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Four industries Apple is set to disrupt

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Apple’s event this week was all about its new iPhones, which go on sale Sept. 21, and the Apple Watch Series 4. The focus, as is usually the case with Apple, centered largely around consumer uses – health tracking, photography, performance, incredible new OLED screens and the “Liquid Retina” display of the less-expensive iPhone Xr. The on-stage demos centered on audio, still images, video and gaming. 

Though the improved hardware will no doubt be important to business users, there was essentially no discussion of enterprise use cases for the devices. And yet they will disrupt multiple industries. In some cases, this disruption will be a continuation of the impact that Apple has already had or re-disruption of industries Apple has already significantly transformed. 

Here are four industries likely to see their processes, focus and business models dramatically changed as Apple presses forward.

Healthcare

Apple has disrupted healthcare repeatedly during the past decade, beginning with the introduction of the iPad (which is expected to get a refresh later this year). Almost immediately, doctors, surgeons and other healthcare professionals saw value in the tablet as an ideal tool for helping them communicate information to patients and colleagues. 

Apple has very clearly focused on healthcare, steadily building an in-house team of experts, most notably around medical devices who know how to work with regulators, researchers and IT. With the introduction of HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit, Apple has been at the forefront of unlocking personal health data and allowing users to share it with care teams, researchers and even first responders. 

Some of the broadest health studies ever conducted have relied on ResearchKit. iPhones and Apple Watches make it possible to contact emergency services and care-givers in seconds, and they provide key information about us using the emergency medical information card that can be accessed on an iPhone – even when the phone is locked. And increasingly, they alert us to signs of danger and disease that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Apple is not slowing its efforts; in fact, it’s just getting started. The announcement this week of fall detection, complete with an understanding of different types of falls, is a major improvement aimed directly at older users. 

Athletics / health / fitness > ECG / heartrate / sinus rhythm” width=”700″ height=”467″ data-imageid=”100772072″> Apple

Much more significant is the revamped heart sensor that can not only alert users to danger that might be missed by doctors – something I personally experienced this summer – but now the device can perform a 1-lead ECG in a matter of seconds. This is an incredible advance for any device and it will be able to provide important information to cardiologists, primary care doctors, and emergency care. Even more notable: Apple was able to thread the needle of regulatory approval in the U.S. Companies like AliveCor have been working to bring similar solutions to market. (AliveCor’s original breakthrough product was an iPhone case that offered similar capabilities, but it needed to be placed on a patient’s chest). 

Apple is also known to be investigating other abilities in this area, including blood pressure and non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that Apple will ever displace medical equipment in hospitals or other care venues – the Apple Watch can’t do a multi-lead ECG – but the company is looking to augment those abilities by enabling tracking in non-clinical settings. This will provide a lot of information that today isn’t possible to capture easily over the long term.

That doesn’t just mean more data, but more real-world data, an important distinction because studies have shown that about one quarter of patients have elevated markers like heart rate and blood pressure in a doctor’s office or hospital due to anxiety about being in a clinic. 

Apple is intent on providing this data to users and doctors and incorporating key contextual data such as time, location and activity information. In terms of getting this data into the hands of doctors, Apple has already taken on that challenge with the ability to interact with healthcare provider information systems.

Graphics, media and marketing

One point Apple continues to drive home is the power of the iPhone camera. The company highlights a great variety of photos captured on the iPhone as part of its overall marketing message about the device. Beginning last year, the company also began hammering home the power of not just the hardware of its cameras, but also the power of its processors and machine-learning capabilities to get a perfect shot. Apple touts the iPhone as being equal to pro-level DSLRs while remaining simple to use.

iphone camera pixabay StockSnap (CC0)

This approach pairs with iOS becoming an image- and video-editing platform in its own right. Adobe, long considered the leading name in digital photography and design, has brought over an increasing chunk of its pro apps to iOS, including Illustrator and Photoshop. This means graphics and media professionals can accomplish an ever-growing amount of work on Apple’s high-end phones as well as with the iPad Pro.

This trend, combined with the realization that the best camera for any job is the one you have with you, opens up the power of mobile photography, videography and design. With editing options once the purview of studios with powerful devices and desktops now in the palm of your hand, shooting, editing and posting – or preparing photos for print – can happen in the field in near-real time.

This has big implications for these creative fields, and great potential for marketing. As marketing moves from its print roots to online social media, brand management, events and even live streaming, the iPhone supports this evolution by allowing complex workflows to be done in seconds in the field. It allows marketing teams to engage with events, social trends and an array of slice-of-life moments that can open new markets, clients, and the public in new ways. It allows crisp and polished results to be made from photos and video in minutes, or even seconds – and that means generating tons of new content at a moment’s notice.

Combining those new abilities with social media means a marketing pro can nurture a campaign from anywhere, generate leads from any event, and engage with customers wherever they may be. 

This gives marketing agencies and departments the leanness of a startup – and it allows startups to deliver highly professional results on the fly. This flattening of the playing field will have an enormous impact, allowing for great content, live and matched with the right message or hashtag to be spread widely, all from the exhibit floor so to speak. It also means being able to catch and catapult organic trends in viral ways that has often been more art and luck than science and intention. 

