Weekly Roundup: My leave, confidential Steve Jobs’ emails showing Apple’s inner workings & plans, Results of the WWDC lottery, Heartbleed, and more!

As you all know I was out for a week so, here’s the compensation, in a chronological order, from where I left off.

6th April 2014

Confidential internal Apple slides reveal the reason be hid a bigger iPhone 6

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216526160-Apple-Fy-14-Planning (dragged)

 

 

Consumers want what we don’t have

— Apple

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The ongoing Apple-Samsung trial has unearthed some interesting behind-closed-door secrets on both sides.

Something unseen in the previous legal tussles however, and presented by Recode, was a handful of slides from an Apple internal meeting in April 2013 regarding its plans for 2014. Alongside the slowing growth of iPhone sales, the research noted that overall smartphone growth was from cheap and large (well, larger than the current iPhone) devices — both of which Apple had nothing to compete with. As the slide put it: “Consumers want what we don’t have.”

The slide also includes some other reasons for concern, including the carriers’ “strong interest in capping iPhone” sales because of its already-high market share, a tough subsidy premium and some undisclosed “unfriendly” policies — read the lack of carrier-sanctioned bloatware on your iPhone. Apple also admitted that the mobile competition had also “drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems,” while at the same time, some Android phone-makers were spending “obscene” sums on advertising or carriers to gain traction. Now, which company could Apple possibly be referring to?

Sketchy report again says ‘unnamed’ Korean manufacturer testing 65 inch OLED panels for future Apple ‘iTV’

Apple-HDTV-1

The Korea Herald reported that IBK Securities analysts believe Apple has requested sample display panels from a Korean manufacturer for potential use in a future Apple TV.

According to the report, Apple is testing 65-inch OLED panels for mass production of an ‘iTV’ next year. However, it should be noted the report is lacking in detail — only referring to the manufacturer as an ‘unnamed’ local display maker.

“Around 2 million Apple‘s iTVs with 65- and 77-inch liquid crystal displays were expected to hit the market in the second half of this year. However, Apple employees visited this local company in October 2013 to delay the plans to next year,” said a source close to the matter on Saturday. “Following the visit, the display maker’s stock prices plunged.”

 It’s also uncertain whether yield rates are high enough for Apple. OLED televisions are uncommon in the mass market due to both their price and lack of supply. According to the report, Japan Display and Sharp (rumored suppliers of iPhone 6 displays) are still not prepared for mass production of OLED panels and may also be the reason behind the delay.

Becoming a television manufacturer would put Apple into competition with Samsung in yet another area, since Samsung is currently one of the leading companies in OLED television production. As of 2006, Samsung reportedly held more than 600 U.S. patents and more than 2800 international patents in the area — making it the largest owner of AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology patents.

HTC broke its losing sales streak, believes the new One (M8) will help it turn a profit

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HTC finally broke its  28 months long  streak of declining year-over-year sales this quarter, but that’s the only silver lining in an otherwise dismal earnings report. While March 2014 sales were up 2.2 percent over last year, revenue for the quarter was only about US$1 billion, lower than even the company’s own despondent forecast. This resulted in a net operating loss that was also worse than expected. On the plus side, HTC has projected a profit for next quarter, the first that will reflect its widely acclaimed HTC One (M8) handset. Unfortunately, overall sales are still expected to be much lower than last year, and a shadow of the glory days of the past.

7th April 2014

Qualcomm announced 2015 Roadmap

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Qualcomm recently revealed the Snapdragon 810 and 808, a pair of 64-bit high-performance chipsets scheduled to appear in flagship Android devices early next year. Qualcomm claims that both 20nm chips will be smaller, lighter and more power efficient. In addition to support for 4K Ultra HD displays, the Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 processors are expected to bring even faster LTE connectivity, better graphics for your games, and blazing-fast devices you haven’t experienced on Android before. Now, what’s interesting is Qualcomm’s timing for sharing the roadmap to its premium Snapdragon chipset lineup much earlier than it usually does; the 810 and 808 won’t be available on devices until the first half of 2015.

