MacNews Blog
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacNews Blog

Oct 20
Apple patent hints at iOS gadget designs with improved...

An Apple patent (number 20110188180) for a portable electronic housing with outer glass surfaces has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office, showing that Apple is considering iOS gadget designs that will simplify repairs.

Improved housings for electronic devices are disclosed. In one embodiment, an electronic device housing can have one or more outer members (e.g., exposed major surfaces), such as front or back surfaces, that are formed of glass. The one or more glass surfaces can be part of outer member assemblies that can be secured to other portions of the electronic device housing. In other embodiments, apparatus, systems and methods for robustly attaching a cover portion of an electronic device to a bottom portion, e.g., a housing portion, of the electronic device are described. The electronic device can be portable and in some cases handheld. The inventors are David Pakula, Richard Hung Minh Dinh and Scott Myers.

Here's part of Apple's background and...

| Read more »
Oct 20
Greg's Bite: The Self-Cannibalism Effect at Apple

By Greg Mills

Apple has a uncanny ability to understate the forecast for the following quarter's revenue each time they do the quarterly financial report to the analysts who are hanging on every word. Then 90 days later, they wow the very same crowd with unexpected numbers that blow the lid off the highest estimates. It is a game with gigantic money at stake.

This time around, despite a gigantic increase in sales and net revenue, iPhone 4 sales were a bit lower than expected and you would have thought Apple was going under. The stock plunged and headlines were published that "Apple Disappoints" and the entire market took a hit for a while. Cook correctly stated that the problem was simply people waiting for the next iPhone in the que, rather than any weakness in the red hot market for things Apple.

The CEO of Microsoft, while in its prime, stated that: "A company that fails to obsolete its own products is doomed to see the competition do it."...

| Read more »
Oct 20
Apple's stock dip is indeed a 'knee jerk...

On Tuesday Apple reported selling a record number of Macs and iPads. However, the company's stock dropped because Apple "only" sold 17 million iPhones, less than the 20-22 million units Wall Street pundits had predicted.

Does that make sense? Of course not. And let's be clear: iPhone sales were up 21% year-over-year. Despite this, Apple's stock fell more than US$28, or almost 7%. Brian Marshall, an analyst with the International Strategy and Investment Group was correct when he called this a "knee jerk" reaction."

"The question everyone's asking is, 'What happened to three-to-four million iPhones?' " Marshall told "Computerworld" (http://macte.ch/IQIUS). "The problem is that this update was delayed by several months, and exacerbated the transition to the iPhone 4S. Is their share declining? No that the sales that would have otherwise been in the third quarter simply shifted into the current period, with...

| Read more »
Oct 20
Future iOS devices could have ejectable components

Future iOS devices could have compact, ejectable components, per a patent (20090267577) at the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Per the patent, The ejectable component assembly may include a tray that can be loaded with one or more removable modules, wafers coupled to circuit boards, cages and retaining plates to assist in retaining the tray within the assembly. The ejectable component assembly may include springs operative to engage detents in the tray to retain the tray in the assembly. The ejectable component assembly may include a tray ejector mechanism for ejecting the tray from the assembly. The inventors are Scott Myers, Erik Wang and Jason Sloey.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "To enhance the use of electronic devices (e.g., cellular telephones), ejectable component assemblies may be used to couple removable modules to the device. Some known ejectable component assemblies for personal electronic devices include a tray for receiving a...

| Read more »
Oct 20
Apple patent involves data syncing between a client...

An Apple patent (number 20110258254) for method and apparatus for updating and synchronizing information between a client and server has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. It seems to involve the new iCloud service, as well as Apple's (or at least the late Steve Jobs') preference of HTML5 over Flash.

The invention provides a method and apparatus for integrating applets running on a client with the application logic for applications running on a server. According to Apple, the mechanism of the present invention provides two significant advantages over the prior art: the synchronization of state, and the recognition of user actions in the browser including the invocation of the appropriate application logic in the server. Instead of using the FORM element available in HTML, individual active applets are available and may be created that obtain user input (e.g. a checkbox, textbox, button, etc.).

