by research and concrete examples. You will also find case studies and interviews. A new post comes out once a week and you can sign up to receive their “Alertbox Newsletter” to be sure that you don't miss any single update.

2. UX Booth

Another good example of a great user experience design blog is UX Booth. This blog is run not by a single person but features the work of several credible authors. It is a comprehensive and high quality blog which publishes lengthy articles which are well researched, with reference citations. It also suggests related materials for the audience to read should they be interested to learn more about the topic.

3. UX Movement

UX Movement is a blog that is geared towards user interfaces and how it affects the behavior of users. This is a very specific niche that focuses on interface and this complements theories and different perspectives offered on the blog. There are also plenty of visual examples which will appeal to artists, who are of course, more visual learners than text-oriented ones.

4. Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows comes out with a post only every other week, but it certainly makes up for it by sending out quality posts. The articles are well-researched, insightful, and represents all angles. There are usually articles on interaction design, business design, as well as information architecture. The topics are always useful and fresh.

5. A List Apart

This is a design blog which was created for people who truly do web design. It focuses on the best practices and standards when it comes to designing for websites. It contains both shorter blog pieces and longer articles. Both are well curated and are written very well. It does not publish as often though, so you better subscribe to receive it if and when a new post does appear.

Apart from user experience design blogs, you can also check out videos and some ebooks on the topic of user experience design to further your learning.

How To Choose A Cheap Dedicated Server


Are you looking for the best dedicated server hosting solution for your business? Many business owners fail to realize the importance of web hosting when it comes to maximizing the potential of their website. Most of the websites on the Internet use shared web hosting. While this is perfectly fine for websites that get little traffic, this may not be the best option to use for your business. In this article, you will learn the benefits of using a cheap dedicated server and why it might be beneficial to invest a little more money for this web hosting solution.

What Is A Dedicated Hosting Service? 

A dedicated server is a type of web hosting in which all the hardware and software features of the server are used by a single person or company. Because of this, it has greater flexibility compared to shared web hosting or a virtual private server. By having the best dedicated server hosting, you have full control over the server including the choice of hardware and operating system. It is considered the most powerful web hosting solution especially for websites that get a lot of monthly traffic. 

The Advantages Of Using A Cheap Dedicated Server 

Since you have complete control over the cheap dedicated server, you get to enjoy all its features without having to worry about other webmasters sharing your bandwidth and other important resources. In shared web hosting, the server is used by multiple clients, which explains why it comes at a much lower price. However, there are also more security issues associated with a shared server. You would want to protect your business from such issues so choosing the best dedicated server hosting is usually the better choice.

How To Choose The Best Dedicated Server Hosting 

Since dedicated servers are much more expensive compared to shared web hosting or VPS, it’s tempting to go for the cheap dedicated server you can find. While it’s natural for you to want to save as much money as possible, it’s also important to consider a few important points other than price. Keep in mind that you want the best quality server for your business to ensure that there will be no downtimes.

The first thing to look for is good quality hardware. If possible, try to find enterprise grade HDDs or even SSDs. Do not hesitate to ask for the brand names used in the server. This can give you a clearer picture as to the quality of the different parts of the server.

When selecting the best dedicated server hosting, you must also take into consideration the needs of your business. If your website isn’t generating a massive amount of traffic, a dedicated server with decent specifications might be good enough. There are cases in which you do not need to rent a dedicated server with the best specifications. You can speak with the web hosting company to assist you in selecting a dedicated server that matches your business needs.

To choose the best dedicated server hosting, it’s a necessity to choose a host with excellent support. Chances are you are going to need their help at one point or another. Check their response times and see whether their support team really knows what they are doing. If all they do is send you links to other webpages, it is a sign that they are not offering high quality support.

A dedicated server may prove highly beneficial for your business. When looking for the cheap dedicated server, be sure to look beyond price and consider other factors including hardware quality, uptime and customer support.

