1. Apple’s new iOS7 makes bold statement
Though two new iPhones come out this week, the more dramatic shift in Apple technology might come from the software and not the hardware. iOS7, the new mobile OS, became available on Wednesday. “It is a major upgrade,” said Gerry Purdy, analyist and consultant with Compass Intelligence. “This is the first big thing that (Apple chief executive) Tim Cook has implemented, which puts all the software and hardware design under one roof, to have a unified experience across products.”
While both new iPhones have both been receiving lukewarm responses, some analysts say that the new OS is the bolder statement from Apple, designed to keep people in the Apple ecosystem. The new OS has a different look and a different feel describes Ramon Llamas, analyst with research firm IDC, who continues by saying that Apple is “asking people to make a leap of faith.”
Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch described iOS7 as a “visual shock… The look is bound to be controversial; Apple has opted for bright, bold colors with more clean lines and far fewer textures, shadows and gradients. There is still some depth to the OS, however, with transparency effects giving a sense of background and foreground elements.”
Apple claims that the new operating system has over 200 new features, including improved multitasking, sharing, new camera apps, more variation for Siri, and iTunes radio. The new software has drawn much attention, as the iPhone launch itself seems to be less grandiose than ones of the past. The iOS7 might actually hurt Apple because it allows people with the iPhone 4 or 5 to get benefits, as they can also upgrade their OS, and therefore reduces the need for people to upgrade their physical device and get an iPhone 5s or 5c.
2. 7 Misses in iOS7
- The wallpaper. Some wallpapers make legibility nearly impossible. You have to trial-and-error wallpapers on your phone to see if you can still read the text.
- Apple Calendar remains awful.
- Folders. You can have more than 9 now; the limit no longer exists, but regardless of how many you have, the maximum number of these apps that will be visible is 9.
- Photo streams are still backwards.
- Control Center. It’s easy to bring up, hard to get rid of. It doesn’t do well in landscape mode, and it has minimal amounts of text. Generally hard to use.
- Sharing stuff.
- The keyboard. There has been absolutely no change. Auto-correct is still as terrible as it was pre-iOS7.
3. Obama Petitions FCC to Legalize Cellphone Unlocking
The Obama administration doesn’t think that unlocking your phone and moving to a new carrier should send you to prison. On Tuesday, the administration sent a petition to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) asking it to override a law schedule to take effect on Jan. 26, 2014. This law would make it a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to unlock your cellphone without getting explicit permission from your carrier. Instead, they asked the FCC to make rules that give consumers permission to unlock their phone if they outright own it. This power also extends to tablets and other mobile devices.
4. When Will Samsung Go 64-Bit?
Apple attracted much attention when it revealed the first 64-bit chip for smartphones on Tuesday. Samsung chimed in shortly after, saying that it too, was going to go 64-bit. “Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” said Samsung’s mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun.
64-bit ARM chips are most likely a 2014 event, according to ARM. Samsung will be hard pressed to get 64-bt chips into Galaxy tablets or phones before next year. When that happens, mobile devices will become competitive with laptops, says ARM. “It will allow tablet-like devices to go from information consuming devices to information creation devices,” ARM’s Bruce said.
5. No Internet? No Problem: Youtube Getting Ready To Let You Watch Videos Offline, On Your Phone
Youtube streams more than 6 billion hours of video per month; soon, this video giant will be available to people regardless of their web connection. Next month, Youtube will let viewers save clips on their phones and other devices for up to 48 hours; these videos will be able to viewed regardless of internet. The videos will still be free and Google will still run ads on these clips.
Youtube announced this via blog post and said it would allow uploaders to opt out of this offline feature. The practical benefit for viewers is that they can now watch videos in places where internet is inaccessible, such as a plane or in a car. This should boost viewing for the site. But, this puts pressure on Youtube’s ads rates because they open up more inventory. Here’s a snippet of Youtube announcing the move:
“We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet…
This is part of our ongoing updates to give people more opportunities to enjoy videos and channels on YouTube mobile. Check out the YouTube blog when this launches in November for more details on how this will work for viewers.”
6. Verizon accused of violating FCC rules by blocking Nexus 7 from its 4G LTE network
Verizon has been accused of ignoring the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules. Jeff Jarvis says that Verizon refused to hook his unlocked Nexus 7 tablet to its LTE network because the device wasn’t “part of [their] lineup and can’t be activated.” This violates the regulations the FCC placed on Verizon in 2008. (For a quick recap: in 2008, Verizon was slapped with a mandate that made it allow any devices to connect to its LTE network and barred it from blocking any applications on its users’ devices).
The notes given by the FCC are very clear and offer little to no leeway. “So this is not a matter of anything Verizon cannot do,” Jarvis writes. “This is a matter of what Verizon will not do. And that is what makes this a violation of FCC regulations and Verizon’s assurances.”
Verizon says that the Nexus 7 is not yet “Verizon 4G LTE certified” and that it will let customers know when the device passes through certifications. But, the Nexus 7 was launched two months ago, and it’s hard to believe that Verizon is just getting onto it.
7. New Internet Explorer Is 30% Faster Than Other Browsers, Microsoft Says
Though the number of browsers available keep rising, and though Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome keep expanding their consumer base, Internet Explorer is still the most popular web browser. On Wednesday, Microsoft released a “preview version” of IE 11 which, they claim, runs 30% faster than all other browsers.
IE 11 supports multi-touch gestures for touch PC’s. This will be helpful for those buying new Windows 8 touch PC’s and “downgrading” them. They also feature some new tools for developers, like support for developer tools, and a Web standards called WebGL for 3D graphics.