Apple's annual developer conference in San Francisco.
Candidates include a range of different character emoji, from "face with cowboy hat to "drooling face" and "lying face." "Selfie," an emoji represented by a hand holding a camera, is also on the list, as is "shrug," and "handshake." As for food, emoji proposals include croissant, avocado, cucumber, bacon, potato, and carrot. There are also several proposed animal additions: fox face, eagle, duck, bat, shark, and owl.
According to the Unicode Consortium, these emoji have been chosen for several reasons. Some are proposed based on expected high frequency of use or due to requests from online communities. Others on the list fill in gaps in existing emoji sets or are compatible with emoji characters in existing systems.
Emoji candidates are not finalized so it's possible that some of the characters on the list could be removed before Unicode 9 is released in 2016, and it's also possible that additional characters could be added to the list.
The emoji proposed for inclusion in Unicode 9 are separate from the emoji that will be included in Unicode 8. Unicode 8, which includes specifications for the emoji modifiers that Apple introduced with iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3, is set to be released in mid-2015 and is currently in beta testing.
Emoji additions proposed for Unicode 8 include zipper-mouth face, nerd face, thinking face, robot face, hugging face, hot dog, burrito, taco, cheese wedge, popcorn, and unicorn face, among others.
It is not known if and when Apple will adopt the Unicode 8 and Unicode 9 emoji as it still has not added the Unicode 7 emoji that were finalized in June of 2014.
An upcoming book by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, Losing the Signal, explores the events that led to the rise and fall of BlackBerry, and an interesting excerpt was shared by The Wall Street Journal today, covering the iPhone's contributions towards BlackBerry's (then known as RIM) failure.
As we've previously learned from Google execs, the launch of the iPhone, which stood apart from all other smartphones on the market at the time, took everyone by surprise. Not only was the iPhone incredibly different from its competitors, it also had features that carriers had previously denied other manufacturers like a full web browser and later, an App Store that had no carrier ties.
One of RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' first comments was "These guys are really, really good," but despite that fact, RIM failed to see the iPhone as a threat due to its lack of security and the fact that it had no keyboard, features RIM execs thought would make it unappealing to RIM's core consumers.
If the iPhone gained traction, RIM's senior executives believed, it would be with consumers who cared more about YouTube and other Internet escapes than efficiency and security. RIM's core business customers valued BlackBerry's secure and efficient communication systems. Offering mobile access to broader Internet content, says Mr. Conlee, "was not a space where we parked our business."RIM executives did not understand the iPhone and were "incredulous" that people were purchasing it, realizing too late that form had become as important as function in the eyes of consumers. In an effort to combat the threat of the iPhone, RIM teamed up with Verizon to create a competing touch-based phone -- the Storm.
Verizon pressured RIM into speeding up development on the phone, resulting in a product that was riddled with bugs and issues when it launched in 2008. Despite the flaws, the product was heavily marketed and RIM sold 1 million in two months, leading to a lot of unhappy customers who wanted to return or exchange their devices.
The Storm was a spectacular failure that impacted RIM's relationship with Verizon, ruined its reputation, and cost upwards of $100 million. After the failure, the company was demoralized and at a crossroads, unsure of where to take the company going forward and how to compete with the iPhone and other smartphones in a landscape that was radically different from what the company knew.
RIM was unable to fully recover from failure of the Storm and find its footing, eventually leading to the path that it's on today. "The Storm failure made it clear we were not the dominant smartphone company anymore, said RIM co-CEO Jim Balsille. "We're grappling with who we are because we can't be who we used to be anymore, which sucked...It's not clear what the hell to do."
The full excerpt from the book is worth a read and can be found over at The Wall Street Journal. The book itself is coming out on May 26 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon for $21.
The Apple Watch Edition is available in yellow gold or rose gold and is priced between $10,000 and $17,000. Given its high price tag, the Apple Watch Edition delivery process is somewhat different than the delivery process of Apple's less expensive watches, with customers receiving emails asking them to set up a delivery time.
iFixit's Kyle Wiens ordered a 38mm Apple Watch Edition with a Black Sport Band and shared his tracking information and courier emails with MacRumors. His order was initially placed on April 10 and shipped out on Thursday, May 21. His delivery date was originally set for Sunday, May 24, but was moved up to Saturday, May 23.
