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Has Apple given up and should you give up on them?

(TECH NEWS) Many people are not impressed with Apple’s innovations in recent years and are now wondering if they have anywhere left to go.




Highschool heroes of the tech world

It is a question that has been raised since Tim Cook took over the company. Countless opinion pieces have already been published with slight variations to that theme.

The common thread running through all those stories is this: Steve Jobs was an innovative genius under whom Apple had a definitive edge. Tim Cook is a bland operations manager, obsessed with supply chain.

Rumor has it Apple has peaked

Such allegations keep coming, despite Apple being one of the most valuable ($720 billion) and profitable businesses in the world.

Last month, Apple’s share hit an all-time high of $136.70, based on excellent business prospects in Asian markets.

And Apple’s stock prices have more than doubled since the death of Steve Jobs.

H8rs won’t listen to the numbers

Then why such harsh, unyielding criticism? Why wouldn’t the doubters lay to rest?

In part, this reflects the high expectations that Apple users, competitors and the market have from the company.

But, deeper analysis also reveals vulnerabilities that competitors are eager to capitalize on.

Nothing new, only improved

The critics point out to a few disconcerting facts.

First, they argue, expanding existing lines (iPhone SE and Plus; iPad Pro) is not exactly innovation.

Exciting new products are conspicuously missing since Jobs passed away. Apple Watch is the only new hardware product released in several years.

iPhone is the breadwinner

The iPhone, now on its 10th Anniversary year, currently brings in a whopping 60 per cent of Apple’s total revenues. In other words, Apple is playing it safe with its signature product for far too long.

That is a huge weakness, whose disruption might hit Apple’s bottom line hard.

This is especially scary since innovations in smartphones may have peaked, warned many analysts including Pieter Thiel. Much of this is down to the glacial pace of product enhancement, argued tech writer Alex Cranz.

Even the financial markets are showing signs of cooling

Mark Moskowitz, a Barclays analyst recently warned against continued investment on Apple, as consumers are increasingly turning to cheaper alternatives to the iPhone in Asian markets like China.

The iPad sales have already peaked and fallen.

And the Mac lineup hit a plateau long ago. Critics point out, that the Mac, especially fell victim to the popularity of iPods and iPhones, while “Mac hardware didn’t receive an update for over four years, and then OS X, once regularly updated with interesting features, now only receives the scraps from iOS.”

You’re tacky and I hate you

It is old, stale and not user-friendly, especially compared to the latest Windows competition. Similar disappointing complaints pepper the web about user experiences with iTunes, iCloud, and Apple Music.

Much of Apple’s future fate has come to be seen as hinging on its iPhone8, which is half a year away from public release.

Can rumors of OLED screen, 3D selfie cameras and wireless charging reestablish it as the innovative frontier of tech as it once was?

Critics seem eager to hold Apple’s feet to the fire

In a Washington Post editorial last year, Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University said “instead of innovating, Apple has been launching frivolous lawsuits against competitors such as Samsung.”

He added, “It could have spent this money on acquisitions of companies which would give it a real edge.”Click To Tweet

Many analysts argue that in order for Apple to stay ahead of the curve, it will need to take disruptive risks and create its own relevance. It will have to hit hard and big. Like the iPhone back in 2007.

Make a move, Apple

Whether that would be a smart car or augmented reality or a new gadget that consumers do not even know they want, critics are waiting impatiently to be blown away once again by Apple.

iPhone8 may allay concerns of entropy for a little while, but a home run will require something that fundamentally shifts the paradigm.


Barnil is a Staff Writer at The American Genius. With a Master's Degree in International Relations, Barnil is a Research Assistant at UT, Austin. When he hikes, he falls. When he swims, he sinks. When he drives, others honk. But when he writes, people read.

Tech News

Onboarding for customers and employees made easy

(TECH NEWS) Cohere enables live, virtual onboarding at bargain prices to help you better support and guide your users.



onboarding made easy

Web development and site design may be straightforward, but that doesn’t mean your customers won’t get turned around when reviewing your products. Onboarding visitors is the simplest solution, but is it the easiest?

According to Cohere–a live, remote onboarding tool–the answer is a resounding yes.

Cohere claims to be able to integrate with your website using “just 2 lines of code”; after completing this integration, you can communicate with, guide, and show your product to any site visitor upon request. You’ll also be able to see what customers are doing in real time rather than relying on metrics, making it easy to catch and convert customers who are on the fence, due to uncertainty or confusion.

There isn’t a screen-share option in Cohere’s package, but what they do include is a “multiplayer” option in which your cursor will appear on a customer’s screen, thus enabling you to guide them to the correct options; you can also scroll and type for your customer, all the while talking them through the process as needed. It’s the kind of onboarding that, in a normal world, would have to take place face-to-face–completely tailored for virtual so you don’t have to.

