Google Glass Resurrected

Laura Stevens, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:

Google parent Alphabet Inc. is relaunching Glass, its head-worn computer, targeting corporate customers after its initial version flopped because of privacy concerns.

Dubbed Glass Enterprise Edition, the product has been in testing at about 50 companies, including Boeing Co., General Electric Co. and Volkswagen AG, Alphabet said Tuesday.

The new device, which is designed to snap on eyeglass frames and display information, videos and images in the line of a person’s sight, allow workers to see instructional content. They can also use the device to broadcast what they are viewing back to others for real-time instruction.

Years ago, I was a Google Glass Explorer, I saw some use for it but mostly, it was more a piece people talked about. The apps were limited, and what you could do was more limited.

Back then, I told people that there was a place for Google Glass with people in the workplace.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-parent-alphabet-tries-again-with-eyeglass-mounted-device-1500398709

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Apple’s risky balancing act with the next iPhone

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

This is one of those areas where Apple may be the victim of its own success. The iPhone is so popular a product that Apple can’t include any technology or source any part if it can’t be made more than 200 million times a year. If the supplier of a cutting-edge part Apple wants can only provide the company with 50 million per year, it simply can’t be used in the iPhone. Apple sells too many, too fast.

Contrast that to Apple’s competition. On the smaller end, former Android chief Andy Rubin announced the Essential phone, but even Rubin admitted that he’d only be able to sell in thousands, not millions. Same for the RED Hydrogen One — groundbreaking phone, hardly likely to sell in any volume. The Google Pixel looks like it’s in the one million range. Apple’s biggest competitor, Samsung, has to deal with a scale more similar to Apple’s — but it’s still only expected to sell 50 or 60 million units of the flagship Galaxy S8.

Source: http://www.macworld.com/article/3207552/iphone-ipad/apples-risky-balancing-act-with-the-next-iphone.html

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New Customer Support role in iTunes Connect.

Now you can give the customer support experts in your organization the ability to respond to customer reviews on the App Store with the new Customer Support role in iTunes Connect. Users with the Admin or Customer Support role have the ability to respond to customer reviews.

This is a handy role to be able to set.

Source: https://itunespartner.apple.com/en/apps/news/96430785

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Google rolls out new protections against phishing plugins

Google is making it even harder to accidentally install a malicious plugin. Today, the company announced new changes to the way Google services handle plugins, adding new warnings for users and a more involved verification system for apps. The result is more scrutiny on apps plugging into Google services, and more active involvement from Google when an app seems suspicious.

The changes come after a sophisticated phishing worm hit Google Drive users in May, masquerading as an invitation to collaborate on a document. The malicious plugin was not controlled by Google, but because it was named “Google Docs,” the app was able to fool many users into granting access. Once granted access, it sent a new request to everyone in the target’s contact list, allowing the app to spread virally. Ultimately, the app was blacklisted by Google, but not before it reached tens of thousands of users.

Today, such an attack would be much harder to perform. Shortly after the worm, Google strengthened its developer registration systems, making it harder for anonymous actors to plug unknown apps into Google accounts. The announcement today takes that system even farther, warning users whenever an unverified app requests access to user data.

Malicious or compromised plugins remain a significant security risk for Google and other platforms, as a string of recent incidents have demonstrated. The security group OurMine has specialized in those attacks, posting false messages from accounts controlled by Sundar Pichai, Jack Dorsey, and Sony Music, which tweeted a false report of Britney Spears’ death.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/18/15990916/google-phishing-plugin-security-google-docs-worm

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How to tell which of your Mac apps is 32-bit vs 64-bit

Why should you care whether an app is 32-bit or 64-bit?

From this Apple developer page:

At WWDC 2017, we announced new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018.

32 bits allows you 2-to-the-32nd addresses:

2^32 = 4,294,967,296

That’s 4 gigabytes of addressable space. A 32-bit computer can’t have more than 4 gigs of memory. A 32-bit program can’t directly address more than 4 gigs.

64 bits, on the other hand, gives you access to 2^64 which is equal to 2^32 times 2^32. Clearly, that’s a way bigger number. I won’t say we’ll never need more than 64-bits of addressable space, but I can’t imagine that need in my lifetime.

