Tag Archive | "Apple"

SearchCap: Apple search ads, Google’s newest search features & latest carousel test

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Apple Unveils iPhone X, Here’s What it Can Do

On Tuesday, Apple hosted its first-ever event at the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. The company unveiled several new products at the event which included 4K Apple TV and the Apple Watch Series 3 which comes with a cellular connection. Of course, the highlight of the evening was the announcement of Apple’s new line of smartphones—the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the tenth-anniversary phone aptly named the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten).

The first iPhone launched on June 9th, 2007, with spectacular success. Ten years later, Apple is set to make waves yet again with the iPhone X.  Packed with innovative new features, the flagship model phone will be a must-have for Apple enthusiasts and a new cash cow for the company.

Face ID

Previous speculations were indeed correct. With iPhone X, Apple decided to ditch Touch ID as the phone primary security feature. Instead, the new phone now sports an all-new Face ID system touted to be even more secure than the Touch ID it replaces.

So just how secure is iPhone X’s Face ID? The Touch ID fingerprint sensor comes with a one in 50,000 chance of a person other than you being able to unlock the device. With the new Face ID, however, the odds are now one in a million.

In fact, Apple is convinced that the new Face ID is so secure that it can be used to authorize purchases on Apple Pay. Since it uses a 3D sensing technology, the system cannot be fooled by a mere 2D photo of your face. In addition, the technology is advanced enough to recognize your unique facial features even if you’re wearing eyeglasses and a hat.

Ultra Sharp Edge To Edge Screen

The new iPhone X also comes with a vastly improved display resolution. It has a high resolution, 2436×1125 5.8 inch OLED display dubbed by Apple as a super retina display. To boot, the screen has over two million pixels, offering the sharpest display ever on an iPhone model.

What is even more exciting is the bezel-less display, allowing for a wider screen without any added bulkiness to the device. However, this also means that there is no longer a home button. To wake the phone, you’ll simply need to tap the screen.

New Cameras

The new iPhone X is also equipped with new cameras. The front camera is a 7 MP TrueDepth camera that Apple specifically developed not only for taking great selfies but also for use as the sensor of the new Face ID technology, Macworld reported.

At the back of the phone is a dual-lens 12MP camera complete with a wide angle lens to capture scenery and a telephoto lens if you need to zoom in on your subject. The new phone is said to be capable of producing the highest quality video on any available smartphone with improvements to its stabilization technology (new gyroscopes and accelerometers) resulting in less shaky outputs. You can now capture 4K videos at 60 fps or opt for a slo-mo 240 fps at 1080p.

Animoji Feature

If you’re the type of person who loves emojis, then it’s hard to ignore iPhone X’s  cool new “Animoji” feature. The phone allows you to make brief clips of your face and turn them into instant emojis. With the Facial recognition capability of the phone, it can help make an emoji that best represents the facial expression you are making at the moment.

Wireless Charging

Apple has finally embraced wireless charging technology for its latest products. The iPhone X, along with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, will be charged wirelessly using the Qi standard. Apple is tweaking the technology a bit and plans to later launch AirPower, an accessory that allows you to simultaneously charge three devices.

Retail Price

There are two variants to the iPhone X. The 64GB phone is priced at $ 999 while the 256GB variant sells for $ 1,149. A11 Bionic chip powers the iPhone X with its 6-core CPU design said to be the most powerful for a smartphone. Coupled with the three-core GPU designed by Apple, the phone is powerful enough for machine learning and 3D games.

Unfortunately, fans will have to wait a bit before they could get their hands on Apples tenth anniversary phone. The iPhone X released date is slated for November 3, 2017. However, Apple is accepting pre-orders starting October 27.

In the meantime, you might want to check out on the two other new phones unveiled by Apple. iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch Retina display while the bigger iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch display. Both devices are available on September 22 but you can preorder as early as September 15.

[Featured Image by Apple/Youtube]

 

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iPhone 8 Leaks: Is Apple Planning To Replace Touch With Face ID?

While everyone waits with bated breath on the unveiling of Apple’s newest flagship smartphone, the anticipation continues to mount as more rumors and speculations surface about the device. The latest leaks, if accurate, will give Apple fans something to truly be excited about as the new iPhone would sport a pioneering and game-changing feature– the introduction of Face ID.

Latest iPhone 8 leaks seem to indicate that the upcoming phone would reflect Apple’s transition from fingerprint scanning to facial recognition for security, according to Forbes. The latest component leaked suggests a 3D sensing camera module which, coupled with the lack of information on a Touch ID system, could mean that the upcoming flagship smartphone could be the first to introduce 3D Face ID technology to mobile phones.

If this rumor is correct, it would also mean that Apple’s next flagship will be way ahead of its competitor by about two years. According to BGR, Samsung’s facial recognition system is only 2D and not the rumored 3D capability of the iPhone 8. For this reason, Samsung’s Face ID can be “hacked” by a picture, the reason why it can’t be used to authenticate financial transactions.

There is also another implication for the iPhone’s rumored 3D sensing camera. Aside from its use as a security feature of the smartphone, the 3D sensing capability could also be utilized to unlock the VR and augmented reality potential of the gadget.

One possible concern that Apple’s Face ID would need to address is speed. How long will it take the device to recognize a face? Rival facial recognition systems like the Windows Hello take a moment to process a face in front of it. If Apple wants the new technology to be the killer feature of its upcoming flagship, it needs to have a processing speed comparable, if not faster, to the current Touch ID.

But it seems that Apple already got this concern covered. According to MacRumors , iPhone 8’s Face ID will be able to unlock the phone in just a few hundred milliseconds. Now that is fast.

