leswing

Apple Music finally supports the leading wireless speaker system — Sonos

(AP)
Pricey Sonos speakers can finally play songs streamed through Apple Music. 

Sonos announced on Tuesday that Apple Music is now available on Sonos systems worldwide. Sonos players will be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog as well as other key features like Radio and Beats 1. 

Sonos is a high-end system of wireless speakers that requires that music played on them be queued up through its own software. Users won’t be able to stream music to a Sonos speaker through the Apple Music app, only through Sonos’ own app. 

Sonos is by far the most popular wireless audio system used by the 100 largest custom electronics installers. While Sonos has long offered a list of streaming services including Spotify and Tidal, it previously did not support Apple Music. 

Sonos has been testing Apple Music integration as part of an open beta for weeks with Apple’s blessing, allowing customers with both a Sonos system and an Apple Music subscription to try the integration and hunt bugs before its official release. 

“The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great,” Apple internet software and services boss Eddy Cue said in a statement

Federico Viticci posted a review of the Sonos integration on Macstories based on his experience with the beta:

Overall, Apple Music integration is good news for users who own a Sonos system. The Sonos app is okay and streaming from Apple Music works well, as does search. But if you want the full Apple Music experience, you’ll still have to use the Music app on your iPhone and iPad.

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Diese Fotos zeigen die Fortschritte beim Bau von Apples neuem „Spaceship“-Campus — dem tollsten Bürogebäude der Welt (aapl)

Youtube / Cupertino City Council

Der Countdown zur Eröffnung des faszinierendsten Bürogebäudes der Welt läuft: Noch 2016 soll es soweit sein.

Fieberhaft wird nun an der neuen Apple-Zentrale in Cupertino (Kalifornien) gearbeitet, die aussieht wie ein Raumschiff und insgesamt fünf Milliarden Dollar (4,46 Mrd. Euro) kosten soll. 

Ihr offizieller Name: Campus 2.

Die Visionen für das Hauptquartier der Superlative stammen noch vom 2011 verstorbenen Apple-Gründer Steve Jobs. Er legte den Grundstein für das „beste Bürogebäude der Welt“, wie er es gewohnt selbstbewusst nannte.

Heute nähert sich das ringförmige Gebäude der Fertigstellung: An den Beton- und Stahlträgern werden gerade riesige, gekrümmte Glasplatten montiert. 

Nach der Fertigstellung werden 13.000 Angestellte täglich durch die Eingangshalle strömen.

Das Megabüro befindet sich auf einem 7,2 Hektar großen Grundstück, das auch riesige Fitnessareale umfasst. In einem Auditorium mit Platz für hunderte Gäste sollen später einmal die Produktpräsentationen abgehalten werden. Apple hat gleichzeitig aber auch versprochen, mit einem „grünen Bürobau“ auch beim Umwelt- und Klimaschutz neue Maßstäbe setzen zu wollen.

Wir zeigen euch die neuesten Fotos von den Bauarbeiten und einige Entwürfe, die zeigen, wie die Hightech-Zentrale einmal aussehen soll.

Auf dieser Drohnen-Aufnahme ist der ganze Campus aus der Ferne zu sehen.

Youtube / Duncan Sinfield

Im Mai 2014 hatten Bagger mit den Erdaushubarbeiten begonnen. Davor waren existierende Gebäude planiert worden.

Youtube/Dana Diederich

Alle Arbeiten am Fundament wurden 2015 abgeschlossen. Jetzt muss Apple die Gebäude fertigstellen lassen: Die Eröffnung ist für Ende 2016 geplant.

Youtube/MyithZ

Nach der Fertigstellung des Rohbaus wurden die Fassadenelemente installiert. Die Struktur des Bürokomplexes ist praktisch fertig, wie Luftaufnahmen der Behörden der Stadt Cupertino zeigen.

Apple / Cupertino City Council

Alle vier Etagen sind bereits zu erkennen. Jetzt werden noch die Glaspaneelen angebracht.

Youtube/Duncan Sinfield

Laut Seele, dem Zulieferer des Glases, sollen Glasfenster in einer Gesamtlänge von sechs Kilometern verbaut werden.

