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Apple could be rethinking its release cycle for iOS and macOS

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is switching things up for this year’s major updates. Instead of meeting a tight deadline and ticking all the boxes on the checklist, development teams will be able to push back some features if they’re not polished enough. Axios and Bloomberg previously reported that Apple was focusing on stability with iOS 12. You can still expect iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 this Fall (and probably new versions of watchOS and tvOS), but the WWDC keynote might be a bit shorter than in previous years. Developers can now work on new features over two years. It should help when it comes to quality issues. iOS 11 hasn’t been perfect so far. Customers faced some weird bugs, such as autocorrect bugs, messages arriving out of order and the Calculator app not calculating properly. So let’s look at some of the rumored features for iOS 12 and 13, macOS 10.14 and 10.15. First, Apple is going to fix some low-hanging fruits with nice-to-have features on iOS. According to Bloomberg, you can expect better parental controls with detailed stats for parents, more granular settings for ‘Do Not Disturb’, a new Stocks app and a way to invoke Siri in the iOS search bar. When it comes to flashier additions, you can expect more Animojis for the iPhone X. And if the new iPad Pro gets a Face ID camera, Apple is also probably going to bring Animojis to the new iPad Pro. In other (bigger) news, Apple is currently working on a FaceTime update that will finally let you call multiple people at once. Bloomberg says it might not be ready for iOS 12. You might be able to replace your face with an Animoji during a FaceTime call too. You’ll also be able to share your augmented reality view with multiple users. For instance, you could imagine a board game that works with multiple iOS devices. After setting up the augmented reality board, all users could see the same virtual elements at the same place. iPad users will have to wait until 2019 for big new features. There could be a way to run the same app in Split View. For example, you could run the Messages app twice side-by-side to interact with two threads at once. Beyond Split View, developers will be able to integrate tabs much more easily to switch between multiple documents and views. And then, there’s the elephant in the room. Bloomberg says third-party developers will be able to release iPhone and iPad apps on macOS. Details on this front are still very thin. It’s unclear how it’s going to work and if users are going to see iOS interfaces on macOS. It seems more likely that developers will be able to use iOS frameworks on macOS, such as UIKit. This way, iOS developers could port iOS apps to the Mac without having to recode big portions of the app. Similarly, this rumor could indicate that Apple plans to merge the iOS and Mac App Stores so that users can buy an app once and run it on an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac. This wouldn’t be surprising given that Apple Watch and iMessage apps can also be downloaded from the iOS App Store. If Apple is slowing down its release cycle, it could be a turning point for mobile operating system. iOS and Android have been updated at an incredible pace over the past ten years. It feels like those platforms are now nearly mature. Customers don’t expect drastic changes with new major releases. At the same time, customers have become more demanding and now expect to have reliable phones.

