Monthly Archives: September 2016

Display Top Latest iPhone Rumor List

Apple poked a hornet’s nest when it removed the standard headphone jack from the iPhone 7. It may do it again by replacing the Lightning port with USB-C in the next iPhone.

The Lightning port, introduced in 2012, is used to charge and connect accessories to the iPhone, but Apple plans to swap it for USB-C, which the company has been introducing into its computer lines, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

“It would be a bold step for Apple, because it would mean Apple would be dependent on the advance of the USB-C standard for any innovations they may want to make around physical connectors,” said IHS Markit Senior Director Ian Fogg.

In the past, Apple chose to use its own home-brewed connectors for the iPhone — first its dock connector, then Lightning.

“Both of them allowed Apple to innovate more quickly than the industry because they weren’t dependent on standards,” Fogg told TechNewsWorld, “and it enabled them to have a business model around accessories through third-party companies, where Apple could ensure quality and collect a license fee.”

USB-C: Good and Bad

It’s not likely that Apple will scrap the Lightning connector, said David McQueen, a research director at ABI Research.

“They’d only put USB-C in if it allows them to make the phone thinner,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“A standard connector would be better, because you could share the cables for it with the new MacBook and with other devices,” noted Kevin Krewell, a principal analyst at Tirias Research.

“That’s a good thing,” he said.

“The bad thing is you have to buy another cable,” Krewell told TechNewsWorld.

Apple will unveil three new iPhones in September, based on reports corroborated by the WSJ. The expected models are an iPhone 7s, a 7s Plus, and a 10th anniversary edition called “iPhone 8” or “X,” which could have a curved 5.8-inch OLED display.

“Switching from a Lightning connector to USB-C is a minor thing. It’s not going to make large numbers of people buy an iPhone,” said IHS Markit’s Fogg.

“On the other hand, innovating with the display, having a wide-aspect ratio display that fills the face of the phone without increasing the volume of the phone, is good for consumers and good for the experience of using the phone,” he observed.

 

OLED Offers VR Opportunity

Having an OLED in the next iPhone is a definite possibility, Tirias’ Krewell said.

“It’s just a matter of getting the right supply chain in place,” he pointed out.

“Apple’s wanted to switch to OLED, but getting the supply chain behind it to support their quality and standards and display resolution has been a challenge,” added Krewell.

OLED screens not only offer a more vibrant display with richer colors and deeper blacks, but also have lower persistence than other types of displays, which reduces motion blur.

“That makes OLEDs much more suited for things like virtual reality, ” IHS Markit’s Fogg said.

“Apple has resisted the temptation so far to make any play in that area,” he continued, “but a shift to an OLED, which we are expecting, would be an enabler for them to make a move to a VR experience if they want to.”

A large, end-to-end display also could make the iPhone more competitive in the market, maintained Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

“It would be exceptional and could bring them at parity with Samsung,” he told TechNewsWorld.

More Women in Tech

riana Gascoigne is the founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to “engage, educate, and empower girls who are passionate about technology.”

Girls in Tech CEO Adriana Gascoigne

Founded in 2007, Girls in Tech claims 60 chapters with upwards of 50,000 members worldwide. The organization’s focus is not just on women in professional roles. It also offers support to anyone with an interest in technology, providing women with a platform for growth in the field.

In this exclusive interview, Gascoigne speaks to TechNewsWorld about he organization’s purpose, its accomplishments thus far, and its future hopes and plans.

 

Adriana Gascoigne: I was working at a startup and was one of very few women there. I’d look around the room every day and see that there was a huge problem of representation. I knew we needed to change the culture of the company to recruit more women and benefit more women, but we also needed diversity in product development.

If you have a diverse team, your product is going to be more successful. I think having a diverse group of people helps you to make a better product in the end, and I was striving to create a more diverse team so our customers could benefit from the end product.

The mission of Girls in Tech is still the same. Our tenets are empowerment, engagement, and education of women in STEM and tech. We focus on providing skills and a network so that women can succeed in whatever they want to do.

We want to serve as a support network, and provide advanced skills and a learning environment, so women can be exposed to different opportunities throughout their careers.

A woman’s career trajectory takes many different paths. We want to make sure that we have the resources, educational platforms and network to support women at many different stages of their career, and that they have the mentors and role models to follow.

Increase the safety of users

Twitter on Wednesday announced that over the next few months it will roll out changes designed to increase the safety of users:

  • Its algorithms will help identify accounts as they engage in abusive behavior, so the burden no longer will be on victims to report it;
  • Users will be able to limit certain account functionality, such as letting only followers see their tweets, for a set amount of time;
  • New filtering options will give users more control over what they see from certain types of accounts — such as those without profile pictures, or with unverified email addresses or phone numbers; and
  • New mute functionality will let users mute tweets from within their home timelines, and decide how long the content will be muted.

Twitter also will be more transparent about actions it takes in response to reports of harassment from users.

“These updates are part of the ongoing safety work we announced in January, and follow our changes announced on February 7,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by Liz Kelley of the company’s communications department.

A Fine Balance

“We’re giving people the choice to filter notifications in a variety of ways, including accounts who haven’t selected a profile photo or verified their phone number or email address,” the spokesperson noted.

The feature is not turned on by default but provided as an option.

Still, suggesting special handling for accounts without a profile picture — known as “eggs” because of the ovoid shape of the space left for the picture — and those without an email address or phone number could pose a privacy dilemma.

Twitter “is walking a fine line here between censorship and useful communication,” observed Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

 

Making the Internet Safe for Tweeters

Twitters’ ongoing efforts to curb abuse show that the company is “aware they have a serious problem, and what they’ve done so far is less than adequate,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Previous attempts ” were pretty pathetic, really, and Twitter needed to do something more substantive,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This seems to be far more substantive.”

Still, the new measures “don’t address the cause of the behavior — and until someone does, they will only be an increasingly ineffective Band-Aid,” Enderle cautioned.

 

No Place for the Timid

The latest tools may be successful at first, but “people will find ways around them,” Frost’s Jude told TechNewsWorld.

Twitter’s approach “is purely defensive,” he said. “It ought to just open up its space with the appropriate disclaimers; that would be easier and cheaper, and people who are easily offended would be put on notice that Twitter isn’t a safe space.”