Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category
Critics often berate Apple for retailing its smartphones, tablets and computers, at higher price brackets than some would estimate their worth to be, and although it’s a topic of fierce debate, there’s little denying that your average Cupertino product costs a considerable amount more than a similar alternative created by a rivaling company.
The new iPhone has sold in excess of five million units hitherto, and the most recent purchase will have left many iPhone 5 owners short of a few dollars, but had they waited for London-based Gold and Co.’s special gold plated edition of the iPhone 5, they may have ended up parting with even more of their hard-earned cash.
The company is renowned for adding sheets of gold plating on some of the most sought-after gadgets on the market, and the iPhone 5 – which released on Friday – is certainly the most-wanted device on the market at this point in time. As you can see from the images, the already aesthetically-pleasing device looks stunning laden in solid 24k gold, and although we ourselves don’t have that kind of cash to splash on gold-plating, we’d have to prefer the black model, based on the images. The White & Silver model seemed to be your favorite based on the poll we threw up on Facebook over the weekend, but alongside the gold plating, the darker of the two iPhone 5 configurations certainly oozes the most sophistication.
The iPhone 5 was well-received by critics and consumers alike, with one major exception: Apple Maps, the in-house replacement for Google Maps, which had been a default app on the iPhone for years. Apple Maps, detractors argue, is a “flop,” a “debacle,” and just plain “ugly.”
One analyst summed up the problem thusly: “In the short term, Google has a better mapping application, and iPhone customers will suffer.”
But maybe not for long. According to a new report in The New York Times, Google will release a new iOS 6 maps app, perhaps within the next couple of months, and almost certainly before the end of the year. The Times sources its article to “to people involved with the effort who declined to be named because of the nature of their work”; neither Apple nor Google has offered official comment. Still, this is one rumor that we buy.
From the Times:
One reason that it will take Google some time to build the iPhone app: it expected the app with Google’s maps to remain on the iPhone for some time, based on the contract between the two companies, and was caught off guard when Apple decided to build a new application to replace the old one… There are several complicating factors to Google’s development of the app. Google’s contract with Apple to keep the maps app on the iPhone had more time remaining, and Google did not know that Apple had changed its mind until Apple said publicly in June that it would replace the app with its new maps app.
In other words, this whole thing got sprung on Google, which is now playing catch-up. That makes sense. It also stands to reason, of course, that by the time Google gets together a new mapping app for the iPhone and iPad, Apple will have corrected some of the flaws in its in-house application, including the lack of transit directions and the plethora of glitches (check out this Tumblr for a compendium).
Another thing to consider: Apple is going to have to approve any Google Maps app before it appears on any Apple product again. John Paczkowski of All Things D says that talks between Google and Apple failed because of a spat over turn-by-turn directions – and that Apple eventually decided to go with its own in-house product. Would the companies reach an agreement this time around?
Ask Eric Schmidt, the chair of Google. Speaking at an event in Tokyo this week, Schmidt said Apple would “have to approve [Google Maps]. It’s their choice.”
As the initial wave of iPhone 5 reviews hit, it looked as if Apple’s dual-core A6 processor was sporting a clock speed of around 1GHz. We saw reports ranging between 1.00 and 1.02GHz, but a new Geekbench build (v2.3.6) has today revealed a horse of a different color. According to Primate Labs’ own John Poole, the latest version of the app — which landed on the App Store today — “features a dramatically improved processor frequency detection algorithm, which consistently reports the A6′s frequency as 1.3GHz.” In speaking with us, he affirmed that “earlier versions of Geekbench had trouble determining the A6′s frequency, which lead to people claiming the A6′s frequency as 1.0GHz as it was the most common value Geekbench reported.”
When we asked if he felt that the A6 was capable of dynamically overclocking itself for more demanding tasks, he added: “I don’t believe the A6 has any form of processor boost. In our testing, we found the 1.3GHz was constant regardless of whether one core or both cores were busy.” Oh, and if anyone wants to dip their iPhone 5 in a vat of liquid nitrogen while trying to push things well over the 2GHz level, we certainly wouldn’t try to dissuade your efforts.
SOURCE via 9to5mac
Disappointed that your country or favorite carrier missed the initial cut for the iPhone 5 launch? Odds are that you’re all good now. Worldwide, 22 more countries have joined the mix as of today, including wide swaths of Europe as well as New Zealand; you’ll find the full list in the release here. Americans also don’t have to turn to the big carriers, as they can now opt for prepaid carrier Cricket in addition to a slew of extra providers that include C Spire as well as regionals like GCI and nTelos. In some cases, you’ll even snag a discount by going with one of the smaller networks.
Unbox that shiny new iPhone 5 only to find it marred with scratches and blemishes? Good news: Apple is asking Foxconn to adhere to stricter quality demands for its flagship handset. Not so great news: workers at the firm’s Zhengzhou factory are striking over the demands. According to China Labor Watch, three to four thousand workers stepped off the production line to protest the new standards, which only allow for a 0.02mm appearance defect. “It’s tough under such stringent quality requirements,” writes Sina Weibo user and Foxconn employee Yefudao. “A 0.02mm appearance defect is already beyond that of our vision. With such a demanding task, workers’ mental pressure becomes so immense that they have to vent it out.”