Apple joins LG and Valve investing up to $10.6M in OLED display maker eMagin

Quietly, Apple has been bringing together a number of moving parts in its strategy around virtual and augmented reality hardware; and now one more element of that has come to light. eMagin, a maker of OLED miniature displays, says that Apple, along with LG, Valve, VR entertainment maker Immerex (which now appears to be operating publicly as Luci), and Stillwater Holdings, are collectively investing up to $10.6 million in the company. eMagin has only said that it plans to use the proceeds for “working capital and general corporate purposes”. The company has been increasingly doing more in displays targeting the consumer market (such as its Blaze night-vision goggles and smartphone case, goggles pictured above) in addition to the military and industrial/enterprise (including medical) sectors where eMagin’s technology is already used. “We believe that a key growth area for us is the consumer electronic OEM market for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) hardware,” eMagin notes in its prospectus. “Our potential channels to this market include licensing of our direct patterning technology and partnering for the mass production of microdisplays.” The documentation for the new offering was filed January 23 of this year (first discovered, it looks like, by Road to VR, which also tipped us off on it). Further to that, eMagin released another statement saying the offering had been upsized to $11.5 million (with eMagin getting $10.6 million in proceeds), and it also said that it expected the offering to close around January 29, meaning the investment has likely been completed already. We have reached out to eMagin to confirm this, as well as the final amount raised, and if the company can tell us more about the intention for the investment. eMagin’s technology is notable in that it has created a new kind of display that can be used in VR headsets, which provides a sharper image by using a denser layout of lines (versus the pixels commonly used in existing products). The promise is for up to 2,500 pixels per inch, high when you consider that an iPhone X is currently 458 pixels/inch and Samsung is reportedly working on a headset with 2,000 ppi. This helps reduces the so-called “screen door” effect on the display and makes what you see up close through the headset much sharper. (Notably, those investing in eMagin aren’t putting all their eggs into one basket on this front, it seems: LG has also patented another way of coping with the issue, and there are other routes beyond OLED that are also being explored, such as liquid crystal on silicon displays.) “We believe that our direct patterning technology is a key differentiator for enabling next generation AR/VR hardware for the consumer and enterprise segments because of the brightness and the pixel density afforded by the technology,” the company notes. Although eMagin is arguably working at what might become the forefront of how VR experiences are delivered, the company has been fairly under the radar and modest in size — underscoring perhaps how we have yet to see a real breakthrough of the technology in terms of market penetration. Even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has downplayed the state of technology today and how so far we’re seeing little evidence of mass-consumer appetite for it. eMagin is traded on the NYSE American exchange and currently has a market cap of around $50.7 million and expects to report revenues of around $22 million for 2017. Its share price has shot up by nearly 14 percent in pre-market trading over the weekend (likely because of this news). This investment is interesting because it shows, in fact, that if VR may still have a ways to go before we see a breakout device, big tech companies are very much putting some money down to stake VR claims for the future. In the prospectus for the investment, eMagin notes that it is working with a number of unnamed “Tier One” companies to help get better economies of scale when manufacturing its new technology. “On the commercial front, we entered into strategic agreements with multiple Tier One consumer product companies for the design and development of microdisplays for consumer head mounted devices and, together with these companies, negotiated with mass production manufacturers for higher volume production capabilities,” it writes. Interestingly, while Valve and LG’s involvement in VR is well documented — Valve on the software side, making games and its SteamVR platform; LG as a maker of headsets, including one reportedly built on SteamVR — Apple’s involvement has been harder to parse because the company generally keeps quiet on its future plans. Case in point: when we uncovered in November that Apple had acquired VR headset maker Vrvana for around $30 million, it refused to confirm the deal to us, although it did not deny it. Other acquisitions that Apple has made in the general area of mixed reality include SMI, an eye-tracking firm that was working on solutions for VR and AR headsets; Flyby Media, metaio, Emotient, and Faceshift. We are contacting Apple, Valve and LG to see if any of them provide any further comment about their stake and interest in eMagin, and we’ll update this if and when the company responds. This is not the first time that Apple has invested in companies that it works with closely for its hardware. The company had a long product and investment relationship with UK-based graphics chipset vendor Imagination Technologies, and nearly considered acquiring it, before the two entered into a dispute, and Imagination was ultimately broken up and sold to others. In December, Apple also announced an investment of $390 million into Finisar, an optical component maker, part of a bigger plan to build a facility together in Texas. While this appears to be the first time that a relationship between eMagin and Apple has come to light, there were some who had noticed some increased communication between the two companies last year, leading them to wonder if they were working together.

