Category Posts

Apple US Summer Camp Teaching Kids to Become Film Makers

June 23rd, 2013

Apple have been running Summer Camp workshops at their retail stores in the US for years where each of the children are taught different skills in movies and making movies in the stores.

The Camp sessions last 2 days at the stores and the 8-12 year oldsa re taught more than just how to edit and make movies with Apple’s apps, they’re taught storyboarding techniques as well as having hands on time with filming the video themselves. All the videos are shot in and around the Apple stores, and all get premièred at the Apple Camp Film Festival at the end of the training days.

Each of the attendees to the workshops are asked to take their own mac, along with earphones and a camera. All of the software that the children will need in the two days is provided for them, but taking your own mac and camera along with the cost of the training is going to be pricey for any parent, and places sell out very quickly!

I’m sure this is a summer camp most children would love to take part in.

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WWDC App Now Available in iOS App Store

June 4th, 2013

The “companion” app for the WWDC conference next week has been released into the App Store yesterday. Last years WWDC saw an app to accompany the events so one has been expected for a while and is a great tool for both the attendees to the conference and those who can’t make it and missed out on tickets (which is A LOT!)

The app gives developers – both at the conference or at home – to follow the events of each day. The app shows the WWDC schedule, news from the event, and will also have daily video’s of the sessions for registered developers to watch who couldn’t make the live event. I’m sure for developers who wanted to be at the event and can’t make it the app will be such a useful tool of information (and is certainly a cheaper alternative as the event is quite pricey!)

The WWDC is said to be going “on tour” after the main conference for those developers who missed out on grabbing a ticket for the event in the 3 minutes that they took to sell out! I’m sure there will be a whole host of information on a dedicated app for this too enabling people to track the “tour” and see the agendas and updates for the events on the road too.

The App will no doubt be receiving a huge number of downloads from the store this week as we get ready to build up to the conference starting live on Monday.

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Siri Voice Recognition Powered by Nuance

June 3rd, 2013

The All Things D Conference in America always brings some interesting information to light. This time the CEO of Nuance Paul Ricci wa being interviewed, and as soon as the Q&A started he revealed details of his companies relationship with Apple.

Ricci was questioned on whether it’s his companies fault that the iPhone doesn’t understand a users voice (of course people always bite back given the opportunity at a conference like this!). Ricci remained calm and answered that they do power the voice side of Siri but have nothing to go with Google or google integration.

Nuance are well known for their voice recognition systems across the globe and their companies integration into Apple will keep them well at the helm of the market. I personally don’t have (many) problems with Siri on my iPhone, though I do know of a lot of friends and colleagues who struggle to get their Siri virtual assistant to recognise their voice.

Ricci was also questioned at the conference whether Siri was based in the cloud or on your Apple device, which he said it was a hybrid. Some of Siri’s capabilities and functionality is stored on your Siri powered device, but some of the features are stored in the cloud which is where Siri can receive constant updates rather than an iOS update to enhance it’s features.

Do you use Siri on your smartphone or tablet? Or do you find other Voice Activated services better? Is Galaxy on the Samsung phones any easier to use and recognise your voice? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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Google Launch 3D Maps for Desktop Computers

May 23rd, 2013

Everyone who is anyone with a small amount of knowledge about tech will know the troubles Apple faced when launching their own native Maps application within iOS 6. The 3D flyover views of buildings and roads were completely screwed up in some of the major US cities, with renderings of trees becoming blobs and even a bridge and roads being dropped into the river below!

Now Google are launching their own 3D “fly through cities” view with 3D buildings, they have faced the same problems as Apple did upon the launch.

The new application works through Google Maps and Google Earth and combines the imagery and visualisations from both, with the new addition of 3D views of buildings and cities. Though the 3D views are suffering the same problems in seemingly the same areas and landmarks as Apple faced, the company will obviously make improvements to their program and imagery over the coming months to rectify the problems.

It does show how impressive Apple Maps really is, despite all the problems they have had, to get the more accurate and better quality graphics than Google on a portable tablet device really is an achievement in itself. Google are yet to bring their 3D visualisations to the mobile platform, but as an addition into the new Key Lime Pie interface I’m sure it would be a success.

I hope all the people who talked down about Apple Maps now do the same to Google with their mistakes!

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$610k for Tea (or Coffee) with Tim Cook

May 16th, 2013

Apple Inc have always been close to charities since Steve Jobs was at the helm of the company and this appears to be a trait that Tim Cook has taken on too.

He has agreed to give up half an hour of his time for a personal meeting or coffee with the lucky winner of an online auction over at Charity Buzz, with the meeting taking place in the Apple Inc headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The online auction was expected to raise $50,000, with initial bids coming in at $5,000 for the coffee break with one of the worlds most recognised CEO’s. However, the auction quickly rocketed up to $560,000 in two days, way beyond anyone’s expectations of what the auction would fetch! The bidding finally closed at $610,000 for up to an hour of time with Cook, with all proceeds going towards the RFK Centre for Justice and Human Rights.

