Apple Reportedly Working On Social Video Editing App →

August 26, 2016 · 09:03

Mark Gurman reporting for Bloomberg:

Now Apple is starting to develop a video sharing app that allows users to record video, apply filters and drawings to the media — much like Snapchat does — and send it to contacts or via existing social networks such as Twitter Inc., according to the people familiar with its development. The software is currently being designed to be used mostly with one hand and with the intention that video could be shot, edited, and uploaded in less than 1 minute, the people said. At least one of the prototype designs for the app would shoot video in an Instagram-like square shape, one of the people said.

The goal behind the project’s development is to offer simple video editing with tools that appeal to the generation of users growing up with Snapchat and Instagram, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Snapchat told investors in April that more than one-third of its daily users create their own photo-and-video “Stories” of their daily lives. Apple’s current plan calls for its project to become a stand-alone app, presumably as a download via the App Store, but the company may decide to package the functionality into the iPhone’s existing camera application, the people said.

First of all, many people have reported that Apple is working on their own version of Snapchat or Instagram Stories and this does not seem to be the case from what I read of Mark’s report.

I imagine that this is an offline tool for creating content which can then be posted to existing social networks, because if you need an app to view the content, I don’t think people will switch — they already have Snapchat, IG, Facebook, and Twitter. The mentioned apps are also available on Android. Should Apple go down the path of making their app required to view content and not offering an Android app, I don’t see it getting off the ground.

This is a similar problem to Apple News, which is not only restricted to iOS, but also to regions — whenever I see a link on Twitter or elsewhere, and I click it, I get a ‘this news item is not available in your location’ message, which has led me to just stop clicking on the links. Months of this kind of behaviour have taught me to avoid them altogether.

The app is being developed in the same Apple department that developed Final Cut Pro and iMovie software, according to the people.

I use Final Cut Pro. It does almost everything that I need, but I do wish it would improve at a faster pace. It just seems as if Apple has abandoned their pro tools.

Apple is striving for a 2017 release, the people said, adding that the project could be killed if it doesn’t meet the company’s timetable and expectations.

I wonder it this means it will be released with iOS 11 or whenever it’s ready. Linking it to iOS release cycles would be a mistake, since an app like this wouldn’t get updated as often as it should. I’m also worried that it will be basically abandoned in time, when the team gets pulled to do different projects. These are my worries mostly based on Apple’s historical behaviour.

Separate from its video sharing app, Apple has developed and tested multiple social-related features for its iPhone and iPad operating system over the past year that have yet to be released, according to people familiar with the matter. One system that has been tested and still may launch in the future is a bolstered version of the “proactive assistance” functionality.

The proposed enhancements are designed to more effectively connect users with their contacts, one of the people said. Apple’s goal is to make sharing and connectivity with contacts a system-wide feature, the people said. The company has also worked to consolidate communications between users into single panels. For example, two friends could be able to see all text messages, e-mails, and social network interactions between each other in a single window, one of the people said.

Now this sounds interesting. I was just looking for a conversation the other day with a friend — checked Twitter, Slack, Facebook, and I still didn’t find it. Turned out it was in Messages.

Tesla Model S P100D Introduced; 0-60 Times Make for Good Marketing →

August 25, 2016 · 14:17

The Tesla Team:

The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5* seconds. However, both the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited run, million dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new. While those cars are small two seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric, all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.

The 0-60 time makes for surprisingly good marketing. In the real world, it’s meaningless for most people. Give me a Tesla, with an interior that matches today’s Audis, BMWs, and Mercs, make it slower (6 seconds to 62 mph is plenty fast), and increase range dramatically. When that happens, I won’t have any more reservations about the car. Oh, and put a set of good brakes on it please.

