Category Archives: Apple Inc

Reading Roundup: Everything to know (so far) about iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve published several articles detailing the future of iOS (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s operating system), OS X (the Mac’s operating system), and Watch OS (the software that runs on the Apple Watch). Here’s a list of links to the stories we’ve written thus far about the new operating systems, and we’ll keep updating this page as we publish new and relevant details.

iOS

Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font: This story details Apple’s plans to utilize a new typeface for iOS 9, taking a page out of the design language for the Apple Watch.

– Apple’s planned iOS 9 ‘Home’ app uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories: This article discusses Apple’s testing of a new application called “Home” that will be used to manage various HomeKit devices within the home.

Maps Transit

Apple readies Transit subway, train + bus guides for iOS 9 Maps, deploys robots for indoor mapping: After not being ready for release last year, Apple is apparently finally ready to take the wraps off of its Transit directions service for the iOS Maps application. This story also details Apple’s indoor mapping initiative and special robots roaming the Apple Cupertino campus.

 Future of iPad: Dual-app viewing mode, then J98/J99 ‘iPad Pros,’ multi-user support: In this story, we detail three major iPad-centric initiatives, including planned multi-user software support, a split-screen app viewing mode coming in iOS 9, and a pair of 12-inch iPads with enhanced industrial designs.

 iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus, smaller apps, Rootless security, legacy iPhone/iPad support: This extensive story reveals Apple’s plans for using its 2015 Mac and iOS updates as a time to introduce significant performance, optimization, and bug fix-based enhancements. Apple is also planning on supporting older iPhones and iPads, while boosting their performance simultaneously.

iOS 9 supports ‘iPhone 6S’ Force Touch, may enhance iMessage, Keyboard & Apple Pay: This story discusses how iOS 9 builds in support for the upcoming Force Touch Display feature in the next iPhone hardware upgrade. We also discuss Apple’s plans for adding new features to iMessage, the iPhone and iPad keyboard, and Apple Pay’s next stop.

iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China: This article builds upon our initial report about the mass transit mapping feature coming in iOS 9, and specifies which regions the service will initially launch in.

Apple’s ‘Proactive’ to take on Google Now with deep iOS 9 search, Augmented Reality Maps, Siri API: This expansive story provides an in-depth look at Apple’s development of a significant new iOS initiative internally named “Proactive.” Combining major upgrades to Siri, Spotlight, and Maps, “Proactive” is a long-term Apple strategy to combat the Google Now feature found on Android devices.

OS X

screen-shot-2014-06-10-at-4-30-39-pm

– Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font: This story details Apple’s plans to utilize a new typeface for OS X 10.11, taking a page out of the design language for the Apple Watch.

 iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus, smaller apps, Rootless security, legacy iPhone/iPad support: This extensive story reveals Apple’s plans for using its 2015 Mac and iOS updates as a time to introduce significant performance, optimization, and bug fix-based enhancements. We also share the first details about Apple’s upgraded Swift programming language and platform for developers. Apple is also planning to add some new features to the Mac, including a Control Center panel that swipes out from the left side of a Mac’s display.

Watch OS and Apple TV

applewatchstainlesssteelblack

– Apple readies first significant Apple Watch updates, ’TVKit’ SDK for Apple TV: This story details the first significant updates coming to the Apple Watch, including upgrades for third-party complications and better Apple TV remote support. Speaking of the Apple TV, this article also details Apple’s plans for a new iOS-based Apple TV to debut at WWDC.

Stay Tuned

As the early June Worldwide Developers Conference gets closer, we’ll publish a thorough roundup of everything to expect, so keep an eye out for that as well.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS, iOS Devices, Mac Tagged: App Store (iOS), Apple Inc, Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, IBooks, iOS, iPad, iPhone, IPod Touch, iTunes, OS X

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Google begins rolling out App Indexing to its iOS apps

OpenTable Side-by-side

Google’s App Indexing technology isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to discuss, but so long as the majority of the company’s revenue still comes from search (it does), it is imperative that they figure out how to make their main business work on mobile where the eyeballs are going. So the company announced that today App Indexing is coming to iOS apps, starting with Chrome and Google Search.

If you don’t know how App Indexing works, the image above from the blog post announcing the change should help explain. In layman’s terms, developers can add a couple lines of code to their app which then allow Google to crawl the app and send data back and forth, like the company already does with webpages on the public Internet.

Now if a user is searching Google to get a reservation to a specific restaurant and OpenTable can book it, for example, clicking the link in Google Search for iOS may bump the user over to the restaurant’s information page in the OpenTable app so long as they have it installed.