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This is largely due to competitive pressure: MediaTek, Intel and NVIDIA are going big by pushing out chips with 64-bit support and, in some cases, even eight cores. Given how fast the industry is growing, it’s not hard to see that Qualcomm — which currently dominates much of the mobile chipset market — doesn’t want to lose its momentum or popularity.

The $200 Micro 3D printer project launches on KickStarter

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There are more than a couple of reasons why 3D printing hasn’t truly hit critical mass, and the team at M3D thinks it’s sidestepped them with The Micro, its $200 – $300 3D printer. The Micro hit Kickstarter this day with the sole intention of becoming the first consumer 3D printer that’s at once accessible, affordable and easy on the eyes.

“The dream here is definitely that you take something and install it as fast as the fastest plug-and-play device that you’ve ever seen and you’re focused on the end result,” says Michael Armani, M3D’s CEO. “You take the design, put it in the printer, it prints as quickly as possible. The focus here isn’t on the 3D printing process … [it’s] on ‘yeah, I want to make a mold for chocolates.’ It went to the fun part so you can enjoy it as much as possible.”

When it launched on the crowdfunding site Monday, it surpassed its $50,000 goal in less than 24 hours, earning $330,000 from 1,300 backers. Now, with 25 days left in the campaign, the Maryland-based company has raised almost $2.3 million with the support of 8,000 backers.

Twitter acquires context-aware lock screen app maker Cover

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Twitter’s bringing app maker, Cover, in-house. The announcement, made today via Cover’s blog, is light on any financial details, and instead focuses on the team’s potential to make the mobile Twitter experience “more useful and more contextual” as the social service continues to scale up.

As a refresher for those of you just learning of Cover’s existence, the startup’s responsible for a contextually aware Android lock screen — hence the acquisition — that’s been available in beta since last fall. But it remains to be seen whether or not that app will continue to receive support from the team. At present, Cover has no plans to abandon its users and pull the app from Google Play. Although, it’s likely that app will see the sunset as the team gets to work on serving Twitter when you most expect it to.

Apple notifies winners of the WWDC ticket lottery, offers a chance to buy a ticket until April 14

Accepted!

Just 5 hours after the deadline for the lottery, Apple sent out emails notifying entrants in the WWDC ticket lottery whether they won a chance to purchase a $1,599 ticket to the conference or not. Winners will be able to purchase a ticket to the event before April 14th. The conference kicks off on June 2nd and runs through the 6th.

Rejection 

Those unable to buy a ticket will have to settle for watching the stream of the keynote presentation and recorded videos of the sessions after they happen, as seen above.

8th April 2014 — A bug that will change your life, bid adieu to ageing OS and Apple rumours galore!

Microsoft ends support for XP, offers lucrative Windows 7 upgrades

This day, the official support for Windows XP by Microsoft ended. A paid option is available to organizations (think: governments, corporations, etc.) that offers “critical” patches and support, but even Microsoft suggests upgrading to a newer version of Windows instead of footing the bill. Even though the OS is 12 years old, it is still used by over 25% of the computing population, according to NetMarketShare.

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Microsoft had also made available free software for migrating content over.

So today we bid adieu to Windows XP: You were there for us back before the internet was cool, and you set the standard for desktop operating systems. You can upgrade from XP to Windows 7 also if you are not comfortable with Windows 8 but do it soon as Microsoft has officially shutdown Windows 7 sales. You can grab a copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8 from Flipkart

Meet your worst virtual Nightmare — HeartBleed

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Most internet security holes, even the bigger ones, tend to be fairly limited in scope — there are only so many people using the wrong software or visiting the wrong sites.Unfortunately, that’s not true of the newly revealed Heartbleed Bug. The flaw, which affects some older versions of common internet encryption software, lets attackers grab both a site’s secure content and the encryption keys that protect that content. As such, a successful intruder could both obtain your private information from a given site and impersonate that site until its operators catch on. Since the vulnerable code is both popular and has been in the wild for as long as two years, there’s a real possibility that some of your online data is at a great risk. you can get more info at The HeartBleed Bug website.

[Rumour] Apple working on more in-house Baseband chip development

Apple is reportedly planning on creating an R&D team to develop baseband chips ( used to control a device’s radio functions related to modulation, signal generation,etc.) for the 2015 (and later) iPhone models, according to a new rumor from Digitimes.If the rumour is to be believed, these chips could debut with the round of iPhone updates following the iPhone 6 — which would mean they could arrive with the iPhone that, by current naming standards, will be called the iPhone 6s.

