Out of the Box

20 11 2014

Apple’s packaging is brilliant and a lesson for packaging design. The boxes are about as small as they can get and all the parts are very thoughfully placed and pieced together in the box in the most efficent and space-saving way possible.

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Apple’s products and packaging is mass produced. The company sells millions of products but even though they are mass produced they don’t look like packaging just needed to protect a product on its way to customers. You feel like you’re holding a quality product, hand-made for you even when you open the box. If you take out an iPhone or an iPad the packaging then seems to be the perfect lid line of your purchase.

Unboxing …

Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially high tech consumer products. The product’s owner captures the process on video and later uploads it to the web. No wonder the phenomenon’s principal exponent, Andru Edwards – chief executive of the specialist, Seattle-based website unboxing.com – calls it geek porn.

Indeed, his website’s dedicated unboxing video channel, Unboxing Live!, boasts the tagline “Vicarious thrills from opening new gear.” (“It’s similar to an experience you’d have in a strip club,” Edwards said. “It’s stuff that you’re lusting over – you can’t have it, but you want it.”)

See an example of a fanboy who just got his brand new iPhone 5S Gold from an Apple Store in St. Louis. The video was published on September 20, 2013 and had about 2.5 million views until September 2014.

(3:33 min)

Some consider the popularity of this practice is due to the ability of showing the product exactly for what it is without any adulteration advertises usually make around the product. Being able to see what you are getting can contribute to the decisional process. So unboxing is a very special kind of advertisement done by many fanboys each time a new Apple product comes to life.

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Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology, How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy Is Wrong, is an expert in neuro-marketing, “where science and marketing meet”. He claims the unboxing phenomenon is a result of so-called mirror neurons.
“Mirror neurons mean, in principle, that when I observe other people doing things, I feel that I am doing the same,” he explains. “When I scratch my head, and you watch me doing it, the same regions in your brain will be activated as would be if you were actually scratching your head.”

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (published October 2008)
is a bestselling book by Martin Lindstrom, in which he analyzes what makes people buy.

Apple’s packaging …

Apple’s classic packaging design makes it the unboxing market leader, but Lindstrom cautions against crediting the company with originating the trend. “Let’s not be fooled here – the concept of the portable player came from the Walkman, and the MP3 player was around for six years before the iPod arrived. The iPod wheel was invented by Bang and Olufsen in 1986, but it forgot to put a patent on it.

“Apple adapts a message very cleverly, about five minutes before it breaks through, and I have great respect for that. They’ve done it with packaging design, too, but in Japan you could have seen beautiful concept packaging design as long ago as the Seventies. It also appeared in the fashion and perfume industries long before Apple went into it.”

Apple and its rivals have made unboxing a mainstream pursuit, but they’ll have to be careful: if too many of us discover that we can just stay in and watch a video, will we still bother to buy the company’s beautiful gadgets?

The environment ….

Since 2008 Apple publishes environmental reports for all its products. Is there any competitor doing so? No, and sorry for the dig at Samsung.

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Smaller packaging means smarter packing.
Making thinner, lighter, and more material-efficient products not only reduces their carbon footprint and conserves resources, but also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced during transportation. Apple ships more and more products per trip, and the savings is adding up. Along with designing the iPhone 5s box to be 41 percent smaller in volume than the first iPhone box, Apple also redesigned the iMac packaging. The slanted shape of the iMac box makes it easier to stack more on each shipping pallet. So more products can be shipped in one trip, resulting in fewer emissions.

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60 % more iPhone 5s boxes in each airline shipping container saves one 747 flight for every 416,667 units Apple ships.

Climate change …

Optimizing the packaging is one side of the coin. The product itself plays the more essential role in the fight against pollution of any kind.

There are still climate change deniers.
This is what Tim Cook told them at the annual shareholder meeting 2014 in Cupertino:

If you only want me to make things, make decisions that have a clear ROI, then you should get out of the stock.

Greenhouse gas emissions have an impact on the planet’s balance of land, ocean, and air temperature. Most of Apple’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions come from the production, transport, use, and recycling of its products.

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Apple seeks to minimize greenhouse gas emissions by setting stringent design-related goals for material and energy efficiency. The charts (source Apple) above provide the estimated greenhouse gas emissions for the iPhone 3G and the 5S over its life cycle. Apple put the focus on reducing emissions during customer use which usually is a quite long time of 3 years according to Apple.

Summary …

No one spends more time with an Apple product than an Apple customer. By minimizing or outright eliminating many harmful toxins, Apple ensures that each product is safe to use, year after year. Power cords are PVC- and phthalate-free, touch screens are arsenic-free, cases and enclosures are BFR-free. No other company does more to keep its products free of so many toxins like Apple and the company does it already since decades.

So it’s not only better for the people who use the products but also better for the people who make them and better for the environment.