As with healthcare, we’re still in the first or second inning of where this disruption will lead. Unlike healthcare, where there is a somewhat steady goal line, the evolving nature of these professions and technology means this will be an ongoing experiment in disruption.

Journalism and real-time reporting

The same power the iPhone puts in the hands of marketing professionals also arrives for reporters who can now shoot, edit and publish news in minutes. The Internet, smartphones, and blogging and social media have been powerful forces in the media world for years now. But in many cases, those resources have remained siloed. Video from a mobile phone has been available to journalists for ages now, but it has also been considered less valuable than footage shot with a crew and producer. Until recently, this made perfect sense; video,and sound quality were clearly sub-par. Connectivity posed challenges. And editing was relegated to home base under the watchful eye of a producer. 

This formula and the workflow it requires has begun to shift in recent years, but the limitations of hardware and software on mobile devices left it in place. The easy-to-use editing capabilities that iPhones (and mobile devices in general) provide and increasingly professional tools now allow journalists and bloggers to take power into their own hands. This allows difficult-to-access raw information to become polished reports that can be posted, streamed and delivered right away as news unfolds. Not only is this explosive in terms of timeliness and quality, but the iPhone’s low cost (when compared to the high-end gear traditionally used) puts these abilities in many more hands. 

Retail

One of the first augmented reality (AR) companies highlighted by Apple with the introduction of ARKit last year was IKEA. The furniture retailer made use of the technology to allow customers to visualize how pieces of furniture would look in their homes. As retail has moved online, the ability to accurately place products in the home has become paramount. This is particularly true since many people find it difficult to judge objects based solely on their dimensions or accurately assess color. 

ikea ar app Ikea

AR provides a solution, especially when its pared with smart color displays such as those used in iOS devices. Apple makes that solution easy. While redecorating a room is an obvious application, it barely scratches the surface of how AR can be used in retail. 

One of the biggest trends today in retail involves subscription services that deliver a monthly package containing items a company thinks will delight or be of use to consumers. Although these services started with companies like Blue Apron that make it easier to make meals at home, the approach now runs the gamut from outerwear to razors to undergarments and even home decor. All of these companies rely on data and analytics to recognize trends and decide what to send out each month. Being highly data driven, the new iPhones allow users to share detailed measurements, aesthetics, and other information back to companies. 

A handy AR-compatible device (and the right algorithms) can help tailor what people receive beginning when they sign up for a service. That could include anything from the measurements of our homes, our bodies, or anything else. Beyond simply picturing how an IKEA chair will look in our living room, for example, we can send over room measurements, details about our furniture and the colors of the walls, carpet and artwork in a room; a company can then pull items tailored for our spaces or suggest pieces we’re “missing” in a way no catalog can offer. One photo of our bathroom counter can yield suggestions for towels, bath mats, soaps, skin lotion, toothbrush holders, or shower curtains.

it’s like having a virtual designer working with us at every step of the way. 

Similarly, the same photo – along with a selfie – can allow a company to offer up  specific razors, shaving cream, cologne, or even a suggested haircut or beard trim. A photo of our closet can return clothing suggestions and even closet-organizing systems.

What we’re really talking about here is the ability to turn our phone into a personal shopper by allowing an app, or collection of apps, to peek inside our home. We get an integrated set of items that are much more likely to fit us than something found while browsing a website or visiting a store. 

Although these are only four industries, the volume of disruption across them touches virtually every part of our lives. Where many people wondered if Apple could remain a potent and disruptive force after the death of CEO Steve Jobs, Apple in 2018 has proved that it can – and will – remain a technological disruptor for years to come. 

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The Galaxy S10 could be Samsung’s last flagship with a headphone jack – The Verge

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Other than LG and its focus on audiophile-grade output, there’s been no stauncher defender of the headphone jack than Samsung. The phone giant regularly highlights the 3.5mm jack’s continued inclusion in marketing and device announcements, and its status as the most prominent manufacturer in the Android world means it has a major influence on how many millions of headphone jack-equipped phones are bought and used every month.

But with almost all other previous headphone jack pushers giving in, from OnePlus and Xiaomi to Huawei and Google, will Samsung’s policy last forever? Or, in fact, did it actually just end already?

Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy A8s, is its first without a headphone jack (unless you count flip phones). It’s also the first to feature a circular screen cutout for the selfie camera, in keeping with the company’s stated new strategy of putting high-end features in mid-range devices first. The recently announced Galaxy A9, for example, has four cameras on the back.

The question, then, is whether the Galaxy A8s is the canary in the coal mine for headphone jack aficionados. If Samsung is willing to excise the jack on a forward-looking device from a series that’s supposed to point to the future, how long before flagship phones like the Galaxy S and Note follow suit?


The good news for anyone planning on using older headphones with a Galaxy S10 is that most indications point to Samsung keeping the jack for that device. Bloomberg did report in October that Samsung has been “toying with” prototype phones that omit the 3.5mm port, but since then there have been several unconfirmed leaks that suggest it will be included.