"A hidden applet called the Applet Group Controller is...

| Read more »
Oct 20
Apple is working on fuel cell technology

Two new Apple patents show that Apple is working on hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Patent number 20110256463 is for a parallel fuel stack architecture. The disclosed embodiments relate to a system that provides a power source. The power source includes a set of fuel cells arranged in a fuel cell stack. The power source also includes a power bus configured to connect the fuel cells in a parallel configuration. The inventors are Steven C. Michalske and Bradley L. Spare.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The disclosed embodiments relate to a system that provides a power source. The power source includes a set of fuel cells arranged in a fuel cell stack. The power source also includes a power bus configured to connect the fuel cells in a parallel configuration.

"In some embodiments, the power source also includes a voltage-multiplying circuit configured to increase a voltage of the fuel cell stack. In some embodiments, the voltage-multiplying circuit is...

| Read more »
Oct 19
So much for counting the Mac and desktops out...

Those pundits who have declared that Apple is losing interest in the Mac, especially the desktop line, might think again.

In Apple's latest fiscal quarter, Apple, as CEO Tim Cook noted, gained significant share in its computer business. Approximately 4.89 million Macs were sold during the quarter. That beats the previous record by about 750,000.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro were the top sellers for the company with the laptop line accounting for 74% of Mac sales. However, the desktop line -- mainly the iMac -- moved almost 1.3 million units. That's a record for Mac desktop sales.

The Mac is, as usual, outgrowing the computer industry as a whole. By more than six times, per the latest data from the IDC research group

As far as tablets replacing traditional computers, it appears the iPad is taking away SOME Mac sales, but a lot more PC sales.

Cook said it best during a conference call with analysts: "Remember, the Mac had its best quarter by far...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Apple granted two solar-related patents

Apple has been granted two solar-related patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Patent number 8039360 involves a method of assembling integrated circuit components. The disclosure identified as methods of mounting integrated circuits, including solar cells, to a substrate wherein the circuits are mounted prior to being singulated into discrete die. Once the semiconductor die sites or other circuits are formed on a wafer, the wafer will be attached, either whole, or divided into one or more multi-die site wafer segments, to a substrate.

This attachment may be by conventional surface mount technology, for example. After such mounting, the individual die sites on the wafer segments will be singulated to form discrete die already mounted to the supporting substrate. The singulation may be preferably performed by laser dicing of the wafer segments. The inventors are Bradley Spare, Michael D. Hillman and Gregory Tice.

Patent...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Apple drops the ball with multiple ID issue

It's very disappointing to see how Apple has not handled the multiple Apple ID issue. An Apple ID is the email address you use as a login for just about everything you do with Apple, including using iCloud to store your content, buying songs from the iTunes Store, and downloading apps from the App Store.

As you have probably discovered if you've tried to move from MobileMe to iCloud, if you have more than one Apple ID, you should be very, very, very careful. As an example, I couldn't find how to change the Apple ID that is on my iOS device. So if you put the wrong one in, it will not be part of your other devices' eco-system.

In September, it seemed Apple was working on a solution to allow users to merge multiple Apple IDs into one. The news came from a phone call from Apple's executive relations team saying that they were aware of the issue and seemingly working on it, as noted by "MacRumors" (http...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Apple wins patent for integrated in-plane switching...

Apple has won a patent (number 8040326) from the US Patent & Trademark Office for an integrated in-plane switching display and touch sensor. This relates to adding multi-touch functionality to a display without the need of a separate multi-touch panel or layer overlaying the display.

Instead, embodiments of the invention can advantageously utilize existing display circuitry to provide multi-touch functionality while adding relatively little circuitry that is specific to the multi-touch functionality. So, by sharing circuitry for the display and the multi-touch functionalities, embodiments of the invention can be implemented at a lower cost than the alternative of superimposing additional multi-touch related layers onto an existing display panel.

Furthermore, since the display and multi-touch functionality can be implemented on the same circuit, they can be synchronized so that noise resulting from the display functionality does not detrimentally affect the multi...

| Read more »
Oct 17
Tablets, smartphones redefining the retail shopping...

