Posts Tagged

Apple

Apple improves Maps search to boost pandemic response

Apple continues to press forward with what seems to be a company-wide attempt to fight back against coronavirus, improving Maps search results to prioritize what people need today.

Little changes have a big impact

Apple Maps has a search feature that lets you find services local to where you are.

If you’ve used it you’ll probably have found things like gas stations at the top of the suggested list (unless you’ve started typing something else).

That’s changed slightly, with Apple tweaking its servers to prioritize the kinds of services we need as we work so hard to survive the pandemic.

Now you’ll find food retailers, food delivery firms, pharmacies and emergency services at the top of the recommendation list.

This is only one of what seem to be dozens of tweaks, changes and strategies emerging from within the company during these times.

In comparison to the many other investments Apple is making, it may seem a small thing, but getting information about services like these fast could make a difference.

It’s also a way for Apple to engage in some form of conversation with its users, showing that it is working to help people where they are. It also gives Apple’s Maps teams a chance to feel that they are doing something constructive to help. Google has done something similar with its maps.

Your people want the chance to get involved

Giving your teams the chance to get involved matters.

Enterprises are made of people. Your staff, partners, customers and suppliers are people. We’re all being impacted at this time.

If you watch the enterprise technology space, you must have seen the increased focus around “soft skills” in an increasingly automated age.

You must also have been aware of the multitude of reports praising omnichannel experiences, brand authenticity and the cultural shift (particularly among millennials) towards businesses and ideas that deliver meaning and purpose.

These trends were already transforming business engagement across most industries pre-pandemic. Those changing attitudes seem likely to intensify in future.

While it’s way too early to talk about recovery, given we have no reliable vaccine and no exit strategy available to us, human nature insists we retain belief recovery will come.

When it does, the people who drive your business will want to feel not only that things can enter some new phase of normal, but also that they have been empowered to help support themselves and the wider community through the emergency.

What can you do today?

I’ve developed a sense that people across Apple have looked into themselves during the crisis and that its teams have turned to analyze how the products and services they work on can be improved to help boost response.

This extends to its partner relationships.

That’s why Apple is supporting musicians with a $50 million advance royalty fund, why it has created dedicated sets of resources across most of its services – you can even ask Siri to check your symptoms if you are concerned.

The response is not for Apple alone to deliver.

This is a chance for every enterprise to ask itself what customers need during the current crisis, and how their business can help them get it.

To paraphrase a great man:

“Ask not what your business can do for you — ask what your business can do for your community.”

The conclusions don’t have to be huge – those tweaks in Apple Maps aren’t huge — but whatever constructive enhancements you do make will be noted by your customers, employees and partners. Taking positive action will also help empower/motivate the increasingly isolated remote working teams across your business.

It’s the right thing to do.

And this is your chance to do it.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Amazon and Apple TV deal shows how to solve business conflicts

I didn’t see this as an enterprise-focused story at first, but a recent compromise between Amazon and Apple shows how communication can help even opposing businesses solve problems and grow value.

Amazon and Apple make a deal

Amazon this week suddenly began permitting Prime subscribers to access and purchase content from Prime using the iOS app.

To the vexation of many users, this wasn’t possible before. You had to visit Amazon’s site on a computer, purchase the item you wanted, and only then could this be accessed using an iOS device, including Apple TV.

The process was annoying, and was purely driven by the two billionaire multinationals arguing over who would get to keep a share of the purchase price.

Customers suffered to protect the all-important bottom line.

Now this has changed, and it has become possible to access and purchase Amazon’s content via the app. That’s better for any customers out there seeking out some entertainment during lock down. But, like so many of the little things, this arrangement suggests a shift in the way both companies think about their business and how to compete in the streaming media landscape.

Quid pro quo

An investigation by John Gruber shows that the deal kind of works in a slightly more complex way: Not only can you purchase content through Amazon’s iOS app, but you can also now buy Amazon Prime subscriptions through the app.

When you purchase a subscription using an Apple device, Apple gets a cut (presumably 30%) of the deal.

However, if you purchase a Prime subscription on Amazon, this will be honoured.

It goes further, as the support also means:

  • Integration with the Apple TV app.
  • AirPlay 2 support.
  • tvOS apps.
  • Support for universal search, Siri and zero/single sign-on.

In other words, you can more easily access movies purchased from Amazon on Apple TV, stream them from your device to an AirPlay 2-supporting television and also search for things using the Apple remote.

What Apple says

In a statement, Apple explains:

“Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers to offer a variety of customer benefits — including integration with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 support, tvOS apps, universal search, Siri support and, where applicable, single or zero sign-on. On qualifying premium video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+, customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription.”

What this means

Apple’s note around Altice One and Canal+ is significant.

The company has been working with some cable service suppliers to integrate its streaming systems with others. In Portugal, for example, the Apple TV is provided as to those who subscribe to MEO, and ships with MEO content available as an app.

Apple’s move to recognize Amazon as a de facto streaming services provider means it is beginning to recognize the need to work in more complex partnerships with others.

We don’t yet know if this sets the bar for how Apple intends working with others in future, though I do hope it does.

