New iPhone feature will completely transform how you use apps.


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Apple’s new operating system for mobile phones and tablets, iOS 8, is slated to release in the fall, and one of its features will transform how you use your apps.
Apple calls it Extensibility, and it basically allows your apps to share both information and functionality with one another, which means less time spent switching among apps.
Let’s say you have a favorite app for editing your photos, such as Adobe Photoshop Express.
Before Extensibility, you would need to be inside Photoshop Express to use its editing tools. But with Extensibility, you’ll be able to access those same editing tools right from within Apple’s native Photos app. The editing tools from Photoshop Express would act as the “extension” in this case, and the Photos app would then have access to that extension, allowing you to take advantage of Photoshop Express’ unique features and functionality even from within outside apps.

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Agile Bits
Popular password management app 1Password has already demonstrated how it will use Extensibility to let users easily fill in password info from within any app. Before, you had to boot up 1Password, copy the password for a site or app, and then open the site or app and paste it in. But Extensibility eliminates those extra steps. Other apps can plug into 1Password and let you use it without opening a separate app.

So how does it work?

There are different types of extensions depending on how and where they will share information with other apps. Apple wants to prevent apps from simply having full access to all of the information in your other apps, so extensions are focused on particular functions and tasks, like Share, Action, and Photo Editing.

It’s important to note that an app won’t be able to randomly request important info from another app without your consent. You have complete control over when an app makes a request to use an extension, meaning an app can’t request your PayPal password from 1Password unless you ask it to.

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Apple
Besides being secure, Extensibility means more information at your fingertips, and faster.

Apple, for example, is allowing extensions to plug directly into your iPhone’s Notification Center, where it will act as a widget. If you want to stay up to date on the latest scores, you could enable ESPN’s Sports Center app to see its extension in Notification Center, allowing you to quickly check out what’s going on without opening the Sports Center app.

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MacRumors
You won’t only be able to glimpse information from within Notification Center; extensions will also let you take action.

Say you were using the Philips Hue app to control your smart light bulbs. Right now, that’s all done within the app. But Philips has shown off an iOS 8 concept for an extension that would let you turn on and off your smart lighting, even select some pre-set mood lighting, all from a simple swipe up of the Notification Center.

At its WWDC conference in June, Apple highlighted how an eBay extension would allow you to keep track of auctions from within Notification Center. And because extensions can also include actions, you’re even able to place a bid without opening the app.

Extensions can also be used to share things to your favorite social media site. Apple has limited sharing features integrated into iOS 7, but iOS 8 will usher in the ability for any social media app to design its own extension.

Say you’re browsing the internet using Safari. With Extensibility, you’ll be able to tap the image, select which social media website or app you’d like to share the picture with, and you’re done.

Extensibility even extends to core Apple software, like its keyboard. If another app has a keyboard that you like better than Apple’s, simply enabling a keyboard extension will give users the ability to replace Apple’s keyboard with their own.

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Apple
At its heart, Extensibility will both remove friction and empower preference, letting users take their favorite app’s killer feature and use it from within another app.

It’s a giant step in the right direction for Apple, and it means that apps will no longer have to compromise on polish in the name of being able to “do it all.” Instead, they’ll be able to focus on creating a unique experience that users will be able to take with them into other apps.

Extensibility will be available when iOS 8 launches as a free download this fall.

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It’s ‘internship time’ at Facebook, Google, Apple


MOUNTAIN VIEW: Sitting in a kitchen stocked with free food, a handful of 20-something Google summer interns weigh their favorite perks, but where to begin? With bikes, buses, massages, swimming pools, dance classes, nap pods, parties and access to their tech heroes, it’s a very long list.

“Unlimited sparkling water?” someone says.

In the end, however, the budding Googlers are most excited about the work.

“The project I’m working on is super high impact, and I’m looking for ways to make my mark,” says Rita DeRaedt, 20, studying visual communication technology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She admitted to being a bit star-struck after she was assigned to a team headed by a designer she’s long admired.