Youtube / Duncan Sinfeld

Auf dem Dach ist die Montage von Solarzellen geplant.

Youtube/Duncan Sinfield

Die Dimensionen des Bauwerkes sind überwältigend.

Youtube/Duncan Sinfield

Der Bürokomplex verfügt über ein Hightech-Auditorium, in dem Produktpräsentationen abgehalten werden können. „Wenn wir unser eigenes Auditorium haben, dann müssen wir unsere Produkte nicht mehr in San Francisco präsentieren”, sagte Jobs damals.

Youtube / Duncan Sinfield

Hier lässt sich das Aussehen des Auditoriums erahnen.

YouTube / Duncan Sinfield

Hier ist die bisher detaillierteste Übersichtskarte der Apple-Zentrale zu sehen, in der alle Einrichtungen verzeichnet sind. Es gibt ein riesiges Fitness-Center, das Auditorium und genügend Parkplätze.

Apple / City of Cupertino

Apple hatte das Grundstück gekauft, auf dem einst die Zentrale von Hewlett Packard stand. Die alten HP-Bürobauten waren architektonisch wenig herausragend und wurden 2013 abgerissen.

HP

Steve Jobs hatte die Pläne für Apples Campus 2 bei einem seiner letzten öffentlichen Auftritt vor dem Gemeinderat in Cupertino präsentiert. „Es wird aussehen wie ein Raumschiff“, sagte Jobs.

Youtube / Cupertino City Council

So soll der Campus nach der Fertigstellung aussehen.

Landbank

Draußen vor dem Bürogebäude können sich Mitarbeiter zum Mittagessen treffen und den Park genießen.

Apple

Die Inneneinrichtung ist hell und aufgeräumt.

Apple/Cupertino

Apple möchte Ende des Jahres in das Raumschiff einziehen — früher als ursprünglich einmal geplant.

City of Cupertino

Auch interessant:

DAS KÖNNTE EUCH AUCH INTERESSIEREN:

 16 verrückte Fakten über den neuen Apple Campus, der aussieht wie ein Raumschiff

 Ein neues Drohnen-Video zeigt Apples Spaceship-Firmenzentrale – samt einem versunkenen Auditorium

 Gourmetessen, Top-Kollegen und der Traum von einer besseren Welt: 19 Gründe, warum Apple-Mitarbeiter einfach glücklicher sind

One of Apple’s suppliers is working on a pressure-sensitive windshield that’s a lot like the iPhone 6S

MacMixing

Apple’s current car software requires a screen installed in-dash

Apple supplier Synaptics is developing a touchscreen windshield for cars that detects how hard a user is pressing on it, a feature that is very similar to 3D Touch, a banner feature on late-model Macbooks and the latest iPhones. 

Synaptics is working with Valeo, a major automotive supplier that recently demoed a self-driving autopilot feature. It has also developed several concept interfaces for users to interact with autonomous vehicles. 

“This human interface innovation allows drivers and passengers to more safely control common and emerging cabin applications with the touch of a finger, multiple fingers, and variable force of one or more fingers on a touchscreen,” said Synaptics.

Although it’s unclear whether Synaptics provides the parts that make 3D Touch possible on Apple products, it is one of the company’s top 200 suppliers. Synaptics manufactures display driver parts that Apple uses for the iPhone 6S, according to a teardown by Chipworks.

Even if Synaptics isn’t directly responsible for supplying the underlying technology behind 3D Touch, the company’s announcement of its touchscreen windshield that can detect force shows that this style of interaction is becoming more and more popular.

On the iPhone, 3D Touch works like a “right click”: users simply press down with extra force on the phone’s screen to find additional user options. Synaptics calls its version of the technology ClearForce, and it sells it to Android smartphone makers that compete with Apple. Synaptics works with other tech companies including Microsoft, Google, and Samsung. 

Apple is supposedly developing a car, a rumor that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called an “open secret.” Given Apple’s corporate emphasis on user experience, it would make sense that one of the company’s primary focuses for “Project Titan” would be an Apple-style user interface. 

In August, the Washington Post reported that Apple is developing an augmented-reality windshield with a display as large as 50 inches, although analysts cited by the report indicated that the screen could be “gesture-controlled,” which would make a pressure-sensitive touchscreen less critical. 

