Apple Spaceship Office Starts Boarding on April

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, March 01, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Apple Spaceship Office
On 22 February, Apple announced that workers will start boarding its futuristic new "spaceship" campus in Silicon Valley in April, fulfilling a vision set out by late founder Steve Jobs.

The process of moving more than 12,000 people to a new campus that Jobs envisioned as a "center for creativity and collaboration" was expected to continue late into the year.

A theater on the new Apple Park campus was named in honor of Jobs, who would have turned 62 on February 24.

"Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us," chief executive Tim Cook said in a release.

"He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come."

The 175-acre campus with a ring-shaped main building clad in giant panels of curved glass blends workspaces and parkland, and is powered entirely by renewable energy, according to Cook.

Campus features include a fitness center, foot paths, research labs, a visitors center, and an orchard.

"We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterize our products,” said Apple chief design officer Jony Ive.

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A Make Or Break for Nokia?

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Nokia 3310
Nokia's newly revitalized phone business went back to the future last 26 February, re-introducing a brightly colored version of the classic 3310 talk and text phone, the world's most popular device in the year 2000.

The new model has bigger screens and is priced at just 49 euros (US$ 52). Its 22 hours of talk time and up to one month of standby time potentially heighten the phone's appeal as a backup for smartphone users.

Analysts hailed the 3310 launch as a smart retro gambit, but one which could overshadow the Finnish company's re-entry into the global smartphone market. Nokia also launched four moderately priced smartphones ranging from 139 to 299 euros.

"The love for the brand is immense. It gets a lot of affection from millions and millions of people," Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told a news conference at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the telecom industry's largest annual trade fair.

Once the world's dominant phonemaker, Nokia in 2014 sold its by-then ailing handset operations to Microsoft for US$ 7 billion, leaving it with its network equipment business and a large patent portfolio.

But last year, it gave the Nokia brand a fresh start by licensing its devices brand to HMD Global, a new company led by ex-Nokia executives and backed by Chinese electronics giant Foxconn.

Industry analysts say the revived Nokia 3310 has the makings of one of the hit devices of 2017, appealing to older Nokia fans in developed markets looking for an antidote to smartphone overload, while also appealing to younger crowds in emerging markets.

"HMD owns a retro hit and is surfing on the 'vintage' hype to re-create buzz around the Nokia brand," said Thomas Husson, consumer devices analyst at Forrester Research.

The original 3310 sold 126 million phones, the 12th best-selling phone model in history. Nine of the top 12 selling models were produced by Nokia.

It also revives the one-time hit time waster game Snake featured on the original phone, the "Angry Birds" of its day. In a modern twist, fans can now play Snake in Facebook Messenger.

HMD also announced three smartphones that run on Google's Android platform: The Nokia 6 smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen, the Nokia 5 with a 5.2-inch screen and the Nokia 3 with a 5.0-inch screen.

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Nokia 3310 Will Make An Ominous Comeback

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, February 27, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Nokia 3310
This may come as a surprise to many, but one of the most hotly anticipated new devices set to be unveiled at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain isn't a new flagship smartphone from market leaders Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo, Google or Apple.

In fact, it's not a smartphone at all. Instead, a recent rumor suggested that HMD Global, the company that now owns the Nokia phone brand, plans to reintroduce what is widely believed to be one of the greatest Nokia phones of all time: the Nokia 3310. And now, a new report may shed light on additional details surrounding the new Nokia phone that has the internet going crazy.

People just can’t stop buzzing about the expected upcoming revival of Nokia's classic workhorse, the 3310. First announced in September 2000 and released about a month later, the 3310 was one of Nokia's most popular candy bar phones that featured an internal antenna. Yes, believe it or not, a phone without a huge antenna sticking out the top was still a pretty big deal back then.

More impressive than the phone's design was the exciting new features it packed, like a calculator and a reminders feature. Exciting! More than 125 million Nokia 3310 handsets were sold over the device's lifetime, which is still an impressive figure to this day.

When reports first emerged that HMD Global was planning a Nokia 3310 relaunch, people got exciting and imagined what a 3310 candy bar phone running Android might be like.

Sadly, it appears as though nobody will never know, because a new report from the same source that leaked initial news of the Nokia 3310's revival is now back with new details. Chief among those details, is the fact that the phone is expected to be a feature phone, not an Android-powered smartphone.

Chinese gadget blog Vtech (via GizmoChina) says that HMD Global does plan to make some changes to modernize the Nokia 3310's design. The new version will supposedly be thinner and lighter than the original, and the buttons will be reworked a bit as well. HMD Global's 3310 relaunch will also feature a color display instead of the monochrome screen from the original model, and it will be available in at least six colors including black, gray, blue, green, red and yellow.

The all new Nokia 3310 relaunch is expected to go on sale soon after its unveiling next week at MWC 2017. If you can’t wait that long, you can always buy an original Nokia 3310 on Amazon.

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AI Expected To Dominate MWC 2017

Posted by Kirhat | Sunday, February 26, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Mobile World Congress
Phone makers of all shapes and sizes are expected to compete vigorously as they seek to seduce new buyers with artificial intelligence functions and other innovations at the world's biggest mobile fair on 27 February until 2 March in Spain.

Along with launches of new smartphones from major players like Huawei and LG, two former giants - Nokia and Blackberry - will attempt to make a comeback with new devices.

Nokia is reportedly set to reveal several new devices at the four-day Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in northeastern Spain, including an updated version of its iconic 3310 phone.

