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I wrote an opinion piece last year speculating on whether Apple would switch from Lightning to USB-C, and when it might do so. A new report today suggests that the company is planning to do so this year, in the iPhone 8.
I argued then that there were compelling reasons for Apple to make the switch. While the Lightning port is a clever standard, USB-C is even smarter and more capable. Adopting a single port across both Mac and iOS devices would massively simplify the cable and connector ecosystem. And the high-speed data transfer capabilities provided by USB-C would allow Apple devices to work together better than ever.
I addressed the three possible objections before, but let’s quickly summarize them here …
One, that there would be protest at Apple switching its iPhone and iPad ports again, especially from those who own accessories that use the Lightning port. I agree that there will, but Apple has weathered such protests many times: from abandoning the floppy drive in the iMac to dropping the headphone socket in the iPhone 7. People complain, sometimes loudly, then they gradually get used to the idea.
Two, that the USB-C socket is thicker than the lightning socket. It is, but not massively so, and Android manufacturers have already demonstrated that it’s no barrier to making ultra-slim devices.
Three, that Apple would be sacrificing the income it gets from licensing Lightning accessories through its MFi program. Also true, but this money is peanuts to a company of Apple’s size – and there have already been indications that the company is becoming less strict with MFi, and perhaps even transitioning away from controlling cables, connectors and cases.
As my colleague Benjamin Mayo tweeted earlier, the apparent plan to launch both an iPhone 7S/Plus and a radically different iPhone 8 design allows Apple to mitigate objections from Lightning fans.
The 2+1 new iPhone cycle seems smart. It gives Apple flexibility to do more radical stuff with the high end model without alienating people.
— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) February 28, 2023
The 7S will likely have the same Lightning socket as its predecessor, allowing people to retain compatibility with accessories as they upgrade, while those ready for a bigger break with the past can invest in the iPhone 8. Everyone’s happy.
Ok, not true: people who want the near-bezel-free design while also wanting to retain compatibility with Lightning devices won’t be happy. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Technically, it would be possible for Apple to hedge its bets here: there is enough room in an iPad for the company to include both a Lightning and USB-C socket. But I don’t think it will do so – it’s too messy. Both visually (I can’t see Jony Ive going for it) and because the two sockets look sufficiently similar that it risks confusion.
I would also argue that Apple’s approach on the Macs has been vindicated. There was a lot of outrage at the time, and there are still some holdouts who object to the decision, but the majority quickly favored the move. Manufacturers made USB-C cables and adapted their accessories, and readers reported that adapting to the all-USB-C world had been a painless experience.
Even now, when we polled our readers, three-quarters supported the idea of Apple switching to USB-C in the iPad if it also did the same in the iPhone. So personally I think the time is right. I very much hope that Apple makes the switch to USB-C this year for both iPhone 8 and iPad.
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We all think we know what bank branches are supposed to look like: rows of tellers behind a counter, some offices behind them. But for companies like HSBC, they are a blank canvas onto which innovative customer experiences can be painted.
About a year ago, for example, HSBC embarked on a pilot project with Samsung at its 452 Fifth Ave. branch in the heart of New York City involving wearables. The outcome of that pilot could change what consumers expect when they walk into a financial institution’s brick-and-mortar location.
HSBC deployed a customized watch face using Samsung smartwatches, and is using preset text messages that can empower its employees with more fluid, real-time communications. Those attending the upcoming Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) on Oct. 29-30 in San Jose, California, will get a closer look during a session called “Developer’s Insight: Samsung’s Wearables for Enterprise Project.”