More good news for Apple: tablets and smartphones are redefining the retail shopping experience and will be a US$5 billion market per year by 2015, according to a research study released today by analyst firm IHL Group (http://www.ihiservices.com).

According to the study, "Mobility: A Gutenberg Moment for Retail, A Threat to POS," the release of the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire have created price points and form factors for mobile devices that are finally allowing retailers to arm their associates with tools that will transform the in-store experience.

"The advent of mobile devices is a Gutenberg moment that is revolutionizing many aspects of the shopping experience," says Greg Buzek, president, IHL Group. "A complete transformation of the customer experience will occur at clothing and department stores over the next three years. Store personnel will be able to greet shoppers with their...

| Read more »
Oct 16
Greg's Bite: Siri coming to Mac and iPad

By Greg Mills

Guessing what Apple will do, is of course, an inexact science, as they enjoy making monkeys out of tech writers. It has been said that most of the time the weather today is a pretty good indicator for what the weather will be like tomorrow. That cliche is obviously wrong a lot, but odds are that similar weather comes on consecutive days more often than not.

We can see broad trends where things happen predictably across the entire spectrum of Apple products. The touch and gesture interface has spread to both touch pads on computers and touch screens on all Apple devices. We can certainly predict that Siri will show up next on iPad 3 and even the Mac platform sooner or later. Speech recognition has made tremendous strides in the last few years.

Apple has publicly absorbed Siri technology and merged it, I suspect, with Nuance speech technology. I did a product review a few months ago on Nuance Speech recognition software for the...

| Read more »
Oct 14
Hollywood planning to launch Ultraviolet -- how does...

Hollywood is getting ready to launch UltraViolet, a cloud-based movie storage solution that the industry is betting (or at least hoping) will convince consumers to buy movies instead of renting them.

How? The "digital locker" solution purportedly keeps copies of films you've bought on remote servers for viewing any time on various devices. Starting this month, consumers can buy the first film discs offered with UltraViolet.

With a "buy once, play anywhere" message, studios hope consumers see more benefits to owning movies, notes "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/nuAuz). Backers are pitching flexibility for multiple devices, the promise of owning rights to a movie for a lifetime, and the advantage of a cloud-stored copy not hogging hard-drive space, the article adds.

UltraViolet offers "more value for digital ownership. You can stream wherever you are," John Calkins, executive vice president of global...

| Read more »
Oct 13
Greg's Bite: RIM, BlackOutBerries

By Greg Mills

RIM: RIM may take the "gang that can't shoot straight" title away from Microsoft and its CEO, Steve Ballmer. We are in day four of a rolling denial of service sort of thing where BlackBerrys won't send or receive email and surfing the web is faster with a dial-up connection.

RIM announced today that the problem was solved, but users in the US and other places indicate that it is not over for them. One issue is that even if you scale your servers to being able to handle double the normal traffic, four days' worth of stored email that has built up, with more being generated, represents a major electronic traffic jam that has RIM servers deeply buried in unsent data.

With most smartphones the carriers handle all the radio and net traffic and an outage with Sprint, for example, won't have any effect on AT&T, who is abundantly able to drop calls consistently on its own. Apple just builds the iPhones and sells them to the...

| Read more »
Oct 13
Apple may be getting into avatar editing

Two new patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office show that Apple may be getting into the avatar editing business.

Patent number 20110248992 is for an avatar editing environment that that allows users to create custom avatars for use in online games and other applications. Starting with a blank face the user can add, rescale and position different elements (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth) on the blank face. The user can also change the shape of the avatar's face, the avatar's skin color and the color of all the elements. In some implementations, touch input and gestures can be used to manually edit the avatar.

Various controls can be used to create the avatar, such as controls for resizing, rotating, positioning, etc. The user can choose between manual and automatic avatar creation. The avatar editing environment can be part of a framework that is available to applications. One or more elements of the avatar can be animated. The inventors are Marcel...

| Read more »
Oct 13
Apple patent is for 'opportunistic multitasking...

