Chrome and Firefox users that install OS X Yosemite are receiving notifications suggesting they give Safari a try, according to multiple reports on Twitter (via Tom Davenport). After upgrading to Yosemite, Apple is sending popups that read “Try the new Safari. Fast, energy efficient, and with a beautiful new design.”
The interactive notification comes with “Later” and “Try Now” options, and it seems that users may be receiving the messages when opening Chrome or Firefox for the first time after installing the operating system update.
The new Safari 8 did demonstrate significant improvements over Safari 7, scoring 81 percent better on JetStream and 89 percent better on Speedometer, suggesting Apple has indeed made some major under-the-hood improvements to the browser.
Along with speed improvements, Safari gained some new security features, including DuckDuckGo support and isolated Private Browsing windows that allow users to have a non-private browsing window open at the same time as a private browsing window. The browser also continues to offer third-party cookie blocking, malware monitoring, and sandboxing for websites.
Safari received a complete visual overhaul in OS X Yosemite, introducing a new streamlined look that does away with the favorites bar by default and a revamped Tab View that displays all open tabs in a tiled arrangement, much like iOS.
Safari has also benefitted from Handoff, a Continuity feature that allows users to open a webpage on a Mac and seamlessly continue browsing on an iOS device (or vice versa), and the browser natively supports Netflix, providing two extra hours of battery life when watching movies or TV shows.
Built into OS X Yosemite, Safari 8 is automatically installed alongside the new operating system. Released on October 16, Yosemite is estimated to be installed on approximately 20 percent of Macs at this point in time.
Apple’s new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 have begun hitting retail stores, as we reported earlier, and the tablets are now available for in-store pickup for a limited number of retail locations that have received shipments. It appears that in-store availability is limited to Wi-Fi only tablets at this time.
Many stores on the east coast of the United States are showing wide availability of both tablets as stores receive shipments and unpack boxes. Availability on the west coast is still limited as it is earlier in the day and stores are not yet prepared to begin retail sales.
Apple store employees appear to be unaware that stores are receiving stock today, as several phone calls placed by MacRumors resulted in responses suggesting the tablets would not arrive in stores until later in the week or early next week.
The iPad Air 2 is still showing shipping estimates of two to four days when ordered online, and some rumors have suggested that supplies are limited, which explains the tablet’s quiet in-store release. At announcement, Apple declined to state when the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 would be available in retail stores.
Apple’s iPad mini 3, meanwhile, appears to be available in greater supply, displaying shipping estimates of 24 hours. iPad mini 3 pricing starts at $399 for the entry-level model, while iPad Air 2 pricing starts at $499.
While the iPad mini 3 received only Touch ID and a gold color option, the iPad Air 2 has seen significant updates including a thinner design, a new “gapless” display, an anti-reflective coating, 2GB of RAM, an A8X processor, and an upgraded 8-megapixel camera.
A rare working Apple 1 computer has sold for a record $905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York, reports Reuters. Estimates suggested the motherboard might fetch between $300,000 and $500,000, but it ended up selling for far more.
The motherboard is believed to be one of approximately 50 Apple 1 computers that were originally constructed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs’ garage for sale in The Byte Shop. The motherboard is numbered “01-0070.”
Few Apple 1 computers survive today, and the one sold at the New York auction has fetched the highest price seen yet. The buyer of the computer remains unknown. Each Apple 1 originally sold for $666.66, and approximately 200 total units were produced.
Last year, two working Apple 1 computers complete with their original cardboard box were sold by German auction house Breker. One of the machines sold for $330,000, while a second fully functional Apple 1 computer sold for $671,400 as it included a letter from Steve Jobs intended for its original owner.
At Twitter’s Flight mobile developer conference, Jawbone just announced a new app called Drop, which lets you and your friends create and manage playlists with tweets. Hosain Rahman, Jawbone’s CEO, says that this would be very useful in party situations, where each guest wants to add a different song to the party playlist. Once you’re in the app, you can “drop” a song in a playlist by sending a tweet to a specific username. Further, you don’t need the app to add songs — your friends can just mention you on Twitter and the word “drop” followed by the name of the song or artist. According to Jawbone, the list is comprised of songs on Spotify or Rdio, so you’ll need a premium or paid subscription to either of the two music services to use Drop. It should be available for iOS today, with no word on an Android version just yet.