“The traditional communication systems in most corporate environments were designed decades ago,” Maurice White, senior manager of solution innovations at Samsung, pointed out in an interview ahead of SDC. “There’s still a lot that’s based on the phone and paper. HSBC wanted to innovate with communications that would provide a greater level of discretion and professionalism, and wearables met the need and the use case better than any form factor.”Imagining the branch of the future
Even though they’ve been a fixture in cities and small towns all over the world for centuries, there are no fixed rules on what a bank branch should look like when consumers walk through the doors. HSBC decided to brainstorm the possibilities by bringing together an internal team that included both its IT department and developers as well as those on the front lines who could act as the voice of the customer.Customize Wearables in the Workplace
Learn how to develop new and innovative wearable apps tailored precisely to your business needs. Download Now
The Samsung smartwatches help by allowing employees to quickly and easily let a colleague know a customer has arrived for an appointment or ask to have a manager come by, rather than disappearing momentarily and leaving customers wondering.Streamlining communications improves customer attention
Using a wearable also frees up branch employees from being stuck at their desks so they can focus more of their attention on the conversations they’re having with customers. According to White, it’s a good example of where a smartwatch can complement the capabilities business professionals already enjoy with a smartphone.
“Companies are looking to streamline business processes, speed up the time it takes to complete tasks, track users’ safety and security, and engage employees with new ways of collaboration,” he said.
This helps explain why, earlier this year, the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast the global wearables market will expand to 279 million units by the end of 2023, with enterprise use as one of the biggest drivers.
While wearables can span many different kinds of devices, IDC’s data shows smartwatches already accounted for 44.2 percent of the market in 2023, and will grow to at least 47.1 percent within three years.Enabling rapid enterprise innovation
White said success with wearables starts with recognizing the kinds of workflows that align with a smaller form factor like a smartwatch.
“You’re looking for processes to gain throughput quickly,” he said, such as accepting a job request or approving an order. “You want to be in a situation where you can open it up, turn the bezel, press the button and you’re done.”
Customers are turning to Samsung as they explore wearable opportunities because it is one of the few vendors that offer not only devices and applications, but the safety of platforms like Knox, White said, that provide the manageability and security capabilities enterprises demand. This includes the ability to easily configure and provision wearables and also whitelist, blacklist or remove inappropriate apps.Flexibility for all industries
Samsung is also offering clients training in building apps for wearables, including sample code and expertise to build these solutions. In some cases, these projects are completed in a matter of days. HSBC is paving the way in finance, but there are many other markets exploring wearables, too.
“Manufacturing is a good one,” White said, noting how one Samsung customer has deployed the smartwatches to improve communication in factory settings that are so loud employees can’t hear themselves through walkie-talkies if they need to order more materials. “What that did was decrease the line downtime, which is critical because every time a line went down, it would cost the manufacturer money.”
White’s session, in which he will be copresenting with HSBC Head of Innovation Jeremy K. Balkin, will not only walk through the pilot project, but discuss some of the ways the organization is measuring the results and long-term return on investment.
Here’s what you can expect at this year’s SDC. Explore the ways you can customize wearables in your workplace with this free white paper.
Apple Watch Series 3 was announced in September 2023 alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and while it didn’t come with a new design, Series 3 brought important enhancements, like a faster processor and the cellular version. Nearly four years later, Series 3 is still available in stores — but perhaps it’s time for Apple to discontinue it for good.
When Apple Watch Series 3 was introduced, it brought a long-awaited feature, which is the ability to receive and make phone calls without an iPhone nearby. Series 3 also features the S3 chip, which is 70% faster than the S2 chip found in the Apple Watch Series 2. While these were great improvements at the time, it doesn’t seem that the Apple Watch Series 3 has aged all that well.
Even after the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE in September last year, Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3 as a cheaper option of its smartwatch — which starts at $199 in the US. However, the decision to keep Series 3 for another year may not have been a good idea.Why Apple Watch Series 3 is bad in 2023
Despite Apple’s efforts to keep the Apple Watch Series 3 updated with the latest and greatest software, the hardware simply can no longer handle new versions of watchOS. An article from The Verge published on Tuesday highlights exactly what I’m talking about. “Updating an Apple Watch Series 3 is a nightmare in 2023,” says the publication.
Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. As the report points out, it has become nearly impossible to install watchOS updates on Series 3 without having to restore the entire device first. This is because the GPS version of the Series 3 only has 8GB of internal storage, which is not enough to run watchOS 7 with apps, music, and other user content.
I constantly hear from friends who own an Apple Watch Series 3 that they always get the same error when trying to install system updates. watchOS tells them that there isn’t enough storage space, even when they don’t have any third-party apps installed or music stored. According to Apple, the not-so-user-friendly solution is to completely restore all Apple Watch data and settings to install the latest version of watchOS.This only hurts the user experience
Well, it’s hard to say because only Apple has the answer to that, but most likely, the company wanted something to say that you can buy an Apple Watch for just $199. It’s definitely amazing to hear that there’s an Apple Watch that costs this cheap, but you shouldn’t buy a Series 3 in 2023, even with the lower price.
So what should Apple do now? If the company really cares about the user experience, it should discontinue the Apple Watch Series 3 while it can. And by that, I mean before it announces watchOS 8 at WWDC 2023. It makes no sense to keep forcing users into a bad experience just to brag about the $199 price tag or to say that older Apple Watch models can still get software updates.Read also:
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Do you really need a new phone?
If you’re still unsure which phone to get, check out our best smartphone chart. Got a specific budget in mind? Head to our best mid-range phone or best budget phone round-ups instead.
Once you’re satisfied that you’re making the right decision, there are a number of key times when you should be considering a purchase.As soon as it’s available
Nothing quite beats getting a phone when it’s just come out. Having the latest and greatest smartphone will always have that buzz that can’t be replicated if you hold off.
This would obviously be most people’s decision if money was no object, but you do have to be aware that most phones’ value drops quickly after release. Technology moves at such a pace that what might seem like class-leading specs can soon feel outdated.
That is the risk you run when buying a phone as soon as it is released, provided you don’t plan on upgrading every year.Black Friday
Black Friday 2023 will be held on 29 November. Companies are often falling over themselves trying to outcompete each other, and this is good news for us consumers.
Combined with Cyber Monday, usually held three days later, it is a golden time to invest in smartphones ahead of the busy Christmas period.
Of course, the discount available depends hugely on which phone you’re looking at, as well as the original value of the phone. 10% off a flagship will be far more tempting than 10% off a budget handset.
If you’re thinking about buying a phone at the time of writing, we’d recommend you hold out for just a few more weeks for the deals to roll in.
It’s also worth keeping a lookout for Amazon’s Prime Day, the company’s deals extravaganza held each July. This was extended to 48 hours in 2023, and many smartphones had their prices slashed.A few months after launch
Major manufacturers often heavily discount their current phones in the lead-up to a major new release. This is a way of building hype for the new release, but it does mean you can get a great deal.
For example, at the time of writing you can pick up a used Google Pixel 3 on Amazon for under £400, almost half its original retail price.
Check out our deals page for more great offers.
Within this, you want to look at future-proofing. How long will the phone continue to receive software updates? For example, Apple’s iPhone 6s can still be updated to the latest version of iOS despite being released in 2023. On the flip side, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 won’t get Android 10 even though it was released in 2023.
It’s worth checking before you buy, because it can be very easy to get caught out.
You might think you can roll without software updates, and while that is true to an extent, it does leave you exposed to viruses and malware. Hackers often target software that is out of date and therefore may have security flaws.Once the next model has been released
At this point, the stock is much more difficult for companies to shift and so prices can plummet. Once the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 came out, the Note 9 dropped to £619, almost £300 less than its original price.
If you’re considering something even older, you can pick up the Galaxy Note 8 for
If this is an option for you, it might be worth evaluating whether a cheap new handset is more cost efficient than an older flagship.
