Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Windows 'open' for Apple and Android

Microsoft is keen to sell its mobile devices
Microsoft is releasing software tools that make it easier to run popular Apple and Android apps on Windows mobile devices.
By changing a "few percent", Apple app makers should be able to run code on Windows 10 mobile devices, it said.
And many Android apps should run with no changes.
Experts said the move was an "imperfect solution" to Microsoft's problems persuading people to use Windows mobile.
Popular vote
For iOS, Microsoft has unveiled an initiative called Project Islandwood, which has led to the creation of a software interpreter that works with the development tools Apple coders typically pick.
By piping code through this interpreter and changing a few other parts, it would be possible to transfer or port iOS apps to Windows 10, Microsoft said in a presentation at its Build developer conference in Seattle.
Already developers working for game-maker King have ported the massively popular Candy Crush Saga to Windows using these tools.
A separate initiative, called Project Astoria, is aimed at Android and involves code built in to Windows itself that spots when an Android app is running and gives it the responses it expects.
Microsoft said this meant many Android apps would run with no changes on Windows mobile devices.
However, the way that Android is built means changes will have to be made to some apps.
The tactic is seen as a way for Microsoft to to boost its popularity and persuade developers to include Windows 10 in their plans.
While many apps are already available on the Windows store, some popular ones, such as Pinterest and Plants v Zombies 2, are absent.
Microsoft has also added tools that let Android apps reach some parts of Windows, such as its Cortana personal assistant, they would not otherwise be able to use.
CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber said: "The decision to embrace Android and iOS applications is an imperfect solution to an undesirable problem.
"Nonetheless, it's a necessary move to attract developers otherwise lost to Apple and Google."

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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review

When Apple released the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display last June, it started at US$2,200. When the 13-inch model arrived last October, it rang up at only $1,800. Progress, I suppose – but still a pretty penny. Now, however, Apple has dropped the prices on all Retina MBPs, and the entry level is now $1,500. With its more affordable price tag, perhaps you’re eyeing its gorgeous 2,560 x 1,600 screen. Is it worth it? Read on, as we review the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
For this review, we handled the entry-level (128 GB, 2.5 GHz) model. Apple recently upgraded the 256 GB model with a slightly-faster 2.6 GHz chip, but otherwise the two machines are identical.

Hardware and design

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display runs Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
In terms of size and weight, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display (rMBP) splits the difference between the (still on the market) non-Retina MacBook Pro (MBP) and the svelte MacBook Air.
The Retina MBP is over 20 percent thinner and 21 percent lighter than the non-Retina MBP. On the other hand, it’s 21 percent heavier and 10 percent thicker than the MacBook Air. It’s really more than 10 percent thicker than the Air, but we’re comparing the uniformly-thick Retina Pro to the tapered Air's thickest point.
The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (top) is thicker than the 13-inch MacBook Air (bottom) - bu...
The 13-inch rMBP feels great in hand, and comfortable on the lap. If you’re accustomed to using a MacBook Air, you’ll notice a difference. A bit heavier, but closer than you might expect.
Its secret is that – like the MacBook Air – it loses the old optical drive, and adds a speedy solid-state drive (SSD). So if you aren’t ready to bail on CDs and DVDs just yet, you’ll want to avoid the rMBP for now (or invest in an external DVD drive).
The Retina Pro’s design is mostly familiar. It looks a lot like a thinner version of the (non-Retina) MacBook Pro. That, however, is a good thing: same responsive (backlit) keyboard, multitouch glass trackpad, and unibody aluminum build.
The rMBP's design isn't a radical departure from previous MacBooks
One subtle difference is a thinner black bezel surrounding the screen. In fact, the laptop’s entire surface is slightly smaller than both the Air and its Pro predecessor. Shedding some excess millimeters around the keyboard and trackpad gives it a more focused appearance – and a smaller footprint in a backpack.
On its sides, the rMPB has two USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, and an SDXC card slot. The computer charges with a MagSafe 2 port, which uses the new T-shaped connector (the older L-shaped chargers require an adapter).


