News: Donated technology will aim to track the spread of the virus.

News: Donated technology will aim to track the spread of the virus. The Zika virus is continuing to plague Brazil and other countries in South America, resulting in severe health concerns and doubts cast over the Rio Olympics. Fighting the virus has been difficult but now IBM is lending a helping hand with its technology. The company is planning to analyse information from official data about human travel patters to observations recorded on social media. Big Blue will also donate a one-year subscription feed of local, daily rainfall, average temperature and relative humidity data to the US Fund for United Nations Children s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

These are important data points as rainfall, temperature, and humidity all play an important role in the development of the mosquito which carries the Zika virus. The company is also collaborating with the Institute of Ecosystem Studies to collect and mine biological and ecological data. The idea is that this will help to create algorithms that can determine which primates are carriers for the virus. IBM s efforts don t stop there as it also runs the OpenZika project on the company s open source supercomputer called World Community Grid. The virus has already created severe health problems in Brazil and numerous athletes have decided not to travel to the Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro on 5th 21st August due to health concerns.

IBM will supply technology to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a Brazilian science and technology organisation. Fiocruz will use IBM s STEM program to model the spread of the disease and Big Blue will be supporting a hackathon. This will bring together 70 software developers to build new health apps. IBM isn t alone in trying to fight the virus as companies like Google are also working with UNICEF in an effort to try and map and anticipate the spread of the virus. The response from the tech companies is similar to that seen during the spread of Ebola. Google at the time donated two dollars to every one dollar donated via its website while it was also part of a group of technology volunteers to create the Ebola proof tablet.

This work was done along with Pim de Witte of Whitespell and Daniel Cunningham at Hack4Good.

It is not clear how much of a role technology played in fighting the spread of Ebola but any positive outcomes that come as a result of data analytics will surely be welcome by the people of Brazil.

iPad Continues to Outsell Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft Tablets …

Apple released its fiscal third quarter earnings results earlier this week, confirming that it sold 9.95 million iPads from early March through late June. iPad shipments have now declined for ten consecutive quarters, but the lineup continues to outsell all Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft tablets combined.

IPad Continues To Outsell Samsung, Amazon, And Microsoft Tablets ...
Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce has released new quarterly data2 that shows Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft shipped an estimated 6 million, 2.2 million, and 700,000 units respectively for a combined total of 9.5 million, amounting to roughly 450,000 fewer tablets than the number of iPads sold.

Despite the shipment decline, reflective of a continued slowdown in the broader tablet market, Apple’s tablet revenue increased3 for the first time in ten quarters due to the iPad Pro4‘s higher average selling price. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at ?599, whereas the iPad Air 25 started at ?499, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is priced from ?799.

In terms of shipments, however, TrendForce says the iPad Air 2 was the key driver:

The lack of changes in appearance and high prices work against the iPad Pro series. Consumers do not see these devices as a good bargain. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro maintained strong sales momentum for two quarters, while the 9.7-inch model lost its luster after just one quarter since its release. On the whole, the Pro series did not help expand iPad shipments in the second quarter as expected. The overall sales were instead sustained by iPad Air 2, which captured consumers interest with its reduced price tag. Worldwide tablet shipments in the June quarter totaled an estimated 33.54 million units, representing a quarterly drop of 4.8 percent and a year-on-year decline of 8.8 percent. Lenovo, Huawei, and ASUS were also among the top six vendors, with estimated shipments of 2.4 million, 2.2 million, and 800,000 tablets respectively.

With no new iPads models anticipated in the immediate future, TrendForce estimates Apple’s tablet sales will drop to 9.2 million sequentially.

1

References

  1. ^ third quarter earnings results (www.macrumors.com)
  2. ^ new quarterly data (press.trendforce.com)
  3. ^ tablet revenue increased (www.macrumors.com)
  4. ^ iPad Pro (www.macrumors.com)
  5. ^ iPad Air 2 (www.macrumors.com)

iPhone 7: Is this Apple’s solution for offering no headphone jack?

It’s the most controversial iPhone 7 rumour of them all that this year’s Apple smartphone will come with no headphone jack.

