iPhone 6 Barometer

31 01 2015

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, launched in September 2014, come with an additional sensor, a barometer.

What is a barometer?

A BAROMETER is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure.

It measures the pressure exerted by the atmosphere above it. This measurement of pressure can be used to forecast short term changes of the weather. With other data and some not so easy math the measured pressure also can be used to estimate the current altitude.

A barometer is a passive sensor in contrast to an active sensor, like a GPS receiver. An app could alert you to your altitude when you approach certain thresholds, without draining the battery significantly. Apps could make use of an altitude trigger option, which could turn on the GPS to record your location at 50-foot increments of elevation change, saving your battery, but still recording a relatively accurate track.

With a barometer the operating system can read its data, your smartphone could have noticed a drop in barometric pressure and alerted you to the change. It could also have triggered a request to update weather forecast data, saving energy and data usage by only updating when the pressure changes.

All sensors …

See this mind map visualizing all sensors which are built-in the iPhone models launched in late 2014.

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Please read my article Sensitiveness (link below) to learn more about sensors of modern smartphones.

Summary …

Again Apple proofed that each iteration of the iPhone adds value although some publishing media don’t stop criticizing the company for it’s loss of innovative power.

Related links …

A description of all sensors …

Sensitiveness

Details about the fingerprint scanner …

Fingerprint Technology

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Teamwork

25 01 2015

Apple is working hard on using Sapphire glass for the iPhone’s touch screen.

GT Advanced Technology, in a partnership with Apple since 2013, tried to increase capacities and reduce costs with the application of an Ion Accelerator, a smaller brother of a gigantic machine, working in Switzerland at CERN, deep in the earth. It’s the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.

CERN has accelerators for the smallest particles physicists ever discovered. Established in 1954 near Geneva, CERN operates a Large Hadron Collider located 100 m under the Earth’s surface and using a 27 km circular tunnel to let small objects fly nearly with the speed of light.

What the heck is the connection between GT Advanced, CERN, and Apple?

Well, here is the story …

The World Wide Web began as a CERN project called ENQUIRE, initiated by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at CERN, used a NeXT computer as the first web server in history.
The image shows this computer with the important sticker ‘Do not power down.’.

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NeXT?
You heard about this company?

Well, the NeXT Computer was a computer developed, manufactured, and sold by NeXT Inc., Fremont, California, a company founded by Steve Jobs and several other veterans of the Macintosh and Lisa teams, from 1988 until 1990. It ran the Mach- and BSD-derived, Unix-based NeXTSTEP operating system, with a unique GUI using a Display PostScript-based back end. The motherboard is square and fit into one of four identical slots in the enclosure. The NeXT Computer enclosure consisted of a 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped, black case, which led to the machine being informally referred to as “The Cube”. It cost $6,500.

So connecting the dots in this case means to connect communication between scientists at CERN, Steve Jobs NeXT computer, the atom smasher in Switzerland, and the far smaller brother in Mesa, Arizona, at GT Advanced Inc. which hopefully delivers Sapphire glass touch screens for future iPhones.

This all is a shining example of human teamwork and a message to all the fanboys of both sides, Google and Apple, to always keep in mind that nobody can claim to be the only one inventing things. Invention and innovation is always closely connected with a long history of preceding scintillations. It’s the task of businesses like Apple or others to use the results of research activities for developing products which delight people and enrich their lives.

The GT Advanced Technology story …

I wrote this article in September 2013 not knowing what happened with GTAT. So here is the story beginning in October 2013.

TUAW Oct 10, 2014

Re/Code is reporting that GT Advanced Technologies, the company Apple tapped to begin looking into making device screens from synthetic sapphire, is requesting court permission to close its plant in Arizona.
This comes days after the surprise announcement that GT had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In its filing, GT noted that it had not been able to meet certain manufacturing operation and quality control metrics, causing Apple to withhold a US$139 million loan installment coming due in October.
A total of $578 million had been floated by Apple to help GT build the new plant, and the stalled payment put the company into a untenable financial situation.
Apple spokespersons have reiterated that the company will do all it can to save jobs in Arizona. Whether this means Apple will bail out GT or even purchase the plant itself is unknown.