Apple, LG and Valve did not invest in OLED display maker eMagin

Update: A source very close to Apple says that the company has not invested in OLED display maker eMagin — and, according to a statement eMagin has now also published, nor have Valve and LG: “eMagin Corporation, or the “Company,” (NYSE American:EMAN) a leader in the development, design and manufacture of Active Matrix OLED microdisplays for high resolution imaging products, today is providing clarification in response to a media report in which the author apparently misconstrued a form underwriting agreement that the Company filed as an exhibit to its S-1 on January 23, 2018 and incorrectly stated that a group of certain consumer electronics companies participated in the recent offering of the Company that closed on January 29,2018. As of today, to the Company’s knowledge, none of these consumer electronics companies have taken part in the offering.” The notice of the three companies, along with two others, investing in a round for the company appeared in an SEC filing for a fundraising that the company advertised, under a list entitled, “Specified Investors”. As we pointed out in our original report, below, the filing from the end of January was tipped to us by the blog Road to VR. The news sent the stock for this relatively modest company soaring over 17 percent, adding nearly $10 million to its market cap, ending at $59 million. It is not clear if Apple is working with eMagin in any other capacity; we are trying to find out. Original article about the filing is below. Quietly, Apple has been bringing together a number of moving parts in its strategy around virtual and augmented reality hardware; and it appears now one more element of that has come to light. eMagin, a maker of OLED miniature displays, says that Apple, along with LG, Valve, VR entertainment maker Immerex (which now appears to be operating publicly as Luci), and Stillwater Holdings, are collectively investing up to $10.6 million in the company. eMagin has only said that it plans to use the proceeds for “working capital and general corporate purposes”. The company has been increasingly doing more in displays targeting the consumer market (such as its Blaze night-vision goggles and smartphone case, goggles pictured above) in addition to the military and industrial/enterprise (including medical) sectors where eMagin’s technology is already used. “We believe that a key growth area for us is the consumer electronic OEM market for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) hardware,” eMagin notes in its prospectus. “Our potential channels to this market include licensing of our direct patterning technology and partnering for the mass production of microdisplays.” The documentation for the new offering was filed January 23 of this year (first discovered, it looks like, by Road to VR, which also tipped us off on it). Further to that, eMagin released another statement saying the offering had been upsized to $11.5 million (with eMagin getting $10.6 million in proceeds), and it also said that it expected the offering to close around January 29, meaning the investment has likely been completed already. We have reached out to eMagin to confirm this, as well as the final amount raised, and if the company can tell us more about the intention for the investment. eMagin’s technology is notable in that it has created a new kind of display that can be used in VR headsets, which provides a sharper image by using a denser layout of lines (versus the pixels commonly used in existing products). The promise is for up to 2,500 pixels per inch, high when you consider that an iPhone X is currently 458 pixels/inch and Samsung is reportedly working on a headset with 2,000 ppi. This helps reduces the so-called “screen door” effect on the display and makes what you see up close through the headset much sharper. (Notably, those investing in eMagin aren’t putting all their eggs into one basket on this front, it seems: LG has also patented another way of coping with the issue, and there are other routes beyond OLED that are also being explored, such as liquid crystal on silicon displays.) “We believe that our direct patterning technology is a key differentiator for enabling next generation AR/VR hardware for the consumer and enterprise segments because of the brightness and the pixel density afforded by the technology,” the company notes. Although eMagin is arguably working at what might become the forefront of how VR experiences are delivered, the company has been fairly under the radar and modest in size — underscoring perhaps how we have yet to see a real breakthrough of the technology in terms of market penetration. Even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has downplayed the state of technology today and how so far we’re seeing little evidence of mass-consumer appetite for it. eMagin is traded on the NYSE American exchange and currently has a market cap of around $50.7 million and expects to report revenues of around $22 million for 2017. Its share price has shot up by nearly 14 percent in pre-market trading over the weekend (likely because of this news). This investment is interesting because it shows, in fact, that if VR may still have a ways to go before we see a breakout device, big tech companies are very much putting some money down to stake VR claims for the future. In the prospectus for the investment, eMagin notes that it is working with a number of unnamed “Tier One” companies to help get better economies of scale when manufacturing its new technology. “On the commercial front, we entered into strategic agreements with multiple Tier One consumer product companies for the design and development of microdisplays for consumer head mounted devices and, together with these companies, negotiated with mass production manufacturers for higher volume production capabilities,” it writes. Interestingly, while Valve and LG’s involvement in VR is well documented — Valve on the software side, making games and its SteamVR platform; LG as a maker of headsets, including one reportedly built on SteamVR — Apple’s involvement has been harder to parse because the company generally keeps quiet on its future plans. Case in point: when we uncovered in November that Apple had acquired VR headset maker Vrvana for around $30 million, it refused to confirm the deal to us, although it did not deny it. Other acquisitions that Apple has made in the general area of mixed reality include SMI, an eye-tracking firm that was working on solutions for VR and AR headsets; Flyby Media, metaio, Emotient, and Faceshift. We are contacting Apple, Valve and LG to see if any of them provide any further comment about their stake and interest in eMagin, and we’ll update this if and when the company responds. This is not the first time that Apple would have invested in companies that it works with closely for its hardware. The company had a long product and investment relationship with UK-based graphics chipset vendor Imagination Technologies, and nearly considered acquiring it, before the two entered into a dispute, and Imagination was ultimately broken up and sold to others. In December, Apple also announced an investment of $390 million into Finisar, an optical component maker, part of a bigger plan to build a facility together in Texas. While this appears to be the first time that a relationship between eMagin and Apple has come to light, there were some who had noticed some increased communication between the two companies last year, leading them to wonder if they were working together.