An Apple patent (number 20110252430) for "opportunistic multitasking" has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Services for a personal electronic device are provided through which a form of background processing or multitasking is supported.

The disclosed services permit user applications to take advantage of background processing without significant negative consequences to a user's experience of the foreground process or the personal electronic device's power resources. To effect the disclosed multitasking, one or more of a number of operational restrictions may be enforced. By way of example, an application that may normally be placed into the background state may instead be terminated if it controls a lock on a shared system resource. The inventors are Gregory R. Chapman, Richard Schreyer and Thomas B. Duffy Jr.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Power constrained, hand-held devices (e.g., mobile phones, personal entertainment...

| Read more »
Oct 13
Apple eyeing ways to offer better content protection

Three new patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office show that Apple is working on ways to offer better content and file protection.

Patent number 20110252233 is for a system and method for backing up and restoring files encrypted with file-level content protection. The patent describes systems, methods, and non-transitory computer-readable storage media for initiating a backup, backing up encrypted data, and restoring backed up encrypted data. The method for initiating a backup includes sending a backup secret to a backup device having an encrypted file system, receiving from the backup device a backup ticket created based on the backup secret, and storing the backup ticket.

The method for backing up encrypted data includes receiving a backup ticket and a backup secret, retrieving an escrow key bag containing protection class keys, decrypting the protection class keys with the backup ticket, generating a backup key bag containing new protection...

| Read more »
Oct 13
Apple working on new Bluetooth power-down features

According to a new patent (number 20110259840), Apple is looking into a new way to power off Bluetooth-enabled electronic devices, which would let you press just one button on one device to configure or disable multiple devices.

Per the patent, a device can transmit a Bluetooth signal to a linked device to instruct the linked device to power-off. In this manner, the user need only turn off one device manually which results in all linked devices being powered off. This process can be initiated by a user through a device directly linked with the device to be powered-off or through a device that is indirectly connected, through one or more Bluetooth networks, with the device to be powered-off.

This process can also be automatically initiated by a device when a set of predetermined conditions exist. Once instructed to do so, a device can initiate a predetermined power-off process which can involve terminating any ongoing functions and turning off various subsystems. In...

| Read more »
Oct 13
Ebook market poised to explode

Here's a good reason for Apple to concentrate on its iBookstore (and make it Mac compatible): by 2017 the world e-readers market is expected to achieve unit shipments of nearly 54 million a year, according to a new research report available from the Companies and Markets research group (http://www.companiesandmarkets.com).

Despite difficult trading conditions during the recession, the e-reader market endured and is one of the most popular technological innovations in recent years. The first e-readers were available in the early part of the last decade, but consumer interest didn't pique until Amazon’s 2007 Kindle launch, which allowed users to download books wirelessly, without having to connect to a computer. Market expansion has been rapid, with many companies vying for a slice of Amazon’s success -- such as Apple.

The e-reader market is still in its infancy, holding a tiny...

| Read more »
Oct 12
Will CinemaNow come to the Mac?

Last week it was announced that CinemaNow, Best Buy’s digital entertainment service, and Intel are giving people the ability to enjoy a larger library of premium high- definition content on their PCs.

For the first time, CinemaNow will offer 1080p HD movies for rental and purchase on second generation Intel Core processor-based PCs with Intel Insider technology. So will CinemaNow and Intel offer this for the Mac? Will Apple let them?

Previously, only standard-definition movies had been available from CinemaNow on the PC. CinemaNow has now added several hundred new releases and popular catalog titles in HD from 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution for people who have Intel Insider on their computer. This is in addition to the 15,000 movies and TV episodes CinemaNow already boasts in its regular catalog. HD content offerings from CinemaNow and Intel Insider are expected to grow as more new releases and catalog titles are added weekly.

Intel...

| Read more »
Oct 11
Apple patent involves syncing playback by multiple...

An Apple patent (number 8037220) for techniques for providing audio for synchronized playback by multiple devices has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. The invention relates to synchronizing audio with multiple devices and, more specifically, to handling the communication of audio information between applications and multiple devices.

