126 million will ship in 2019


IDC attributes the rapid growth to a combination of new vendors, new devices, and greater end-user awareness.

“Smart wearables,” that is, wearables capable of running apps will fuel the growth of the space. These devices include the Apple Watch, Motorola’s 360 smartwatch, and the Samsung Gear watches.

Such smart wearables sold about 4.2 million of such smart wearables sold in 2014, but IDC expects that number to rocket up to 25.7 million units this year. Dumber wearables, like basic fitness trackers that don’t run apps, IDC says, will grow from sales of 15.4 million units in 2014 to 20 million units in 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.32.02 AM

“Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year,” said IDC analyst Ramon Llamas. “The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight.

“Basic wearables, meanwhile, will not disappear,” Llamas says. “In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices.”

Yosemite public Beta for Iphoto

If you’re dying to get your hands on an early version of Photos for Mac, Apple just released the first public beta of Yosemite 10.10.3.

The brand new iCloud-based Photos app is 10.10.3’s biggest new feature, replacing both Aperture and iPhoto. The upgrade also includes the widely discussed diverse emojis and easier login for Google users with two-factor authentication turned on. To install the public beta, you need to be a registered beta user. Then click on over to the Mac App Store’s Updates icon, where the 10.10.3 beta will be ready to download.

Before you upgrade, remember that beta software isn’t completely polished and may be buggy. Follow Macworld’s tips for prepping your iPhoto library for the Photos transition, and then read our Q&As here and here for answers to common Photos-related questions.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 6.01.24 PMI’m one of the beta testers, I installed it yesterday and LOVE it so far! It has a completed different look with far more streamlined organization of photos by date and project. However, I didn’t really notice any notable difference in the editing tools. See attached screen shot…



Apple iwatch will replace your car keys in future, says Tim Cook

The watch will be packed with efficient battery backup which will last the whole day, and will not take as long as it takes to charge an iPhone, Cook said.

The company is planning to unveil the Apple watch at a special event scheduled for tomorrow, March 9, 2015 and it will be available for costumers after April.

There will be lots of other potentially revolutionary uses. The watch is designed to be able to replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used by many vehicles, Cook told the newspaper in an interview. This could be a major development and will reinforce the view that Apple is circling the automotive market.

The smartwatch will be tethered to iPhones through Bluetooth, automakers that already have an app of their own and which efficiently handles tasks like locking and unlocking doors,  manages climate, and flashing the lights will be more near to a companion app that will support the functioning of the Watch.

Control your car with your iPhone or Iwatch

Apple today was granted around 45 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), with the most interesting being an advanced car control system. While Apple has been the forerunner when it comes to registering countless patents, not all of them are used and implemented. However, the company has a lot in store for the future of connecting almost every aspect of a user’s life with their products and technology.

Apple’s CarPlay OS is expected to be adopted by almost 24 million vehicles over the next five years; and with this patent, the car world might experience a technological revolution. The patent, published by Patently Apple, reveals that your automobile system will be able to connect to your phone via Bluetooth, giving you the opportunity to lock and unlock car doors, start up the engine, have personalized car settings, and shut down the car engine with reprogrammable instructions.

While this does seem like something out of a James Bond movie; if implemented properly, Apple will be able to get miles ahead of the competition. Moreover, Apple released HomeKit last year, which should further its ambitions for home automation. All these elements come together to make an Apple connected lifestyle possible.

Other functions reported by Patently Apple include: locking and unlocking the vehicle doors and trunk, starting the engine, activating the entertainment system, and activating the GPS. Moreover, the lights for the user and the passengers can also be activated with this system, while the car seat adjustments can also be made. With recent advancements in the car tech world, this technology is expected to gather greater traction if Apple pushes manufacturers to include the sensors and equipment needed to implement this.

