Why Apple Needs an iPhone Search Engine

Last Updated Apr 1, 2010 12:28 PM EDT 70% chance" that Apple (AAPL) will build its own search engine. The idea, Munster says, is to "protect data" generated by iPhone searches instead of ceding it all to Google (GOOG). Reductive analysis? Yes. But he's on to something -- he just doesn't know what. Here's how to glean something useful from this prediction. Munster delivers his argument with all the delicacy of a catapult, betraying (as CrunchGear gleefully points out) a serious confusion about exactly what a "search engine" is. But even if his conclusions are bungled, he's responding to a very real burgeoning issue: it's getting harder and harder to find stuff with the iPhone. Here's the user scenario: if you want to find local businesses or locations, you need to search the Maps app. If you want to find new software, you need the (rather ineffectual) App Store search. Music? The iTunes Music Store app. Web search? Safari's Google search. Then there's the iPhone's Spotlight search feature, which is a pretty poor simulacrum of the Mac's same feature. In other words, there are too many ways of searching with the iPhone, and all of them are growing increasingly unwieldy as they're forced to filter more apps, songs, and local files. Munster argues that Apple is trying to wean itself from Google-reliance, mostly in the Maps department, and that's true. But starting a Web search engine from the ground up (even with the purchase of an extant engine like Cuil) would be prohibitively expensive and plainly stupid. What Apple really needs -- and what it might be working on -- is a unified iPhone search service that it can monetize with hyperlocal ads. Such a feature -- think of it as "Super Spotlight" -- would have to deal with a lot of data: songs, apps, Web results (probably delivered via Google), emails and so on. To make such a feature feasible, it would need to dovetail with Apple's impressive Genius software, relying on the iPhone's own data to decide how to deliver your Continue Reading

Steven Soderbergh Wants to Only Shoot Movies on iPhone Now: ‘This Is the Future’

Director shot latest movie exclusively with the "game changer" smartphone Sean Burch, provided by Published 2:52 pm, Friday, January 26, 2018 Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Steven Soderbergh Wants to Only Shoot Movies on iPhone Now: ‘This Is the Future’ 1 / 1 Back to Gallery The iPhone just got a a ringing endorsement from one of Hollywood’s top directors. Steven Soderbergh shot his upcoming thriller, “Unsane,” exclusively on an iPhone — and he’s more than happy with the results. “People forget, this is a 4k capture,” Soderbergh told IndieWire. “I’ve seen it 40 feet tall. It looks like velvet. This is a game changer to me.” Also Read: Steven Soderbergh's 'Mosaic': What's the Difference Between the App and HBO Show? When asked if he’d exclusively shoot with his iPhone moving forward, Soderbergh said he’d need a “pretty good reason not to be thinking about that.” Latest entertainment videos Now Playing: Now Playing Why Lisa Kudrow Thinks a Friends Movie Would Never Work InStyle Grammy winners reveal where they keep their awards Associated Press Right Now: Oprah Visits the Grave of Recy Taylor InStyle Gerard Butler says he lots of money, jokes there's no need to rob a bank Associated Press Oprah Winfrey Cover Shoot: Fashion Tropes Entertainment Weekly Elton calls fatherhood a 'miracle' Associated Press Brothers Osborne set to release second album Associated Press Right Now: Mila Kunis Hasty Pudding InStyle Jessica Alba Posted the Ultimate #TBT of Her and Jessica Biel Modeling for Limited Too InStyle ’This Is Us’ Creator Defends the Crock-Pot After Latest Episode Fortune “I think this is the future,” Soderbergh continued. “Anybody going to see this movie who has no idea of the backstory to the production will have no idea this was shot on the Continue Reading

Google I/O: Search giant Google unveils new maps, photo, music features at annual conference