Related links …

Publications on Apple’s website …

Apple’s Environmental Responsibility

Articles on iNotes4You’s blog …

The Hidden Price

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility

About the iPhone

About the iPad

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





Fatty Touch Screens

11 11 2014

Touch screens like to forward our commands to the operating system but sadly they also like to get dirty.

I hate this kind of oily coating compromising your identity with every tap and swipe and coming back in a jiffy after an intense cleaning procedure.

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That’s why Apple adds a lipophobic coating to the touch screens of iPhones since the 3GS launched in 2009 and their iPads, to repel fingerprint oil. It aids in preventing and cleaning fingerprint marks. Most “oleophobic” coatings used on mobile devices are fluoropolymer-based solids (similar to Teflon which usage is well-known for pans) and are both lipophobic and hydrophobic.

See applications of oleophobic coating in this video

or this video about super hydrophobic surfaces the Slo Mo Guys made at GE

Apple’s patent …

In 2011 Apple filed a patent application to apply an oleophobic coating to the surface of a material and to improve its effectiveness. In particular, this is directed to using a direct liquid application in a Physical Vapor Deposition (“PVD”) chamber to apply the coating to the material.

Apple states that as the user touches the surface of a device such as an iOS device, oils and other particles from the user’s fingers could be deposited on the surface. This may adversely affect the appearance of the surface, especially if information is being displayed. One way to limit the amount of oils and particles deposited on the surface of portable devices is to apply an oleophobic treatment to the surface. However, this approach could be difficult to accomplish.

Apple states that to prevent the deposition of oils on an electronic device surface, an oleophobic ingredient could be bonded to the electronic device surface. The oleophobic ingredient could be provided as part of a raw liquid material in one or more concentrations. To avoid adverse reactions due to exposure to air, heat, or humidity, the raw liquid material can be placed in a bottle purged with an inert gas during the manufacturing process.

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The bottle could be placed in a liquid supply system having a mechanism for controlling the amount of raw liquid material that passes through the liquid supply system. Upon reaching the vaporizing unit, the liquid could be vaporized and the oleophobic ingredient within the liquid can then be deposited on the electronic device component surface. As the liquid supply is drained from the bottle, additional inert gas is supplied in its place to further prevent contamination.

The reality …

I purchased my iPhone 4S in November 2011. iPhones’ touch screens are made of a highly resistant material, Gorilla Glass, which lets the device look beautiful even after heavy usage over years.

Gorilla Glass is the registered trademark for an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet toughened glass manufactured by U.S. glassmaker Corning Inc. Engineered for a combination of thinness, lightness, and damage-resistance, it is used primarily as the cover glass for portable electronic devices including mobile phones, portable media players, laptop computer displays, and some television screens. It is manufactured through immersion in a molten alkaline salt bath using ion exchange to produce compressive residual stress at the surface. This prevents cracks from propagating – for a crack to start, it will first have to overcome this compressive stress.
(Source Wikipedia)

I don’t really understand the discussion about Sapphire Glass for touch screens because Gorilla Glass does it all for the majority of users. If the device hits the ground in an adverse angle Sapphire Glass doesn’t prevent the touch screen to get damaged.

A really innovative feature would be an oleophobic coating which upholds its properties for a much longer time than the actual coating.

My experiences with an iPhone 3GS and a 4S showed that the effectiveness of the coating decreases dramatically after about a year of intense usage. It’s increasingly difficult to clean the screen and you need a very, very clean cloth to get rid of the biological evaporations. It’s like a vicious circle, to clean the screen you press harder and harder and as a result the coating becomes thinner and thinner.

Here is what Apple published about cleaning the touch screen …

Clean iPhone immediately if it comes into contact with contaminants that may cause stains, such as ink, dyes, makeup, dirt, food, oils, and lotions. To clean iPhone, unplug all cables and turn it off. Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPhone. The front glass surfaces have an oleophobic coating. To remove fingerprints, wipe these surfaces with a soft, lint-free cloth. The ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal use, and rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and may scratch the glass.

To clean the Home button (allowing Touch ID to work optimally), wipe it with a soft lint-free cloth.

I thought about a replacement of my 4S’ screen but after reading this on iFixit I immediately cancelled my ambitious project:

iPhone 4S Display Assembly Replacement
Author: Walter Galan
Time required: 1 hour
Difficulty: Difficult

If you let a specialized company replace the touch screen it costs between €70 and €100 in Germany which is equivalent to $90-$130.

But there is an alternative. iFixit explains the technique of “How to apply anti-fingerprint oleophobic coating” on its website.

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This is an easy and cheap way to refurbish an iOS device. But don’t ask me whether it works or not. I didn’t try it out because the original process is much more complicated and don’t believe that this simplified method fulfills my personal quality requirements.

