The Iconfactory’s Craig Hockenberry has an insightful take on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s wider color gamut and DCI-P3 standard, seen also in the latest 5K iMacs.

After using this iPad for a couple of weeks, I’ve realized it’s like the advances of Retina in an important way: I never want to use a lesser display again. And as with higher density, I think it’s obvious that Apple will eventually update all its products to use this improved screen technology. I can’t wait!

We’re quickly reaching a point where more pixels don’t make better photos. Think about how much Apple likes to tout the camera and how better saturation improves photos. These new displays are the first step in a process were wider gamuts become a part of the entire iOS photography workflow. The number of places where your code assumes everything is sRGB will be both surprising and painful.

I haven’t been able to decide if I should be shelling out INR 49,900 on a new iPad, especially considering I’m still using the iPad Mini 2 (without Touch ID) and so far, it seems like Apple’s winning.

Yoink for Mac
Yoink - simplify and improve drag and drop on your Mac.

I missed this yesterday when I posted about the new 12″ MacBook Lineup. Apple has also announced the dates and venue for its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) held in San Francisco. And they also have a really cool website this time for it.

WWDC this year will be held between June 13th to 17th, with the Keynote being held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on the first day and sessions, labs are more being held at Moscone West. There’s also the Bash scheduled on Thursday, June 16th again at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

wwdc-2016

I love the colorful site this year, with what looks like a monospace variant of San Francisco (the font).

If you’re looking to attend this year, you can register now, but attendees will be chosen via a draw like last year.

Apple Updates MacBook with Latest Processors & New Rose Gold Option [with India Pricing]

new-macbook-lineup-2016

Apple has today announced that it has updated the MacBook lineup, bringing along faster processors, improved graphics performance, faster flash storage and one hour longer battery life. Today’s refresh also introduces a new “Rose Gold” color option, taking the lineup to four color variants.

“MacBook is the thinnest and lightest Mac we have ever made and it’s our vision for the future of the notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are going to love this update to MacBook, with the latest processors, faster graphics, faster flash storage, longer battery life and a beautiful rose gold finish.”

The new MacBook now features the latest sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors that go up to 1.3 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz. You also get faster 1866MHz onboard memory, Intel HD 515 Graphics that are up to 25 percent faster than previous generation as well as longer battery life that can take you up to 10 hours of usage.

Apple has also increased the pricing for MacBook in India. Previously, the 12″ MacBook was launched at ₹99,900, with the second model coming in at ₹1,19,900. The new lineup is priced at ₹1,06,900 and ₹1,29,900 respectively, which means India Pricing has gone up by ₹7000 for the base model and ₹10,000 for the top model.

Update April 19th, 2016 20:29: It should be noted that the price increase happened last year, not particularly with today’s announcement.

Sony’s New FE 50mm F/1.8 Prime and FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Zoom Full Frame E-Mount Lenses

I completely missed Sony’s recent announcement 15 days ago about the launch of their new Full Frame Lenses — the 50mm f/1.8 Prime and the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS Zoom.

50mm f/1.8 aka SEL50F18F

This new Prime is designed as a lightweight (192 grams) and cheaper alternative to the the 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens that Sony has been selling so far. The lens features a plastic body with a solid metal mount.

sony-50mm-18-prime

Compared to the $900 price tag for the Zeiss, Sony plans to sell this new lens at just $250 starting in May. You can pre-order it today on B&H.

70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G OSS aka SEL70300G

This is Sony’s “longest reaching E-mount lens to date”. With a minimum focussing distance of just 3 feet and maximum magnification of 0.31x, the 70-300 makes for an ideal telephoto lens, especially considering the built in Optical SteadyShot (Sony’s term for Image Stabilization).

sony-70mm-300mm-45-56-zoom

This too will be available in the US starting May at $1200. You can pre-order it today on B&H.

Details about the India release for both these lenses are still not known.

Yesterday, a report was published by DNA that quoted “sources” claiming that Uber was looking to buy a controlling stake in rival OLA by buying out all of its stake holders, including promoters Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, except for SoftBank.

