Tuesday , 16 October 2018

Boot up: Nadella on mobile, Tony Fadell talks, Foxconn’s iPhone rush



Satya Nadella explains the “mobile” in “mobile first, cloud first” >> Windows IT Pro

Paul Thurrott:

In an appearance at an annual luncheon at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce — which was nicely transcribed by Geekwire’s Todd Bishop, thank you very much — Mr. Nadella was asked what he was doing to improve Windows Phone’s market share, which is in the very low single digits and shows no signs of improving anytime soon.

Nadella didn’t talk about “making the market” for Windows Phone. He didn’t explain that many new hardware partners have signed on with Windows Phone thanks to “zero dollar” licensing in 2014, and that their devices would improve matters. He didn’t vaguely speak of future synergies between Windows Phone and “big” Windows. Instead, he offered up a surprising response.

He said that Windows Phone’s market share doesn’t matter.

The $3.2bn Man: can Google’s newest star outsmart Apple? >> Co.Design | business + design

[Tony] Fadell is still sniping at his home’s imperfections. “It’s absolutely, utterly hideous!” Fadell growls, zeroing his attention on an ugly beige gadget glued to the outside wall that controls the pool’s temperature, a small blotch that’s apparently spoiling this otherwise real-life David Hockney painting. “The stupid thing was there before we got here, and it doesn’t even try to blend in. It’s staring at me, and somehow, I’m going to fix it,” Fadell says as he continues to grimace at the plastic rectangle. His eyes then dart to his next object of scorn. “And just look at those horrible [security] cameras up there!”

Hang around Fadell and you’ll hear these types of complaints all the time.

Terrific interview.

Introducing exclusive iOS 8 updates for all Readdle apps >> Readdle

Scanning, printing, PDF editing, specialist calendars… but the big point about this is that it can be applied to stuff that’s already in document libraries, as well as new stuff. Developers are jumping on iOS 8 in a way that suggests they’ve really wanted its improvements.

NewsCorp: Google is a ‘platform for piracy’ >> BBC News

“We thought it was a crucial moment to weigh in,” a NewsCorp source told the BBC.

“We are pleased with the new direction that the Commission will be taking, that there is a more thoughtful approach to Google’s practices.”

NewsCorp’s letter says its newspapers, The Times, the Sun and the Wall Street Journal Europe and the book publisher, HarperCollins are unfairly disadvantaged by Google’s scale.

“The uniqueness of news sites has been undermined by aggregation of content which transfers the front page to the Google home page.

“Readers have been socialised into accepting this egregious aggregation as the norm.”

He also suggests Google is taking unfair advantage of its ability to sell advertising targeting specific audiences at discounted rates, undermining specialist publishers’ ability to generate advertising revenue.

“For example access to 75% of the Wall Street Journal demographic at 25% of the price, thus undermining the business model of the content creator,” the letter says.

News Corp complaining about overconcentration of power in one company is… novel. Update: here’s the letter from News Corp in full.

Foxconn struggles to meet new iPhone demand >> Wall Street Journal

Lorraine Luk:

Last year, Foxconn was the sole assembler of the iPhone 5S, but it only made a small portion of the iPhone 5C as another Taiwanese contract maker Pegatron was assigned to be the major assembler for the cheaper model.  Foxconn also stopped manufacturing the iPhone 5C later and shifted all resources to make the more popular iPhone 5S.

“We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders,” said a person familiar with the matter.

Apple is now shipping all variations of new iPhones but the iPhone 6 Plus is scarcer.  The waiting time for the iPhone 6 Plus is longer, at three to four weeks, while customers can get an iPhone 6 within seven to ten business days, according to the company’s online store in the U.S.

“For iPhone 6 Plus, we are still ramping up the production line. Another reason for the limited supply is the shortage of 5.5in displays,” said the person.

The output rate of 5.5in is still only around 50%-60%, which means display makers have to scrap almost half of the substandard output, said a person at a display component supplier.

The person said the output rate of the 4.7in display is better at 85%.

Who’s afraid of #Gamergate? >> tiedtiger

Tadhg Kelly:

You know what else? Not many people find gamergate hilarious. In a callow way perhaps, in a rolling-eyes way maybe. Y’know, gamers, etc. For many of us gamergate is actually deeply disappointing. It reflects a part of the gamer mindset that we’d hoped had evolved by now, but apparently hasn’t. For the want of a better word I’m going to call it gaterism. 