Developing Your Own Forex Trading Strategies

The biggest mistake done by any Forex trader is not developing his own trading strategy. Most of the new Forex traders with XTrade or XFR Financial Ltd are excited and they are over confident that they can build their fortune quickly. But thinking so, they act in a non-professional manner. Soon they realize how complex this really is and they start accumulating losses which throw them away from the trades. Trading with sound Forex trading strategies XTrade or XFR Financial Ltd is what is required for every successful Forex trader. You must be aware that these strategies are the most important things which build a successful Forex trading career. Developing your own Forex trading strategies is vital and in developing those, you should be aware of the following things:

  • What is the logic of trading? 
  • What is the objective? 
  • Managing funds 
  • Analysis of results and documenting them 
  • What to learn from your mistakes
Every time you enter a trade, you should have a good reason to do that. The reason that you are entering a trade because you are feeling bored or to get some excitement is not enough. A technical or fundamental reason for every trade is important.

How to develop Forex trading strategies with XFR Financial Ltd(XTrade)? 

The beginners in trading area commit a lot of mistakes which arise from inexperience. They allow losses to accumulate and collect their profits too early. Experienced traders have mental discipline and they use various Forex trading strategies in order to run trades successfully for their profits. Though there are many strategies freely available at XTrade(XFR Financial Ltd)and every one of them looks promising, it is the responsibility of a trader to check what suits best for him or her. It is not a good practice to adopt any strategy and start trading with the help of it. Every strategy has to be first understood carefully knowing the pros and cons of it. Then a back-testing process of the selected Forex trading strategies should be done. Not every Forex trader is same and all may have different goals and objectives from Forex trading. So the trader should first analyze himself and the style of trading he has. What time of day or week you will trade? What are your objectives from Forex trading? Is it a full time job or just part time? All these factors along with some more have to be considered.

It should also be noted while devising a strategy for you that not all Forex trading strategies XTrade or XFR Financial Ltd are hundred percent successful. What works for you should be used by you and whatever is the approach, every trading strategy requires self discipline and trading with patience in order to get the most out of it.

Apple Releases new Rose Gold MacBook with Longer Battery Life


Apple MacBook – Faster Process Option, Rose Gold Finish Option

A year after its first release, Apple had updated its MacBook product line with faster process options, longer battery life and a rose gold finish option to go along with silver, grey and gold options that were earlier available. The 12-inch Retina display laptop now comes with an extra hour of battery life, improved graphic performance and new Intel processor, after the product line presented a comeback last March. Before last year’s announcement, Apple had not restored the MacBook range since 2010, concentrating on the thinner MacBook Air and the more powerful MacBook Pro.

The weight of the new model is two pounds, measuring 13.1mm thick, making it the thinnest, lightest laptop of Apple till date. It comprises of sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors, ranging from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz based on configuration, 8GB of memory with around 10 hours of wireless internet browsing, according to the company. Apple has also stated that it has upgraded the MacBook’s memory to a faster 1766 MHz module from the 1600MHz version in last year’s computer and the integrated graphics are bounded to Intel’s more powerful 515 module with a potential of 25% improved performance.

Likely to Feature Integrated Version of Digital Assistant Siri

Last Apple had initially introduced rose gold as a colour option with the release of the luxury Edition Apple Watch last April, prior to extending the shade to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus last September as well as Apple Watch Sport, before recently adding it to its 9.7 inch iPad. Though the latest MacBooks are shipped with OS X El Capitan, Apple will probably reveal its new version of Mac software during the annual developer’s conference WWDC which is said to begin on Monday June 13.

For the first time, after testing it for four years, OS X 10.12 is likely to feature an integrated version of digital assistant Siri. The latest software would comprise of a Siri microphone icon on the Menu bar which, when it is clicked would launch a dark background with coloured waves just the way it tends to appear across iPhone, iPad and the Apple Watch.

Implanting Siri in Mac’s infrastructure tends to be reasonable, Apple has been very clear regarding how it foresees its numerous devices working together cross-platforms. Announced at WWDC 2014, its Continuity umbrella comprises of a range of latest features which were designed as a first push towards seamless assimilated in the middle of the systems.