But, with great power comes great responsibility, and the only drawback to this system is security. BMW has also implemented a system that allows users to lock and unlock their cars with smartphones. However, a recent discovered bug meant hackers could get into the system, and perform actions that were not authorized by the user. This security flaw could be used to retrieve sensitive information for the owner’s phone.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), however, is touting a solution to the security problem with the implementation of its powerful TouchID, which is also the verification method for Apple Pay. If Apple does decide to implement the said patent into the car space, TouchID will hold a significant part of this process. More general problems with this system include the loss of battery on phone and no spare key. Apple has to make sure this gets implemented properly for commercial use; otherwise, this would be chaotic.

watch skeptics

Is it just me or does every article I read about the impending iWatch state basically, “why would people buy this product?” REALLY? Are journalists really that narrow minded? Uh, maybe because you can carry your iPhone in your suitcase or pocketbook and talk on your watch, use it to pay at the register, send emails, texts etc! It is called “hands-free” ever heard of that term? Well, I predict it will be the biggest selling product of all time!

Mark my words!

Delusional Skeptics:




Apple Event 2014!

Today is the big day!


Apple Special Event
Watch as Apple previews iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite — all-new and more powerful than ever versions of the operating systems for iPhone, iPad, and Mac — at WWDC 2014.

Why Apple’s Swift Language Will Instantly Remake Computer Programming

Chris Lattner spent a year and a half creating a new programming language—a new way of designing, building, and running computer software—and he didn’t mention it to anyone, not even his closest friends and colleagues.

He started in the summer of 2010, working at night and on weekends, and by the end of the following year, he’d mapped out the basics of the new language. That’s when he revealed his secret to the top executives at his company, and they were impressed enough to put a few other seasoned engineers on the project. Then, after another eighteen months, it became a “major focus” for the company, with a huge team of developers working alongside Lattner, and that meant the new language would soon change the world of computing. Lattner, you see, works for Apple.

The language is called Swift, and on June 2, Apple released a test version to coders outside the company, billing it as a faster and more effective means of building software apps for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Even then, four years after Lattner first envisioned the language, it came as a shock to all but a limited number of Apple insiders. Vikram Adve was Lattner’s graduate adviser at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, helping him fashion the software that would serve as the foundation for Swift, but Adve was just as surprised as anyone that his former student had spent so many years building a new programming language. “Apple is so tightlipped, and Chris has drunk the Apple Kool-Aid,” Adve says, laughing. “I knew he was working on a project that dominated his time, but that’s all I knew.”

Typically, when a new language appears like this—out of nowhere—it needs years to reach a mass audience. This is true even if it’s backed by a tech giant the size of Apple. Google unveiled a language called Go in 2009, and though it was designed by some of the biggest names in the history of software design—Ken Thompson and Rob Pike—it’s still struggling to gain a major following among the world’s coders. But Swift is a different animal. When it’s officially released this fall, it could achieve mass adoption with unprecedented speed, surpassing even the uptake of Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language and Microsoft’s C# in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Part of Swift’s edge is that it’s built for the average programmer. It’s designed for coding even the simplest of mobile apps, and with a rather clever tool Apple calls “Playgrounds,” it offers an unusually effective way of teaching yourself to code. But the larger point here is that such an enormous number of programmers have an immediate reason to use Swift. Today, hundreds of thousands of developers build apps for iPhones and iPads using a language called Objective-C, and due to the immense popularity of Apple’s consumer gadgets, these coders will keep building such apps. But Swift is a significant improvement over Objective-C—in many respects—and this means the already enormous community of iPhone and iPad developers are sure to embrace the new language in the months to come.

“With Google Go, there was no real incentive to use it,” says Paul Jansen, who has tracked the progress of the world’s programming languages for nearly fifteen years with the Tiobe Index, an independent, if rather controversial, measure of coder mindshare. “The difference with Swift is that there is incentive.”

Even now, with the new language available to only a limited number of coders, over 2,400 projects on GitHub—the popular repository for open source software—are already using Swift, and this month, it debuted at number 16 on Tiobe’s list of the world’s most-discussed languages. Yes, something similar happened when Go debuted in 2009, and the Google language has since fallen much lower on the list. But that automatic incentive that Jensen describes will only push Swift higher up the ladder.

