Guide to Starbucks

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Sure, this will definitely take you to the Starbucks, but if your iPhone already knows you’re going to a Starbucks, how about showing a cute and chatty barista who’s happily guiding you to the store like a human while naturally asking you what you’ll order at the Starbucks? It’d not only save your time, but you could enjoy your way there. Also, it could work without you looking at the screen if you have a set of earphones.

July 24th 2017 apple

VCs determined to replace your job keep AI’s funding surge rolling in Q2

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 These are good times for AI entrepreneurs. Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into AI and machine learning companies this year, according to Crunchbase data. That’s more than they invested in all of 2016, marking the largest recorded sum ever put into the space in a comparable period. Read More

July 16th 2017 apple, Google

Will the New iPhone Come With Facial Recognition Technology?

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There are several ways to unlock and secure your mobile phone. When it comes to the iPhone, the fingerprint scanner is one of the most popular options available. However, this method has its limitations, which is why Apple has been considering facial recognition for more than a year now.

This feature would not only be convenient but also more secure than the fingerprint scanner, possibly overshadowing it. The Apple facial scanner would be able to scan a face from a distance using a depth sensor, making it faster and safer to unlock the phone rather than using the fingerprint scanner, a pattern, or a number code.

Apple is apparently testing out frontal 3D facial scanning, retinal scanning, and depth recognition. They are also focusing on a high level of speed and comprehensive accuracy with the new technology. The aim is to give the iPhone owner the ability to unlock the device, within a few milliseconds at the most, just by glancing at it. It could even work if the phone is lying flat on a table.

The security of the face recognition feature would not only exceed that of the Touch ID sensor, but also the iris scanner found on the Samsung Galaxy S8. Upon release of the Galaxy S8, hackers were able to unlock the phone with an easy-to-execute tactic that involved holding a photo image of the iris in front of the phone’s sensor. Sensing depth, the 3D feature on the new iPhone would be able to collect more biometric data to reduce the possibility of being deceived by a photo. 

An added bonus of the new feature is that your face will not only be able to unlock your phone, but also make payments, launch apps, log into social media accounts, and much more. It is not clear if the 3D scanner will replace the Touch ID as Apple’s representatives have yet to respond to the rumor.

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July 5th 2017 apple, iphone, Technology

New Feature on Apple’s iPhone 8 Might Delay Its Release

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Apple has a history of being secretive about their products until they are launched. However, that does not stop leakers from revealing some details about them.

Followers of the mobile phone industry expect the company to release their flagship phones in September, as they do every year. But recent details have emerged indicating that the launch of the upcoming iPhone 8 could be delayed by a few months due to one of its new features.

The iPhone 8’s Touch ID sensor will supposedly be embedded into its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. This means that you could unlock your phone just by touching its screen. However, it has been reported that Apple has been having issues with this new feature.

Timothy Arcuri, an analyst at the investment firm Cowen and Co.’s writes in a newly published research note that significant technical challenges remain. He claims that the shipment of the OLED model could be delayed. This delay could take from one to two months, as the company actively tries to come up with a workable solution for its sensor.

Arcuri highlights in his research the three strategies Apple is choosing from on how to implement an embedded Touch ID:

“1) thinning the cover glass for the fingerprint area (cover glass cutout), 2) creating a pin hole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing, and 3) replacing the AuthenTec Touch ID with a “film” fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the display.”

He goes on to say that the model has an “edge-to-edge bezel-free design with no physical home button.” These predictions involve the fingerprint sensor being located on the front of the phone, which contradicts other rumors based on alleged factory renders.

“While the exact implementation is not finalized, we can now say that the fingerprint sensor is unlikely to be on the back of the phone,” said Arcuri.

It is unclear if the technical challenges Apple are facing is based solely on production output or the functionality of the Touch ID sensor itself. There were some earlier rumors claiming that Apple was experiencing extremely poor yields on some early designs for the iPhone 7’s successor.

According to CNET, Cowen and Co. has a mixed track record of predicting Apple products. However, this isn’t the first time that the delay has been reported. Last month, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that Apple may not get a handle on the production of the iPhone 8 until September, adding that “severe supply shortages may persist for a while after the new models are launched.”

Arcuri predicts that the iPhone 8 delays could stretch out over many months. Even if the new model could be unveiled and launched in September or October, it could take Apple several weeks to increase the supply to meet what is expected to be a staggering demand.

Tech analysts speculate that Apple could stock up to 90 million iPhones in the holiday quarter as opposed to the upcoming September quarter to make up for the delay. With their previous record sales for the iPhone 7, Apple could break a new sales record despite the delay.

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June 27th 2017 apple, Technology

Wireless Earbuds Links Concept

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June 25th 2017 apple, Design, ipad, iphone

Hand for Your Smartphone (Concept)

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I want a smartphone dock with a physical little hand.

