The Christmas gifts have been exchanged, the Chanukah ones are being given this week and it looks like Apple is leading the pack in terms of smartphone activations for the 2016 holidays.
This year, 44% of new phone and tablet activations were Apple devices with Samsung seeing 21%. While Samsung is slowly growing in popularity throughout the holiday season, up 1% from last year, Apple devices continue to be the gift to give. Holding the third and fourth positions for activations are Huawei and LG; which is remarkable, as both manufacturers do not have an individual device within the top 35 devices activated. Their high rank is likely due to the fact that they have wide variety of devices and affordable options (hundreds of phablet and medium phones) for consumers to choose from.
Last week, the company published its first scholarly research paper with an article covering methods of improving recognition in computer vision systems, marking a new direction for the traditionally secretive company.
The paper, titled “Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training,” was submitted for review in mid-November before seeing publication through the Cornell University Library on Dec. 22.
The article arrives less than a month after Apple declared that it would no longer bar employees from publishing research relating to artificial intelligence.
Japanese rumor site Mac Otakara, which tends to have a pretty reliable track record, has reported, via a Taiwanese supplier, that a 5-inch iPhone 7 with the unique vertical dual-camera system may be introduced as the medium-sized lineup for the iPhone 7 models.
Earlier this month, Mac Okatara reported that the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus would retain the aluminum design of the iPhone 7. However, the report said the new phones would come in an all-new red color. Multiple reports have stated that there will be three new iPhone models in 2017, including updated 4.7- and 5.5-inch models with LCD screens and a premium model with an OLED display and glass casing.
Apple’s Campus 2 project continues and a pair of killer new 4K drone videos show that the project itself is coming close to completion.
The videos, both shot on Christmas Day, show an empty work site for the holiday, but offer spiffy new clues such as the majority of solar installation complete and a lot of work continuing at the auditorium where future Apple events will be held while the second video takes us on a Christmas morning tour around Apple Campus 2 as it exists today.
Following up on Consumer Reports refusal for the first time to recommend the 2016 MacBook Pro due to inconsistent battery life, it looks like Apple will be working with the publication to try to sort out potential issues with the battery.
“Working with [Consumer Reports] to understand their battery tests,” Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marking Phil Schiller tweeted. “Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data.” Apple claims its internal testing has seen the new MacBook Pro providing up to 10 hours of battery life when watching iTunes movies or browsing the web.
Consumer Reports’ test has come under scrutiny since publication of the non-recommendation. The tests were conducted by opening a series of 10 web pages sequentially on Safari. This tests’ inconsistency had the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar registering 16 hours, 12.75 hours and 3.75 hours of battery life. A 15-inch MacBook Pro ranged from 18.5 hours to 8 hours of battery life.
Consumer Reports feels there’s an issue with the 2016 MacBook Pro battery.
The publication, which has reviewed the notebook, Consumer Reports explained that while the new models held up well in terms of display quality and performance, the battery life issues were too big of an issue to overlook.
The organization tested three MacBook Pro variants: a 13-inch Touch Bar model, a 15-inch Touch Bar model, and a 13-inch model without the Touch Bar. The general consensus was that “MacBook Pro battery life results were highly inconsistent from one trial to the next.”
You can now snag a refurbished first-gen Apple Watch at a pretty decent savings.
Apple has just posted its cheapest model, a refurbished Apple Watch Series 1 in a 38mm rose gold aluminum case, is only $229. Others, like stainless steel versions of the Apple Watch Series 2, are available for $509, or about 15 percent off. This move follows Apple’s recent decision to start selling refurbished iPhone models on its online store.
The discounts generally range between 14 to 16 percent off throughout the entire range of models.
The cool cats at iFixit have just published their full teardown of Apple’s new wireless AirPods along with the charging kit that arrives with the unit. Through the teardown, iFixit cites a multitude of closely knit components within the AirPods, along with a few “quality issues” within the charging case that may be the reason for the months-long delay of the wireless headphones.
The teardown began by separating the speaker portion of the AirPod from the rest of the device, uncovering a miniature coaxial cable and two IR proximity sensors, which allow the AirPods to detect whenever they’re inside an ear, and play/pause music accordingly.
iFixit cited a “waterfall of glue” inside the base of the AirPod that essentially surrounds the charging point for the unit.
If you thought Apple’s USB-C adapter prices were a bit steep, there’s a price break until the end of March, 2017.
Apple on Friday lowered the prices for many of its USB-C adapters, which are necessary for users who want to connect their devices to the new laptop.
The new MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, which have a different connector than that of USB-A devices and cables like the iPhone sync cable. That means you need to buy an adapter. Depending on your devices, you may need to buy several adapters.