Because of Swift’s unique position at the heart of the Apple universe, says Facebook programming language guru Andrei Alexandrescu, all it has to do is “not suck.” There’s a certain truth to his quip, and at the same time, the language very much exceeds this low barrier to entry. “People will jump to this new language because it’s so much easier to code in,” Jensen says. “They have to use either Objective-C or Swift, and most people will go for Swift.”

More Than a Language
Chris Lattner oversees all of Apple’s developer tools—all the tools that let both Apple engineers and outside coders build software for the company’s PCs, laptops, phones, and tablets. As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, working under Vikram Adve, he created a kind of meta developer tool called LLVM, and this creation now underpins Xcode, Apple’s primary tool for building software, a tool who’s latest incarnation has been downloaded over 14 million times. Basically, LLVM is a way of generating and running new applications, and it can be molded for use with any programming language.

After Lattner joined Apple in 2005, the company used LLVM to remake the way developers used Objective-C to build apps for its hardware. And then, five years later, Lattner used it as the foundation for Swift. He declined to be interviewed for this article without the approval of Apple’s PR arm—which did not respond to our interview request—but he briefly discusses the evolution of Swift on his personal homepage. Whatever the particulars of this long project, the reality is that Lattner built Swift specifically to work in tandem with Apple’s existing developer tools—even to provide coders with a way of using Swift alongside Objective-C.

In other words, Swift isn’t just a language. It’s a language that’s tightly woven with everything developers need to build their software. This includes not only an integrated development environment, or IDE—an interface where coders can actually write their software—but also various other tools, such as a debugger that can help weed errors from their code. And most of these tools are familiar to every Apple developer. In short, there’s a clear on-ramp to Swift for the tens of thousands of coders already building apps for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Coders still need good reasons to make the switch from Objective-C to Swift. After all, they’ve never worked with Swift—”I’ll be the first and only guy with four years of Swift programming experience,” Lattner wrote on Twitter—and learning something like this requires some time and dedication. Typically, that’s a big hurdle to overcome. “Most new languages just don’t go anywhere and the few that do, it takes a long, long time for them to get any traction,” says Mike Ash, a developer who has spent the last fifteen years building software for Apple hardware and is now delving deeply into the company’s new language.

But for Ash and others, Lattner and Apple have already provided those good reasons. In and of itself, Swift isn’t that much more attractive than many other languages available to the world of software coders, including C#, Ruby, Python, and others. But it’s a big advance over Objective-C, a language that dates back to the mid-80s and, frankly, isn’t as easy to use as more modern languages. “A lot of people were really put off by Objective-C and its unusual syntax,” Ash says. “Swift, with its more regular syntax, standard syntax, can really help with getting those people interested.”

Swift is not only more familiar to contemporary coders—offering things like “generics,” basic building blocks you can use over and over again—it includes several tools designed to better protect programmers from mistakes and bugs. Among other things, it provides what’s called “inferred typing,” which basically means that coders don’t have to spend so much time defining what types of variables they’re using. “It’s more of a helpful language. It understands what you’re doing a little bit better and allows the computer to help you figure it out a bit better,” Ash says. “It makes for a more productive programmer. It lets you get more done in less time.”

And then there’s Playgrounds, which many, including Vikram Adve, call the most interesting aspect of the new language.

Inside the Playgrounds
Playgrounds, Lattner says on his homepage, is meant to make programming “more interactive and approachable.” It was heavily influenced, he explains, by the philosophies of a designer named Bret Victor and an existing interactive programming system called Light Table. Much like Light Table, it lets you write code on one side of your computer screen and see the results appear on the other side. In other words, you can watch your program run as you write it.

The Swift interactive playground.
Swift’s interactive “Playgrounds.” Apple

When Lattner helped unveil Swift at Apple’s massive developer conference at the beginning of June, he showed how Playgrounds let him make real-time changes to a kind of animated circus game. Basically, the tool can add new code to live software without recompiling and restarting the entire thing. “When you make a change, it injects the change into a running process—into the version of the program that is currently running,” says Chris Granger, one of the creators of Light Table.