Related links …

Reducing Costs of Sapphire Glass

Going Apple

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About Privacy

18 01 2015

If you are an Apple fan and can’t take a joke just skip this post and accept my sincere apology.

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In reality you can be sure that Apple takes care of your privacy.

About  Pay …

If you are not familiar with Apple’s payment system, here is what the company publishes on

This is what Apple publishes on its website …

Your wallet.
Without the wallet.
Paying in stores or within apps has never been easier. Gone are the days of searching for your wallet. The wasted moments finding the right card. Now payments happen with a single touch.

Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you have with you every day. So you can use your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad to pay in a simple, secure, and private way.

Related links …

Security Made by Apple

Tim Cook about Privacy

Apple Pay with iPhone 6

Thanks for being sympathetic.





Family Sharing

15 01 2015

With iOS 8 Apple introduced Family Sharing and this is what we can read about this new feature …

A new way to bring harmony to your family’s digital life.
Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. Pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. And share photos, a family calendar, and more to help keep everyone connected.

Family Sharing works across iOS devices (and Macs) and is aimed at people who own more than one iOS device in their household.

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If you’ve got them all signed in with the same Apple ID, so you can share your apps, music and movies between devices without having to buy them over and over again for different devices. But this configuration isn’t what a smartphone or a tablet is designed for. Both kind of devices are personal devices and sharing apps and content should be an option. To be part of a powerful ecosystem shouldn’t mean that all your iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches ring when you get a call.

With Family Sharing there is no need to use a common Apple ID.
So everybody’s genetic exceptionalism can be kept.

The Apple ID …

If you purchase an iOS device an Apple ID is required to register it. It’s an E-Mail address and a related password. With an Apple ID you are able to use all services provided by Apple with this one and only one ID.

These are

  • iCloud

    getting 5 GB free storage
    backing up and restoring your device
    syncing data from Apple’s apps
    Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, iWork
    finding, locking or deleting your device if it was stolen
    determining the location of one of your devices if you cannot find it
    finding friends

  • iMessage
    Apple’s free messaging system for text and media messages via internet without using special services of your carrier
  • Facetime
    Apple’s free video call between Apple devices
  • Apple Store
    purchasing devices and accessories
  • Apple iBooks
    purchasing eBooks and downloading free documents about different topics, e.g. manuals for the devices, for iWork products, the filesystem or the UI Guidelines
  • iTunes
    purchasing media
  • Apple hardware and Apple Care Protection Plan
    for extension of warranty and hard- and software support
  • Concierge (for Genius Bar appointments)
    needed to make a reservation at the Apple Genius Bar. Apple Genius Bar is a tech support service that is offered inside every Apple Retail Store.
  • iTunes U
    accessing and downloading teaching and learning aids
  • Apple Support Community
    engaging in discussions and asking questions

Since the release of iOS 8 things changed.

Purchases are still made with an Apple ID but can be shared with others using a different Apple ID.
And it’s not only purchases but also photos, calendar entries, and locations of family members which can be shared across the ‘Apple family’.

And there is much room for improvements, e.g. sending an iMessage to all family members, initiating a communication via FaceTime, or some options for members what they want to share with other family members.

Family Sharing …

To get started, one adult in your household, the family organizer, sets up Family Sharing, invites up to five additional family members, and agrees to pay for any iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases they initiate while part of the family group. Once family members join, the features of Family Sharing are set up on everyone’s devices automatically.

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All your family’s purchases, on all your family’s devices.

Once you’ve set up Family Sharing, all the songs, albums, movies, TV shows, books, and apps ever purchased by family members are immediately available to everyone else in the group. And, of course, so are new purchases. The content appears automatically in the Purchased tab in iTunes, iBooks, or the App Store for each family member. Just select the family member whose collection you’d like to browse, then download or play the content you choose. Other family members can access your collection in the same way. If you want to keep some purchases private, you can choose to hide individual items.

Making purchases is easy. So is setting limits by the organizer.

All new iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases initiated by family members will be billed to the family organizer’s account. But the organizer can still call the shots. Just turn onAsk to Buy for children in the family. When a child initiates a purchase, an alert is sent to the organizer, who can review the item and approve or decline it right from the organizer’s device. This applies to both purchases and free downloads.

An overview …

Essentials of Apple’s new Family Sharing are summarized in this mind map.