Remarkable Difference in the New Model

While the name of OS X 10.12 tends to be a mystery, there is a possibility of it being inspired by a Californian landmark or a location according to the most recent releases of Apple – El Capitan, Yosemite and Mavericks. It is very likely to be showcased along with iOS 10, the latest operating system for iPhone and iPad in June. Updates on watchOS for Apple Watch as well as tvOS for Apple TV are also anticipated. The new processors together with faster memory, is expected to make a remarkable difference in the new model.

 The pricing will begin at £1,049 for a 1.1 GHz dual core Intel Core m3 processor with Turbo Boost speeds to around 2.2 GHz, 8 GB memory together with 256GB of flash storage. It would increase to £1,299 for 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 processor with Turbo Boost speed to 2.7 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage.

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's confirmed - Your iPhone has a limited lifespan, says Apple


Apple – iPhone has Limited Lifespan of Three Years

It has been revealed by Apple that the iPhone has a limited lifespan of only three years. According to the Cupertino giant, the Apple Watch and iPhone is said to last for three years while Mac computers and the Apple TV would be lasting for four years. Apple had published on its site, recently in a new question and answer section which outlines the company’s environmental push, and released the life expectancy for different devices, together with the amount of greenhouse gases they expect to contribute in that time.

Apple considers the greenhouse gas life cycle for products by observing the hardware components, size and weight, shipping methods, daily usage patterns and disposal practices.Apple centres its lifespan expectancy on modelled use and the exact use of data. The Cupertino California Company groups its products by operating system to make lifespan projections, irrespective of other product specifications. Apple had mentioned in the report that `years of use that are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for OS X and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices. In all cases, Apple is assessing first owner device lifespans.

Apple Revamped App Store – To Support Preservation

Hence if one purchases a used Apple device, the countdown has already started. An operative iPhone 5 for instance, which was launched in September 2012, could be considered as a living dead phone. Schemes whether Apple tends to build its products to die within a few years have been circulating around for years. Laura Trucco, then a PhD economics student had analysed the number of Google search for `iPhone slow’ all over the world for the last seven years and found that the search term spiked whenever a new model had been released.

In an effort to prove the theory, users of iPhone carried out test concerning phones running older software and updated forms to prove that Apple self-disrupts its out-of-date hardware, probably to inspire users in upgrading as early as possible. Apple revamped the app store recently with a range of Apps for Earth, created in business with the World Wild Fund for Nature –WWF in order to raise funds and support for preservation, as part of its new environmental awareness push.

Built Custom Content for 27 Apps

Apple had helped in building custom content for 27 apps which tend to promote the mission of WWF, that comprise of conservation of wildlife, forests, fresh water and oceans and would be donating 100% of the profit to the charities they are connected with from April 14 to 24. Likewise to Apple’s Campaign for RED in 2014, Apps for Earth includes updates to popular apps like Kendal & Kylie, Enlight and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes.

The fact regarding the life cycles came about in answer to question regarding Apple’s Product Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Assessment. Apple had broken down its environmental impact measurements in five segments, part by part measurements, power use scenarios, transportation cost, material composition as well as emissions data. The lifespan details had come from the power use scenario estimates.

Friday, April 15, 2016

iPhone SE Facing Bluetooth Call Audio Issues

iPhone SE

iPhone SE Facing Bluetooth Audio Connectivity

Some units of the iPhone SE, which is the latest 4-inch iPhone of Apple, may have problems with Bluetooth audio connectivity. The iPhone SE tends to share a design with the iPhone 5s, the 4-inch aluminium iPhone which debuted in 2013. Though the iPhone 6 had accepted rounded edges together with curved display, the iPhone 5s and SE tend to have a boxier design with thicker body.