While doing so may slightly reduce the amount of cash Apple claws back on subscription deals for third-party content services, the benefits in terms of customer experience and widened content access are huge.

It is, after all, now pretty clear that Apple’s TV+ service will not defeat any other service out there – it just doesn’t have the content.

Why is this an enterprise-focused story?

I see it as a parable, really.

Apple, Amazon and others are all actively engaged and compete to define the future of television, but that future cannot be a zero-sum game.

The fact that these competitors are finding ways to work constructively together is a salutary lesson, as both benefit from the arrangement, while retaining their own individual identity.

(It’s also potentially a reaction to heightened anti-trust oversight in some territories.)

It seems typical of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s approach to complex challenge.

Describing his work with the current U.S. administration, he has said:

“The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So, whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.”

A willingness to dialog is essential for any business facing any challenge. The Amazon/Apple arrangement shows how even competitors may benefit by reaching around such walls. Particularly when doing so also enables both parties to do a more right thing.

We have to hope other streaming services providers get involved, as once they do then Apple’s TV app on the multitude of devices that support it will become a brilliant (and personalized) way to access all your content. 

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple may introduce iPhone 9 very soon

I was a little astonished to receive an email from a small iPhone case manufacturer sharing details today of its new case for the iPhone 9, and now it looks like this isn’t an exception, but a wave. Is Apple about to introduce the device?

Apple’s March announcement?

The Apple rumor websites are packed with reported iPhone 9 case sightings. 9to5Mac tells us cases for the device are arriving at retailers (including Best Buy) with “an April 5 merchandising date.”

Apple is thought to have ordered manufacturing of 30 million of the devices in January. It had been expected to introduce new iPad Pros, Macs and an iPhone 9 at a special event in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant a big public event didn’t happen.

Speculation claimed it could also delay introduction of the new iPhone. (Apple did introduce a new MacBook Air and iPad Pro last week.)

The presence of cases for the device in the supply chain makes it plausible to believe an iPhone 9 launch is imminent, possibly shipping as of April 5. This makes it likely we’ll hear more about the product during the week, most likely via an Apple press release published one morning from Cupertino.

Update: Since this piece was originally published we now hear speculation the device may not show up until April 15. 

What to expect in the iPhone 9?

The designs that are circulating seem to confirm specification the pundits (including me) have pondered since whispers of the product surfaced. These include the presence of a similar camera arrangement and body design to that of the 4.7-in. iPhone 8.

Apple’s iPhone 9 is expected to use an A13 chip, as used in the current iPhone and to use Touch ID rather than Face ID for biometric authentication. It is also expected to be more affordable, which should widen the market for Apple’s smartphones while enabling consumers, already battered by the personal and economic consequences of Coronavirus, to more easily upgrade their existing devices.

While it may seem a minor point given the ongoing pandemic, a lower-cost device could do well in the current very, very difficult environment.

To summarize expectations at this time:

  • 4.7-in. LCD display, 750-x-1,334 resolution.
  • Apple A13 Bionic chipset.
  • Touch ID home button.
  • Single lens camera.
  • A potential 3GB RAM (up from 2GB).
  • From 64GB storage.
  • $399 price.

There have been claims the company may introduce a larger model of the device, similar to the iPhone 8 Plus.

iOS 13.4.1 is coming

Despite the pandemic, Apple has put a great deal of effort into development of iOS 13.4, and is now thought to have put development of iOS 13.4.1, which implements important bug fixes, on the fast track. This follows the release of iOS 13.4 on March 24.

Apple traditionally pushes a relatively important iOS release in advance of a new product introduction. The recently introduced iPad Pro ships this week. It seems plausible to expect some iOS 13.4.1 components will also support the new iPhone 9 when it ships.

Apple may announce the product, but logistical challenges suggest supply may be constrained once it is revealed – and plans for iPhone 12 may be delayed. There is little doubt that most people won’t be as focused on Apple’s new release as they might usually be.

Globally, attention is on COVID-19, which has killed thousands, infected hundreds of thousands and is spreading rapidly across the U.S., and the world.

We may learn more concerning Apple’s iPhone 9 launch plans this week. In the meantime, I urge every reader to take good care of yourselves and your communities in these days.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple may introduce iPhone 9 this week

I was a little astonished to receive an email from a small iPhone case manufacturer sharing details today of its new case for the iPhone 9, and now it looks like this isn’t an exception, but a wave. Is Apple about to introduce the device?

Apple’s March announcement?

The Apple rumor websites are packed with reported iPhone 9 case sightings. 9to5Mac tells us cases for the device are arriving at retailers (including Best Buy) with “an April 5 merchandising date.”

Apple is thought to have ordered manufacturing of 30 million of the devices in January. It had been expected to introduce new iPad Pros, Macs and an iPhone 9 at a special event in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant a big public event didn’t happen.

Speculation claimed it could also delay introduction of the new iPhone. (Apple did introduce a new MacBook Air and iPad Pro last week.)

The presence of cases for the device in the supply chain makes it plausible to believe an iPhone 9 launch is imminent, possibly shipping as of April 5. This makes it likely we’ll hear more about the product during the week, most likely via an Apple press release published one morning from Cupertino.

