Fastest Kickstarter To Date

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, April 15, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Pebble Time
This should not be surprising, but it is worth noting that during its month-long crowdfunding campaign, which ended 10:00 P.M. ET last 27 March 2015, Pebble Time shattered two Kickstarter records.

It broke its first record on its first day, when it became the fastest project to raise US$ 1 million - in 49 minutes. A week later, it became the most-funded campaign in Kickstarter's history after receiving more than US$ 13.3 million in pledges, besting Coolest Cooler, the previous record holder.

Now, in total, Pebble has raised US$ 20,336,930 from 78,463 people. Pebble's initial goal - to raise US$ 500,000 - was too easy of a hurdle. Each watch was sold for US$ 159 to early backers, and US$ 179 for just about everyone else. Once retailers start selling the watch, the price will go up to US$ 199.

"We cannot thank the Pebble community enough for their monumental support," Eric Migicovsky, Pebble CEO, said in a statement. "We continue to listen to and be inspired by the backers who believed in us and supported our vision from day one."

The Pebble Time is Pebble's second generation smartwatch, and this is Pebble's second Kickstarter campaign.

Three years ago, Pebble raised more than $10 million from 69,000 people on the crowdfunding site for its first product, the original Pebble Watch. The company's goal at the time was also an easy target - US$ 100,000.

Pebble Time is 20% thinner than its predecessor, and features a new color e-paper screen. The Pebble Watch only came with a black and white screen. A one-week battery life has also been another selling point for the Pebble Time.

Kickstarter says that Pebble is one of thousands of companies and creators who have turned to crowdfunding on its site for more than one project.

"Pebble's double success really shows the power of Kickstarter as a way to build community around creative work," John Dimatos, Kickstarter's lead for tech and design projects, said in an email statement. "The Pebble team wanted to come back to the people who supported them at the start, and that community really responded."

Pebble says it will start shipping the Pebble Time watch to its backers in May.

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Disgruntled Apple Employee Reveals What's Inside

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, April 14, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Employee
For those who just finished their schooling and are eager to join the growing workforce, working with a major technological giant like Apple is definitely a dream job. However, those dreams could easily turn into nightmare, especially for those who value their free time.

According to Business Insider, an ex-Apple employee named Ben Farrell recently quit his job at the company and penned a not-too-happy blog post about what it’s really like to work for the company.

It goes without saying that Farrell, who “spent two years in the Apple camp managing customer service improvement for their technical support contact centers,” seems very happy to no longer be working at the company.

First, Farrell found the culture at Apple to not only very demanding but also rather petty and centered around trying to get others around you to fail so you could succeed. He said:
“Sixteen hour days are filled with meetings after meetings followed by more meetings,” he writes. “Whilst this is somewhat standard in most organisations, meetings at Apple wreaked of toxic agendas designed to deliberately trip people up, make fools of the less respected and call people out. Team spirit is non existent as ‘internal customers’ attack individuals and push agendas that satisfy their morning egos. Hours upon hours were wasted in meetings to prepare for meetings in preparation for other meetings to the point where little work actually got done.”
That doesn’t sound healthy, right?

So what else did Farrell dislike about working at Apple? Here are some more relevant excerpts:
  • "I found Apple to be a sheltered workshop. The common language spoken being passive aggression, sarcasm and Kool-Aid fuelled stories of ‘success’ designed to manipulate and intimidate naive workers who have never experienced corporate life outside the Apple walls. Like the Chinese emperors believed the forbidden city in Beijing was the centre of the universe and constructed their empire around it, I’m sure that some people at Apple feel the same… Is it a coincidence that the new Apple Campus looks like a giant spaceship? Maybe the plan is for everyone to drink poisoned 'kool-Aid' before ascending to the mothership… Sounds like I got out just in time."
  • ”Even after-work beers were a strange affair. Drinks with colleagues revolved around the same stories told again and again as drunken management spoke of times when Apple executives made ‘strategic’ decisions to cut jobs and shut down Apple sites so swiftly and carelessly. Like boy-scouts around a campfire, employees eyes would glow and twinkle at this notion of power and embrace these stories with awe but with utter disrespect for the actions Apple has on the broader community of contractors, vendors, partners, resellers and business partners they have bent over a barrel of non-profitability."
  • "Sickness, family emergencies, and even weddings are given no respect at Apple. When I started my role I missed one business trip as my wife was pregnant, fell down the stairs and had to be hospitalised – this was listed as a ‘performance issue’ on my record and brought up during a one on one with management as a major ‘miss’ on my behalf. Meetings at midnight were also common place where I was always asked to present something menial (again to be seen), however even then I wasn’t allowed to simply speak to my topic but instead I was fed scripts by management through instant message with countdowns included about how long I had left to speak ("1 min 30 secs left"… "too long…", "wrap it up"…)."
It appears that Farrel is following what Apple founder Steve Jobs said awhile ago: "– Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice."

For Farrell’s complete rant, click here.

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Best Time-Saving App Back in Apple Store

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, April 13, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Launcher App
Considered by many as the best time-saving app available right now, Launcher is returning to the App Store six months after Apple removed it without warning.

Shortly after Apple's iOS 8 came out, developer Greg Gardner released a creative new app called Launcher that allowed users to launch apps and shortcuts right from your iPhone's lock screen using the new widgets feature.

Think of a widget as an interactive icon that appears in your notification drawer.

People were excited about Launcher because it saved users time — instead of unlocking the phone and tapping through apps, users could easily press a button from their iPhone's notification center and jump right into an app, call their mom, or get directions home.

Apple, however, decided that Launcher's use of widgets didn't follow its guidelines, and eventually removed Launcher from the App Store despite Gardner's attempts to alter the app's functionality to Apple's liking.