Apple reportedly has a team of hundreds working on augmented reality applications, and the Financial Times reports that Apple’s recent hires in the worlds of imaging and augmented reality may be useful for its car project.

Synaptics has yet to announce a firm timeline as to when it will roll out its touchscreen windshields and technology.

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Here's another hint that Apple is building its own video service

(AP)
Apple CEO Tim Cook and internet services head Eddy Cue.

We just got more evidence that Apple is building a global network of servers designed to deliver iTunes movies and other Apple content to users as quickly as possible.

For fastest delivery, most big internet companies put content like downloads and software updates onto servers geographically close to its users, using a service called a content delivery network.

For the past 15 years, Apple’s CDN of choice has been Akamai.

Now it looks like Apple is ditching Akamai for its own servers and has significantly cut its business with the online infrastructure company. 

“Over the last two years, our two largest customers in particular, comprise about 13% of Akamai’s overall revenue. As we look ahead to 2016, we expect these two accounts to still be our largest media customers, and they will contribute about 6% of our overall revenue," Akamai CEO Tom Leighton said during its earnings call. The company beat analyst expectations and announced a major restructuring and a $1 billion stock buyback, and its stock surged more than 16% after hours.

Akamai’s largest customer is Apple. Second is believed to be Microsoft or Facebook. 

”This seven point change in contribution results from their increased do-it-yourself, or DIY efforts,“ Leighton said. 

It’s another sign that Apple’s online services strategy has been changing, with the company pushing to bring more and more of its online infrastructure in-house. Apple is expected to open at least three new data centers over the next two years and has increased related spending. 

If Apple were to launch a streaming video service, as has been rumored, the CDN that delivers it would be a major factor in terms of the streaming quality and lag that end-users would experience. 

Streaming services analyst Dan Rayburn previously reported that sources expected Apple to ”have a more active role“ in content delivery after opening its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. Rayburn has tracked OS X downloads coming directly from Apple, as opposed to through Akamai. 

Most recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook put a renewed emphasis on online services during the company’s last earnings call.  

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Die VR-Pläne des iPhone-Konzerns: Apple-Manager besuchen heimlich ein berühmtes Stanford-Labor (aapl)

Getty

Virtuelle Realität (VR) ist der große Tech-Trend des Jahres. Gerade erst begann eine Facebook-Tochter mit dem Vorverkauf des VR-Headsets Oculus Rift, da verdichten sich auch die Indizien, dass Apple auf den Zug aufspringen will. 

Die mögliche Entwicklung einer VR-Technologie durch Apple erfolgt wie gewohnt unter großer Geheimhaltung. Nun wurden jedoch Apple-Mitarbeiter bei monatlichen Besuchen im „Virtual Human Interaction Lab“ der Eliteuni Stanford gesehen, berichtet das „Wall Street Journal“.

Das weltbeste VR-Labor ist seit längerem ein beliebtes Besuchsziel für Manager, die mehr über diese Technologie erfahren wollen. Kurz bevor Facebook die Firma Oculus kaufte, stattete auch Chef Mark Zuckerberg dem Labor einen Besuch ab. 

Apple-Manager agieren verschwiegen 

Jetzt sollen sich dort Apple-Manager die Türklinke in die Hand geben.

Der Direktor des Labors, Jeremy Bailenson, hatte gegenüber dem „Wall Street Journal“ von dem erwachten Interesse der Ingenieure aus der Apple-Firmenzentrale in Cupertino erzählt: „Von Apple ließ sich hier in den 13 Jahren unseres bisherigen Bestehens niemand blicken”, sagte er. „Doch jetzt tauchten sie dreimal in den letzten drei Monaten auf“. Die Manager würden dabei sehr verschwiegen agieren, so Bailenson.