Although, this report should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Digitimes doesn’t have the most solid track record, although they have been known to be right on a few occasions.

The XBox One gains the ability to share gameplay on YouTube

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We can all agree that sharing gameplay footage on Xbox One via SkyDrive OneDrive isn’t really the best social solution. Okay, so there’s Twitch, too, but the holy grail of video sharing lies with YouTube. And, as of tomorrow, Xbox One owners will get just that as an app update which will bring the much desired ability to share Game DVR footage directly to a user’s YouTube channel. Once the update hits, the user all need to enter the console’s settings menu and enable the social sharing feature first. It’s as simple as that!

Apple patents a new Facial Recognition Technology

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Apple patented a technology  promising Automatic Avatar Creation for Apple users — literally putting a virtual “you” inside your Apple device.

The patent explains how devices could create three-dimensional avatars that resembles users by first photographing them, and then comparing this image to a database of pre-created facial components which can then be fitted together in different combinations. The resulting creation could be used in gaming, social media, and video conferencing. Facial elements that could be changed for individual avatars include skin tone, hair, nose, eyes, mouth, ears, glasses, facial hair, and more. By matching pre-existing parts to the images Apple records of users, fully 3-D models could be created for interacting online and in mobile communication.

Another patent also published today shows how a similar technology could be adapted to recognise specific user states — be that particular facial expressions and body language, or items such as changing clothes and accessories. The Automatic Avatar Creation patent was filed by Apple on December 1, 2011.

Other Apple Rumours

  • The long awaited Apple iWatch could be released as soon as the summers, according to a new report out of China, sometime after WWDC, and ship around 65M units to start.
  • Taiwan’s Industrial & Commercial Times (cited by EMSOne) claims that the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will enter mass-production in July, suggesting the usual September/October launch date for the 5.5-inch model, indicating that it would go on sale close to the holidays.
  • A new report by Barclay’s chip analyst Blayne Curtis suggests the iWatch could boast an ultraviolet light sensor. According to Curtis, Texas-based Silicon Labs which has come up with “the industry’s first digital ultraviolet index sensors,” can get themselves an iWatch contract with the help of these sensors.
  • Following the report on Tuesday, now, a new Digitimes report corroborates that timeframe. According to the new report, three different firms have supplied Apple with samples of flexible circuit boards that might be integrated into the iWatch for a fall release.

Amazon claims it streams more instant video than Hulu or Apple

Amazon says it has a good reason for building its new Fire TV set-top box: People really like its streaming video content. The company is claiming that its instant video usage has tripled year over year, surpassing both Apple’s and Hulu’s instant video numbers.

 

9th April 2014 — Apple explains its $2B patent demands and Facebook ditches in-app chat

Apple’s expert witnesses explain why Samsung owes Apple $2B for patent infringements

Re/code reports that first MIT professor John Hauser carried out a form of trade-off analysis to determine the value of individual features to customers in the previous case. Hauser’s evidence was followed by MIT-trained economist Chris Vellturo assessing a mixture of reasonable royalty payments had Samsung chosen to license the patents from Apple, coupled to the lost profits from customers he argued would have bought iPhones had Samsung phones not offered the same features.

“It’s a particularly significant period for Samsung to have been infringing,” Vellturo said, adding that one’s first smartphone purchase is a key determining factor in future phone and tablet purchases. He added that Samsung was behind in ease of use and took Apple’s know-how to aid its effort to be more competitive.

“That had a dramatic effect on Apple, and the compensation is therefore substantial,” Vellturo said.

iPhone interface designer Greg Christie to leave due to friction with Jony Ive

After adding human interface design direction to his responsibilities in 2012, Ive will soon completely subsume Apple’s software design group, wresting control away from long-time human interface design chief Christie, according to sources familiar with the matter. Previous to this shakeup, all Apple software design has been led by Christie, who has reported to Craig Federighi, and Ive has been attending interface design meetings and providing instructions.  The sources also say that Christie’s upcoming departure is significant and stems from a falling out with Ive.