Vesper hero

John Gruber Says Goodbye to Vesper →

August 24, 2016 · 08:28

John Gruber:

I really enjoyed working with Brent and Dave. When we were on a roll I could tell that we were doing good work, and it was fun. I’ve spent the better part of my career working solo. It was great to be on a team. I don’t remember who came up with the names “Q Branch” (I think that was Brent), or “Vesper” (I’m pretty sure that one was Dave), but in both cases, as soon as the name was proposed, the whole team said, Yes, that’s the name. That’s it.

With “Vesper” we were thinking things like beautiful, smart, clever, strong. In the end, the name was more apt than we knew, because it also carries heartbreak.

John also points out the mistakes they probably made while working on Vesper. Looking back on my years of using Vesper, he’s probably right. It’s a good example of how your love for your product can blind you from the seemingly obvious.

Even though I had absolutely nothing to do with Vesper, I am very sad that the app is now officially dead. It’s still on my home screen and though I haven’t been using it for a while, it did provide a very specific function in my workflow. One that I will miss greatly. There aren’t many apps out in the world with which I had developed something more than just a passing fancy. Truly, there are only two pieces of software that I can say that I loved. One of them is Tweetbot [iOS / Mac], which will keep me pinned to iOS for as long as it exists — I already dread the day when Tapbots call it quits — and the second is Vesper [iOS]. While Tweetbot completely replaced my need for the official Twitter app, I as hoping Vesper would do the same for Evernote and Notes. Unfortunately, it didn’t and seeing how sad this whole situation makes me, I can only imagine the pain that Brent, Dave, and John are going through.

Cheers, Vesper. We had a good run, you and I.

Microsoft Invented the Tablet Market →

August 22, 2016 · 22:25

Matt Weinberger:

It’s not all sunshine and roses for Surface, though: Despite booking $4.1 billion in Surface revenue last quarter, and despite the fact that the Microsoft Surface basically invented the market that Apple is now carving out for itself with the iPad Pro, Microsoft is still lagging behind Apple in so-called hybrid-tablet sales overall.

Wait, what?

Todd Was Wrong About the iPad Pro →

August 22, 2016 · 22:23

Todd Haselton:

I’m quick to criticize new products, our readers know that all too well, but I was wrong about the iPad Pro.


I personally know a few people who totally trashed the iPad until the day they spent some time with it and got it. They then went and got one for themselves.

Samsung Note 7 Delivers Embarrassing Real-World Performance →

August 22, 2016 · 15:22

Eric Hulse:

We have four units within our staff, and every one of our new Notes suffer clear performance issues, sometimes consistently and other times infrequently. The worst hiccups and stutters – or delays – happen only every now and then, but the phone itself is simply slower than its competitors at nearly every action. We have tested the application launch times, both hot and cold, of the Note 7 under the same conditions as our other devices and found it trailing behind not just other Snapdragon 820 phones like the OnePlus 3 and HTC 10, but also the year-old Nexus 6P running on Android’s latest preview. Considering that Samsung packs the cream of today’s processing power with its UFS 2.0 storage, LPDDR4 RAM and the Snapdragon 820, we can begin to entertain the notion that something went wrong with Samsung’s implementation.

Read the whole piece before you buy a Note 7.

Apple iPad Pro 10,5″ Rumour — It Could Adopt the 12,9″ UI →

August 22, 2016 · 14:42

Benjamin Mayo:

Apple is going to shake up the iPad lineup in a big way in 2017, according to securities analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo. Next year, Apple will reportedly release three new iPads, a 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2, a low cost 9.7 inch iPad and — most interestingly — a new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch display, a new screen size for Apple’s tablet range. With a diagonal increase of just 0.8 inches over the 9.7 inch iPad, its unclear at this stage what will justify the introduction of another SKU.

I had my doubts about this rumour until I started crunching numbers. The current 9.7″ iPads have around 264 PPI, while the Minis have 326 PPI (which is the same as the 4.7″ iPhone). If you take the resolution of the 12.9″ iPad Pro of 2732 x 2048 px (it also has 264 PPI) and shrink it down to 10.5″, you get approximately 326 PPI. This could mean that the 10.5″ iPad Pro would get the slightly larger UI of the biggest iPad in the lineup, together with the better virtual keyboard and more room for two apps side by side.

