iphone_6_plus_5-810x540

Apple Loop: iPhone 6S Frustration, Anger At iPad Pro Battery, Microsoft Storms Apple

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes data loss on the iPhone 6S, comparisons of the iPad Pro and the MacBook, more rumors on the iPhone 6C, a look at Apple’s share of smartphone profits, the lack of data from Apple News, Bing’s next step on iOS, and a look at six great cases for your iPhone.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days

Missing Data On iPhone 6S

There are a growing number of reports of user data being lost on Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 6S.  Forbes’ Gordon Kelly looks over the evidence, including Apple Insider’s initial details and the vocal posters on Apple’s own support boards.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

Apple may look to roll out a fix with iOS 9.2 (currently in testing) or a smaller patch update in a minor iOS 9.1.1. As yet the official answer from Apple is ‘no comment.’

 

The iPad Pro And The MacBook Will Never Meet

As the iPad Pro reaches consumer’s hands, Tim Cook once more has stressed that Apple is not looking merge the lines between the high-end iPad devices and the low-end Mac products. While the physical hardware in the MacBook and the iPad Pro are comparable, don’t expect to see a two-in-one in the near future. Tim Cook’s quote to the Irish Independent makes this view clear:

“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad.

“Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.

iPad Pro Power Problems

What the iPad Pro does have is an acknowledged problem in terms of power and charging. Users of the new tablet are finding that a number of units of the twelve-inch screened device is refusing to turn back on after being charged. The immediate answer in Apple’s support forums is to force a hard reset (yes, turn it off and on again):

To get back to using your iPad Pro, force restart it by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

Apple is aware of this issue and is investigating.

satyanadella

Bing’s Next Step On iOS

Microsoft continues to increase its presence on iOS with a major update of its Bing application (reports Engadget), with a focus on delivering the right answer, be it from a search engine result, a web page, or a deep link into an application.

That means that when you search for San Francisco, you don’t just get a list of webpages, you get images, relevant info from Wikipedia, related news articles and facts like population, nearby airports, travel tips and more. This style search is particularly relevant on mobile so you can get info without having to click through to other websites, and it lets search engines answer natural-language questions (like “what is the population of New York City?”) without you having to dig through a list of search results.

While Google and Bing’s knowledge graphs give you similar info, the new Bing app for iPhone steps things up by integrating search results with the iOS app ecosystem. If I tell Bing to show me coffee shops nearby, I get the expected list of options based on my location — but clicking through to a specific option pulls in a variety of data from the internet as well as a list of apps you can use to complete various tasks.

Here Comes The iPhone 6C… Honestly

Is Apple looking at a refreshed iPhone 5C for next year? There are some small indications from the supply chain that a four-inch screened version of the iPhone 6S family could be on the cards for a mid-2016 launch. James Rogerson and John McCann believe so:

Several different sources have spoken of an iPhone 6C, though there are still some voices of dissent. When it does arrive it will probably have a lot in common with the iPhone 5C, as there’s talk and even an image of a plastic shell.

If it does launch with a plastic body then there’s no doubt that it will be cheaper than Apple’s flagship phones, though how much cheaper remains to be seen.

 

Does Apple Need To Make Any More Profit?

While the iPhone 6C is a good story and one that the budget buyer (and Wall Street analysts chasing market share numbers) can believe in, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on Apple’s bottom line. According to a study this week, Cupertino already takes 94 percent of the available profits in the smartphone ecosystem. Given that, why would Apple think that cannibalizing handsets at a higher price with increased profit for a less profitable handset that forces Apple to consider market share?

…the view that Apple should move into the low-end market to gather unit share is a popular one, but you have to ask why a company that is built around the perception of quality at a high cost would want to cannibalize that image and market with a cheaper device in the chase of a numerical target that does not figure in its business plan.

In all of this, if Apple keeps on increasing its share, it won’t be long till it takes one hundred percent.

Where’s The Data From Apple News?

Apple News promises a new homepage for publishers to reach out to iOS users, but the current offering is not finding universal acclaim. The lack of real-time data from Apple and the lack of hooks into existing measurement systems is one obvious sticking point:

Apple is providing weekly data reports including basics like the volume of page views and shares, but publishers want a dashboard that they can use to analyze data on demand, and more demographic data on users. To appeal to publishers, Apple was supposed to let them count the views toward their traffic and let publishers sell ads into the app. But publishers said Apple has been delayed in adding measurement firm comScore tags to the content.