With summer’s arrival comes an influx of thousands of Silicon Valley interns. Well paid and perked, young up-and-comers from around the world who successfully navigate the competitive application process are assigned big time responsibility at firms such as Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter.

Silicon Valley tech firms pay their interns more than any other sector in the US, according to a Top 25 list of 2014 intern pay by online career website Glassdoor.

Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto-based cybersecurity firm, topped the list with $7,012 average monthly base pay. Also on the list: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, eBay, Google and Apple, all of which pay more than $5,000 a month, or $60,000 annually if these were full time jobs.

And that’s not counting the perks, which at Facebook even include housing in this high rent region.

Executives hope that a fun and stimulating summer will motivate them to come back after graduation to launch careers. It’s money well spent in a field fighting for talent, says Keck Graduate Institute professor Joel West in Claremont, who hired interns when he ran his own software company, and now helps place students at internships.

(Image courtesy: Google)

(Image courtesy: Google)

“When you’re an employer, interns are a win-win, because you get relatively cheap labor and you get a first look at talented and ambitious people,” he says. “You get first dibs on them.”

Indeed, many of the internships turn into careers.

Max Schireson, CEO of database startup MongoDB, with offices in Palo Alto and New York, says they nurture former interns, 35 this summer selected from a pool of 3,000, when they return to their respective schools – primarily Brown, MIT, Stanford and Princeton.

“We try to keep in touch with them both to keep that relationship warm but also because they can help us in identifying our next crop,” Schireson says.

Schireson says that while there’s solid pay, with food, drink and candy around the office, there are limits. Ultimately, he says, “we want people attracted mostly by the workplace challenges.”

Typically, interns are assigned to collaborative teams working on specific projects; computer science student might be writing software code to make failed passcode attempts erase data, while a human resources student might be creating online learning modules for new hires.

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(Inside Facebook headquarters)

Serial entrepreneur Jon Bischke, currently CEO of San Francisco-based Entelo, a tech recruiter, said interns better arrive ready to hustle.

“Companies in Silicon Valley are growing faster than literally any companies anywhere since the beginning of time,” he said. “The energy is palpable and for people who appreciate fast-paced environments, you won’t find anything faster than what’s going on in Silicon Valley right now.”

But there is an effort to keep hours reasonable, and many said East Coast financial sector interns work longer hours for less pay.

“We believe in paying for work and paying our interns, full stop, but we don’t believe in making interns work all hours of the day unnecessarily, and think there are lessons to be learned in terms of managing time and workflow,” said Google spokeswoman Meghan Casserly. Overtime is allowed, however, for projects that warrant it, she says.

Chris Crawford was 18, a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, when he landed his first internship at nearby Cupertino-based Apple. He spent the next five summers interning at Apple, two in public relations, three at iTunes.

“I love Apple technology, I’m a musician and I loved what they were doing in the music industry, and I got real life business experience there,” says Crawford, who went on to launch his own startup, Loudr.fm, in 2009, an online service where musicians can sell cover songs and original music to fans, or through iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and other sites.

Now and then, he says, their little firm of eight even gets an intern.

Google’s head of global staffing Kyle Ewing says the biggest misconception about their interns is that they are all computer scientists from elite universities. Instead, Google, and many other firms, have outreach programs to both diversify their workforce and provide opportunities for non-technical students.

How Apple plans to go ‘local’ in India


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Apple plans to go local with a vengeance, setting up small, neighbourhood shops in big cities and tier II markets.

KOLKATA/MUMBAI: Apple plans to go local with a vengeance, setting up small, neighbourhood shops in big cities and tier II markets, in a bid to get closer to potential buyers as it pushes ahead with an India-specific strategy aimed at trying to grab market share from dominant rival Samsung.

The shops will be set up by Apple distributors Redington and Ingram Micro besides existing trade partners and follows the revival of the iPhone 4 for sale in India and other emerging markets, which gave buyers who covet the brand the option of a phone that costs much less than latest models. Apple has also directly approached some trade partners and retailers regarding the setting up of the neighbourhood stores.

