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Hands On: DevonThink Personal 2.8.6 (OS X)

09/21, 1:17pm

Amazingly versatile tool, but think about going for the Pro version

We've looked at DevonThink Pro before, and found it so powerful as to be a bit intimidating. For the rest of September 2015, though, the slimmed-down version DevonThink Personal 2.8.6 is included in a MacUpdate bundle. If there are any other apps you like in that bundle, this is the time to buy -- and if you're as intimidated as us, the personal one may be the one to get.


Stanford ResearchKit heart health app expands internationally

08/06, 5:00pm

Stanford MyHeart Counts app adding UK, Hong Kong participants

A health study app based on Apple's ResearchKit API has now started collecting health date from outside the US for the first time. Stanford University's MyHeart Counts app has started including participants in the UK as well as Hong Kong, the first international expansion for apps created using ResearchKit, which makes it easier for medical professionals to create, deploy and recruit participants in health and medical studies.


Invisible ads slowing down iPhones, Android

07/23, 6:01pm

Phantom adverts affecting data caps, defrauding advertisers

Over 5,000 fraudulent apps currently available for iOS and Android are displaying ads users cannot see, but which are causing problems, using up cellular data, and costing advertisers around $850 million per year, says online fraud research company Forensiq in a new report. The ads are not visible on screen, yet the volume of them contributes to an overal slowing down of iPhone or Android devices while stealing data from often-limited cellular data plans.


NASA researchers developing power conserving Wi-Fi signal booster

07/23, 9:13am

Tech shifting power draw to base station has commercial, spaceflight uses

Researchers from NASA and the University of California have developed a new technology which will both boost Wi-Fi speeds, as well as cut the power necessary to transmit and receive information. The unnamed technology, aimed at the wearable market, achieved a data transfer rate of 330 megabits per second, using about 1,000 times less power than a regular Wi-Fi link.


Researchers find way to embed fingerprint reader into phone display

07/21, 11:41am

Hidden fingerprint reader could aid removal of buttons from front of smartphones

Flagship smartphones and tablets of the future may not have a visible fingerprint reader on the front of the device, if a technology from one research firm is adopted by manufacturers. Sonovation has worked out a way to bond the fingerprint sensors directly onto the underside of a smartphone's glass display, potentially allowing for a future removal of visible readers, such as the home button on more recent Touch ID-enabled iOS devices.


Briefly: Japanese R&D center, Apple diversity update

07/15, 3:09pm

Yokohama facility to focus on materials, vehicle and health markets

A recent new report on the Japanese research and development center currently under construction by Apple in Yokohama claims that the facility will mostly be devoted to working on new materials and metallurgy, as well as the automotive and health aspects of Apple's business. The company has recently made some breakthroughs in all three areas, with new metal alloys as well as health-tracking technologies in the Apple Watch, and CarPlay.


Microsoft offers grants to universities for HoloLens research

07/07, 7:25am

Up to $100,000, two HoloLens units offered to five research projects

Microsoft is attempting to prove the usefulness of its HoloLens augmented reality headset, by offering free units and cash to researchers. The Microsoft HoloLens Academic Research project will grant five academic institutions two development kits for the device as well as up to $100,000 in grants each, if researchers make a suitable proposal that aims to "better understand the role and possible applications for holographic computing in society."


Hands On: Wolfram Words 1.2 (iOS)

06/30, 7:01am

Wolfram Alpha's power focused in a dictionary

Wolfram Alpha is a website and a service that works like a search engine that thinks. Ask it questions and it doesn't just return a search result pulled from a stodgy database, it calculates the answer. Usually we use it for things like 'how many working days between now and 27 November" and usually we then go off on a rabbit hole of exploring other facts and answers. What we've perhaps never used it for is anything to do with words and now Wolfram Words 1.2 wants to correct that.


Hands On: WikiLinks 3 (iOS)

06/13, 8:36am

Read Wikipedia without getting lost down rabbit holes

You have done this and if you haven't, if you really haven't, then do this example now: look up Apple on Wikipedia and tell us you don't follow a link to another page. Then to another Wikipedia page. Then another. It's not really the curse of Wikipedia –– that's inaccurate pages –– but it is the way this service eats your time. That's what WikiLinks 3 is designed to help you with.


Hands On: Myne 1.0.1 (iOS)

06/12, 10:23am

Bionic search app for Twitter

Twitter is really all about what's happening now, yet it's become a news source -- and it's been going since 2006: it's not like all human life is there, but it's close. With so many tweets and so many users tweeting about so many things, though, it's the most wide-ranging yet also most impenetrable mine of research information. Enter Myne 1.0.1 which intends to uncover what you need.


