Can Apple cut into Google’s education tech lead?
Apple recently sent out invites to an event, where the company is expected to announce new products and services. The event is taking place in an entirely new city — and at a somewhat unusual venue.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s latest event.
Apple’s event will take place on March 27 at 11am EST.
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Instead of holding the event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is holding the event Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, Ill. The event invite specifically asks attendees to “Join us to hear new creative ideas for teachers and students.”
Education it is, then.
Apple has yet to confirm if a livestream of the event will be available. In the past, however, you could tune into the event through Apple’s website or on an Apple TV via the Apple Events app.
With the event focused on education, we can expect Apple to announce new iPads. The biggest question about the upcoming iPads is whether they will be a new iPad Pro or more standard iPad that’s more affordable for the education industry.
Just a few weeks ago, we reported Apple had two new iPads ready for release, thanks to filings with Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). Previous reports have speculated Apple plans to release new iPad Pro models with its face-unlock feature, FaceID, later this fall.
Apple No. 2 Pencil
Beyond looking at the location of the event, the Apple logo on the invite itself screams Apple Pencil with its flowing lines.
Since its debut, speculation about the Apple Pencil expanding to more devices, including the iPhone, has followed it. We could very well see a new Apple Pencil with expanded compatibility for lower-end iPads.
Apple’s classroom tools and coding apps should also see an update.
Currently, Apple’s Classroom service provides the means to manage students, classroom projects, lectures, and share iPads with multiple students. Additionally, the Swift Playgrounds app used to teach users how to code games and apps in a playful manner could see an update.
Given iOS 11.3 is currently in beta, and Apple’s history of releasing hardware alongside software updates, it’s almost a given we will see the release of iOS 11.3. Apple has updates ready for Apple TV, Macs, and the Apple Watch.
One of the more notable features in the upcoming OS release is the introduction of a new battery health tool. Through the tool, iPhone users can view battery health and whether the device is being slowed down. If that’s the case, the user can disable any throttling.
Apple’s iOS 11 includes a great SOS feature for when you feel unsafe in an emergency, but you may want to disable the feature on your iPhone or Apple Watch to avoid accidentally calling 911.
iOS 11 bugs are now so commonplace that they appear in Apple’s ads for the iPhone X.
Developers can now register for a chance to attend Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
The event will take place June 4 to June 8 in San Jose, Calif., at the McEnery Convention Center.
Apple typically uses the opening keynote of WWDC to announce software updates to the company’s various platforms such as iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
Occasionally the company also uses the event to announce hardware products. Rumors have already begun circulating that Apple will announce a new MacBook at this year’s event.
The registration window for developers is open until March 22 at 10am PST. Apple will then randomly select developers who can then purchase a ticket for $1,599.
Video: Apple sold 849,450 iPhones a day in the last quarter
Knowing how long your device will last is important when weighing up whether to lay down hard-earned cash on a product.
Now you can do the calculation yourself following instructions from Asymco mobile analyst Horace Dediu, who has crunched the numbers on Apple sales and active devices to calculate the average lifespan of Apple devices.
The average lifespan of all Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and iPod touch between 2013 and today is four years and three months, according to Dediu’s calculation.
His analysis also goes against the current wave of suspicion that Apple practices planned obsolescence due to its admission that it slowed the CPU on iPhones with chemically aged batteries. The average lifespan of Apple devices has actually increased over time.
The key to his calculation lies in Apple’s first quarter results, when Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed it had an active installed base of 1.3 billion devices, up from the one billion active devices it revealed in January 2016.
The analyst, who’s been tracking Apple’s device sales since the iPhone launched in 2007, knows it has sold a total of 2.05 billion devices during the period. Subtracting active devices from cumulative sales leaves 750 million Apple devices that have been retired.
He explains on a graph that you can tell today’s average lifespan by looking at when cumulative sales equal the current total number of retired devices. And since Apple’s cumulative sales reached 750 million in the third quarter of 2013, he estimates that the average lifespan between then and now is four years and three months.
Since Apple has only ever provided active device numbers in 2016 and 2017, the average lifespan is still an estimate.
It’s not clear from the analysis how much the numbers are influenced by the lifespan of, say, Macs or iPads, which people typically don’t replace as frequently as phones, but which Apple sells in far smaller quantities than the iPhone.
Apples’ says for its own environmental impact reports it assumes first owners of macOS and tvOS devices keep them four years, while iOS and watchOS devices last for three years.
Apple argues that most Apple products “last significantly longer” than that though, and are passed on, resold, or returned to Apple.
Nowadays people are holding on to smartphones for longer, which has contributed to the first-ever decline in smartphone shipments, and Apple’s response in the form of the $1,000 iPhone X.
Another interesting figure Dediu notes is that since January 2016, Apple has sold 587 million devices, which led to an increase in active devices of 300 million during the period.