Facebook picks up half-hour dramedy series starring Elizabeth Olsen

Facebook isn’t one to be outdone by Apple’s recent big content spending: It’s purchasing a 10-episode, straight-to-series half-hour drama-comedy series produced and starring Elizabeth Olsen. The production also includes Lizzy Weiss on board as showrunner, Kit Steinkellner as creator and lead writer and Master of None‘s James Ponsoldt as a directly and executive producer for a number of episodes. Deadline reports that the series, previously titled Widow, is one fo the first of a series of planned acquisitions Facebook is doing to flesh out Facebook Watch with premium original content. Olsen, who will feature prominently in this summer’s upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, is obviously a high-profile get for the fledgling initiative at the social network. This comes in the wake of a number of straight-to-series orders from Apple, which is likely going to be going directly toe-to-toe with Facebook Watch. Both will of course also be competing with extant industry rivals including Netflix and Hulu, and it’s worth considering what this run on Hollywood talent and productions will mean in terms of fallout for traditional TV channels and delivery vectors. Featured Image: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

There’s no App Store ’emoji apocalypse,’ just inconsistent policy enforcement

A number of iOS app developers have been mystified by a new wave of app rejections related to their use of Apple’s emojis. They’ve suspected that a new App Store crackdown is underway. However, the company hasn’t changed its policy on Apple emoji usage in apps, nor its enforcement, according to sources familiar with the App Store review team’s processes. The policy does seem to be inconsistently enforced at times, though. That’s led to previously approved apps receiving rejections, while other apps in breach of policy have been let in. Specifically, Apple told some developers who used its emoji in their apps that they were in violation of the 5.2.5 “Intellectual Property” guideline. For example, one rejection notice read: “Your app and app’s metadata include Apple emoji which creates a misleading association with Apple products.” The site Emojipedia, which covers the broader emoji ecosystem, recently detailed some of the newer examples of apps facing rejections, including Github client GitHawk, bitcoin wallet tracker Bittracker,matching game Reaction Match, emoji-based game Moji Match, and others. As Emojipedia had determined, we’ve confirmed that Apple will only allow apps using emojis in specific contexts, like in a text field. Meanwhile, any other usage should be banned by App Review, including when emoji are used as elements in a game, as replacements for buttons or other parts of the app’s user interface, as sticker packs, in app logos or icons, or in promotional images, also as Emojipedia had suspected, based on the pattern of rejections. While emojis exist as part of the Unicode standard, Apple’s implementation of that standard is copyrighted. That means the company is within its legal right to control the usage of their own emoji designs, especially in their own App Store. However, Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge takes issue with the fact that Apple should have such a policy around its emoji at all. “It seems reasonable to me that Apple would want some level of control over emoji use in the App Store, but banning it outright from anything other user-inputted text feels a step too far in my opinion,” he says. That said, Apple’s decision to reject apps based on their use of Apple emoji is not a new occurrence. If you go back far enough on Twitter, you’ll findmany examples of developerscomplaining about the same thing over the past couple of years. iPhone X update for Reaction Match out soon 🎉. First attempt was rejected at app review for including emoji on the leaderboard 😂 – they have always been there… 😩 — Eddie Lee (@eddielee6) December 4, 2017 App Store Review just rejected the Binary of the newest