In 2010, Apple’s CoreOS team worked to port the Mac OS X Darwin kernel to the ARMv5 chipset architecture – chipsets that currently powers iPhone and iPad. The project was called “Porting Darwin to the MV88F6281″, subtitled “ARMing the Snow Leopard” with the main goal of setting Darwin in a stable state on the MV88F6281 processor. The project has been made public couple months ago, but it is not known if it’s still in work, or they have abandoned it.
Since the project began, Apple released new versions of Mac, iPad and MacBook Air, but no sign of MAC OS X on ARM. They decided instead, to take iOS software “Back to the Mac” with OS X 10.7 Lion version. Latest rumors showed also a more probably iOS move towards the Mac than moving Mac to ARM.
Taking in consideration that neither an OS X tablet nor an ARM MacBook Air seem likely, why would Apple still need to have ARM-compatible builds of OS X in their labs?
The number of apps sent by developers and studios to the App Store suffered an amazing increase lately. But among this avalanche of submitted apps, there are many bad copycats and “fakes” trying to copy something that already enjoys success of a strong brand. The target is, of course, getting much money with minimum effort. This habit became more and more annoying in the gaming experience as the cloned applications were disappointing in characters building and design level.
Some of these scams are Temple Jump, Tiny Birds, Numbers with Friends, stealing money from serious independent studios like Imangi and Andreas Illiger. They were made by Anton Sinelnikov developer, copying from originally Temple Run, Tiny Wings, or Words with Friends. The Temple Jump fake even succeeded to reach the top paid apps chart.
Apple finally took position to this copyright violation and removed the apps from the App Store, as it did in the past with many apps that cheated the review system. Due to App Store’s large dimension, it is very difficult to entirely track and report applications without users’ help. Therefore, they have handy options/labels like “Report a problem”, “This application has a bug”, “This application is offensive” and an open comment field where other reports can be stated, such as: “This app is a fake of another app”. Apple could also come with a more explicit policy in what concerns the delimitation between copying, inspiring from another’s app game-play and these so called copycats, fakes.
Users also complain about many useless or deceiving apps that don’t work and were abandoned by developers. Maybe complex and automatic tool of cleaning the App Store is needed.
This is the third update of OS X Lion, being minor but notable because is promising to solve some issues from the previous version 10.7.2. One of the most expected fixes in this version is the one related to Wi-fi connection when waking from sleep, as I have noticed it is a common problem under Lion and many users complain about it. An update for Safari, v5.1.3, is also built in the Lion download kit.
The OS X Lion v10.7.3 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes fixes that:
- Add Catalan, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, and Ukrainian language support;
- Address issues when using smart cards to log into OS X;
- Address an issue printing Microsoft Word documents that use markup;
- Address compatibility issues with Windows file sharing;
- Address a graphics performance issue after sleep on some earlier iMacs that use ATI graphics;
- Address an issue that may prevent Safari from opening before joining a wireless network;
- Resolve issues authenticating with directory services;
- Include RAW image compatibility for additional digital cameras.
This new update is available in Software Update or you can get it directly from Apple’s site.
Firefox, one of the leading Internet browsers, released today an update to version 10 which is available and ready to download for Mac and Windows. Lately, Mozilla rapidly launched new versions arriving in nine months from version 4, to version 10.
Some of the new features it brings, are the forward button that automatically hides when forward action is not valid, and the possibility to visualize full-screen web applications, which means we can enjoy games, movies and landscapes much more.
Firefox 10 also fixed a bookmarks crashing bug, enhanced the HTML5 element tag support, integrated CSS3 3D transformation which wasn’t available before, and added Anti-Aliasing for OpenGL. The rest of improvements are addressed to developers.
For the moment, Firefox 10 does not support full screen feature for Mac OS X Lion which is believed to be integrated in Firefox 12 beta version.
To get this update, go directly to your Firefox browser, select “About Firefox” and the update will automatically download. After installing, your browser needs to be restarted.
According to Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray analyst, Apple is interested in buying television components, as the Cupertino Company contacted at least one major supplier to check out its offer. The analyst claims that he had recently talked to a “major TV component supplier” and found out that Apple was interested in “various capabilities of their television display components”. This rumor is interpreted as being a hint that Apple is trying to explore the television production. Evidence which underlines this supposition are the January 2011 meetings in Asia which pointed that Apple was investing in manufacturing facilities for LCD displays and the September 2011 meeting with a “contact close to an Asian supplier” who sustained prototypes of Apple HDTV, were in work.
For the moment, Apple has encountered resistance from movie and TV studios that showed hesitance in providing their content to Apple television. One of the possibilities is to provide customized channel lineups for users, but then the licensing deals needed to support a feature like this would have no pricing precedent. Munster also believes Apple enters the HDTV market to reinvent it, offering new content and services.
“Since we know Apple is exploring television hardware, we are therefore led to conclude that the company is exploring a solution for live TV, and this solution could be one that has not yet been taken mainstream” he said.
This kind of rumors existed long time ago from all sorts of sources including the “USA Today”, Steve Jobs’ biography, a number of patents discovered by AppleInsider for “advanced backlighting” and a universal remote, which indicate, at least, Apple’s investigation of this possibility.