Über Apples Ambitionen in Sachen VR wird gerade heftig spekuliert: Es gab Berichte, wonach Teams mit mehreren hundert Mitarbeitern an entsprechenden Produkten und Innovationen arbeiten würden. Außerdem kaufte Apple zuletzt vier Firmen auf, die über entsprechendes Know-How verfügen. Und kürzlich kam der VR-Experte Doug Bowman, der das Center for Human-Computer Interaction an der US-Universität Virginia Tech leitet, bei Apple als Berater an Bord

Gerätselt wird auch, ob Apple die VR-Technologie bei der Entwicklung eines selbstfahrenden Elektroautos — Projektname Titan — integrieren oder selbst VR-Headsets auf dem Markt bringen möchte. 

Auch interessant:

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 Steht das Apple Auto auf der Kippe? Projektverantwortlicher für das iCar schmeißt hin

 Virtual-Reality-Offensive der „New York Times“: „Wir stehen vor einer Revolution bei der Berichterstattung“

 Apple legt Rekordergebnisse für das abgelaufene Quartal vor — doch Aussicht aufs weitere Geschäft enttäuscht die Wall Street

Apple Music finally supports the leading wireless speaker system — Sonos

AP

Pricey Sonos speakers can finally play songs streamed through Apple Music. 

Sonos announced on Tuesday that Apple Music is now available on Sonos systems worldwide. Sonos players will be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog as well as other key features like Radio and Beats 1. 

Sonos is a high-end system of wireless speakers that requires that music played on them be queued up through its own software. Users won’t be able to stream music to a Sonos speaker through the Apple Music app, only through Sonos’ own app. 

Sonos is by far the most popular wireless audio system used by the 100 largest custom electronics installers. While Sonos has long offered a list of streaming services including Spotify and Tidal, it previously did not support Apple Music. 

Sonos has been testing Apple Music integration as part of an open beta for weeks with Apple’s blessing, allowing customers with both a Sonos system and an Apple Music subscription to try the integration and hunt bugs before its official release. 

“The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great,” Apple internet software and services boss Eddy Cue said in a statement

Federico Viticci posted a review of the Sonos integration on Macstories based on his experience with the beta:

Overall, Apple Music integration is good news for users who own a Sonos system. The Sonos app is okay and streaming from Apple Music works well, as does search. But if you want the full Apple Music experience, you’ll still have to use the Music app on your iPhone and iPad.

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Google’s got a case of iPhone envy
Kif Leswing, businessinsider.com

Google is planning to take more control over the design of its Nexus smartphones, taking steps to make the line of Android devices more like the Apple iPhone, The Information reports.

According to the report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wants to…

Aren’t they already cheap Chinese tech junk like the IPhones? Why would anyone want to emulate a phone that is barely selling with poorly optimized software? Just typing in a url causes it to crash. And that protruding camera and the ugly grout lines. FrankenTech…

You can now take your iPhone 6 into an Apple Store to have a screen protector applied without air bubbles

(Youtube/Mac Otakara)

Starting today, Apple Stores in the United States will apply Belkin screen protectors onto iPhones.

While Apple Stores have sold and installed screen protectors in the past, Apple Store employees have recently been trained to use a new Belkin screen protector application machine that prevents bubbles or dust imperfections from appearing under the film when it’s applied.

The service is only available for iPhones that came out in the past two years: the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus. It can also be applied to iPhones brought in off the street. Unfortunately, the machines will not work with the iPhone 5S or previous models. 

Apple’s new in-store application machine works exclusively with Belkin screen protectors, so other brands of screen protectors the Apple Store carries are not supported. Apple Store employees can apply those manually, though.

Belkin’s screen protectors cost around $35 from the Apple Store and application is free.

But the biggest advantage to Belkin’s new screen protectors is that they’ll be applied just right, by a professional who has been trained and has done them before. Anyone who has installed their own screen protector knows it’s a tricky process, so getting it perfect might be worth a trip to the Apple Store.

Here’s how it works: 

 

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Tim Cook deleted the blurry Super Bowl photo that the internet thought was hilarious

(Rick Wilking/Reuters)
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attended the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California, over the weekend, and shortly after the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers and stormed the field, he tweeted out a photo of the scene.

That tweet and its photo have now been deleted.

One reason Cook might have been sheepish about his post is that the internet turned his photo into a snarky meme. The original image was taken in low lighting and was blurry, which gave some wisecracking Twitter users the opportunity to make jokes at the expense of Cook and Apple.

