Categories
Apple

Apple Announces Phil Schiller will advance to Apple Fellow

Today Apple announced that Phil Schiller is going to become an Apple Fellow. Being an Apple Fellow means that he is being recognize by Apple as having a distinguished career and providing extraordinary contributions while working for Apple. Schiller will still be in charge of the App Store and Apple Events.

“Phil has helped make Apple the company it is today and his contributions are broad, vast, and run deep. In this new role he will continue to provide the incredible thought partnership, and guidance that have defined his decades at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Joz’s many years of leadership in the Product Marketing organization make him perfectly suited to this new role and will ensure a seamless transition at a moment when the team is engaged in such important and exciting work. I’m thrilled that the whole executive team will benefit from his collaboration, ideas, and energy.”

Schiller has helped guide Apple’s products as well as its marketing for 30 years. He most recently led the effort to plan and execute Apple’s first-ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference. The event, notable both for its innovative software and hardware announcements as well as its creative and much-praised execution, set a new standard for what virtual events can achieve in the era of COVID-19.

“It has been a dream come true for me to work at Apple, on so many products I love, with all of these great friends — Steve, Tim, and so many more,” said Schiller. “I first started at Apple when I was 27, this year I turned 60 and it is time for some planned changes in my life. I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, I bleed six colors, but I also want to make some time in the years ahead for my family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”

To go along with this Greg (Joz) Joswiak, who has been a a longtime leader within Apple Product Marketing , will take over part of Phil Schiller’s role, in particular he will be on the Apple executive team as senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Joswiak takes on the role of senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. This organization is responsible for Apple’s product management and product marketing, developer relations, market research, business management, as well as education, enterprise, and international marketing.

Joswiak brings more than 20 years in leadership roles across Apple product marketing and has served as the vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing for the past four years. Joswiak has overseen the product management and product marketing for numerous breakthrough products including the original iPod and iPhone. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.

This is a big change for Apple, particularly since Schiller has been at Apple for so long. It was something that would eventual happen. Apple will not be the same without Schiller. As John Gruber stated, “Schiller hasn’t just been at Apple a long time — he’s held the position atop product marketing for, well, as long as I can remember.”

Source: Apple

Categories
Apple iMac

Apple Updates the iMac Line

Today Apple unveiled a new 27-inch iMac as well as updating the 21.5-inch iMac and iMac Pro with a couple of minor changes. Let us start with the 21.5-inch iMac.

21.5-inch iMac

The 21.5-inch iMac has received a minor change, all of the models will now come with an SSD standard. Previously the 21.5-inch iMac would come with a 1TB 5400-RPM spinning hard drive. That is now a thing of the past and the default storage is 256GB SSD. The base 21.5-inch iMac is configurable with a 1TB Fusion drive. The price does not change.

The two Retina 4K models of the 21.5-inch iMac also come with 256GB standard, but you can configure them with the same 1TB Fusion drive, again with a price change. You can also choose a 512GB or 1TB SSD, which was available previously.

This is the only change for the 21.5-inch iMac, but it is good to see Apple finally change the default storage to be SSD on the 21.5-inch iMacs. Next, let us look at the changes for the iMac Pro

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s professional iMac and is designed for those who need to have workstation-class hardware, including error-checking and correcting (ECC) RAM. The iMac Pro now comes with a 3.0GHZ 10-Core processor as the default. This is still the Intel W line of processors. This is the only change for the iMac Pro, but one that is welcome by those who can utilize the power of the iMac Pro. Finally, let us look at the 27-inch iMac.

27-inch iMac

The 27-inch iMac has had the same general design since its introduction in 2012. These are great machines and they can last for a while, but there have been some changes that will be welcomed by users.

Processor Changes

The 27-inch iMac has seen a much bigger change. It now comes with the 10th Generation Intel processors. The available options are a 3.1GHz 6-core, 3.3GHz 6-core, 3.8GHz 8-core, and a brand new 3.6GHz 10-core processor. The 10-core option is entirely new and it is the first time a 10-core option has been available on the iMac. Along with the processor that has been a change to some other aspects of the 27-inch iMac.

