All posts in “Apple”

Google needs to pay Apple a small fortune to remain the default search engine on iOS

Apple and Google could be the biggest frenemies in tech. While they both compete like there’s no tomorrow, they also partner on some very specific deals. For instance, Google is paying a ton of money to remain the default search engine on iOS.

As CNBC first reported, according to a Bernstein analyst, Google could pay as much as $3 billion a year just to remain the default option in Safari.

Business Insider also obtained that Bernstein report and shared the thinking behind this number. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi starts from a previous court document from 2014 that stated that Google had to pay $1 billion every year to remain the default search engine on iOS back in 2014.

But mobile traffic as well as iPhone sales have been growing steadily since then. If you look at Apple’s services revenue, and in particular licensing revenue, as well as Google’s traffic acquisition costs, that number could be around $3 billion right now.

It shows that Google is still highly dependent from Apple. The vast majority of Google’s revenue comes from ads on search result pages. And Apple controls roughly 18 percent of the smartphone market.

As most users update to the latest version of iOS in just a few months, it doesn’t take long to change the default setting on hundreds of millions of iPhones. Google has no choice but to spend a ton of money to acquire this traffic.

A few years ago, the iPhone shipped with a built-in YouTube app and Google Maps. When Apple realized that Google was becoming a serious competitor with Android, the company removed the YouTube app from iOS and worked on Apple Maps. Apple isn’t afraid of saying no to Google when it comes to iOS features.

Apple could probably not get as much money from Microsoft Bing, Yahoo Search or DuckDuckGo, but Apple doesn’t really need it anyway as it brings more than $45 billion in revenue per quarter now. It’s all about hurting Google’s bottom line.

As John Gruber noted, Apple is in a strong position in this negotiation. While it’s true that DuckDuckGo and Bing have gotten better over the years, it still lags behind when you’re using those search engines in non-English languages.

This incongruous situation is a great example of asynchronous competition. Apple and Google keep innovating and competing as hard as they can on the smartphone front. But they also partner on other aspects and even pay each other. Business schools will turn this situation into a great case study.

An iOS 11 feature could let you quickly disable TouchID and keep cops out

TouchID has always been a legal grey area when it came to cops and border patrol asking you to fork over your phone. But, with the new update in iOS 11, that no longer seems to be a problem.

The new feature is being referred to in some circles as a “cop button” because it allows the iPhone owner to set up a provision in the update allowing you to choose whether to keep TouchID on or not. This allows travelers and people who tend to get harassed by police more often — or just anyone concerned with privacy and security — to set their phone up using a long, complex password, thus locking out cops and anyone who doesn’t know the passphrase.

Currently, police can force you to use your fingerprint to unlock the phone, but they can’t force you to use your password — something that has been proven by law to be protected.

As Twitter user @alt_kia pointed out, to unlock the phone you press the power button rapidly five times and it will open a second screen, while also forcing anyone with the phone to use the longer passphrase to unlock it.

This process is especially useful in an emergency situation where you need to unlock the phone and call 911. As noted in Engadget, the option to call for help will pop up after you push the power button five times.

Of course, the process isn’t easy for those wishing to use it for privacy reasons, and you might get fatigued constantly unlocking it this way. However, it’s a good way to keep what’s on your phone to yourself.

Featured Image: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

Leaked images might show the iPhone 8’s wireless charging setup

The iPhone 8's wireless charging pad might have just surfaced in new leaked images.
The iPhone 8’s wireless charging pad might have just surfaced in new leaked images.

Image: loris ravera/mashable

This year’s upcoming iPhone 8 product line is widely expected to be Apple’s first generation of smartphones to feature wireless charging capabilities, finally freeing up iOS users from their Lightning cords — and we might just have gotten a good look at what the accessories that will provide that power might look like.    

New images that allegedly show off some of Apple’s charging pad’s internal components popped up online, giving us a peek what could possibly be coming later this year when the company is expected to unveil three new glass-backed phones — the premium iPhone 8, the iPhone 7S, and 7S Plus — that offer inductive charging using the Qi standard. That means that the phones will only charge when they’re actually touching the surface of a specialized charging pad. 