Filed under: Misc
Google has joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute to bring Street Views of Gombe National Park and its numerous chimpanzees. Using portable Trekkers, Google’s intrepid photogs captured thousands of 360-degree images in the jungles where Goodall first started her research. Some of the Institute’s favorite highlights include a chimp called “Google” swinging on a vine (above), the slopes of Gombe, a group of chimpanzees fishing for termites and the interior of Jane’s house. To head down the trails or up into the tree canopies yourself, hit the source — there’s a monkey around every corner.
Fitness trackers come a dime a dozen and worse, they all seem to do the same thing: monitor your step count, calorie burn and sleep quality. As it happens, the Life Tracker 1, the first device from a startup called Pivotal Living, does all these things, and not much more. But it’s not what the product does or how it looks that has the potential to distinguish it — it’s how you pay for it. Whereas most health trackers cost somewhere around $100, and work with a free companion app, Pivotal Living is charging $12 a year for access to its Android and iOS apps. For the money, you also get the hardware, a simple plastic band with an OLED screen for showing your daily step and calorie count. Every time the company introduces a new iteration, you can renew or extend your subscription for $12 and in so doing, get the latest piece of kit. If you ever cancel, you can keep the band and continue to view your daily stats on the device; you just won’t have access to the app, or any of your big-picture data.
Basically, then, it’s like the fitness equivalent of a subsidized phone: In exchange for long-term service fees, you pay less for the hardware than you normally would. Except in this case, the math might actually work in the consumer’s favor. To equal the cost of Jawbone’s $130 Up24 band, for instance, you’d have to pay $12 a year for more than 10 years, and keep the same device that whole time. That’s just not happening, though. I mean, first of all, a device won’t last nearly that long. Even Jawbone’s bands, which are somewhat ruggedized, have just a one-year warranty. And besides, there comes a point when you want to keep up with the technology. Imagine how the owners of the older Up band felt when Jawbone finally came out with one that could sync wirelessly? Then imagine putting up with that sort of thing for a whole decade. Yeah, like I said: not happening.
So in theory, then, the $12-a-year deal could be worth it — if, of course, the device works well and the user experience is good. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t used the Life Tracker 1 beyond a few minutes of hands-on time, so I can’t tell you how accurate the calorie and step read-outs are. But from what I’ve seen, the app seems well-designed and easy to use. From the app, you can drill down to get more information on your weight, how well you slept, how many calories you’ve burned, how active you’ve been and how well hydrated you are. Throughout, the app is color-coded, so it’s especially easy to know if you’ve left the calorie section and have entered the sleep graph. And hey, who doesn’t love a rainbow palette?
I also like how easy it is to enter information in the app. If you want to adjust your current weight for instance, or indicate how much water you’ve had to drink, you can do so by moving your finger over a sliding scale; no text input necessary. In fact, it’s for that reason that the current app doesn’t include a food-logging feature — CEO David Donovick says there’s just no convenient way to do it. (Jawbone might beg to differ.) Also, in the event that some of your friends use the app too, you get fine, granular control over exactly which stats certain people and groups can see.
All told, the one thing that gives me pause is that the device doesn’t automatically sync data; you have to do it manually by swiping down in the app to refresh. I suppose this could be beneficial to battery life (the device is rated for five to seven days of runtime), but that’s also not how people expect a fitness tracker to work nowadays. Speaking of battery life, the device charges over USB, and takes a little under an hour to reach 100 percent.
The device is up for pre-order now, and is expected to ship the first or second week of December. Will we review it? Maybe, maybe not. In the meantime, would any of you do a subscription deal like this? Sound off in the comments.
Filed under: Wearables
Source: Pivotal Living
As the music video starts, Avicii nonchalantly wanders into Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena. He strolls past the venue’s reception; a Grand Marnier poster gets some vital screen time. The bass drops. The crowd goes wild. For some reason, I feel like drinking.
Over the past few weeks, Avicii fans in the US have been unknowingly drawing an association between their favorite Swedish DJ’s proghouse hit “Lay me Down” and orange-flavored cognac. Everywhere else in the world, the brand is never seen — a plain wall lies in its place. It’s one of the first examples of a new kind of temporary product placement called “digital insertion.” Typically, product placement currently takes the form of a lingering product shot — like a Beats Pill speaker at the start of a Miley Cyrus video. With recent advances, companies can now use algorithms to digitally serve you unique product placements based on where you live, your age or your salary. It’s a creepy concept, but it could change advertising forever.