Apple has just released yesterday updates for Airport Utility network software with a very simple user interface but impressive graphical map of the wireless base stations and how they interact to each other enhancing the listing option. This new version, 6.0, works with latest AirPort Express Extreme and Time Capsules supporting 802.11n. It seems that, this new simplified interface is missing the capacity to detail clients’ wireless signal strength, MAC addresses and some network statistics. Also, internet connection settings and other technical specifications are organized in a more convenient way, to increase its usability and make it easier for end users.
Beside the Utility update, Apple also released the AirPort firmware update 7.6.1 for security improvements and wireless performance, where the most interesting of the improvements is the possibility to remotely access a Time Capsule’s hard drive or a hard drive connected to an AirPort device through USB. This feature previously existed on Apple’s MobileMe online service, but became unusable once users moved their accounts to iCloud. Before applying the firmware update, it is recommended to install at least AirPort Utility 5.5.3.
We notice, Apple continues to progressively improve its wireless technology and, as I said in a previous article, it’s expected to add the new 802.11c standard support for Gigabit Wireless.
You can use this app either as a working environment background or relaxing and meditational one by enjoying beautiful interactive scenes mixed with great ambient soundtracks. It also includes features like weather, alarm clock, “wake to music” and sleep timer but, I tell you, the Magic of this tool consists in the sandman’s effect as you’re trying to go to sleep and the refreshing and energizing mood you get in the morning after watching a great sunrise. Imagine the power it gets by adding a projector or set it up on a big screen Apple TV.
Magic Window 2.0 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch Video Demo from Magic Window on Vimeo.
The application was created by Jetson Creative LLC, it has reached Version 3.2 by now and it is available for Mac, iPad and iPhone with price of only $0.99 in the AppStore.
A recent study conducted by Forrester Research and published by New York Times, shows that “business directors” are the most likely to own Apple products and use them at work. The respondents of the survey are 10,000 workers from 17 countries, so, the study does have a global relevance.
Let’s watch the survey results by level of revenue:
- 43% of people earning $150,000 or more per year (87 of 200 respondents)
- 27% of people earning $100,000 – $149,999
- 23% of people earning $50,000 – $99,999
- 19% of people earning $49,999 or less (1300 of 6800 respondents)
Overall, 21% of 9912 people said they used one or more Apple devices at work. This increasing penetration was conducted by workers bringing and using their personal devices at the workplace. The study also reveals that only 30% of respondents said their supports the use of iOS devices. But, as we said in a previous article, Apple is now offering the Volume Purchase Program for Business (VPP) to allow businesses to purchase iOS apps in a large quantity and B2B apps developed to fit the specific needs of the organization. This means we are likely to see deeper integration of Apple products in the working environment as we’ve also seen in the educational one. Even if Microsoft’s share of the enterprise domain decreased, they are still succeeding to keep the majority of users in their court.
Will Apple succeed to catch it up?
Apple proved once again at this years’ announcement of the first-quarter earnings that it can play with numbers, and this time better than before. The announcement was made public over a conference call by the chief financial, Peter Oppenheimer.
Apple’s revenue was based mostly on iPhone, iPad and Mac selling, devices named by Oppenheimer as “strongest product lineup in Apple’s history.” but all in all, the profits were more than doubled. In this quarter, ended on 31st of December, Apple earned $13.87 per share, easily blowing away the estimates of the analysts; the affiliated analysts expected an EPS of $10.19 while the independents estimated the EPS at $12.01. The company sold 128% more iPhones than in the elder year, 111% more iPads and 26% more Macs. It seems that not even the release of Kindle Fire intervened with the iPad selling.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook expressed his glee by stating the following:
“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,”
He also shared his optimism:
“Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”
The devices released by Apple were each time amazing; that explains also this quarter’s revenues, besides the iPhone 4s release. I am just curios how “amazing” will look like this time.
Apple reported Q1 2012 earnings yesterday with sales of iPads and Macs exceeding from far the competition in PC sales and revenue. According to Gartner, the company sold 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs, while HP’s PC sales for Q1 were 14.7 million, as well as Lenovo’s 12.9 million and Dell’s 11.6 million units. We can notice that Apple’s iPad sales alone exceeded HP’s PC sales. However, Gartner’s report doesn’t take in consideration the HP’s ill-starred TouchPad which is believed to be sold around 2 million units. Even so, HP would still not succeed to match Apple. Anyway, for better comparison, we should wait until 22 February when HP will release its Q1 2012 results.
The cheaper tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire are not a danger for Apple’s market share, as long as they will continue to “innovate like crazy”. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, keeps sustaining that tablets will one day overtake PC’s, belief also supported by the IDC’s recent study showing tablets exceeding PC sales for 2011’s last quarter in the US. The boom of iPad sales did not affected Mac sales, tough.
For the moment, iPad is used in most cases from entertainment reasons, while PCs are used mainly for productivity. So, it’s hard for me to believe that tablets will replace PCs in the near future. I will be more impressed when a study will show that more people own iPads than PC’s.