An Apple a Day Keeps The Entrepreneur Away

Apple devices have struck like an eye-popping thunder bolt in midst of the dark boredom filled consumerism of our generation. The iPhone and iPad have taken the term ‘user-friendly’ to a whole new level and have generally met great resonance from people belonging to all walks of life. Same holds for work places, however many experts are skeptical about Apple’s ostensibly clandestine ways regarding security issues, which according to them render these devices incongruous for adoption by enterprises.

And then the Siri Popped out of the Bottle…”your wish is my DEMAND!”
Most of us our familiar with the magical feature Siri in iPhone 4S and for those who have been living on the moon for most of recent history it is a virtual assistant that on the surface works like a genie allowing you to command your tasks like sending messages. It has the capacity to understand your voice, know those meanings that are traditionally not expected to be translated in binary logic and even talks back to you. So basically it can be an easy way for you to communicate with your iPhone, a really smart virtual assistant that understands your multiple commands intelligently (basically the Robin to your Batman) and can be your companion in emptiness- well you can excuse this one. For those of you raising eyebrows with arrière pensée lingering on their minds that it’s just too good to be true…Behold!

Take out the big guns and start aiming for the Apples
IBM disables Siri on employee iPhones as a sensitive security concern because the voice data exchanged is uploaded to the Apple cloud. Several calls have been made to Apple for revealing the purposes and processes for storage and analysis of this data. However, the fact that Apple has shown inactivity in this matter is being perceived by many companies is suspicious and apathetic. Chris Eng, a research official at Vera code favors this point by implying that the phones might not be capable for the computational capacity that it requires. But he still points to the fact that Apple should make public what they are doing with this data by coming out and saying that they are not storing it, if that’s the case. Daniel Ford, chief security officer at Sterling also agrees with Eng in that he does not find it surprising that enterprises are intimidated by it as there is no official word about it from Apple. Paul Henry, a security and forensic analyst at Lumension represents another brick in this wall, as he points out how there have been privacy and security concerns associated with Apple previously.

Apples and Oranges
Henry also notes that Google and Microsoft have been more disclosing with regards to security in their products where as Apple, despite consumer-orientation, has not developed such terms with security managers and enterprises as of now. Nonetheless, he adds that there are certainly clear signs from Apple to being more responsive regarding security so that they can also be adopted in government sectors and enterprises as readily. Apple’s release of “iOS Security, May 2012” is documented explanation about security in iOS devices, an important example in this vein.

While Apple devices continue to spread across the Globe and are met with great enthusiasm amongst private users, there remain some fears and insecurities about security on the part of enterprises which can be attributed a lack of responsive by Apple in the past. However, the trends have been changing and it might not be long before the strained relationship is straightened out.

All New Apple iOS 6 Features

Apple’s 23rd World Wide Developers Conference fired up with the latest release of iOS. In this release a significant amount of change has taken place and some of the former features have also been enhanced. As Apple claims to bring you two hundred new features, iOS is already in its beta testing phase. Blogs and news websites are overflowing with developer’s remarks about the new iOS 6.

There are some facts to be kept in mind though; some of the newer developments will not work in the previous Apple devices such as iPhone 4, iPhones 3GS and iPads below the 3rd generation – having said that let’s tour iOS 6.

Apple Maps

Mail

The mailing application on the iOS 5 was good but it lacked whitelisting your friends. E-mails from a specified group of friends or VIPs will pop up on the lock screen without launching the application.

Privacy

Governments are scrutinizing social networks and mobile manufacturing firms for taking too much personal information from their users. Apple tackles this challenge by embedding a Privacy option in the Settings application. Users can effectively decide which application can acquire their personal information.

Photo Stream

Photo Stream has also received a revamp. The sharing is now more selective than before. For example, you can now choose multiple photos that you want to share with your friends.

Passbook

Passbook is Apple’s new e-ticketing application, which will enable you to book tickets from a variety of different sources. Passbook also keeps itself up-to-date; for example if your airline has been cancelled or your airline’s gate has been announced it will automatically notify you.

Apple Maps

Yes, Apple bids farewell to Google Maps as a pre-installed application. Instead, Apple have gone on to launch their own new navigation application named Apple Maps. It provides a 3D Flyover option- an aerial view of the area- turn-by-turn navigation and satellite view.

Sharing

The scrollable sharing list has got a completely new look. It is now an array of icons. Options are all the same; Print option still lets you print documents through any laser printer and sharing things on Twitter and Facebook is also available.

Siri

Siri, the most famous virtual assistants is now armoured with a large array of data so you could access them by voice. Yelp for restaurant reservations, Fandago for booking movie tickets, Rotten Tomatoes for movie ratings and IMBD for movie reviews are all integrated in to Siri’s electronic brain. Siri has also been upgraded with new languages- French Canadian, Korean, Italian, Mandarin and Cantonese. Siri will also collaborate with Apple Maps to guide you through routes. And now Siri will also be available for iPad.

Social Network Integration

Apple programmed the iOS 5 with a total integration of Twitter while still leaving Facebook out. Now, Facebook has also been integrated. Two buttons – Tap to Tweet for Twitter and Tap to Post for Facebook have been included in the Notifications Drawer.