The Grand Marnier spot is the work of Mirriad, an agency that sells what it calls “advertising for the skip generation.” Mirriad uses highly complex analysis tools to map video clips, automatically discerning the best places to insert products, billboards and other adverts. The software it created tracks objects and backgrounds in each frame, creating an optical flow of how objects move from second to second and essentially mapping the video in 3D. This enables both planar tracking (for modifying flat surfaces like walls, computer screens or newspapers) and 3D tracking (for placing complex 3D objects into a moving scene).
Mark Popkiewicz, Mirriad CEO, explains the potential for the company’s technology. “We can embed brand assets, digital forms of whatever the brand is. It could be signage, like posters or billboards; it could be actual products. Anything from a can of Coke, a packet of Frosties, a mobile phone. You name it. It can even be a car; we’ve done many of those.”
Mirriad has signed some big deals with Vevo and Universal Music Group (UMG) over the past six months. It also recently announced a partnership with advertising firm Havas to match the right companies to the right videos. Havas is an industry giant with huge brands on its books, and the first wave of Mirriad-UMG placements will include Coca-Cola, LG and Dish Network.
Product placement is obviously nothing new. It dates back almost a century in radio and film, and has its beginnings in literature: Companies reportedly clamored to get a mention in Jules Verne’s 19th century novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Music videos, too, have long been firmly in the grasp of brands, with many clips acting as thinly veiled advertisements for Beats, Coca-Cola and countless other brands. However, these placements come with their problems.
Advertising is ephemeral. Why should product placement be any different?
Ever seen the first minute of Hilary Duff’s “All About You” video? It’s essentially an Amazon Fire Phone commercial. How valuable will that ad be to Amazon in five years’ time? You need only look at the countless ’00s musicians flashing two-way pagers for your answer. Regular advertising, be it in print, web or TV, is ephemeral. The ads running alongside this article, for example, are for current products and companies. Why should product placement be any different? Once Grand Marnier’s contract expires, Avicii may be walking past a Ford poster, or a can of Sprite.
But let’s not forget location. At the time of writing, the Fire Phone is available in exactly three countries, yet anyone in the world can watch “All About You.” With digital product placement, the same artist can plug different brands depending on where the video is viewed. When it comes to buying these ads, Mirriad’s software automatically generates metadata about videos it processes, cataloging not only the advertising opportunities in each, but also the ideal target market and the value of placements — in fact, it’s really quite similar to web advertising. Rather than Microsoft placing branding on Taylor Swift’s wall, the company need only come to Mirriad and explain what kind of people it wants to advertise to. A campaign could target a million views from 16- to 24-year-olds in the US over a four-week period. Mirriad then embeds the relevant ads into as many videos as necessary to meet that target, using existing analytics from YouTube and others to prove their worth.
“There’s no algorithm in the world that can tell you, ‘This is a good place for Smirnoff.’”
“Our algorithms monitor down to a pixel level the actual exposure on screen, time, size, location and orientation of the brand so that we’re always meeting and exceeding a minimum level of exposure,” says Popkiewicz. “Our technology is monitoring that, so that when you buy a campaign from us, you’re going to get a guaranteed level of exposure … For the brands, it takes the uncertainty out of advertising.” Of course, there are limits to what can be automated. “There’s no algorithm in the world that can tell you, ‘This is a good place for Smirnoff because it’s a party atmosphere,’ as opposed to, ‘This is a good place for Starbucks because it’s an office environment.’ Those sort of things we have to leave to human judgment.”
Mirriad has already brought its ads to TV, and it’s not the first company to do so, either. If you’re in the UK and you watch Hannibal or Bones, chances are you’ve seen some digital product placement, while in the US, rival firm SeamBI offered a similar service that was used to, among other things, insert up-to-date ads into reruns of How I Met Your Mother. SeamBI was founded almost a decade ago, but it’s unclear what’s happened to the company. It hasn’t issued a press release in over two years; its founders are all working elsewhere; and a request for comment on this article was left unanswered. For now, it seems, Mirriad has this potentially lucrative market largely to itself.