So how to tell which apps are 32-bit and soon to be end-of-lifed?

Easy. Go to the Apple menu, select About This Mac, then tap the System Report… button. In the page that appears, scroll down to the Software section (in the list on the left) and then tap Applications. Wait a minute or two while the list is built.

Source: http://www.loopinsight.com/2017/07/17/how-to-tell-which-of-your-mac-apps-is-32-bit-vs-64-bit/

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The Problem with Abandoned Apps

Marc Zeedar:

I’ve used iOS apps since the App Store first opened in 2008. As a software developer, the market fascinated me. There was the initial flurry of simple apps, followed by more sophisticated apps. Then the iPad came along, providing a bigger screen for even more powerful apps. The future for apps seemed bright.

Today things have become vastly more complicated: multiple devices with different screen sizes and hardware capabilities, different operating system versions, and many more software APIs. (And that’s just iOS.)

Along the way, we’ve seen changes in business models. At first, most apps charged a fee up front. Then, some apps explored the ad model, while others had separate free “light” and paid “pro” versions. Later, when Apple added in-app purchases, the freemium model became commonplace, with the app being free to download but certain features requiring payment.

[..]

But we’ve now reached a point where I believe the App Store will either morph into something genuinely useful or fade away as a fad.

[..]

I don’t mean that the App Store itself will go away — it won’t — but it could disappear as a business opportunity for most developers.

[..]

[Starting] with iOS 9, performing a backup with iTunes no longer copies apps to your computer. To restore an app, you must redownload it from the App Store. But if Apple has removed the app for being too old or not 64-bit, the app is gone — there’s no way to download it again!

[..]

Because Apple exercises total control over which apps are allowed to run and how you get and install them, there is no way to get abandoned apps to work (short of jailbreaking, which introduces its own set of non-trivial problems).

[..]

And because iOS doesn’t give users access to the file system, and apps themselves are sandboxed (meaning that one app can’t access another app’s data), if you have data in an abandoned app, that data is most likely inaccessible.

[..]

While I think iOS is highly capable and could be a person’s only computer, I’ve already been hit so many times by abandoned apps that I’ve become wary. I no longer think of iOS as a “professional” environment

Source: http://tidbits.com/article/17342

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A Simple Reminder Workflow

Dr. Drang:

Change the Time Format from Short (which I guess is the default) to Long, as shown in the screenshot above. Then the reminder will include the seconds portion of the alert time and will give you the full duration, not some truncated amount.

[…]

I’m surprised at this behavior, as I had assumed that the date/time formats mattered only when you were going to insert it into a text field or string. Setting a reminder date, I thought, would use the underlying date/time numeric value. Live and learn.

Source: http://leancrew.com/all-this/2017/07/a-simple-reminder-workflow/

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Google is using the impending death of its blob emoji to promote Allo

Google is using the impending death of its blob emoji to promote Allo

There’s a very divisive split in how people feel about the Google-designed blob emoji that have long been standard in Android and Gchat (RIP). But soon they’re going away. With Android O, Google will be making the switch to a set of emoji that’s more universal and similar in appearance to what you’d see on an iPhone or Android phones from other companies. Google claims the new emoji are “designed for more consistent communication.” I like them, but others feel they’ve lost the emotion, warmth, and charm that the gumdrop heads gave off. People get very defensive when you call them bad.

Anyway, to “celebrate” World Emoji Day, Google is giving the blobs a sendoff of sorts with this silly blog post. (Being on the marketing team on Google definitely has its easy days.) Unfortunately for the blob loyalists, your pleas seemingly aren’t going to change Google’s plans. The new emoji are coming and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/17/15984392/google-blob-emoji-farewell-allo

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Android killed Windows Phone, not iPhone

Dieter Bohn, The Verge:

So while Microsoft didn’t do itself any favors, I’d argue strongly that all these machinations and flailings weren’t a response (or weren’t only a response) to the iPhone. The real enemy was the company that had set its sights on Microsoft’s phone ambitions since before the iPhone was released.

That company was Google, of course, and it only tangentially wanted to take on the iPhone. Google’s real target was always Microsoft, and it hit the bullseye.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/14/15970082/google-killed-windows-phone-not-iphone

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