The aim is not only to make coding easier, but to provide a better way of learning to program—to bring this skill to a whole new type of person. “I hope that by making programming more approachable and fun,” Lattner writes, “we’ll appeal to the next generation of programmers and to help redefine how computer science is taught.”

Light Table can do much the same thing—and do it with multiple languages, including Python, Clojure, and Javascript. But for Granger, Playgrounds can be particularly useful because Swift was specifically designed to work with it. And vice versa. “Because they control the language–because they created the language—they could target being able to do this sort of thing,” he says. “They can do things we just can’t do with other languages.”

This too gives people an immediate incentive to adopt Swift. For any programming language, the main thing that prevents widely spread adoption is that coders just don’t have the time to learn it. But Playgrounds has the power to actually reduce the time that’s needed. According to Ash, Playgrounds is still a bit buggy, but the potential is there to significantly streamline the coding process. “Usually, there’s this really long cycle—long feedback cycle—where you try to figure out what you’re doing,” he says. “But the instant feedback provided by Playgrounds can be huge in getting new people into the field.”

The Need For Complete Speed
What Playgrounds also shows is that Swift is extremely fast—in every respect. It compiles quickly, transforming from raw code into an executable software app, and then that app executes quickly, meaning it runs on your phone or tablet at high speed. This, too, can set Swift apart from other popular languages.

Traditionally, there was a gap between compiled programming languages, such as Objective-C and C++, and interpreted languages, such as Python and Ruby and PHP. With compiled languages, after you wrote your code, you had to wait for your compiler to turn it into executable software, but once it was built, this executable software ran extremely fast. Interpreted languages let you test your program nearly instantly, but in the end, it didn’t run as quickly.

Swift bridges this gap, giving you the best of both worlds. The new language makes it far easier to build and run something without sacrificing how quickly it can run. As Ash puts it, Swift is “friendly to programmers and still friendly to the machine.” He says “it still remains to be seen how this will work out,” but he calls Apple’s work “promising so far.”

Apple isn’t the only one playing in this area. Facebook is trying something similar with languages called Hack and D. Google is exploring this ground with Go. And Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, is doing much the same with a language known as Rust. In some respects, these languages are much further along than Swift. Facebook is already using Hack to rebuild its massive online service, and Google is using Go to revamp its own internal operation.

What’s more, most of these languages are open source, meaning the code behind their designs is freely available to the world at large. They can, in theory, spread more easily to devices and services from other companies. Swift isn’t open source—at least not yet—and given Apple’s history of so tightly controlling its software and hardware, some question whether a certain corporate heavy-handedness will limit the progress of the language. “There are some worries where Apple might limit the language’s direction—being able to write cross-platform code and things that,” Ash says, referring to the ability to run the language across non-Apple devices.

Even still, Swift is likely to spread at a speed those other languages can’t. Eventually, Ash believes, Apple will open source Swift, and he’s confident the language will flourish outside of the company’s control—mainly because the project is run by Lattner, who has a long history with open source software. “With Chris running the show, I think we can trust him to make the right decisions,” he says. Before Swift, Lattner created something called Clang, a new program for compiling software. As with Swift, he started the project in secret and then took it to Apple, and the company soon embraced it in big way. The kicker is that Clang was open sourced, and now, it’s used by so many others across the industry, including Google.

But even if Swift remains an Apple-only thing, it’s impact could be greater than any other language that has sprung up in recent years, and it may achieve mass adoption faster than any language in modern history. Such is the leverage of all those iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Yes, so many other languages can do most of the same stuff that Swift can do—and some may do it better. In Light Table, there’s even an alternative to Playgrounds. But Swift is still unique.

One iWatch, Or Many? Apple Battles To Solve The Wearable

News of delays in Apple’s iWatch project should come as no surprise. The idea, as suggested by a headline this morning The Register (UK), that the iWatch is “late”—that Apple can’t tell time—is laughable. Apple is trying to solve a very difficult problem and, in true Apple style, it wants to come up with the simplest solution possible. In the trigonometry of product development, the designer tries to factor out an ugly radical to arrive at an elegant solution. This is just the problem space that Apple is in and the latest news indicates that it is not yet solved.

