Good keynote from Brad Anderson: Cloud Optimize Your Business with Microsoft Management Solutions
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Analyst Shaw Wu expects “vintage conservative” guidance from Apple ahead of their quarterly earnings report this Thursday. While he still expects Apple to have a big holiday quarter, he believes that Apple will partially absorb quality control costs associated with the iPhone 5.
Beyond the iPhone 5, Wu believes that Apple’s margins will also be pushed lower by the anticipated launch of a smaller 7.85-inch iPad. He expects Apple will sell its so-called “iPad mini” at lower margins than the full-size iPad, at least initially, allowing the company to achieve a lower price point and take on competitors like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7
Wu expects Apple to sell 25-26 million iPhones, 16.5 million iPads, and 4.8 million Macs. Wu believes Apple’s near-term gross margins will be between 40.5 percent and 41.5 percent, slightly lower than Wallstreet’s estimate.
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The much rumored iPad mini will be produced in Brazil; although, testing to collect data for the cutting machine has already been done in China, reports Macotakara.
Citing a ‘reliable source’ the production phase for the new iPad will begin in September and the tablet will ship in time for the holidays. The iPad mini appears to have a 3G model; however, their sources says not all carriers are found in the list of resellers.
This source, who seems to look a prototype, told that new tablet (iPad mini?) had same height with Nexus 7 and slight larger width. Even though front projection size is larger than rivals, thickness of that new tablet is considered to be thinner than current most thinnest tablet Kindle Fire, and to be similar with iPod touch (4th generation) by this source.
Both the WSJ and Bloomberg have also reported that Apple intends to launch an iPad mini this year.
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OnLive streams apps to tablets rather than running them locally
You can’t own a tablet for more than a month without thinking that it’s secretly a fully-functioning computer that was crippled at the factory just so you wouldn’t replace your laptop with it. Now OnLive has more or less proved that point, by rolling out an app that allows you to “run” windows on your iPad.
But you’re not actually running Windows on the iPad, just streaming a continuous video feed of Windows directly to your iPad. So you have to be on a reasonably fast connection (wifi, not 3G) for it to work. Windows and its apps run in “the cloud,” or in this case OnLive’s remote servers.
All kidding about the advisability of running Windows on an iPad aside, this is an interesting application of a much larger trend: offloading some, or in this case nearly all, of the processing for an application into the cloud. For example, processor-intensive tasks like face recognition are better accomplished by remote servers, and everything from location services like Skyhook to your cell phone’s email client represent a series of trade-offs between server and client side processing. AJAX, Web 2.0, etc. are also part of this trend of re-balancing which parts of the application are best chewed through locally or somewhere else.
Some folks have even turned this paradigm on its head, running “the cloud” on cell phones instead of servers.
At any rate, OnLive’s Windows-on-any-device cloud strategy could point the way to a future of (very) “thin clients” that can access any amount of computing power anywhere at any time, and contain just enough processor power to run a display and accept inputs. Or at least that’s the future this would point to in a world of unlimited bandwidth. As long as cell data service remains capped and people want to take their devices on airplanes, however, I imagine most of us will want to keep our apps client-side.
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We brought you the information at the beginning of the new year that Apple were planning on holding a small scale event in New York, stepping away from their usual event home within San Francisco. At the time of writing there wasn’t a great deal of information available about the specifics of the event, other than it was rumored that Eddy Cue, the companies Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services would likely be in attendance.
We have moved seven days closer to the event, and Jim Dalrymple from The Loop is reporting that invitations from Apple have started to make their way to select media outlets for the event on January 19th. The invitation itself follows the familiar pattern of being visually simplistic and not giving away any specifics other than confirming the date and that it will be based around an educational announcement.
Now that the event data and topic has been confirmed, the speculation can begin about the actual specifics of the event and the nature of the announcement. In December of 2011, the Michigan Institute of Education (MIT) announced the launch of an online learning initiative which will offer a select portfolio of MIT courses through a web based platform. With the Cupertino companies long standing relationship with the learning establishment people are already talking about some form of partnership in the program which has been called MITx.