It may not be an issue for publishers that aren’t getting much traffic from Apple News now, but if the app becomes a significant source of traffic, not having comScore’s independent tracking makes advertising a hard sell. An Apple spokeswoman wouldn’t say how much traffic the app was sending publishers but that it planned to integrate comScore into the app and a data dashboard “very soon.”

The software is still in beta, but it seems curious to release the app when one of the key benefits (data) is not included in the package.

 

And Finally…

No matter the design cues of the iPhone, the cost of the hardware means that people naturally look to put the handset into a case. With a huge range to choose from, I’ve taken a look at six of the best cases for the iPhone 6S, all packed with the latest technology from batteries and balsa wood to playful graphics waterproof ratings.

Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit

 

iphone_6_plus_5-810x540

Apple Loop: iPhone 6S Frustration, Anger At iPad Pro Battery, Microsoft Storms Apple

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes data loss on the iPhone 6S, comparisons of the iPad Pro and the MacBook, more rumors on the iPhone 6C, a look at Apple’s share of smartphone profits, the lack of data from Apple News, Bing’s next step on iOS, and a look at six great cases for your iPhone.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days

Missing Data On iPhone 6S

There are a growing number of reports of user data being lost on Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 6S.  Forbes’ Gordon Kelly looks over the evidence, including Apple Insider’s initial details and the vocal posters on Apple’s own support boards.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

I’ve also been contacted personally by iPhone 6S owners, including several friends, who’ve been hit by this issue. Right now there’s no fix as the common option of a Factory reset only results in having to restore from these broken backups. Meanwhile users of older iPhones are not reporting any issues at all, so this is squarely impacting the iPhone 6S and some (though seemingly fewer) iPhone 6S Plus owners.

Apple may look to roll out a fix with iOS 9.2 (currently in testing) or a smaller patch update in a minor iOS 9.1.1. As yet the official answer from Apple is ‘no comment.’

 

The iPad Pro And The MacBook Will Never Meet

As the iPad Pro reaches consumer’s hands, Tim Cook once more has stressed that Apple is not looking merge the lines between the high-end iPad devices and the low-end Mac products. While the physical hardware in the MacBook and the iPad Pro are comparable, don’t expect to see a two-in-one in the near future. Tim Cook’s quote to the Irish Independent makes this view clear:

“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad.

“Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.

iPad Pro Power Problems

What the iPad Pro does have is an acknowledged problem in terms of power and charging. Users of the new tablet are finding that a number of units of the twelve-inch screened device is refusing to turn back on after being charged. The immediate answer in Apple’s support forums is to force a hard reset (yes, turn it off and on again):

To get back to using your iPad Pro, force restart it by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

Apple is aware of this issue and is investigating.

satyanadella

Bing’s Next Step On iOS

Microsoft continues to increase its presence on iOS with a major update of its Bing application (reports Engadget), with a focus on delivering the right answer, be it from a search engine result, a web page, or a deep link into an application.

That means that when you search for San Francisco, you don’t just get a list of webpages, you get images, relevant info from Wikipedia, related news articles and facts like population, nearby airports, travel tips and more. This style search is particularly relevant on mobile so you can get info without having to click through to other websites, and it lets search engines answer natural-language questions (like “what is the population of New York City?”) without you having to dig through a list of search results.

While Google and Bing’s knowledge graphs give you similar info, the new Bing app for iPhone steps things up by integrating search results with the iOS app ecosystem. If I tell Bing to show me coffee shops nearby, I get the expected list of options based on my location — but clicking through to a specific option pulls in a variety of data from the internet as well as a list of apps you can use to complete various tasks.

Here Comes The iPhone 6C… Honestly

Is Apple looking at a refreshed iPhone 5C for next year? There are some small indications from the supply chain that a four-inch screened version of the iPhone 6S family could be on the cards for a mid-2016 launch. James Rogerson and John McCann believe so:

Several different sources have spoken of an iPhone 6C, though there are still some voices of dissent. When it does arrive it will probably have a lot in common with the iPhone 5C, as there’s talk and even an image of a plastic shell.

If it does launch with a plastic body then there’s no doubt that it will be cheaper than Apple’s flagship phones, though how much cheaper remains to be seen.

 

Does Apple Need To Make Any More Profit?

While the iPhone 6C is a good story and one that the budget buyer (and Wall Street analysts chasing market share numbers) can believe in, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on Apple’s bottom line. According to a study this week, Cupertino already takes 94 percent of the available profits in the smartphone ecosystem. Given that, why would Apple think that cannibalizing handsets at a higher price with increased profit for a less profitable handset that forces Apple to consider market share?

…the view that Apple should move into the low-end market to gather unit share is a popular one, but you have to ask why a company that is built around the perception of quality at a high cost would want to cannibalize that image and market with a cheaper device in the chase of a numerical target that does not figure in its business plan.

In all of this, if Apple keeps on increasing its share, it won’t be long till it takes one hundred percent.

Where’s The Data From Apple News?

Apple News promises a new homepage for publishers to reach out to iOS users, but the current offering is not finding universal acclaim. The lack of real-time data from Apple and the lack of hooks into existing measurement systems is one obvious sticking point:

Apple is providing weekly data reports including basics like the volume of page views and shares, but publishers want a dashboard that they can use to analyze data on demand, and more demographic data on users. To appeal to publishers, Apple was supposed to let them count the views toward their traffic and let publishers sell ads into the app. But publishers said Apple has been delayed in adding measurement firm comScore tags to the content.

It may not be an issue for publishers that aren’t getting much traffic from Apple News now, but if the app becomes a significant source of traffic, not having comScore’s independent tracking makes advertising a hard sell. An Apple spokeswoman wouldn’t say how much traffic the app was sending publishers but that it planned to integrate comScore into the app and a data dashboard “very soon.”

The software is still in beta, but it seems curious to release the app when one of the key benefits (data) is not included in the package.

 

And Finally…

No matter the design cues of the iPhone, the cost of the hardware means that people naturally look to put the handset into a case. With a huge range to choose from, I’ve taken a look at six of the best cases for the iPhone 6S, all packed with the latest technology from batteries and balsa wood to playful graphics waterproof ratings.

Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit

 

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Apple Newton – The biggest technology flops in history

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Apple has launched the Apple Watch to much fanfare and positive early reviews. However, this collectinon of gadgets were also highly anticipated before becoming major flops. First up is Apple’s earliest foray into mobile computing.

Long before the Apple Watch, iPhone or the iPad were on the scene, in the late 80s, Apple launched the Newton PDA. In total the project cost Apple $100m but this was never rewarded with strong sales. In the end the project was cut, to be revived in spirit – if not hardware or software – when the iPhone and iPad emerged many years later.

Nvidia Unleashes Titan X Monster GPU

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Nvidia on Tuesday kicked off the annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC) by lifting the curtain on Titan X, the company’s “new flagship GeForce gaming GPU.”

Titan X is the next-gen graphics processor which powered the much-buzzed-about Oculus Rift virtual reality demo produced by Epic Games and Weta Digital at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said. Called “Thief in the Shadows,” the immersive VR experience put viewers face-to-face with Smaug the dragon from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies, knocking just about every reviewers’ socks off. Now the powerful graphics card that helped make “Thief in the Shadows” such a hit can by yours for $999.

These days, you can buy an entire desktop PC for half that, of course. But with Titan X, you’re getting 3,072 graphics processing cores which deliver 7 teraflops of peak single-precision performance, Nvidia said. Try to get that kind horsepower out of the $499 rig you just picked up at Costco, partner.

Jen-Hsun Huang Titan X

Titan X has 12GB of onboard memory and uses it very, very fast with 336.5GB/s of memory bandwidth. The Maxwell-class GPU “delivers twice the performance and double the power efficiency” of the GeForce GTX 980, according to the graphics chip maker.

“The latest AAA titles are breathtaking on Titan X in 4K. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, for example, runs at 40 frames per second on high settings with FXAA enabled, compared with 30fps on the GeForce GTX 980, released in September,” Nvidia said.