Audio/Video Changes

The first of this changes is the new 1080p FaceTime camera. This is a vast improvement over the 720p version that has been present in the iMacs for a while. This is a great upgrade, particularly since we are spending more and more time communicating over the internet instead of face to face. While you are on that conference call, you can use the upgraded speakers. These are now a higher fidelity than before. This includes EQ balancing and deeper bass sounds. Better speakers are great for you to hear others, but now others should be able to hear you a bit better with the improved microphones. These are similar to the “Studio Quality” microphones that are on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. All of this is powered by the new T2 chips that is inside the iMac.

Security Changes

The T2 is Apple’s security chip that is designed to provide not only the features above, but also provide security for Apple’s operating systems, particularly for macOS Big Sur, which will be available this fall. When using your iMac you will be getting an SSD. The base model starts at 256GB, but there are models that support 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and a new 8TB option. The biggest change though is to the glass.

New Display Option

The 27-inch iMac started off as a 1080p display when it was introduced. In 2014 Apple introduced a retina version of the iMac. The 27-Inch model included a 5K Retina screen. The 5K screen changed the game for desktop Macs, because you were able to have significant amount of screen real-estate to really be able to organize your computer and be productive. The 27-inch iMac now comes with True Tone technology, which will automatically adjust the color of the screen depending on lighting conditions. This is not new technology as it is available on iPhones and iPads, but this is the first time it is available on the iMac.

True Tone is not the only change to the display, today Apple is introducing a new display option for the 27-inch iMac, the Nano-Texture display.

Nano-Texture Display

The Nano-Texture display is a display that is based on Apple’s Pro Display XDR technology. The Nano-Texture display should be able to reduce glare and will work well in environments where you cannot control the lighting. From Apple’s 27-inch iMac Purchase page:

While both the standard glass and nano-texture glass options of iMac are engineered for extremely low reflectivity, it helps to consider your work environment when deciding which one is right for you.

If you’re in an especially uncontrolled lighting environment, there’s an innovative matte option with nano-texture glass. Typical matte displays have a coating added to their surface that scatters light. However, these coatings lower contrast while producing unwanted haze and sparkle. The nano-texture on iMac is actually etched into the glass at the nanometer level. The result is a screen with beautiful image quality that maintains contrast while scattering light to reduce glare to the barest minimum.

The Nano-Texture screen will cost an additional $500, however if you know you need this type of display it may be well worth the price. Additionally, since this is similar to

Closing Thoughts

The updates to the 21.5-inch iMac as well as the iMac Pro are minor updates, but they are ones that will be welcome, most particularly SSDs now being standard across the line. The 27-inch iMac is the machine that got the most upgrades, including a new 10-core processor option, as well as the the new FaceTime 1080p camera, improved microphones and better speakers are all great improvements. The biggest change is the new Nano-Texture display available on the 27-inch iMac. While it is not for everyone, for those who need it, it is likely to be a great upgrade. All of the updates are available in orders today, however the Nano-Texture screen will take a bit longer to ship.

Source: Apple.com

Categories
Apple Video

Apple Commits to being Carbon Neutral by 2030

To quote the late Carl Sagan:

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbour life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit? Yes. Settle? Not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. … To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve, and cherish, the pale blue dot; the only home we’ve ever known.

It is true, no matter how much Science Fiction and the actions of some may provide us the hope of being able to settle and colonize another planet, it is still a long, long ways away. It is not likely that we will be able to colonize another planet in my lifetime, or within the next 100 years.

In order to be able to be able to colonize another world, we need to take care of this one. Apple is doing its part to help protect the one planet that we have. Apple has already been carbon neutral with its global corporate operations, but this goes well beyond that.