China Labor Watch reports that the issue stems not only from the higher quality demands, but the fact that workers are being asked to meet them without receiving the training necessary to do so. The situation hasn’t broken out into a riot, but a dispute between line workers and quality control inspectors reportedly sparked a fight that led to property damage, injury and some hospitalization. Production lines have temporarily been frozen by management while Foxconn deals with the situation.
SOURCE via China Labor Watch
It would be quite an understatement to say people were excited for the recent iPhone 5 launch. With record breaking sales and lines starting eight days before release, Apple’s latest phone is a hot commodity.
So hot, in fact, that several thieves in Japan have stolen over $100,000 worth of devices just hours before the product released to the public. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, approximately two hundred iPhone 5 devices were taken from retail stores in Osaka, Japan.
Three phone stores were hit in the early hours last Friday, with seventy-five iPhone 5s taken from two KDDI “au” brand retail stores and 116 devices stolen from a Softbank store.
Surprisingly, the robberies were anything but amateur, with the Softbank thieves stealing all 116 devices in less than four minutes. According to the report, the thieves broke into a locked back room at 4:24 a.m. and were out of the store by 4:28 a.m.
Japan wasn’t the only place to fall victim to iPhone 5 burglaries. Approximately 250 handsets were also taken from an O2 store in London. All robberies are still under investigation, but it’s unclear how or if pre-order customers are being compensated for the trouble.
SOURCE via Wall Street Journal
Say what you will about Apple products, but one thing is undeniable: The company knows a thing or two about branding. In fact, this week, the company overtook Aston Martin to become the UK’s coolest brand, as voted by 2,000 consumers and a panel of 39 experts. Tech companies make up four of the top five with YouTube coming in second behind Apple, and Twitter and Google filling fourth and fifth place.
The list was compiled by CoolBrands, which has been collecting the opinions of experts and consumers to find Britain’s coolest brands since 2001. CoolBrands’ expert council includes singers, makeup artists, rappers, and yes, even tech editors. According to the BBC, car-maker Aston Martin topped the list the last three years running, with Apple placing second in 2011 and second in 2010 and 2009 (with the ‘iPhone’ and ‘iPod’ brands, respectively).
Other tech brands represented on the list of top 20 coolest brands are BBC iPlayer, Bang & Olufsen, Sony, Bose, Skype, and Nikon. Check out the full list over on the BBC. Alternatively, you can download the PDF of 2012/13′s coolest brands from CoolBrands’ website.
Last week, just a few days prior to the official iPhone 5 release date, Apple released its iOS 6 into the wild, bringing with it a highly criticized maps application. When the company initially announced it would drop Google Maps and YouTube from iOS 6, users were concerned Apple’s replacement maps application wouldn’t compare to Google’s refined app. Unfortunately for them, their worst fears came true.
While the app does work, it is plagued with poor directions, erroneous map data, strange visual glitches and a lack of a Street View-like feature. It didn’t take long before parody twitter accounts and dedicated tumblr blogs were made to poke fun at Apple’s lackluster app. In response to the criticism, Apple told AllthingsD “We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”
Apparently, the company wasn’t lying and has been actively trying to recruit new developers for its maps application. According to multiple new job listings on Apple’s corporate page, the company is seeking several software engineers to help improve the overall maps experience. Though we’d agree building a maps application from the ground up is no easy task, it is still surprising to see Apple’s maps application launch with so many obvious flaws.
TechCrunch, citing a former Google Maps contractor, reported that the Cupertino-based tech giant is “aggressively recruiting” former Google staffers to help build out its iOS 6 mapping app, which has come under fire for being riddled with errors and omissions. Apple is reportedly going after former contract workers who helped to develop Google Maps.
Luckily for Apple, many of the ex-Googlers are reportedly excited about the opportunity to work on a new product, rather than just update a largely finished mapping solution. It also doesn’t hurt that Apple is reportedly offering generous salaries, and covering moving expenses to lure former Google Maps contract workers.
Many of those who buy iMacs and Apple-designed displays are eager to avoid clutter in the first place, which makes an organizer all the more logical for those who’d like Desk Zero almost as much as Inbox Zero. Accessory maker Twelve South’s newly available HiRise aims to clean it all up — and lift it up. The aluminum-and-steel frame elevates Apple’s modern all-in-ones and screens to any one of six points while conveniently leaving storage space that goes with the local computing decor, whether it’s to hold external hard drives or car keys. Although the HiRise is no trivial expense at $80, it’s better for propping up an iMac than an old college textbook, and arguably more useful as a whole.
SOURCE via Twelve South
Apple made much ado of the Lightning connector it launched side-by-side with the iPhone 5, but what we’ve known about it has been limited outside of the presence of an authentication chip. Double Helix Cables’ Peter Bradstock has delved deeper and tells AppleInsider that there’s some clever wiring that clinches the reversible design. While Lightning’s power supply is truly symmetrical among the contact pins, the data isn’t — which suggests a chip inside is redirecting data to keep the plug working as intended. The technique helps explain why Apple would need any elaborate circuitry in the first place. No matter the wizardry inside, Bradstock doesn’t see any cut-rate Lightning alternatives being useful in the near future: as it’s unlikely that anyone outside of Cupertino knows how the authentication works at this stage, clone cables may amount to little more than heaps of metal and plastic.
SOURCE via Apple Insider