Gaterism has a corporatist, complaining, and inflexible character. By corporatist I mean that it seems to buy into the narrative of companies and the hero mythologies of platforms over people. By complaining I mean it acts as though it has been mistreated by the industry – at a time when we are falling down in games of all kinds to play. And by inflexible I mean gaterism represents a vision of gaming that’s small, functional, mechanical and unthreatening. One that maintains that functional merit should be all (by which is meant fun, playable, etc) and that anyone who’s successful for other reasons probably doesn’t deserve it.

As such, gaterism may consist of people from all across the spectrum, but it’s divisive.

Motorola’s lessons for Samsung >> Beyond Devices

Jan Dawson, testing the Moto X, Moto G, Moto 360 and Moto Hint, comments on the Moto X:

Unless you’ve used stock Android, it would be hard to see where Android itself ends and Motorola’s enhancements to it begin.

In many respects, this is just the sort of thing Samsung should have been working on over the last few years, to set its handsets apart against the flood of other Android phones. Instead, it’s focused on gimmicks – features that are eye-catching and make for good demos, but that don’t really make life easier or improve upon the core Android experience. If Google were keeping Motorola, I would say these features should slowly work their way back into the core Android experience as Motorola invents new ones. Under Lenovo, I wonder to what extent these innovations will continue and to what extent Lenovo will embrace them at a corporate level and build them into its other devices too. If it’s smart, it will realise what it’s getting here and fully embrace it. 

When training for a multi-skill sport, you get more rapid benefits if you improve your weakest areas, as your strongest ones are probably hard to make better. Motorola is clearly focussing on making its weak points stronger – to its substantial overall benefit.

Surprising top smartphone stats in South Africa

The most used smartphones in South Africa are the BlackBerry 8520 Curve, the BlackBerry 9320 Curve, and the BlackBerry 9300 Curve. This is according to Vodacom’s data about the number of active devices on its network.

The data further revealed that the top 10 most used smartphones on the Vodacom network included four BlackBerry devices, three Samsung phones, two Nokias, and an iPhone.

While there is a great deal of hype around high-end devices like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy range, the more affordable BlackBerry 8520 is the smartphone which many South Africans use.

Might explain why EMEA – Europe, Middle East and Africa – shows up as still healthy in BlackBerry’s accounts. (Quarterly results are Friday 26th.)

The future of audio engineering >> Tape Op

John La Grou, after pointing to what you can and can’t extrapolate:

By 2050, post[-production] houses with giant mixing consoles, racks of outboard hardware and patch panels, video editing suites, box-bound audio monitors, touch screens, hardware input devices, and large acoustic control rooms will become historical curiosities. We will have long ago abandoned the mouse. DAW video screens will be largely obsolete. Save for a quiet cubicle and a comfortable chair, the large, hardware-cluttered “production studio” will be mostly a quaint memory. Real-space physicality (e.g., pro audio gear) will be replaced with increasingly sophisticated head-worn virtuality. Trend charts suggest that by 2050, head-worn audio and visual 3D realism will be virtually indistinguishable from real-space. Microphones, cameras, and other front-end capture devices will become 360-degree spatial devices. Post-production will routinely mix, edit, sweeten, and master in head-worn immersion.

During this transition, perhaps the only remaining piece of CEH (clunky external hardware) will be the sub-woofer, which cannot be emulated with a head-worn device.

Google’s Android Silver program on ice >> The Information

Amir Efrati:

Even before [Nikesh] Arora’s departure [in April], the Android Silver program had received mixed reaction from potential partners—phone makers, wireless carriers and retailers—who would have had to give concessions to Google in exchange for marketing dollars to juice sales, these people say. Proponents of Android Silver at one point believed it would eventually replace Google’s Nexus phone program. But there were serious doubts in various part of Google as to whether the program would work, one of these people says.

The desire to pursue Android Silver and build a brand that appeals to high-end consumers was understandable. Despite the fact that Android powers the vast majority of smartphones, Apple’s customers are far more valuable than Android phone owners; they spend a lot more money on apps and a lot more time browsing the Web. Google generates plenty of revenue from people using its services on Apple devices, but Android offers more promise in the long term because Google controls it.

Reports suggest that iOS still generates more revenue for Google than Android. Neither Apple nor Google will say.

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