The out-of-focus photo prompted jokes playing off of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” marketing campaign and questions of whether Cook was using a years-old iPhone.

Later on Sunday evening, Cook tweeted a much clearer photo from an iPad. That tweet is still available.

Congrats @Millerlite40 Peyton Manning @Broncos Amazing season. pic.twitter.com/3RfQml832C

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook)

February 8, 2016

Here’s the photo Cook deleted:

(Twitter)

We’ve reached out to Apple as to why Cook deleted the earlier tweet.

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How an Apple employee once stood up to Steve Jobs  — and got promoted for it

(AP/John Todd)
Palm founder and former Apple employee Donna Dubinsky displays a portable Handspring computer in 2001.

Silicon Valley pioneer Donna Dubinsky was a middle manager at Apple in 1985 when then-chairman Steve Jobs proposed completely changing the company’s distribution strategy.

Dubinsky fought back against the plan – giving an ultimatum that she would quit  – and instead of getting fired, she got promoted.

That’s according to an anecdote about former Apple employee and Palm CEO Dubinsky in the new book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World, published this week:

Suddenly, Steve Jobs proposed eliminating all six U.S. warehouses, dropping their inventory, and moving to a just-in-time production system in which computers would be assembled upon order and overnighted by FedEx. 

Dubinsky thought this was a colossal mistake, one that could put the company’s entire future in jeopardy. “In my mind, Apple being successful depended on distribution being successful,” she says. 

Update: In a comment on Business Insider, Donna Dubinsky clarifies the anecdote in Originals, saying that she never convinced Jobs, but that he left the company instead:

I wish this was correct, but it isn’t! Steve did not change his mind on distribution strategy - I did not convince him. Actually, he left the company. After he left, we bagged the “no distribution center” plan. Here’s why it would not have worked at that time. The vast majority of our sales were from the Apple II, not the Macintosh. Components for the Apple II came from all over - the computers came from one place, the monitors from another, the disk drives from another. It was not in one box then, the way it is now. The components were sent to distribution centers that shipped them to retail dealers. The dealers were “mom and pop” stores that were very undercapitalized (no Apple stores then either). They could not have held the computers in their inventory waiting for monitors and disk drives to arrive from Asia in order to sell it to customers. Consequently, Apple had to bear that cost. If we had shut down the distribution centers back then, we would have shut down Apple. That being said, Steve was right in the ultimate evolution of the business to more integrated machines and to more streamlined distribution networks. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like 30 years ago, but it was the wrong thing to do at that point in time. As to Steve’s flexibility about smartphones, well perhaps I’ll leave that for another day!

In 1985, Apple’s corporate culture was not doing well. Jobs was fighting with then-CEO John Scully for ultimate control of the company, and he had poured his heart and soul into the Macintosh project, which he considered the future of Apple.

Part of the Macintosh project was building a state of the art factory that would also distribute Apple computers — when a customer ordered one, the factory would then build the new Mac and ship it overnight. This plan was championed by Jobs himself. But Dubinsky thought it had several flaws, according to a case study published by Harvard Business School, calling it a “total nonrecognition of our business, as far as I’m concerned." 

At the time, although Dubinsky was a manager, she was not senior, and challenging Jobs’ proposal was a career risk. But she had enough money saved up in case she lost her job, and she eventually delivered an ultimatum that unless she got 30 days to make a counterproposal, she would quit. 

(Harvard Business School)

Her argument carried the day, and she was promoted to a senior management position running an Apple software subsidiary. After leaving Apple in 1991, she eventually became CEO of Palm Computing, and later founded Handspring, which created one of the first smartphones, the Treo, in 2002. 

Ultimately, Dubinsky’s story is about Jobs’ flexibility and openness to new ideas. Years later, Dubinsky met with Jobs, who told her "there’s no way I’m ever building a phone.”

But Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, which went on to propel the company to unforeseen heights. And the distribution expert at Jobs’ side when he launched his phone, Tim Cook, is now the CEO of the company. 

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The evidence is clear: Apple's next big thing will be virtual reality

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Game enthusiasts test the Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus at the Annual Gaming Industry Conference E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 16, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.

What’s Apple’s next big product?

