Today In Tech

Thoughts on the field of technology…today.

SDK For Apple TV

To be quite honest, I don’t think we’ll see that until WWDC 2014, considering what we’ve seen with iOS 7 and what’s currently known in terms of many engineers being pulled off of certain assignments to finish iOS. If this OS is still being worked on, and OS X Mavericks is being completed to be released around the same timeframe one can only assume that the SDK for the Apple TV won’t come along for some time, likely some time in 2014.

I think people (developers) should be fine with this, focus resources and development on iOS 7 it’s new aesthetically and there are a broad range of new API’s to play with. Once developers have been given some time to get used to what’s available in the OS (a year from now) and Apple begins to transition their mobile devices over to the new operating system then we’ll likely see an SDK for the Apple TV next Spring/Summer.

This could all be wrong and Apple may just release something this Fall for the Apple TV one may never know, but the above is all based on logic, and I tend to consider Apple is calculative and logical in their approach to various systems and services…time will tell how all of this pans out.

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Motorola & The Others

In the 1st Quarter of 2013 Samsung captured approximately 95% of all Android profits…once again that’s 95%, in terms of smartphone profits Apple has 57% of smartphone profits while Samsung has close to 43%, leaving every other smartphone vendor with very miniature to no profits at all on the basis of hardware. With regard to manufacturers of Android smartphones if Samsung is holding 95%, then everyone else from LG, Sony, Motorla, HTC, and the smaller outfits to scramble for the pieces of the 5%. Obviously being an Android smartphone vendor isn’t a substantially profitable or viable business.

All of the above information needed to be shared to put a few things in context and really discuss the new direction of the now Google owned Motorola. Make no mistake this is a Google outfit the goal is to sale more Motorola devices running Android than other Android vendor. If you’re selling hardware your goal is to make a profit, although many will suggest Google could sell Motorola hardware at a loss and make it up in mobile advertising, and if that’s the case maybe their 32GB Chromebook Pixel (internet based laptop) should be sold for a lot less than $1299, so you know, they could make up any loss through advertising in Chrome. So back to the original point, the goal essentially is to make a profit on hardware sales while also getting as many devices into the hands of customers as possible (customers = people, not customers in the sense of carriers), and Motorola over the past few quarters has reported nothing but loss after loss ideally you’d want to escape the sea of red and head into the black and eventually green.

motorola-130702-1of1The first sign that Google is steadily aiming at doing their best to court consumers can be seen in the advertisement above. Now we won’t get into how this looks so similar to the Apple campaign that’s been going on over the past month…we’ll get into that some other time. This advertisement says a lot to other Android OEM’s, Motorola was once a stand alone competitor with the rest of them, now they’re owned by the company that provides the OS many of their smartphones are built off of and is promoting heavily yet subtly to consumers in the US that “hey instead of buying that Galaxy S4 Pro or HTC One you should buy an Android phone you customize all assembled here in your country”. Google is fully aware that Samsung controlling such a majority of the profits in the Android OEM space isn’t remotely a positive thing.

This was bound to happen once the announcement was made that Google would purchase Motorola this was something that many in the media were suggesting initially that this wasn’t a good sign for other OEM’s until they somehow fell under Google’s PR spell that whenever Google says “jump” the press asks “how high?” so to speak, and basically believed Google when they said that a company they own won’t interfere with their relationships with other OEM’s that build Android products.

So now we’re here, with Motorola/Google announcing proudly that customers will be able to customize their new American manufactured Android phones while they go head to head with their competition in Samsung, HTC, Sony, and whoever else was bold enough to build Android smartphones. It will without a doubt be interesting to see how this all shapes up.

Destiny

Let’s just say this is already on pre-order…….along with the PS4.

iOS 7

Great write-up by Austin Sweeney of defomicron on his experience of iOS 7 and letting everything soak in, click here to read the piece.

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E3, Nintendo, Sony, & Microsoft – ABRIDGED!!!

In a nutshell this was E3 2013, and I don’t believe I added enough exclamation points at the end of the title of the this post.

New iPod Touch + Apple TV = Something Interesting

Hypothetical…just so you’re warned below is all hypothetical considering what was announced, what was released, and what may come in the future.

Not too long ago Apple released a new 16GB iPod Touch with no rear facing camera that made the blogosphere scratch their heads in unison. Why in the world would they release this?

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It’s $70 cheaper than the 32GB device with a rear facing camera so that may be a positive, but it still didn’t make sense…until WWDC and a screen capture below;

apple_ios_7_mfi_game_controllers_wwdc-2-580x379It may not seem as major at the moment, but continue reading to see where I’m going with this. So iOS 7 will support MFi game controllers for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and *iPod Touch). There have been rumors of some companies already in development of authorized devices to be sold in Apple stores. Including this blurry pic of a Logitech iOS game controller;

k-bigpicThere will likely be many third party manufacturers developing game controllers for iOS devices, but all it takes is for a company to come along and design something that is in sync with Apple’s design language where you basically have a 16GB handheld gaming system with you wherever you go that just so happens to have access to music, movies, and TV shows as an added bonus.

And there’s your handheld gaming device from Apple which leaves open the $99 Apple TV, now if Apple releases an SDK for the Apple TV (obviously may not happen until WWDC 2014 if it happens at all) you have your iPod Touch with said game controller able to play games connected to your Apple TV. In the meantime, how about playing your iPod Touch games streamed through Airplay to the Apple TV for a more…traditional style of play?

