Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

How to Livestream Monday’s Apple Watch Event

March 9th, 2015

It’s time to “spring forward” to Apple’s next big new product bonanza. After being announced back in September, the Apple Watch will take the stage again on Monday. This time, Apple will hopefully clear up a lot of the questions it left open in September—like how much the dang thing is going to cost. We could also see other new products, like a long-awaited Retina display MacBook Air or a revamped Apple TV.

In the off chance you didn’t score one of the handful of invites to the potentially star-studded announcement, never fear! WIRED will be there, and you’ll get to experience the event through our eyes, ears, and wrists.

Apple will also be streaming the event live, if you can spare the screen space (and your boss doesn’t notice your drop in productivity). Here’s how to tune in.

What Time Does the Apple Event Start?
Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern on Monday, March 9. There’s no handy countdown clock like there have been or previous events, but you can add the event to your calendar if you need a reminder.

Can I Watch a Livestream?
Indeed! You can do that right here:

But there’s a catch: You have to use specific pieces of software and hardware. If you’re watching from a computer, the video stream will only work on Safari 5.1.10 or later, and that the browser must be running on Mac OS X 10.6.8 onward, according to the fine print on Apple’s livestream page. The company doesn’t officially support streaming of the video to Windows PCs, Android phones, or anything other than Apple-made hardware.

If you’re on a mobile device, according to that same fine print, you’re restricted to using mobile Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 6 or later.

If you’re at home or hosting a viewing party in the office conference room, you can watch the event on your second- or third-gen Apple TV, as long as it’s running firmware version 6.2 or later. These are the same hardware and software requirements Apple had last time around. You should be able to find it under an Apple Events channel that pops up for occasions just like this one.

What Are My Other Options?
If your workplace won’t be particularly excited to have you watching a 90-minute livestream in the middle of the day, or if you want instant analysis instead of marketing spiel, you should follow along with WIRED’s live coverage from San Francisco. It’ll work on your platform of choice, for your viewing pleasure. Keep your browser tuned to our live blog for minute-by-minute updates. We’ll post the link to our live blog at the top of the WIRED homepage first thing Monday morning; keep your browser tuned there for minute-by-minute updates from myself, Christina Bonnington (@redgirlsays) and the illustrious David Pierce (@piercedavid). If you prefer to keep your Apple event coverage pace more casual, we’ll be sharing links to in-depth stories on GadgetLab’s Twitter feed (@gadgetlab), WIRED’s Twitter feed (@wired), and of course the WIRED homepage.

I Don’t Need to Watch, I’ll Be There In Person
Look at you, fancy pants. Why don’t you hitch a ride in Apple’s self-driving, electric car, or have your chauffeur drop off your Bentley at the Moscone Center. Make sure your wrist is clean and exfoliated, so you don’t tarnish any of the Apple Watch demo units you’ll be trying on after the event (and psst, sneak one out for us, will ya? Just kidding, just kidding).

Otherwise, we’ll see you Monday!


Steve Ballmer’s math on Apple innovation doesn’t add up

May 5th, 2014

In the videos from his talk at Oxford’s Said Business School, Ballmer said that most tech companies fail (like restaurants I guess), and that the genius companies are “one-trick ponies,” which invent a business worth billons. For Microsoft, Ballmer counted 2.5 tricks: 1) the modern PC platform, which comprises Windows software along with the Office software platform; 2) the Windows Server platform (he described this as Microsoft in the datacenter); and finally, just a half a trick for Redmond’s Xbox gaming system.

Ballmer granted that Apple had accomplished two tricks: Macintosh, by which he must also include the popularizing of the first widely available GUI OS; and the iOS mobile computing platform, which spans iPod, iPhone (smartphones) and now iPad (tablet computing).

His math of Apple innovation appears lacking to this longtime Mac user. Let me add a few more of his “tricks” to the list:

The Apple II platform. Ballmer appears to believe that personal computing began with the launch of the IBM PC, which was Microsoft’s big start. Of course, the Apple II platform was one of the first great hardware and software platforms. Most tech industry watchers don’t know or recall that the Apple II was Cupertino’s cash cow for years following the release of the Macintosh, into the late 1980s. Production of the last Apple II model didn’t happen until 1993! I remember using the first spreadsheet, VisiCalc, in the early 1980s when I worked in an academic library.

Desktop publishing. It was Apple that in 1985 shipped the first readily available, networked laser printer, the LaserWriter. This printer, along with its Adobe Postscript interpreter technology, the Macintosh (with its support for PostScript and standard AppleTalk networking) and Aldus PageMaker layout application, provided the foundation of an entire industry, from service bureaus to computer graphics.

We take it for granted nowadays, the networked inkjet or laser printer in home or office. It started with the LaserWriter.

The Apple Store. There was a time when all computer makers sold in the channel and even had branded storefronts. But it’s all retail history now. In the 1990s, Apple pioneered the store-within-a-store concept and in 2001 opened its first retail store. Now the company runs a network of 424 stores in 16 countries that provide sales, support, product demonstrations, consumer education, and more. Now, the stores are starting a focus on supporting small businesses. Of course, the industry predicted that this retail move would be a complete disaster.

The first store was developed much like a project. I wrote about it in a post.

I was once told a tale about the design of the first Apple Store back in 2001. A full-sized mockup of the store was built inside a warehouse in Santa Clara, Calif., where all of the shelves and counters and other store elements were put on coasters. Every morning, Steve Jobs would walk into the warehouse and move things around. Maybe again in the afternoon. This continued until everything was in its proper spot.

There could be others: The transition to Mac OS X, as an example. What about the iTunes Store? Yes, it’s the vital service side of iOS, but it’s more than that, since it spans Macs and Windows and Apple TV platforms.

At the same time, I wonder if Ballmer isn/t selling Microsoft a bit short. I might add Microsoft BASIC and Visual Studio as a developer tools “trick.” But given the mixed and often-confused messages from Microsoft over the past decade, it must be easy for him to skip over such “little” tricks.


Apple software engineer details development of original iPhone

March 26th, 2014

Christie tells the tale of how an ultimatum from late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs pushed the engineer and his team to create what would become the first iPhone, the WSJ reports.

According to Christie, his team had been working on a “software vision” for the handheld when Jobs gave him two weeks to come up with something before the project was assigned to another group. What the engineering team developed would later become iPhone OS and ultimately the current iOS.

Along with “swipe to unlock,” touch-based inputs and gestures, Christie’s team created what can be considered the blueprint for modern smartphone operating systems.

At least some of the ideas came from Christie’s work with the Newton PDA team, which the engineer was part of after joining Apple in 1996. The engineer was offered the chance to work on the iPhone project in 2004 by former executive Scott Forstall, who at the time said Apple was developing a phone/media player hybrid with touch capabilities.

After months of highly secret work on “project purple,” including bi-weekly meetings with Jobs himself, Christie and his “shockingly small” team came up with a solution worthy of approval. The idea had to be pitched first to Jobs, then to Apple board director Bill Campbell and finally to Jony Ive.

Jobs became increasingly excited about the iPhone’s software possibilities, Christie said, and began to add his own narrative with each successive presentation.

“His excitement for it was boundless,” said Christie.

The article goes on to detail the steps all employees working on the project had to take to keep the device secret. Jobs reportedly told work could only be done in a secluded area of an employee’s house and all images of the phone had to be encrypted.

The story comes ahead of the scheduled start date for Apple’s second California patent trial against Samsung. Much of the litigation revolves around software patents Christie himself had at least some hand in creating.


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