Crunch Report | Apple Suing Qualcomm for $1 Billion

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Apple is suing Qualcomm for $1 billion, the hit app Meitu may be collecting too much data, removes LGBT, climate change and more and Kristen Stewart appeared as a co-author on an AI paper. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

January 21st 2017 apple, News, Technology

Apple files a billion-dollar royalty suit against Qualcomm

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iphone-4s What started as a rough week for Qualcomm just got worse. Apple is piling onto the lawsuit train just ahead of the weekend, following in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s footsteps with a roughly billion-dollar suit against the San Diego-based mobile chipmaker.
Apple was specifically named in the recent FTC filing, which accused Qualcomm of engaging in an anti-competitive “no… Read More

January 21st 2017 apple, iphone

Apple’s first AirPods ad reminds me of the iPod ads

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60_still_1920_1080 Ever since the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch took the spotlight, most of Apple ads have been focused on those devices. So it’s always nice to see the company try new things for less important devices, such as the AirPods. With today’s new ad, Apple is going back in time to the good old days of the iPod. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I instantly thought about the… Read More

January 15th 2017 apple

Apple is already winning the wireless headphones market with AirPods

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AirPods Despite delays, Apple’s AirPods had a great holiday season according to a new report on wireless headphone online spending over the past several weeks. The report from Slice Intelligence–which collects its data from hundreds of millions of anonymized e-receipts–found that the $159 AirPods have accounted for more than a quarter of all online wireless headphones… Read More

January 12th 2017 apple

Celebrate the iPhone’s 10th birthday by watching the gleeful original announcement

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gettyimages-94616602 The iPhone turns 10 today, at least if you start counting from the day it was announced. So why not take a few minutes to relive that day, with all its excitement and the palpable pride taken by Steve Jobs in both the product and presentation? Come on, you know you want to. Read More

January 10th 2017 apple, iphone, Mobile

Apple App Store Growing Fast, Paid $20 Billion to App Developers in 2016

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The Apple App Store has paid out over $20 billion to developers in 2016, which is an increase of over 40% over 2015, according to Apple. They also said that January 1, 2017 had the highest dollar volume of app purchases of any single day in the Apple App Store’s history, with over $240 million in sales. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion.

“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created — which together with our products — help to truly enrich people’s lives.”

Apple also noted that December 2016 was an amazing month for App purchases, hitting over $3 billion in sales.

Subscription billings, which became available just this Fall in all categories, are one of the fastest growing segments of app sales. There are over 20,000 apps that can be subscribed to for a monthly fee including popular services such as Netflix, HBO Now, Line, Tinder and At Bat. Subscription based apps generated $2.7 billion in billings in 2016, up 74% over 2015.

Apple also recently announced a Best of 2016 Music list:

The post Apple App Store Growing Fast, Paid $20 Billion to App Developers in 2016 appeared first on WebProNews.

January 6th 2017 apple

Apple’s Search Ads Are Generating Conversion Rates Higher Than 50%

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After entering the app-install space in the fall, Apple says that 50 percent of consumers who click on ads they see in the App Store go a step further and download the app.

Similar to how brands buy app-install ads through Facebook, Twitter, Google or mobile ad networks, marketers buy Apple's so-called Search Ads by bidding on keywords that place ads at the top of App Store searches. However, unlike other types of app-install ads, Apple's format prioritizes ads based on an app's category like games, travel or entertainment. Domino's, and Amazon are a handful of brands that have purchased Search Ads to drive awareness and downloads of their mobile apps since Apple launched the format in October.

According to Apple, Search Ads average a cost per tap of 50 cents for both small and big developers. When looking specifically at small developers that typically have less money to acquire mobile users than big brands like Uber or, the average cost per tap drops to 25 cents.

Apple claims that more than 50 percent of people who tap on a Search Ad then download the app, meaning the average cost per install of a Search Ad is $1. Those prices, according to industry standards and reports, can average out to be nearly one-fifth cheaper than other types of app-install ads, per Apple. In December, mobile analytics company Singular told Adweek that the average cost per install for Apple Search Ads was $1.31, while app-install ads on social platforms averaged $5.84, and display ads cost $2.99.