It also has chamfered edges, flat display, round volume buttons, glass antenna inserts, a power button located at the top of the device as well as a flush camera and a pill-shaped rear flash. As per some early adopters of the handset, there seems to be some problem with Bluetooth phone calls when the device tends to get paired with a vehicle or a headset.

The problem as documented by users on the Apple Support forum is not limited to the Bluetooth phone call audio but also spreads to GPS voice navigation too. But music streaming utilising the Bluetooth connectivity tends to be untouched. An iPhone SE user had posted on the Apple Support forum - `I have a new iPhone SE and have so far paired it to a 2014 BMW 328i and a 2011 Kia Optima and a 2015 Kia Santa Fe. In all cases, I have terrible quality Bluetooth call reception… the audio while on a phone is extremely scratchy and distorted’.

Bug Tends to Persist

While Apple is yet to come up with a solution or provide its official word on the matter and based on crowdsourced information, the Bluetooth bug is considered to affect most of the iPhone SE models which tend to run iOS 9.3 or 9.3.1 versions irrespective of carrier or model and is for the users in Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden, UK and US, presently.

Besides the iOS 9.3.2beta release does not seem to resolve the problem. The problem does not seem to be isolated to any particular carmaker since customers have reported similar issues with vehicles sold by various manufacturers. The iPhone SE Bluetooth audio bug is said to affect a variety of in-car infotainment systems from different carmakers, including Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Ford, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen. Users have informed that they had tried restoring the iPhone SE, resetting network setting, un-pairing and re-pairing Bluetooth, toggling cellular data and changing SIM cards. However, the bug still tends to persist.

Hardware or Software Error - Problem Unknown

Presently, it is unknown whether the problem is due to the hardware or software error. Basic troubleshooting by the users has produced no successful resolution of the problem faced. Some of the users on the forum asserted that the support staff informed them that Apple engineers were aware of the bug and are already working to resolve it.

Some of the users who had got in touch with Apple support by phone state that they had been escalated to higher level iOS advisors who asked for log files. Few of them had received confirmation which Apple engineers were aware of the Bluetooth problem internally and though, attempts in fixing it was being done, the timeline appears to be unclear.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Apple has Created a Tablet for Your Wrist


Launch of Apple Watch 2 – iPhone 7 in September

The first group of Apple Watch is at the tail end of its life as the flagship of Apple wearable and those who tend to purchase it being an Apple product will have it already on their wrist. According to a recent research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo, Apple had sold around 10.6 million units during 2015 and level of sales should not be condemned.

Selling ten million of any given product is considered an achievement and there are smartphone manufacturers who cannot generate that level of sales over their total product range besides a single peripheral which needs a parent device to be bought individually.

The wearable is following the same pattern of adoption and understanding like the iPad and tends to promise a long and healthy life as a secondary product range. However it is not one that could create the sort of wealth which the iPhone could foster.

Kuo’s study highlights September as the date of the launch of the Apple Watch 2 together with the assumed titled iPhone 7, considering the synergy between the watch and the smartphone which tends to make sense from marketing as well positioning viewpoint

Basic Features – Deal with Notifications

Even with the launch of the second generation Apple Watch, the estimate of the 2016 is smaller by 7.5 million units in total, a 30% drop on the sales of 2015. This year the slowdown in sale as well as the slower projected adoption of the forthcoming smart-watch indicated that the product profile of the Apple Watch seems to be more in keeping with the iPad instead of the iPhone.

The basic features of the Apple Watch are to deal with notifications from the connected accounts, to tell the time and to provide quick access to short surges of information. Though the Apple Watch 2 is likely to have enhanced hardware, built-in Wi-Fi for standalone connectivity as well as a FaceTime video camera, it will not be changing the basic functionality of the Watch.

 Beside the hungry geekerati, the package does not provide a convincing reason to upgrade from an impeccably serviceable first-generation Apple Watch.

Reliable Device – Generate Predictable On-going Sales

As the users of the first Apple iPad had observed, the marginal gain in the next duplication of the hardware is not sufficient to hide the functionality of the original. Individual Apple Watch will be having a much longer life cycle than the iPhone and it is probably going to match the iPad with regards to hardware turnover as well as importance to Apple’s bottom line, which is a notable contribution though not a driving force.