The central question, I think, is can Apple solve the iWatch with a single, unitary product (albeit one that might come in different sizes for men and women, perhaps.) Certainly that would be Apple’s preferred solution. In a recent interview with Vinod Khosla, Google’s CEO Larry Page said that Steve Jobs told him that, “You guys are doing too much stuff.” By extension, Samsung rebuked Apple, in effect saying Cupertino was not doing enough stuff. We can see in the Post-Jobs Apple this tension between hewing to the unitary gospel and giving in to the inevitability of multiplicity.

Part of this solving of the iWatch equation can be seen in this light as a battle within Apple itself. Certainly there must be factions within Apple and the iWatch team itself on both sides of the issue. If it turns out that the right solution is a range of products under the iWatch moniker, this will be a major departure for Apple. For Apple-watchers like myself, there is always the question of whether details that emerge fit the existing pattern or whether they suggest a new pattern. You can neatly map Apple’s present actions into its past actions until there is actually a new pattern, a new curve. Trying to map divergent data into an existing curve leads to “overfitting,” which is one of the means through which a successful machine learning algorithm can go south. That is the larger issue raised by the iWatch—is it the beginning of a new pattern of product development for Apple?

So far there have been two primary ideas proposed about what Apple's AAPL +1.29% iWatch will be. The first is fitness-oriented and can be thought of as an improved version of Nike’s Fuelband. Not coincidentally, Nike, whose board Tim Cook sits on, has cut back its Fuelband hardware program and Apple has hired some of its engineers. The second is health-oriented and would seem to involve a multitude of sensors that can deliver data directly to health care providers and services. Apple’s five-year partnership with the Mayo Clinic should bear fruit here, but it might just as likely begin to bloom in the iPhones that Apple users already possess.

Often these two ideas of health and fitness are combined into a single product, but one with an undefined form. Will it have a round face, square or rectangular or be more like a flexible band made out of screen material? When I think about a purely fitness oriented product, I think light, simple and streamlined. But when I think of who might be most interested in a health-monitoring device, I think of middle-aged executives concerned about their hearts or sugar levels. Many of these potential customers already wear watches and they tend to be large, heavy and designed to impress. When I described the iWatch as Apple’s luxury brand play, these are the consumers I was thinking of.

If you think about it, there is an interesting coincidence between luxury watches (which tend to be large) and a health and fitness device promoted by pro-athletes (who tend to be large.) Within both contexts a larger device would fit right in. This fits in with my idea that Apple will go luxe and exclusive first. In that market a large and expensive device would work and build market demand for slimmer, cheaper more mass-oriented iWatches as the technology and manufacturing capabilities develop to allow them.

Considering how much we think we know about the next iPhone, and how early we have known it, the lack of any credible leaks about the iWatch must mean something. One possibility, as KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested last week, is that production on the iWatch has been pushed back. He now estimates iWatch shipments in 2014 to now be only 3 million instead of the 10 million he had previously predicted. Investors are now being told to fear that an iWatch delay will put too much pressure on the new iPhone line to carry the holiday season. I think these fears are misplaced as are the exaggerated estimates of what the iWatch will do for Apple’s revenues (Motley Fool, you know who you are!)

As Google GOOGL +1.3% has shown with their cautious exploration of wearables with Glass and now with Android Wear, use patterns for these devices are not yet set. And the intimacy of a watch that touches your skin all day long and can disclose signals of the inner workings of your body raises issues even more complex than the smartphone, our current intimate. Google’s failed forays into health should also serve as a caution for Apple’s ambitions. In that same interview with Kholsa, Sergei Brin complained, “health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in.”

Apple, in their style, is letting the Mayo Clinic do the heavy lifting for them, and this may well turn out to be a better strategy than Google’s. Because Google’s goal is to make as much data as possible mineable it often runs afoul of the existing businesses its actions are disrupting. Since Apple’s goal is to sell hardware it can afford to cede some control of data to its branded partners, in this case Mayo. If what Apple gets in return is some immunity for HIPAA laws for its apps, that’s a deal worth making.