I currently use the 12.9″ iPad Pro because the UI allows for more, due to its higher resolution — using two almost-full iPad 9.7″ apps side by side does make a difference. If Apple packages the experience in a smaller form factor, I’ll be standing in line on day one, waiting to get one as soon as possible.

Vesper hero

Vesper and Q Branch Are Shutting Down

August 22, 2016 · 09:53

It’s Monday morning and the first news of the day that I read is that Q Branch is shutting down and so is their app — Vesper. I have been using Vesper for a few specific tasks since it debuted back during the iOS 6 days. I still remember it was one of the first apps to look pretty damned good after Apple changed their design language in iOS 7. It was also one of the first apps to be ready for the 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone screens.

Continue reading →


August 20, 2016 · 21:38

Rachel Nabors, after being deported from the UK:

I didn’t volunteer for this. I didn’t have a choice. I was told what to do, where to go, and had my belongings and ability to communicate taken from me.

This made the top two worst experiences of my life, and you don’t want to know what the other one was.

My husband and I were planning a 2017 trip to Scotland to see his mother’s birthplace. It is canceled. I will not go back to the United Kingdom. People from the UK can come see me when I speak in continental Europe, where I’m wanted.

I will not risk a third worst experience of my life.

This is so surreal, that it could as well be fiction. I can not imagine myself in her shoes — it must have been horrible beyond comprehension.

Mark Gurman on the iPhone 7: ‘Brighter Photos’ →

August 20, 2016 · 13:13

Mark Gurman:

The dual cameras on the larger new iPhone will produce brighter photos with more detail, according to a person who has used a prototype version of the upcoming device. Both sensors, which each capture color differently, simultaneously take a picture, and the device produces a single, merged photograph, said the person.

I keep on wondering what Mark means by ‘brighter photos’. A photo by definition is either exposed currently or not, hence it cannot be brighter or else the highlights will be blown. I assume he meant something else, perhaps that the lens itself will have a larger aperture and let in more light, or perhaps the sensor will have a higher dynamic range, which will make it possible to bring out more details in the highlights and shadows.

The dual system sharpens photos taken in low-light environments, the person said. The combination of the merged photos from the two camera sensors also allows users to zoom while retaining more clarity, the person added. The smaller version of the new phones will not include dual lenses, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year.

Whatever technology Apple is adding to this years model, I’m most curious about the camera itself. So far, having dual lenses hasn’t markedly improved image quality — the Huawei P9 has already demonstrated this. It will be really interesting to see what they come up with.


Twitter Adds New Features to Help Control Notifications and Reduce Abuse →

August 18, 2016 · 23:51

Emil Leong on Twitter’s blog:

Last year we began testing a quality filter setting and we’re now rolling out a feature for everyone. When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with – and depending on your preferences, you can turn it on or off in your notifications settings.

This is a feature of verified accounts. It shouldn’t have been. Twitter should have given everyone access years ago, but hopefully this will help at least a few with abuse issues. Users will also get an option to only get notifications from people they follow.

‘Apple Watch 2’ to Get GPS, Barometer, and Better Waterproofing in 2016 →

August 8, 2016 · 07:08

Mikey Campbell:

Kuo believes Apple is planning to launch two new Apple Watch versions in the second half of 2016, both of which offer moderate improvements over their predecessor. The first unit will be an iterative upgrade on the original Apple Watch and is expected to sport the same aesthetics, but with improved intervals like a TSMC processor built on the 16nm process. Waterproofing should also be slightly improved.

I wonder how they will differentiate the two. They could upgrade the Sport model slightly, while offering the bigger upgrades for the steel Apple Watch, or decide to run two different lines with a total of twelve models (assuming the gold Watch will stick around), or stick to only one size.