His analysis over time shows that roughly two-thirds of Apple devices sold are still being actively used, giving analysts one way to figure out how much Apple will earn in the future.
The fourth quarter of 2017 marks the first year-on-year decline in sales in the smartphone market.
The iPhone, iPad, and Mac maker released its latest, post-holiday season earnings.
The uncertainty around iPhone X demand is sparking a lot of consternation on Wall Street. Rest in peace super cycle.
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Would you like to turn your iPad or iPod Touch into a dual-SIM mobile phone? What about having two or three active phone numbers simultaneously on your iPhone?
Enter the SIMore E-Clips Box.
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This small box, which fits neatly into the palm of your hand, allows you to make and receive calls, surf the internet at high speed, send and receive SMS, and use up to three SIM cards simultaneously — without having to swap SIM cards or carry multiple devices.
The E-Clips Box can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to share your wireless connection with up to eight other users (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, or whatever you have that can connect to a Wi-Fi connection).
Additionally, the E-Clips Box features a microSD card slot that supports capacities up to 32GB, and this storage can be shared accessed by devices connected to it.
All the features of the device are accessed and can be customised using the free SIMplus app.
If you don’t want to carry the E-Clips Box separate to your iPhone, there are cases that allow it to be clipped to your device for the iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6S Plus (with cases for other devices in the pipeline).
The E-Clips Box features a built-in rechargeable battery good for eight hours of use.
The SIMore E-Clips Box is compatible with iPhones ranging from the iPhone X all the way back to the iPhone 4s (requires iOS 8.1 or higher), and it works with iPads and iPod touch devices running iOS 8.1 or higher. The devices does not require jailbreaking and does not require the handset to be SIM unlocked.
MWC is here and in MobileTechRoundup show #424 Kevin and I share initial experiences with the new Samsung Galaxy S9, talk about other new phones, and more. It’s a long show so grab a drink and enjoy our mobile banter.
Running time: 90 minutes
Listen here (MP3, 104MB)
Someone has published the purported source code for the iOS bootloader, iBoot, potentially opening the door for hackers and jailbreakers to find vulnerabilities in Apple’s mobile OS.
Motherboard reports that the iBoot source code for iOS 9 was leaked on GitHub and, although it is an older version of iOS, parts of it probably remain in the current iOS 11.
iBoot is a core part of iOS’s secure boot chain, a highly sensitive process that happens when an iOS device is switched on.
The secure boot chain ensures the lowest levels of software in the OS haven’t been tampered with and only loads software signed by Apple, according to Apple’s iOS security whitepaper.
Because of the sensitivity of the component, Apple offers its highest $200,000 reward in its iOS bug bounty scheme to researchers who find vulnerabilities in secure boot firmware.
Jonathan Levin, an author of several books on iOS and OS X development, told the publication the iBoot source code appears to be real as it matched code he’d reverse-engineered.
Levin said it was a “huge deal” for Apple as it would give researchers clues to find vulnerabilities that could be used to compromise, jailbreak and decrypt iOS devices.
It’s not known who leaked the source code on GitHub but it first appeared four months ago via a link on Reddit posted by a user called ‘apple_internals’. However, that leak — which was hosted on Mega and is no longer available — went largely unnoticed.
While Apple has open-sourced parts of iOS, Levins noted that it has continued to closely guard iBoot’s 64-bit image.
Free download: Network security policy
The GitHub repositories containing the leaked iBoot source code have been taken down and replaced with a DMCA notice from one of Apple’s law firms, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, which cites Apple’s ownership. The DMCA takedowns have also been applied to over a dozen cloned iBoot repositories.
In a section explaining the reasons for the takedown and content type, the law firm says the notice covers “reproduction of Apple’s iBoot source code, which is responsible for ensuring trusted boot operation of Apple’s iOS software. The iBoot source code is proprietary and it includes Apple’s copyright notice. It is not open source.”
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Apple’s Q1 2018 results are out, and the numbers point to Apple’s mighty iPhone cash generating machine might be starting to run out of steam.
Sales of 77.3 million units makes this Apple’s second best iPhone quarter to date, and represents a massive 66 percent increase compared to the last quarter. However, this is a 1 percent decline compared to the year-ago quarter.
iPhone average selling price (ASP) was however very strong at $796, compared to only $617 the previous quarter, and up dramatically compared to the $694 of the year-ago quarter.
It’s unclear why sales missed estimates. Perhaps delaying the iPhone X until November had a dampening effect, or whether buyers were put off by shortages, or perhaps it’s down to sticker shock. Or it could be down to any number of other factors. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook is bullish, saying that the “iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November.”
