Tag - Performance
With just one week to go before its major Worldwide Developers Conference that is -- among other things -- expected to show off the next major upgrades to OS X, iOS, and various other software (and potentially hardware) items, Apple has released second betas of OS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.3, and tvOS 9.2.2, along with a first beta of watchOS 2.2.2 for developers, with public-tester versions of the OS X and iOS betas expected to arrive tomorrow. While no user-facing changes have yet been revealed, each beta brings with it small tweaks and changes to improve stability, performance, and security.
In part one of our feature pitting the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge against the iPhone 6s Plus, we took a look at the design, displays and performance of the two devices. Although the Galaxy S7 Edge has arguably the better design aesthetic when compared with the iPhone 6s Plus, its vaunted double-curved edge display has questionable practical value. Similarly, the S7 Edge's excellent high resolution quad-HD display offers a great VR experience, thanks to its additional pixel density -- but in general use, the still-decent 1080p resolution of the iPhone 6s Plus is going to deliver much better overall efficiency and frame rates in games. Samsung might have also taken a lead in multi-core performance, but the iPhone still has an substantial advantage in the key single-core performance metric. So how do the two stack up when it comes to cameras, software, ecosystems and the overall end-to-end user experience?
The 21.5-inch iMac with 4K P3 Retina display -- like its big brother, the 27-inch iMac with 5K P3 Retina display -- is among Apple's best bang-for-your buck Macs. The way it blends a thin, compact enclosure with a top-notch display panel and decent computing components as a single solution is particularly elegant. It's price point is also attractive, offering potentially more performance than either Apple's Mac mini line, or Apple's MacBook Pro line for each dollar spent. Read on to find out our first impressions of the 21.5-inch 4K iMac, the first 21.5-inch iMac to get the Retina display treatment.
After a comparison of various flagship smartphones, performance benchmark company Antutu has found that the iPhone 6s (and 6s Plus) is the best-performing device on the market, despite having much less RAM and a lower-clocked dual processor compared to many rivals' use of theoretically faster and/or multicore chips. This is the first year that Antutu was able to add Apple to its rankings, thanks to the completion of a cross-platform benchmark tool that works with iOS. The 6s handily beat both of Samsung's flagship phones, along with other rivals from Huawei, HTC, and Google itself.
Although the iPad mini 4 was (briefly) introduced during the recent "Hey Siri" Apple event in San Francisco as a scaled down version of the iPad Air 2, specifications and testing reveal that the new device has more in common with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The iPad mini 4 uses the dual-core A8 chip found in Apple's current smartphones, rather than the tri-core A8X used in the iPad Air 2, but has speed-bumped the processor to provide a 20 percent improvement over its predecessor.
[Updated with filing info for Eddy Cue] A pair of filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed that Apple CEO Tim Cook and SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue have been awarded a total of 910,000 shares of AAPL stock for differing reasons. In the case of Cook, the company's performance relative to other companies in the S&P 500 over the last two years merited the award. The combined gross value of the stock is nearly $94 million at current prices.
Fortune has published its annual Global 500 company rankings, again placing Apple at 15th place worldwide, behind mostly oil companies, two car companies, arch-rival Samsung, and the top choice Walmart. The survey, which analyses company performance from March to March for the magazine's "fiscal year" figures, pegged Apple's revenue at $182.8 billion, with profits at $39.5 billion -- up seven and six percent, respectively.
With a staggering "brand value" growth rate over the last decade of 1,446 percent, Apple was again awarded the "top global brand" for the fourth time in the last five years in the latest BrandZ brand value report by marketers Millward Brown. Google had captured the top spot away from Apple last year, but the iPhone maker's stellar sales performance over the past year saw its "brand value" rise 67 percent to $247 billion, compared to an overall brand value rise of 14 percent in 2015, and 126 percent over the last 10 years.
Unexpected strength in Mac sales along with the previously-predicted strong staying power of the iPhone 6 line has helped Apple see record-breaking performance for a fiscal second quarter this year. The company sold more than 61.17 million iPhones, about 80 percent of the number sold during the holiday quarter, which is usually followed by a drop of about 40 percent. Macs sold 4.56 million units, another record for a fiscal Q2 and up 10 percent year-over-year.
Despite the unit not being available for another couple of weeks yet, an enthusiast in Vietnam has gotten his hands on a retail version of Apple's forthcoming 12-inch MacBook and posted an "unboxing" video. Separately, new benchmarks (now removed) for the machine show that while the new model can boast performance on par with an Intel Core i7, it would be an older i7 as found in a 2011 11-inch MacBook Air.
Now AAPL Stock: 135.72 ( + 0.38 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE