Category Archives: Apple Inc

Gallery: Each Apple 30 poster composed of every employee name, digitally (U: Removed)

Update: Apple asked us to remove the posters.

As part of Apple’s campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mac, it released ‘Apple 30′ themed posters cleverly composed with the names of every Apple employee, corporate and retail alike. While the physical posters are located on Apple’s campus, the company decided to release digital versions on their internal system so current employees could locate their names amid the vast sea of alphabet.

While current employees can access the digital versions on Apple’s internal system and locate their name based on their employee ID number, former employees have not been granted that opportunity (and a trek to Apple campus in Cupertino doesn’t come cheap). That’s until now. A friendly, former employee gained access to the digital files and shared what he found with us below…

The series of names begins with Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the company’s two founders of course, and continues with every Apple employee, past and present, including yours truly (seen above) and anyone else you could imagine.

While Apple’s internal system allows employees to locate their name by employee ID number, these images of course do not. That’s nothing a little OCR magic can’t stop though.

A promise to everyone. Kept by every one of us.
On January 24, 1984, we made a promise to take the power of technology from the few and put it in the hands of the many. This series of ten posters recognizes all those who have helped turn that promise into reality. In other words, every single person who has ever worked at Apple.

Check out each poster below and begin the hunt for your name if you’re a former employee! Enjoy.

See update above. Bye posters. [Removed]


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple 30, Apple Campus, Apple Inc, Apple Retail

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The guiding iBeacon: Helping brands navigate customer relationships

In technology circles, beacons are the topic du jour; one of the biggest buzz makers as 2013 rushes to an end. It’s no wonder – the technology has the potential to be one of the biggest innovations to affect the customer experience since the smartphone. Beacons’ ability to bridge the online and offline world in new ways and reduce friction between customer and brand interactions will enable instant customer identification empowering brand representatives on the front lines to provide personal welcomes. Mobile payment adoption will speed up. Companies will optimize revenue through demand-based offers and pricing, a la Uber.

The focus of the conversation around water coolers has primarily been focused on the retail industry. Apple recently unveiled its iBeacon strategy, introducing the technology at all of its retail stores. The potential for beacons in the retail environment are vast: shoppers will be reminded about their favorite items and receive immediate, actionable messages (The sweater on your wish list is on the 2nd Floor. Don’t forget to try it on!); consumers will get personalized deals based on their past purchases and preferences, loyalty level, and propensity to buy or share; and proximity marketing will entice people to enter stores with tailored information on new products or sales.

The net that beacons will cast, however, is far wider than the retail scenario, especially when, according to Forbes, Apple has laid the groundwork for every iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad sold since the iPhone 4S into an iBeacon. Here are some of the most exciting use cases that no one is talking about yet:

Travel: Airlines and hotels can use beacons to personally welcome travelers, upsell products and services and allow for frictionless payment for add-ons (Hi Myles! It’s a full flight today! Touch here to pay $10.99 for priority boarding.). Real-time demand-based offers would also allow travel providers to optimize revenue. A cancellation at a hotel spa, for instance, could immediately trigger a last-minute offer to guests based on loyalty level who are currently on the property. With new FAA guidelines, beacon technology could streamline the in-flight experience, including food and drink orders, and update the crew of travelers’ preferences and requirements (Frequent flier Taylor Smith in 9A has a peanut allergy).

Real estate: Beacons could be placed at open houses to instantly remind agents about prospective homebuyers’ tastes and preferences, allowing Realtors to highlight the property features that would excite each potential buyer. The homebuyer would receive messages as she moves throughout the property – pointing out unique traits or information (The master bathroom was redone last year. The wood in the vanity was imported from Africa.)

Property management: Luxury apartment buildings and condominiums could take advantage of beacons to provide a unique and engaging tenant experience. Doormen would personally welcome all residents, and property managers could disseminate personalized and relevant messages and information. (Welcome home, Laurie! You had a package delivered today. Please stop by the mail room.) When units become available, beacons could alert passers by who are on the market to move, providing pictures and information as well as the ability to schedule a viewing.

Dining: Beacons would empower wait staff to better serve their customers by knowing their preferences and special requests without the repeat customer having to restate it (Jeff at table 2D prefers no ice in his water). Restaurateurs could also automate promotions based on real-time inventory factors (Salmon Special! — when there is a surplus) or seating capacity (Tonight only! Free dessert with a purchase of $30) to fill tables.

Media: Traditional and new media properties would use beacons in cafés, waiting rooms and lobbies to provide full or partial access to a broad audience. For instance, a local café could subscribe in order to provide its patrons with a reading content and entertainment while they enjoy their morning breakfast.

Gas stations: Since the advent of “pay at the pump,” ancillary sales at gas stations have decreased significantly. Beacons could not only facilitate contactless payments, but could alert drivers of specials to tempt them into the station (Buy one 12 pack of any Coca-Cola product, get one free!)

Beacon technology will significantly enhance the customer journey – from discovery and research to payment and reviews – and we will see savvy marketers bringing beacons into their physical environments early next year. Brands across multiple industries need to start experimenting with proximity marketing and getting creative with engagement campaigns that hold the key to personal and profitable customer relationships.

Puneet Mehta is Co-Founder and CEO of MyCityWay.

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The Revolv hub: Good hardware, mediocre software, lots of promise

Revolv, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that has been building a hub for the smart home, has finally let its radio-packed machine out into the homes of reviewers. And unless you’re an early adopter with an iPhone who already has a select bunch of connected devices today, this isn’t the device for you.

However, if you own a Sonos, a Nest, Yale Locks, Kwickset locks, the Philips Hue lightbulbs, Insteon products or a few other devices on this list, the Revolv might be worth the $299 asking price. Again, I say might, because if you have all of these devices and don’t have a desire to start playing with a limited feature set under one app (knowing that feature set is going to improve), then this isn’t for you. However, if you want to connect a lot of binary devices (on/off), then by all means buy this hub.

hhome
That’s a lot of caveats, which feels harsh for a device that I think has a lot of promise. The challenge here for Revolv, for reviewers and for others, is that the idea behind a smart home is shifting, and doing so at such a rapid pace it’s hard to say exactly what the end user experience should be and how we should get there.

My bias is for a simple-to-use-interface that can support a lot of devices and let me control their basic features on a day-to-day basis. The challenge for these developers will be that what I consider a basic feature for my Sonos may not be the same feature my cousin uses constantly. The other challenge for Revolv will be working with the device maker to get as much support for features via the API as possible. My bias may not win out, but I like that Revolv shares that worldview.

The hardware

The hub is shipping today for those that pre-ordered it, and is available on Nov. 28 via Amazon; it contains seven radios including Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee and Insteon. It uses your phone’s GPS to get your proximity so you can set up certain actions to happen when you get closer to your home (or leave it). However, for now it only supports iOS devices and works only on the 2.4 GHz band of your home Wi-Fi network. As an Android user I really missed out on a few features that aren’t available in my iPad.

revolvhub

The experience: Set up

Set up is super simple, which is what Revolv is going for. You take out the hub, scan a QR code to get an app (or just download it) and plug the hub into the wall. Because it communicates through Wi-Fi you don’t have to plug it into a router using Ethernet, which was a plus for me, with other connected hubs jamming my four available ports.

menuTo get the Revolv onto the network you follow a simple process that includes entering your Wi-Fi network password, and culminates in you laying an iPad or iPhone on top of the hub and letting the camera flash communicate with it. Whatever the flashing signals, the end result is that your hub and the app on the Apple device are paired (yes, Android is coming, but there’s no set date yet).

Device recognition is also simple. The app recognized the Hue lights, my six Sonos bridges and my Belkin WeMo without me doing anything (to control the Hue lights from the app I did have to press the button on the Hue bridge). I also manually added my Kwikset door locks, which was a two-minute process. Adding locks takes a manual step as a security precaution. With all my devices onboard, it was time to play.

The experience: Taking action

Here’s where the Revolv experience stumbles. I could control my lamp plugged into the WeMo with a double click, but the delay between telling the app to do something and it happening could run up to five seconds. On top of that, when it comes to building little recipes (Revolv calls them actions) to combine devices or set them to take action based on time or my location (either home or away), the app struggled.

First, setting up an action was a bit confusing. Once you select the option to create an action, you arrive at a screen with four pictographic options: motion, time, location and a gear that basically lets you double click on something to activate it. I found that final option confusing, because sometimes when I double clicked my WeMo icon from the home screen it would turn on/off the lamp plugged into it, but sometimes it would open up access to the device screen and I would then have to tap again to turn it back off/on.

takeaction

I also found creating the actions an uneven experience. You select one of the four triggers, then define it and click a bar that says “Create Trigger.” The next step is to choose the device you want to add as part of that action. Once you choose a device you then have to set the specific action, such as turn my Hue lights blue. You can also name your action: Sometimes those saved, sometimes they didn’t.