FaceTime

AlThough FaceTime has been a popular application, it lacked 3G/4G connectivity. The old FaceTime could only make calls when there was a Wi-Fi around but with the latest release, you can make calls on the go. FaceTime now supports calls through 3G and 4G connectivity.

Phone App

iPhone’s phone application has also been updated. We can now reject a call by sending a message that we are busy, sleeping or running late for work. It will also remind you to call someone when you leave a specified location.

Programmers at Apple have kept the new iOS’s simplicity intact when patching up the codes, which is the reason why much of the interface is the same. Previous devices as mentioned in the beginning of the article can also be updated to iOS 6, which was quite unexpected, especially the update for 3GS. Overall, Apple has done a superb job in bringing all this in Kelly Johnson’s words – “Keep it simple, stupid.”

Apple v Android: Who will have the last laugh?

Six months since the passing of Steve Jobs, very little has changed in the world of Apple. Prior to the death of Apple’s founder, the technosphere was eagerly awaiting the release of the iPhone 5. In April 2012, we find ourselves in a similar predicament; still waiting for the launch date of the latest must-have Apple device. That’s not to say that Apple have been resting on their laurels in the post-Jobs milieu in which they found themselves in mid-2011. There was the launch of the iPhone 4S for starters, an event that proved to be an unsurprisingly downbeat event in light of Jobs’ untimely passing. Perhaps the sense of anti-climax also owed something to the realisation that this was not going to be the much-feted iPhone 5, but rather a souped-up version of the iPhone 4. In spite of this, the 4S proved to be an instant success, with over one million sales within its first 24 hours of release, shattering all previous records.

Were Steve Jobs still alive today, he would doubtless be delighted with the success of the iPhone 4S and of the all-but-assured success of the iPhone 5 when it is released later this year (June is the current rumoured launch date.) There is one development within the mobile industry that Jobs would have been less pleased to observe however – the rise of Android. Not surprisingly, Steve Jobs wasn’t too enamoured with Google’s Android smartphone operating system. After all, it was – and still is – the main competitor to Apple’s proprietary OS. But Jobs didn’t just dislike Android – he hated it.

Recently, Google co-founder Larry Page stated in an interview with Business Week that Jobs’ professed hatred for Android was all for show. He didn’t really despise the Google OS, but was merely trying to rally the troops against the competition. When asked about the differences between himself and Steve Jobs towards the end of his life, Page stated:

“I think the Android differences were actually for show. […] I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.”

One person who knows exactly how Steve Jobs felt about Android is Walter Isaacson, author of the approved biography of the Apple founder. Towards the end of Jobs’ life, he is depicted in Isaacson’s biography as being extremely bitter about Android, vowing to declare ‘thermonuclear’ war on Google for copying the look and feel of Apple’s OS.

According to Isaacson, Jobs wasn’t just fronting when he professed to dislike Android; he genuinely had beef with Google. In fact, Jobs allegedly explained to Isaacson

“[Apple’s] lawsuit is saying, ‘Google, you f___g ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.’ Grand theft…Make no mistake, they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.”

Isaacson recently countered Larry Page’s claims by stating that Steve Jobs really did hate Android. The source of Jobs’ rage, according to Isaacson, dates back to the 1980s when Microsoft had drawn a lot of “inspiration” from Apple’s graphical operating system. Microsoft then achieved market dominance by “promiscuously” licencing it out to computer manufacturers instead of creating a closed hardware-software ecosystem like Apple.

Steve Jobs believed that Google were now doing the same thing with iOS. Apple had created a closed ecosystem with iOS and the iPhone, and Google had copied the operating system and began to “promiscuously” licence it out to phone manufacturers.

Irrespective of the merits of Jobs’ argument, there is no denying that Android has continued to flourish over the past six months. Taking lawsuits and iPhone releases in its stride, Android has gone from strength to strength, increasing its share of the smartphone market. Recent figures from the US have revealed that in February, Android’s share of the smartphone market topped 50%. Apple, on the other hand, sat at a respectable – but substantially lower – 30%. While Android’s acquisition of over 50% of the US market is statistically significant, it should be noted that the rest of the global market reached that figure in August 2011 – two months before Steve Jobs’ death.

Of course, the merits of any product cannot be measured in terms of sales or market share alone. After all, it has recently been revealed that Android only makes £1 from the sale of each Android device – compared with the £365 that Apple pockets for each iPhone. Were Jobs alive today, he would doubtless still be railing against Android’s encroachment into the smartphone market. Behind closed doors, however, he may find himself with more pleasing distractions to attend to: Apple’s biggest problem of late has not been combatting Android, but deciding what to do with their $100 billion cash surplus. Talk about first world problems…

For Jobs, it wasn’t about the money, but a fear that history was repeating itself. Even so, with the launch of the iPhone 5 just a couple of months away, who’d want to bet against Apple enjoying the last laugh all the way to the bank?

This post was written by Simon from Best Mobile Contracts, the leading mobile phone comparison website in the United Kingdom. Best Mobile Contracts also provides up to date news on phone releases, contracts and other industry developments.