Samsung is widely present in the Indian retail market place, offering smartphone and tablets through more than 1,000 Smartphone Cafes. Apple is late to the game, only having seriously focused on India in the last two years but having since then given the local management a freer hand. Apple India has sought to push phones and tablets through exchange and finance programmes, besides reintroducing the iPhone 4, which is defunct elsewhere.

The company has also reintroduced the iPhone 4, which is defunct elsewhere.

Apple has informed distributors and trade partners in recent meetings that it is looking to set up exclusive 400-600 sq ft stores in neighbourhoods and some popular high-street locations. They will focus on mobility products such as iPhones and iPads, besides entry-level Mac computers and iPods, said three of Apple’s trade partners aware of the plans.

“Apple wants to focus more on its entry-level models in these stores such as iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPad mini and iPad 2, which are essentially in the sub- 30,000 segment and also its largest-selling products in India,” said a senior executive of a leading trade partner of Apple.

“The company feels these products are also attractively priced over competitors such as Samsung and Sony, and hence, being closer to the consumer will help to increase the conversion rate,” he said.

Apple wants to set up these smaller stores in areas where people have high disposable incomes, there’s a strong penetration of smartphones and a large student population such as Pune, Vizag, Guwahati, Durgapur and Gangtok. Apple has not set any expansion target for the small-format stores.

Apple declined to comment on queries regarding the plan. “We wouldn’t comment on rumours or speculation,” said Apple spokesman Alan Hely at regional headquarters in London.

The company has reached out to existing trade partners and multi-brand retail chains with its small-format store proposal, said the people cited above.

One of Apple’s premium resellers, Currents Technology Retail, recently set up two such stores in Kolkata and Panchkula in Haryana. Currents is distributor Redington’s own retail format.

Not all partners are enthused by the plan. One leading electronics retail chain decided not to take up the offer as profit margins on Apple are already among the lowest.

“After offering consumer discounts, the margin on iPhones and iPads is 2-5%, whereas it’s 7-10% for Samsung and other brands. Hence, it makes sense to continue with a multi-brand retail model where we can make more money,” said a senior executive at the retail chain.

An executive with another trade partner said Apple’s distributors want to ensure that the format will be viable, which could mean that the plan unfolds slowly.

Apple had around 2% volume market share of the Indian smartphone market in the October-December 2013 quarter, far behind market leader Samsung at 32% share and Micromax at 21%, according to market tracker Canalys. Apple’s value share, however, is higher due to the price of its phones, with the iPhone 5c starting at 41,900. That’s why reintroducing the iPhone 4, at a price that could go as low as 21,000, made sense for India.

Thanks to its marketing push, Apple India’s 2012-13 revenue rose to 3,030 crore from 2,003 crore in the year earlier. But that lags considerably behind Samsung India’s 27,000-crore revenue, although this includes television and home appliance sales as well. Samsung India’s mobile phone and tablet business is estimated to account for around 55% of total sales.

Apple wants to make sure that it doesn’t miss out on a burgeoning market.

Why Google, Apple, Facebook employees are facing hostility in Bay Area


Even as the tech companies extend their global reach and jostle to own the future, their hometown is turning from admiration to anger.

Even as the tech companies extend their global reach and jostle to own the future, their hometown is turning from admiration to anger.

SAN FRANCISCO: Like huge lumbering beasts, the luxury buses shuffle down Valencia Street.

One by one, they stop in front of a hipster coffee shop. Bearded young techies swipe their IDs as they board, clutching cups of premium coffee. One fellow carries his dirty laundry. No one talks. The buses take off for the campuses of Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and eBay.

It seems like a mundane commuting scene. But it is not. A security guard hovers. There might be trouble.

