Twitterrific’s New Facial Recognition Feature

A couple of days ago, The Iconfactory released version 5.12.1 of Twitterrific, the popular Twitter app for iOS. A subtle yet brilliant new feature introduced in this release is the facial recognition feature for the rich media previews in the timeline. Allow me to elaborate what this is with a couple of screenshots:

I tweeted out something today with a link and an attached photo. Here’s how that tweet looks in the official Twitter app: 

  
and here’s how the same tweet looks in the new Twitterrific:

  
Twitterrific 5.12.1 makes use of the Facial Recognition API in iOS to detect faces in any previews on your timeline and crops them so that the faces are always in focus. It’s a small addition, but makes a big impact to your timeline.

It’s the little details like these that have an immense effect on the overall delight that an app gives you. Twitterrific was already a fantastic Twitter app for iOS and didn’t need to add this feature, but now that they have, I wish this was default in every app out there. 

Twitterrific is available for Free on the App Store.

Bharti Airtel files FIR against former employee for stealing confidential data to aid Reliance Jio

Romit Guha, reporting for ETtech:

“(Yasir Majid) after having been relieved from the services of the company (Airtel), took up employment with M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd…It thus became evident that the said Mr Yasir Majid downloaded, copied and extracted the aforementioned confidential financial data/information of the company for his own use and the use thereof by his current employer M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., who is a business competitor of the company,” said the first information report (FIR) filed by the police, a copy of which was viewed by ET.

and…

Data that were unauthorisedly transferred included details of locations of Airtel’s base stations used to transmit airwaves and plans for future installations of such equipment, “highly confidential” financial information about the company’s BTS wise activation gross revenue details for the Jammu & Kashmir service area and a power point presentation used at the zonal business manager’s meeting on February 15.

The Release Notes of the Reuters TV iOS App

Reuters is one of the most widely known news agencies in the world. They offer an app called Reuters TV on the iOS App Store. Available for both the iPhone and iPad, the app offers a personalized TV news service wherein you can watch on-demand & insightful video programming for the topics you’re most interested in. It makes great use of rich media and graphics to offer an immersive experience and it is one of my favorite ‘news’ apps that I use to keep up with the news.

I also love Reuters TV for its release notes on the App Store. Being a news agency, Reuters takes a clever approach towards the Whats New in Version on the App Store. Here’s what the release notes for the latest version released today (v1.1.2) look like:

EAGAN, Minnesota (Reuters) – Battling the onset of a brutal allergy season and unusually high pollen counts, developers in America’s midwest contended with red eyes and runny noses to release another update to the Reuters TV app.

The new release surprised commentators, who had not been expecting a release so soon after iPad compatibility was added. In brief comments, a spokesperson for Reuters TV said the new app resolves a number of minor bugs and speed issues that had crept into the recent release and claimed it addresses “technical debt”.

A high ranking team member, who declined to be identified, described working through the night to deliver improvements for the new version. He claimed the new app will run “a heck of a lot faster” and “a whole lot smoother”.

Analyst Chance Johnellor said he was “confident” the updated app will perform reliably, pointing to research his team had done to suggest the update delivered improved performance and battery life.

Spokespeople for Reuters TV declined to comment further on the release, noting that they appreciated all user feedback and that further updates are planned soon. The team can be reached at hello@reuters.tv.

This isn’t a one-off case though, they’ve been doing this since the very first version.

Version 1.1.1

reuters-tv-v111

Version 1.1.0

reuters-tv-v110

Version 1.0.1

reuters-tv-v101

The Reuters TV app is available Free on the App Store and you can read and watch the content for 30 days. After that, a subscription is just $1.99 a month.

Major zero-day exploit found in iOS & OS X

The security flaw itself sounds scary, but the following bit from the article is far more scarier

The Register says the team reported the flaws to Apple in October of last year. At that time, Apple said that it understood the seriousness of the flaws and asked the researchers to give it six months to address them before the exploit was made public. In February, Apple requested an advance copy of the paper, yet the flaws remain present in the latest versions of both operating systems

Apple Announces New 15″ MacBook Pro with Force Touch and Cheaper 27″ iMac with Retina 5K Display

Apple today announced the availability of a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch and a cheaper base model of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro now features the same Force Touch trackpad that the company introduced in the new MacBook and also added to the 13″ MacBook Pro. Also new in the hardware is 2.5 times faster flash storage, faster discrete graphics and slightly better battery life. In India, this updated 15-inch MacBook Pro is available with a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz), 16GB RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Iris Pro graphics and is available at Apple Authorized Resellers at INR 1,59,900. A second model with a faster 2.5GHz processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz), 512GB of flash storage and dedicated AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics is available at INR 1,99,900.