Not every part of hardware could be a home run over the green monster. As it approaches its one year anniversary, the Apple Watch is not the revolutionary product of Tim Cook, it is not a genre defining slice of hardware and it is not going to affect any huge spike in the gross revenue of Apple. However, it tends to join the iPad as another solid, dependable as well as a reliable device that could generate predictable on-going sales all through the year.

Friday, April 8, 2016

New Code Hints Apple will Finally let you Hide iPhone Apps


Ability of Hiding Unwanted Apple Apps

Apple phones are plagued with various apps which the company has pre-installed on its device in an attempt to compel you to use them. A group of Apple’s first party apps like Weather, Compass and Stocks and most of those apps tend to go into one folder which is rarely used. For several years, Apple had been criticised for not providing its users with the ability of removing or hiding these stock apps. It seems the company intends to give its customers some kind of flexibility with its next version of iOS.

According to new settings discovered in code for the App Store, users will have the ability of hiding unwanted Apple apps very soon. App Advice discovered recently, two new flags for classifying apps `isFirstParty’ and `isFirstPartyHideableApp’. These metadata flags recommend that Apple intends classifying some of its app as `hideable’ responding to one of the user’s biggest complaints for years.

Considering that Apple’s App Store selection is so massive that there are better third-party replacements for most of the built-in apps, several users have abandoned App’s defaults for their favoured experience many years back. However, not all the Apple apps would be hideable and it is safe to presume that the dialler and messages app would need to remain on the home screen.

Apple Bundled over 30 Apps by Default on iPhones

Apple has bundled more than 30 apps by default on iPhones and it is considered safe to accept that Apple views that some of them are not used often.CEO Tim Cook in an interview last year had informed BuzzFeed News that the company was aware that most of the its users were not big fans of the apps which it ships with its devices, but had added the complexities that are in play here before it can even think above giving its users the choice to remove apps.

He further stated that there were some apps which were linked to something else on the iPhone and if they were removed, there could be issues elsewhere on the phone. There were other apps which were not like that and so overtime, he thought of removing them. He was looking at offering the capability of hiding unwanted Apple apps. Some like the weather app seemed to be useful though others like Stocks would be appealing to only few of the users.

Trick to Stop Pre-Installed Apps Filling Up

A YouTube user has revealed a simple trick in stopping these pre-installed apps filling up the home screen. A video posted by the user shows him pressing and holding down an icon for a pre-installed Apple app on his home screen.

The pre-installed apps comprise of Pages, Numbers, Stocks, Calendar, Weather and much more. When the icon begins shaking, it is dragged over the top of another icon, creating a folder containing both those apps. He then presses and holds the app again before dragging it to the right and onto the second page of the folder.

On repeating this process, a third time, the app is dragged to the far right of the folder on the third page, while keeping hold of the app with his finger; he presses the home button, resulting in the apps to disappear. He explains that the apps are not totally removed from the phone but are simply hidden from view till the phone tends to get re-started. This could result in utilisation of storage space but the trick could at least make the home screen appear less messy with icons.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Another iOS 9.3 Bug Causes Apps to Freeze your iPhone

iOS 9.3

Apple’s Mobile Operating System - Freeze

As per reports on the Support Forums of Apple and tweets to the company’s Support team, the mobile operating system which Apple had launched recently has been going through a rough patch causing iOS based devices comprising of iPhone and iPad to freeze. Last week, a forum post from one iPhone owner stated that while trying to click a link to Google GOOG-0.6% from Apple’s AAPL 1.03% built-in browser Safari or email app Mail, `the apps just freeze’.

 The person also added that nothing fixed the problem inclusive of starting the phone. Soon thereafter, many other Apple users also reported of the same problem. One poster wrote `I’m having the same issue in every app that has a link to open Safari, I was in the beta and this never happened, it was more stable then (sic) the public release’.