version of @getBittracker because we use emoji in the app and therefore apparently broke copyright rules. Yep, that’s true. We’re talking about emojis in screenshots, but more importantly also within the app as raw text. pic.twitter.com/Ayx1HFFbnj — Sam Eckert (@Sam0711er) January 31, 2018 Apple now rejecting an expedited @githawk review for using EMOJI in screenshots? This is a fucking joke. pic.twitter.com/Q3gplTDB47 — Ryan Nystrom (@_ryannystrom) January 23, 2018 Rejected again🤯. Apple is very serious about No-Emoji rule or reviewer is picking on me. Do you notice the daring emoji? I didn't myself. pic.twitter.com/QnIBfGQGnj — an0 (@an0) November 5, 2017 My app got rejected because it used Apple's emoji. I figured those were standard iOS elements and were fair game. Look, here's one now: 🤔 — Josh Johnson (@secondfret) March 24, 2017 @Apple rejected my app update because there's an Emoji in the app icon. Are we not allowed to use emojis? Apps use them all the time 🤔 — Yariv Nissim (@yar1vn) February 14, 2017 So an update to my app got rejected because I used an Apple emoji as a logo. Down to lunch does the same thing https://t.co/Dkeq0n1ayj — Harry Tormey (@htormey) October 25, 2016 the Moj update got rejected because it's too similar to Apple's emoji pic.twitter.com/01WxFLcgf4 — rahcel (@COMETHRUGIRL) October 17, 2016 Adding to the more recent confusion, as Emojipedia also pointed out in its reporting, was the fact that Apple’s own app development course on coding using Swift offers an example of an app with emojis that seems to breach its policy. Apple demonstrates using emoji in their Everyone Can Code / App Development with Swift courses FYI. pic.twitter.com/oXGz7CPA8B — Andrew Briscoe (@andrew_briscoe) February 5, 2018 The real issue here is that the App Review team has not consistently enforced the policies around Apple emoji use. In addition, Apple it doesn’t speak up to clear the air when it’s aware developers are confused. That leads to a situation where developers will just try to sneak their app through, even though it seems to be in violation of the guidelines. (That sometimes works, too.) But in the end, it wastes developers’ time because they later may get caught by App Review. They then have to go back and overhaul their app to address the problem at a much later stage of development. Apple declined to comment about the emoji-related rejections. Featured Image: Frank Behrens/Flickr UNDER A CC BY-SA 2.0 LICENSE

Apple’s HomePod pre-orders sell out ahead of launch

The HomePod was never preordained to be a blockbuster for Apple. Sure, the smart speaker has received overwhelmingly positive marks for sound quality, but the product is a bit late to the game, after both Amazon and Google have launched major offensives. The company also got dinged for its relatively limited Siri functionality at launch. By one metric, however, Apple’s first assistant-focused device seems to just fine, thank you very much — or at the very least, living up to the company’s expectations. Apple’s site is currently sold out of the product, a day ahead of launch. Other retailers do appear to have units in stock, however, and you may still be able to waltz into an Apple Store and pick one up tomorrow, depending on your location. It’s also tough to say whether this is an indication solely of strong demand or partially a product of limited supply. Keep in mind that the company delayed release of the product by about two or so months, as it tweaked the final hardware. That could well have played a role in Apple’s production capacity for the first-generation product. Largely positive reviews have no doubt given the HomePod a boost ahead of launch. Keep in mind that our own review referred to the product in no uncertain terms as “easily the best sounding mainstream smart speaker ever” — a high bar, indeed. But that’s dampened a bit by some mitigating factors including a $349 price tag and being locked into both iOS and Apple Music. Those who got in early, however, have started getting shipping notifications for a February 9 delivery.