It’d be nice if it could work as a real ‘stand’ and even walk!

And here’s a similar concept I thought of some time ago.

June 17th 2017 apple, Design, ipad, iphone, Technology

Apple Shares Source Code For Machine Learning Framework at WWDC 2017

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Apple’s recent WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) saw the unheralded release of Core ML, which will reportedly make it easier for developers to come up with machine learning tools across the Apple ecosystem.

The way this works is that developers need to convert their creations into an API that is compatible with the Core ML. They then have to load their programs into the Apple Xcode development before it can be installed on the iOS.

Developers can use any of the following frameworks: Keras, XGBoost, LibSVM, Caffe, and scikit-learn. To make it even easier for them to load their models, Apple is allowing them to come up with their own converter.

According to Apple, the Core ML is “a new foundational machine learning framework used across Apple products, including Siri, Camera, and QuickType.”

The company explained that this new machine learning tool would be “the foundation for domain-specific frameworks and functionality.”

One of the primary advantages of the Core ML is that it speeds up the artificial intelligence on the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and perhaps the soon-to-be-released Siri speaker. If it works the way that is billed, any AI task on the iPhone, for instance, would be six times quicker compared to the Android.

The machine learning tools supported by Apple Core ML include linear models, neural networks, and tree ensembles. The company also promised that private data by users won’t be compromised by this new endeavor. This means that developers can’t just tinker with any phone to steal private information.

Core ML also supports:

  • Foundation for Natural Language Processing
  • Vision for Image Analysis
  • Gameplay Kit

“Core ML itself builds on top of low-level primitives like Accelerate and BNNS, as well as Metal Performance Shaders,” the company added.

But Apple is reportedly not content with just releasing the Core ML. According to rumors, the company is looking to fulfill its promise of helping to build a very fast mobile platform. In fact, if the rumors are true, the company is also building a much better chip that can handle AI tasks without compromising performance.

Though Core ML seems promising, Apple is certainly not blazing the trail when it comes to machine learning. In fact, Facebook and Google have already unveiled their own machine learning frameworks to optimize the mobile user’s experience.

The new machine learning framework is still part of Apple’s Core Brand, which already includes Core Audio, Core Location, and Core Image as announced earlier.

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June 12th 2017 apple, Technology

Apple unveils Business Chat, which brings customer service and shopping into iMessage

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 Apple just unveiled Business Chat, its bid to turn iMessage into a communication platform that can compete with Facebook Messenger – and perhaps, make iMessage one of the main ways you interact with businesses. The company quietly announced the service earlier this week with an update to its developer site, but few details were available at the time. Today was the real introduction, with… Read More

June 10th 2017 apple, Mobile

Apple legalizes and taxes in-app tipping for content creators

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 Apple’s newly published update to its App Store policies officially designates voluntary tipping via virtual currency as in-app purchases that Apple taxes 30 percent. By taking tipping out of the grey area, more app developers might institute digital tip jars as an alternative way to get creators paid without having to offer ad revenue sharing. Read More

June 10th 2017 apple, Mobile

Apple’s Quarterly Report Offers No Surprises

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Apple released its quarterly reports on Tuesday, affirming most analysts’ projections on the financial status of the Cupertino-based tech giant at this point in the year.

For the first three months of 2017, the company recorded $52.9 billion in revenues, which fell just short of the estimated $53 billion predicted by analysts. Still, the windfall topped the company’s own projection of at least $51.5 billion for the same period.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus actually performed well in terms of sales, bucking the negative projection set by market analysts who believed that consumers will forego purchasing to wait for the release of the iPhone 8.

In an interview with CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that there was a “delay in purchasing behavior” concerning both iPhone 7 models as a result of “rumors and reports about future products.”  

“However, if you look at iPhone outside of greater China, iPhone units grew very nicely,” Cook said. “We had more upgraders in the first half than ever before.”

Apple has been secretive about the release of the iPhone 8. In fact, the company even refrained from naming its new mobile phone model. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop people from speculating that the new product is going to be released in September 2017, and that it would feature ultra-thin bezels, a bigger OLED display, and TouchID.

Meanwhile, Apple’s quarterly report also brought good news to shareholders and investors as they can expect a return of capital to the tune of $50 billion, which was already approved for release by the company’s Board of Directors. According to the plan, Apple would have released $300 billion under the expanded program of returned capital by the end of March 2019.

Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said they have already returned $10 billion to their investors for this quarter, on top of the $50 billion that will be distributed soon. Since the capital return program was implemented five years ago, the company already gave back more than $211 billion to investors and shareholders.

In addition, Apple’s Board of Directors has given the go signal for the proposed 10.5% increase in dividends. According to a company press statement, the common stock rose to $0.63 per share for this quarter. Dividends will be paid by May 18 of this year to shareholders who are listed on record as of May 15.

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May 4th 2017 apple