Speaking of branded partners, Apple just bough one. I haven’t heard anyone mention the idea of a Beats-themed iWatch optimized for navigating music. Think of the product placements Dre and Iovine could come up with for that! These are the kinds of possibilities that the iWatch-as-a-Platform would afford Apple, and I suspect there are many more. There are two ways to look at the solvability of the iWatch problem. If we look at the visual taxonomy of mobile phones before Apple introduced the iPhone it was certainly more varied than the current landscape. Post-iPhone mobile phones are basically screens of a certain size and thickness, with bezels of varying sizes with or without a physical home button. The iPhone effectively caused the mass extinction of the flip phone, the slide out keyboard, the Blackberry, etc.

But if you look at the visual taxonomy of wristwatches now, pre-iWatch, it is an even more varied landscape than mobile phones ever were. So, on the one hand, we could say that the iWatch will do for the panoply of wristwatch formats what the iPhone did for mobile phones, or, on the other, we could say that wristwatches serve more varied tastes and uses than mobile phones and a unitary solution is not, in fact, optimal.
My bet is on multiplicity. I say this knowing that betting on Apple to change its habits is historically a losing proposition. I think that wearables will prove to be more (and less) than an iPhone on your wrist. Until the technology is such that everything that an iPhone can do can fit on your wrist in a compact casing—that you never have to think about charging—there will be tradeoffs between size, functionality and battery life. Considering that only certain hardware functions are relevant to certain users, it is a waste to make a large device that needs to be charged more often for features of no value to the customer. I doubt that Apple can convince all of its customers that they need to keep track of their heart rate and glucose levels, or whatever.

Apple may well come out with one iWatch to rule them all, but this may be a misstep. If Apple is indeed asking pro athletes like Kobe Bryant to test-drive devices, this would provide useful feedback from highly demanding customers. If Kobe forgets to charge his iWatch, Apple will know it’s not a winner.

Read more here…

The Next Iphone is Coming!

Week in Tech: The Next iPhone Is Coming

Check out this week’s round-up of tech news to know, including the latest rumors on the new iPhone and Samsung’s forthcoming smartwatch.


Each Monday, I cover the tech trends, gadgets, business services, and apps of note. The goal is to highlight not just consumer flash-in-the-pan ideas, but actual developments that could impact your business. Post in comments if you spot other essential headlines!

1. Join.me gets a facelift
One of my favorite screen-sharing tools is getting a major update. Join.me is great because it actually works reliably compared to services like Go To Meeting and Web Ex that require that you install extensions. (Half the time, they don’t work for me, especially in Google Chrome.) The app will now record the session and the audio for sharing in the cloud. There’s also a new app for iPad and iPhone that makes the sharing process even easier.

2. Seedcamp week starts
The tech event Seedcamp starts in London this week running through September 6. There are 20 start-ups in the mobile, Web, and software markets. There are keynotes, classes, and social events that match up the 20 companies with about 400 other interested parties.

3. Leaked Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch photos
ABC News reports that the photos for an upcoming smartwatch called the Samsung Galaxy Gear have leaked. The watch looks a bit like a squished down smartphone. In another leak, details circulated about the watch having 6GB or 8GB of storage, a 1.5GHz processor, and 1GB of RAM. Would you buy one of these? Let me know in comments.

4. ZoomDeck debuts
I like this new photo identification app as proof that there are still bright ideas out there. The app lets you mark an area of a photo and then let other users help you figure out what it is. You can also link these “spots” with wikis, maps, and other background info.

5. Apple media event next week
Apple will hold a media event next week, presumably to reveal the next iPhone. Most experts are saying it will probably be an iPhone 5S that’s faster and lasts longer but does not offer any new hardware features. I’m more interested in the purported iPhone 5C budget model which could offer an interesting lesson in how to maintain your brand when you offer a lower priced version of a similar product.

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