And that is what makes this potentially interesting, if these are the building blocks that Apple is subtly releasing piece by piece for developers and device makers to add up then I’m all for it. They’re providing the tools and puzzle pieces it’s just a matter of building the software and putting it all together. Though it’s very possible this isn’t the case at all, remember this is all hypothetical, but it makes one wonder if this is the overall goal as an added function for an iOS device and Apple TV. It’s probably time we get working on what can be done to essentially test out this hypothesis, the conclusion could be intriguing.

 

 

 

The Xbox One80

In what will undoubtedly be the most substantial backtracking in the history of the video game industry Microsoft has backtracked on their multiple draconian policies.

Kotaku has the rundown here, it’s amusing to an extent but it kicks the next-gen video game wars back into high gear where PS4 was and still is favored by many (myself included) the main difference between the two now are the cost and services available.

When you’re spending money cost can essentially become a major factor as the case is here. Plus you never know when Microsoft will pull another 180 and go back to their lock-down policies and restrictions. Though this tweet below sums up precisely Microsoft’s reaction to the uproar.

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Pundits Should Calm Down

It has begun…by it I’m referring to the ongoing news reports of wires and logic boards that many are assuming are related to the next iPhone what’s currently being labeled as the iPhone 5S. Everything you read below is hypothetical suggestions of why the phone could be called the 5S are based on just a trinket of logic and historical precedence.

The most recent report suggests that a new faceplate released is for the new iPhone 5S and it will look the same as the iPhone 5. And theres a lot of what seems to be disappointment around this potential revelation. The question here is “what exactly did you expect?” So what if it looks like the iPhone 5?

Lets just take a trip down the proverbial memory lane in 2009 Apple released the iPhone 3GS where that “S” was representative of speed. Two years later Apple released the iPhone 4S where the “S” logically stood for “Siri” since that’s the year the new service/feature was introduced specifically for the iPhone 4S.

So deductive reasoning would suggest that if Apple continues down this road then the new iPhone will likely be called the iPhone 5S with the “S” potentially meaning “Security”. I come to this hypothesis mainly due to Apple’s purchase of Authentec in June of last year, a biometric security firm. It’s this purchase that makes me believe we’ll see new biometric security features in the iPhone 5S.

Once again this is all hypothetical, with the overhaul done to iOS that took place in a mere seven months its very possible that we won’t see any true design changes until sometime in 2014 when Jony Ive now SVP of Design (thats hardware and software) and Craig Federighi SVP of Software Engineering lead their teams to design and engineer a mobile phone that truly encompasses their ideal of form and function.

Until then pundits and “journalists” should really chill out. The iPhone 5S will sell in substantial numbers and its possible that the lower tiered iPhone could make its debut. Instead of basing articles on the look of a phone based on random parts possibly coming from anywhere maybe MAYBE we should wait for an Apple announcement to commence and show the world what they’ve been working on…just a thought.

TED Talk Tuesday: Healthcare A Team Sport

Eric Dishman – Healthcare Researcher for Intel

Where Does Nintendo Go?

Could pride be Nintendo’s downfall? Or is Nintendo secretly in their lab working on the next home console as they see the horrific sales nature of the current Wii U? There’s really no telling, to be clear Nintendo has plenty of money in the bank they’re not struggling organizationally (in terms of cash in hand), but they are struggling in the current consumer atmosphere that has had nothing but a whiff of any news related to the Wii U.

Yes they’ve announced Mario Kart 8;

Super Mario 3D World;

And the introduction of Super Smash and the remake to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker; basically there’s a few sequels to classic titles and a remake of a game that came out eleven years ago for their older home console the Nintendo Gamecube, this is basically just a high definition version of the same game.

Basically Nintendo had very little to show with the little presence they had at E3, add in that from the editor of GameInformer, Nintendo producers pleaded to be given a positive press. Why would Nintendo ask for this exactly? Yes many have made the suggestion that Nintendo go and produce games for mobile devices namely the iPhone and iPad, and yes sales for these titles on these devices would be absolutely insane, besides kids are playing games on their parents iPhones and iPads on a regular basis all over the place over the Nintendo 3DS, but they’re a prideful company.

One would hate to call for the demise of the company or predict such utter failure is bound to happen, but in context when looking at the options come this holiday season the options available will be between Microsoft’s Xbox One, Sony’s Playstation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii U which will have been out for a year. Majority of consumers will likely choose the options from Microsoft and Sony (likely leaning in Sony’s favor considering its price and lesser draconian nature).

Could Nintendo conceivably come out with a brand new system trying to omit the flaws of the Wii U? It’s doubtful that would happen this early in the game. Maybe a price cut? It’s highly likely, the effectiveness of a price cut could potentially increase sales but it’s possible it would be a very minor increase. Not to mention that moment when Google decides to get in the game with their own proper TV solution (their efforts have been embarrassing so far), or when Apple throws down an SDK for the Apple TV, or when Amazon presents whatever it is they have cooked up.

With everything going on and the potential for these other companies to literally push Nintendo aside, the question on everyone’s mind that maybe they won’t be able to answer confidently is, where does Nintendo go?