By Graham K. Rogers
In a few hours time, Apple will announce several new products at its event at the Bill Graham Center in San Francisco. Although many commentators have already given us their authoritative ideas on what will be announced, only Apple knows.
It is safe to suggest that a new iPhone will be among the offerings. For other suggestions, like a larger iPad, Apple TV, Apple car; and for real specifications of what will actually be announced, there will be much information online. The Apple Event is broadcast live and is also available on Apple TV.
When iOS 9 arrives, one of its features is the News app and I am pleased to tell you that eXtensions is one of the sites accepted by Apple: "dozens of publishing partners."
A tip: sift what you read in the next day or so carefully. Most items will be instant reactions to product outlines. These often miss some of the more important underlying features. Wait until the end of the week until some proper analysis has been done of the specifications and implications.
Best of the recent Apple headlines is Fortune's, S. Kumar, "How the new iPhone could save Apple"; closely followed by "Don't expect iPhone 6S to save Apple" from Therese Poletti, on Market Watch. They are of course wringing their hands about share price, not sales or profit.
If you think Apple has a problem, spare a thought for poor Samsung who have announced job cuts of 10,000 following unimpressive product sales, declining income, and a reduction of over $40 billion in market value (Jungah Lee, Bloomberg). These cuts increased the share price by 1.7%, so that's OK then.
Just slavishly copying other products really only tackles the surface and shows little understanding of the underlying integration.
Perhaps related to this week's event, CISCO and Apple announced a partnership. This is tied to networking improvements, particularly in enterprise. Most CISCO routers are used at the high level in businesses. A former student was at the CISCO event in Las Vegas and sent me a photograph of Tim Cook: as soon as he saw Cook onstage, he thought of me, he wrote.
Tim Cook at Las Vegas - Photo: Pakorn Tientongtip
Networking is a feature often forgotten when Apple products are announced. Where I find it valuable is with its ability to link any of my devices via WiFi. That includes the Apple TV, although it is the only one currently to run on the old 802.11n standard.
My True wifi router uses the vintage 802.11g (first used in January 2003). To get round the glacial speeds, I connect an Apple WiFi router to an Ethernet port, giving me the latest 802.11ac, and faster interconnectivity.
To join that club, the rumoured Apple TV would also need 802.11ac capabilities. I would be disappointed if the device (if announced) did not have that. Rumours suggested that an update would include expanded gaming capabilities and the release of several apps. Adding fuel to this was the announcement of a Twitter account for "iOS App Store games and run by App Store editors": @AppStoreGames which goes with the @iTunes TV and @App Store among others.
ASUS released a new Wifi router that they claim is the world's fastest with its eight dual band antennas. Some likened the RT-AC5300 to an upturned spider and I am sure many will love this, despite its design.
Unless you have had to use it, the iCloud feature that helps users to track stolen or lost devices, is a hidden gem. It first appeared in June 2010 and there were a couple of early stories of users tracking their stolen phones. It has been most useful in my home when I lose the device: down the side of cushions, for example; and once in a pair of shorts in the laundry. The service was later expanded so I now have "Find my . . ." solutions for Mac, iPad and iPod.
Last year a Phuket user had his iPhone stolen, but initially was unable to track the device. However, he turned on the Lock feature. Some 3 months later he was contacted by someone who had found the phone (this was the story) and was willing to return it for a fee.
A kayaker in the USA lost his iPhone in the sea near Monterey and was surprised when a signal was sent 2 months later. He was able to retrieve the phone from the person who found it. All the time it had been in a Kobert waterproof case. Some sense that the Imgur posting may be an advertising stunt. Kolbert do not sell directly to consumers and use Amazon which does not sell this product to those in Thailand.
A more recent example was reported on Facebook last week by a Pattaya user who admitted that his opinion of Apple products and users had not been high. In fairly colourful language the loss of his iPad was related and the use of Find my iPad, followed by a visit to an apartment complex where the young lady involved was persuaded to return the missing item.
An app on the iOS device or logging into iCloud on any computer will allow the user to access Find my iPhone. These list all the users devices and those online can be seen on a map. Oddly, while I can find the misplaced iPhone 6 from the Apple Watch, using one of the Glances (Connected), there is no way to track the Watch, which seems to be a serious omission. I hope that is put right in the expected update to the Watch OS.
Find my iPhone - All devices registered shown in a list
- The Apple Event - broadcast live
- Apple News Signs Up Dozens Of Publishing Partners (Erik Sass, MediaPost)
- How the new iPhone could save Apple (S.Kumar, Fortune)
- Don't expect iPhone 6S to save Apple (Therese Poletti, MarketWatch)
- Samsung to Cut 10% of Head Office Staff, Economic Daily Says (Jungah Lee, Bloomberg)
- Asus Makes World's Fastest WiFi Router, Looks Like An Alien Spider (Aashish Sharma, FossBytes)
- Report on loss of and tracking stolen iPad (Tim Ward, Facebook) - warning colorful language
- Lost my iPhone in the ocean and month half later I got back (ehtnaerokyug, IMGUR)
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.