The rumour has been swirling for some months, and leaked schematics drawings as well as what are believed to be accurate dummy handsets strongly suggest that the 3.5mm port has had its day on the iPhone. However, just how Apple plans to compensate for a headphone jack-less iPhone has been open to interpretation. Previous leaks and rumours have pointed towards Lightning port compatible Apple EarPods, and pictures of Apple’s iconic white headphones fitted with Lightning port connectors have emerged on the web. In contrast, now that we are closer to launch, word is that Apple will bundle a Lightning port to headphone jack adaptor in the box with the iPhone 7.

And now, photographs and a video of what’s claimed to be Apple’s headphone jack solution have hit the web.

MacRumours1 picks up the leak, and notes that while there’s no proof that this is a legitimate item the adaptor’s leaker claim’s it’s a part straight from an Apple Foxconn facility it looks like an official Apple part, especially when compared to some of the company’s other adaptors2. The adaptor in the video won’t work with devices running iOS 9 or lower, however it springs into life when attached to a phone running iOS beta software. Despite the fact older phones will get iOS 10 when it releases in September alongside the iPhone 7, this indicates it’s not a part devised with Apple’s older phones in mind, and BGR3 says it’s a “compelling piece of evidence” that the adaptor is real. There’s really not long to go now until we discover Apple’s plans renown smartphone leaker Evan Blass4 recently tweeted that the iPhone 7 will be available to pre-order from 9 September, suggesting we could be seeing the device the week starting the 5th.

iPhone 7: Videos offer best look at the handset yet

28 July

The best look yet at the upcoming iPhone 7 has been captured on camera, in two hands-on, high definition videos. The first is from YouTuber Austin Evans:

The second video, offering a similar overlook, has been posted by Jonathan Morrison:

The handsets aren’t real; instead, they’re what are referred to as “dummy models”, made for third-party accessory-makers so they can have iPhone 7 products on the market as soon as the phones are ready.

The units aren’t officially anything to do with Apple and are made using leaked schematics drawings and measurements. The finish on these mock-ups is high quality, though, and dummy units often nail the designs months before the phone was revealed take a look at this iPhone 6 dummy5 leaked in 2014. These new videos get up close and personal with the iPhone 7 design unlike any before them and break down the various design changes now all but confirmed to be arriving on this year’s handset. For starters, the phone will look very similar to the iPhone 6 generation, using the same screen sizes and near identical aluminium casings.

The only real design changes of note are the neater antennas, as well as the much larger camera hole on the new iPhone 7. Perhaps that is the most revealing new feature it strongly suggests that significant camera upgrades are on the way. Even if the current 12-megapixel iSight camera is used, the larger sensor and opening, allowing much more light into the aperture, would improve photography by some margin. The new setup isn’t great news for those not keen on the iPhone’s protruding camera, however. The iPhone 7 comes in at 0.26ins, a fraction thinner than the 0.27ins iPhone 6S. However, the new camera makes the iPhone 7 0.3ins across at its thickest point, meaning it will rock even more when placed down on a flat surface. Alongside the new camera, the videos also focus on the removal of the headphone jack, showing that Apple is likely to place a second speaker in its place.

This is probably the clearest look at the standard 4.7ins device yet, though the larger 5.5ins Plus device is still waiting for similar treatment. BGR6 says we can probably expect dummy versions, with its much rumoured dual-camera system, to appear in the coming days.

iPhone 7: Next iPhone may have no home button

27 July

An iPhone 7 with no physical home button is back on the agenda, with the often reliable Mac Otakara7 issuing a fresh report backing up older rumours of an innovative way to use Apple’s upcoming smartphone. According to the report, the iPhone 7 will feature a new, flush home button powered by the 3D Touch technology used in the iPhone 6S. It would mean the button is a touch sensitive patch. You’ll still be able to feel it physically, though. Mac Otakara says the un-clickable button will be capacitive, using haptic feedback to give the impression of moving down when pressed.
Haptic feedback makes use of rapid vibration. Pressing a non-physical button or icon on a screen recreates the sense of touch by instantly applying vibrations or motions to wherever the user is pressing. It is also respondent to how much pressure is being applied. It’s a concept Apple has already added to its product line and can be found on the company’s latest laptops – the Force Touch trackpads on the 2015 12ins MacBook and the new MacBook Pros use the technology.
To some, the feature may sound like a gimmick, but it could have genuine advantages.

9to5Mac8 says combining the controversial removal of the headphone jack with a non-physical home button would go a great distance towards making the iPhone 7 waterproof, a feature many of Apple’s key rivals currently have.