The above Galaxy S10 Plus render comes from 91Mobiles and OnLeaks, for example. It shows that Samsung is planning to adopt the Galaxy A9’s quad rear camera array, but also makes it clear that the headphone jack is intact.

Meanwhile, various case leaks out of China seem to corroborate aspects of the Galaxy S10’s design.

The Galaxy S10 hasn’t comprehensively spread into the wild yet, so it’s possible that these leaks are inaccurate. But from what we know so far, it does seem like the Galaxy S10 at least is likely to retain the headphone jack, despite the Galaxy A8s omitting it.

However, the days of headphone jack-equipped Samsung flagships may still be numbered. Korean outlet ET News, which is well-sourced on the local electronics industry, reported a couple of months ago that Samsung is seriously considering removing the 3.5mm port from flagship devices released after fall 2019. That could mean that either the Galaxy Note 10 might drop the jack, or perhaps more likely the Galaxy S11.

Given broader industry trends, it does seem inevitable that Samsung will follow suit eventually. Fall 2019 would mark three years since Apple released the jack-less iPhone 7, which kicked off this whole controversy. Wireless and USB-C headphones have improved significantly in availability, quality, and value since then to the point where the lack of a jack is rarely an annoyance.

Removing the headphone jack from an established design is still hard to justify to consumers, because the benefit isn’t immediately obvious. But no-one likes to experiment with new industrial design as much as Samsung, and there will eventually be a tipping point where the headphone jack sees low enough usage and imposes enough restrictions on engineering that it won’t be worth including.

For now, we’d be surprised if the Galaxy S10 doesn’t feature legacy headphone support when it’s unveiled in the coming months. The S11, though, or that eternally-in-development ”Infinity Flex” foldable phone? That would be much less surprising.

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OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition brings 30W Warp Charge, 10GB of RAM – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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As part of its new partnership with McLaren, today OnePlus is bringing the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition as well as announcing its Dash Charge successor – the Warp Charge 30.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is more than just a fancier-looking version of its 6T counterpart. For starters, it packs 10GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard. It also comes with OnePlus’ new 30W Warp charger in the retail box.


OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition

Visually, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition has an understated look, similar to that of the Oppo Find X Lamborghini Edition. The 6T McLaren Edition has a glossy black rear panel with a carbon fiber pattern underneath that shows up under direct light.

The side and bottom edges of the phone have the McLaren signature Papaya Orange accent color which shines through at certain angles. The McLaren logo at the rear breaks light into different color patterns.

Warp Charge is almost as impressive as the phone itself. The charger in the retail package packs 30 watts of power and transfers them into the phone through a beefy orange braided color cable. OnePlus pormises 50% of teh battery will get charged in 20 minutes. What’s still not clear is whether the new charger would be able to charge the regular OnePlus 6T just as fast.

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition

Otherwise the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is a 6T through and through – it packs a 6.41-inch 1080x2340px Optic AMOLED, a dual 16MP f/1.7 camera on the rear, 16MP f/2.0 selfie camera, in-display fingerprint scanner and a Snapdragon 845 chipset.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition will go on sale on December 13 in Western Europe and North America, priced at €699/£649/$699 and later, sales will follow in India, China and the Nordics.

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Groundbreaking Infinity Blade removed from App Store, hard to support – SlashGear

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With the high turnover rate of mobile games, very you are able to achieve prestige worthy of the annals of mobile gaming history. Some achieve that through notoriety, others through sheer magnitude. The Infinity Blade trilogy, which remained exclusive to iOS to the very end, reached the hall of fame through pioneering innovation. Now, however, it will remain just that, a part of history no longer accessible today and for future generations as Epic Games has just pulled out all Infinity Blades from the App Store forever.

Mobile games were never really taken seriously at first. They have earned the image of being mindless pastimes like Snake on the old Nokia phones or money-grabbing addictions like Candy Crush. Due to limitations of platforms as well as limitations of phone hardware, mobile games were relegated to being to the same level as calculator and timer apps. Good to be there but only occasionally useful.

Then 2010 ended with the launch of Infinity Blade on the iPhone. The graphics might look dated by today’s standards, but considering we’re talking about the iPhone 4 here, the market reception wasn’t surprising. I made millions in outright game purchases one year when most mobile games could only achieve those numbers through IAPs. Infinity Blade and its two installments changed the game, pun intended.

Sadly, that’s not enough to keep it up forever. Epic Games announced that effective immediately the games will no longer be available for purchase from the App Store. The game developer says it has proven difficult to continue supporting the game at their level of quality, especially when they’re busy working on newer games. And on Fortnite, which may or may not have caused other Epic Games projects to be shelved in its favor.

From a business perspective, it was really inevitable. Infinity Blade has never grown past the third and final game in 2013. It’s not making more money and not seeing more sales. We could only wish Epic Games gave everyone a heads up before it yanked out the games because, unless you’ve already bought it before, there’s no way to buy it now. You can still reinstall any of the games ad infinitum, or at least until they stop working on future iOS versions, but future generations of gamers will just have to rely on screenshots and playthrough videos to experience that groundbreaking piece of mobile gaming history.

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