“Uber is buying a controlling stake in Ola, where all the shareholders, except SoftBank, is being bought out. The enterprise valuation is being estimated at $4billion,” said the source.

OLA rebuffed this report as baseless and today, has clarified on the official blog:

We would like to state that the article, attributed to an ‘unnamed source’ is completely false, misleading, malicious and planted in the said newspaper with the intent of causing harm to the Ola brand and creating confusion among our stakeholders.

We are shocked and dismayed at the lack of journalistic ethics in carrying the story, despite our repeated denial to the reporter and the publication’s editorial representatives. We also had received a verbal confirmation that the report shall not be carried given the company’s denial.

We will initiate appropriate legal action and seek redressal and compensation for the damage caused to us by this irresponsible reporting from DNA.

Yikes!

Michael Zhang from PetaPixel referencing a WSJ report:

[…] Yahoo sent out letters to potential buyers in recent days, asking that they submit bids over the next two weeks for Yahoo’s businesses and holdings.

There are reportedly about 40 companies interested in snatching up part or all of Yahoo. Potential buyers include Verizon, Time, Microsoft, IAC/InterActiveCorp, private equity firms, and more. Yahoo originally acquired Flickr back in 2005 for around $25 million.

Yahoo has completely botched Flickr in recent times. They’ve made some crazy stupid decisions in the past, including making the Desktop Auto Uploadr a Pro feature.

sigh

Baiju Kalesh & Deepali Gupta, reporting for The Economic Times:

Vodafone India has signed a pact to buy YOU Broadband for around Rs 400 crore and has sought approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, said two people familiar with the transaction.

YOU Broadband has been an interesting ISP available in Mumbai, but they’ve stayed away from my area for years now, with no immediate plans to lay fibre here anytime soon.

I don’t expect Vodafone to change that either.

Nitrozac and Snaggy have this hilarious take on Apple’s iPhone product lineup over at The Joy of Tech.

For the uninitiated, this is a reference to the Abbott and Costello sketch, Who’s on First.

Apple Watch Gets a Price Cut in India

Apple Watch New Bands

Alongside the announcement of iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro at the Special Event held yesterday at the company’s Town Hall in Cupertino, Apple also announced a new Space Black Milanese Loop and a new range of Woven Nylon bands for Apple Watch. During the presentation, Tim Cook also announced that the Apple Watch pricing now starts at just $299. This price change only affects the Sport models, with the 38mm version now priced at $299 (previously $349) whereas the 42mm version is now priced at $349 (previously $399). Both versions get a price cut of $50 each, which is about INR 3350.

Thanks to this, the Apple Watch pricing in India has been reduced as well. The Apple Watch was officially launched in India back in November, with the price starting at Rs. 30,900 for the 38mm Sport version and Rs. 34,900 for the 42mm Sport version.

After yesterday’s price cut announcement, Apple has confirmed that the 38mm Apple Watch Sport is now priced at Rs. 25,900 in India, while the 42mm version is now priced at Rs. 29,900. That’s a reduction of Rs. 5000 ($75) on the previous MRP.

It’ll take a while for this new pricing to be reflected across Apple’s retail presence in the country. The pricing of the Steel models as well as Apple Watch Edition remains unchanged.

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has just published this portfolio of 45 pre-production concept art on their website. It’s a fascinating look into the thought process that went into the film, and includes a lot of art for sequences that didn’t even make it into the final cut.

ilm-art-ss-2

Since Industrial Light & Magic’s inception in 1975, every idea dreamt into existence found its genesis within the ILM Art Department. Forty years ago, legendary concept designers like Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston brought George Lucas’s brainchild of an asymmetrical Star Wars “used universe” to life, imagining fantastic worlds bursting with iconic heroes, villains, spaceships and aliens. The ILM Art Department continues to revolutionize film design today, coupling classical technique with the very bleeding edge of technology. Acclaimed directors like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and J.J. Abrams work hand-in-hand with the best art directors and artists in the film industry, exploring ideas and iterating on those ideas until their vision is realized, making the unreal real and the impossible possible.

Even if you are not a fan of the Star Wars franchise, you should check this out for sure.