Two men who created the iPod and iPhone founded Nest and injected new technology into the humble thermostat. Now they have their sights on the rest of your house.
In 2007, Tony Fadell believed he could see the future. He was an Apple executive who had created the iPod and was a leading figure on the team that had worked on the iPhone, which the company was about to launch. He knew people would soon form attachments to the Internet-connected computers they carried in their pockets, and he kept thinking about that as he started another major project: building an energy-efficient dream home near Lake Tahoe.
A new feature makes it easy for mobile apps to sync data—and poses direct competition to Apple’s iCloud.
Dropbox is best known for providing a “magic folder” that 100 million people use to synchronize files across different computers. But the company’s cofounder and CEO, Drew Houston, has long talked of larger ambitions, telling MIT Technology Review in 2012 that he was setting out to build “a fabric that ties together all devices, services, and apps … the Internet’s file system” (see “Drew Houston Simplifies the Cloud”). A new feature released with little fanfare last week provides new evidence that the company is working toward that vision. It also pitches the company into more direct competition with Apple.
Television viewers fumble with awkward remote controls and crave a richer array of on-demand programming. It’s time for Apple to step in and disrupt the TV business.
Steve Jobs couldn’t hide his frustration. Asked at a technology conference in 2010 whether Apple might finally turn its attention to television, he launched into an exasperated critique of TV. Cable and satellite TV companies make cheap, primitive set-top boxes that “squash any opportunity for innovation,” he fumed. Viewers are stuck with “a table full of remotes, a cluster full of boxes, a bunch of different [interfaces].” It was the kind of technological mess that cried out for Apple to clean it up with an elegant product. But Jobs professed to have no idea how his company could transform the TV.
No, the iTV isn’t imminent. But third-party programmers are rightly excited at the prospect.
It’s a testament to Apple’s power over Internet discourse that the mere whisper of a hint of a rumor can send dozens of websites into a frenzy. Earlier today, Business Insider posted that Apple would “likely hold an Apple TV-related event in March” according to a Jefferies analyst named Peter Misek. The claim or supposition was that Apple wouldn’t present the hardware yet, but would introduce a software development kit so that third-party programmers could get a head start on making games and apps for an iTV in the offing.
It's a slightly bizarre feeling, but in Brazil, this Android smartphone is the iPhone. And, thanks to a ruling by Brazilian regulators, it can continue to be called the iPhone, as Apple has been ruled not to have exclusive rights to the trademark in the country. The key item involved in the dispute — local company Gradiente registered the iPhone trademark there in 2000, some 7 years before the first Apple iPhone. Apple's argument centered on the fact that while the trademark may have been filed, Gradiente failed to release a handset under the moniker until 2012.
Speaking to the BBC, the Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) said they expect an appeal to the decision from Apple. They also went on to declare that the decision only applies to handsets, and that Apple still has exclusive rights to the iPhone term on clothing, in publications and in software. Apple can still sell the iPhone in Brazil, but as it stands Gradiente has the option to sue for exclusivity.
The iPhone Neo One is available for 599 reals ($304/£196.)
Or rather, the wrist. Is Apple looking into an “iWatch”?
An Apple watch, long whispered about (let’s face it, an Apple anything has long been whispered about) may actually be a reality soon, according to a New York Times report citing those tech-journalism stalwarts, “people familiar with” the matter.
Startups are bringing creative features to the small screen in hopes of luring iPhone, Android users away from the default browser.
When surfing the Web on a smartphone, most of us stick with the browser that came with our handset. That experience can be clunky, though, and a slew of mobile browsers are trying to break into a market dominated by Apple and Google.
Mailbox cleverly rethinks Gmail with to-do list features, but you may not be able to use it just yet.
Mailbox, a cool, free app that makes your Gmail inbox more like a smart to-do list, is now available to iPhone users in Apple’s App Store–though you may have to wait a while to get it.
A mobile version of the world’s most widely used Linux operating system shows promise, but it will face stiff competition.
BlackBerry’s new smartphone software is so last week. A new free mobile operating system is being readied for release—by a company hoping to earn support from mobile carriers and handset makers interested in weakening the dominance of Apple and Google.
Fitts’ Law has quantified human-computer interaction for decades. But is it still relevant in a post-GUI world?
You’ve probably never heard of Fitts’ Law, but if you’ve used a computer in the past 25 years, you’ve felt its influence. Fitts’ Law mathematically models how quickly you can point to something–whether it’s with your finger, or with a device like a mouse. It’s a foundational principle of human-computer interaction in the WIMP era–“windows, icons, menus, pointer”–pioneered by Xerox PARC and made mainstream by the original Macintosh. It says that moving a pointer a short distance to a large target is faster than moving a larger distance to a smaller target. This has a distinctly “no duh” flavor to it, but Fitts’ Law has many fascinating and subtle implications for GUI design. If you ever wondered why Apple puts its menu across the top of the screen (instead of anchoring menus to individual windows, like Microsoft does), Fitts’ Law is the reason.