If the recent Goldman Sachs analysis quoted by The New York Times of Google’s search business is accurate and 75% of the company’s mobile search revenue is indeed coming from iOS, it’s easy to see how any change like this is incredibly important for Google. Much to the chagrin of web developers like myself, native apps can more often than not provide a much better experience than the mobile web.

By adding deep App Indexing to its iOS apps, Google can potentially decrease load times and frustration caused by slow-loading, graphic intensive, ad-ridden mobile websites. Remember, Google makes the most money when it can prove its ROI for advertisers. Users dropping off due to pains like the ones I mentioned is not good for the company.

App Indexing is rolling out with a small group of test users initially, but the company is working on making it available to more developers as soon as possible. Developers can, however, implement App Indexing starting today and be ready when Google begins allowing more developers deep links to show up in search results. They’ve provided more information on how to do so in their blog post.


Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple Inc, Google, Google Search, Google Search for iPhone, iOS, iPhone

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Apple’s iOS 7/8 icons for App Store and Siri are now registered trademarks

icons

Apple may have long ago given up on protecting ‘App Store‘ as a trademark, but it has now been granted a trademark for the iOS 7/8 icons for both the App Store and Siri.

Patently Apple notes that the trademark categories are broad, spanning everything from sporting events to wine sommelier services, reflecting the hugely diverse range of content covered by the two services.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apps Tagged: App Store (iOS), Apple Inc, Apple trademarks, iOS, Siri, trademarks

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Millward Brown explains why Apple retook #1 slot as world’s most valuable brand

apple-most-valuable-brand

Millward Brown’s full report on its 10th annual brand equity ranking sheds light on why Apple regained its #1 ranking from Google. The company bases its rankings on the perceptions of more than 3 million consumers across 50 countries.

With a 67 percent rise in Brand Value to $247 billion, Apple returned to number one in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking. Success of the iPhone 6 and the related excitement surrounding the Apple brand drove the increase. Apple also led in the rate of brand value growth over 10 years – 1,446 percent.

The company noted that Apple’s remarkable growth in long-term brand equity was evident in the fact that it didn’t even make the top 100 brands when Millward Brown began its BrandZ measurements just ten years ago … 

Apple’s ranking reflects the strength of both consumer loyalty to the brand, as well as trust in the company, says the report. It also notes that other brands have benefited from the popularity of Apple Pay.

Apple was buoyed by not only the iPhone 6 launch and news of the hotly anticipated Apple Watch, but also by the launch of HealthKit and Apple Pay. The latter in particular had spillover effects beyond the technology category – its launch partners like Bank of America also enjoyed a dose of consumer appreciation in connection with the product.

The full report suggests that Apple’s use of the Watch to reposition itself from a premium tech company to a luxury brand would help it stave off competition from Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi, which have been moving their products upmarket to compete with flagship models from established smartphone brands.

Having always sold premium products, Apple became more explicit about its luxury positioning with the introduction of the Apple Watch, and announced plans to refurbish Apple stores with sales counters and displays suggesting department store exclusivity. At the same time, premium positioning also presented Apple with one of its fundamental competitive challenges, as Chinese brands such as Huawei and Xiaomi and Indian makers like Micromax offered quality smart phones at much lower prices. Apple’s Brand Power remained a major advantage. Consumers were drawn both to the efficacy, ease of use and design of Apple products, and to the allure of the brand itself.

Apple of course tops many rankings, Forbes also naming it most valuable brand, Barron’s ranking it the world’s most respected company, and Berkshire Hathaway consistently ranking Apple as the world’s most admired company.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch Tagged: AAPL, Apple awards, Apple Inc, Apple rankings, BrandZ, iPhone, Millward Brown, World's most valuable brand

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Opinion: Should AAPL stockholders be worried about Jony Ive’s more backseat role?

jony-ive-future-apple
The Apple world this morning seems divided between those who seemingly haven’t grasped the implications of Apple’s ‘promotion’ of Jony Ive, merely taking Cook’s memo at face value, and those switching into full-on ‘Apple is doomed’ mode. The reality is, I think, a little more nuanced.

It seems pretty clear that this move is, as Seth outlined earlier, about Ive taking more of a backseat role – and especially being able to spend a lot more time back in England. Apple’s decision to announce the news on a day when the US markets were closed was obviously not coincidence.

Apple didn’t want to see a knee-jerk panic reaction on Wall Street setting its stock diving. But is there reason to panic? Or is it all much ado about nothing? Or something between the two … ? 

Let’s start with Ive giving up management responsibilities. This is, in my view, a non-event. For all I know, Ive may be the best manager in the world, the master of budget forecasts, the maestro of people management, the– Ok, I’ve run out of superlatives beginning with M. But given that he speaks with great passion about design, and barely mentions management in any of his interviews, I strongly suspect that he has merely tolerated management responsibilities as the price of being in charge of design.

