Whew. We had WWDC three weeks ago, right into new iPads and the iOS 11 Developer Beta, and now the Public Beta yesterday with more news still coming fast. With lots of changes to to iOS 11 still to come and the new iPhone still on deck, there will still plenty more to last until the Fall, as well. Let’s get right into some of the notable news from the last week or two.
Apple Has Purchased German Company SensoMotoric Instruments, Maker of Eye-Tracking Glasses
A month ago, we had a supposed Foxconn leaker talking about Apple working on revolutionary-looking AR Glasses. Then we had Apple pushing their chips to the center of the table, going all-in on Augmented Reality with ARKit at WWDC, which will make iOS the dominant platform in AR literally overnight. Now this. Tim Cook hasn’t been kidding around. AR is going to be a BIG part of the future at Apple.
According to the original article by MacRumors, SensoMotoric Instruments is an impressive get for Apple that will definitely be a help in their AR efforts going forward. Since 1991, they have been developing eye-tracking software and hardware that has been used in both virtual and augmented reality, in-car systems, research, and several areas of medicine. They also happen to have developed eye-tracking software found in the Oculus Rift to help in cutting down on motion sickness. All-around, this looks like a dynamite acquisition for Apple.
The Four Early Reviewers of the Original iPhone Look Back Ten Years Later
CBS Sunday Morning had a great video segment and article this week with the four pre-release reviewers of the original iPhone: Steven Levy, Ed Baig, Walt Mossberg, and David Pogue. It is well worth a watch and read to go back in time with some of the heavyweight tech writers of the time and get their thoughts on how much the iPhone has changed our world over the last decade.
CNET Reviews Their Original iPhone Review
With the ten year anniversary of the release of the iPhone this week, everyone is taking a look back. CNET took the creative approach of reviewing their original review. Kent German went back and annotated and marked up his original text with notes on how certain features and opinions look in hindsight, as well as what he got right and what was a little off. Considering that he scored one of the most influential gadgets of all time a middling 7.6, I’ll say he was juuuusst a bit outside.
The Wall Street Journal Also Has A Ten Year Anniversary Look Back
The Wall Street Journal takes a more traditional retrospective look at the iPhone by talking to former Apple executives Scott Forstall, Tony Fadell, and Greg Christie. It’s very interesting to hear Forstall finally breaking his silence about his time at Apple and the iPhone. For someone who could have an ax to grind after being ousted after the issues with Apple Maps, he certainly hasn’t taken that path. In this interview and the talk he recently gave at the Computer History Museum, he speaks fondly of his former employer, is engaging when talking about the iPhone, and just handles the situation with class all the way around.
The Sean “Diddy” Combes Documentary Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop- A Bad Boy Story Debuts on Apple Music
After the lukewarm to ice cold debut of Planet of the Apps, Apple could use a little good news in their fledgling video department. A well-made documentary with largely positive buzz and reviews is just what the doctor ordered. This won’t get the press coverage that Apple’s aforementioned flop did, but it is a positive step in the right direction, in an area of strength for the company. On the note of original video content…
Facebook is About to Stake Their Claim in Original Video Content
It seems that Facebook is busy looking very hard at video content. They are said to be paying up to seven figures per episode for original 30 minute shows, which is top dollar for that length. According to CNBC, they are courting 13-34 year olds with a special focus on 17-30, and are looking to roll their service out by the end of Summer. They are also supposedly going to pass on the successful Netflix model of dropping entire seasons at one time in favor of a more traditional release schedule. One thing is clear beyond the rumors- Apple is getting into a crowded video space that is getting more crowded by the day.
Tesla is Rumored to be Negotiating Independent Deals with Music Labels for their Own Music Streaming Service
There doesn’t seem to be a pot that Elon Musk doesn’t want to get his hands into. Evidently he doesn’t think that Spotify or Apple Music are good enough, and wants to roll his own system for his Tesla customers and their in-car infotainment systems. Unfortunately, these kinds of businesses require scale to be both sustainable and to pay artists properly, and owners of Tesla Automobiles aren’t going to match up to the 50 million or 27 million Spotify and Apple Music subscribers, respectively. Maybe Mr Musk can get the federal government to subsidize his musical ambitions, just like he does with cars and space.
Virgin Mobile is Going All iPhone
Virgin Mobile recently became the only US carrier to go all iPhone, dropping all Android phones from their lineup. This is certainly a bold move that will set them apart from other MVNOs. According to The Verge, they will have a $50 unlimited plan that will be discounted to $1 per month for the first year. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
Jailbreakers Have Already Cracked the iOS 11 Beta
According to Redmond Pie, a group of Chinese Security Researchers demonstrated a jailbreak of the iOS 11 developer beta at the MOSEC Conference in Shanghai. While this does NOT mean that a jailbreak will be available on day one after the iOS 11 release, it does mean that one should be possible within a reasonable period of time. It is interesting to me that the jailbreak is still a viable alternative after all these years of iOS. I used to jailbreak before features like Notification Center and Personal Hotspot were available, but like me, most former jailbreakers have moved on. I guess there will always be those who won’t be satisfied with stock and who want to dabble.
That is it for this week. The way that Apple news continues to roll in, it should be another busy week next week, as well. Until then, enjoy the iOS 11 Public Beta and all those new iPads.