While we’re all accustomed to traditional BI tools, AI analytics can uncover hidden opportunities within data, that humans simply cannot. General business intelligence tools cannot keep up with the pace of modern-day businesses; the information they provide is too late. Let’s understand the shortcomings of big data dashboards to access whyDemerits Of Big Data Dashboards
Dashboards Don’t Show Actionable Visualizations The bar graphs and charts will show you a picture of what is working well and what is not but in a very generalized way. But these visualizations don’t tell why those metrics hold a specific value and why it is necessary to execute the fast reaction to control the business problem. The quick reaction of solving the problem and leveraging the opportunity where business intelligence integrates with business strategy. But with general indications like the kind the dashboard gives, it’s difficult. Big Data Dashboards Ignore Isolated But Significant Data Irregularities Oftentimes, business scenarios that affect only one component of businesses go ignored amidst all the statistics and metrics. But at what cost? A small dip may represent a large, missed opportunity. For example, a small spike in online orders from a specific demographic might indicate a small-scale marketing success that earned more revenue. Another hitch in the system is the dashboard’s nature of summarizing which blocks real-time insights. In order to find the reason for the metrics, one needs to group and correlate multiple anomalies with a combination of event data. But this cannot be possible without analyzing data to the most intricate level. For this type of intricacies, a solution that scales millions of individual metrics that’s being collected. However, traditional One Can’t Be Dependent On Big Data Dashboards Alone On their own, big data dashboards cannot detect anything. This is the reason The Insights Are Usually Too Late The Advantages Of AI Analytics AI analytics groups and correlates several anomalies to bring the most important insights first. AI analytics systems can monitor millions of metrics at an intricate level, giving the user the details and the method to identify business incidents that matter, even the subtle ones that big data dashboards would have missed.
It’s time to welcome AI analytics and retire big data dashboards. While we’re all accustomed to traditional BI tools, AI analytics can uncover hidden opportunities within data, that humans simply cannot. General business intelligence tools cannot keep up with the pace of modern-day businesses; the information they provide is too late. Let’s understand the shortcomings of big data dashboards to access why AI analytics can provide more accurate real-time. The bar graphs and charts will show you a picture of what is working well and what is not but in a very generalized way. But these visualizations don’t tell why those metrics hold a specific value and why it is necessary to execute the fast reaction to control the business problem. The quick reaction of solving the problem and leveraging the opportunity where business intelligence integrates with business strategy. But with general indications like the kind the dashboard gives, it’s difficult.Oftentimes, business scenarios that affect only one component of businesses go ignored amidst all the statistics and metrics. But at what cost? A small dip may represent a large, missed opportunity. For example, a small spike in online orders from a specific demographic might indicate a small-scale marketing success that earned more revenue. Another hitch in the system is the dashboard’s nature of summarizing which blocks real-time insights. In order to find the reason for the metrics, one needs to group and correlate multiple anomalies with a combination of event data. But this cannot be possible without analyzing data to the most intricate level. For this type of intricacies, a solution that scales millions of individual metrics that’s being collected. However, traditional dashboards can’t keep with the massive amounts of data that constantly pour chúng tôi their own, big data dashboards cannot detect anything. This is the reason data analysts set up manual monitoring sessions, called static thresholds. This static threshold generates a lot of alerts on which data analysts have to spend the majority of their time figuring out what the cause is. While doing this, data analysts miss out on focusing on other important things. Big data dashboards suffer from inherent business insight latency. Even if there is human monitoring the system, the dashboards will still miss out on real-time actionable insights, or be too late. In bigger business scenarios, this lag can cost more to the business than just time, money, and the reputation of the company is on the chúng tôi analytics groups and correlates several anomalies to bring the most important insights first. AI analytics systems can monitor millions of metrics at an intricate level, giving the user the details and the method to identify business incidents that matter, even the subtle ones that big data dashboards would have missed. Automated anomaly detection, a feature of artificial intelligence analytics , will give talented data professionals more time to focus on something that’s more important to push the business forward. Artificial intelligence-based analytics will constantly be analyzing the business data, detecting errors, and identifying patterns.