Jen-Hsun, keynoting the first day of GTC in San Jose, Calif., also stressed the capabilities of the new GPU for scientific and research applications.

It’s been almost a decade since Nvidia began consciously pivoting away from its reputation as company that only makes products for PC gaming enthusiasts. The company released CUDA eight years ago and sells bucketloads of GPUs to builders of HPC and supercomputing systems these days.

With Titan X, Nvidia is pushing hard into “deep learning,” a flavor of artificial intelligence development that the company believes will be “an engine of computing innovation for areas as diverse as advanced medical and pharmaceutical research to fully autonomous, self-driving cars.”

Nvidia’s new flagship GeForce GPU has deep-learning capabilities baked right in and Nvidia on Tuesday also introduced two complementary software and hardware development platforms, dubbed DIGITS, to help developers get the most out of those features in Titan X.

The new DIGITS Deep Learning GPU Training System software is an “all-in-one graphical system for designing, training, and validating deep neural networks for image classification,” Nvidia said. The DIGITS DevBox is the “world’s fastest desk-side deep learning machine” with four Titan X GPUs at the heart of a platform designed to accelerate deep learning research.

Nvidia also offered some insight into its future product roadmap, detailing how its next-gen GPU architecture code named Pascal will further incorporate machine-learning functionality.

“Nvidia’s opening keynote at GTC 2015 was all about showing how serious the company is about deep learning as it pertains to neural networks and machine learning,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy. “Their Titan X, DIGITS DevBox and Pascal roadmap update all point towards the company moving towards a much more serious direction in this field.

“Deep learning is the next logical step for the company in trying to improve the world of visual computing while also driving demand for GPUs and their GPU technologies.”

Seven tips to secure your iPhone from hackers

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We store our whole lives on our smartphones, so it makes sense to take security seriously. Follow these tips to stop prying eyes getting to your sensitive information

1) Use a PIN or fingerprint security

With all the things we now use our smartphone for: email; banking; browsing; shopping, it’s dangerous to leave them unguarded. Locking your screen will protect your sensitive data and apps from meddling. Just go into the settings app on your device, then the general tab and “Touch ID & passcode lock” – from here you will be able to turn on either a numeric PIN or Touch ID fingerprint scanning. If you do use a PIN steer clear of the two most common – and therefore easily guessed – combinations: 0000 and 1234.

2) Or use a longer passphrase…

If you want more security than a four-digit PIN provides – after all, there’s a one-in-10,000 chance that someone will guess it correctly first time – you can opt instead to use a passphrase. To do this, go to your settings app, then “Touch ID & Passcode” and turn “Simple Passcode” off. This will allow you to create a longer and more complex passcode with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and other symbols.

3)Self destruct

If you’re serious about stopping intruders then you can tell your phone to delete all data if it thinks someone is trying to break in. Under the same page on settings you can enable “erase data” – this will wipe the phone clean after ten incorrect guesses at the PIN. If you have Touch ID enabled then it will allow you three chances to get your fingerprint recognised, then it will revert to PIN entry.

4) Privacy settings

You have dozens of apps installed on your phone and they all have access to various features or data on your phone: some can use the camera, others the microphone, some might even be able to look at your photographs. You’ll have had to give them each permission to do this at the time, but it’s easy to lose track – maybe there are apps you no longer use, and giving them access is an unnecessary risk. Go into your settings app and then the “privacy” tab. Here you will be able to see which apps have which privileges, and turn them off/on.

5) Turn off notifications

The ability to see a summary of notifications on the lock screen is handy, but if that gives away personal or confidential data then you could be in trouble. Remember, it will show the contents of messages you receive, your calendar for that day and various other things.

6) Disable Siri

Just as with notifications, Siri can leak data even when your phone is locked. An attacker finding your phone unattended can ask him/her all sorts of questions that could reveal personal information. To put a stop to this go to settings, then “Touch ID & passcode” and set “allow access when locked” on Siri to off.

7) Type it yourself

AutoFill is a handy feature that does exactly what it says on the tin: any time that Safari sees a box asking for your name, username, password or credit card details, it fills them in for you. This is fine, unless someone else happens to be using your phone. To turn it off, go to settings, then general and “Passwords & AutoFill”.