Category Archives: Apple

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Don’t Waste Another One Of Your Workouts, Get Moov!


Welcome to the following era of wearable fitness following! The principal round of fitness trackers concentrated on acquainting the thought of information with your day by day action and workout, however another organization called Moov needs to go past essential “step” information to let you know how to enhance your structure and get the most out of your workout.

The band utilizes a combo of fittings (9-pivot sensors) and programming calculations to pinpoint your physique’s definite developments in space without the assistance of a Polaroid, letting the apparatus provide for you tips on the best way to run without putting strain on your knees, or how to lift weights with the correct structure.

It’s really shrewd. When you’re running, the Moov will give ongoing sound tips directly through your earphones about how to abbreviate or stretch your stride or accelerate. What’s more shockingly better, the application can run while your music plays, just hindering to hit you with a supportive tip.

The Moov band could be worn on diverse parts of your constitution, for instance your lower leg or wrist, contingent upon the data you’re gazing to receive in return.

Photo Source TechCrunch

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Android Surpasses IOS In Number Of Tablets Sold


After Apple discharged its original ipad in 2010, ios ruled incomparable as the top tablet working arrangement of decision. Yet, in the same way that Android cell phones have cut into iphone deals as far and wide as possible, Android tablets are discovering upward accomplishment in the worldwide business sector.

As per another report from Gartner, Android tablets saw a much bigger development in tablet deals a year ago than whatever available working framework, climbing from 53.3 million units in worldwide bargains in 2012 to 121 million in 2013.

It’s significant to note, then again, that as a solitary producer, Apple stays at the top. To place this in considerably more viewpoint, a later Chitika report refers to that Apple tablet web use in the U.s. what’s more Canada expanded respectably as of Q1 2014.

Photo Intelligent Bee

Apple Buys Burstly, Maker of TestFlight App-Test Platform


February 21, 2014 Mobile

Apple on Friday confirmed its purchase of Burstly, the maker of the popular iOS beta testing platform TestFlight.

The news was first reported by TechCrunch but confirmed by Apple in a statement to Recode.

http://readwrite.com/2014/02/21/apple-buys-testflight-maker-burstly-ios#awesm=~owEmrF9fAlYOAu

You should update your iPhones and iPads to iOS 7.0.6 for a crucial SSL security fix


By , Saturday, 22 Feb ’14 , 12:39am

Apple’s release of iOS 7.0.6 might seem like a routine update, but you’ll definitely want to install it, as it contains an important security fix that addresses a flaw with SSL encryption.

A support document about the update notes that a validation problem with Secure Transport could potentially allow attackers “with a privileged network position to capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS.” We’ve reached to Apple for more information, but in the meantime, you should assume that the issue is as serious as it sounds.

Apple also released an Apple TV update and iOS 6.1.6 today to address the same issue. You can find the iOS updates in iTunes or in the device’s settings pane. The Apple TV update can be found under Settings > General > Update Software.

Since SSL is often used to transfer sensitive data like payment information, personal details and logins, any potential compromise to the authentication process is a critical vulnerability.

iOS 7.0.6 | iOS 6.1.6

Image credit: pauliewoll / Flickr

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2014/02/22/update-ios-devices-ios-7-0-6-get-crucial-ssl-security-fix/?fromcat=all#!wOBs0

What Lego has in common with Apple


The blockbuster box office results for The Lego Movie underscore the Danish construction-toy company’s success. And it shares a key quality with Apple — one that more companies should emulate.

By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large

Original Article URL: http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2014/02/18/what-lego-has-in-common-with-apple/?utm_content=buffer7b061&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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FORTUNE — The startling success of The Lego Movie probably didn’t make you think about Apple (AAPL), but it should. In their widely different worlds, the Lego Group and Apple are succeeding in the same way, with lessons for the rest of us.

The Lego Movie is a 3-D kid flick in which the entire world is apparently made of little plastic bricks (“the greatest movie ever assembled,” as the trailer wryly puts it). The description may not make your heart beat faster, but in less than two weeks it has grossed an estimated $140 million at the U.S. box office, nearing or maybe setting a record for a film released at this time of year. Considering that the movie cost only an estimated $70 million to make, and that its global prospects are extremely strong in light of Lego’s globally popular brand, the film is a major win for both Lego and the film’s producer, Warner Brothers, which (like Fortune‘s parent company) is part of Time Warner (TWX).