The patent involves an audio system communicates with an aggregate device that includes multiple audio devices. When providing audio data for playback, the system compensates for presentation latency differences between the various audio devices. In addition, the system adjusts for device clock drift by selecting a master device and resampling the audio data provided to the other devices based on the difference between the device clock of the master device and the device clocks of the other devices. The inventors are Jeffrey C. Moore, William G. Stewart, and Gerhard H. Lengeling.

Here's Apple's background and summary of...

| Read more »
Oct 11
Greg's Bite: digital privacy issues

By Greg Mills

As the mobile computing revolution takes hold, the privacy ramifications of new mobile digital devices are dividing the courts. The legal system is trying to keep up with the existence of modern digital files using laws and court precedents based upon records written on dead trees and conventional descriptions of private space.

When the US Constitution was written the founding fathers made private our persons, houses, papers and effects. Bill of Rights Article 4: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Rather than assuming the intent of the founding fathers was that the broad privacy rights we hold most basic should logically...

| Read more »
Oct 11
As for the Mac, let's get Siri-ous

Perhaps the most gotta-have-it feature of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 is Siri. Let's hope it comes to the Mac.

Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Apple says that you can ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. I haven't tried it, but Apple says Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back.

What differentiates Siri from competing technologies is its ability to not only recognize words spoken in a normal tone of voice, but its capacity to pick up on the contextual meaning of a phrase. It looked great during the demo at Tuesdasy's "Let's Talk iPhone" event, but then demos at such events usually do. (You can see a video at http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html .)

So what about Siri for Mac OS X? It could have a variety of uses,...

| Read more »
Oct 11
Apple patents involve text-to-speech, calendaring...

Apple has been granted three patents by the US Patent & Trademark Office. Following is a summary of each.

Patent number 8036894 is for a multi-unit approach to text-to-speech synthesis. Per the patent methods, apparatus, systems, and computer program products are provided for synthesizing speech. One method includes matching a first level of units of a received input string to audio segments from a plurality of audio segments including using properties of or between first level units to locate matching audio segments from a plurality of selections, parsing unmatched first level units into second level units, matching the second level units to audio segments using properties of or between the units to locate matching audio segments from a plurality of selections and synthesizing the input string, including combining the audio segments associated with the first and second units. The inventors are Matthias Neeracher, Devang K. Naik, Kevin B. Aitken and...

| Read more »
Oct 10
Greg's Bite: RIM Crashes and Hits the Wall

Posted by Greg Mills

RIM's server network has crashed and is currently out of service in much of the world. It is unknown how long RIM phones and devices will be out of service. RIM runs its phones through a unique system that encrypts data for security reasons and thus there might be some complications with that. Only RIM devices are affected.

As the news of the RIM service disruption are in the tech news, another interesting statistic has just come out. News reports are that Apple sold 200,000 iPhone 4s units in the first 12 hours they were available online, as pre-orders. Actually, that has been revised today to at least 1,000,000 iPhone 4s sold in the first 24 hours.

To put that in perspective, RIM sold into the retail channel 200,000 PlayBooks in the first quarter they were on the market. That is not sold retail to consumers, as is the one million Apple iPhones, it is 200,000 PlayBooks sold wholesale to stores. While RIM tablet...

| Read more »
 
Community Search:
MacNews Search:
See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would astound Darwin. [Read more] | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has taken it and just kept running over the past few years. [Read more] | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is happy as can be until your time is running out. [Read more] | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers and difficulties, visit many interesting and mysterious places.********** Pocket Gamer "...very... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels.Features alternative colour schemes for all common colour deficiencies.A cooperation with award winning board... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Crusader Kings: Chronicles (Games)
Crusader Kings: Chronicles 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crusader Kings: Chronicles is an interactive text based game that puts you in the shoes of Guy de Rose as you make your own choices in defending the castle, riding into battle, plotting cunning plans and maybe even... | Read more »
Roads of Rome: New Generation (Games)
Roads of Rome: New Generation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.