[Featued Image By Maurizio Pesce/Flickr]

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SearchCap: Google pollen search, Google reviews bug & Google pays Apple

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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SearchCap: Apple hirings local experts, SEO tips & location ads

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Apple Shares Source Code For Machine Learning Framework at WWDC 2017

Apple’s recent WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) saw the unheralded release of Core ML, which will reportedly make it easier for developers to come up with machine learning tools across the Apple ecosystem.

The way this works is that developers need to convert their creations into an API that is compatible with the Core ML. They then have to load their programs into the Apple Xcode development before it can be installed on the iOS.

Developers can use any of the following frameworks: Keras, XGBoost, LibSVM, Caffe, and scikit-learn. To make it even easier for them to load their models, Apple is allowing them to come up with their own converter.

According to Apple, the Core ML is “a new foundational machine learning framework used across Apple products, including Siri, Camera, and QuickType.”

The company explained that this new machine learning tool would be “the foundation for domain-specific frameworks and functionality.”

One of the primary advantages of the Core ML is that it speeds up the artificial intelligence on the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and perhaps the soon-to-be-released Siri speaker. If it works the way that is billed, any AI task on the iPhone, for instance, would be six times quicker compared to the Android.

The machine learning tools supported by Apple Core ML include linear models, neural networks, and tree ensembles. The company also promised that private data by users won’t be compromised by this new endeavor. This means that developers can’t just tinker with any phone to steal private information.

Core ML also supports:

  • Foundation for Natural Language Processing
  • Vision for Image Analysis
  • Gameplay Kit

“Core ML itself builds on top of low-level primitives like Accelerate and BNNS, as well as Metal Performance Shaders,” the company added.

But Apple is reportedly not content with just releasing the Core ML. According to rumors, the company is looking to fulfill its promise of helping to build a very fast mobile platform. In fact, if the rumors are true, the company is also building a much better chip that can handle AI tasks without compromising performance.

Though Core ML seems promising, Apple is certainly not blazing the trail when it comes to machine learning. In fact, Facebook and Google have already unveiled their own machine learning frameworks to optimize the mobile user’s experience.

The new machine learning framework is still part of Apple’s Core Brand, which already includes Core Audio, Core Location, and Core Image as announced earlier.

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SearchCap: Google Home users, Apple expands search ads & Google suggested video clips

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Apple Publishes First AI Research Paper on Using Adversarial Training to Improve Realism of Synthetic Imagery

Earlier this month Apple pledged to start publicly releasing its research on artificial intelligence. During the holiday week, Apple has released its first AI research paper detailing how its engineers and computer scientists used adversarial training to improve the typically poor quality of synthetic, computer game style images, which are frequently used to help machines learn.

The paper’s authors are Ashish Shrivastava, a researcher in deep learning, Tomas Pfister, another deep learning scientist at Apple, Wenda Wang, Apple R&D engineer, Russ Webb, a Senior Research Engineer, Oncel Tuzel, Machine Learning Researcher and Joshua Susskind, who co-founded Emotient in 2012 and is a deep learning scientist.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-10-03-16-am

The team describes their work on improving synthetic images to improve overall machine learning:

With recent progress in graphics, it has become more tractable to train models on synthetic images, potentially avoiding the need for expensive annotations. However, learning from synthetic images may not achieve the desired performance due to a gap between synthetic and real image distributions. To reduce this gap, we propose Simulated+Unsupervised (S+U) learning, where the task is to learn a model to improve the realism of a simulator’s output using unlabeled real data, while preserving the annotation information from the simulator.

We developed a method for S+U learning that uses an adversarial network similar to Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), but with synthetic images as inputs instead of random vectors. We make several key modifications to the standard GAN algorithm to preserve annotations, avoid artifacts and stabilize training: (i) a ‘self-regularization’ term, (ii) a local adversarial loss, and (iii) updating the discriminator using a history of refined images. We show that this enables generation of highly realistic images, which we demonstrate both qualitatively and with a user study.

We quantitatively evaluate the generated images by training models for gaze estimation and hand pose estimation. We show a significant improvement over using synthetic images, and achieve state-of-the-art results on the MPIIGaze dataset without any labeled real data.

Conclusions and Future Work

“We have proposed Simulated+Unsupervised learning to refine a simulator’s output with unlabeled real data,” says the Apple AI Scientists. “S+U learning adds realism to the simulator and preserves the global structure and the annotations of the synthetic images. We described SimGAN, our method for S+U learning, that uses an adversarial network and demonstrated state-of-the-art results without any labeled real data.”

They added, “In future, we intend to explore modeling the noise distribution to generate more than one refined image for each synthetic image, and investigate refining videos rather than single images.”

View the research paper (PDF).

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Apple App Store Growing Fast, Paid $20 Billion to App Developers in 2016

The Apple App Store has paid out over $ 20 billion to developers in 2016, which is an increase of over 40% over 2015, according to Apple. They also said that January 1, 2017 had the highest dollar volume of app purchases of any single day in the Apple App Store’s history, with over $ 240 million in sales. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $ 60 billion.

“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $ 20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created — which together with our products — help to truly enrich people’s lives.”

Apple also noted that December 2016 was an amazing month for App purchases, hitting over $ 3 billion in sales.

Subscription billings, which became available just this Fall in all categories, are one of the fastest growing segments of app sales. There are over 20,000 apps that can be subscribed to for a monthly fee including popular services such as Netflix, HBO Now, Line, Tinder and MLB.com At Bat. Subscription based apps generated $ 2.7 billion in billings in 2016, up 74% over 2015.

Apple also recently announced a Best of 2016 Music list:

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SearchCap: Google iOS app, broken AMP & Apple results

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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