Climate conditions …

Clammy fingers are like brakes when using gestures like drag, flick or pinch. This is what I painfully recognized when visiting Thailand, my second residence, shortly after purchasing my iPhone 4S in 2011. Although the oleophobic coating was straight from the factory it hampered the usage by a ฝรั่ง (phonetic spelling: FARANG, that’s the term Thai people use for foreigners) drastically. Subtropical countries are hostile environments for touch screens of Apple’s mobile devices.

Because even Apple cannot redesign the way our body works I personally need an innovative feature implemented in an iPhone, which works like a wiper, a sweat-sensing wiper.

Summary …

I would like to see an innovative approach to the problem of cleaning touch screens but I don’t think that we will see a perfect solution because this feature is not promotionally effective.

Related links …

Apple: How to clean Apple products

iFixit: iPhone Display Replacement

Apple Patent: Direct Liquid Vaporization For Oleophobic Coatings

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.
Before you leave please remove your fingerprints from my website.





Saying Goodbye

30 10 2014

If it’s time to say Goodbye to one of your Apple devices because you are impressed by an innovative new model and cannot wait to order, here is what you should know and what you should do with your old device if you plan to sell it.

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In my example I talk about an iPhone 5 running on iOS 7 and temporarily used by my wife. This version of Apple’s mobile operating system turns ‘Find my iPhone’ and ‘Activation Lock’ automatically on. Additionally the Apple ID is secured with 2-Step-Verification.

Activation Lock
Loosing a device with sensitive data may compromise your identity in the digital world followed by severe problems with law. At WWDC 2013, Apple unveiled Activation Lock, a new feature in iOS 7 that locks stolen phones even after thieves wipe them.
Apple’s Craig Federighi
“We think this is going to be a really powerful theft deterrent.”
The company on its website
“Losing your iPhone feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is.”

If activated, 2-Step-Verification needs a SMS capable device. Every time you want to have access to your Apple account you need a verification code Apple will send to one of your trusted device. So, selling a device should always be followed by removing the device from the list of trusted devices. But don’t worry, if you didn’t go the recommended way you can manually remove a device from this list.

Your Apple account …

Apple’s mobile devices are connected with the Apple ID you used during setup. If you go to your support profile you will see all devices connected to this ID.

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Sold devices or devices you do not own any longer (giveaway or theft) must be removed from your account to avoid abuse.

Backup your device …

If you want to purchase a new iPhone or iPad backup your old device to iCloud (and/or iTunes) to use this backup for configuring to predecessor. Keep in mind that account and other personal data are only included in an iOS backup if you use an Unlock Key on your device. If you later run through the setup process of your new device you can restore the backup from iCloud and there is nothing more to do.

You can use an iOS backup of an iPhone to configure an iPad and vice versa.

The only thing you have to do is to install apps that are designed for just one of the two devices.

Two cases …

Distinguish between these two cases:

If you still have access to your iOS device …

Follow these steps to protect your data and get your device to its factory default state for the new owner:

Go to Settings – General – Reset, then tap
Erase All Content and Settings.
This will completely erase your device and turn off iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Game Center, and other services.
If you’re using iOS 7 and have Find My iPhone turned on, your Apple ID and password will be required. After you provide your password, the device will be erased and removed from your account so that the next owner can activate it. If you don’t remove you device from your account, Activation Lock will prevent other users to activate the device.

When the device is turned on for the first time by the new owner, Setup Assistant will guide them through the setup process.

Important …

Do not manually delete contacts, calendars, reminders, documents, photo streams, or any other iCloud data while signed in to your iCloud account.

The content would also be deleted from the iCloud servers and all of your other iCloud devices.

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Apple will send you an E-Mail which confirms that you erased your device and that it’s removed from your device list and the list of trusted devices defined for an account with 2-Step-Verification. You now can say Goodbye and sell it or shed love and give it to your wife or your child.

If you no longer have access to your iOS device …

If you didn’t follow the steps above before selling or giving away your iOS device:

Ask the new owner to erase all content and settings as described above.
If you’re using iCloud and Find My iPhone on the device, you can erase the device remotely and remove it from your account by signing in to icloud.com/find, selecting the device, and clicking Erase.

Erasing a device remotely is only possible if it’s still connected to the internet (via cellular network or WiFi and turned on). If this is not the case then the device will be erased when it connects to the internet again.

When the device has been erased, click Remove from Account.

If you’re unable to complete either of the above steps, you should change your Apple ID password. Changing your password won’t remove any personal information that is cached on the device, but it will make sure that the new owner can’t delete your information from iCloud.

I removed the SIM card from the iPhone to simulate a SIM, deactivated by the carrier and turned the phone off. On my iPhone 4S I opened ‘Find my iPhone’, signed in with the Apple ID used on the iPhone 5 and started the process of erasing the device.

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Because the iPhone 5 was turned off, it couldn’t receive anything and so ‘Erase’ couldn’t be executed. After turning the device on it connected to the internet via my WLAN which basically simulates the insert of a new SIM card with which the device can connect to the internet via cellular connection.

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It’s over now.