Wiens tells MacRumors that while he initially ordered the Apple Watch Edition to do one of iFixit's traditional teardowns, he had second thoughts and ultimately decided iFixit couldn't afford to do the teardown. Wiens will be returning the Apple Watch Edition to Apple, but if an iFixit enthusiast has an Apple Watch Edition they wouldn't mind loaning out, he can do a non-destructive metallurgical analysis on the device.
Thus far the Apple Watch Edition has only been available in small quantities in some of the luxury fashion boutiques that have featured the Apple Watch, and it's also been seen on the wrist of several celebrities and designers including Katy Perry, Beyonce, Jay Z, Karl Lagerfeld, Pharell Williams, and more. With shipments going out over the next few weeks, we may be seeing more Apple Watch Edition models in the wild.
As highlighted by everythingiCafe on Wednesday, Apple Watch owners on the MacRumors forums and Apple's Support Communities have been complaining that their Apple Watches are sending data sporadically, with gaps up to eight hours in some cases.
Many of the users are still seeing occasional updates to the Health app, but at unpredictable intervals that are not as frequent as the previous 10 minute update intervals, and some are also seeing duplicate readings. This bug is not affecting all users, as some people are still reporting regular data transfers, but for the users experiencing issues, unreported heart rate data seems to be irretrievable.
I also noticed that my heart rate data in the health app for about a week period is gone and my heart rate data is now updating into the app intermittently. I spoke with Apple customer service this morning, but data could not be restored and their advice was to restart both the iPhone and the Watch, clean the sensor back, and keep an eye on it. That, unfortunately, has not fixed anything and I think there might be a bigger problem on our, er, hands (or wrists).For those unaware, the heart rate information collected by the Apple Watch's sensors is aggregated in the Health app on the iPhone, giving users a picture of their overall heart health throughout the day. With consistent 10 minute readings, the iPhone is able to provide clear and consistent data that wearers can share with doctors and use to make health evaluations.
Data that is sent sporadically is less useful for these purposes, causing this bug to significantly impact the health tracking abilities of the Apple Watch for users who are affected.
Some individuals experiencing issues have said that restarting their devices temporarily solves the problem, but the sporadic measurement times return shortly after. On the Apple Support Communities, one affected user who spoke with Apple suggested that his Apple Watch stopped sending heart rate measurements when he was actively moving.
Apple is collecting information from users who call in with the issue, and some have been told that the company is working on a fix.
OS X 10.11 Could Feature Control Center, 'Rootless' Security and More, iOS 9 to Support A5-Based Devices
OS X 10.11 is still expected to gain a handful of noteworthy features, including a systemwide change to Apple Watch font San Francisco and a new Control Center menu similar to iPhone and iPad. Control Center was originally found in early betas of OS X Yosemite, but was not included in the final release.
"Control Center moves many of the controls from the Mac’s Menu Bar to a pane that slides out from the left side of the Mac’s display, adding on-screen music controls and other iOS-influenced features," the report claims. "However, Control Center reportedly has been in flux during development, and could be pushed back again."
Apple is also reportedly working on a major new kernel-level security system called "Rootless" for OS X and iOS that will help curb malware and protect sensitive data by prohibiting users from accessing certain protected files on Mac and iOS devices. "Rootless" appears to be a permanent feature of iOS, much to the chagrin of the jailbreaking community, but can likely be disabled on OS X.
Apple plans to enhance security one step further by converting many of its core IMAP-based applications on OS X and iOS, such as Notes, Reminders, and Calendar, to have an iCloud Drive backend. Apple expects there to be increased iCloud usage after the transition, so the company is reportedly upgrading its iCloud Drive and CloudKit servers to handle the additional load.
"With iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, Apple plans to transition this sync process to iCloud Drive, which offers better end-to-end encryption and faster syncing than traditional IMAP servers. As an example of how this will work, when a user launches Notes in either of the new Apple operating systems, a splash page offering to move content from the IMAP server over to iCloud Drive will appear, making the transition easy for users."The company is also testing a new "Trusted Wi-Fi" feature that would enable Macs and iOS devices to connect to trusted wireless routers with no additional security measures, while non-trusted routers would have a heavily encrypted wireless connection. Apple could release the feature later this year or hold off until next year's OS X and iOS releases, according to the report.
Apple is also said to be optimizing iOS 9 to better support older hardware, with the report claiming that even legacy A5-based devices including the iPhone 4s and original iPad mini will be compatible with the upcoming software update. The four-year-old iPad 2 and three-year-old fifth-generation iPod touch, released in March 2011 and October 2012 respectively, are also powered by Apple A5 chips.