Blackberry will debut a new high-end device rumoured to be called the Mercury. Like Nokia, its new phones will be made under licence by a Chinese manufacturer.

"Don't expect innovation on smartphones' hardware, but instead a focus on emerging technologies" like virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI), said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson.

Samsung Electronics, which had to discontinue its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last year after several cases of the devices exploding, will not unveil any new phones at the congress.

The delay in putting out a new phone comes as its parent firm, South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group, is caught up in a corruption scandal that saw its chief arrested last week.

Samsung is the world's biggest seller of smartphones but saw its share of the world's market shrink by two full percentage points to 20.5 percent, according to the Gartner consultancy.

It faces growing competition from Chinese phone makers on one side and on the other from US titan Apple, which released its iPhone 7 in September.

Strong sales of the iPhone 7 helped Apple to post record revenues of US$ 78.4 billion (82.6 billion euros) in the final quarter of 2016 although it also lost market share last year.

Apple, the world's second biggest seller of smartphones, is not present at the show in Barcelona.

With Samsung not unveiling a new phone, the rest of the industry will have a rare opportunity to grab the spotlight in Barcelona.

The congress comes as smartphone sales in developed markets, mainly Western Europe and North America, are poised to peak this year, according to research firm CCS Insight.

"Unless we see a major new disruption similar to the one prompted by the Iphone's arrival in 2007, we expect smartphone sales in Western Europe and North America to slowly decline after 2017," said CCS analyst Jasdeep Badyal.

CCS predicts the global phone market will reach 2.35 billion units in 2019, up from 1.96 billion in 2014.

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MacBook Pro's Keyboard Irritates Some Users

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, February 25, 2017 | | 0 comments »

MacBook Pro Keyboard
Apple designed the 2016 MacBook Pro in a way that it will look thinner than ever. In fact, the company made them 17 percent thinner, creating a svelte and light frame that fits better in the hand and the backpack.

At the same time, the reduction in thickness forced some compromises, most notably in terms of smaller batteries, fewer ports with no legacy support, and the use of a second-generation version of the ultrathin keyboard first introduced with the diminutive MacBook. Apparently, the new keyboard is causing some real problems for users, and not only in terms of what it feels like when typing, as MacRumors reports.

Judging by some recent accounts, the decision to do away with the old-school and highly regarded MacBook Pro keyboard, with its superior travel ability and arguably better overall experience, has resulted in some reliability issues as well. It appears that the new key mechanism, with its second-gen butterfly design, has some issues, including keys that don’t work, high-pitched noises, and a lack of uniformity.

These accounts are showing up in Apple’s Support community, as well as MacRumors’ own site. The following video provides an example of how some keys cause an unintentional high-pitched clicking noise that seems to occur when the MacBook Pro is running a bit warm.

According to one MacRumors user, monstermac77, "Within a few hours of using my Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15 with Touch Bar, I noticed some of my keys made a very high-pitched click on-key-up (when I lifted my finger from the pressed down key). The affected keys: Caps Lock, left Option, and very occasionally: Delete, 'H,' and 'C.'"

From inconsistent spring between keys, to keys that don't respond or that generate multiple inputs per key press, the problems appear to be widespread and varied. They also seem to be occurring more on the 15-inch MacBook Pro but have been reported on all versions.

Taking an affected machine to an Apple authorized service provider is the natural response, but MacRumors reminds everyone that replacing the keyboards in the new, thin machines can take a few days and is not as simple a process as it once was.

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Face-Recognition in iPhone 8?

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, February 24, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Face-recognition in iPhone 8
In the middle of rumors that the iPhone 8 will incorporate advanced facial recognition features, the Hebrew-language website Calcalist (via Times of Israel) is reporting that Apple recently acquired Realface, an up-and-coming Israeli startup with impressive real-time facial recognition software.

Lending credence to rumors that the iPhone 8 may forgo the use of Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, Realface’s software is said to be sophisticated enough such that it can reliably be used as a foundation for mobile-based biometric authentication.

As is often the case when Apple acquires a company, Realface's web presence has already been wiped from the web. However, thanks to the magic of Google, some tech experts were able to poke around and dig up some intriguing nuggets of information about the company's promising technology.

Realface boasts that it's AI software rests upon deep learning methods and is so reliable and quick that the end-result is an absolutely seamless user experience.

"Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms," says Realface. "We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features."

Incidentally, Realface’s technology is also capable of filtering out photos of faces and advanced sculptures designed to trick the software into thinking that a device’s camera is honed in on an actual human face.

Further, Realface claims that its software can recognize faces with a 99.67 percent success rate, an impressive figure that is even higher than the average 97.5 percent success rate exhibited by humans. To this point, a profile on Realface from last year relays that the company's technology is so advanced that it can even distinguish between identical twins with alarming and impressive accuracy.

What's particularly interesting is that Realface's technology is not only capable of discerning individual faces, but can also analyze specific facial expressions as a means to determine a user’s mood. If this sounds somewhat familiar, Apple last year acquired Emotient, a company with similar AI technology of its own.

While this seems far-fetched, Ming Chi-Kuo — an analyst with the best track record regarding Apple rumors — seems to think otherwise. In a recently issued research note, Kuo claims that the iPhone 8’s rumored edgeless design cannot, for whatever reason, coexist peacefully with Touch ID. Consequently, Kuo relays that Apple wants to eventually replace Touch ID with a facial recognition solution.

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