When news of the event in New York was first broken, it was thought that it could be related to the iBooks store and application which users can download free of charge onto iOS devices. The iBooks Store is one of the media units that comes under the remit of Eddy Cue, and with this being an educational announcement we could see learning text books being made available on iBooks.
The company has made no secret about the fact they believe their iPad could play an increasingly important role in the future of education. During numerous keynote speeches, the educational adoption of the tablet device has been brought up, along with various video presentations of the iPad being used in a learning environment. It seems as though January 19th could provide some insight into future plans to make the iPad an important learning tool
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The photos application that comes as stock on Apple iOS devices is probably one of my favorite apps on my iPhone and iPad. I know, it seems like a bizarre statement to make considering the amount of amazingly innovative and beautiful applications that exist amongst the 543,000 on the App Store. However, the simple nature of Photos App, mixed with its functionality and deep integration into the operating system has made me fall in love with it.
But, as we all know, falling in love is easy, it is human nature after all, but the difficult part is remaining in love. I am now onto my fourth iPhone and second iPad and there is a consistent, niggling little gripe that I have with the Photos App that could have produced a ripple in our otherwise perfect relationship. I am far from being an accomplished photographer, but I do love taking photographs. Whether it is a shot of a loved one (usually my dog), or a quick snap of a shop window when I am out and about, my Photos App is full of a random collection of images. Imagine my distress when I was out of the country, trying to email some photographs home and my beloved Photos Application let me down by refusing to allow more than five images to be selected for emailing.
Prior to this, I had never known there was a limit to how many photographs you could send to the Email App from within Photos. I guess it is one of those limitations that you never come across until you come across it, and then you are totally perplexed by its existence. iOS 4 and 5 brought some great improvements to the application, with the ability to create individual user albums from your camera roll and actually seeing a world map which shows the locations of where photographs were taken thanks to a clever geotag embedded in the photograph at the time of capture.
Thankfully, Cydia has come to the rescue again with the recently released and aptly named ‘Mail More Photos’ tweak. An iOS developer known as ‘noppers’ has entered the Cydia store with an initial 1.1 release of his tweak, released onto the ModMyi repository. So often is the case in the jailbreak community, a developer comes across an issue which causes them distress and they decided to ‘fix’ it, which I like to think is the case in this instance.
The Mail More Photos tweak hooks directly into the Photos App and effectively allows an infinite number of photographs to be selected and shared via email. A very nice extra with the tweak is the real time update it performs on the navigation bar of the application when the user is selecting photographs to share. The nav bar is actually updated to show how many photographs are selected and what the total size is in terms of megabytes, which is extremely useful if you are intending to email the images to an email address with an inbox receiving limit.
Mail My Photos is available now for $0.99 on the ModMyI repository within Cydia and requires a device running iOS 4 or above.
You will obviously need to have jailbroken device to run it. For jailbreaking iOS 5 untethered, follow our complete step by step instructions posted here to jailbreak iPhone, iPad, iPod touch on iOS 5.0.1 using Redsn0w.
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New details have emerged courtesy of iLounge‘s Jeremy Horwitz, who has been tweeting fresh info of what could be in store when the third iteration of the world’s favorite tablet does finally surface which, if true, make for a very exciting prospect.
The next-gen device, which we’ll presume to be called the iPad 3, is purported to be packing much more of a punch on the camera front – bringing it up to speed with those iPhone cameras popular on sites such as Flickr. The iPad 2 arrived in a blaze of glory last March, and despite a decent tech spec, both front and back cameras were pretty shoddy – especially when users had been used to the crisp 5 megapixel snapper of the iPhone 4.
That may all be about to change though, with the front camera of the next model set to be capable of HD for FaceTime calls, and the main camera technically identical to either the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S. There has been talk of Apple prototyping next-gen iPads with the 8-megapixel camera of the 4S, but it’s always key to take speculation with a pinch of salt until something concrete arrives.
According to Horwitz, the price point of the iPad 2 will fall down to $399, which will in turn be a huge bargain for buyers:
Looks likely that iPad 2 will stick around at lower price point, say $399, and next iPad with high-def screen + cameras will sit atop it.
