Tag - Technology
Apple's in-car technology that integrates the iPhone with a built-in infotainment system, CarPlay, has been named as "best individual technology feature in a vehicle" during the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit. CarPlay won out ahead of Google's Android Auto, Ford's Sync 3, and a variety of competing systems. The technology has -- two years after its debut -- picked up a lot of support recently from slow-moving automakers, and is appearing in many model-year 2016 and 2017 vehicles.
Last month, Apple registered three car-related domain names -- apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto -- using the MarkMonitor registrar and fueling further speculation on the plans and timetable for a rumored foray into either advanced car augmentation or outright car manufacturing. While there is little firm evidence that Apple actually plans to make a car -- numerous regulatory and federal filings would be required, which the company doesn't appear to have done -- it seems likely that it is researching, and possibly working with a secret partner, on more advanced car technology beyond the existing CarPlay option.
A new report claims that Apple has bought an artificial intelligence company called Emotient, which works on technology used to read emotion through a user's facial expressions, such as for testing reactions to advertising. Apple has not confirmed the deal, but told the Wall Street Journal that the company "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." The alleged acquisition comes not long after the iPhone maker bought Perceptio and Faceshift, two firms also concerned with AI and facial expression recognition.
On Monday, Ford took itself off the list of car manufacturers that had not formalized their plans for Apple's CarPlay technology (and to a lesser extent Google's Android Auto) by announcing that all 2017 Ford models that include the company's Sync 3 platform will have them as standard. Later this year, 2016 model owners with the Sync 3 system, which is powered by BlackBerry's QNX, will be able to add CarPlay compatibility. In related news, rival Toyota will adopt Ford's SmartDeviceLink API so that app developers can write software for the company's vehicles.
If you are old enough to remember the start of Apple, it's unlikely that you do. Apple began in a garage like so many other companies and you needed to be deeply into technology or practically living in Cupertino, California to have any chance of having noticed. It would take a little while before Apple would emerge from the crowd of other startup computer firms but not only was Apple a survivor, it is the only survivor. No other computer company from 1976 is still making computers. All this year, starting today, we're going to examine this history, and how (or how not) that choices the company made then, apply today.
The technology industry is like every other business, but telescoped down: what took decades in the car trade took hours for computers. Consumer electronics are also a lot like show business, in how products must be launched and images must be produced. When things are going wrong, CEOs have to have great scripts to read from. With a bit of a holiday slow-down coming up, let us recommend some very good reading -- the best books about Apple, and the best about the technology world.
We've been checking our lists twice, chiefly because of syncing issues, and you know how it is. Christmas expands to fill the space you have and nature abhors a news vacuum so in what continues to be a quiet week, One More Thing decks some halls. Wait, is that Christmas or Thanksgiving? It's some holiday or other and we're after celebrating all of them because it's a Grade A excuse to discuss some of the finest technology around.
Apple has been granted a further patent on Femtocell technology which is typically used in network base stations that use low-power cellular connections and are designed to be operated in homes and smaller businesses. This new patent, number 9,191,839, has been issued regarding methods of configuring Femtocells and it follows an August patent regarding access to wireless signals using the technology.
There's an argument that this year is the 20th anniversary of RSS. Strictly speaking, the first technology called RSS was launched in March 1999, but it uses ideas from 1995, at least according to Wikipedia. Whether it's 16 or 20 years, though, it still hasn't caught on -- and yet I and the rest of the MacNN staff are fans who use it daily, very often hourly.
Following a guilty verdict against Apple in a case that claimed the iPhone maker incorporated technology in its A7, A8, and A8X chips covered by a patent held by the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), a Wisconsin jury has decided that Apple owes the foundation $234 million in damages for its infringement. The award is just over half the among sought by WARF, and considerably less than the $862.4 million it could have faced, but the jury disagreed with a finding of willful infringement.
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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