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A new liaison is waiting. What should be said is that the whole procedure is incapable for being used in human relations.

Troubleshooting …

After erasing the iPhone and removing it from the account via the app ‘Find my iPhone’ something went wrong. The device couldn’t be activated any longer. The iOS setup procedure stopped with the message ‘… activation server temporarily unavailable …’. Several further attempts to activate the device weren’t successful.

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It turned out that there is just one way to fix the problem, doing a RECOVERY. It needs a computer with an installation of the latest version of iTunes. There is no need to do more than just a recovery. Follow these steps to make your device ready for a new activation:

  • Turn off your device.
    If you can’t turn it off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time and wait a few seconds for it to turn off.
  • Plug the device’s USB cable into your computer only.
  • Hold down the device’s Home button as you connect the USB cable to it.
  • When you see the ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen, release the Home button.
  • Follow the instructions in iTunes after clicking on ‘Recover’.

Summary …

This concept map (created with the app INSPIRATION for the iPad) summarizes the steps to sell an iOS device.

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If you have to say Goodbye, do not cry. I’m quite sure that each iteration of an iOS device and the operating system will let you forget your former darling in a jiffy.

Related links …

iOS Device Backup

Recovery

The Apple ID

2-Step-Verification

Inspiration

Thanks for surfing by.





iOS Compass

20 10 2014

You iPhone comes with the built-in app Compass which includes a Bubble Level designed by Jonathan Ive.

Open the app, swipe left, and move your device around a horizontal or vertical axis to see whether something is thrown out of kilter.

Unfortunately the Compass app won’t help if you stray from the straight and narrow or an Android fanboy went astray.

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Compass is a nifty little helper and saves about 1$ for picking up a bubble level app from the App Store.

Apple’s app wouldn’t work without the help of the nature, particularly the Earth’s magnetic field. It’s mostly caused by electric currents in the liquid outer core, which is composed of conductive, molten iron. Loops of currents in the constantly moving, liquid iron create magnetic fields.

From afar, the Earth looks like a big magnet with a north and south pole like any other magnet (the pole located up in northern Canada is really the magnetic South Pole).

The technique …

If you are a proud owner of an iPhone you have purchased a device which is in someway much more sensitive than any human being ever can be. iPhone’s sensors know all about your finger, the distance between your ear and the device, the brightness of the environment, the strength of the magnetic field you are actually in, and your current location and movements.

This mind map shows you all sensors implemented in the new iPhone 5S.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Word DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

With the iPhone 4 Apple manifested it’s market leading smartphone technology. The integration of the 3-axis accelerometer, the gyroscope, and the Hall-Effect-based compass provides full nine degree-of-freedom (9DoF) motion sensing and can be seen as a milestone in the evolution of portable consumer electronics devices.

Hall-Effect
A voltage difference (the Hall voltage) is generated across an electrical conductor, transverse to an electric current in the conductor and a magnetic field perpendicular to the current (discovered by US physicist Edwin Hall in 1879). The voltage measures the magnet field’s intensity.

9DoF
The position of a rigid body in space is defined by three components of translation and three components of rotation, which means that it has six degrees of freedom.
Translation: Moving up and down, left and right, forward and backward
Rotation: Tilting forward and backward, swiveling left and right, pivoting side to side
iPhone’s sensors provide 9 independent parameters and so we talk about 9DoF: 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis magnetometer

The Compass app uses some of the 10 sensors of your device to process their raw data and display them as a user-friendly information.

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The Attitude (rotation) sensor provides the pitch, roll and yaw (azimuth) angles of the device relative to the normal horizon. It’s part of the Device-Motion information computed by the iPhone operating system from the main sensors, particularly the gyroscope.

Although the gyroscope provides precise measurements of the angular rates, calculating rotations only from the gyroscope are subject to a noticeable drift due to various inherent physical phenomena like gyro precession. The Device-Motion computation automatically uses measurements from the accelerometer to minimize the drift.

There is much work for iOS to show precise data because the Earth’s magnetic field wasn’t designed by Apple saying NO to complicated things.

Strength and direction of the magnetic field is dependent of your current position.

  • Intensity
    is the overall strength of the magnetic field.
    This globe shows the intensity and direction of the earth’s magnetic field at the surface of the earth. On average, the field strength is about half a gauss; 0.5 gauss or 50 μT. Locally, however, this varies. For example, the field strength in Cupertino, USA is about twice as strong as in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Declination
    is how far off from true north you would expect a compass to point, where true north points straight to the earth’s north pole (the top of the globe, where it rotates).
  • Inclination
    is how much the field direction is pointing up (into the sky) or down (into the ground). Up is denoted as positive numbers, while down is negative.

The app …

The Compass app has gone through a major redesign with Apple’s release of iOS 7 in October 2013. Redone from top to bottom, it now looks like a cockpit flight instrument with no hint of wood paneling or rosy parchment paper of older versions of iOS.