A video had also been published showcasing the problem in action. At this point of time, it is not known what precisely is causing the issue. An earlier report in TechCrunch that had learnt the growing Apple Support thread had pointed to some complains which the issue could have been related with an iOS 9 feature known as `Universal Links’.

Issued Fixed by Disabling JavaScript

The feature permits app developers to compel links to open directly within their programs rather than an Apple’s Safari browser. However, some of the users in the forum stated that when they disabled JavaScript, a computer language utilised by Apple’s app, it seemed to fix the issue. Whatever maybe the situation, it is just the latest fault affecting the latest operating system launch of Apple.

Apple had recently announced that it would be launching iOS 9.3 to its iPhone and iPad users. The version earlier had been in beta for months recommending that Apple had been working with developers in getting the issued resolved. But soon thereafter, users began complaining regarding the latest version of Apple’s operating system.

Some users, for instance with older devices could not update to iOS 9.3 if they did not remember their passwords and unless they tried a workaround comprising of changing their passwords through Apple’s, their device would be considered as useless.

Software Update for Future iOS Devices

Apple on its part accepted the problem stating that it was attempting to fix the activation error. Recently, the company had patched the issue on the iPad 2 though it said that it would launch a software update to the other iOS devices in the future.

The problem also seemed to be a kind of a black mark on the notable upgrade which included support for new Night Shift feature that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen, making it easier on the eyes during night.

The app also included enhancements to Notes, News together with other features. Users, still seem to be unhappy with the operating system which had been in testing for quite some time and are expecting Apple to resolve this issue which for some have stopped links from functioning.

Apple had refrained from responding immediately on the malfunction but a forum poster claimed to have spoken to Apple Support that stated that it was aware of the problem and that their engineers have been working on an update.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Apple Invents Modular Apple Watch Accessories That Link Together

Modular Functional Bank Links – Wearable Devices

Patent application that had been published by U.S. Patent and Trademark office provides a taste of a modular hardware ecosystem which has been developed to extend Apple Watch functions beyond its present limitations. Instead of building sensor stacks, processor together with other difficult and power hungry components right into single chassis, Apple intends breaking those units into a varied range of devices that have been sold as watch band links, connected electrically in series or equivalent.

As mentioned in Apple’s application, `modular functional band links for wearable devices, the modular designs tends to present a flexible platform wherein users could add on the features, or hardware node, according to their choice. The level of customization tends to assure power consumption and a lean internal layout, two valuable commodities in a tiny computing platform.

Apple notes that similar to any multifunction device, Apple Watch has the ability to support accessories assisting a swing value added functions and the most appealing are batteries, processor, displays, electricity generators, cameras, GPS sensors, thermometer, blood pressure sensors, sweat sensors and speakers. The standalone devices, arranged as links, tend to connect to each other and finally to the 6 pin diagnostic port on Apple Watch.

Unique Identifies to Activate/Send Data to Links

Since the modules tend to share a communication bus, Apple recommends unique identifiers to be used in order to activate and send data to individual link. For instance, a signal coded with audio identifier could be sent out by the Watch and received and processed by a speaker module when all other modules tend to ignore the message. In some embodiments the links tend to act as an external port in accepting electronic mechanisms possibly a SIM card or powered memory module.

The patent application of Apple’s modular wearable link had been first filed in February 2015 and credits Motohide Hatanaka, Douglas J. Weber, Brian Shadle, Alex M. Lee, David S. Herman, Patrick S, Wieler together with Simon R. Lancaster-Larocque as its inventors.It had been reported that Apple would be utilising the diagnostics connector as skipping off point for a class of functional accessories distributed prior to the public release of the device. Assuming that the port was capable of transferring power and data in real time, had been confirmed a few months thereafter when Apple had rolled out interactive Watch displays established on such technology at its retail stores

Backpack for Apple Watch

A precise example of Apple’s module idea has been revealed in an application for an `Auxiliary electronic device which is attachable to a wearable electronic device, describing a band accessory highlighting an internal power source as well as supporting wireless transmission circuitry. Essentially for a recharging strap or a battery extender, the device needs to be adequately slim enough to be accommodated between the wearable and the wrist of the user.

