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Showing posts from July 22, 2018

A Vertical Smart Keyboard For Next iPad Pro?

The Macotakara blog is reporting that the incoming iPad Pro models will have a Smart Connector on the short side of the tablet and dock into its keyboard in vertical mode.
This seems to be a highly unlikely design decision and one which, if true, would suggest a major design error on Apple's part.
The blog claims that the reason for the change is Face ID, which will only work in portrait mode. Given the main feature of the Pro is the ability to behave like a laptop this seems like a major error on Apple's part. A vertical orientation for laptop mode just doesn't seem like a workable solution, especially on a device with a touchscreen and no mouse.
And we know Apple's opinion on the effort required to reach up and touch a laptop screen. However, if Face ID can only be made to work in portrait mode and Apple is determined to remove Touch ID, then it faces a problem if it wants users to have the best laptop experience.
Now if it was me I'd probably move the Touch ID …

Qualcomm Says Apple Has Switched To Intel On 2018 iPhones

Qualcomm has told investors that Apple will be switching to Intel modems for the iPhones it releases later this year, a result of the legal battle between the two companies. 
That will mean that new iPhones will perform slightly worse than current models with Qualcomm modems, and if the companies don't come to an agreement before 2019 iPhones are released, the iPhone may be late to the 5G party.

Is This The Hybrid Mac - iPad Apple Keeps Denying?

Apple has been granted a patent for a touchscreen computer which switches between desktop and touchscreen modes based on orientation. This device, which seems to draw more than a little inspiration from the Surface Studio, is described as a device which switches between high resolution (mouse and keyboard) input and low resolution (touch) input based on the position of the screen.
That sounds suspiciously like jumping from macOS to iOS on demand.
And if Apple can make a desktop do it based on the position of the screen, I'm sure it can make it happen on demand too - in a portable device for example.
Apple might be denying plans to merge iOS and macOS, but delivering them on the same device seems to be very much on its mind.

Google Skewed YouTube Performance In Edge And Firefox

Chrome is now the dominant browser in the marketplace and Google's services - notably YouTube - are the dominant players in their respective marketplaces. Which allows Google to indulge in some particularly bad behaviour, at least according to Mozilla Program Manager Chris Peterson, who tweeted that Google was impacting performance on Edge and Firefox browsers thanks to the new code it uses in the YouTube web app.
Right now YouTube looks like a monopoly to me, and everybody but Google is suffering as a result.
YouTube content creators are finding that their terms are gradually being eroded, Google has used YouTube as a weapon against both Windows Phone and Amazon Echo; and now it is being used to try and force users off competing browsers.
There's no real alternative to YouTube either - Vimeo and Daily Motion don't have the breadth or depth of content; Twitch and Mixer focus on much smaller areas of interest.
How long before YouTube becomes the focus of the same EU regula…

Samsung's Anti-iPhone Ad Barrage Isn't Aimed At Apple Customers

Samsung's Ingenious ad barrage, demonstrating the shortcomings of the iPhone X in comparison to the Galaxy S9. The ads attack the iPhone for 'failings' like a missing headphone jack and lack of a fast charger in the box. The sort of things which Apple fans won't really be particularly worried about.
That's okay, because I don't think Samsung is looking to convert iPhone buyers with this ad campaign. Instead it's looking to cement its position at the head of the Android market.
To do this it is positioning the Galaxy S9 as the anti-iPhone once more. It's a strategy which has worked in the past. Then it was a case of persuading Apple's customers that Samsung's phones were a worthy alternative.
Now Samsung is looking to use the reflected glory of competing with Apple to persuade its own, and other Android customers, to stick with the Galaxy rather than try an alternative from Huawei, Nokia or even Google itself.
With the platform wars all but over…

Why Is Tesla Asking For Cash Back From Suppliers?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tesla has approached component suppliers seeking 'retroactive discounts' against orders placed since 2016, in order to help the company return a profit.
That raises a major red flag about the company's operations. It seems like an pretty extreme measure for a company just seeking to turn a profit - especially after claiming for some time that hitting a production volume of 5,000 Model 3s per week would allow the company to run at a profit.
What it actually suggests is that the company has more financial issues than its claims would suggest.
Not that it should concern fans of the company - as an all-American success story, it has become too big to fail. Having bailed out other US motor manufacturers in the past, the US Government is just waiting over the hills, ready to ride in with a  rescue package.
However, a short term rescue plan may not be what the company needs. Reports are suggesting that 24% of Model 3 pre-orders have now …

Live Streaming And Vomit Fraud - Just Another Bad Day On Planet Uber

Uber just can't catch a break and you have to feel that its problems are a direct result of its business model.
This time its problems relate to behaviour of its drivers. 
First, one is exposed for streaming video of passengers on Twitch - with all that entails in terms of online abuse. Then we learn that passengers are falling victim to a scam where they are being charged penalties for claimed vomit clean-up, which never occurred.
The penalties range from $80 to $150 and are added as an 'adjustment' to the rider's credit card sometime after the ride has been completed.
Whilst some users have been successful in getting Uber to refund the charges (eventually) whilst others have had to raise disputes with their credit card companies - and had their Uber accounts cancelled as a result.
The lessons to be learned here are twofold. For riders, check your credit card carefully after riding with Uber. For Uber, making more of an effort to vet drivers protects your business as…

New Microsoft Surface Go Ads Lack Punch

Like it or not, Apple's ability to pitch the iPad through engaging advertising has been one of the cornerstones of its capture of the tablet market. 
Microsoft's success with its Surface line has been in spite of, rather than a result of its advertising and it looks like the new Surface Go will be similarly handicapped, after Microsoft released a set of adverts which failed to tell a user story which suggested this was a product you needed in your life.

Is India About To Hang-up On The iPhone?

Apple's failure to approve the Indian government's anti-spam app for the App Store is going to prove something of a problem for iPhone users in the country in around six-months. The Indian telecom regulator's Do Not Disturb app seeks to defeat the country's call and text spam problem and the TRAI isn't impressed by Apple's refusal to approve the app.
So it has introduced a new regulation which allows it to force any hardware which doesn't comply with the Do Not Disturb laws off the country's mobile networks.
So Apple has a choice to make: either approve the app or see all its customers disconnected within the next six months.
Apple' argument that the Do Not Disturb app breaches App Store rule isn't going to fly here. Unless it comes up with a compromise its efforts to start manufacturing in India will be all for nothing.
Fortunately for Indian iPhone fans, Apple has shown that it will bend to local regulations before - in China. So it seems mor…

Google Doesn’t Have To Give Its Play Services To Other Android OEMs, Threatening Android’s European Future

The EU’s actions against Google introduce an interesting scenario which threatens to reduce the European smartphone landscape to a battle between Google and Apple; cutting every other OEM out of equation. Google’s Play Store, Chrome and Assistant aren’t part of Android and the EU wants Google to stop bundling them together as it claims this prevents competition in the Android browser and search markets. A simple solution for Google would be to just stop providing those servicea to other Android manufacturers, for phones destined for the EU, keeping them for its Pixel phones only. This would require a massive ramping up of Pixel phone production, but would effectively drive every other Android vendor out of the European market. That’s because most, if not all, modern Android apps rely on services provided by the Play Store. Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft may each be able to cobble together a basic app store, but the number of apps would be significantly reduced. Existing Android custom…