Apple also introduced a cheaper and lower-spec’d 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display. The new model with a 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and 1TB 7200rpm hard drive is priced at INR 1,59,900 in India ($1999 in the U.S.) while the top-end model with 3.5GHz processor and 1TB Fusion Drive is priced at INR 1,79,900 in India. This model has undergone a price cut in the U.S, now available at $2299 instead of $2499. I have been eyeing the Retina 5K iMac for myself to upgrade my old 2011 iMac and was actually hoping Apple would release better hardware at the same price.

The company has also (surprisingly) released a iPhone Lightning Dock today, available for $39 in the U.S or INR 3,200 in India.

The Force Touch trackpad is now available in the new MacBook, 13″ MacBook Pro and the 15″ MacBook Pro. I am hoping Apple will also release a Magic Trackpad with Force Touch sometime soon.

Airtel 4G Trials Launched in Mumbai

Airtel on Saturday officially rolled out 4G LTE trials in the Mumbai on Band 40, 2300MHz using the TD-LTE technology. The company has previously rolled out its 4G services in 23 other cities and over the weekend, it has also added Chennai, Hyderabad & Vishakhpatnam along with Mumbai to its list.

Existing and New Airtel customers with 4G compatible mobile handsets can upgrade their existing SIM cards to newer 4G U-SIMs for Free by visiting any nearest Airtel gallery or by ordering one from their website at http://airtel.in/4g. You can also check whether your handset & SIM are ready for the 4G network by visiting this page and entering your mobile number there.

Read more →

DoT Receives Legal Notice on Zero-Rating Plans of Telcos

[Indian Netizens and Internet Entrepreneurs Welfare Association (INIEWA)], created last month, has said in the notice that zero-rating plans are violating the licence condition under which telecom operators must give customers unrestricted access to the Internet.

Samsung’s Profit Sinks 39%, Hit by Bigger iPhones

Samsung Electronics Co. said its first quarter net profit plunged 39 per cent as consumers switched to bigger iPhones, squeezing earnings from its mobile business to less than half what they were a year earlier.

The company reported Wednesday that its January-March net profit was 4.63 trillion won ($4.35 billion), compared with 7.49 trillion won a year earlier.

Ouch!

Cleartrip Redesigns its Mobile Website

Three principles guided the mobile web redesign for us:
– Move from the dated yellow colour palette to the white and blue theme of Tuxedo.
– Ensure consistency of experience across desktop and mobile web.
– Steal the best concepts from our app designs, without trying to mimic the apps on mobile web.

Cleartrip proves yet again why they’re one of my favorite companies in India with a focus on design.

There is a trend of brands shutting down their mobile sites in favor of mobile apps — they claim it is due to the overwhelming effort required to maintain all products across multiple platforms. We think that’s a terribly weak argument coming from companies that have no dearth of resources at their disposal. We’re committed to keeping Cleartrip accessible so our customers can use the channels they prefer. The web is one of the fastest and easiest platforms to develop and maintain (as compared to other front end platforms), and testimony to that, this entire project took us just 2 months to complete.

Bravo!

Apple’s Second Quarter Results for 2015

Apple has announced its quarterly results for Q2 2015 and as is expected of them, they’ve had an outstanding quarter. In the second three months of 2015, Apple announced that it has sold 61.2 Million iPhones, 12.6 Million iPads and 4.6 Million Macs towards a total revenue of US$58 Billion.

The company made US$13.6 Billion in quarterly net profit and now has a cash balance of $194 Billion. In the year-ago quarter, Apple posted a revenue of $45.6 Billion and a net quarterly profit of $10.2 Billion.

It’s interesting to note that Apple’s biggest market segment outside of the Americas was China, which overtook Europe this quarter. Apple generated $21.3 Billion in the Americas, $16.8 Billion in China alone and $12.2 Billion in Europe, followed by $3.4 Billion in Japan and $4.2 Billion in the Rest of Asia Pacific.