The compass offers all of the features present in the iOS 6 version of the app (though the choice between true north and magnetic north has moved to Settings – Compass), and as an added bonus it refers to geolocation services when showing your current city and state, and latitude and longitude coordinates below. In addition, if you want to follow a particular bearing (say, 23 degrees northwest), you can tap the compass face once to set it; as you move around, the compass draws a red arc on the inside of the circle, showing how far you’re deviating from your original course.

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Finally, the new compass recalibration tool says farewell to awkward figure eights and waving your phone in the air; instead, you play a make-the-dot-follow-the-circle game that’s not only much more enjoyable, but easier to explain to random passersby.

That may be all for the compass tool, but it’s not all the app has to offer:
Swipe left on the compass, and you access an iOS 7- exclusive tool: a horizontal and vertical level. The level is wonderfully simple, using white, black, and green geometric shapes to display level information.

Place your device flat on its back, and two overlapping white circles appear with a degree of measurement in the center; as you adjust the level, the circles change until they overlap perfectly for more than a few seconds—at that point, the screen goes bright green to indicate you’ve achieved a perfect level. Hold your device in landscape or portrait mode in an upright position and the app shows a rectangular level, dividing the screen into white and black squares. When the white square reaches equilibrium with the black square, the screen turns green. The y- and z-axis then are parallel to the ground and the x-axis is perpendicular to the Earth’s surface.

Limitations …

If you find yourself having problems with the motion sensors that power your iPhone’s Compass, Maps, or other third-party apps, you need to calibrate the compass before using Maps, Compass, or other apps that use this feature.

The calibration screen that appears when you first launch the app hooks into Apple’s entire Core Motion framework, which includes your accelerometer, gyroscope, and other motion data. Calibrate the device in Compass, and it should properly adjust your motion data in other apps. Unfortunately, this calibration isn’t perfect.

You can try to fix badly-behaving motion data by force-quitting and relaunching Compass to trigger the calibration screen. The accuracy of digital compass headings can be affected by magnetic or other environmental interference, including interference caused by proximity to the magnets contained in the iPhone earbuds or your car’s dashboard. You’ll have the best luck if you calibrate at least several feet away from any other magnetic or electronic devices.

Apple does note in the support document TS 2767 that

you shouldn’t rely on it to determine precise locations, proximity, distance, or directions.

Sensors such as the one in the iPhone aren’t necessarily as good as a traditional mechanical compass, sadly.

Summary …

A nice-to-have little app showing us what miniaturized sensors in modern devices can do for us in a pretty precise way.

Messing with powerful magnets near your iPhone can alter the calibration of the sensor. While the compass can re-calibrate itself, it is possible to mess it up. There are a number of stainless steel shields inside an iPhone that might have been very slightly magnetized by passing magnets. While the compass may work reasonably well, it doesn’t show the same overall field strength when you twist the device around in different directions. Avoid getting powerful magnets too close to your iPhone.

The North and South magnetic poles wander widely, but sufficiently slowly for ordinary compasses to remain useful for navigation. However, at irregular intervals averaging several hundred thousand years, the Earth’s field reverses and the North and South Magnetic Poles relatively abruptly switch places.

But don’t worry. If this happens Apple will immediately release an update to iOS which lets you find the way back home.

Related links …

Sensitiveness

Thanks for dropping by.





About the iPad

8 10 2014

People once marveled at the interactive tablets carried around by characters in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, or the touch screens in Spielberg’s Minority Report – dream futures that have become reality.
In 1983 Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stated that his ultimate ambition was

“to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes…”.

That vision would take him 27 years to realize. With the launch of the iPad in 2010 Apple’s engineers again demonstrated their formidable skills.

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.

Within a few years the early idea of Steve Jobs hit the computer industry to the core and the list of MUST-HAVE-Devices was complemented by a tablet and analysts started talking about the Post-PC-Era.

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With the release of the iPad, mobile devices reached a new quality because of it’s screen size and the possibility to operate them just with the fingers, without any peripherals. They initiated a shift in paradigm of teaching and learning as well and from that time ‘people could hold the internet in their hands‘.

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Historically the term first originated when Apple‘s founder Steve Jobs discussed the future of personal computing during an interview alongside Bill Gates at the fifth All Things Digital conference in 2007. At that time he described

“a category of devices that aren’t as general purpose, that are really more focused on specific functions, whether they’re phones or iPods or Zunes or what have you. And I think that category of devices is going to continue to be very innovative and we’re going to see lots of them,”

Jobs said.

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Apple’s been kicking around the idea of a tablet since at least 1983. From real, physical prototypes to out-there ideas such as the Knowledge Navigator – the company has, somewhat unsurprisingly, seen fit to investigate the possibility for almost as long as it’s been around. For one reason or another, though, they’ve never actually produced a device which saw the light of retail day (besides the Newton). Perhaps that’s part of the fascination that Apple fans have with the product a it’s been rumored so long, and seemed on the verge of actual arrival so many times that it’s become a Holy Grail of sorts for the tech community.