You can even use Cohere to stage an actual demo for customers, which accomplishes two things: the ability to pare down your own demo page in favor of live options, and minimizing confusion (and, by extension, faster sales) on the behalf of the customer. It’s a win-win situation that streamlines your website efficiency while potentially increasing your sales.

Naturally, the applications for Cohere are endless. Using this tool for eCommerce or tech support is an obvious choice, but as virtual job interviews and onboarding become more and more prevalent, one could anticipate Cohere becoming the industry example for remote inservice and walkthroughs.

Hands-on help beats written instructions any day, so if companies are able to allocate the HR resources to moderate common Cohere usage, it could be a huge win for those businesses.

For those two lines of code (and a bit more), you’ll pay anywhere from $39 to $129 for the listed packages. Custom pricing is available for larger businesses, so you may have some wiggle room if you’re willing to take a shot at implementing Cohere business-wide.

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Tech News

Smart clothing could be used to track COVID-19

(TECH NEWS) In order to track and limit the spread of COVID-19 smart clothing may be the solution we need to flatten the curve–but at what cost?



COVID tracking clothing

When most people hear the phrase “smart clothing”, they probably envision wearables like AR glasses or fitness trackers, but certainly not specially designed fabrics to indicate different variables about the people wearing them–including, potentially, whether or not someone has contracted COVID-19.

According to Politico, that’s exactly what clinical researchers are attempting to create.

The process started with Apple and Fitbit using their respective wearables to attempt to detect COVID-19 symptoms in wearers. This wouldn’t be the first time a tech company got involved with public health in this context; earlier this year, for example, Apple announced a new Watch feature that would call 911 if it detected an abnormal fall. The NBA also attempted to detect outbreaks in players by providing them with Oura Rings–another smart wearable.

While these attempts have yet to achieve widespread success, optimism toward smart clothing–especially things like undershirts–and its ability to report adequately someone’s symptoms, remains high.

The smart clothing industry has existed in the context of monitoring health for quite some time. The aforementioned tech giants have made no secret of integrating health- and wellness-centric features into their devices, and companies like Nanowear have even gone so far as to create undergarments that track things like the wearer’s heart rate.

It’s only fitting that these companies would transition to COVID assessment, containment, and prevention in the shadow of the pandemic, though they aren’t the only ones doing so. Indeed, innovators from all corners of the United States are set to participate in a “rapid testing solutions” competition–the end goal being a cheap, fast, easy-to-use wearable option to help flatten the curve. The “cheap” aspect is perhaps the most difficult; as Politico says, the majority of people have a general understanding of how to use wearable technology.

Perhaps more importantly, the potential for HIPPA violations via data access is high–and, during a period of time in which people are more suspicious of technology companies than ever, vis-a-vis data sharing, privacy could be a significant barrier to the creation, distribution, and use of otherwise crucial smart clothing.

There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated, among other things, technological advancement in ways unseen by many of us alive today. Only time will tell if smart clothing–life-saving potential and all–becomes part of that trend.

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Tech News

Say goodbye to browser cookies – Google wants to give you ‘trust tokens’

(TECH NEWS) Google plans to do away with third-party cookies in favor of “trust tokens”. The question is, will they gain our trust?



Privacy concerns should be at an all-time high with the sheer number of people working from home–something that may have been factored into Google’s recent decision to begin phasing out third-party cookies in their Chrome browser.

In doing so, Chrome would join browsers such as Safari and Firefox–two popular alternatives that have been more proactive about protecting user privacy in the past, according to The Verge.

Cookies, for those who don’t know, are small pieces of information stored on your computer by websites you visit; when third-party cookies are downloaded from these sites, they can track your activity across the internet, thus resulting in unpleasantries like targeted ads and location-based services appearing in your browser.

It’s all a little too accurate to your habits for comfort, so Google is proposing a separate solution: trust tokens.

No, trust tokens are not the newest form of currency on CBS Survivor–they’re “smart” iterations of cookies that will validate your access to a specific website without tracking you once you leave that page. This way, you get to keep your website-specific data–passwords, usernames, and preferences–without having your privacy encroached upon any more than Google already does (admittedly, that doesn’t sound like much of a change, but bear with us).

The real catch for trust tokens is that they don’t actually identify you the way that cookies do, and while some of the side effects of trust tokens may resemble cookie use–e.g., advertisers knowing you clicked on their ad–tokens are a decidedly less personal, more private way to access web content.

Google isn’t just throwing out third-party cookies as a gesture, it seems. Along with the announcement about trust tokens, Google mentioned that they plan to create more transparency around ads–specifically by allowing you to see why you’re seeing a specific ad and from whom and where the ad originated. An extension to help lend additional information about ads is also in the works.

These changes are expected to be implemented within the year. For now, though, you should stick to Firefox or Safari if you’re worried about cookies–you’ll be able to get back to your Chrome tabs soon enough.

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