After reports emerged last month that Apple was seeking approval to open its own stores in India, ET is reporting today that the company will have to resubmit its application:

Apple […] will have to submit a fresh application for opening single brand retail stores in the country, as certain gaps have been found in the initial proposal.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has explained the gaps to the company and wants them to submit a fresh application, seeking more information on their proposal for further processing, according to sources.

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Panic‘s Cabel Sasser has a wonderful rundown of how the year 2015 was for them as a team and for their apps, as well as what 2016 is poised to be like.

In 2015, we watched our processes and systems improve dramatically as our talented team took ownership of parts of our puzzle that suited them best. We got an all-in crash-course on the business and creative challenges of developing a cross-platform video game, something we’ve always wanted to attempt. We saw some experimental notions get put on hold, while others expanded. And we shipped a couple of great new apps and stretched our creativity. It was, all told, a great year.

Coda 2 for iOS and Status Board 2 were incredible updates to the already stellar apps and it’s quite interested to read about how much effort was put into their apps, including QnA.

This might bake your noodle: we shipped 35 updates across all six Mac and iOS apps by the end of 2015.

However, this following bit was really disheartening to read:

iOS Revenue. I brought this up last year and we still haven’t licked it. We had a change of heart — well, an experimental change of heart — and reduced the price of our iOS apps in 2015 to normalize them at $9.99 or less, thinking that was the upper limit and/or sweet spot for iOS app pricing. But it didn’t have a meaningful impact on sales.

More and more I’m beginning to think we simply made the wrong type of apps for iOS — we made professional tools that aren’t really “in demand” on that platform — and that price isn’t our problem, but interest is.

I’m a big fan of their apps. Panic’s apps are “pro” apps that help you get serious work done. Coda for iOS was $10 at launch, but I’d have gladly paid upwards of $50 for it, simply because it helps me earn and/or save far more than that. The unfortunate thing about it is that there are very few people like me out there — essentially the demand isn’t as much as Panic would like.

In fact the three-week experiment in 2015 had even better results than the Transport for London researchers predicted based on the Greenwich research. For example, one escalator that normally transported 12,745 people between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. on a typical week was able to move 16,220 because of standing rules.

Also,

The approach asks people to do something they are often bad at: delaying instant gratification in the interest of a greater good.

Heh!

Apple Seeks Approval to Open Own Stores in India

ETtech this morning is reporting that Apple is seeking DIPP nod to open own stores in India.

Apple India has filed an application to open its own Apple branded stores in India with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Confirming the development, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said, “We have just received Apple’s proposal. We are examining it.”

Back in November 2015, I had reported how Apple Stores in India may soon be possible after the Government of India had issued a press release announcing FDI reforms across 15 sectors, following which the DIPP had considered making exceptions in “certain high technology segments”.

Seems like Apple’s going for the kill.

I’m far from being a fan of the franchise, but these concept designs are really good.

Literally all of the popular iXyr Media websites, including this one, are powered by the amazing CloudFlare architecture. There is tremendous value that CloudFlare gives out for Free and I couldn’t be happier with the product. A few days ago, CloudFlare made this big announcement that has long been my only feature request to them:

India is home to 400 million Internet users, second only to China, and will add more new users this year than any other country in the world. CloudFlare protects and accelerates 4 million websites, mobile apps and APIs, and is trusted by over 10,000 new customers each day. Combine these forces, and we are positioned to connect hundreds of millions of Indian users with the millions of Internet applications they use each day.

Today, we accelerate this momentum with the announcement of three new points of presence (PoPs) in Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi. These new sites represent the 66th, 67th and 68th data centers respectively across our global network.

They didn’t just announce a POP in India, they went all out and announced three of them.

As of this moment, our data centers in Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi are serving all CloudFlare customer content in under 50 milliseconds to users across the entire Indian subcontinent, about 7 times faster than the blink of an eye. And we’re not done yet—we’re still making tweaks to further decrease latency.

As someone whose sole livelihood depends on building and running websites, this is the best thing to happen this year.

Katie Benner on The New York Times:

In a joint statement filed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, the two companies said that Samsung had agreed to make the payment in accordance with a partial judgment in Apple’s favor handed down in September.

Ricoh Announces the Theta S in India, Goes on Sale in December 2015

At an event held in Mumbai yesterday, Ricoh India announced the Theta S— the company’s latest handheld 360 degree camera and the successor to the previous generation Theta m15. The new model, touted by the company as “high-spec top-of-the-line” has been priced at Rs. 40,000 in India and is capable of capturing full 360 degree images with a single click, as well as Full HD 360 degree video at 30fps with 25 minutes of continuous shooting. The battery life is pegged at around 300 shots.

theta-s

I got to spend some “hands-on” time with the Theta S at the event and it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting cameras that I’ve come across. It is fairly small, about as tall as a typical smartphone and as wide as a matchbox (or around 130mm x 44mm x 18mm) and weighs about 125 grams. It has two fish-eye lenses pointing in the opposite direction that capture 12 Megapixels each and output an image that’s equivalent to 14 Megapixels. The Theta S does an incredible job of stitching the images it captures — I perused through about 20-odd images and not one had any visible stitch lines, except for the areas exactly below the camera, usually due to your hand that holds the camera.

The Theta S has a apps available for iOS and Android (similar to GoPro cameras) that let you control your camera with your smartphone and transfer the images taken from it. I connected my iPhone 6 to the demo unit available at the event and setup over Wi-Fi was ridiculously easy. Once you transfer the images, you can edit them (like blur out certain areas) and publish them to social networks right within the app.

I love the fact that the Theta S adheres to Google’s Spherical Image API spec and is compatible with the Google Street View app. I have been taking Photo Sphere images at places I’ve traveled to and publishing them to Google Maps (Here’s my profile) and it was great to know that the Theta S works directly with the app. When you have the camera connected to your smartphone, you can use it from within the Google Street View app to take one-click photos and publish them to Google Maps (or keep them private). This alone makes the Theta S a far more interesting camera for me. If you’re a developer, there’s also an official API and SDK available for you.

I only got to spend a few minutes with the Ricoh Theta S, so I’ll reserve my full judgement after I get to try it for a few days at a stretch, but you can probably tell how excited I am about it. At INR 40,000, it’s not something that’d interest a lot of buyers, but enthusiasts are definitely going to love it.

Here’s a test photo I clicked on the demo Theta S at the event (requires Flash to view):

First Test Photo – Test Photo from the RICOH THETA S

oneplus-marshmallow

OnePlus today announced the schedule they’ll be following for rolling out the Android Marshmallow update for the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X:

The OnePlus 2 will also be updated in Q1, and the update will include the new standard Marshmallow API for the fingerprint sensor. We’ve heard requests for us creating an API for the current fingerprint implementation in OxygenOS, but have decided against this since we’re switching over to the standard Android M implementation soon.

The OnePlus One, which runs CyanogenOS, will get the update when Cyanogen updates it in Q1 2016. If you’re running OxygenOS on your OnePlus One though, prepare to be disappointed:

We created a community build of OxygenOS for the OnePlus One, but this isn’t what the product officially ships with. We will be updating the community build of OxygenOS for the OnePlus One when time allows.

(emphasis mine)

Dawn Chmielewski and Jason Del Rey reporting for Re/code:

The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant is in talks with several big U.S. banks to develop a digital payments system that would let people send money to each other via their phones, similar to services offered by PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo, according to multiple people familiar with the talks.