Hands On: Transcriptions 1.1 (OS X)

05/28, 1:06pm

Makes transcribing interviews less painful

We start the day thankful. We're running this Summer Project about researching, writing and publishing books and in looking up a link for you in it, we found that one of our favorite software tools has been seriously updated. We've no clue how we missed it, but we have transcribed so many countless, countless interviews using Transcriptions that we've worn it out. Now we've found Transcriptions 1.1. So thank you for that, and we'll keep a better eye out in future.


Briefly: ResearchKit DNA apps, OpenTV sues over video patents

05/06, 9:02am

Researchers work with Apple on DNA testing app for evaluating genetic traits

A leading research and academic technology review publication has revealed that Apple is working with researchers on building DNA-testing apps using ResearchKit, the company's API for medical research software. The apps would require volunteers to submit DNA samples, helping scientists at institutions such as UC San Francisco examine the causes of premature birth by studying genetic factors, while another study will look at disease-connected genes gathered through the study.


Hands On: Split v1.0.2 (iOS)

05/02, 8:18am

Simple app tackles the problem of comparing multiple sites with ease

Switching back and forth between web pages in Safari on the iPad is a massive pain. Trying to compare any sort of information becomes tedious and frustrating, and more often than not, we find ourselves bolting to the nearest desktop or notebook computer to do our research instead. That's where Split comes in, a simple little browser that allows you to compare two webpages, side by side, at the same time.


ResearchKit now available to all medical developers, goes open-source

04/14, 1:29pm

Powerful set of tools enables researchers to attract volunteers, study larger pool of data

One of the most critically-lauded -- particularly by the public -- aspects of Apple's "Spring Forward" event last March wasn't the sleek new MacBook or even the remarkable miniaturization that enabled the Apple Watch; it was the section devoted to ResearchKit, a new SDK aimed at leveraging the sensors found in many mobile devices to help medical professionals develop apps that could further medical research into any number of diseases, conditions, or illnesses. On Tuesday, Apple released it to all developers and open-sourced it.


Hands On: Bookends 12.5.2 (OS X)

03/16, 8:20am

Powerful academic search and citation manager

Bookends is a professional research tool for finding information online, and then presenting it to you in a useful way. That means making it easy to find what you want, keep what you want, and then refer to it all correctly in your own writing. This application, designed for academics and students, has a bewildering, overwhelming rage of options, yet also a very clear and simple core search: enter what you're looking for -- from a vague overall topic to a specific page number in a book -- and choose from dozens of places to search.


Apple updates developer guidelines for medical, pay, media apps

03/12, 7:11pm

Small but meaningful changes enforce company's strong privacy, ethical outlook

On Thursday, Apple updated App Store Review guidelines to reinforce privacy, consent, and other ethical concerns regarding the implementation of apps that work with medical data (specifically ResearchKit), Apple Pay, and apps that download or stream music or video. The guidelines generally reinforce more transparency or set minimum standards, but also target apps that illegally "rip" copyrighted material from video and audio sites like Vimeo and Soundcloud.


ResearchKit cardio app brings 10,000 volunteers virtually overnight

03/11, 3:04pm

Publicity from feature spot in 'Spring Forward' event demonstrates Apple influence

On Monday, Apple devoted a portion of its "Spring Forward" event to talking about a previously-unannounced initiative called ResearchKit that will help medical researchers put together apps that improve the voluntary data collection process so vital to the field. Five example applications were also released that day, including one that sought participants in a Stanford University cardiovascular study. Today, some 10,000 new applicants have volunteered through the app.


Apple: ResearchKit, health researcher's development framework coming

03/09, 1:34pm

First five apps available today, focusing on diabetes, Parkinson's, more

As part of today's Apple "Spring Forward" event, CEO Tim Cook announced ResearchKit, a framework that enables medical researchers to more easily design the apps they're going to use for clinical studies. The first apps available target Parkinson's disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and breast cancer. The app development kit is strictly opt-in for users, and is designed to collate data from research subjects. It runs hand-in-hand with HealthKit, and will be open source for full availability to all who seek to use it.


Study suggests smartphone apps more accurate than fitness trackers

02/12, 8:19am

Research finds wider variance in step counts in wearable devices than apps

People looking to track their exercise may want to avoid spending money on fitness tracker and stick with smartphone apps, a study from the University of Pennsylvania claims. In tests, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics found that smartphone apps counting steps were more accurate than those of fitness trackers attached to the wrist.