Optimizing the workflow …

On the go, in the air, simply everywhere an iPad may help to optimize workflows in all areas of our lives. Apple published tons of information about the application of it’s jack-of-all-trades. You can find some interesting documents when you open the iBooks app and search for ‘ipad at work’.

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In 2011 the Federal Aviation Administration approved the iPad for in-cockpit use and many airlines, starting with Alaska Airlines, began to optimize their pilots workflow.

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At United for example, the iPad became standard equipment on the flight deck, providing pilots with one-touch access to charts, maps, and other crucial navigation tools.

In a business where extra weight translates directly into extra costs, choosing iPad means fewer pounds on every route United flies—not to mention less baggage for United pilots to lug through the airport.

“A pilot’s flight bag weighs about 45 pounds,” says Captain David Sambrano, who has flown United planes for 22 years. “With iPad, we get rid of that big 45-pound bag. Being able to take all those books and charts and bring it down to about a pound and a half is incredible.”

Eliminating all that paper translates into serious savings, says Captain Joe Burns, Managing Director of Technology and Flight Test, another 20-year United veteran. “With iPad we’re able to save 16 million sheets of paper a year. Just removing the weight of that paper works out to 326,000 gallons of fuel saved per year.”

But replacing traditional flight charts with electronic documents on iPad does more than merely lighten the load. It also helps United pilots pinpoint essential flight information the moment they need it.

“In the past we’d have to pull a binder out, find the airport and the approach code, pull the paper out, clip it onto a chart holder somewhere, then enter that data into the flight control computer on the aircraft,” Burns recalls. “We view iPad as a big safety and time saver.”

“The iPad display allows us to see the chart very clearly,” Sambrano adds, “and it’s readable in different types of lighting, which is extremely important. And you can get to that particular chart or that particular piece of information so quickly.”
(Source Apple)

iPad in education …

The iPad can be a transformative tool in education as it can house all resources (books, readings, video, audio), connects to the internet for doing research, provides a vehicle for maintaining communication, replaces ‘dead tree’ paper versions of resources and does it all in an easy to carry around, quick starting, and simple interface.

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Using an iPad in classrooms is a paradigm shift from didactic models of ‘Teaching’ to constructivist models of ‘Learning’. Technology has always been good that and that’s one reason schools began investing in computers in the 70s and 80s. But the iPad brought that engagement to a very personal level.

It’s because a touchscreen is much nearer to human activities than any other device or textbook could be.

What we do is mostly what we do with our hands. It’s our first approach to new things.

Creating artworks, modeling new devices or writing down all the ideas leading to the E=m c c equation on a sheet of paper while walking through the room and reflecting our thoughts is almost always done by hand.

Apple-IBM …

In July 2014 Apple published a press info about

Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to Transform Enterprise Mobility

What does this mean?

IT departments and tech purchasers will now enjoy

  • the reliability of IBM’s enterprise solutions on Apple’s platform
  • powerful mobile device management
  • tailored services and support
  • the most secure mobile operating system
  • easy to use devices with lots of new tailored business applications
  • an incredible lifetime cycle because of high build-quality and less fragmentation of the OS

Apple’s devices were already in use in many enterprises but now the footprint is institutionalized.

Some tidbits …

Call it innovation, evolution, improvement or whatever you like, the first iPad is quite different from the actual model, the iPad Air, if you take a look at the details.

1st Gen iPad Air
Power 25 Wh 32 Wh
Memory 256 MB 1000 MB
Display 132 ppi 264 ppi
Weight 730 g 478 g
Storage 16,32,64 16,32,64,128

The most impressive developments of Apple’s engineers are the Retina display and the 64-Bit-Processor which opens the door to high-performance software applications.

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Build-quality, performance, and the operating system show us what Steve Jobs had in mind when saying “to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes.”

Summary …

A shining example for disruptive technology developed by a company with a strong focus on high-quality products serving people and enriching their lives.

Related links …

iPad @ Universities

iPad @ School

iPad in education

iPad in cockpits

Thanks for dropping by.





CloudOn

28 09 2014

To work on Microsoft Office files (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) you can either use an app like DocsToGo, a subscription of Office 365 (connected with Microsoft’s cloud service SkyDrive) or a free app called CloudOn by CloudOn Inc., first released in October 2011.

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CloudOn can be connected not only to SkyDrive but also to your Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Hightail accounts, and send or share files with colleagues and contacts via email directly from within the app. Some features like AirPrint are only available through the Pro version of CloudOn with an introductory offer of $2.99/month or $29.99/year.

The features …

CloudOn works with Microsoft Office documents stored on the above mentioned cloud storages. New files can be created and existing files can be edited. Microsoft’s proprietary file format is kept in either case. •So there is 100% compatibility with Office files and you do not have to worry that they will break or compatibility issues will occur.