But what of taking a more back-seat role on design? That, surely, is a pretty big deal?

design

There’s no question that Ive has been massively influential in modern industrial design, and his work a huge part of Apple’s success. For all his famed modesty in interviews, his talk of teams and saying ‘we’ far more than ‘I’, there’s no doubt that Apple’s design language is very much born from Ive’s personal vision.

But his modesty does also reflect a reality of large corporations. Apple works very hard to present itself to the world as a small entity run by a few friendly and familiar faces. Steve Jobs was for many years almost the sole face of Apple. Today, we see more faces than we used to. Not just Tim Cook and Jony Ive, but also Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller, Angela Ahrendts.

But that’s still a pretty small small group of faces for the largest company in the world by market cap. For every familiar face, there are hundreds of unknown ones, quietly doing incredibly important work behind the scenes. And that’s true of industrial and user interface design too. There’s Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, of course – both faces we’re going to see a lot more of in the coming months. But behind them are a whole army of talented designers and UX experts.

team

There’s no contradiction here between the two views I’ve expressed: that Apple’s design language stems from one man’s personal vision, and that nothing Apple produces is ever designed by one person. The vision may be Ive’s, but the realization of that vision is the work of a whole team of people.

We don’t even know for sure if the change announced represents much of a shift from what happens today. Does Ive spend most of his time beavering away on CAD systems, making clay models and personally exploring the properties of hundreds of different materials? Or does his team do most of the hands-on work while Ive provides the direction, the feedback, the suggestions, the yes or no decisions?

It could well be the latter, in which case very little need change.

language

But either way, it’s not hard to see that the latter approach could serve Apple well in future. Ive has created a very well-established Apple design language. He works with a team of bright, thoughtful people who have years of experience at working within that language.

Even for a completely new Apple product, it’s not like Ive is the only man on the planet who can come up with an amazing design that completely fits into the Apple product family. If Ive were to do nothing more than set the criteria and outline the vision, providing feedback and guidance on the different iterations, we’d still get great designs. Indeed, given the experience his team has, we’d still get great designs if Ive just waited for his team to come up with ideas and said ‘add X, remove Y, change Z then come back and show me another one.’

future But I doubt that’s what’s going to happen here. Sure, management responsibilities are difficult to fulfill remotely – but design can be done from anywhere. Ive would be as capable of leading design direction whether sitting in a lab in Cupertino or in a home office in England.

And while he could clearly well afford to retire, I don’t see that happening. Offload management stuff, absolutely. Reduce his day-to-day workload, definitely. But it’s clear Ive still loves, eats and breathes design. He couldn’t give it up if he wanted to. And, honestly, Apple would be pretty dumb to give Ive a new C-level title (only the third one in the company) shortly before having to announce his retirement.

So I suspect his new role will be somewhere between the two extremes. A certain amount of hands-on design work. A certain amount of strategic direction. A certain amount of feedback, guidance, decision-making.

But even in the worst of cases, no one individual is indispensable. Apple clearly has an amazing team of designers, well-versed in what it is that makes a design ‘Apple.’ With or without Ive, they will continue to do great work. Life would go on. Apple design would go on. Apple would not be doomed (though the pronouncements that it is would go on).

Top image: fastcolabs.com


Filed under: AAPL Company, Opinion Tagged: Alan Dye, Angela Ahrendts, Apple design, Apple Inc, craig federighi, Eddy Cue, iPhone, iPhone 7, Ive, Jonathan Ive, Jony Ive, Mac, MacBook, Phil Schiller, richard howarth, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook

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What Jony Ive’s ‘promotion’ to Chief Design Officer really means

Sir Jonathan Ive

A lot of folks are taking Sir Jonathan Ive’s just announced title of as Chief Design Officer at face value. Congratulations are in order and all that. But there is a lot more going on than a title change.

Ive basically runs the show at Apple and can do or have just about anything he wants. Titles aren’t of any significance, especially to someone with as little ego and indifference to such things as Ive. There is clearly more to the story than Apple is telling us. 

Announcing the role change on a US Federal holiday and effective on 2015H2 day 1 –July 1st is something big, planned and perhaps not to be taken as lightly as it is being portrayed.

Let’s look at the announcement which was made via a Stephen Fry article in the UK Telegraph and then announced over internal email (but not on Apple’s PR page -“nothing to see here folks!”). First of all, Ive and Fry are good friends which tells me it was Ive’s choice of news outlet to announce the news. That means the change and how it was going down was likely Ive’s decision and direction. Also, the US markets aren’t open so the AAPL stock jockeys won’t fall off their horses before they think about this for a few hours at least…then fall off.