Apple hiring medical-tech engineers for biometric research

02/06, 4:13pm

Related to company's push into health and fitness business through Apple Watch

New job listings from Apple suggest that the company is expanding its focus on health and fitness in the run-up to the April debut of the Apple Watch. In addition to its usual call for engineers with biometric experience and its recent hire of sleep and other medical experts, the new listing calls for a "Human Factors Anthropometry Engineer/Researcher," which deals with the study of human body measurements, posture, weight and other factors.


R&D at Apple increases by 42 percent, hits $1.9B

01/29, 1:00am

Increasing figure still a fraction of cost incurred by rivals

Although the iPhone now makes up some 69 percent of Apple's revenues, it will not always do so -- and thus the company is undoubtedly working on at least one product that is destined to be the successor (in terms of revenue) to the iPhone, which itself displaced the iPod as the company's top money-maker. Barely mentioned in the conference call with analysts but noted in the breakdown of expenses, Apple has significantly increased spending on research and development (R&D).


Poll: Apple best tech place to work, Cook best tech leader

01/19, 5:46pm

Worker morale highest by far at iPhone maker; HP and IBM below average

Financial analyst UBS and its research offshoot UBS Evidence Lab has polled workers at a number of major tech firms, and found Apple and its enterprise partner IBM at opposite ends of queries about the management, values, culture and business outlook for the companies. In the report, Apple was -- by a significant margin -- the leader in all categories, while IBM came in last in all categories among the seven firms surveyed, said analyst Steven Milunovich.


US Census Bureau considering move to Internet, smartphones for 2020

01/08, 10:30pm

Webcast on Friday will discuss tests to be performed this year

Every decade, the US Census Bureau conducts a study that is used to lay out Congressional districts and guide government spending on things such as infrastructure. This year, the bureau will be researching new methods it believes will be more cost effective, saving up to $5 billion by allowing citizens to fill out their census forms online, and having on-the-ground census takers use smartphones, starting with a webcast on Friday, January 9.


Facebook AI lab working on digital assistant to filter drunk photos

12/11, 8:55pm

Proposed tool would help keep photographs taken while drunk away from Facebook

Pictures of drunk people on Facebook may lessen in future, if plans revealed by the social network's AI research lab come to fruition. Lab head Yann LeCun wants to create a digital assistant for Facebook which is capable of detecting whether photographs being uploaded to the service are being done while the user is under the influence of alcohol, with the aim of preventing anything the user would find embarrassing when they are sober from being shown to visitors.


Facebook apologizes over emotion research, implements new guidelines

10/02, 5:42pm

Proposals for Facebook research to undergo more stringent reviews

Facebook has admitted fault over its handling of user-based research, a matter which erupted this summer, and is taking steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. The social network is putting in place measures that it hopes will place a greater degree of scrutiny on future research projects, at the time of proposal, and at the time of publication.


Study finds Google Glass as dangerous as smartphones when driving

09/29, 2:33pm

Researchers put 40 students in driving simulator to simulate speech-to-text distractions

In a joint study between the University of Central Florida and Air Force Research Laboratories, researcher Ben Sawyer found that drivers wearing Google Glass are just as distracted as those using smartphones to text. The study attempted to discover the level of driver distraction using Google Glass, a hands-free device that many claimed offers no or a lesser degree of distraction than other in-car devices.


Apple expanding Siri team, adding new technologies

09/09, 1:54am

Hires from VoiceSignal, Nuance talent hints at further work on in-house Siri engine

More evidence of earlier speculation that Apple was developing its own Siri engine to replace the licensed one from Nuance emerged on Monday, as a local newspaper reported that Apple is expanding its Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Siri operations with recent hires from Nuance and VoiceSignal Technologies, a company now owned by Nuance. The team would be staying in the same building, but moving to larger quarters on the upper floors -- enough for 65 workers, reports say.


Nvidia creates high-resolution screen using two low-resolution panels

07/29, 4:36pm

Cascaded display research from Nvidia could lead to cheaper virtual reality displays

High-resolution, low-cost displays for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift could become a reality sooner than first thought, if recently-revealed research from Nvidia is adopted. Researchers working for the graphics chip producer realized that stacking two lower-resolution panels on top of each other could effectively provide a similar experience to the user as looking at a higher-quality display.


OkCupid defends Facebook, admits to running its own experiments

07/28, 5:47pm

Dating site owns up to experiments, claims that's just 'how websites work'

Dating site OkCupid took to its blog today in a small defense of the outrage over Facebook's study involving manipulation of users' emotional states through data on its news feed for "psychological research." In a post titled "We Experiment on Human Beings," the dating company proceeded to make light of the data situations, while owning up to several of its own experiments.


Hackers gain access to Nest, develop tool to stop data reporting

07/16, 9:38pm

Nest is essentially jailbroken, uses a custom tool to end reporting back to company

A group of researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) discovered a way to root the Nest thermostat in the process of finding a way to hack the device to steal data and install malware. Led by engineering professor Yier Jin, the team used physical access to accomplish the hack even though it is built with security in mind. During the hacking discovery, the team came up with a way to stop the device from reporting data back to Google (or Nest).


IBM to invest $3 billion into research for new computer chips

07/10, 5:13pm

Five year investment in research to look at 'seven nanometer technology and beyond'

IBM announced today that it is re-committing itself to the computer landscape, as the company intends to spend $3 billion on research into future chip technologies. Over the next five years, Big Blue will invest in two "broad research and early stage development programs" in search of an innovation in the field. The shift in strategy comes at a time when the company was rumored to be selling off its chip manufacturing business.


DARPA funds research into social media influence over public

07/09, 7:19am

Social media usage examined in government-funded research

The US military has been analyzing the use and influence of social networks and social media, according to a report. Research funded by DARPA under the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program was conducted with the ultimate aim of developing tools to help "counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information."


UK data watchdog may investigate Facebook over emotion research

07/02, 3:49pm

Information Commissioner checks if Facebook research broke UK data laws

The fallout from Facebook's experiment with its users continues, with a UK government agency planning to investigate. The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the body that deals with data protection laws in the country, will be looking to see if the social network broke any laws during its testing of emotional manipulation in 2012.


Facebook emotional paper researcher explains study importance

07/01, 6:58pm

Coauthor says benefits of research may not have been worth the backlash

Adam Kramer, co-author of the paper involving Facebook news feed manipulation, took to the social media service to explain the importance of the study earlier this week. Since news of the psychological study hit the Internet, many have wondered about the ethical implications of emotional manipulation by the company. Kramer indicated that the researchers didn't clearly state their motivations in the paper, leading to a misinterpretation of how the study was perceived.


Facebook toys with the emotions of users in the name of science

06/29, 2:30pm

Psychological study in 2012 altered users' news feeds for positive or negative mental states

In a study to see if emotional states could be transferred to others online, Facebook conducted a psychological experiment in January 2012 with its users as guinea pigs. According a research paper published this month, feeds from over 689,000 English-language accounts were altered for either positive or negative states for one week to see if there was an impact on mental states.


BackBlaze report claims temperature does not affect drive failures

05/12, 3:52pm

Research on 34,000 hard disks finds no correlation between failure and temperature

The operating temperature of a hard drive does not directly affect the failure rate, according to research by backup cloud service BackBlaze. After analyzing over 34,000 drives, the company found there to be no overall correlation between failure and temperature when looking at the data as a whole, but some drives were found to be affected by heat.


Microsoft Research creates Type-Hover-Swipe gesture-sensing keyboard

04/30, 7:31am

Infrared proximity sensor array detects fingers in Microsoft keyboard prototype

Microsoft Research has demonstrated a prototype keyboard that can be used to recognize gestures. The Type-Hover-Swipe keyboard is able to detect fingers and entire hands hovering just above the keys, allowing users to perform various maneuvers typically used on a touchscreen or a tablet but without having to make their hands travel far from the home position.


Study claims Moto G drastically increased Motorola market share in UK

03/31, 12:41pm

UK Sales of Moto G raised Motorola share from 'almost nothing' to 6 percent within 6 months

Motorola is seeing some success in the United Kingdom after the brand all but died in the country, according to a research firm. The latest Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report states that the Moto G helped Motorola reach a market share of 6 percent in the UK for the quarter ending in February, rising up from "almost nothing" in a six-month period.


Facebook's DeepFace facial software nears human levels of accuracy

03/22, 3:35pm

Research outlines strides in facial recognition through deep learning

Facebook has revealed in a research paper that it has discovered a way to match faces from two different photographs with 97.25 percent accuracy. The research has aided in the development of a software project called DeepFace, which only slightly trails the facial recognition measured average of a human by only 0.28 percent.


Briefly: VirusBarrier blocks OSX/Crisis.B., MeteoEarth for Mac

01/09, 10:06am

Trojan horse Flashback botnet returns, Intego VirusBarrier includes protection

The Flashback botnet -- a malware attack which first appeared in 2011 -- has been noted as being still a threat in 2014, according to Intego. Beginning January 2, Intego studied command and control domains, and its sinkhole servers recorded all connections from Macs where Flashback is still active, trying to contact the command and control servers. This research, as of Tuesday, counted 14,248 unique identifiers of Flashback variants.