  • CREATE, REVIEW and EDIT documents
    Create, review and edit Microsoft Word documents , Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on an iPad or an iPhone.
    •Insert charts, images, equations, SmartArt, clipart, tables, shapes and change format fonts, paragraphs, styles, themes and layout.
    •Review spelling and grammar, track changes, comments, annotations and rich markup.
    View and create charts (including pivot, bar, line, area etc), add formulas, filter etc.
  • ACCESS and MANAGE files
    •Seamlessly connect to and access Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat documents in your cloud storage provider account(s), including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
    •Open documents, spreadsheets and presentations from your email accounts as well as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
    •Copy, paste, delete, rename and move files across folders.
    •All files are saved automatically giving you the comfort that you won’t lose your data.
    •DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF are the file types supported by CloudOn.
  • SHARE and SEND documents
    You can work on the same doc with colleagues (understandably not simultaneously).
    •Use the FileSpace to add context to your work – view all the activity on any given doc including edits, action, and notes or if you prefer just send a link to the file by email.
  • AIR PRINT documents (feature of the Pro version)
    •Print Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets and Powerpoint Presentations.

Here is a summarization of all features created with a mind map with my favorite mind mapping tool iThoughts HD for the iPad.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

User interface …

The functionality of CloudOn is pretty straightforward, with a tidy interface that allows you to rearrange the layout of your files by tapping an icon. There are also shortcuts for creating a new document and for accessing the settings and other menu options.

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CloudOn also has an autosave feature, so if your quick burst of editing is interrupted, everything will have been saved for when you can come back to it.

The navigation features and the different ways to show files and storages are quite impressive. But navigation through folders is unfortunately not the main task of the app. It’s working inside a document.

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In contrast to Apple’s iWork suite the UI of CloudOn when working on a document is not perfectly adapted to touch screens. It just reflects what is well-known from the original versions of the Microsoft Office suite. With a “RIBBON” as the main menu bar it works like the big brother for desktops. This might be seen as an advantage by many users but others complain about the missing adoption for the iPad’s touch screen.

20140122-063019.jpg

This is the fully adapted keyboard of Apple’s spreadsheet application NUMBERS.

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As you can see Apple uses a fully adapted keyboard which fully supports the basic tasks done with a spreadsheet application like choosing the field type (text, number, date, term), building a sum, and using functions.

There would be a lot of features which should be added to CloudOn to facilitate typing on an iPad in Excel. CloudOn just helps a bit by adding a row at the top of the iPad keyboard with Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Tab, function, arrow, Esc, and Del keys.

Unfortunately there is a keyboard lag. A slight delay between touching the keys and the appearance of letters on screen makes the typing process feel disjointed. You might also recognize the usefulness of Apple’s autocorrect feature which is not working in CloudOn documents. It’s quite frustrating to manually correct all those minor typos.

In a group setting CloudOn’s lack of support for custom add-ons, templates, auto-correct settings, and other advanced features may limit the program’s usefulness. Still, the word processor lets you track and accept changes, show or hide markup, make and view comments, restrict editing, and compare and combine versions.
Similarly, the mobile versions of the spreadsheet and presentation apps provide most of the features you’ve come to expect in Excel and PowerPoint, respectively.

Summary …

For all the productivity apps working on Microsoft Office files this is still valid:

It’s not that it does it well,
it’s that it does it at all.

CloudOn goes far beyond the basics to provide a full set of word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation features in a familiar interface. But it’s still not adapted to touch screens.

So the usefulness is only given if there is a constraint to stay fully compatible with Microsoft’s file formats. It’s also useful if documents are just for accessing information or making smaller changes.

In general the concept of porting a desktop app to an iPad with just slight modifications is wrong and will not be accepted by the majority of users. We are living in year 4 after the launch of the first iPad and users need and want apps fully adapted to touch screens.

A further disappointing approach to manage Microsoft Office files and a certificate of poverty for Microsoft not to offer an iPad version of their Office 365 Suite.

Related links …

Office 365 for Mobiles

Thanks for dropping by.





Kernel Updates

22 09 2014

Thanks to Peter, welcome Angela, Lisa, and Luca.

Apple regularly releases updates of the operating systems iOS and OSX.
With a much lower frequency the executive board and the product line-up of the company is updated.

Confirmed …

Luca Maestri will replace long-time Apple CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Peter Oppenheimer.

According to his profile, Maestri will report directly to CEO Tim Cook on issues related to “accounting, business support, financial planning and analysis, treasury, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, internal audit and tax functions.” As Apple notes, Maestri will continue to serve as the company’s principal accounting officer alongside his new duties as CFO.

About Luca
Luca has over 25 years of experience building and leading finance teams in global companies with significant operating scale and complexity. Prior to joining Apple, Luca was CFO at Xerox and previously at Nokia Siemens Networks. He began his career with General Motors and spent 20 years in finance and operating roles in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. While at GM, Luca was part of the team that established GM’s regional Asia Pacific operations, including manufacturing investments in China and Thailand. He later became CFO for all of GM’s operations in Europe, which spanned over 45 countries with annual net revenue of approximately $40 billion.