This is the difference between the Retina MacBook Pro's 2560 x 1600 display and the MacBoo...
So, great: it looks like a thinner MacBook Pro without an optical drive. But what about that Retina Display? That’s what you came for. All 4,096,000 pixels of it.
It doesn’t disappoint. Though the Retina MacBook Pro has fewer pixels-per-inch than the 3rd and 4th generation iPads, it doesn’t show. In fact, it looks noticeably sharper than the iPad. This is because a laptop’s screen typically sits about 8-10 inches farther away from your eyes than a tablet’s does. The rMBP’s perceived sharpness is, right now, about as good as it gets.
On the Retina MacBook Pro, high-res photos reveal levels of detail you aren’t accustomed to seeing. Text is razor-sharp, allowing more sophisticated fonts to pop in ways that they can’t on other displays. Colors are vivid, and appear accurate under default settings.
The magnified section is the exact level of detail you'd see in this screen
There is one downside. Software that hasn’t been optimized for Retina Displays doesn’t look so hot. The Mac App Store’s Twitter app is a great example: it looks like garbage, with fuzzy text and pixelated images. Fortunately, most other prominent apps have shifted to Retina graphics.
Make no mistake. For all of the rMBP’s great qualities – its thinner, more compact build; its high-end performance; its great battery life – the Retina Display is the reason to buy it.


Apple's excellent keyboard hasn't changed from previous MacBooks
Performance-wise, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display offers similar results to its non-Retina cousin – with the added benefit of a zippy SSD.
On a technical level, the entry-level rMBP rocks a dual core 2.5 GHz (with Turbo boost to 3.1 GHz) Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.
... and on an experience level? Most apps open instantly (a bounce or two in the dock at most). Processor-intensive tasks like high-res content-aware fill in Photoshop complete in a few seconds. All but the very heaviest power users will find plenty of punch here.
If you need more power, the updated 256 GB 13-inch Retina MBP (with 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5) is about 3 percent faster than this entry-level model. Apple also offers built-to-order models with a 3 GHz Intel Core i7 for the most extreme power-hungry users.

Battery life

Our mixed-use battery test yielded six and a half hours of uptime
Apple estimates that the Retina MacBook Pro’s battery will provide “up to seven hours of wireless web” use. Does it live up to the company’s promises?
My highly-unscientific testing conditions included web browsing, writing, reading, and Photoshopping high-resolution images. Brightness ranged between 50 percent and 75 percent.
Under this hodge-podge of light and heavy conditions, the rMBP lasted six and a half hours.
My use was – on average – a bit more intense than Apple’s “web use” estimate, so I’d say the seven-hour claim for web use is sound ... and perhaps even slightly understated.


The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is slightly more compact than other MacBooks
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display hasn’t quite dipped into the consumer laptop price range. The MacBook Air’s flag is still firmly planted in that territory.
But it is inching closer. For $300 more than the 13-inch Air, the entry-level rMBP gives you better performance, the same outstanding battery life, and – oh, yes – that utterly breathtaking display. The tradeoff is some extra weight and a slightly thicker build.
Someday soon, more affordable MacBooks (and other laptops) will sport similar displays. One rumor even suggests that the MacBook Air will join that club later this year. If you can wait a year or two, you’ll get a similar machine for cheaper. But that will always be the case with any tech product.
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is still a bit too expensive to recommend for everyone. But if your needs lean a little toward power use – and you appreciate a cutting-edge display – then you may find it to be worth an extra $300 over a MacBook Air (or an extra $400 over the non-Retina MacBook Pro). If nothing else, your eyeballs will love you for it.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Has Apple finally found a way to crack the Indian market?

FORTUNE -- Two data points from the subcontinent, where Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales have been notoriously slow to take off.382018078647
  • At Asymconf: California last week, Paul Brody, IBM (IBM) vice president for electronic global business services, told attendees that he had just come back from India where mobile carriers are activating iPhones at the rate of 2,000 per day.
  • The Times of India reported Friday that sales of Apple devices -- especially iPhones -- have increased three or four fold in the past three months.
"Apple is doing what it did in China three or four years ago," Jayanth Kolla, founder of the research firm Convergence Catalyst, told theTimes. "They studied the market, learned consumer needs and suddenly went aggressive. From having about 30 people here six months ago, Apple India is now about 150-people strong."
The Times cites analysts who say Apple is pivoting away from its traditional reliance on local carriers and has begun aggressively marketing the iPhone directly to high-end consumers.