Even as the tech companies extend their global reach and jostle to own the future, their hometown is turning from admiration to anger. The buses, which illegally use city stops, have become an unlikely rallying point. First, people were priced out of their homes, activists say; now they are being pushed off the streets.

Demonstrators regularly block the shuttles. Last week, a group of activists stalked a Google engineer at his East Bay house, urging the masses to “Fight evil. Join the revolution.” A prominent venture capitalist struck back, comparing the tech elite with persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany.

“We’ve never seen anything remotely like this before,” said Gary Kamiya, author of “San Francisco, Cool Gray City of Love.” “Techies used to seem endearing geeks, who made money and cute little products but couldn’t get the girls. Now they’re the lord and masters.”

If the Bay Area is planning to relive the 1960s, it is still only the dawn of the decade. The protesters are relatively few, fragmented and uncertain in their tactics. The activists in San Francisco seem a bit more mainstream, while those in the East Bay are more inclined to escalate their protest – when they stopped a Google bus in December, a window got smashed.

The group that stalked Anthony Levandowski, an engineer at Google X, the company’s clandestine research laboratory, calls itself the Counter force, after a Thomas Pynchon novel. About a dozen members, all dressed in black, gathered outside the Berkeley house where Levandowski lives with his partner and two young children.

They unfurled a banner and handed out fliers detailing the engineer’s work on Google’s driverless car technology, Street View and Google Maps. The flier read: “Anthony Levandowski is building an unconscionable world of surveillance, control and automation. He is also your neighbor.”

Google, whose famous motto is “Don’t be evil,” declined to comment.

Several of Levandowski’s neighbors, who preferred not to give their names, said the protesters decamped after about half an hour and city police closely monitored the block for a day afterward. One neighbor speculated that the protesters were associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“It felt like regular old Berkeley behavior, to tell you the truth,” another said.

In many ways, it was.

Levandowski’s house used to be a part of a small informal commune in the late 1960s. Tom Hayden, a founding member of the radical group Students for a Democratic Society, lived there.

Conditions are ripe for another large-scale protest movement, Hayden said in an interview.

“These days you have a very large, frustrated younger population watching the middle class disappear before their eyes just as they prepare to go into it,” he said. “A rising, serious hostility against Google and companies like Google is inevitable, part of a class struggle around the means of producing information.”

If something has started, the outcome still depends on what the protesters do and how the companies react.

“It’s like one snowflake after another landing on a mountain,” said Paul Saffo, managing director at Discern Analytics. “If conditions are just right, there’s an avalanche.”

Saffo, a longtime tech futurist, said the Bay Area had been sliding toward an “Occupy Silicon Valley” situation for several years.

“The tech companies are going to discover they are going to have to become better citizens,” he said, pointing out that the sheen of corporate coolness is already wearing off. Google, for instance, is reportedly paying an unnamed midlevel engineer $5 million a year. “Google is not doing this because they are generous. They are doing it because that’s what it takes to prevent him from going anywhere else.”

The Counterforce leaflet, which included a photograph of Levandowski’s Arts and Crafts house taken from Google Street View, urges the masses to throw off their chains, or at least their Google Glass, and “join the revolution.”

Silicon Valley has come full circle. It used to be where rebels and dropouts went. One young man from the East Coast with a Harvard MBA, Tom Perkins, was treated with such suspicion at Hewlett-Packard in 1957 that he was put to work in the machine shop, running a lathe. You couldn’t get any lower.

Perkins clawed his way up to being one of the founding financiers of the valley, funding Tandem, a leading computer maker, and Genentech, which employs 12,000 people. The firm he co-founded, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, is still one of the leading venture capital shops, a backer of Google and Amazon.

In a letter to The Wall Street Journal last week, Perkins asserted that the shadow of the Third Reich was falling over the Bay Area. He said that he was worried about another Kristallnacht, where rampaging Nazis went after Jews, looting and killing. The 1 percent – Jews in Germany, the tech elite here – were at risk from the crowds.

Perkins, who retired from Kleiner Perkins in 1986, told Bloomberg TV that he regretted the Nazi comparison, but stuck by his point.