SAN FRANCISCO — Google's sixth annual conference for software developers opened Wednesday with a chance for the company to showcase its latest services. Announcements include a new features for online games, maps and search, a new music-streaming service and enhancements to its Google Plus social network, including tools for sharing and enhancing photos. The audience of about 6,000 people at "Google I/O" includes engineers and entrepreneurs who develop applications and other features that can make smartphones and tablets more appealing. Reporters from around the world also will be on hand, giving Google a chance to generate more hoopla about its latest innovations. Android already has been activated on 900 million devices made by Samsung Electronics Co., HTC Corp. and other manufacturers. Android devices are the chief rivals to Apple's iPhones and iPads. Android has helped Google make more money because its search engine and other services, including maps, are usually built into the devices. That tie-in drives more visitors to Google and gives the Mountain View, Calif., company more opportunities to sell ads. Google's conference was being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The keynote kicked off at about 9 a.m. PDT and was expected to last nearly three hours. The conference goes through Friday. Here's a running account of the event, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are PDT. Presenters include Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president for engineering; Sundar Pichai, the head of Google's senior vice president for apps and the Chrome operating system for laptops; Hugo Barra, vice president for product management at Android; Ellie Powers, a product manager at Google; Brian McClendon, a vice president who oversees Google Maps; and Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps. ___ 11:30 a.m. Google introduces new features for its mapping apps on Android devices and iPhones. When you search for restaurants in a city Continue Reading

Apple releases iPhone 3.0 update, launches long list of new features

Hey iPhone junkies, if you haven't opened iTunes yet today, what the heck are you waiting for?Apple has unleashed its 3.0 software upgrade for the iPhone as a free download on iTunes, making their popular smartphone more powerful than ever.If you've been living under a rock the last few months, here's a recap of some of what you get in 3.0: Copy and paste: Cut, copy and paste comes to the iPhone - finally! - in the 3.0 upgrade, making e-mailing and taking notes a whole lot easier. The feature's arrival, after a long and embarassing absence, also robs Apple haters of some pretty good ammo. Landscape keyboard: A good compliment to the above. Now you can flip your phone on its side to get an extended keyboard throughout a wider range of applications. (Its availability was preveiously limited to the built-in Safari Web browser.) MMS and tethering: Multimedia Messaging Service (or MMS) allows iPhone users to send photos, video and audio just as they would an ordinary text message, while tethering lets users connect their phone to their PCs to get 3G Internet service on laptops and desktops. Why are we lumping these two separate features together? Because if you're in the U.S. you can forget about them, at least for now. AT&T isn't supporting either at launch. Boo! Spotlight search: Using Spotlight, iPhone users can search for keywords across different apps, from their contacts and calendars (which gets a refresh in 3.0 as well) to the text in their e-mails and even songs within their music library. Media downloads on the go: You could already download music and podcasts directly to your iPhone, but with the 3.0 upgrade you get access to mobile downloads for movies, TV shows, music videos and audiobooks, straight from the iTunes store. Better browsing: Apple says Safari runs faster in 3.0, but perhaps the most useful improvement is the addition of autofill, which plugs in stored usernames and passwords to make logging in to your favorite Web sites easier than Continue Reading

For real?! Check out the brand-new ‘augmented reality’ on your Apple iPhone

You're walking down the street, looking for a good place to eat. You hold up your cell phone and use it like the viewfinder on a camera, so the screen shows what's in front of you. But it also shows things you couldn't see before: Brightly colored markers indicating nearby restaurants and bars. Turn a corner, and the markers reflect the new scene. Click a marker for a restaurant, and you can see customer reviews and price information. Decide you'd rather be sightseeing? The indicators are easily changed to give information about the buildings you're passing. This computer-enhanced view of the world is not just available to cyborgs in science-fiction movies. Increasingly it can be found on cell phones, for free or on the cheap, through programs that provide "augmented reality." These applications take advantage of the phones' GPS and compass features and access to high-speed wireless networks to mash up super-local Web content with the world that surrounds you. That means you can see available apartments on the block you're moseying down. You can view photos other people have taken at the park you're passing, or find the nearest bus stop or hotel room - all by just holding your phone up and peering at its screen. The possibilities for melding the virtual and actual worlds have just started to become apparent. The first phones with Google's Android operating system, which enables augmented reality, have come out in the past year. The iPhone became augmented-reality-friendly with the compass that debuted in June on the iPhone 3GS. Apple also recently joined Google in making it possible for software developers to overlay images on the phone's camera view. As cell phones get even smarter and GPS and wireless networks improve, we may soon be spending more time in a virtually enhanced world, using information gathered from the Internet to inform everything from eating to playing video games. One company working to make this happen is Amsterdam-based Layar, Continue Reading