Nintendo Switch Pro soon
Well, well. Yesterday, we talked Valve working on various prototypes for a handheld, portable PC device, just like a Nintendo Switch.
And the Switch is in the spotlight today, because there are serious hints that Nintendo may launch the Switch Pro ahead of E3.
The virtual E3 event is set for June 12, which is just over two weeks away. So, soon?
Bloomberg reported it first, then Eurogamer added confirmations with additional sources, more or less suggesting a release around “September or October”.
What makes this really hot, though, is that some hints out there suggest the Switch Pro could even be announced as soon as today.
Why today? There are hints. And with tomorrow the start of a holiday weekend in the US, it could be the right time.
Switch Pro details:
The big Switch Pro specs that have emerged are a swap to an OLED panel, sourced from Samsung, running at 720p.
Plus there’s reportedly a big switch to NVIDIA Tegra graphics with DLSS, that will allow the console, when docked, to output 4K to a TV.
The current Switch will be quietly removed from shelves, though the Switch Lite will still be available.
No word on pricing, but “more than $299” is being reported.
As for the chip shortage hurting availability, Bloomberg’s report says this: “Production lines are better prepared for the potential component shake-up and the parts Nintendo is using are subject to less competition than those in its rivals’ more powerful consoles. Still, the company’s ability to meet consumer demand won’t be guaranteed.”
And I mean, Nintendo admitted as much this month, already: “Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said at its earnings press conference earlier this month that demand for the Switch remains high and the company wasn’t able to produce as many units as it wanted.”
About a year ago we talked about what we want to see in an upgraded Switch Pro console, including Bluetooth audio support, better Joy-Cons, and more.
👉 Google Pixel 6 series may use a GPU found in some Galaxy S21 models (Android Authority).
🎮 Sony hints at mobile games based on first party PlayStation franchises, and a PC version of Uncharted 4 has already been confirmed (Android Authority).
🆕 OnePlus TVs with 1080p camera, Google Duo support to launch soon (Android Authority).
🏀 LeBron James may have just proved the unannounced Beats Studio Buds are real (The Verge).
👍 Instagram will allow you to hide the like counter, or just keep it enabled. After initial trials to hide like counts, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri wants to let people choose (BBC).
🎞 Amazon’s $8.5 billion bet on MGM is the latest sign that tech is transforming Hollywood (Insider). For Amazon, it’s all about reducing Prime churn(Vox). Confirmation that Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO on July 5, too, after 27 years.
👀 This is amazing — and I missed it until just now, so bear with me if you’ve already seen it: For some reason, a Canadian get-rich-quick conference booked Edward Snowden, who proceeded to speak for a few minutes, before then sharing his screen with the audience to display a news article that exposed the host, at his own conference (Vice). It gets wild here at the 8 minute mark, including a view of the live chat of participants floored by the revelations (YouTube).
😬 “Lemonade: JK, JK, we don’t use facial recognition to reject your insurance claims” (Gizmodo). The neo-insurer had weirdly bragged that the company uses “AI” to identify more than 1,000 “non-verbal” cues that “traditional insurers” might not be able to pick up on. Which is a dystopian hell, if it’s even close to being correct.
🌓 Here’s some blood moon pics from last night (Gizmodo).
📻 “ELI5: Why, although planes are high tech, do their speakers and microphones “sound” like old intercoms?” (r/explainlikeimfive).
It was hotly anticipated as the flagship Android phone, with months of speculation leading to the launch on May 2.
It had a 4.8-inch 720p display, 4G LTE model, with an 8MP rear shooter. It also came with Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and saw major updates including Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Android 4.4 KitKat.
It retained the swappable battery setup so beloved early in the smartphone game, but the base 2100mAh battery was huge for the time, too. NFC was bundled in with the battery, too.
And it’s fun to read old reviews about how big it was, considering the 6.8-inch Samsung S21 Ultra people grapple with today.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
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