Christie also has hundreds of Apple patents in his name such as the iconic “Slide to Unlock” patent that is crucial to Apple’s patent infringement claims against Samsung. It is unclear at this time if Christie plans to join another company or retire from the industry completely. Christie has been a part of Apple and the technology industry long enough to have worked on the first Newton and the transition of Mac OS to OS X and its Aqua interface in the early 2000s.

Apple has also confirmed to the Financial Times that Christie is leaving Apple.

Google announced that most of its services have now been patched against the ‘Heartbleed’ bug

Google announced that main services like Apps, App Engine, Gmail, Play, Search, Wallet and YouTube are already patched. There’s no need to worry about Chrome or Chrome OS, as these softwares aren’t affected by the vulnerability. Android is almost there, as all versions of the mobile operating system are immune to the security flaw save for 4.1.1. For that single exception, Google says patching details are being sent to its partners for distribution. While the key bits have been secured, there’s ongoing work to update other services like Cloud SQL, Google Compute Engine, etc..

Facebook app to ditch chat in 2 weeks, will move to standalone Messenger app

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has long made it obvious that he wants to turn a profit by 2016, but it’s now clear that nothing will stand in the way of that goal — not even his company’s smartphones. While devices are still part of the plan, Chen tells Bloomberg and Reuters that he wants to avoid depending on them for revenue, and may “not be in the handset business” if the hardware doesn’t earn. The exec would rather generate income from software, including enterprise offerings and an expansion of QNX’s platform beyond cars and industrial gear.

10th April 2014 — Not much news

Apple says Heartbleed security flaw did not affect its software or services

This serious issue affects a number of high-profile sites, but it seems your Apple ID is safe. Today, Apple gave the following statement to Re/code:

“Apple takes security very seriously. iOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable software and key web-based services were not affected.”

11th April 2014

Google will protect your phone by looking for sketchy apps you might have already installed

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Android devices are about to become even more resistant to malware. For around two years now, Google has been able to throw up red flags when users try to install apps of questionable provenance on their devices. Now they’re taking it a step further — Google will soon be able to check up on your apps after you’ve already installed them.

It’s possible that you downloaded some sketchy apps before Google’s verification feature went live in 2012. A bad app that previously managed to fly under the radar could also be rooted out as Google continues to learn more about mobile malware.

A robot printer which runs around the page laying down ink

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Most pocket-sized printers are really shrunken versions of what you’d see on your desk. Rather boring, don’t you think? Zuta Labs’ upcoming Pocket Printer robot may liven things up a little. Instead of using an old-fashioned paper feed, it runs over the page laying grayscale ink. This Roomba-like approach isn’t just a party trick, though. Besides leading to a very portable design, it lets you print on any size page you like — if you need to get a legal form while you’re at the coffee shop,now you can.

Amazon buys popular comic book app platform Comixology

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There’s nothing quite like taking a massive, heavy library of books and shrinking it into an e-reader. Amazon, having already accomplished that with its tremendously popular digital book service, is now targeting the comic book market. The company is purchasing Comixology, a digital comic book service with hundreds of millions of users and apps for all of your devices.

Razer delays Nabu wearable launch to avoid Fitbit-like skin complaints

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Razer’s Nabu wearable won’t launch until late May or early June, according to various developers who’ve received an email regarding the delay. The “smart band” was originally supposed to be available by the end of March. According to said email, Razer’s in council with “medical professionals” and running “stringent tests to ensure Nabu is fully certified hypoallergenic” before it reaches consumers.


 

And that’s it from me, folks! THis is the biggest article I have ever written going above 3.3k words! But the future weekly roundups won’t be so big and in detail. This one was, because I was out for a week and had to produce all of the news of 6 days in a single post! Anyways, If you have reached till here, please don’t forget to Like, tweet and/or share this post!

 

 

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Published by

Shaminder Pal Singh

I am a student by day and tech blogger by night. I try to bring to the public the latest and greatest news from the tech world!

3 thoughts on “Weekly Roundup: My leave, confidential Steve Jobs’ emails showing Apple’s inner workings & plans, Results of the WWDC lottery, Heartbleed, and more!”

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