Apple is hoping to be carbon neutral not just for global operations, but also for manufacturing, its supply chain partners, and even all of the products it sells. This is a big task, but it should go a long way to helping the planet. From the press release, here is Apple’s ten year roadmap:

Apple’s Climate Roadmap

Apple’s 10-year roadmap will lower emissions with a series of innovative actions, including:Low carbon product design: Apple will continue to increase the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products, innovate in product recycling, and design products to be as energy efficient as possible.

  • Apple’s latest recycling innovation — a robot the company is calling “Dave” — disassembles the Taptic Engine from iPhone to better recover key materials such as rare earth magnets and tungsten while also enabling recovery of steel, the next step following its line of “Daisy” iPhone disassembly robots.
  • The company’s Material Recovery Lab in Austin, Texas, which is focused on innovative electronics recycling technology, is now partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to further develop engineering solutions.
  • All iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content, including 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Taptic Engine — a first for Apple and for any smartphone.
  • Apple decreased its carbon footprint by 4.3 million metric tons in 2019 through design and recycled content innovations in its products. Over the past 11 years, Apple has reduced the average energy needed for product use by 73 percent.

This is just part of their overall strategy. This is a big undertaking and one that I hope they are able to achieve. There are many that claim that being carbon neutral, or even just moving to be more green is not fiscally possible. I disagree with them. Will it be free? No, but nothing is free. This video starring Bill Nye is still accurate, and we all need to do better to help the environment.

We only have one planet, and we must take care of it in order to be able to have not only our species, but many other species, survive. It is good to see companies doing their part to help save our planet, since it is the only one we have.

Source: Apple.com

Categories
Apple

Apple Card goes to the Web

At a special event in March of 2019, Apple’s previews a number of their new services including Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple TV+. The last item they talked about was a new service called Apple Card. Apple Card takes what we all have come to expect from a credit card and enhances it. Apple Card is a credit card that lives on your iPhone and integrates with Apple Pay. Apple Card was released to consumers beginning in the late summer of 2019.

When Apple Card was first unveiled, one of the most requested features was the ability to export transactions, which was added in January of this year. The second most requested feature was a website. Today, Apple unveiled a website just for Apple Card. It is available at card.apple.com. The website has the basics available. You can see your current balance, including some details, you can view your statements, schedule payments, manage bank accounts, and view benefits as well as terms and conditions. While you are on the site, you can also contact support via phone or the official Apple Card Support site.

There is one last thing to mention Apple Card. If you apply for a new Apple Card you will get $50 Daily Cash when you use your new Apple Card to pay for an Apple Service
and get $50 Daily Cash back. This includes Apple Music, TV+, App Store and other services. This only applies to new applicants, but it is a great way to get them into using the card.

It is great to see Apple adding features that user want. I am sure one of the things on their list is the ability to provide access for multiple people to the same Apple Card.

Source: Macstories.net

Categories
Apple WWDC

WWDC Prediction Results and Thoughts on WWDC 2020

As has become a tradition, I make predictions about what Apple will announced at their World Wide Developer Conference. You can see those predictions on this post. Along with the prediction results, I do have some thoughts about the new format for this all virtual conference. But first, here are the results of those predictions.

Messages on Mac same as iOS — 95%

I was right on this prediction. Messages on macOS is now a Mac Catalyst app. This means that they are the same application with the same features across iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

New health-related task on watchOS — 75%

This is also correct. There is sleep tracking available on watchOS 7. I am sure this has been the most requested feature for watchOS.

App List view on iPadOS — 70%/App List view on iPhone — 60%

This was not announced. There is a new App Library option, but it is not a list view, instead it is a grid of your applications that are grouped together.

macOS being one of the names listed — 65%

The macOS name has indeed named one of my guesses. In fact it is named macOS Big Sur. I guess Apple’s marketing team ‘drug-fueled minibus-driven vision quests’.

Transition to ARM being announced — 50%

Yes, Apple did indeed announce the transition to their own Apple Silicon, which is based on ARM.