Citing those clichéd sources familiar, Horwitz also stated the device will be a rather minor millimeter thicker than its would-be predecessor to make room for the hardware improvements, but the design will remain largely similar to the iPad 2:
“Curve radiuses on the body will change only a little to accommodate the added thickness, not dramatically. Think iPad 2 Pro, not a redesign.”
As for the release date, the sources suggest the new model will hit shelves around a year after the iPad 2, so March or thereabouts.
The notion of two iPads dropping has been toyed with frequently over the past couple of months, but it does appear as though Tim Cook’s company will follow a similar structure to its smartphone division – selling the previous model as the ‘entry level’ under-study to the new release – just how the iPhone 4 currently deputizes for the iPhone 4S.
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The annual Consumer Electronics Show begins in Las Vegas this weekend. It’s an annual festival of new gadgets, gaudy exhibition booths, PR spin, and long taxi lines that (supposedly) sets the pace for the coming year in consumer technology. I’ll be there for Technology Review, but can already take a guess at five things that I’ll find there.
Tablets, tablets, tablets
On paper, CES 2011 should have been the launchpad for serious competitors to Apple’s iPad, coming eight months after that tablet launched. Tablets of all levels of polish and price duly appeared, yet none has made much of a mark. This year will bring more tablets, many running Google’s refreshed Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. Some of them will apparently resemble this reference design from Intel, while Sony’s Tablet S has been awarded one of the CES 2012′s Innovation prizes. All that suggests that the new contenders will be more capable, and it would be difficult for this year’s crop of tablets to do worse than last year’s. However, Apple will likely launch a new and improved iPad within a few months.
Cars as gadgets
What’s under the hood is increasingly about computing power, not just engine power. Carmakers will have a larger presence than ever before at CES this year, and they’ll be talking about similar technology to those showing off tablets: machine vision, cloud computing, and wireless data. All those and more are being put to use for everything from security features to better in-car entertainment. Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally has given a CES keynote for the last three years, and this year so is Daimler chairman and Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche. As an example of how these companies are thinking like tech firms, last year Ford showed me a system that uses cloud computing to learn where you go and predict your future travels. At CES Ford will be showing off more novel ideas, many built into its Evos concept car, shown above. Mercedes has been slower than most of its competitors when it comes to features like smart phone app integration and Internet-connected navigation. Zetsche’s keynote could mark the announcement of new technology and ideas that might change that.
3-D TV (again)
Over the last few years, it’s becoming a running joke that 3-D TV is a major theme of CES but a technology met with indifference by gadget buyers. This year is likely to be no exception, and once again the problem won’t lie with the TV makers but with the TV industry. The 3-D TV sets that I tried at CES last year provided impressive viewing, but anyone taking one home will find there’s hardly anything out there to watch with an extra dimension. TV manufacturers are already previewing their latest 3-D-capable products for this year’s CES, with LG, for example, set to unveil a huge 84 inch 3-D TV. I’ll certainly try it if I see it on the exhibition hall floor, but expect that as usual I’ll hear little about 3-D TV until CES rolls around again next year.
Microsoft bows out—with a bang?
It’s traditional that Microsoft provides one of the biggest keynote speeches of CES, but this year will be the company’s last. All the same, this year’s CES will be a big one for Microsoft. One reason is that the event will be crucial in establishing Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software as a legitimate competitor to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Struggling Nokia threw in its lot with Microsoft last year and will be in Vegas, likely show off the Windows 7 phones that are the Finnish company’s only hope. Even more crucial to Microsoft’s future, the next major version of Windows—Windows 8—will also likely appear at CES. Despite the company promising a low-key final keynote, Windows 8 will surely get a mention on stage. Tablets running Windows 8 made by HP are rumored to be appearing on the exhibition floor, too. Microsoft won’t be leaving quietly.
