Category Archives: Tech Announcement 2014
More than 100 former Infosys executives are returning to the company, heeding new CEO Vishal Sikka’s call to them to rejoin the one-time software industry bellwether in what could be a big confidence booster in its efforts to attract fresh talent and prevent existing employees from jumping ship.
Once an employer of choice in India, Infosys steadily lost that status in the past couple of years, hemorrhaged talent, including at senior levels, and left it with industry-leading attrition levels that has seen almost one in five employees leave the company.
After Sikka took charge of Infosys on August 1, one of his first actions was to issue an open call to former Infosys employees to come back to the company. In an email titled “A new beginning”, Sikka urged former employees to consider joining back, saying: “Our focus on finding new, exciting ways of working together has never been stronger. I have often heard it said that once an Infoscion, always an Infoscion. Friend, you stand testimony to this fact, and I know I can look forward to our continued association and your support as an ambassador for Infosys.”
That plea has since started yielding results, with the number of returnees, which stood in the low teens on average in the last 12 months, now steadily rising. Infosys has long had a programme called “Green Channel” to woo back former employees into the company, but this time around special care is being put to make their return smooth.
“There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the messages that have gone out to former Infoscions,” confirmed Srikantan Moorthy, executive vicepresident and head of human resources at Infosys. “I don’t have a definitive number because these are all people that apply for a position and then we look through and see how many have applied that were former Infoscions. But I can definitely say it will be more than 100.” He did not share details about the levels or roles at which people were returning or whether these included some high profile names.
This will be a shot in the arm for Sikka, who, in his first interview to ET since taking charge, had listed managing Infosys’ high attrition levels as one of his main short-term challenges alongside reviving growth. For the quarter to end-September, attrition stood at 20.1 per cent or one in five employees had left the company. Return of former employees will be perceived as a sign of renewed confidence in the company, and help Sikka and his executive team to attract talent in their attempts at rebuilding Infosys.
iPhone 6: Everything you need to know
The iPhone 6 is finally official. After months of leaks and near endless rumours, Apple’s latest smartphone has been unveiled ahead of a September 19 iPhone 6 release date.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 rival is not alone either. As many had predicted, the iPhone 5S follow-on has landed alongside a big brother – the iPhone 6 Plus. While the iPhone 6 runs a 4.7-inch display, the 6 Plus packs an LG G3 rivalling 5.5-inch screen.
What’s more, the new iPhone had to share the stage with Apple’s first wearable. The Apple Watch will not hit retailers until ‘early 2015’ but it already looks set to stomp over rivals such as the Samsung Gear Live and Motorola’s Moto 360.
Packing a completely new design, iOS 8 operating system, a faster processor and improved camera optics, the iPhone 6 is a sizeable improvement.
Read on for everything you need to know about the iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Release Date: When can I buy the iPhone?
Keeping with tradition, the iPhone 6 release date will be held just 10 days after the phone’s formal unveiling. That means the device will hit retailers on September 19.
Coming as something of a double act, the iPhone 6 Plus release date has been confirmed for the same day.
The September 19 iPhone 6 release date will see the phone hit 10 territories on day one. As well as the UK, the new Apple phone will hit the US, Australia, Canada and France next week. Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico and Singapore will also be among the first to get the iPhone 6.
Heading for a more comprehensive release later in year, Apple has confirmed that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 115 countries by the end of the year.
For those who just can’t wait until September 19 to secure their own iPhone 6, Apple has revealed that iPhone 6 pre-orders will open this Friday, September 12. iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will be held at the same time.
iPhone 6 Design: What’s new?
Visually, the iPhone 6 is a whole new beast. Slimmer than its predecessor, the phone packs a refined, rounded edged design. Both new Apple phone’s follow this design principle.
However, while the iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm thin, the iPhone 6 Plus is a slightly beefier 7.1mm thick. This, though, is still slimmer than the 7.6mm iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 lines up at 129g in weight, the 6 Plus weighs 172g.
“Today, we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone,” Apple CEO Tim said in unveiling the device.
As well as shaving off millimetres, the iPhone 6 looks totally different. The phone’s rounded corner look has been finished with an anodized aluminium back. The Apple logo, although not illuminated like some had suggested it might be, is made from a stainless steel inlay.
There will be three iPhone 6 colours available at launch. These echo those of last year’s phone, with silver, space grey and gold hues set to be available. The same colour options will be available on the iPhone 6 Plus.
Another design difference sees the phone’s power button relocated. Unlike past iPhone’s which have hosted this physical control up top, the iPhone 6 moves the button to the device’s side. This sees the phone closer mimic some of its leading Android-based rivals.
The biggest iPhone 6 design change, however, is the arrival of two handset sizes. This move had long been expected though.