"They were unsure themselves if they were going to allow the widget functionality or not," Gardner told Business Insider last year. "They had to debate it internally."

After Apple removed Launcher from the App Store, Gardner started a petition on Change.org and considered never developing for Apple again after the debacle.

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Apple Fixes MacBook Air Complaint

Posted by Kirhat | Sunday, April 12, 2015 | | 0 comments »

MacBook Air Fix
many believed that MacBook Air is one of the best, if not the best laptop at this time. It's super slim, portable, gorgeous, and powerful enough to handle most everyday tasks. But there was one critical area where it was lacking compared to its rivals — its screen.

The MacBook Air has a 1366 x 768 resolution screen instead of a Retina display like Apple's more recent MacBook Pros.

It made the MacBook Air somewhat of a tough sell considering you could get cheaper laptops that are almost equally light that come with gorgeous touch screens, like the new Dell XPS 13.

But Apple's new razor-thin laptop seems to have eradicated that issue, at least according to early reviews of the device. It's 2304 x 1440-resolution screen and thin side bezels have gotten rave reviews from critics so far:
  • Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch writes: "The display alone is a big selling point on this MacBook, especially for those who’ve been making due with the standard resolution screens of existing MacBook Airs or older notebooks ... Apple’s display tech remains one of its crowning achievements, and in a device this small, with the minimal bezel and combined display/glass manufacturing technology, it makes a huge difference."
  • Dieter Bohn of The Verge writes: "But ignore those specs and just look at it: it simply puts the screen on the MacBook Air to shame ... It's sharp and bright, and Apple also switched the bezels to black to match the rest of the Retina MacBook lineup. Those bezels are thin, too, so the combination makes the screen feel really big."
  • Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal writes: With the 2304x1440-pixel screen, photos look like they were painted on, and even boring text is nice to look at. Prepare for your eyes to be spoiled. Now when I go back to my MacBook Air’s lower-res display, everything looks pixelated.

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Apple Gives Staff 50% Off On Apple Watch

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, April 10, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Watch Discount
On 10 April or more than 6 months after it was first unveiled, Apple will begin taking pre-orders for its Apple Watch. The company's retail stores will be under tremendous pressure to perform, reportedly revamping the way employees interact with customers, how the stores are set up, and what's most important in the sales process.

The Watch is the first Apple product where style is more important than substance, and Apple CEO Tim Cook just made an announcement that will make it much easier for employees to sell the new product- and it gives a lesson for other business owners too.

In an email to all employees, Cook revealed that all Apple employees will receive 50 percent off any Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport beginning 10 April (in countries where the Watch is going on sale).

This is noteworthy for several reasons. For one, it suggests that Apple may have enough stock at launch. In the past, Apple has not offered discounts to its employees on new products like iPads or Macs for several months after launch, while it tries to get into supply/demand balance. The early discounts on the Apple Watch could mean that Apple is confident that it can meet the demand.

Another possibility is that Apple knows that, like with any totally new product, actually using it is going to be essentially to selling it. This is especially true for Apple Retail Store staff, who will be on the front lines beginning D-Day, helping customers try on the Watch and determine which style is best for them.

Nothing makes it easier to sell a product than owning it yourself, which is why car dealers have offered cheap lease rates to their salespeople for years.

It also helps remind employees that they're valued. Some of Apple's biggest fans and cheerleaders are in its Retail Store ranks.

Apple could also be trying to pump up their morale after concerns were raised that management was taking its retail staff for granted. For instance, pay wasn't keeping up with the amount of business that the stores were bringing in, and many employees couldn't afford the products they were selling. Apple offering half off its brand new product, allowing employees to buy during the same pre-order period as customers, will do wonders for morale.

And if Apple's employees are stoked for the Apple Watch, the tech company can be sure that they will express that to the customers, which will turn into sales. The discounts that Apple will give its own employees will be some of the best marketing dollars it could spend.

Next question is, will Apple employees be tempted to buy in bulk and resell it in the 'black market'?

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Next iPhone is iPhone 7 and Not iPhone 6S?

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, April 08, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 6S to 7
When it comes to predictions, it is better to stick it out with those that have a good track record in the past.This is the reason why many technological sites rely on experts like KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo is regarded as being one of the most accurate analysts commenting on Apple. He has nailed details about Apple's previous product launches, such as the iPhone 5, and even when his predictions are off in terms of timing, he still has a decent idea of what kind of technology is of interest to Apple.

Kuo has a few predictions lately regarding Apple's plan for its next iPhone, as he wrote in a note to investors spotted by MacRumors.

Here's what Kuo thinks Apple has in store:
  • The next iPhone will come with Apple's Force Touch technology that debuted in the new MacBook and Apple Watch.
  • Apple might call the phone the iPhone 7, not the iPhone 6S, because of all the significant changes in the phone.
  • It will come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants as with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
  • Apple will not release a 4-inch model this year, contrary to previous reports.
The Force Touch technology in the so-called iPhone 7 will be different from what is in Apple's other recent products, according to Kuo. He doesn't think it will detect pressure like the sensor in the new MacBook's trackpad, but rather it will sense "contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is."

It sounds as if Apple may be trying to make it easier to interact with icons and user interface elements of different sizes on the screen.

Kuo thinks this will be such a big change that Apple will call it the iPhone 7 instead of the 6S. His predictions come just after the Taiwanese website Economic Daily News reported Apple's next iPhone would come with Force Touch technology.

There are still plenty of time before anybody really learn about what Apple has planned for its future iPhones. The company typically unveils its new iPhones in September, so it is likely to hear more in the fall.

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