“We have to be careful that we don’t demonize anybody and that we certainly don’t demonize the most creative part of our society,” he said.

What is at issue, however, is not Silicon Valley’s creativity but its wealth, and the sense of entitlement that brings. The tech companies’ position on the buses is this: We’re not driving our own cars, jamming the roads and polluting the air. We spend our money here in San Francisco, keeping high-end waiters and baristas and boutiques salespeople gainfully employed. Be grateful.

The protesters, and increasingly the community, respond: If we parked at a bus stop for just a moment, we would get a $279 ticket. Tech buses do it with impunity. And how do you spend your money in San Francisco if you spend all day 30 miles away?

During a three-hour meeting at City Hall, angry residents complained that even a low-income San Franciscan has to pay $2 to board a city bus while the city planned to charge tech shuttles just $1 per stop per day, regardless of how many workers got on or off.

“These companies should pay a handsome sum of money to the city, not just $1,” said a retired social worker, Herbert Weiner, 75. “They are filthy rich.”

City officials said the amount they could charge such shuttles was limited by state law to cost recovery and that charging a steeper fee would require a citywide vote.

Private shuttles provide service for about 18,000 riders a day, the city says, a total that includes some non-tech firms. Valencia Street, which is rapidly shedding its low-income immigrant-Spanish roots to become a wonderland of boutiques selling organic ice cream, $12 “limited edition” chocolate bars and $5 cups of Karinga coffee from Kenya, provides a front-row stage for the conflict.

Many of the buses are unidentified, bearing only notations like “main campus – Ridgeview,” which means Apple. Facebook’s buses are the most lavish, the kind rock stars take to their gigs. Their wireless password: “n0traffic.”

Residents say the tension in the neighborhood is palpable. Matteo Bittanti, an art teacher, often sees pedestrians make a vulgar gesture toward the buses. He understands the feeling. “They look like an occupying force,” he said, “like big, white, pristine tanks rolling down the street.”

How these tech companies got their names


can-ceo-tim-cook-lead-apple-back-to-the-share-price-promised-land        Apple: According to Steve Jobs, Apple was so named because Jobs was coming back from an apple farm, and he was on a fruitarian diet. He thought the name was “fun, spirited and not intimidating”.

hotmail-logo


Hotmail: Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service he tried all kinds of names ending in ‘mail’ and finally settled for Hotmail as it included the letters “HTML” – the markup language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.

htc-opera-ul-facebook-phone-0        Facebook: Name stems from the colloquial name of books given to newly enrolled students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better.

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Twitter: Having rejected the name Twitch for their social networking service, co-founder Jack Dorsey says: “we looked in the dictionary for words around it and we came across the word ‘twitter’ and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential.

Apple On Plans To Drop Intel


The future of world’s largest processor maker, Intel is again in trouble. Recent reports about Apple trying to drop the California chip giant in favor of its native chips will prove fatal to the company, which is already hurt with a stagnating market for computers and the failure to gain market in mobile platforms.


According to the report from Bloomberg, Apple engineers are exploring different ways to replace the Intel chips in its PCs with the home grown chip technology that is currently used in its successful devices like iPhone and iPad. Intel’s chips have been powering Apple’s Macs since 2005, while the mobile devices are powered by Apple’s own chips.  And now the engineers at the company are confident enough to say that the chips for tablets and Smartphones will soon be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops.

As tablets and Smartphones cannibalize the worldwide PC sales, an inevitable future is “more similar platforms and devices irrespective of mobile, tablet or PC,” which will justify Apple’s move. However, the company is unlikely to switch in the next few years, said the report. But, a move by Apple may lead others to follow suit.
“Apple is a trendsetter, and once they make their own chip many others may pursue a similar path,” said Sergis Mushell, an analyst at Gartner Inc to Bloomberg. “If mobility is more important than functionality, then we will have a completely different environment than we are dealing with today.”