So what’s the link to Apple? In one word, integration. Apple has conquered the world in large part because it’s the best company anywhere at integrating all the parts of the business into a knockout customer experience. Hardware, software, product aesthetics, online experience, even packaging — at Apple they’re all created simultaneously in ways that reinforce one another. Consultant Ram Charan, who leads the field in analyzing and understanding integration, explains, “Core decisions are made by integrating inputs from experts simultaneously and largely without the filters of the administrative managers of the experts.”

But doesn’t every company do that? Far from it. In fact, most large organizations find this kind of integration almost impossible. That’s why Sony (SNE) notoriously failed to defeat or even match Apple’s iPad, though it was a far larger company at the time. It couldn’t get the necessary divisions to work together, as then-CEO Howard Stringer later admitted. Steve Jobs made integration work at Apple, and he realized its importance. As he said, “Integration is the only way I could make perfect products.”

MORE: Can Samsung do fingerprint ID better than Apple’s iPhone 5s?

Lego is integrating. It’s building a machine that creates an extended customer experience with its brand, in multiple media and physical spaces. This isn’t old-fashioned ancillary marketing for Lego construction toys; Lego is making money at every step. Characters and products that show up in the movie may also play roles in programs that Lego creates with Cartoon Network, in video games, at six Legoland theme parks around the world, and at 11 smaller Legoland Discovery Centers.

The company fuels this network of businesses with more than its own creations. It has proven extraordinarily persuasive in getting companies that compete with one another to license their characters to Lego. The company has toy lines featuring Batman, which is owned by DC Comics, part of Time Warner; Iron Man, which is owned by Marvel, part of Walt Disney (DIS); and Yoda and other Star Wars characters, owned by LucasFilm. They all cohabit peacefully in the Lego-verse, as it’s called. The whole system grows and prospers as one organic unit.

Integrating isn’t easy because companies naturally generate siloes as they grow. Integrators tear them down, and the results are impressive. The rest of us had better figure out how to do it in our own organizations.

Apple granted patent for fitness tracking headphones


7 hours ago

2 Comments

Original Article URL: http://gigaom.com/2014/02/18/apple-granted-patent-for-fitness-tracking-headphones/

Apple health tracking headphones

photo: USPTO
Summary:The patent describes a headphone-based monitoring system that can detect metrics such as heart rate, perspiration and temperature.

Rumors of a fitness-focused iWatch from Apple have only recently reached a fever pitch, but a patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday shows the company has been interested in a way to track health and fitness since at least 2007. Spotted by AppleInsider, the patent describes a head-mounted monitoring system that can detect data such as heart rate, perspiration and temperature, and can be controlled via head movements.

In the patent, Apple details ways to incorporate this monitoring system into earbuds, headphones or headsets. Because any of those devices are worn close to your ear, an embedded activity sensor can measure fitness metrics such as heart rate. This data is then synced back to your iOS device via the headphone cord or wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Apple EarPods

Additional sensors — such as an accelerometer, gyroscope and/or motion sensor — might also be integrated, allowing the headset to recognize movement-based controls. This means you could skip songs or control volume with a simple tilt of your head, though I could also see a feature like that making for a lot of unintended musical choices.

Apple originally filed for the patent back in 2008 (after a provisional application in 2007), but it actually seems more relevant than ever today. The headset it describes reminds me a lot of the heart rate monitoring headphones that LG introduced at CES earlier this year, though it looks as if Apple’s version could detect a lot more than just heart rate.

Considering Apple first filed for the patent over five years ago, this idea likely predated the rumored iWatch and fitness focus for iOS 8. And while Apple’s trademark white earbuds may not be as ubiquitous as they once were, I could see them making a comeback if they could be used to do more than listen to music. I just hope they’ll sound better too.

7 hours ago
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Follow @alexandergcolon or @gigaom for more stories like this.

http://gigaom.com/2014/02/18/apple-granted-patent-for-fitness-tracking-headphones/

Apple releases 2014 Supplier Responsibility report, pushes against ‘conflict minerals’


By AppleInsider Staff

Original Article Published On Apple Insider: http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/02/13/apple-releases-2014-supplier-responsibility-report-pushes-against-conflict-minerals

Apple on Thursday released its latest Supplier Responsibility report covering a wide range of human and environmental issues, noting that it will be cracking down on the use of so-called “conflict minerals.”