Briefly: Google Glass tethering change, Disney touch-based audio

09/16, 10:36am

Google updates Glass Explorer Edition, app to avoid tethering charges

Google has updated the Explorer Edition of Google Glass, allowing users to avoid tethering fees on their carrier's data plans. The XE9 firmware, discovered by user Nick Starr, appears to allow the headwear to send and receive data via its companion app on a smartphone, with Engadget reporting that it is bypassing the phones Bluetooth tethering settings.


Gartner: quarterly smartphone sales beat feature phones for first time

08/14, 12:27pm

Android 79 percent of smartphone market, iOS 14.2-percent share

Research by Gartner suggests that sales of smartphones have exceeded those of feature phones for the first time. While global smartphone sales have increased by 3.6 to 435 million in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to Gartner's own figures, smartphones make up 225 million of the total, a year-on-year increase of 46.5 percent, with feature phones seeing a 21-percent year-on-year decline to 210 million units.


Samsung to invest $4.5B in five new South Korean research centers

07/04, 7:33am

One Samsung design center will accommodate 10,000 employees

Samsung is preparing to invest in five research and development centers in its native South Korea, say company officials. The investment, in the region of 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) will cover the creation and operation of the new centers in the country over the next three years, in its efforts to create new products and technologies.


Social researcher claims Apple no longer 'hot' to Gen-Y buyers

05/22, 1:00pm

Says company must create game-changing products more often

In a article that could have been written by Samsung's advertising department, the Sydney Morning Herald has published an article detailing claims from "social researcher" Michael McQueen, who tracks the ever-shifting tastes of the group he calls "Gen-Y" (meaning people who reached their teenage years after 2001). In it, he says that despite wide evidence to the contrary, Apple is "losing its cool" with youth.


One in ten notebooks shipped with a touchscreen, claims Displaybank

05/21, 7:04am

Research firm sees 51.8-percent rise in touchscreen-enabled notebook shipments

Almost one in ten notebook computers shipped in the first quarter of 2013 have touchscreens, according to a market research firm's report. It is claimed by Displaybank that 4.57 million of the notebooks used the displays out of a total shipment figure of 46 million, a rise of 51.8 percent compared to the previous quarter.


Teen's supercapacitor tech promises to charge phones in 20 seconds

05/20, 3:47pm

Capacitors supports 10k recharge cycles

An 18-year-old student, Eesha Khare, has reportedly developed a new form of energy storage, referred to as a supercapacitor, that promises to recharge a cellphone in 20 to 30 seconds. The research project landed Khare a $50,000 scholarship and an Intel Foundation Young Scientists Award at the Intel-sponsored International Science and Engineering Fair, along with a $5,000 "best of category" award and another $3,000 prize in the chemistry division.


Canalys: Apple losing 'shipment' share in global mobile market

05/09, 11:30pm

Survey includes notebooks, tablets, phones, excludes actual sales

In its latest report, industry research firm Canalys is reporting on what it calls "worldwide smart mobile device shipments" for the first quarter of the year -- a term that includes smartphones, notebooks and tablets. Of the 308.7 million devices that fall under one of those categories that shipping in Q1, around 60 percent were said to be Android devices, reflecting the platform's strength in smartphones -- the fastest-growing area of mobile electronics. Apple's iOS placed second again, despite a dominant presence in tablets.


IDC releases tablet 'shipment share,' claims Android topping Apple

05/02, 1:00am

Apple still tops all usage studies, suggesting stronger actual sales

Research firm IDC has posted the results of a questionable study on tablet "market share" that makes the claim -- not supported by sales evidence -- that Android has outgunned Apple in the tablet market, with 56.5 percent share in the first calendar quarter of the year, leaving Apple with barely 40 percent. The study also claims that Asus, not Amazon, is the third-largest tablet vendor with 5.5 percent of the market, having seen 350 percent growth year-over-year. The numbers seem unbelievable -- until one notices that IDC is estimating shipments, not sales.


DARPA research aims to create sub-$3,000 robotic hands

04/01, 12:41pm

Released video shows robot capable of changing wheel, using tools

DARPA has demonstrated the results of its research into creating low-cost robotic hands. A clip released by the agency shows a robotic torso using an ordinary electric screwdriver to remove the screws mounting a wheel to a frame, before removing the wheel and attempting to re-mount a second wheel in its place.


Sony, InterDigital to work on Machine-to-Machine research

01/03, 12:34pm

Agreement follows more ITC complaints from InterDigital

Sony has formed a new company with InterDigital, which will work on wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and bandwidth management systems. It has also been revealed that Sony has signed up for a patent license from InterDigitial for its 3G and 4G devices, and comes shortly after InterDigital filed ITC complaints with a number of other manufacturers.



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