Apple partners with NBC on a new Winter Olympics section in Apple News

While Apple continues to focus its eye on how to step up its game in the area of original content, it’s also striking partnerships that could help its offensive line in one specific category: sports. The company is debuting a new section in Apple News that will be dedicated to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The Olympics section will appear in the “For You” section, the part of Apple News where the platform delivers a more personalised set of stories based on publications and channels that you look at regularly. The company will be partnering with NBC Olympics for the service, which will feature videos, articles and infographics also from a selection of sources. The portal will work outside of the US — everywhere that Apple News is live — but since NBC only holds the rights to coverage in the U.S. the video links will only appear and work there. The other partners involved are essentially Apple’s other news partners. While this Winter Olympics section will be appearing in News, the portal will be doing more than just reporting what has happened in the latest events. It will also include a planner for people to figure out what is showing when, and let you add events you want to watch to your calendar. It will also link to live streams, although these and full replays of specific events will link outside to the NBC Sports app, Apple says. Clips from events can be watched directly within the Apple News app. There will also be a medal tracker and morning roundups for those in timezones that are far from where the games are taking place. Apple itself has been making several moves to beef up its own content plays. The thinking is that having more exclusivity and ownership of what is provided on its own video and music services could be a way of differentiating them from the rest of the digital media pack, and potentially making them more attractive for consumers to pay to use. Sports has not really been a huge focus in that context up to now — a deal with Spielberg and family-friendly comedies and dramas with broad appeal seem to be the order of the day. However, Apple did add a dedicated Sports tab to Apple TV in September, perhaps laying the groundwork for this and many more activities down the line. We’re in a mini-spate of tech and media companies getting their ducks in line for the big event. The news comes a day after Google launched its own series of Olympics coverage and features. Both Google’s and Apple’s news hits speak to how those in the business of tech but outside the traditional business of media are looking to get their own share of audience around the Olympics, which is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. One thing that is not clear to me is why Apple has chosen to put its Olympics coverage in “For You”. I have two guesses. On the one hand, it will give a little more attention to the section: Apple has never detailed how much “For You” is used compared to the rest of Apple News, but I’m guessing what’s at the top of the app is used the most when you first open it. On the other hand, the Olympics has mainstream interest and so putting Winter Olympics into the sports section might have meant that a wider range of users may never see it. Updated with more information about how the app will work.

Apple says a processing error led it to send developers wrong app install and...

Yesterday, we noted and reported on how Apple was sending developers emails with install and ad spend details for other developers’ apps. Today, Apple has sent out a note to developers to say that a processing error caused the problem, and that in the future it will only send alerts by email, but that developers will have to log in to their accounts to see any actual numbers or other details. Louis D’hauwe, one of the developers we spoke to yesterday, shared a note from Apple apologising for the error, which appeared confined only to some developers using the company’s new Search Ads Basic tier of advertising: Update from Apple: pic.twitter.com/F7rcbxO2M5 — Louis D'hauwe (@LouisDhauwe) February 7, 2018 The company said that to avoid any problems like this in the future, developers will need to sign into their accounts to view their dashboards with details. Yesterday’s snafu revealed details about apps using the Search Ads Basic service, including how many installs each app was getting, the cost-per-install, and the total spend. As we pointed out yesterday, not only may developers not want to share sensitive information like this with other developers, but they may be particularly unhappy if the data was shared with direct competitors. Search Ads Basic was launched only a couple of months ago, in December 2017, and is aimed at both smaller developers and those who are just starting out with search ads. Apple has a second tier of service that is aimed at bigger ad buys, with more data points and priced at a cost-per-impression rate rather than cost-per-install. Both products underscore a couple of interesting trends around Apple and the App Store. With millions of apps now on the market across both web and native formats, discoverability remains a challenge for many developers, and hoping for virality or publicity in other forms alone to promote an app will not be enough for most. Coupled with that, in a landscape rife with dodgy “growth hack” networks, Apple has seized the moment to provide something that it can control more itself, and make a little revenue from it to boot. Its carrot: installs gained from these ads are weighted more heavily than other installs from other promotional means, as Apple considers them “high quality.” Getting the security for developers right around those ads and ad services should and will be considered part and parcel of whether Apple truly is delivering on that quality assurance.