More importantly, there is some background to consider. We’ve known for quite some time that Ive longs to be back in his native Britain for a variety of reasons. One thing Fry said in the long and winding story really jumped out at me:

Jony will travel more, he told me.

Heather Jonny Ive Twins

The family man with his twins

In my mind, that immediately rang as code for moving back to England.

In an important 2011 profile, the Sunday Times noted that Ive longed to be back in the UK and almost left Apple that year before he was given a huge payout by Apple to stay on longer.

He and wife Heather, who met while they were studying at Newcastle Polytechnic, are said to want to educate their twins in England. He still visits the institution in the north-east to give masterclasses, giving up part of his three weeks’ annual leave. A friend of the family told The Sunday Times: ‘Unfortunately he is just too valuable to Apple and they told him in no uncertain terms that if he headed back to England he would not be able to sustain his position with them.’

Ding!ding!ding! New position. Get two subordinates to handle the day to day operations and pack your bags? Not quite that easy. If Ive left Apple, he’d be betraying Steve Jobs and abandoning his power as the most influential designer in the world. But he also can’t run the iOS UI and hardware design teams over Facetime. You simply just can’t just call in such an important position.

So there’s this compromise. Ive gets two subordinates to run his two incredibly important programs then gets to spend a reasonable amount of time in the UK with his kids who then aren’t forced to grow up talking like Americans and pronouncing ‘aluminum’ like animals.

What’s Ive going to focus on while he’s out of town? Fry unceremoniously lays it out. He’s going to work with London-based Foster and Partners on the design of the Spaceship Campus 2 project and Apple Retail Stores…

…he will bring his energies to bear – as he has already since their inception – on the Apple Stores that are proliferating around the world. The company’s retail spaces have been one of their most extraordinary successes…

It is the fruit of a longstanding and friendly collaboration between Apple and Foster + Partners — you might say between Sir Jonathan Ive KBE and Lord Foster of Thames Bank OM.

…along with overseeing his new subordinate teams.

Remember, having Industrial Design and UI design coming out of the same brain was one of the key selling points of the Scott Forstal departure.  Splitting the teams up again and making Alan Dye head of UI and Richard Howarth head of hardware design is a reversal of that very deliberate Tim Cook move. Perhaps as a foreshadowing, both execs were given public access by Apple for the first time in the New Yorker and WIRED pieces in the Apple Watch run up a few months ago. Howarth was even propped up as high as getting credit for designing the original iPhone.

What might be ironic about the change however is that Ive now has a C-level position (CDO?) which may make him eligible for the official Officers and Directors list. That would mean that changes in his renumeration would be public information through SEC filings.

As sad as it is to say, this feels like Jony Ive putting one foot out the door at Apple. He’s clearly set for life in monetary terms and doesn’t have much to prove in the electronics design world. iPhones, iPads and UIs will get flatter and the world will move on. That’s not to say there isn’t important work to be done in Apple Stores and the Campus 2 design, but this certainly feels like the end of an era.

…Or maybe he’s going to go design the Apple Car.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, CDO, England, iPhone, Jonathan Ive, Stephen Fry, Steve Jobs, The Daily Telegraph, UK

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Designer shows why Apple is adopting San Francisco as its new system font

san-francisco

When Apple launched the Watch, it also designed a new system font to go with it: San Francisco. The typeface was specifically designed to combine a clean look with readability on the small display of the Apple Watch.

We exclusively revealed last week that Apple doesn’t intend to limit San Francisco to the watch: it instead plans to adopt the new typeface for Macs, iPhones and iPads. San Francisco is expected to replace Helvetica Neue as part of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Designer Wenting Zhang features the font in a look at “the beautiful details of the type forms that often get overlooked” … 

The Type Detail project is aimed at typography fans, so you won’t find explanations of the technical terms use in the visual analysis, but it does reveal a few of the details that make San Francisco easy to read even in very small sizes.

One of the keys to readability is what is described as the large x-height: lower-case letters are around 75% of the height of capitals, making lower-case letters larger than in a typical font. The ‘eye’ of letters like e and a – the gap between the tail and the rest of the letter – are also larger than usual.

The site shows what the typeface looks like in a range of sizes, weights and styles, and says that it is similar to Open Sans and Arial.

Don’t expect too many new features in either iOS 9 or OS X 10.11: multiple sources tell our Mark Gurman that both updates will focus more on quality and stability than headline features. If you don’t want to wait for OS X 10.11, you can download a modified version of the font now and install it as your system font in Yosemite.

Via TNW


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch Tagged: Apple Inc, iOS, iOS 9, OS X, OS X 10.11, San Francisco

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