The photos appeared on Chinese social media site Weibo, where they were spotted by Apple Insider. The publication’s report pointed out a major flaw in the original poster’s assertion that these are internal components, since the look to be too large to fit inside an iPhone: We might be looking instead at the charging pad itself.  

The charging pads in the images are clearly unfinished, and not what we’d expect to see from the famously design-obsessed Apple. Still, if the photos are genuine, they give us a glimpse of a potential shape and size of the device. 

Image: zealer/weibo

Image: zealer/weibo

The charging pad pics follow another set of leaked images that are thought to show the internal charging coil to be used for the new inductive power functionality, which do appear to have the potential to actually fit inside of an iPhone. 

The new iPhone’s won’t totally abandon wires, however; there are also rumors that Apple will introduce brand new fast charging capabilities as well, using USB-C Power Delivery chips for Lightning-USB-C functionality.

None of these new features can be confirmed, however, until Apple sets the record straight when it unveils the devices. We’re hoping that will go down in a keynote event next month, but even that hasn’t been announced as of yet. 9376 8cc7%2fthumb%2f00001

Why Apple’s not going to sell an OLED TV

It’s no secret Apple really, really wants to reinvent the TV. On his deathbed, Steve Jobs expressed great interest in fixing the crummy TV watching experience, telling his biographer Walter Isaacson that he had “finally cracked it.”

Jobs said he wanted to create an “integrated television set that is completely easy to use” and “would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.”

In 2014, leakers and analysts repeatedly said Apple would release its own TV set, which many speculated could have been powered by Siri. No such Apple-branded TV was ever released and many believe Apple shelved it.

But now it’s surfaced again. Photos posted to China’s Weibo, and shared by gadget leaker Benjamin Geskin, who has been leaking details on the iPhone 8, show an alleged 60-inch Apple OLED TV being tested in what appears to be an anechoic chamber.

While an Apple flatscreen would be pretty cool and add to the company’s lineup of sleek hardware, it doesn’t make sense for Apple to make one.

Right off the bat, the images are super suspect. They’re beyond blurry and could easily be fakes. Geskin says the TV set has a metal body and thin bezels. But of course it would … all nice TVs (especially ones with OLED displays) from Samsung and LG are metal and have ultra-thin bezels.

The testing chamber gives the purported Apple TV a technical setting, but again it could be any ol’ facility and the location can’t be verified.

Geskin told Mashable there’s a good chance the images could be fake. Someone could have put an Apple sticker or photoshopped the logo onto a generic TV and passed it around. There’s just no way to know.

Even if we’re to take the display for what it claims to be, it’s more likely that it could be a prototype for Apple’s Pro Display that might launch with the redesigned Mac Pro next year. Apple used to sell its own screens, but they discontinued the last one, the Thunderbolt Display, in 2016.

When you look at Apple’s ambitious moves into TV with its Apple TV set-top box, tvOS, and original content like Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, it makes total sense for them to make and sell the TV itself. Like why wouldn’t they sell the single piece of hardware that would deliver its content (which it has reportedly set aside $1 billion for)?

There are many reasons why Apple would be stupid to sell a TV screen. Mashable Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff laid them all out in 2015 after the TV didn’t materialize.

His analysis still holds up true today, and here’s why.

The TV biz isn’t booming

Being in the TV-making industry actually kind of sucks. Profit margins are extremely low, especially when you’re trying to sell an affordable TV set. Forrester Research estimates TV makers only make 10 to 15 percent profit per TV, and that percentage has dropped as inexpensive Chinese TVs have stolen marketshare from Korean and Japanese TV makers like Samsung, LG and Sony.

Companies that can’t turn a profit on TVs are either leaving the business altogether or outsourcing their displays to other manufacturers, which basically means the image quality ends up being crap.