The final issue for me is that while I could manually trigger all of the recipes I set up, only one of the four happened automatically. When it came to the location triggers, my Wi-Fi-only iPad 3 doesn’t have GPS which means it couldn’t use the Revolv “GeoSense” technology to set the action in motion. So for now, iPhone users or iPads with GPS appear to be the only means to set a location trigger.

The app did tell me it was unlocking my door when I entered the Wi-Fi network, without actually unlocking my door. However, when one of my two time-based triggers failed to occur I was frustrated. It turned out I had somehow changed the trigger signal without realizing it — or maybe it hadn’t saved properly.

I expect a lot of this to get better over time, and hope Revolv can update the app issues quickly. On the hardware side, the hub is flexible and unobtrusive. My Z-Wave locks had a hard time reaching the hub from one floor up and about eight feet over, but perhaps if I had another Z-Wave based device on the network to act as a repeater that could help.

All in all, this is a device that works well, but the software is a frustrating experience that requires a bit of learning (or maybe a software update). Luckily for Revolv, software can be updated, and the vision here is solid. I look forward to testing it again a few updates in and when it has Android support. I like the creativity this will offer me in setting up different interactions around my home and want to keep playing.

Updated at 7:30 to reflect the ship date vs. Amazon availability.

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John McCain And Tim Cook Share A Laugh: “Why Do I Keep Having To Update My Apps All The Time?”

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 12.13.37 PM

John McCain ended his grilling of Apple CEO Tim Cook at today’s Senate Sub-Committee Hearing to Examine Offshore Profit Shifting and Tax Avoidance by Apple Inc. with a nice little joke.

“Sir, there’s only one thing I wanted to ask you today: why do I keep on having to update all the apps on my iPhone? Can’t you guys fix that already?”

“Sir,” Tim cook laughed. “We’re working on making our products better all the time.”

    


Walmart offers $100 iTunes/App Store downloadable gift card for $80

From 9to5Toys.com:

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For a limited time, Walmart.com is offering a $100 downloadable Apple iTunes/App Store gift card for just $80. These popular gift cards can be used on iBooks, iTunes Movies, Videos, music, Mac and iOS Apps.  We’ve heard these do work internationally if paid for with a US source and used in the US iTunes/App Stores.

You are basically getting 20% off every Apple media purchase you make.  Also makes a great gift…we imagine.

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AT&T announces FaceTime over cellular on iOS 6 will ONLY be available on Mobile Share plans

We broke the news just a month ago that AT&T looked like it was prepping to limit the use of FaceTime over cellular, and we find today that limitation was indeed the intention. As with most Friday after-work announcements, this is bad news – for AT&T customers.

We just got the word directly from AT&T that Facetime over 3G and 4G would only be available on AT&T for those who choose to go with its new “Mobile Share” plans. If you have an individual plan or family plan, you will not be able to purchase or use FaceTime over 3G/4G at any price. Pre-paid? Nope.

The official statement:

AT&T will offer FaceTime over Cellular as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans, which were created to meet customers’ growing data needs at a great value. With Mobile Share, the more data you use, the more you save. FaceTime will continue to be available over Wi-Fi for all our customers.

AT&T noted that you could still use FaceTime over Wi-Fi with an AT&T iPhone. *Slow Clap*.

As for the competition, Sprint already announced that it will not hinder FaceTime over cellular, and Verizon is being forced not to mess with it because of a Net Neutrality promise.

I’m not sure how smart a move this is for a company that has a quarter of the LTE infrastructure as Verizon. AT&T might have been able to pull this when they had faster 3G, exclusive simultaneous Talk+Data and broader international roaming. But with Verizon’s much broader LTE coverage and Sprint’s much more generous plans, there is hardly a reason to stick with AT&T.

Also, we get into the legality of blocking a service. The FCC forced AT&T to allow Skype over 4G, so how is this OK?

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Apple seeds new OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 beta (build 12B17) to developers

Less than a week after seeding the initial build of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 (build 12B13), Apple has followed up with a new build to developers. The beta, coming in at build number 12B17, has no known issues. Apple asks developers to focus on Active Directory, iCal, Microsoft Exchange in Mail, PAC proxies in Safari, SMB, USB, and WiFi and audio when connected to an Apple Thunderbolt Display.

10.X.1 OS X updates are usually maintenance updates released soon after the initial 10.X.0 release. The short amount of time between developer beta releases, and the small amount of builds between the earlier release and today’s release should point to that. However, the release notes are yet to be included in 10.8.1 seeds. (as shown above).

Earlier this week, Apple seeded a new beta of 10.7.5, a maintenance release for OS X Lion.