A growing amount of evidence indicates that Apple is developing something with virtual-reality technology. The dream: to immerse viewers in a totally computer-generated world.

VR has been a dream for futurists for decades, but the technology has never been good enough for it to take off. Apple releasing a product would obviously be a big deal for the industry.

Apple is notoriously tight-lipped, but a project of this size is hard to keep under wraps. 

Let’s run down the evidence:

1. Apple is staffing up

Apple already has a division working on augmented- and virtual-reality technologies, and the team has already been building prototype headsets for months, according to a report by the Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw

Augmented reality is where computer-generated images appear to be superimposed on the real world, like with Microsoft’s HoloLens or Google Glass. It’s different from virtual reality, which totally immerses viewers in another world.

LinkedIn profiles and publicly available job listings reflect this hiring trend. For instance, the company has hired Doug Bowman, a researcher from Virginia Tech who studies human-computer interaction, and, specifically, 3D interfaces — the kind of user interface that a new Apple virtual-reality headset would require.

Apple has also recently hired Nick Thompson, who previously worked on HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented-reality headset.

2. Apple has bought at least 4 startups that specialized in related technologies

Although Apple hasn’t made a multibillion-dollar splash in the space like Facebook did when it bought Oculus for $2 billion, it’s still a major buyer when it comes to VR startups. 

Recent purchases include:

  • Metaio, a German company that made an app that visualizes what digital furniture might look like in your home.
  • FaceShift, a company that can transform a user’s face into a 3D digital cartoon in real-time. 
  • FlyBy Media, a company that had previously worked with both Google and Apple on computer vision, a technology closely linked to augmented and virtual reality. Sophisticated computer-vision technology is needed in order to situate digital objects in their surroundings in a way that convinces the user they’re real. 
  • PrimeSense, which it bought for $360 million in 2013. PrimeSense made camera and video-sensor hardware specifically tuned for computer-vision applications.

And those are just the ones we know about. 

3. Apple Stores recently started selling a product that turns an iPhone into a virtual-reality headset

(AP)
The View-Master.

Apple’s online store now stocks Mattel’s new View-Master, a product that turns an iPhone into a virtual-reality headset. It’s an indication that Apple knows it can’t ignore phone-based virtual reality, which has been primarily pushed by Google so far. 

4. Apple is suddenly a regular visitor to Stanford’s virtual-reality laboratory

(Getty)
Stanford University’s Jeremy Bailenson demoes a virtual-reality experience.

One of the first stops for a Silicon Valley technologist interested in exploring virtual and augmented reality is Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, operated by Jeremy Bailenson since 2003. In the past week, he shared an interesting anecdote

“Apple hasn’t come to my lab in 13 years — except they’ve come three times in the last three months. They come and they don’t say a word, but there’s a data point for you,” Bailenson said. 

5. Rumor has it that the iPhone 7 will include a new type of camera useful in augmented reality

Component makers in Asia are rumbling that there have been some very large orders placed for dual-lens-camera components recently, with some pointing to Apple.

Having two separate lenses and sensors on a smartphone camera can provide a number of advantages, but it might be most important for augmented reality. 

The approach would mean that the iPhone could potentially estimate the distance to walls or other obstacles, which unlocks several computer-vision possibilities, and would be essential for a high-quality augmented-reality experience. 

6. Apple has filed patents in the space

Just look at this image from an Apple patent granted earlier this year:

(USPTO)

Apple files patents all the time, and not all of the ideas in those patents find their way into real products. But given the other mounting evidence, this patent seems significant.

7. When asked about it, CEO Tim Cook couldn’t deny his interest 

During an earnings call, Cook answered a question about Apple’s virtual-reality ambitions, and his response was clearly not a denial — although it’s not a confirmation, either. 

“I don’t think VR is a niche,” Cook replied. “I think it’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”

The next big thing?

Apple might need its VR initiative more than the VR industry needs Apple.

Apple needs a new hit — the iPhone is a wildly successful product, but it faces its first sales decline ever.

Plus, there’s a chance that Apple VR ends up being a niche product, counter to what Cook believes. Apple was able to make smartphones into a must-have product for everybody, and it was expected to do the same thing for smartwatches. But so far, the Apple Watch doesn’t seem to be getting the same traction, at least anecdotally.