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The board now has 10 members, one more than before and the responsibility for retail and online stores now goes to Apple’s Angela Ahrendts.

Angela joined Apple from Burberry, where she served as CEO and led the company through a period of outstanding global growth. Prior to Burberry, she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne Inc., and earlier in her career she served as president of Donna Karan International.

So here is the actual status visualized in a mind map.

IMG_5905.JPG

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

The Beatles …

Two colorful figures, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, came into the discussion after Apple acquired Beats Music + Beats Electronics.

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Although the two companies may have very different cultures, the partnership is not so strange as it might first appear.

James Iovine (born March 11, 1953) is an American entrepreneur, record producer, and film producer. He is best known as the co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M. In 2006, Iovine teamed with Dr. Dre to found Beats Electronics, a company which produces audio products and operates a music streaming service. The company was purchased by Apple for $3.2 billion in May of 2014.

Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Dre was previously the co-owner of, and an artist on, Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar. He is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million.

This is what Apple published on its website:

CUPERTINO, California—May 28, 2014
Apple today announced it has agreed to acquire the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.

Apple is planning to give Iovine the keys to its iTunes music empire, according to one source. He would head up all music-related strategy at the company, and be tasked with handling relationships with record labels and music producers. Those are responsibilities that have until now largely fallen to SVP Eddy Cue and his team.

Eduardo H. “Eddy” Cue is Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services and reports to CEO Tim Cook. He played a role in setting up the Apple online store in 1998, the iTunes Music Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008. In November 2012, he took charge of map software and Siri. Cue joined Ferrari’s Board of Directors in November 2012.

Eddy is the iFixit part of Apple’s executive board, Apple’s do everything, fix any problem man. According to WSJ, he’s the guy who’s in charge of fixing Apple Maps and Siri.

Apple is under pressure to remedy mapping software widely faulted for unreliable landmark searches, routes that get users lost and a lack of public-transit directions. Building confidence in the tools is crucial as Google prepares its own downloadable mapping application for the iPhone and iPad, threatening to lure users and ad dollars away from Apple.

But paid music downloads are falling, with more and more consumers choosing subscription services like Spotify over the per-track model that Apple revolutionized the music business with so many years ago. Apple may be hoping that Iovine can shake things up and rejuvenate its music business.

It needs a sophisticated concept to get back on the track in the music business. So we have to wait what the considerations of the company will be.

My wish …

Apple’s green initiatives, including the company’s huge solar panel installation at one of its data centers in Maiden, show us, that there are ways to support a growing number of connected devices while at the same time shrinking the company’s carbon footprint.

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Lisa P. Jackson is Apple’s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives and explains it with using clean energy like solar power, biogas generators, and geothermal energy.

“We feel the responsibility to consider everything we do in order to reduce our impact on the environment. This means using greener materials and constantly inventing new ways to conserve precious resources. [...]
We think this is an opportunity for us and for our sector to leave it (the world) better than we find it, to actually help people convert to cleaner energy without even knowing they’re doing it,”

Jackson said, echoing statements made earlier by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Greenpeace, which has previously been critical of Apple for sourcing energy from fossil fuels, recently praised the company for improving the energy mix powering its data centers, ranking it above other technology giants such as Amazon.

Most wanted …

It’s a fact that all the decisions regarding the board are less important if the product line-up charms the audience and is seen as innovative, revolutionary, or simply beautiful.

Reviewing the last decade we saw innovative and disruptive technology in 2007 (lauch of the internet in your pocket) and 2010 (launch of an incredible great computer in a book). From 1983, when Steve Jobs first mentioned the tablet, it took him 27 years to realize.

Publishing media all over the world are talking about a watch, a band, or whatever the company will call it. Hiring Angela Ahrendts was seen as an indicator for Apple’s move into a fast growing market of wearables in which clockworks are replaced by processors.

As always, publishing media all over the world are talking about products which are likely to be unveiled on the next event. Whatever it will be, a warm welcome in advance from all ecosystem dwellers.
Commissioners for Migration, Refugees and Integration, aka software developers, will take care of you and cure all childhood illnesses.

At the WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) 2014 Apple announced iOS 8 and set some milestones for the future usage of their electronic devices. For further information see my post ‘iOS 8 Beta’ under ‘Related links’.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

It doesn’t take a long time until we know whether iOS 8 either can be seen as a disruptive concept for mobiles or just an evolution of its predecessors.

Summary …

As the CEO it’s Tim Cook’s task to build a powerful team leading the company in a fiercely competitive mobile market, the market in which Apple makes 75% of its revenues.

Related links …

The Hidden Price

About Statistics

iOS 8 Beta

Thanks for flying with iNotes4You.








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