Months before launch, Topeka Capital analyst Brian White stated: “The next iPhone will offer customers more choice in terms of screen size.”
He added: “The Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model, we believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach.”
iPhone 6 Specs: The Screen and Processor
The iPhone 6 isn’t just about looks. The phone features improvements under the hood, too.
Up first, display. While the phone had been tipped to feature a Quantum Dot display coated in scratch resistant Sapphire Glass, neither point came to fruition. Instead the iPhone 6 packs a 4.7-inch LCD Retina HD display with an Ion-strengthened glass layer.
Although falling a little short of the rumour mill expectation, the iPhone 6 screen looks set to be capable of more than holding its own against the competition.
While the traditional iPhone 6 screen benefits from a 1334 x 750 pixels resolution, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is a little more detailed. It adds a more traditional 1920 x 1080p Full HD panel. Both displays offer fingerprint-resistant oleophoblic coatings, wide viewing angles and 500 candela brightness levels.
Things have been rejigged beneath the surface too.
Despite also boosting the iPhone’s graphical abilities, the A8 is not alone. The CPU is partnered with Apple’s new M8 ‘motion coprocessor’.
This is a chip dedicated to health and motion tracking. Packing the usual array of sensors (accelerometer, altimeter, barometer, digital compass, gyroscope), the iPhone 6 – thanks to the M8 – is capable of accurately turning your movements into reliable fitness data.
Combine this with the iOS 8 introduced HealthKit apps and the iPhone 6 is shaping up to be a personal trainer in your pocket. With relative elevation measurements, it can even let you know how many stairs you’ve climbed.
The iPhone 6 packs the same Touch ID sensor as the iPhone 5S. Thanks to a few software tweaks, however, the applications of this are now far more expansive. The iPhone 6 will now offer biometric authentication on third-party apps.
This fingerprint scanner will also come in handy when using Apple’s new in-store mobile payment service, Apple Pay.
Battery wise, Apple is claiming the iPhone 6 offers staying power equal, if not better than, the iPhone 5S. It is being tipped to offer 14 hours of 3G talk time so those nightly trips to the charger will still be required. The exact capacity of the phone’s battery, however, is still unclear.
The same can be said for the iPhone 6 Plus, a device which is tipped to run 24 hours of 3G talk time on a single charge.
Apple has mixed things up on the capacity front with the iPhone 6. With microSD card expansion missing as always, the company has confirmed it will introduce a 128GB iPhone for the first time. This oversize option has come at the expense of the 32GB offering though. Bizarrely, the phone will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities.
On a connectivity front, as you would expect, the iPhone 6 is 4G, LTE compatible. Supporting 20 LTE bands, the iPhone 6 will also offer Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling. EE will support this in the UK. For the first time on an Apple phone, NFC has made the cut.
The phone will come bundled with a pair of Apple EarPods headphones, and a Lightning charger. The handset requires a Nano-SIM.
For those snap-happy smartphone owners out there, the iPhone 6 camera has also been on the receiving end of some updates.
The phone retains the 8-megapixel iSight sensor of its predecessor and pairs this with a TrueTone flash and a f/2.2 aperture. There are significant improvements on the camera’s performance though.
Apple has claimed that a new autofocus mechanic is faster and more accurate than on previous models. The phone using something the company calls Focus Pixels, a different name for phase detection focussing.
The two iPhone 6 models differ slightly in their camera options. White the larger iPhone 6 Plus benefits from optical image stabilisation – like devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – the standard iPhone 6 only features digital stabilisation.
There is the usual array of all-encompassing camera modes on both devices. Panorama shots have also been boosted to up to 43-megapixel in size.
For those who want their smartphones to tackle more than stills, the iPhone 6 has some pretty impressive video recording capabilities too.
Overlooking unnecessary 4K credentials, the iPhone 6 is capable of shooting 1080p, Full HD video at both 30fps and 60fps. Apple’s Slo-Mo mode makes a welcome reappearance with footage able to be captured at 240fps before being slowed down.
Selfie lovers, you’re covered too. A new 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera features around front. It boasts a f/2.2 aperture and can shoot 720p HD video in its own right. With improve dace detection it is ideal for video calls or, more likely, those Facebook-bound vanity shots.
Although existing iPhone and iPads will be running the software two days before the iPhone 6 lands, Apple’s latest phone will be the first to host iOS 8 direct from the box.
An iOS 8 update has been confirmed for September 17, with all Apple phone from the iPhone 4S up, and tablets from the iPad 2 onwards, all set to benefit from the patch.
Back to the iPhone 6 though, and some bespoke software additions are being thrown in.
The larger phones feature a new ‘reachability’ mode to aid single-handed use. These are being introduced through iOS 8 to both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They compress on-screen content down for easier access with a single hand.
Further addressing ease of use, iOS 8 introduces an improved Notifications menu, as well as Mail improvements and new Safari features.
As Apple looks to offer solutions for monitoring your life and your home, the software brings HealthKit and HomeKit to the fore for the first time.
These software packages are set to collate data from all manner of third-party devices to offer a comprehensive understanding of your most intimate data in one location.
According to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi: “HealthKit provides a single place where applications can create a comprehensive wellbeing and health.”
He added HealthKit will allow users to do “everything from monitoring your activity level, your heart rate, to your weight and chronic medical conditions like diabetes.”
As with most things Apple, the iPhone 6 isn’t cheap. Prices for the phone kick off at a premium £539 for the 16GB model.
While the 64GB and 128GB capability handsets will set wannabe owners back £619 and £699 respectively, the larger iPhone 6 Plus will be even more expensive.
The three storage options on the 5.5-inch handset will be priced at £619, £699 and a whopping £789.
Sony’s QX series of cameras is an oddity, but one that the company is apparently still committed to – a new leak from Sony Alpha Rumors reveals a treasure trove of press images depicting a so-called “QX1″ model, which takes the basic concept of the QX10 and QX100 smartphone camera accessories and adds interchangeable lenses.
The QX10 and QX100, for those unfamiliar with Sony’s strange forays into the world of snap-on lenses, are standalone cameras (complete with a sensor and lens combo) that connects to your smartphone via an app for viewfinder and image review functions. Essentially, it replaces the body and controls of a camera, while keeping the essential bits in an external hardware accessory, with the aim of offering serious image quality in a more convenient form factor that takes advantage of the devices we all carry around with us anyway.
The QX1 would apparently build on this by allowing owners to swap out lenses on a smartphone sensor mount base, with the range of Sony’s E-mount interchangeable lenses being compatible with the device. This means any lens that you could use on a Sony NEX-series camera would work here. The sensor in the companion unit is also said to be an APS-C, which is the same size as those found in most entry-level DSLRs, and it will also include a built-in pop-up flash.
The mount can operate both affixed to a companion smartphone, or controlled at a distance from a device while the sensor/lens combo are positioned separately or placed atop a tripod, for instance, meaning this could actually be a pretty versatile accessory for genuine photogs, possibly with better value than a dedicated camera because expensive parts like the LCD viewfinder display are left to the companion smartphone. Sony Alpha Rumors says it’ll be announced in Berlin tomorrow, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to get a price and date.
Whether you’ve ever built an iOS app or not, you’ve probably heard tales of how frustrating it can be to get Apple’s stamp of approval.
But why does Apple reject apps? What are the big mistakes that most developers make?
In the first release of what looks to be something Apple intends to update regularly, the company has published a running Top 10 list of the most common reasons apps get rejected.
Here’s the list as published when the page first launched:
Alas, two of the biggest “reasons” seem like fuzzy catch-alls: number one is “More information needed.” Maybe your app’s description is weak. Maybe you forgot to include a link for a support page. Whatever the case, Apple expects some information that you didn’t provide.
Number 3, “Did not comply with terms in the Developer Program License Agreement,” is equally broad.
The other eight, though, are pretty specific. The biggest, specificly-defined issue? Bugs.
At the time of publishing, the top 10 reasons account for nearly 60 percent of app rejections.
Source: Tech Crunch
Like many other users, the battery on my iPhone tends to die right before the end of the day. One obvious solution is to use a case like the Mophie, but I don’t like increasing the size of my phone. Another is to carry a battery charger around with me, but unfortunately, I am just too dunderheaded to remember an extra device.
Trust me, I’ve spent more than 30 years trying to become less forgetful, but the hassle of remembering to keep one more device charged, in addition to my phone, various other mobile devices (I own an Android tablet in addition to my iPad), and laptop is beyond my already beleaguered mental constraints.
That’s why I jumped (ha) at the chance to try Native Union’s JUMP Cable, a nifty cable/battery pack combo. The JUMP Cable, which blew past its Kickstarter goal in February, is now available to buy for $49.99.
That is a bit pricey because it only holds a 30 percent charge, but that 30 percent is enough power to buy you an additional hour or two on your phone at the end of the day when you really need it, even if you use power-draining apps.
And since you can charge and sync your iPhone with the JUMP Cable instead of using its lightning cable (a micro-USB version is also available for other devices), it’s almost impossible to forget, even if you are woefully absentminded like me. I just unplug my phone and the cord, wrap it securely around the battery pack, and toss both in my bag. The battery pack and 19-inch cable weigh only 1.5oz together, so it doesn’t add much bulk to the mass of stuff I carry around each day.
The Jump Cable is available for order on Native Union’s site.
Source: Tech Crunch