Apple tends to describes it as a backpack for Apple Watch. Visually the auxiliary device seems to be similar to Apple’s prevailing line-up of replacement straps, complete with attachments lugs together with a various clasp mechanism. Akin to the Sport Band, leather loop as well as new nylon style straps, the frame of Apple’s proposed charging device could be constructed from various comfortable heat dispelling materials inclusive of plastic, silicone, rubber, aluminium, graphite and ceramic.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Google Global Code Jam 2016

Google Global Code
Most of the people don’t know that tech giant Google also organizes some great events which bring programmers from round the world together. We are certainly not talking about the frequently organized Android development events where Google releases new iteration of its popular mobile operating system. This is called Google Code Jam, which is essentially a programming competition where professionals as well as students from round the world take part in order to solve some complex algorithmic challenges within a stipulated timeframe.

Origins of Google Code Jam

Currently Google Code Jam is in its 13th year after the launch in 2003. This was started by the Google with an aim of identifying top engineering talents, which can play a huge part in the Google development as one of the iconic technology firm. Google Code Jam 2016 follows the same schedule wherein first of all interested programmers has to enroll through registering in the month of March. Then a Qualification Round is held in the month of April to segregate the best from the rest. This followed by a number of Online Rounds of either two hours thirty minutes to three hours. In this phase programmer grill their way through solving complex algorithmic challenges with a set time limit and their scored are calculated. Each year in the month of August Google organizes the Final event in which winners are announced and even offered a job right at its office.

How tough is Google Code Jam? 

There was even a time when seven problems were not solved in their respective round. It is worth pointing out that no one in the history of Google Code Jam has managed to get perfect score in the finals. Google ensures that problems which are chosen for this event are effectively difficult and hard to crack but there has been an incident of fastest correct submission when Sergie Fedorov of Russia solved the problem within 2 minutes and 41 seconds.

Google allows the participants to use any programming language as well as development environment of their choice to find the solution to the given problems. The only trick is that one has to come up with right solution within the giving time limit.

Prizes to be won at Google Code Jam 2016

It wouldn’t be possible to attract bright minds on a global without offering hefty prize money. Google Code Jam offers cash prizes to the successful participants. The winner of this event goes home with prize money of $15000 while second and a third placed winner gets $2000 and $1000 respectively. Consolation prize of $100 is given to all the participants who finish between 4 -26 places in this event. Participants also get one Code Jam T shirt if they finish among the top scoring 1000 from the Round 2.

Google also offers extensive reimbursement of the expenses made by the participant on the travel, visa, flight, accommodations and meals during the Google Code Jam event.

iPhone Storage Full? Free up Space with These Tricks


Guidance to Free up Space in Devices 

In the present scenario with advanced application and high-end camera developing detailed photos together with quality videos, we often encounter lack of space in our devices. Inspite of huge 64GB storage, models tend to fill up storage very quickly and we are faced with lack of storage space. The following could be helpful on how to clear some space on your device.

1. Know how much space is available 

To know about the spare capacity of the phone and to see which apps have been using the most, one could go to settings app and click on `general’ tab and select `usage’. Your phone, after some calculation will portray a list of apps and how much storage capacity each of them has been utilising. Often photographs tend to take up most of the space.

2. Backup your photos 

The best thing to do is get a backup for photos. If one is using iCloud to backup photos, you could delete them from the camera roll and create more space on your phone and one can depend on iCloud for keeping them safe. A better precaution is to have a backup on a home computer wherein one could delete them one by one or click on select from the camera roll screen, ticking as many as desired and then delete them together.
3. Remove unused apps 

Often unused apps tend to accumulate over a period of time. You could scroll through the menu and check if there are games which are not used, or any apps which do not seem to be of use. On tapping and holding the icon, a small cross will appear towards the top-left. On pressing the cross the app can be deleted, providing more space on your device.