People hang onto their TVs often

One of the reasons why the TV industry is contracting is because people just don’t upgrade their TVs often. They hang onto them for years or even decades. If you’ve already spent good money on a large, high-end HDTV or 4K TV, there’s really no point in getting a new one until it either breaks or some breakthrough technology makes a new one necessary.

Apple doesn’t make screens

Screens are also hard to source. If Apple’s TV were to come with an OLED display, it’d have to tap somebody like Samsung or LG to get the panels. While Samsung has made parts (i.e. memory) used in iPhones and MacBooks, lining the company’s pockets with even more money is not something Apple would wanna do.

TV habits have changed

People don’t watch TV like they used to with the whole family gathering around the tube in the living room. It’s 2017, and TV obeys us. More people than ever before watch TV on their phones, tablets, laptops, and computers. Good luck getting a teenager to watch Game of Thrones with you on the big screen. They’re glued to their phones, which means it’s not gonna happen. It’s telling when YouTube TV is mobile-first and doesn’t even have an app for streaming media boxes. 

Set-top boxes are cheaper

Let’s be real: An Apple OLED TV would not be cheap. Apple doesn’t make cheap products and you can bet good money that a TV would carry a premium over similar TVs in its class. A premium Samsung 65-inch 4K QLED TV costs around $3,500 or more and a LG 65-inch 4K OLED TV costs $3,000 or more. You could find them at lower or higher prices depending on the model year and features, but the $2500-$3500 range is what you’d have to pay for a nice 4K TV today. 

The “Apple tax” that an Apple TV would come with could be as much 50 percent more than a Samsung or LG if MacBooks are anything to go by.

So, how big would the market be for people looking to spend $4,000-5,000 on an Apple TV? Not very large: adults and the rich. Young millennials just aren’t buying TVs. They buy Yeezys and iPhones, not a TV that requires having a sizable living room for it sit in. In the gadget world, TVs are basically like cars.

In comparison, the Apple TV and set-top boxes like Roku or NVIDIA Shield are only a few hundred bucks. A Chromecast is even cheaper at $35 or $70 for the 4K model. Cheap set-top boxes are also easily replaceable once their hardware becomes outdated and software updates slow everything down. 

I know this all too well. The 46-inch Sony Bravia HDTV I purchased in 2012 came with cutting-edge smart TV software at the time, but now it’s worthless. The built-in Netflix app is no longer supported and apps like Amazon Videos and YouTube are so slow, I’m better off loading them up on my phone and Chromecasting them to the TV. The TV’s still great, which is why I’m not replacing it with a 4K one anytime soon, but the smart TV software might as well not exist.

Image: mashable

Maybe I’m wrong and an Apple TV will come out in the future, but we just don’t see it happening soon. Apple’s TV set-top box is affordable and with tvOS getting better and better, Apple just doesn’t need to sell a TV.

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Apple could guide you around your city using augmented reality

ARKit is one of the biggest changes in iOS 11. Under the hood, Apple is about to transform the iPhone into a very capable augmented reality device. Felix Lapalme‏ has been looking at assets in the Maps app package to find out if the company is going to leverage augmented reality for turn-by-turn directions.

On July 22nd, he dug around a beta version of iOS 11 and found this mysterious 3D arrow for the Maps app:

You might think that Apple is going to use this arrow for traditional turn-by-turn directions on top of a map like in traditional navigation apps. But some code tells you to tilt your phone in front of your face when you’re using walking directions.

In addition to that, it looks like the Maps app is going to use your phone cameras. That’s a lot of smoke for a feature that could ship with the iPhone 8. And when there’s smoke, Apple hides it:

You might remember Google’s Project Tango. Among other things, Google promised to use augmented reality to provide turn-by-turn directions inside museums, malls and more.

Apple already announced that it plans to add detailed maps of airports and malls in iOS 11. iOS 11 and the next iPhone are shipping in September. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple talked about some feature that lets you walk around an airport to find the nearest coffee shop using augmented reality. It would look like this app developed by Andrew Hart‏, a developer who has been playing around with new frameworks: