Esslinger documents this partnership in his new book Keep it Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple. “It became very clear to me that we were competing for an opportunity to help Steve Jobs create much more than a visual design language,” Esslinger writes you can read an excerpted chapter here. “Apple needed a cutting-edge system that would enable Steve to translate his vision into marketable products, and Frog was in the process of helping him build it. We were involved in a real revolution – one that would extend well beyond the changes our work would bring to Apple.”
Microsoft called the Surface Pro 2 a “true laptop replacement,” while dubbing the Surface 2 “the most productive tablet for personal use … [that] offers all the entertainment and gaming capabilities you expect from a tablet, along with the ability to get work done.”The biggest problem with Microsofts strategy is that the group wanting that larger tablet running on the Windows platform is a small group, indeed. Gartner expects 90 million Android tablets will ship in 2013, 107 million on iOS and just 3.7 million on Windows.”I believe Surface 2 will help Microsoft gain tablet share, but that comes from a very small base today,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Both new tablets offer improvements and unique features, but neither fundamentally changes the competitive landscape. The tablet market has swung to a low price, 7-in. to 8-in. form factor with thousands of speedy and relevant apps.”
“We must do the work to ensure that the PC stays the device of choice when they’re trying to be productive in life,” Ballmer said at a meeting for analysts and institutional shareholders yesterday, the first in two years. Ballmer said the company will have to work hard to keep the industry “north of 300 million” units.PC shipments will decline 9.7 percent this year to 315.4 million and won’t ever return to the peak levels it reached in 2011, according to researcher IDC. The market will shrink until 2015, it said. The slumping popularity of the devices is coming as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones and tablets, two markets where Microsoft and the PC industry have lagged.
For every Siri, there’s an actor sitting in a sound booth, really needing to go to the bathroom or scratch an itch. Once that person finishes her job, she can go home. But her voice has only begun its journey. The story of that journey, from human to replicant, is one of a series of complex technological processes that would have been impossible 10 years ago. But it’s also the story of our stubborn desire as social beings to form relationships, even with unconscious objects. In order to establish trust in our machines, we have to begin to suspend disbelief. This is the story of how we fool ourselves.
Okay, then, you asked for it: Someone who claims Apple has ripped him off by not giving him enough episodes of “Breaking Bad” has filed a putative class action suit against the company.
The details are too banal to repeat here, but in short: A bunch of iTunes users thought they had bought 16 episodes of AMC’s awesome show last summer. It turns out Apple only intended to credit them for the 8 episodes that ran last year, and wants to charge them to watch the eight that started running last month (and are awesome).
In a rational world, Apple’s complainers would realize that someone at the company’s iTunes store did a bad job of labeling the offer. But they would also realize that the offer they thought they were getting was too good to be true — if Apple really was going to give them 16 episodes for $21.99, that would have represented a 50 percent discount on the single-episode price, which Apple never offers.
The iPhone 5s is the first digital device I’ve seen with a simple, reliable fingerprint reader — one you can confidently use, without a thought, to unlock the device instead of typing in a passcode. You can even use this fingerprint reader, called Touch ID, to authorize purchases from Apple’s App, iTunes and e-book stores.
It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s a real advance, the biggest step ever in biometric authentication for everyday devices. After using Touch ID, I found it annoying to go back to typing in passcodes on my older iPhone.
Developers have won a round in the rollout of Windows 8.1. On Monday, Microsoft announced that it would make available to developers and IT professional communities its 8.1 and 8.1 Pro Release-to-Manufacturers (RTM) builds, which it had earlier released only to manufacturers.
Some listeners want Robin Thicke right now . But for those who need their daily dose of NPR and much more, there’s the Swell app. The Pandora of talk radio, backed by serious Silicon Valley funding $7.2 million at last count, Swell allows you to indulge your aural ADD and bounce around from news to comedy to sports to TED Talks, all in one car ride, without taking your eyes off the road. Its algorithm knows you better than your boyfriend does. Want more “This American Life”? Less “Science Times”? Hyper-personalized ESPN feeds? Done. Swell’s app is like your favorite podcast mixed with an arsenal of pleasant surprises.