Apple Machine Learning Journal

 

Apple Machine Learning Journal

Machine Learning / AI is everywhere. From image recognition, playing Go game to self-driving cars, the technology is getting more and more pervasive in our everyday life.

Google, Facebook and Baidu are known as the leaders in machine learning field, and scientists from these companies openly contribute their studies, papers and findings. In contrast, majority of AI research by Apple scientists and engineers are not known to the rest of the world.

Apple has launched a new blog called Apple Machine Learning Journal that publishes “posts written by Apple engineers about their work using machine learning technologies to help build innovative products for millions of people around the world.”

Could this be the first step to a more open Apple regarding their AI research? Check out the Apple Machine Learning Journal blog.

App Development with Swift

App Development with Swift

Since its debut in WWDC in 2014, Swift programming language has become one of the most sought-after skill for developers on the Apple platforms. As part of Everyone Can Code effort, Apple has released a new app development full-year curriculum called “App Development with Swift”. The course, comes as a free download ebook on the iBooks Store, is designed for those who want to pursue careers in iOS app development.

5 things Apple did not mention in WWDC 2017 keynote

5 things Apple did not mention in WWDC 2017 keynote

It was a jam packed WWDC 2017 keynote by Tim Cook and his team. Besides new version of iOS 11, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11, Apple also launches new update to iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro, new iMac Pro, new 10.5” iPad Pro and new Siri-powered $349 smart speaker HomePod.

This WWDC also signals Apple’s inroad to being an AR (Augmented Reality) platform, there is an emphasis to GPU processing in its Metal 2 API. And high end iMac are now boosting GPU good enough for AR/VR play and production. In addition, Apple is making it easier for developers to add Machine Learning (ML) into their apps wth its Core ML SDK and Visions API.

Here are 5 things that Apple did not mention in its keynote:

1. iOS 11 does not run 32-bit apps

Apple has been displaying warning message in iOS 10 when you run a 32-bit app. Apple actually advised its developers to upgrade to 64-bit since mid 2015. In iOS 11, 32-bit games and apps will not run. Check out this post on how you can identify if your favourites apps are 32-bit.

2. New Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Kind of surprising to get a full-size wireless keyboard from Apple. Its $129.

3. New iCloud storage pricing

Apple has updated its iCloud storage pricing by increasing what you pay $9.99 per month for from 1 TB to 2 TB. The rest of pricing tiers remains unchanged.

– 5GB free
– 50GB $0.99
– 200GB $2.99
– 2TB $9.99 

4. MacBook Air is updated with faster processor

MacBook Air is not dead. The processor gets a speed bump from 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz.

5. MacBook Pro is still limited to maximum 16GB memory

One of the major complaints with the redesigned 2016 year end MacBook Pro is its 16GB configuration limit. This limit supposedly pissed a number of “pro” users to switch to use Windows notebook. The latest update to MacBook Pro is sticking to the 16GB limits.

WWDC 2017 will be in San Jose Jun 5-9, registration opens March 27

Apple WWDC Jun 5-9 2017

Apple has announced the 2017 edition of its annual World Wide Developer Conference. WWDC 2017 will see a change in venue from the usual San Francisco’s Moscone Center to San Jose and is on the week of June 5-9. WWDC is the event where Apple releases technical info on the next major version of iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. 

Technology alone is not enough.Technology must intersect with the liberal arts and the humanities, to create new ideas and experiences that push society forward. This summer we bring together thousands of brilliant minds representing many diverse perspectives, passions, and talents to help us change the world.

Tickets will be offered by random selection to those who register their interest. Registration opens Monday, March 27 at 10 am PDT. You must be a member of Apple Developer Program to register. Mark your calendar and check out the WWDC site.

Apple policy changes for developer

At WWDC 2016, Apple has made three changes to its policy in a bid to attract more developers to its platforms.

The first change came last week where Phil Schiller, the person in charged of the App Store, announced that Apple will open its in-app purchase renewable subscription to all categories of apps. Currently developers can adopt renewable subscriptions only for a few kind of app category, such as magazine app.

The second policy change is with Apple TV apps. Current policy states that all Apple TV apps must support the Apple remote. This is the reason why you do not see many console games being ported to Apple TV, as it takes effort to build for the Apple remote. This restriction will be gone. It is expected we will soon see more games being ported and made available on the Apple TV.

The third policy change is with regards to Mac apps and iCloud. Currently only apps on the Mac App Store is able to build iCloud features into their apps. Apple will relax this policy to allow apps outside of Mac App Store to use iCloud as long as the app is signed by a registered Apple developer. It is doubtful if this change will revert the decisions by many major apps that abandoned the Mac App Store. 

A smarter Apple? A softer Apple? 

Siri: WWDC 2016 will be held June 13 through June 17

WWDC 2016 will be held June 13 through June 17

There is no announcement yet on Apple’s WWDC website but Siri is telling us that WWDC 2016 will be held June 13 through June 17. Based on past years, Apple will be announcing ticket sales for WWDC anytime now. Are you as excited as Siri?

Updated: Hours after Siri broke the news, Apple officially announced WWDC 2016. Similar to past years’ practice, tickets are sold to developers through a lottery system. Visit Apple developer website now till April 22 10am PDT to register your interest. Apple will then select attendee randomly. Ticket at $1,599 can not be transferred or resold.  

WWDC 2016

Apple likely to keep the same design for iPhone 7

Apple has been in a tick-tock pattern with regards to iPhone chassis design since iPhone 3G with a design overhaul every other generation. Base on report by KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, it appears that Apple is likely to reuse the same iPhone 6/6s design for iPhone 7. 

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable Apple analyst, claims that we will see a major iPhone design change in 2017, with Apple dropping aluminium for an all-glass enclosure with AMOLED screen. Separately, Apple is reported to enter a $2.6 billion agreement with Samsung to supply OLED panels.

So far the rumour mill points to an iPhone 7 to have the same look as iPhone 6/6s, sans the headphone jack. The bigger Plus model will likely sports a dual-lens camera. The iPhone this year might not be called iPhone 7 at all since it has the same design as iPhone 6/6s. Some have suggested names such as iPhone 6se.

There are few reasons why Apple could be reusing the same design. A design overhaul is timely in 2017 as it is iPhone’s 10th anniversary. It makes sense to make next year’s model a memorable one.

2016 is also a year of world wide economic slowdown. Demand growth for smartphone is negative and there is no end to the slow-down in sight. Apple is preparing for its worst quarter, and is cutting some cost by reusing the same manufacturing equipments and process for new iPhone. 

Time will tell if Apple is changing the iPhone design overhaul to a 3-year cycle. Those waiting to upgrade their iPhone will be disappointed if there is no new design this year.