Responsibility Report

In the annual report (PDF download), Apple’s eighth such publication, the company said it enforced its strict Supplier Code of Conduct through 451 audits, training and education.

Apple suppliers achieved an average 95 percent compliance rate with the maximum 60-hour work week, often a bone of contention for human rights groups that come down hard on Chinese labor practices. That number is up from 92 percent a year ago.

In addition to the usual maintenance and improvements, Apple will also be keeping a closer eye on where suppliers source their minerals. Apple is looking to steer clear of “conflict minerals,” or materials sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the sales of which are used to fund fighting in the region.

This new initiative will be an extension of the report that already covers workers’ rights and environmental issues relating to the manufacture of Apple products.

From the report:

The ethical sourcing of minerals is an important part of our mission to ensure safe and fair working conditions. In January 2014 we confirmed that all active, identified tantalum smelters in our supply chain were verified as conflict-free by third party auditors, and we’re pushing our suppliers of tin, tungsten, and gold just as hard to use verified sources. To heighten smelter accountability and help stakeholders follow our progress, we are releasing, for the first time, a list of the smelters andrefiners in our supply chain along with their verification status.

In an interview with Financial Times, Apple SVP of Operations Jeff Williams said that January was the first time the company was able to verify that all of the tantalum used in its devices — for capacitors and resistors — came from non-conflict zones.

While the electronics industry is responsible for over half of the world’s tantalum consumption, it is not a major player in the use of tin, tungsten and gold, meaning actions from companies like Apple will have little impact on smelters of those minerals. Apple will instead use its high-profile brand to spotlight suppliers’ smelters in a quarterly report (PDF download), noting which firms do or do not comply with “ethical sourcing guidelines.”

So far, 59 smelters were found to be compliant, while another 23 are part of the Conflict-Free Smelter Program. More work can be done, however, as the status of 104 smelters is unknown. The CFSP is an initiative of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), which counts Apple, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Sony and Dell among its members.

“We think it has the chance to make a difference,” Williams said. “The smelters are a choke point where all this flows through. If we can get as many smelters verified [as possible] through this pressure, then we have a real chance of influencing the various activities on the ground.”

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/02/13/apple-releases-2014-supplier-responsibility-report-pushes-against-conflict-minerals

I wanted to work at Apple really bad, and now not so much.


About a month ago, after years of designing in various industries, making websites for small-time clients, working at failed and debatably successful startups, and fiddling with random side projects, I had been offered an interview at Apple. I couldn’t believe it. I had just totally revamped my portfolio, and I was now actually good enough to be considered as a candidate at Apple. In my eyes, Apple is, hands down, the most highly-regarded company a designer could work for.

They set an interview date, and I started to brace myself for a bunch of gotcha questions and hard design problems that I would have to whiteboard in front of a design team. I had also assumed such a big company would take many rounds of interviews to make a final decision. I was pleasantly surprised when I only had to interview with three people for less than an hour, and the interview was pretty standard. I drove back to SF from Cupertino, and I replayed the interview in my head. It seemed like it went well, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. I didn’t want to be disappointed if they rejected me.

It turned out it did go well. I received a call the same day, and they told me I knocked it out of the park. They offered me a contract position as a mobile designer. Wow! I was so ecstatic that I had screamed when I got off the phone. My parents and family were super excited when I told them the news. I had posted the news to Facebook, and I had never gotten so many likes and congratulations on anything before. I got more likes when I announced that I got a job at Apple than when my daughter was born. People that I friended years ago and never talked to since were sending me messages. I changed my title on Twitter, and suddenly people started following me that probably never would have a week before. People were so excited for me that I decided to celebrate with drinks one night, and the turnout was amazing. It felt so great to have people want to celebrate this achievement with me.

I couldn’t sleep the on the nights leading up to my start date. I was nervous and excited. I felt like getting an offer from Apple had validated my talent as a designer. I thought about the long, unorthodox journey that lead me to Apple. I wondered, “What does this mean for my career? What will I be working on? Where will this take me? Will I ever finish the iPhone app I’ve been working on on the side?” I had so many questions.