Whatever happens, this first upgrade cycle will be interesting to watch (pun not intended).

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Instagram Stories is Missing One Feature, Which I Would Love to See

August 6, 2016 · 15:17

While I can understand being inspired by something and putting your own spin on it, I hate blatant copying. It’s hard to judge the new Instagram Stories any other way — they took what Snapchat created and integrated it into Instagram. While it’s true that some things are a bit different, it’s still theft. The surprising part is that I haven’t started hating Instagram, which has always been the preferred way to share my photography with the world. There is one feature that I would like to see added to Instagram Stories (or Snapchat for that matter), which would make it a better storytelling tool than it currently is…

Continue reading →

The War for Autonomous Driving: Mercedes-Benz E-Class vs. Tesla Model S →

August 3, 2016 · 20:22

Alex Roy:

The only good thing about Drive Pilot is that your Mercedes will protect you from it. Did I trust it? Only at a crawl. Did I understand it? I don’t understand how Mercedes-Benz could release this to the public. I hated literally everything about it. It drove like a drunk ten year old, fighting for the wheel with a drunk fourteen year old. It was, in most conditions, dangerous.

This is one very important area where Tesla seems to have a huge advantage over the competition.


Apple Financial Results — FY Q3 2016 →

July 26, 2016 · 23:34

Apple PR:

Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 third quarter ended June 25, 2016. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $42.4 billion and quarterly net income of $7.8 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $49.6 billion and net income of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 39.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold:

  • 40.4 million iPhones (47.53 million in FY Q3 2015)
  • 9.9 million iPads (10.93 million in FY Q3 2015)
  • 4.2 million Macs (4.8 million in FY Q3 2015)

Bob Mansfield to Oversee Project Titan — Apple’s Car Venture →

July 26, 2016 · 09:58

Daisuke Wakabayashi:

Apple Inc. has tapped a highly regarded senior executive who helped bring to market many of Apple’s signature products to oversee its fledgling automobile project, according to people familiar with the matter.

I would love to have heard the conversation convincing Bob to come back.

Verizon Buys Yahoo for $4.8 Billion →

July 25, 2016 · 13:37

Michael J. de la Merced:

The board of the Silicon Valley company has agreed to sell Yahoo’s core internet operations and land holdings to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion, according to people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak about the deal before the planned announcement on Monday morning.

After the sale, Yahoo shareholders will be left with about $41 billion in investments in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, as well as Yahoo Japan and a small portfolio of patents.

I wonder what this will mean for Flickr.

Elon Musk’s Master Plan — Part Deux →

July 25, 2016 · 09:48

Elon Musk:

So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is:

Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage

Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments

Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning

Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it

There’s no way I would let someone else drive my car. This may or may not change in the future, but I doubt it.

How to Crack Android Full Disk Encryption on Qualcomm Devices →

July 25, 2016 · 09:39

Mohit Kumar:

Android users are at severe risk when it comes to encryption of their personal and sensitive data.

Android’s full-disk encryption can be cracked much more easily than expected with brute force attack and some patience, affecting potentially hundreds of millions of mobile devices.

And the worst part: There may not be a full fix available for current Android handsets in the market.

WebKit on Safari, the Web, DCI-P3, and sRGB →

July 25, 2016 · 09:38

Dean Jackson:

The past few years have seen a dramatic improvement in display technology. First it was the upgrade to higher-resolution screens, starting with mobile devices and then desktops and laptops. Web developers had to understand high-DPI and know how to implement page designs that used this extra resolution. The next revolutionary improvement in displays is happening now: better color reproduction. Here I’ll explain what that means, and how you, the Web developer, can detect such displays and provide a better experience for your users.

This will seem a hassle until multiple profiles can be included in one image. I can see only photographers caring for this in the meantime. But it’s great that this is finally coming to the web.