Victim of Central Park mugging says muggers were cool collecting cash

A victim of four Central Park muggers called his attackers "clean cut" and cool under pressure as the quartet calmly held a gun to his head and threatened to shoot. "They cocked the gun and pushed it at my head," said the 34-year-old upper East Side man, who asked that his name be withheld. "They loaded the weapon; that's how they got our attention," he said. "One of them said, 'I want everything: your phone, your wallet, your money.'" The man and his 38-year-old partner were attacked while heading from the East Side to the upper West Side to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons being inflated Wednesday evening. The muggers sneaked up behind the couple around 7:15 p.m. along the79th St. transverse. The robbers, who fled into the park, made off with two wallets and a cell phone, said the victim, but not an iPhone that he had tucked away. He added that credit card purchases had been made in Westchester County since the attack. "They were really calm," he said. "It appears they are making credit card charges in Scarsdale." He described the assailants as "clean-cut kids in their late teens" who appeared "middle income ... not thugs." Police continued their search yesterday for the crooks, but the couple is relieved neither was hurt in the attack. "I feel lucky," said the victim. "I just wanted to get away from the gun and not have myself or my partner be injured. That was the concern." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

How to stop your devices from listening to (and saving) what you say

Yes, voice technology is amazing. You can ask your phone a question. You can talk to your speaker system and even book an Uber. With the right setup, you can verbally lock the doors in your house, dim the lights, and change the thermostat. All across America, people are embracing their oral fixation.Virtual assistants are handy, but they’re always listening. As more manufacturers and developers jump onto the audio tracking bandwagon, you may wonder how much your devices are recording. And what happens to the audio files they gather?Worst of all: apps that use ultrasonic data to profile you. You don’t hear the tones, but your device does. More about that later. Some regular apps are designed to spy and report back recordings. Read more on five spy apps that could be on your phone watching and listening right now.Creeped out? Many people are. Lots of consumers don’t trust their virtual assistants and wonder how to switch them off. If you're worried about the privacy risks of your smartphone's always-on microphone, here are tips on how to turn it off:When you put the Facebook app on your phone, it requests access to your microphone. Why? Facebook needs to record your voice when you shoot live video. But some people are wary of this. Does the app only record you when you’re on camera? Or is Facebook “listening” through your microphone?Facebook denies these claims, and there is no solid evidence to support this fear. But you are absolutely welcome to sever the tie between app and microphone. Many people have no use for this access anyway, so there’s nothing to lose by switching it off.If you are an iPhone user, go to Settings >> Facebook >> Settings >> slide the Microphone switch to the left so it turns from green to white. That turns it off. Alternatively, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Microphone >> look for Facebook then do the same. Note that you can toggle the mic on and off for Continue Reading

Apple unveils new iPods, lowers iPhone price

The company also revamped its iPod media player lineup, introducing a model called iPod Touch that incorporates the iPhone's touch-screen and adds the ability to wirelessly download songs directly. It introduced a new version of the best-selling iPod, the Nano, that plays video.And it announced a partnership with Starbucks: Starting in October, the coffee chain's icon will light up on the Touch whenever a user nears a shop that has Wi-Fi access. Users can then download the song that's playing in that Starbucks shop or get a list of the 10 most recent songs played.Analysts expect Apple's new iPods will help the company clinch yet another blockbuster holiday selling season. But it will also have to deal with investors who love Apple's meaty profit margins and customers who are suffering from a bit of buyer's remorse.The 8-gigabyte iPhone will now cost $399 - one-third cheaper than when it went on sale June 29. The 4-gigabyte iPhone, which sold for $499, will be phased out. By comparison, the iPod Touch will sell for $299 for the 8-gigabyte model and $399 for the 16-gigabyte one.Ryan Roth, who bought an iPhone for $599 on Friday after months of research, chalked up his purchase to "the worst timing ever."Roth, 32, of New York, said he planned to call Apple's customer support hotline to see if he could get a $200 rebate or a smaller store credit at iTunes."If they could do that, I'd be very happy," said Roth, who has been thinking about getting a cell phone for four years but held out until the last week. "Otherwise, I realize this is not their problem: I agreed to the original price - it's my fault. It just kinda sucks."Apple stock dropped more than 5 percent after the price cut was announced, closing at $136.76, down $7.40 cents. In extended trading, it lost another $1.01.The steep price cut less than three months after the iPhone's launch is a surprise from Apple, which usually keeps prices steady while adding new features and offers discounts only when a product Continue Reading