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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

Stop Family Sharing …

If Family Sharing should ever be disabled by the organizer, each member of the family can still keep the content purchased by another member in their family group. Apple said in-app purchases from an app originally purchased by someone else must be re-bought however.

Parental controls …

If you already started the hard work to teach your children how and how long to use electronic devices you might want them to have their own Apple ID.

Here are the steps which can be done by the organizer of Family Sharing.

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Family Sharing supports parental controls. It allows family members to approve purchases and downloads initiated by children via an “Ask to buy” option. It’s not only the Organizer who set up Family Sharing to use this option but also members whose role is set to ‘Parent/Guardian’.

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If your kid tries to buy a $49.99 app, for instance, you will get a notification about that attempt on your own device. You must give permission through this notification before your child can actually purchase anything from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, and the App Store.

Ask to Buy is enabled by default for children under 13. That said, children under 13 can participate in Family Sharing and even have their own Apple ID (though a parent must create it on the child’s behalf).

Parents will also be able to limit the content their children can access via the Restrictions setting on an iOS device.

Summary …

Family Sharing massively adds value to purchased devices because of saving a lot of money for a group of people.

Related links …

Apple Support: Family Sharing

The Apple ID

Thanks for surfing by.





iOS 8 Security

5 01 2015

When government comes knocking …

Here is what The Washington Post published on September 18, 2014, shortly after Apple’s Keynote on September 9, the day Tim Cook introduced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the updated operating system iOS 8 for mobile devices.

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Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

Please read the full article here …

About iOS 8 Security

Beside 2-Step Verification also available for iCloud in many countries this is a further step to more security for Apple’s customers. It should be mentioned that the so-called fragmentation is kept low for Apple’s devices.

See this concept map which shows the iOS versions in relation to all iPhone models on which they can be installed. The map includes what’s published about iOS 8 on Apple’s website after the WWDC event on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco.

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Just look at the iOS version and count the number of outgoing arrows.

It starts with compatibility to 2 models. Since iOS 6 the installation on the actual model and 3 predecessors is supported. With iOS 7 and 8 Apple’s mobile OS is ready to install on 5 models.

It needs enormous efforts to bring hardware and software engineers together to look into the future and design hardware components usable also for future versions of an OS.

Competitors show us that the alternative way is to build devices regardless what happens with newer versions of the OS.

According to a scary graphic for Android users published by Business Insider in Aug 2014 there are 18,796 unique devices running the Android OS. That fragmentation is tough on developers. It’s too difficult to make sure that an app runs well on each device. It’s one of the reasons why Android has severe disadvantages for customers using their device over years. The issue gets thornier if you look at the OS versions Android devices are running today. Many of them are still running Gingerbread (2.3), a version launched 4 years ago!
In contrast to Android about 91% of iOS devices are running the latest version (7.x) and it’s most likely that a significant percentage of devices will be updated to iOS 8 on the first day of its launch.

It’s a vicious circle to always buy a new (subsidized) device to get the latest OS version. Fragmentation is what developers and customers don’t like because it hampers a unique user experience and needs additional efforts. This might be one of the reasons why iOS is still the preferred platform for developing powerful apps.

Apple wants a perfect user experience for most of it’s loyal customers and developers are supported by the iOS feature ‘Size Classes’ with which Apple said Goodbye to an increasing complexity of code needed to support sizes like 3.5″ (iPhone 4), 4.0″ (iPhone 5), 4.7″ and 5.5″ (iPhone 6), 7.9″ (iPad Mini), and 9.7″ (iPad). Google with its Android OS is still faced with a lot of different form factors and it seems to be an impossible task for developers to ensure a perfect user interface and user experience on all devices.

Summary …

Security isn’t what Apple is just talking about like many other companies.
Today security is strongly related to updated applications and operating systems.

Apple reported that nearly half of the users installed the latest version of the mobile operating system less than a week after its introduction on Sept 17, 2014. The company said 46 percent are using iOS 8 as of Monday, with slightly more (49 percent) using the previous generation of software.

This is an adoption process happening nearly with the speed of light if you compare it with the competitors.

Related links …

Security made by Apple

2-Step Verification

Android Fragmentation

Interested in creating mind maps and concept maps?
See an app review of the app Inspiration here

Inspiration

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