The new technology could also prove more reliable in the long run. Home-button failure is one of the most common problems with the iPhone. With no physical weak point, it will be far less likely to break and need replacing. A set of renders created by graphic designer Martin Hajek9 shows what the new phone could look like in Space Black a new colour scheme being mooted by some. While it’s a rumour that goes against the established thought that this year’s iPhone won’t be too different from the previous model, the iPhone 7 is still expected to look similar to the iPhone 6 generation, with the same aluminium casing and screen sizes.

iPhone 7: Could it actually be called iPhone 6SE?

26 July

Apple is gearing up for an iPhone launch, with critics widely expecting the tech giant to reveal the iPhone 7 this September. However, a new rumour doing the rounds suggests this may not be the case at all.

According to German blog Apfelpage10, in a report picked up by Apple leak big guns 9to5Mac11, the phone will actually be an expansion of the current flagship range called the iPhone 6SE. That’s the name that has been printed on the retail packaging for the smartphone, says the site. While there’s nothing beyond Apfelpage’s word that this is true, a new iPhone 6 certainly isn’t out of the question, considering what we think we know about the device. This year’s iPhone has long been rumoured to only include small, incremental changes over the iPhone 6S, with the introduction of new camera systems across both the standard and Plus-sized devices, some internal hardware upgrades, a slightly modified look by way of repositioned antenna bands and, controversially, no headphone jack.

The size is not expected to change, coming in at 4.7ins and 5.5ins, and the aluminium unibody casings will look vastly similar to Apple’s current offerings. As a result, many believe this year’s iPhone is merely a stop gap before a much-rumoured, vastly overhauled iPhone to mark the handset’s tenth anniversary in 2017, with an original design and fresh technologies such as an OLED display. This device is expected to mark a shift in the way Apple names and refreshes its smartphone line-up. An iPhone 6SE would introduce the change from a two-year to a three-year upgrade cycle a year earlier. Based on that, Forbes12 says calling this year’s release the iPhone 6SE makes perfect sense and that names still using the “6” have already been suggested as a possibility by some noted smartphone leakers.

Apple also introduced the 4ins iPhone SE in March, a name that adds to the argument. However, 9to5Mac argues “iPhone 7” still remains the most likely choice as we head towards the device’s expected 16 September launch.

iPhone 7: Release date for Apple’s next smartphone revealed

25 July

With anticipation building for Apple’s next smartphone release, one well-known tipster has revealed the day fans will be able to get their hands on the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 will be released the week of 12 September, says established smartphone leaker Evan Blass.

Blass adds that the handset will get a retail release on 16 September, but does not go into specifics. However, many believe that is when pre-order books will open and the full rollout won’t happen until at least the week afterwards. This would mean Apple holding a keynote event either on 12 or 13 September, says Know Your Mobile13. This makes sense if you look back at some of the company’s earlier releases the current iPhone 6S was announced on 9 September 2015, before pre-orders opened three days later, with stock in store on 25 September.

It is expected that Apple will reveal two phones: a standard iPhone 7 using the iPhone 6’s 4.7ins display and a larger Plus model with a 5.5ins phablet-style screen.

Few design changes are anticipated. The phones should get new antenna bands, packaged into a neater arrangement, as well as larger and more powerful cameras, with a dual-lens system on the iPhone 7 Plus.

Most controversially though, it’s expected that neither device will feature a headphone jack. It’s long been rumoured that Apple will ditch the port from the iPhone 7 and use the space to add new features to future iPhones, as well as opening up the possibility of making devices thinner. As BGR14 reports, credible sources now suggest a jack to Lightning port adaptor will be bundled with the phone.

References

  1. ^ MacRumours (www.google.com)
  2. ^ other adaptors (www.google.com)
  3. ^ BGR (www.google.com)
  4. ^ Evan Blass (www.google.com)
  5. ^ iPhone 6 dummy (www.google.com)
  6. ^ BGR (www.google.com)
  7. ^ Mac Otakara (www.macotakara.jp)
  8. ^ 9to5Mac (9to5mac.com)
  9. ^ Martin Hajek (www.martinhajek.com)
  10. ^ Apfelpage (www.google.com)
  11. ^ 9to5Mac (www.google.com)
  12. ^ Forbes (www.google.com)
  13. ^ Know Your Mobile (www.google.com)
  14. ^ BGR (www.google.com)