Popkiewicz is coy when quizzed on where the company’s placements might end up next, but is clear the company has big ambitions. TV could potentially be a far bigger market for Mirriad and other firms than music videos. There’s an obvious trend away from traditional television and toward digital content, whether through on-demand services from existing TV companies (think Hulu or HBO Go), or from all-digital services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. As we move away from watching live broadcasts or buying Blu-ray boxsets, Mirriad’s techniques become more and more feasible, and with a growing audience the potential for more complex placements increases.
Although none of the big streaming players are keen on discussing the viability of product placement, TV studios are happy to explain its potential benefits and drawbacks behind closed doors. “As you offer your shows around the world through syndication, you encounter different laws about product placement,” one executive, who prefers to remain anonymous, explains. “Adding ads after the fact increases the amount of money you can make from syndication because each country that airs your show can potentially generate revenue.” Another executive felt similarly upbeat about the financial possibilities, but did note that placements would have to be “tasteful” in order to prevent upsetting its shows’ “biggest fans.”
“If you’re not careful to be tasteful, you’ll just end up upsetting your biggest fans.”
Services like Netflix could be key to kicking product placement up a gear. There’s nothing preventing distributors from supplying streaming sites with special versions of your favorite show for various territories, each with different product placements from the version that aired on TV. Similarly, a service could, at any given moment, have hundreds of versions of a particular video for targeted advertising, serving Coca-Cola ads to teens or Grand Marnier to 20-somethings. Of course, this would require a lot of work on Netflix’s end — the company told us it has “nothing to share” on the matter — but should it make financial sense for both parties, it’s hard to see it not happening in some form.
The same could be true for on-demand movies. Of course there would be some backlash if, for example, Quentin Tarantino’s Big Kahuna Burger joints suddenly turned into McDonald’s, but with a subtle hand, there’s a chance you may not even notice a new bottle of Coke in the background of your favorite Pulp Fiction scene.
Google is just rolling out all sorts of fun announcements this month, with Lollipop and Nexus devices last week, Songza integration yesterday, and now a new feature of Gmail called Inbox.
Inbox was announced on Wednesday on the Official Google Blog, and is essentially a combination of the app Mailbox and Google Now into one, all inside your email.
What Inbox does is makes your email life easier. It does this in several ways (from the Google Blog announcement):
“Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.
Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.
Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.
And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it’s open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.
Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.”
Below is a video Google made to advertise Inbox. Currently this feature is being rolled out slowly, with invites being sent out, where eventually people will be able to invite more and more people. A few of us here at AndroidGuys have requested on invite, so we’ll update you when we get the chance to try it out.
What do you think? Is this something you’d like on your phone?
The post Google announces Inbox, a new way to handle email, tasks, and life appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google has confirmed in a note to developers asking them to ready their apps for the public release of Android 5.0 Lollipop scheduled for a November 3rd launch.
Requesting “we recommend that you test your apps and publish any needed updates to the Play Store”, Google wants to ensure that there are plenty of apps with material design and tested on Android 5.0 Lollipop for when it is released to the public.
Android Lollipop will come preloaded on the Nexus 9 (which releases on November 3rd) the Nexus 6, and inevitably will trickle down to other supported devices in the following weeks.
The post Android 5.0 will be made available to the public on November 3 appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google has announced, and released, a new app today that is quite something else really. The new app is simply called Inbox by Gmail. It is just that too, an Inbox for all your Googley things, not just your email.
Inbox by Gmail automatically works with your current Gmail account. This isn’t an update to Gmail, but a separate app that is designed to enhance your life. In a nutshell, Inbox will group messages into Bundles. This allows you to deal with similar messages all at once instead of pecking around. The Bundles are based on the content inside the messages or by filters you create on your own. Highlights will bring up the most important information without having to ever open up the message. For instance, shipping information inside an email will simply display. Toss in reminders, snooze and search and you have one very, seemingly, cool app that compliments your Gmail life. Take a quick look at the video.
Inbox by Gmail is free, but you will need an invite from a friend or from Google to gain access to it. You might want to start blasting your contacts for a little help. Otherwise you can email the Gmail team at email@example.com and request access.
You can download the new app from the Play Store, but it does seem to be region locked to just the US. The APK is available for you to install if you can’t access it on the Play Store, but without an invite into the service you will be out of luck anyways. Pick it up and get a request filed. If you happen to already be in, shoot us an invite!
Inbox by Gmail APK download available at Gappsearly
Source: Google Blog Via AndroidPolice
The post Google Launches ‘Inbox by Gmail’ to the Play Store [APK Download] appeared first on AndroidSPIN.