Whatever Apple puts out would be competing with other giants in the tech world who have been working on these products for years.

Microsoft’s HoloLens can already achieve incredible feats like projecting an NFL game onto a coffee table. Facebook’s Oculus is the system of choice for gamers, and it actually goes on sale this year. And Google’s inexpensive Cardboard has enough momentum that even Apple has decided to sell a version.

Apple may be looking to make a splash in virtual reality, but it’s already a little late to the party. 

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A smartphone pioneer once stood up to Steve Jobs  — and she got promoted for it

(AP/John Todd)
Palm founder and former Apple employee Donna Dubinsky displays a portable Handspring computer in 2001.

Silicon Valley pioneer Donna Dubinsky was a middle manager at Apple in 1985 when then-chairman Steve Jobs proposed completely changing the company’s distribution strategy.

Dubinsky fought back against the plan – giving an ultimatum that she would quit  – and instead of getting fired, she got promoted.

That’s according to an anecdote about former Apple employee and Palm CEO Dubinsky in the new book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World, published this week:

Suddenly, Steve Jobs proposed eliminating all six U.S. warehouses, dropping their inventory, and moving to a just-in-time production system in which computers would be assembled upon order and overnighted by FedEx. 

Dubinsky thought this was a colossal mistake, one that could put the company’s entire future in jeopardy. “In my mind, Apple being successful depended on distribution being successful,” she says. 

In 1985, Apple’s corporate culture was not doing well. Jobs was fighting with then-CEO John Scully for ultimate control of the company, and he had poured his heart and soul into the Macintosh project, which he considered the future of Apple.

Part of the Macintosh project was building a state of the art factory that would also distribute Apple computers — when a customer ordered one, the factory would then build the new Mac and ship it overnight. This plan was championed by Jobs himself. But Dubinsky thought it had several flaws, according to a case study published by Harvard Business School, calling it a “total nonrecognition of our business, as far as I’m concerned." 

At the time, although Dubinsky was a manager, she was not senior, and challenging Jobs’ proposal was a career risk. But she had enough money saved up in case she lost her job, and she eventually delivered an ultimatum that unless she got 30 days to make a counterproposal, she would quit. 

(Harvard Business School)

Her argument carried the day, and she was promoted to a senior management position running an Apple software subsidiary. After leaving Apple in 1991, she eventually became CEO of Palm Computing, and later founded Handspring, which created one of the first smartphones, the Treo, in 2002. 

Ultimately, Dubinsky’s story is about Jobs’ flexibility and openness to new ideas. Years later, Dubinsky met with Jobs, who told her "there’s no way I’m ever building a phone.”

But Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, which went on to propel the company to unforeseen heights. And the distribution expert at Jobs’ side when he launched his phone, Tim Cook, is now the CEO of the company. 

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Tim Cook says Apple is considering bringing its software services to Android

(Andrew Burton/AP)
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently spoke to Apple employees at a company-wide town hall meeting, Mark Gurman reports at 9to5Mac. 

Notably, Cook mentioned Apple Music on Android as a way for Apple to test its services on non Apple-made hardware. Apple has been positioning itself as a “services company,"and Cook said the company is considering growing its services division by making it available on other platforms, such as Android, the operating system made by arch-rival Google. 

Cook’s reported comments suggest that Apple may be looking to port services like iCloud and Apple Pay to Android. 

The town hall meeting was held shortly after Apple posted what Wall Street considered to be a bad quarter, despite Apple generating over $18 billion in profit. 

Many of Cook’s other remarks addressed concerns that investors had raised since last week’s earnings report, possibly because so many Apple employees own stock in the company. 

Wall Street’s main concern for Apple is that it has passed ”peak iPhone,“ projecting that iPhone sales in 2016 might be down from last year.

Cook reportedly said that the iPhone is the "greatest business of the future,” and that he believes that iPhone sales can continue growing for decades. 

Cook also expects the iPad division to continue growing revenue again by the end of the year. iPad sales have been declining for the past year. He also mentioned “far-off” new hardware products that won’t come out this year, hinting to the car that Apple is reported to be working on. 

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