What to expect in the iPhone 9?

The designs that are circulating seem to confirm specification the pundits (including me) have pondered since whispers of the product surfaced. These include the presence of a similar camera arrangement and body design to that of the 4.7-in. iPhone 8.

Apple’s iPhone 9 is expected to use an A13 chip, as used in the current iPhone and to use Touch ID rather than Face ID for biometric authentication. It is also expected to be more affordable, which should widen the market for Apple’s smartphones while enabling consumers, already battered by the personal and economic consequences of Coronavirus, to more easily upgrade their existing devices.

While it may seem a minor point given the ongoing pandemic, a lower-cost device could do well in the current very, very difficult environment.

To summarize expectations at this time:

  • 4.7-in. LCD display, 750-x-1,334 resolution.
  • Apple A13 Bionic chipset.
  • Touch ID home button.
  • Single lens camera.
  • A potential 3GB RAM (up from 2GB).
  • From 64GB storage.
  • $399 price.

There have been claims the company may introduce a larger model of the device, similar to the iPhone 8 Plus.

iOS 13.4.1 is coming

Despite the pandemic, Apple has put a great deal of effort into development of iOS 13.4, and is now thought to have put development of iOS 13.4.1, which implements important bug fixes, on the fast track. This follows the release of iOS 13.4 on March 24.

Apple traditionally pushes a relatively important iOS release in advance of a new product introduction. The recently introduced iPad Pro ships this week. It seems plausible to expect some iOS 13.4.1 components will also support the new iPhone 9 when it ships.

Apple may announce the product, but logistical challenges suggest supply may be constrained once it is revealed – and plans for iPhone 12 may be delayed. There is little doubt that most people won’t be as focused on Apple’s new release as they might usually be.

Globally, attention is on COVID-19, which has killed thousands, infected hundreds of thousands and is spreading rapidly across the U.S., and the world.

We may learn more concerning Apple’s iPhone 9 launch plans this week. In the meantime, I urge every reader to take good care of yourselves and your communities in these days.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple may introduce iPhone 9 this week, reports

I was a little astonished to receive an email from a small iPhone case manufacturer sharing details of its new case for the iPhone 9 today, and now it looks like this isn’t an exception, but a wave – is Apple about to introduce the device?

Apple’s March announcement?

The Apple rumor websites are packed with reported iPhone 9 case sightings. 9to5Mac tells us cases for the device are arriving at retailers (including Best Buy) with “an April 5 merchandising date”.

Apple is thought to have ordered manufacturing of 30 million of the devices in January. It had been expected to introduce new iPad Pros, Macs and an iPhone 9 at a special event in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant a big public event didn’t happen.

Speculation claimed it may delay introduction of the new iPhone devices. Apple did introduce a new MacBook Air and iPad Pro last week.

The presence of cases for the device in the supply chain makes it plausible to believe the iPhone 9 launch is imminent, possibly shipping from April 5.

This makes it likely we’ll more about the product during the week, most likely via an Apple press release published one morning from Cupertino.

What to expect in iPhone 9?

The designs that are circulating seem to confirm specification’s pundits (including myself) have pondered over since whispers of the product surfaced.

These include the presence of a similar camera arrangement and body design to that of the 4.7-inch iPhone 8.

Apple’s iPhone 9 is expected to host an A13 chip, as used in the current iPhone and to use Touch ID rather than Face ID for biometric authentication.

It is predicted to be a more affordable device, which should widen the market for Apple’s smartphones while enabling consumers, already battered by the personal and economic consequences of Coronavirus, to more easily upgrade their existing devices if they find they need to do so.

While it may seem inappropriate to speculate on this, a lower cost device could do well in the current very, very difficult environment.

To summarize expectations at this time:

  • 7-inch LCD display, 750-x-1,334 resolution.
  • Apple A13 Bionic chipset.
  • Touch ID home button.
  • Single lens camera.
  • A potential 3GB RAM (up from 2GB).
  • From 64GB storage.
  • $399 price.

There have been claims the company may introduce a larger model of the device, similar to the iPhone 8 Plus.

iOS 13.4.1 is coming

Despite the pandemic, Apple has put a great deal of effort into development of iOS 13.4, and is now thought to have put development of iOS 13.4.1, which implements important bug fixes, on the fast track. This follows the release of iOS 13.4 on March 24.

Apple traditionally pushes a relatively important iOS release in advance of a new product introduction. The recently introduced iPad Pro ships this week. It seems plausible to expect some iOS 13.4.1 components will also support the new iPhone 9 when it ships.

Apple may announce the product, but logistical challenges suggest supply may be constrained once it is revealed – and plans for iPhone 12 may be delayed.

There is little doubt that most people won’t be as focused on Apple’s new release as they might usually be.

Globally, attention is certainly on COVID-19, which has killed thousands, infected hundreds of thousands and is spreading rapidly across the U.S., and the world.

We may learn more concerning Apple’s iPhone 9 launch plans this week. Signing off, I urge every reader to take good care of yourselves and your communities in these days.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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