The iPhone X, which first went on sale back in November, is priced at $999 and $1,149, depending on configuration, with is at least $150 more than any previous iPhone starting price. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets also saw a price bump of $50 each. Both of these factors contribute to the increasing ASP.
But selling fewer handsets is selling fewer handsets. It’s clear that despite all the hype and hoopla surrounding the launch of the iPhone X that Apple is finding it increasingly difficult to sell iPhones.
Now onto the iPad.
Overall, a better than expected quarter for iPad sales, with 13.2 million units sold, representing a 28 percent unit increase compared to the previous quarter, but only a 1 percent increase compared to the year-ago quarter.
iPad ASP stands at $445, compared to $468 for the previous quarter, and $422 compared to the year-ago quarter. This suggests that the pendulum is swinging away from higher-priced iPads to cheaper models.
Putting sales into perspective, Apple sold something in the region of one iPad for every six iPhone over the holiday quarter.
Here is a chart pitting iPhone and iPad sales again one another.
Things were pretty weak on the Mac front, with sales of 5.1 million equating to a 5 percent decline compared to the previous quarter and the year-ago quarter. Mac ASP is also pretty flat at $1,348, compared to $1,331 the previous quarter and $1,348 for the year-ago quarter.
The days of removable batteries in smartphones and tablets is gone with more and more laptops and other devices also incorporating sealed battery designs. External battery packs are necessary when you our out of the office and still need to get work done for many hours.
Mophie has established itself as a leading brand of portable power solutions. I spent some time with two of its newest universal power product, the Powerstation USB-C XXL and Powerstation AC. Both provide a trusted power source that meet the needs of modern mobile road warriors.
Just prior to CES, Mophie sent out its press kit for the Powerstation AC ($199.95) with a note encouraging media to pack the battery pack along to Vegas and keep all devices charged up. I took it along in order to power up my Google Pixelbook, assortment of phones, and couple of wearables. I also thought I might have a need for an AC outlet since there are still some devices out there with unique charging solutions.
The Powerstation AC has a 22,000 mAh capacity and weighs in at 758 grams with a size of 190 x 114 x 28 mm. It is a heavy product, but with this capacity it can add up to 100 hours to your smartphone, 21 hours to your large tablet, 15 hours for your laptop, and eight hours for your camera.
USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports are found on the front of this battery. The USB Type-A port supports 2.4A for quick charging compatible mobile devices. The USB Type-C port can charge up mobile devices at 30W. The USB-C port is also used as the port to charge up the Mophie Powerstation AC. Press and hold the status indicator button to switch the USB-C port to power input when recharging the powerstation battery from a computer. Priority+ charging is also provided on the battery pack. This technology works to first charge up the connected device before charging up the battery pack.
The unique port is found on the right side under a rubber port cover. A three-prong AC outlet is present so you can plug in a device you would normally plug into an AC outlet, with this port delivering up to 100W (110V) through a GFCI protected outlet. In order to activate this AC port, there is a physical button positioned below the AC port that you need to press and hold until the green indicator light appears. While most mobile devices can be charged up via some kind of USB cable, there are chargers for camera batteries, drones, and other devices where a standard AC port is still the most convenient or essential option. There are also vent openings on either end of the battery pack.
In typical Mophie fashion, there is a row of indiator lights to check battery status. These lights and the activation button are positioned on the front. Short, about three inches, USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to USB-C cables are included in the package.
The top and bottom of the Powerstation AC is covered in gray fabric material. This comes in handy for protecting your other gear while the heavy battery is placed in your gear bag. It also makes it nice for setting the battery pack down on a table, trusting that it won’t slide off.
If all of your devices charge via USB, then you can save $50 and select the Powerstation USB-C XXL. It is available now for $149.95.
The Powerstation USB-C XXL has the same two USB ports as the Powerstation AC, one USB-A and one USB-C. These two ports have the same capability on the USB-C XXL as the AC. Use the USB-C port to charge up the Powerstation USB-C XXL. Priority+ charging is also supported on this battery pack.
The Powerstation USB-C XXL has a 19,500 mAh rechargeable battery with a weight of 390 grams (almost half the weight of the Powerstation AC) and a size of 150 x 83.75 x 23.2 mm. Mophie states it can add up to 66 hours to your smartphone, 27 hours to your tablet, and up to 14 hours for your MacBook.
The retail package of the Powerstation USB-C XXL promotes charging capabilities for Apple MacBook with a small image in the lower right, text stating MacBook support below the name of the battery pack, and the MacBook prominently listed in the compatibility area.
Both USB ports are positioned on the right side of the Powerstation USB-C XXL. The indicator lights and activation button are on the front. A press of the button shows up to four white LEDs.
USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to USB-C cables are included in the package so you don’t even need to bring your own cables to use the Mophie battery pack. Each cable is about three feet long.