You can’t get the iPhone X, so maybe the iPhone 8 isn’t so bad after all

LOS ANGELES — The iPhone X appeals to early adopters who want to own a cutting-edge gadget. But what if, feature for feature, the comparatively ho-hum iPhone 8 is actually the one for you?The iPhone X, which went on pre-sale Friday and lands in stores November 3, is in limited supply, with delivery waits reported as five to six weeks on Apple's website.  The X (pronounced 'ten') is what Apple CEO Tim Cook says will "set the path of technology for the next decade." It's been released on the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone and wraps together state-of-the-art software and hardware, including facial recognition to unlock the phone, an 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED screen, which promises brighter colors and deeper blacks, and the ability to create ultra-cool animated emojis based on your expressions. More: iPhone X pricing, features vs. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: Which is better for you? More: iPhone 8 review: An excellent phone forced to the shadows by iPhone X More: The iPhone X is now available to pre-order, but be ready to wait  Meanwhile the iPhone 8 looks, for the most part, exactly like last year's iPhone 7. Yes, there are upgrades, including a glass back, a more powerful processing chip, new photo software and the ability to charge the phone wirelessly — all like the iPhone X. But the early adopters who overwhelm Apple on opening weekends have shunned the iPhone 8. Wireless carriers have publicly said that demand is lower for the 8, and if you want one, you won't have to wait several weeks for delivery. It's available to pick up today, in most stores.Gene Munster, an investor and analyst with Loup Ventures, says that while iPhone 8 sales are down compared to the 7, Apple's master plan was to launch two new lines this year and thus grow the overall business by 10%. "On that measure, the 8 is a success."A big difference between the 8 and X is Continue Reading

Apple’s iPhone could make AR tech more of a reality

SAN FRANCISCO — The reality is augmented reality is slowly seeping into everyday technology use by millions of Americans. It just needs an iPhone power boost.Last year's phenomenon of Pokemon Go — one of the most-downloaded apps worldwide in 2016 — and the popularity of Snapchat illustrated the potential of this technology to put mobile games and social networking into overdrive. The nascent tech, which overlays digital images onto the physical world (a park bench, your best friend, a pet), now gets down to business. The next iteration as envisioned by Google, Facebook and others could make it more practical for consumers and the businesses that serve them.And Apple, which hosts its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose starting Monday, may soon join the party.Imagine this: You point your smartphone camera at a restaurant, and restaurant reviews pop up over the photo. That's Google's vision for its yet-to-be released Lens technology. Or you could figure out how to fix a light switch — by receiving instructions that overlay your real-life project as you complete the task. That task is already simple for Microsoft's HoloLens glasses, though these remain expensive ($3,000) and limited to developers. Related:There's some expectation that the next version of iPhone, expected in September or October, could include augmented reality (AR), giving the technology a burst of momentum. "Apple is the best-placed of all major tech companies to drive mobile AR," says Tim Merel, CEO of Digi-Capital, an AR/VR mergers-and-acquisitions adviser. He pegs the market at $60 billion and 1 billion users by 2021."We believe AR in the next iPhone will be a turning point for the broader AR industry," says Gene Munster, head of research at Loup Ventures. The longtime Apple analyst predicts Apple will sell more than 100 million augmented units of the Continue Reading