Then I started. I immediately was uneasy about the rigid hours and long commute, but at least I could be one of those notorious tech people whizzing to and from San Francisco on a private bus with wifi (I’m especially intrigued by the bus thing because I grew up in San Francisco and have seen the cultural and economic shift that’s resulted from this tech boom and the last. Now ironically I was one of the techies who some people think is ruining the city.) I hardly (hardly meaning never) saw my daughter during the week because the hours were so inflexible. I had also taken a substantial pay cut, but I figured I was making a long-term career investment by working for such a prestigious company. On boarding was super bumpy, and they had so many passwords, accounts, and logins that it took nearly a month just for me to get on the server. There were meetings all the time which were disruptive to everyone’s productivity, but they seemed to be a necessary evil in a company that’s so large with such high-quality products. It was all a bit bothersome, but nothing that would be a big problem in the long-term I thought.

Then my immediate boss (known at Apple as a producer), who had a habit of making personal insults shrouded as jokes to anyone below him, started making direct and indirect insults to me. He started reminding me that my contract wouldn’t be renewed if I did or didn’t do certain things. He would hover over my back (literally) like a boss out of Dilbert and press me to finish some mundane design task that he felt urgently needed to be examined. He was democratic about his patronizing and rude comments, but it didn’t make me feel any better when he directed them towards my team members. I felt more like I was a teenager working at a crappy retail job than a professional working at one of the greatest tech companies in the world.

I tried to tough it out and look at the bright side of things. I was working at Apple with world-class designers on a world-class product. My coworkers had super sharp eyes for design, better than I had ever encountered before. I loved the attention to detail that Apple put into its design process. Every single pixel, screen, feature, and interaction is considered and then reconsidered. The food in the cafe was great, and I liked my new iPad Air. But the jokes, insults, and negativity from my boss started distracting me from getting work done. My coworkers that stood their ground and set boundaries seemed to end up on a shit list of sorts and were out of the inner circle of people that kissed the producer’s ass. I started to become one of those people that desperately wanted Friday evening to arrive, and I dreaded Sunday nights. Few of my friends or family wanted to hear that working at Apple actually wasn’t so great. They loved to say, “Just do it for your resume.” or “You have to be the bigger man.” or “You just started. You can’t leave yet.”

This morning I got up a bit later than usual, and I missed the one Apple bus that stops by my house. I ended up driving to work in slow traffic. I was thankful I didn’t have to drive every day. But I was still thinking that I’d rather be taking my daughter to her preschool like I did on some mornings before I started at Apple. I got into work and immediately had to go to another meeting. It went fine, and then I got back to my desk. Without so much as a hello, my boss hit me with another weird low-blow insult wrapped up nicely as a joke. I tried to ignore it and get back to work, and I realized I just couldn’t focus at all on my job. I was too caught up thinking about how I should deal with the situation. Should I put in my notice? Could I make it to the end of my contract? Could I switch to a different team? How could I find a new job if I was always stuck in Cupertino? Maybe I should bop my punk boss in his nose? No don’t do that, Jordan.

Then at lunch time I wiped the iPad data clean, put the files I had been working on neatly on the server, left all their belongings on my desk, and I got in my car and drove home. I left a message for my boss and told him he’s the worst boss I had ever encountered in my entire professional career and that I could no longer work under him no matter how good Apple might look on my resume. The third party company that contracted me is furious because I’ve jeopardized their relationship with Apple, and of course they feel that I’ve acted highly unprofessionally by walking out. I’m not really proud of myself for doing that, and I do feel terrible for destroying the long relationship I had with the recruiter who helped me land the interview. This is all an especially difficult pill to swallow because I was so excited to work for Apple. I’m not sure if this will haunt me or not, but all I know is that I wanted to work at Apple really bad, and now not so much.

*Edit. Many people have noted that I should have reached out to HR. It’s debatable if it would have helped the situation, but I didn’t feel there was anyone to turn to. It was unclear who exactly I even worked for or who I should share my grievances with. I was contracted by one company, yet paid by another contracting company, and then I worked at Apple. To this day, I never once encountered anyone from HR while at Apple, as I wasn’t technically employed by them. Also, as I stated, the coworkers who spoke out against my boss seemed to be ostracized from his inner circle. I didn’t want to be on his shit list too. Furthermore, I mistakenly believed that I should just suck it up and take it one day at a time. But I reached a breaking point and ended up leaving in a way that I did not plan on.

PS. I’m currently looking for a new design job. Please contact me if you have one that’s cool.