These two battery packs are expensive and you can find lower cost alternatives. However, Mophie is a trusted name in battery technology and today’s modern electronics can be sensitive to questionable power sources.
Over the past few years I’ve purchased a few Mophie products at the airport when I needed to make sure I had power to carry me for a couple of days with limited access to AC outlets. Both battery packs are very well constructed, have all the capability you need in an external battery, and have solid customer reviews.
You may have seen iPads used in kiosks or docked inside a Square cashless register stand. But Apple mobile technology is being used in a far broader number of ways. On the heels of the NRF retail show in New York, I recently saw demonstrations of how third-party tech vendors and Apple itself are using iOS technologies to streamline retail transactions.
One tech vendor, New Store, has developed an offering that bills itself as an end-to-end platform for omnichannel retail. Using it, a retail associate can have a broad access to a range of retail information and logistics.
As demonstrated by activewear vendor Outdoor Voices, a sales associate roaming the floor can look up a customer’s purchase history to make recommendations, search other local stores for out-of-stock items, and pass on a request to associates in another stores who can also pass on the request if they are with a customer. Then, the person who ultimately makes the sale can schedule a delivery within the next few hours using Uber, Dlvr or another service and provide an estimate window of the delivery of a few minutes to the customer.
In another demonstration of streamlining the sales floor experience, Florida furniture store City Furniture recounted how it engaged with IBM to develop a slickiPad-based front end to an AS/400-based back end that had been in place for decades.
According to a salesperson involved in the project, the new system allowed her to close a sale and talk about add-on services such as stain-proofing while sitting on a model of the very couch a family would consider ordering. Not only did that provide a level of comfort and context, but it also avoided a trip to the sales desk where customers are more likely to reconsider things because of the mental shift to negotiations, she said.
But not all of Apple’s mobile technology will involve such in-person interactions. In yet another demonstration, eyewear juggernaut Warby Parker showed off use for the iPhone X’s front-facing depth-sensing camera. While many websites, including the company’s own, have long provided a way to preview glasses based on a facial photo, the additional info provided by the depth sensing allows the retailer to recommend a short list of styles that would flatter the face, according to company representatives.
And Apple itself is seeking to bolster mobile connections between consumers and businesses with Business Chat, a feature within its Messages app. Like many of the chatbot agents. However, unlike the implementations of chatbots that kicked off two years ago and haven’t really taken off, the feature uses humans on the other side of the customer experience. What the Messages app brings to the table is the ability to bring rich media and interactivity and, unsurprisingly, complete a transaction via Apple Pay.
The demonstration also included a novel application of augmented reality using Apple’s recently upgraded ARKit in the world of fashion. As a representative from PTC noted, it is often difficult for those planning fashion lines to have a complete line of products in front of them when evaluating which ones to move forward on in selling to retailers.
However, with ARKit, managers at the company were able to use an iPhone to visualize a closeup look at 3D-scanned dress variations on an AR-produced mannequin. While many AR demonstrations have focused on customer retail experience and I’ve previously written about its potential use in retail business intelligence analysis, this demonstration showed a good application of how far back in the planning process AR can have an impact.
For the first years of its existence on smartphones, mobile commerce was largely about reproducing online transactions and then about exploiting the location-aware nature of mobile to drive store traffic. But mobile platforms have become such a default platform for innovation that they are permeating both the physical and digital retail experience. Whether it be attacking issues from customer interaction to conference room, Apple is providing a slew of enabling technologies that manufacturers and retailers to deliver a more responsive, more personalized, and richer commerce experience.
Road warriors are often found with battery packs in their bags to keep their devices powered up when a power source is not readily available. Most of these battery packs have USB-A, USB Type C, and microUSB ports for charging mobile devices.
The new Mophie Powerstation AC adds a standard A/C outlet to a 22,000mAh battery pack. This solves my challenge with using a Surface Pro while on the road and away from a power source. The new battery pack will also be useful for other laptops, tablets, and other devices that do not charge up via some type of USB cable.
The Mophie Powerstation AC also has a USB Type C fast charging port to quickly charge up your smartphone, Pixelbook, or even new Apple MacBook computer. Priority+ Charging is provided so that devices connected to the USB-A port charge before the A/C battery recharges.
According to Mophie, 100 watts of A/C output are provided to charge up laptops, camera batteries, and other devices that normally plug into a wall outlet.
The Powerstation AC is covered in fabric material to make it a friendly bag companion that won’t scratch up other devices while also providing a comfortable grip. It is priced at $199.95 and is available now. I’ll be testing one out during CES next week, so stay tuned for my hands-on experiences.
Samsung is currently the sole manufacturer of OLED displays for the iPhone X.
Apple will replace your iPhone battery even if it passes the diagnostics threshold of 80 percent of its original capacity.