In terms of the types of brands that have been the biggest spenders on Search Ads, Apple says gaming, travel, entertainment and travel are among the top categories.

Apple sells Search Ads via a self-service platform where brands and developers set up their own campaigns. Per Apple, most advertisers use a tool within the platform called search match in which the tech company picks the best keywords for brands to buy their ads against. Advertisers can also plug an API into Apple's platform to buy their own keyword-based campaigns.

January 6th 2017 apple, Technology

Fitbit gets another holiday bump and much-needed breathing room

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Fitbit Flex 2 The holidays have come and gone and — as usual — Fitbit got a bit of a lifeline. Once again, everyone is buying Fitbits for gifts. We won’t know exactly how many, but if you just take a quick look at the download charts, Fitbit hit the top of the App Store (even in the presence of the gargantuan promotions of Super Mario Run). In fact, it looks like it’s a pretty… Read More

December 28th 2016 apple, Mobile

The Apple Watch rolls out a new challenge for the New Year

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img_2140 Making excuses for breaking New Year’s resolutions used to be a hell of a lot simpler. Now that we’ve got social media for every life choice and are wearing our fitness levels on our wrists, there’s really no reason not to keep up. Which isn’t to say, of course, that we all couldn’t use an extra jolt. Read More

December 28th 2016 apple

Apple Publishes First AI Research Paper on Using Adversarial Training to Improve Realism of Synthetic Imagery

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Earlier this month Apple pledged to start publicly releasing its research on artificial intelligence. During the holiday week, Apple has released its first AI research paper detailing how its engineers and computer scientists used adversarial training to improve the typically poor quality of synthetic, computer game style images, which are frequently used to help machines learn.

The paper’s authors are Ashish Shrivastava, a researcher in deep learning, Tomas Pfister, another deep learning scientist at Apple, Wenda Wang, Apple R&D engineer, Russ Webb, a Senior Research Engineer, Oncel Tuzel, Machine Learning Researcher and Joshua Susskind, who co-founded Emotient in 2012 and is a deep learning scientist.


The team describes their work on improving synthetic images to improve overall machine learning:

With recent progress in graphics, it has become more tractable to train models on synthetic images, potentially avoiding the need for expensive annotations. However, learning from synthetic images may not achieve the desired performance due to a gap between synthetic and real image distributions. To reduce this gap, we propose Simulated+Unsupervised (S+U) learning, where the task is to learn a model to improve the realism of a simulator’s output using unlabeled real data, while preserving the annotation information from the simulator.

We developed a method for S+U learning that uses an adversarial network similar to Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), but with synthetic images as inputs instead of random vectors. We make several key modifications to the standard GAN algorithm to preserve annotations, avoid artifacts and stabilize training: (i) a ‘self-regularization’ term, (ii) a local adversarial loss, and (iii) updating the discriminator using a history of refined images. We show that this enables generation of highly realistic images, which we demonstrate both qualitatively and with a user study.

We quantitatively evaluate the generated images by training models for gaze estimation and hand pose estimation. We show a significant improvement over using synthetic images, and achieve state-of-the-art results on the MPIIGaze dataset without any labeled real data.

Conclusions and Future Work

“We have proposed Simulated+Unsupervised learning to refine a simulator’s output with unlabeled real data,” says the Apple AI Scientists. “S+U learning adds realism to the simulator and preserves the global structure and the annotations of the synthetic images. We described SimGAN, our method for S+U learning, that uses an adversarial network and demonstrated state-of-the-art results without any labeled real data.”

They added, “In future, we intend to explore modeling the noise distribution to generate more than one refined image for each synthetic image, and investigate refining videos rather than single images.”

View the research paper (PDF).

The post Apple Publishes First AI Research Paper on Using Adversarial Training to Improve Realism of Synthetic Imagery appeared first on WebProNews.

December 28th 2016 apple, Technology