"Apple is now building a core version of iOS 9 that runs efficiently on older A5 devices, then enabling each properly performing feature one-by-one. Thanks to this new approach, an entire generation (or two) of iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches will be iOS 9-compatible rather than reaching the end of the iOS line."Last, Apple is said to be preparing a major upgrade to its Swift programming language with “Application Binary Interface (ABI)" stability. Swift applications updated for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 will have preinstalled code binaries that require less space and use less cellular data. The report claims that Apple plans to convert its own apps to Swift in 2016 as part of iOS 10 and OS X 10.12.
As Quartz points out, the Apple Watch saw a notable rise in order interest on April 24, the day most initial Apple Watch pre-orders that weren't high in demand, like the Leather Loop or Black Sport band, began arriving to customers. Social media posts and word of mouth that day no doubt helped Apple receieve a few extra orders, and it reaches back up to around 40,000 on a few days in April and May, but otherwise Apple's new wearable has seen a steady decline in order numbers since its launch date, according to the e-commerce shopping firm.
Even with the steep decline following the start of pre-orders, Apple Watch sales are easily outpacing early sales of the iPod and iPhone, and slightly topping those of the iPad, although Apple's continually increasing user base since the debut of those devices gives the company momentum for each subsequent product family launch.
Slice Intelligence's Apple Watch update today comes a few weeks after providing a break down of initial pre-orders for the wearable, which pegged 62 percent of customers as having pre-ordered the Apple Watch Sport and an unexpected popularity of the Space Gray case and Black Sport band. As with that data, a few factors should be taken into account when looking at Slice Intelligence's order estimates, including its data being limited to the United States and the relatively small pool of customer receipts examined.
Today's report also falls in line with KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's prediction of the Apple Watch order demand beginning to slow down following a high launch period. Although Apple has yet to announced any sales numbers for the Apple Watch and doesn't plan to break the device out into its own reporting segment in financial results, the Apple Watch's entry into the company's upcoming brick-and-mortar retail locations in June could help boost the wearable's sales figures.
"Apple’s ambitions have complicated its negotiations with the broadcast TV networks, because most broadcasters don’t own all their local stations, and have an affiliate, or franchise system. Clearing the rights to show local programs and commercials takes some time — ABC, for instance, spent two years getting the rights to show live programming via its Watch ABC app, and its live streams remain limited to viewers in eight cities."The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Apple plans to unveil its streaming TV service at WWDC, anchored by popular networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and FX. The web-based TV service for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and other devices is expected to deliver a lightweight package of about 25 channels for between $30 to $40 per month. The report claimed that the service will be available in September.
In benchmark testing conducted by French site MacGeneration [Google Translate], the entry-level 2.2GHz 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 256GB of storage lived up to Apple's claims, demonstrating impressive read/write speeds that topped out at 2GB/s and 1.25GB/s, respectively, in QuickBench 4.0.
Those read/write speeds far exceed the read/write speeds achieved by the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air, which also received faster flash storage that doubles the speeds available in previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Air machines. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro's performance is similar to the 13-inch MacBook Air.
At speeds that reach 2GB/s throughput, the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has the fastest storage of any of Apple's notebooks. It took 14 seconds to transfer an 8.76GB file to the machine, compared to 32 seconds for the slower Retina MacBook. With small files, read/write speeds exceed a gigabyte per second.
Like the 2015 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air, the revamped 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro uses a solid state drive manufactured by Samsung. As noted by MacGeneration, it does not use the faster NVM Express SSD protocol that the 13-inch model was updated to, suggesting future machines could see even greater performance improvements with a swap to the next-generation protocol and with continued leaps in SSD technology.
Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is available from the online Apple Store at prices that start at $1,999. The notebooks continue to use Haswell processors, but should see performance boosts due to the faster solid state drives.
Split-screen multitasking will display two apps side-by-side on the iPad's screen or two views of the same app, allowing users to see multiple documents in Pages at the same time, for example. As was first discovered in code buried within iOS 8, apps will be able to be arranged in multiple views, covering 1/2, 1/3, and 2/3 of the screen in the latest iteration.
9to5Mac warns that though the split-screen multitasking feature is slated for inclusion in iOS 9, it could be removed before the update's debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference if it is not ready in time as it was originally developed for the upcoming "iPad Pro." 9to5Mac previously said the multi-tasking feature would be included in iOS 8.