And, the $610,000 doesn’t include any travel expenses or lodgings for the lucky winner, whom it hasn’t been announced yet who this is, but if they have to travel they’re looking at an even more expensive tea-break with the CEO!

How much would you pay for coffee with Tim Cook? Or even your favourite company executive?

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Locking Stand for iPad 3

May 9th, 2013

The third generation iPad tablet with the retina display is one of the “must have” items of 2012 and 2013. The Apple tablets are favoured by many people across many different business sectors as being the most reliable and functional tablet compared to the others on the market at the moment. Of course, the Apple iPad tablet tops all the polls for use and it appears that nothing will take away its pedestal.

To use the iPad in a public arena, unattended, you most certainly need a form of a locking device or stand to be able to hold the device secure. The Apple iPad 3 lockdown stand from Intelligent Touch does just that, allowing you to use all the features and functionality of the iPad tablet whilst still held in the secure locking stand.

What’s more, the lockdown stand can also cover the home button of the Apple iPad to keep the iPad running just one app for you, whether this be your specific app or a certain function of the tablet that you want to promote and not allow others to access the camera or music on the device.

Take a look at the i370 stand here for the full list of features and product images.

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Apple Working on a Smart Audio Splitter

May 8th, 2013

Well audio splitters are nothing new, people have been using them for a long time in different environments for different applications, including school children listening to music on the bus on the way home and they can now plug in their own earphones instead of squashing together to sheare on set.

But.. Apple’s latest patent application shows insight into what looks to be a great new accessory to hit the market in the form of a smart audio splitter which will allow the two users to independently control their audio settings along with some global changes to the device.

The accessory (by the looks of the application drawings) will connect through the new lightning connector as well as the headphone jack on the bottom of the devices (could this mean a potential move of the headphone jack on tablets too?). The connection through both of the inputs/outputs will mean that the device and the accessory can work in conjunction with each other and have independent controls for different elements. i.e. users will be able to click the headphones connected to the adaptor to perform various functions on the device.

Do you think this has a real, business-world application? Or do you see it as just a gimmick?

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iPad Mini Retina to use LG Displays – not Samsung

May 7th, 2013

More and more people are putting their 2 pence worth in on the predictions for the next generation Apple tablets and what will be happening when.

Latest guesses are from a Richard Shim, who is an analyst at the company DisplaySearch, who is citing that the second version of the Apple iPad Mini will be released with a retina display and those display panels will be sourced from LG, not Samsung.

Samsung and Apple have a fraught relationship and Apple have been said to be slowly pushing Samsung Electronics out of their manufacturing chain to become less reliant upon the company as the two still face ongoing legal battles together. This move would continue to keep Samsung out of the manufacturing chain for the iPad Mini, whilst we still believe Samsung components are used in the manufacture of the fourth generation iPad.

If the retina display is bought to the mini iPad, it will give a 2048×1536 resolution screen to the mini sized tablet, giving a pixel density close to that of the current iPhone 5, for which the screen resolution is unsurpassed by any other device on the market. The iPad Mini already has a better screen resolution than the current iPad 2, as it has the same amount of pixels crammed into the 7.9inch screen size.

Shim ended his predictions by saying that we will see the smaller sized retina tablet in production in June and July of this year, ready for a holiday season launch.

Do you think these predictions are far wrong? Or right?

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Apple Shares Said to be “on a Rebound”

May 6th, 2013

Apple shares look to be back on an upward increase since mid-April. Before then the company had seen a downward slope since September last year when the shares peaked at $700 and faced a decline which saw them hit their low point at below $400 per share.

What is the reason for the change in events? Many reasons are being cited as the turn around for Apple, but one investor is claiming that the WWDC will be a new turnaround platform for all Apple investors and consumers to get excited about Apple again.

The company has faced the share price fall since the release of an updated device into nearly every product line which came with their September launch. The new MacBooks, iPads, Mac Mini’s were all launched on the same day at the same event and therefore consumers are waiting to see what and when will launch next, with all expected to be waiting until next year for an update into each product line.

With the WWDC tickets selling out in a record time, less than three minutes, we are expecting Apple to launch something great at the WWDC, ontop of the news that the highlights from the WWDC will go on tour across America to major cities, they must be releasing something big.

Is this the something big Tim Cook referenced that they were working on?

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Pentagon Ready for Apple Devices in Two Weeks

May 5th, 2013

We have been reading reports online about the US Military turning to Apple devices for deployment across their field teams. They have tested a number of devices and though already use Blackberry and Playbook tablets in the field, they clearly are not fulfilling all their needs as they have now turned to the iPad.

The Apple tablet is undergoing some changes for use by the Pentagon as security is clearly a paramount issue for them that needs to be addressed, standard iOS security just won’t do. The next two weeks will see the iPad being finalised in the field tests and the STIG (Security Technical Implementation Guide) for the device will be finished and finalised allowing the Apple iPad tablet to be deployed.

Apple MacBooks and the standard range of Mac desktops have never passed the STIG checks and been issued with the implementation guide and therefore are not permitted for use by US Military personnel and the Pentagon. The STIG approval for the Apple iPad and iPhones will mean that the Apple devices can be purchased and used by the military.

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