4. Handle your music

To make more space you could delete unwanted albums which could still be available on your computer if the need may arise at a later date. In order to delete music, you could swipe a song from right to left and a `delete’ button will appear.

5. Delete videos after watching them

Videos also tend to take upmore space than albums where a few films could use up several GB of your memory. The best thing is to delete them once the user has viewed them which would help in clearing space on the handset.

6. Files Downloaded to apps to be cleared 

Some of the apps have the capability of downloading files. For instance, iPlayer tends to download programmes which can be viewed later on. It there are videos downloaded which are not needed; you could go to the app and drain them. On checking on the usage list, one will get to know on any apps which could be taking up a large amount of space.

7. Limit podcasts 

Podcasts could be great where new content, tends to get delivered to the phone automatically. However, they could also accumulate quickly. In the podcasts section of the setting, one could tweak a few settings to limit the space that is taken up and under `limit episodes’, opt for only the most recent 2 to 5 episodes. You could opt to automatically delete played episodes.

The Roadmap to Success in JEE Mains - Success StrategiesMantra

As engineering students, you all are already aware the importance of JEE Mains examination. It is the gateway to IITs and NITs, considered as the best institutes for studying engineering in India. There is superstitious belief that it is not easy to crack this examination. But in actual, if you follow punctual, uniform and smart strategies, it is not a hard nut to crack.

Strategies such as provided below if followed religiously are a win-win situation.

1.Patterns of the exam papers:      As we all know that JEE Mains consists of two papers – Paper 1 and   Paper 2. It is important to know them well, regarding the question patterns and negative markings as well.
  • Paper 1 has either options to appear online or offline examination format, having questions from Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry with multiple choice questions (MCQs) and objective type questions. The questions are proportionally divided equally among these three subjects. Each of these questions carries 4 marks and for any wrong answer, there is a negative marking. The examination duration is 3 hours. 
  • And Paper 2 is for the students who are aiming for Architecture and Planning career. This paper is made up of three parts such as – Mathematics belongs to Part I, AptitudeTest is Part II, and DrawingTest is Part III.
2.Mock Test Practices: It is a necessity to do numerous practices on Mock Test thoroughly without leaving a single questions untried or undone.
  • Try analyzing each and every answer every time you are done with a mock test. 
  • Try harder to the question you find difficult to answer during the mock test. 
  • Give equal importance to all the subjects that are part of JEE Mains examination. 
3. Eating and Sleeping Pattern: Equally important is to have healthy eating habits of good diets like vegetables and fruits that will help you keep healthy and strong during your preparations for the JEE Mains. Also, make sure that you have regular of 6-7 hours of sleep, without having to stay awake during the night.

4.Time Management Practice: Along with mock test, make sure that you need to have the practice to up your time management on the questions.
  •  Do make sure that you do not spend more than 4 minutes per question. 
  • Make it a habit, so that when you face the actual exam, it will be a common ground for you.
5.Joining A Coaching Class: You can study on your own with strong determination to succeed. But at the same time you will not regret joining a coaching class.
  • At the coaching class you will meet like-minded fellow aspirant students, and will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and group discussions. In exchanging knowledge and teaching one another you get to learn more and know where your mistakes are. 
  • Also, at the coaching classes, you will get hold of many important study materials which you cannot find easily on the internet or other sources.
6.Regular Study: Make time; chart out a regular timetable to study.
  • Make sure that you study regularly every day, without skipping even a day. 
  • Study at least 4-5 hours daily but wholeheartedly and with full determination to succeed. There is no meaning even If you study whole day and night or for 13-14 hours if there are no proper arrangements or timetable.
Remember to make hay while the sun shines. For, if you are not giving your best to shine when it is the right time for you, you will forever regret it. So, make the most of the above strategies and success in the JEE Mains is surely on your way.