O'Grady's PowerPage » Apple

Will Siri have to answer to Samsung?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014, 08:01
Category: Apple, Business, iPhone, Mac, News, Samsung, Siri, Software

siri-icon-ios7According to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the voice-recognition tech company behind Apple’s Siri assistant may be in talks with Samsung to sell its technology to Apple’s most notorious competitor. Nuance has reportedly been in talks with several potential buyers as the company seeks to sell off its highly sought after voice-to-text translation software. According to some sources familiar with one of the companies involved, Samsung and other private-equity firms have been part of discussions surrounding a possible sale of the company. In addition to Siri, Nuance provides the technology behind Dragon Naturally Speaking software for both Mac and PC, as well as Samsung’s own phones, tablets, and wearable devices.


2nd Gen Apple TV support is dropped in iOS 8

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Date: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014, 08:18
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Hardware, iOS, News

2ndgenappletvBeing an owner of said version of the Apple TV (also formerly of the 1st gen), I find this very disappointing, but not altogether unexpected. The second beta of iOS 8 dropped on Tuesday and according to those who like to dig out any hints of the future that new code may reveal, there is no sign of the 2nd generation Apple TV. For those of you who didn’t know, starting with the release of the first black, hockey puck sized Apple TV, Apple started using the same A4 chip (or a version of it) that was used in the iPhone 4.


iMac speed-bumps next week?

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 13th, 2014, 08:32
Category: Apple, Hardware, iMac, Mac, Processors, Rumor

elthinimacAccording to C|NET, a report sent out on Tuesday from French blog site MacGeneration (use Google Translate) says that the iMac lineup is getting some speed upgrades to be announced as early as next week. Expectations for the base versions of all four of the iMac models are as follows;

  • The $1,499 21.5-inch 2.9 GHz version would see its CPU speed inch up to a full 3 GHz, while its Turbo Boost feature, which automatically manages individual cores of the processor for better performance and power efficiency, would rise from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
  • The $1,299 21.5-inch 2.7 GHz would undergo no changes, according to MacGeneration.
  • The $1,799 27-inch 3.2 GHz variant would increase its processor speed to 3.3 GHz accompanied by a Turbo Speed bump from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
  • The $1,999 27-inch 3.4GHz model would rise in CPU speed to 3.5 GHz, while the Turbo Speed’s performance would grow from 3.8 GHz to 3.9 GHz.

While the information provided showed no evidence of these iMacs sporting Retina Displays, some recent rumors say that code within the early betas of OS X 10.10 Yosemite hints that a Retina Display may find its way into an iMac in the near future.



Apple is pushing music downloading apps out of the App Store

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, 08:38
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Radio, music

music-download-appIn what appears to be an aggressive move to promote iTunes purchases and iTunes Radio, and possibly a Beats-related subscription service, Apple has been systematically removing any music downloading apps from the App Store according to MacRumors. Any search previously for “music download” in the App Store would show a number of apps that could download music and audio files from websites such as Soundcloud and YouTube, obviously taking a bite out of iTunes sales. Now the same search displays a message inviting users to try out iTunes Radio, with the first few results for apps include those for streaming services such as Spotify and other music-based apps that lack downloading capabilities. Apple has also asked developers to remove audio downloading functionalities from their apps. 



Doctor sets the bar for Apple’s Health app

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Apps, Features, Health, iOS, Software

482887779JS023_APPLE_HOSTS_Do a search for “health tracker” in the App Store and you’ll get a list of 500 apps before the search truncates the list. Health apps are a dime a dozen. The apps track everything from diet (calories, weight) to activities (running, biking) to vital body readings (blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate), some integrated with hardware such as Withings Blood Pressure Monitor. When Apple finally releases its Health app, what will make it any different or more valuable than the other 500 apps? Well, according to Dr. Thomas J. Morrow who holds the position of Chief Medical Officer at Next IT, developers of virtual assistant technology for healthcare, Apple needs to include 3 vital functions if the Health app is to set itself apart from the crowd.