Friday, 1 February 2013

iPad 5:New Screen Technology To Make iPad 5 Thinner & Lighter

Apple could use a touchscreen technology called “G/F2 (DITO) thin-film” in its next generation 9.7-inch iPad 5  according to the questionable DigiTimes.


Apple currently use the G/F2 (DITO) thin-film technology in its 7.9-inch iPad mini, and could decide to use the thin touch technology in its next full-sized iPad. The technology would help Apple cut down on the weight and thickness of the fifth generation iPad, which already carries the iPad 5 nickname.

iPad 5

Other recent rumors said Apple is looking to make the iPad 5 thinner and lighter than the fourth generation tablet, and this rumor meshes well with those. Previous rumors said Apple plans to use the same basic design as the iPad mini in the next generation iPad. That includes a thinner bezel on the sides of the device and a flatter back that comes in both black and silver.

iPad 5 vs iPad mini
If Apple does use the DITO technology for the screen, it would get the thin-film materials from Nitto in Japan, and touchscreen modules from Nissha Printing, which is also in Japan. TPK in Taiwan would handle the lamination of the parts, and the display planels would come from LG Display and Sharp.
With all five firms Apple could produce as many as five million displays each month in mass production.
For users, the new technology will mostly just result in a thinner and lighter iPad. There’s no word on any other improvements this technology provides. At 1.44 pounds the current iPad isn’t that heavy, but the size and weight do make it somewhat difficult to hold in one hand. A reduction in weight could theoretically make it easier to hold without two hands.
The iPad 5 will likely come out sometime this fall, though some rumors point to March. If Apple does go through with the redesign, it will be the first major redesign to the iPad since the iPad 2 which introduced the current designe

Friday, 25 January 2013

iPhone 6 Fingerprint Technology

Apple stock is currently in free fall (albeit from record-setting highs) amid speculation that the company is losing a little bit of its innovative edge. 
An iPhone 6 with fingerprint technology could change that.

iPhone Fingerprint

According to AppleInsider, the rumored innovation for this year or early next could come in the form of a sensor beneath the iPhone's home button.
The iPhone 6 fingerprint sensor would be "an intuitive design that could be difficult for competing Android and Windows Phone devices to copy."
The (unconfirmed) fingerprint technology would come from one of Apple's recent acquisitions, AuthenTec. The report about the development continues:
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says it would "allow iPhone users to replace usernames and passwords, allowing users to authenticate in a more efficient manner."
The fingerprint scanner "could integrate with applications such as Passbook to enhance their functionality" as well, giving Apple another key edge.
Kuo's track record has been pretty solid, as he predicted Apple's entire Fall product line last year, but for now this rumor is exactly that - a rumor.
A pretty cool one, but just a rumor just the same.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Technology for the lessable

In the past few months my father has been diagnosed with brain cancer, had two brain surgeries to remove the tumors, undergone 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy and has been sleeping a lot. His life changed very quickly from being a very capable, active, adventurous motorcycle rider who travelled all over the world, watching his investments on the stock market and restoring and rebuilding motorcycles. He was also an avid and voracious reader.

He now has problems seeing properly as the tumors were in that part of the brain which controlled vision. He also cannot recognize words and has effectively become illiterate as he can no longer read or write. He is 71 years young. 

When visiting with him over the past holidays I noticed his frustration using an old style mobile phone (along with other frustrations). He couldn't see or recognise the numbers to call, had trouble discerning the button to press to answer the call, he had difficulties holding the phone and found it difficult to end the call as he was not able to see the finish button.

I bought him an iPhone 4 to help him reduce his frustration in communication. The ease of answering the calls by swiping the surface, the included voice commands and voice over to access the phone functions has ensured he now has some independence back. The access that Apple has inbuilt into the iphone has made communication much better for him and others like him who have permanent or temporary disabilities.

He is able to tell the phone who to call or text, he is able to 'read' texts and emails when they come in and the screen is able to be magnified further if he does need to see an app to open it.

We have also purchased for him a handset (see above) which he can hold with more ease and protect his brain from further damage. He will also be able to listen to audio books when he is able to. At the moment his brain can't keep up or process the words being read on the audio book. This apparently will settle down with time.

As educators we are always trying to help our students learn through different means and to support them in whatever way we can whether it be simplified text, audio books or different apps. I am glad I have had the experience with supporting learning with students so that I could help my parents through this difficult time.

Modern technology surely has its positives in situations like this..