Apple is also said to be working on a highly anticipated feature that customers have requested for years -- multi-user login support. This will allow multiple users to have unique profiles on a single iPad, with individual access to apps and documents. Multi-user support will not be ready when iOS 9 launches in the fall, but it could be released later in 2015 alongside the iPad Pro or in 2016.
Both split-screen multitasking and multi-user login support are features that will be added to Apple's rumored larger-screened 12-inch iPad Pro, which may also include features like a USB-C port, a stylus, and a pressure-sensitive Force Touch display. The tablet, internally numbered "J98" and "J99" to represent Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models, will launch in late 2015, according to the latest rumors. Apple is said to be working to finish software and source hardware components for the device.
Sources have confirmed that Apple is testing jumbo-sized iPads internally codenamed "J98″ and "J99," which are apparently larger versions of the Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air 2, save for additional speaker holes.Given the large size of the iPad Pro's display, some apps may be redesigned to accommodate the larger screen real estate available on the 12-inch tablet, with Apple rumored to be working on new designs for Siri and Notification Center. Features tailored to the iPad Pro could work in the same way as features tailored to the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a unique layout in landscape mode to account for a larger display size.
The proposed renovation will consist of the partial removal of the existing mezzanine floor at the front of the store, the relocation of three columns to create a more spacious feel, the removal of the existing main glass stairs leading up to the mezzanine level and replacement with two new side staircases, and re-configuration of the back of house at the basement level with improved staff facilities.
"The proposal looks to enhance the ground floor sales area by removing the front part of the mezzanine and creating a double height entrance," reads Foster and Partners' project rationale. "This partial removal of the mezzanine also enhances the transparency from the street and floods the store with natural light. The interior front facade, with its full height arches, clad in natural Portland stone, can now be appreciated in its full extend. Moreover the visual connection between the two levels of retail is dramatically improved. This is key to the customer journey and the efficient use of the overall retail area."Foster and Partners will also be removing the four Apple logos found on the store's facade in order to allow more natural light inside and preserve the historic look of the building. The store's overall square footage will be reduced by 4,400 square feet, or around 25% of the current size, and the interior will consist of terrazzo floor, GFRC cladding on the walls and oak timber for all fittings and fixtures.
Apple plans to open a temporary store at 235 Regent Street to continue to serve customers during the remodeling process. The temporary location will be located at the basement level of the same building as the permanent store for a maximum of three years, accessible by a carefully designed lobby at ground level with a minimal steel staircase and a fully accessible lift.
Apple's flagship Regent Street retail store opened in November 2004 and attracts over 4 million visitors per year. The iconic store was last expanded and remodeled in mid-2006 to become the largest Apple Store location at the time. Apple has contracted Foster and Partners for several other projects in recent months, including the design of Campus 2 and remodeling of Apple's flagship San Francisco store.
"Sources said last year that the transit functionality for Maps includes larger icons for users to more quickly spot airports, subway stations, and train stations within the Maps app. In addition to the main functionality, there is also a trip planning feature for transit, and a new Transit view alongside the existing Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite/Flyover views."Transit features in Apple Maps were originally expected to launch alongside iOS 8 last year, but were delayed due to personnel issues and data inconsistencies within Apple. The company has reportedly "refined the data, added new cities, and developed a new push notifications system" since that time, however, and the feature is now ready to be unveiled at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Apple has been actively expanding its in-house routing team over the past few years through multiple job openings. In late April, for example, the company put out a job listing for a "Maps Software Engineer" part of the Routing team, as reflected by at least one Apple employee's LinkedIn profile. "As a member of the Routing team, you will work on one of the most anticipated features of Apple Maps," the job description reads.
Apple has also been making progress on its indoor mapping project, which will enable iOS users to navigate major buildings, offices and landmarks. The company has been using autonomous robots with iBeacon sensors to collect indoor mapping data, starting at its offices in Cupertino, although the feature may not go live this year. The indoor mapping project is in conjunction with Apple's van-based street mapping data collection.
Apple is selling individual Sport Bands for $49, while the Classic Buckle, Milanese Loop and Leather Loop retail for $149 each. The Modern Buckle is costlier at $249 and the Link Bracelet is the most expensive Apple Watch strap available at $449. The prices listed are based on the United States and will vary in international countries based on local currencies and exchange rates.
Apple Watch bands can also be ordered online through the Apple Online Store.