PayPal is eager to integrate Touch ID

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Finance, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, retail, security, Services, Software

touch-id_PaypalLittle was said about Touch ID in the WWDC keynote except that the API would be opened to third-party developers for use in iOS 8. Craig Federighi did show a nice pie chart claiming that since the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, 83% of users now use passcodes, up from the 49% that used their iPhone’s security previously. Just days after this announcement, PayPal is reportedly dipping their toes into the Touch ID API with hopes of incorporating fingerprint recognition into their iOS app’s authentication system. This isn’t really surprising as it has already done this on Android with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Hopefully the process will be more hacker-proof on iOS.

PayPal may just be the first of several companies including other mobile payment services, banks, and even large retail chains, to take advantage of access to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Getting users familiar with using Touch ID for purchases may be just the first step in Apple’s own long rumored plans to get into the mobile payments game, using it in tandem with their Passbook software. Apple is expected to start building Touch ID sensors into all of its mobile hardware soon. Here’s hoping the technology becomes more reliable than many users’ past experiences or people may get frustrated with the process and just not use it.



Your next Apple headphones may have a Lightning connector

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:50
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, Lightning, music

iPhone5-lightningAccording to 9to5Mac, Apple has quietly introduced a new specification in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows headphones that connect to iOS devices use a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. The ability to use such hardware doesn’t exist on iDevices yet, but a software update sometime in the future will likely enable this function. The advantage of using a Lightning connection would be to create “smarter” headphones.


Apple introduces new programming language at WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, Software, WWDC

Swift_app_iconOne of the more unexpected announcements at WWDC, given the audiences reaction, was that Apple would be introducing a new programming language called Swift. Craig Federighi commented on how Objective-C had been the backbone of Mac and iOS development for 20 years, and with the phrase, “What it would be like if we had Objective-C without the baggage of C…?”, the developer crowd seemed to express its stunned approval in ooooooo’s and ahhhh’s until finally erupting in applause. According to Federighi, “It totally rules!”.

Continue if you are nerdy and excited by this sort of thing.


Apple drops support for iPhone 4 in iOS 8

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, 08:36
Category: Android, Apple, conference, iOS, iPhone, Software, WWDC


He barely glazed over it in the WWDC Keynote on Monday, but Craig Federighi pointed to a list of iOS 8 supported devices, and it didn’t include the iPhone 4. Towards the end of the keynote, in particular after highlighting the many features that will be available to developers in the coming months, Federighi revealed that the beta of iOS 8 would be available by the end of Monday for all developers, and that the public would see iOS 8 in all its glory sometime in the Fall. Trailing behind that was a brief flash of the list of devices that the new OS would run on. Noticeably missing was the iPhone 4. Of course, this shouldn’t be much of surprise as older device models continuously get shaved off as iOS improves and the demands of features increases. Fortunately, it is only the one model that falls off the list as the rest of the devices seems to be the same as the one for iOS 7.


Was this a peek at the iPhone 6?! (Update: not so much)

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 2nd, 2014, 16:20
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, Hardware, iPhone, Sighting, WWDC


Weeeelll nope. Sorry, jumped the gun there. After closer inspection of my own iPhone 5s without it’s case, and the recognition that the top and bottom of the image are cropped, it now appears that this is in fact a white iPhone 5s. I’ve been taking a closer look at the video and the demo presenters definitely seem to be using a iPhone 5s. I guess the rumor of a leaked video showing a supposed iPhone 6 got me a little too excited at the prospect that Apple was giving us a subtle peek. It was exciting for a few hours eh?

After watching the live WWDC Keynote, my head is swimming with info and feature announcements for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, however, there was one thing I didn’t catch until I was reviewing part of the keynote to find some information I missed. See if you can spot it in this photo (even though I kind of gave it away in the title). iPhone6_sneakpeek The first thing I saw were the buttons. My immediate reaction, “that doesn’t look like the 5s buttons…”. iPhone6_sneakpeek hilight Then I looked at the whole thing and thought, “waaaaaaait a minute…that doesn’t look like any iPhone I’ve seen!”. Apple isn’t one to simply create some kind of random, generic phone design to show in their presentations, so this seems like a pretty good bet that this is a peek at the new iPhone 6 design, and if it wasn’t ready for a release this year, I doubt they’d be showing it off. I can’t tell what device they were using in the on-stage demos, but maybe some developers on site will post some close-up images.

What do you think? Is this the new iPhone or is this a red herring? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.