Ultrabook is a term trademarked by Intel and is best understood as meaning “MacBook Air clone”; they’re very light laptops thinner than the width of a quarter. A few computer makers—including HP and Asus—have already launched their first ultrabooks, but CES 2012 will see a flood of them. Ultrabooks may sound like (and actually be) a gimmick to make laptops sound exciting, but they’re interesting because they will likely combine features from smart phones and tablets with those of traditional PCs. The ability to remain in standby for long periods and wake up instantly is one example. Future models—maybe those shown at CES—are set to have features like the ability to sync e-mails and other updates while in standby and touch-sensitive screens for tablet-style interaction.
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, the reality is that we are likely to see a release of the next generation device sometime before the end of the first quarter of 2011. A release by the end of March would signal a year since the launch of the iPad 2and be a perfect time to capitalize on the expanding tablet market.
The current production model of the iPad is only the second generation of the device, due to the fact it has been so widely adopted and massively successful it feels like it has been in our lives for so much longer than it actually has. So what does the future hold for wondrous tablet device? Since the launch of the first generation iPad in April 2010 it has pretty much had the tablet industry locked down with an influx of competitor devices being released but none of them being able to match the success of the Apple slate. The release of the iPad 2 in March 2011 saw more an evolutionary progression rather than a device which contained any revolutionary functions or technologies, so where does that leave us for the iPad 3?
In recent weeks we have heard rumblings of a Retina display being included on the next generation device. We have heard murmurs of two different versions being released, one with a 7.85 inch display and the standard 9.7 inch that we have come to expect. The latest market rumor to emerge is that Apple are planning to shock the market by breaking the habit of following their traditional iPad pricing points and release a budget version price around the $299 mark in order to cater for the mid range segment.
Sources from Apple’s supply chain have claimed that there will be two versions of the new iPad, one targeting the high-end segment and the other the mid-range. Digitimes Research believe the two new iPad models will both be equipped the A6 processor with high-end model coming with a high resolution panel (2048×1536) and the mid-tier model featuring the same grade of panel as iPad 2 (1024×768).
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The latest buzz is that ‘face-recognition’ considered being one of the most sought after privacy tools in the recent time might now come to your iPhone and iPad too. Apple Inc. known for its persistent affinity towards innovation at the highest level has filed for a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In a recent free publication, the patent Office has divulged details of Apple’s applicationto offer “low-computational” face recognition capabilities.
“This specification relates to low threshold face recognition, e.g., a face recognition system that can tolerate a certain level of false positives in making face recognition determinations.
Most face recognition systems fall into one of two categories. A first category system tends to be robust and can tackle various lighting conditions, orientations, scale and the like, and tends to be computationally expensive. A second category system is specialized for security-type applications and can work under controlled lighting conditions. Adopting the first category systems for face recognition on consumer operated portable appliances that are equipped with a camera would unnecessarily use an appliance’s computing resources and drain its power. Moreover, as the consumer portable appliances tend to be used both indoor and outdoor, the second category systems for face recognition may be ineffective”.
So, how will it help…
The ‘face-recognition’ tool will help iOS users with a forward-facing camera device to customize their profile with personalized wallpaper, apps and settings. Therefore, your profile cannot be accessed by anyone other than the face recognised by the device.
Face-recognition technology for devices has recently been adapted by several makers for their products. However, there have been a serious many debate as to if the robust facial recognition systems that worked under various lighting conditions could be taxing on an electronic device. Apple’s technology on the other hand, proposes to help reduce the impact of lighting conditions and biometric distortions on an image. In the application filed, Apple Inc. has described it as a “low-computation solution for reasonably effective, low threshold, face recognition that can be implemented on camera-equipped consumer portable appliances”.
Thereby, instead of analyzing the entire face of a user, which Apple believes would consume much time and resources, the Cupertino Company’s proposed patent would depend on “high information portion” of a human face, such as the eyes, mouth and tip of the nose. It would rather seek to measure the distance between a user’s eyes and mouth, and reference this against the original image to ascertain the identity of the user. The patent application stresses on the fact that owing to the low power consumption, the face-recognition function could be constantly active; thus potentially allowing users to turn on the screen and unlock their iOS device by pointing it at their face.
What are your views on this ‘face-recognition’ system patent sought after by Apple? Do you think this will prove to be a useful tool?
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