We’re doin’ it live: Let’s talk Apple HomePod

After what seems like an endless wait, Apple’s HomePod finally lands this week. You can read our freshly posted review — it’s the next best thing to actually buying the thing (and a lot less experience). We’re also trying something a bit new, with a liveblog reaction, discussing Apple’s first foray into the smart speaker category and answering some questions along the way. If you’ve got any burning queries about the product, feel free to reach out to Matthew (@panzer), Megan (@meganrosedickey) and myself (@bheater) over on Twitter, and we’ll do our best to answer them down below. Of course, Apple’s far from the first company to enter the category. Both Amazon and Google have been operating in the smart speaker space for some time with the Echo and Home (respectively). But the HomePod marks an important next step for Siri, finally bringing the smart assistant into the living room in a meaningful way. And, of course the product does so in a way that’s uniquely Apple. Matthew Panzarino February 7, 20188:22 am Brian, I would say that because I said that in my review. Unfortunately, it is now a pull quote and I am cringing hard. Brian Heater February 7, 20188:22 am Why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? Matthew Panzarino February 7, 20188:22 am I’d rather have a HomePod in front of me than have to have a frontal lobotomy. Just different ways of dealing with the pain. Brian Heater February 7, 20188:22 am Matthew, would you say that the HomePod is “easily the best sounding mainstream speaker, ever?” Brian Heater February 7, 20188:21 am Megan Rose Dickey February 7, 20188:21 am I, for one, will not be buying the HP. Can I refer to it as HP? Or is that confusing for people? Matthew Panzarino February 7, 20188:20 am Megan Rose Dickey February 7, 20188:20 am Wassup suckers? Ready to rage on this HomePod?

The Apple Watch can detect diabetes with an 85% accuracy, Cardiogram study says

According to Cardiogram founder Brandon Ballinger’s latest clinical study, the Apple Watch can detect diabetes in those previously diagnosed with the disease with an 85 percent accuracy. The study is part of the larger DeepHeart study with Cardiogram and UCSF. This particular study used data from 14,000 Apple Watch users and was able to detect that 462 of them had diabetes by using the Watch’s heart rate sensor, the same type of sensor other fitness bands using Android Wear also integrate into their systems. In 2015, the Framingham Heart Study showed that resting heart rate and heart rate variability significantly predicted incident diabetes and hypertension. This led to the impetus to use the Watch’s heart rate sensor to see if it could accurately detect a diabetic patient. Previously, Ballinger and his colleagues were able to use Apple’s Watch to detect an abnormal heart rhythm with up to a 97 percent accuracy, sleep apnea with a 90 percent accuracy and hypertension with an 82 percent accuracy when paired with Cardiograms AI-based algorithm. All discoveries so far have been published in clinical journals and Ballinger intends to publish these latest findings shortly after presenting at the AAAI 2018 conference this week. Diabetes is a huge — and growing — problem in the U.S. More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with pre-diabetes or diabetes and more than 1 in 4 of them go undiagnosed, according to the CDC. Part of the problem is the pain that goes into checking blood glucose levels. A patient must prick themselves after every meal and correctly take the right amount of insulin to keep themselves in balance. Early detection could also help in cutting down on diabetes-related diseases before they get out of hand. While there have been other attempts to build special-purpose glucose-sensing hardware, this is the first large-scale study showing that ordinary heart rate sensors—when paired with an artificial intelligence-based algorithm—can identify diabetes with no extra hardware. So what’s next? Ballinger and his cohort on the study Johnson Hsieh mentioned they could be looking at a number of diseases to detect through heart sensors, possibly even gestational diabetes. Hsieh also cautions that those tested were already known to have diabetes or pre-diabetes and that anyone who thinks they might have it should go to their doctor, not just rely on the Watch to tell them what’s going on. But the results are promising. We’ll just have to wait and see what else the Apple Watch and other fitness monitors with a built-in heart rate sensor are able to tell us about ourselves next.

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