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Spotify’s Interface Insanity


How not to design multi-platform

I’m a huge fan of Spotify, and love their product — it’s profoundly changed the way that I consume music. I use their product across a wide range of platforms however, and I’m constantly baffled by the lack of interface consistency.

Every different platform (see the images below) uses a different menu layout, slightly different iconography and unique labels —all without making use of any platform-specific interface options (like gestures). Although I’d like to believe it has to do with the different use cases of the different platforms, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. Check it out and LMKWYT:

Spotify on the iPad — lovely start screen

Notice the layout of menu options. Playlists — which are the most important feature of the system — are buried near the bottom of the menu. And for good measure, when you first login, you get that nice, ugly, blank search screen (where the majority of the real estate isn’t devoted to search, but rather to telling us about how much of the world’s music is available). Also unique to the iPad version is a menu called “What’s New” that doesn’t exist in any other interface. At least settings is somewhere logical.

Now, take a look at the iPhone:

Spotify for iPhone: Now with Discover!

So in the iPhone version, we have a new feature called “Discover”, a new concept called “Me” (how existential), Search and Browse are together, Radio comes before Inbox and settings is not separate from the other menu options. Maddeningly, playlists are once again below search, discover and radio…as though Spotify on the iPhone isn’t about playing existing music, but rather about deep discovery.

Now, let’s look at the desktop (Mac) version’s menu:

Spotify on the Mac Desktop

Here, search is in a completely separate area, there’s a concept called follow, I can play a queue — and because it’s probably really important — one of the highest priority menu items is “(manage) devices”. For kicks in this interface, there’s a new concept of a “collection” that includes local files (even though local files are also available on every mobile device). Playlists here are conveniently shown at the bottom of the pane, “starred” is not a playlist (instead living in the collection area),and playlists are not ordered by any obvious/logical order.

Also unique to the desktop client interface, the mini player and play controls live in this left pane….not in the central area as they do on the apps.

Spotify Web Client

Answering all of my prayers, Spotify has also released a web client that runs in standard modern browsers — though it’s in beta. Although this app uses the same real estate as the downloadable client, they chose to follow the iPhone client interface…somewhat. Here, search and browse are separated again, playlists is where it “should” be (if you don’t actually care about usability) and all the social features appear to have been rolled into follow. Below this, settings is where I expect it, but the web client also appears to introduce a new set of options: my profile (the avatar), a music chat bubble and notification buttons. These options don’t exist in the top level nav of any of the other versions.

The web client is the cleanest and best-designed app, though I’m sure you’ll be as frustrated as I was when you discover that it’s not available directly by logging in at Spotify.com — you have to click a music link to actually launch it. I’m sure this feature will come in the future, but it’s just another example of the company’s current UI bipolar disorder.

Which Spotify is which? I have a lot of respect for the company, and their product is transformative. But as my quick tour of their apps illustrates, they are not approaching UI with a common vision — and I’d posit that they don’t really even understand how their users use the service (evidenced by how poorly Playlist nav is handled). A consistent experience from one platform to another would go a long way to raising usability and eliminating confusion.

And just for shits and giggles: if you are a Sonos user…have a gander at the Spotify navigation there. I know it’s under Sonos’ control, interestingly, it is the cleanest nav in my estimation. What do you think?

Spotify for Sonos — really consistent, huh?

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Apple buys back $14B worth of stock — CEO says ‘great stuff’ coming from new product categories


Apple’s stock repurchasing plan is moving ahead at full steam.

CEO Tim Cook said today that the company has bought back $14 billion worth of its own stock over the past two weeks, following an earnings report that left Wall Street cold, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Apple previously said that it plans to buy back $60 billion of its own shares over the next few years. Cook noted that, together with this latest deal, Apple has repurchased more than $40 billion worth of shares in the past year.

In its first quarter earnings report last week, Apple announced record revenues, but it sold fewer iPhones than analysts estimated. The company also projected that earnings for this quarter may decline from last year’s numbers. Apple’s stock fell around 8 percent following the report, which could explain why it was so quick to buy back more shares.

Cook reiterated that the company is exploring “new product categories,” which he describes as “really great stuff.” That’s not really a surprising response from Cook — critics are harping on the notion that Apple is no longer innovating with new devices. But on top of recent stories pointing to Apple’s new focus on health tech, his comments hint that the heavily rumored iWatch is in the works.


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