Improvement to Controls on Mac Catalyst — 50%

There were improvements with controls on Mac Catalyst, so this on is correct as well.

Third-party Watch Faces — 25%

This was not announced. There is the ability to share watch faces, but you cannot have full third-party watch faces.

ARM Dev Kit available for order — 5%

Despite giving it a low possibility, there is a Developer Transition Kit available for developers. This Developer Transition Kit is not representative of what Apple will release with its Apple Silicon. The specifications for this transition kit are:

  • Apple A12Z Bionic Processor
  • 16GB of Memory
  • 512GB of SSD Storage
  • Two USB-C ports (up to 10Gbps)
  • Two USB-A ports (up to 5Gbps)
  • HDMI 2.0
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Gigabit Ethernet

You are able to apply for the Developer Transition Kit. However, one thing to remember is that you are renting this transition kit in order to develop your apps on Apple Silicon. You are not allowed to keep the device. There is a fee for the transition kit, $500 USD. You can apply on the Developer website. To quote the Apple developer website:

As part of the program, you’ll have limited access to a Developer Transition Kit (DTK), which will be shipped to you, for developing and testing your Universal apps. The DTK is owned by Apple and must be returned.

Double base iCloud Storage — 5%

I was incorrect about this one. There has been no change to iCloud Storage, although I still think there should be.

Prediction Recap

I only got 60% correct, which is not too bad for only having 10 predictions. I do have some thoughts about the WWDC format, so let us dive into that next.

Thoughts on WWDC 2020 Format

When Apple announced an online-only WWDC for this year, due to Covid 19. No one was 100% sure what to expect, myself included. We were expecting a Keynote, State of the Union session, and session videos. Due to Covid-19, we could not expect an audience and I think Apple did a pretty good job for the videos.

While the Keynote and State of the Union sessions were streamed, the remaining days of videos have been released at 10 am. Pacific Time on each day. While this worked for me, being in the US Central Time, I am sure it did not work for others, who may be on the other side of the world. I understand Apple’s choice here. To maintain some semblance of an in-person conference, they chose a time close to the usual time of starting the conference. It might be good if they either changed the time to earlier, say maybe 8 am Pacific Time, or released a couple of batches of videos throughout the day.

Last year with the conference being in-person, many of the sessions needed to be between 35 minutes and an hour. This is because you had people to move between sessions and they needed enough time to get to the next session. With a completely virtual conference, this is not necessary. Instead, Apple is able to have a video be just as long as it needs to. There are some videos that are still 45 minutes, or longer. A couple of these are Introduction to SwiftUI, Port your Mac app to Apple Silicon, and What’s new with in-app purchase. However, most videos are around 30 minutes, with some being as short as 8 or 9 minutes. Furthermore, the various lengths have also allowed the extraneous things that would have been required in years past to not be included, like coding demos. There are still some coding demos in some of the videos, but it is significantly fewer videos that have full coding sessions.

I think these various length for videos makes it easier for developers to be able to find what they are looking for instead of having to search through an entire session to find one snippet. For myself, I think I have gotten through watching more videos in a shorter amount of time, which means I can get started on my books that much sooner.

The last tidbit I will mention about the WWDC videos is that I do enjoy seeing the different areas of Apple Park. It is entirely possible that everything was done with green screens and that we are not actually seeing places where these videos were recorded. Even if that is the case, it is nice to see different areas of Apple Park, particularly since many of us will never be able to see them for ourselves.

Closing Thoughts

Even though I likely would not have gone to WWDC myself, the change to the videos is quite nice. I hope that Apple is willing to either move the entire conference to be virtual, which does create a consistent experience for all developers. If they were to go back to an in-person conference, it would be good to see some sort of hybrid, maybe fewer sessions, or more pre-recorded videos. I really do enjoy having the various length videos, it has helped me get to exactly what I need to watch instead of watching an entire session’s video.