Former Apple iOS chief turned Snapchat advisor Scott Forstall has taken on a new project, according to his first ever tweet on Twitter. Forstall is co-producing the upcoming Broadway musical Fun Home, a show that opens this Sunday.
The Forstalls (Producer). This is Scott and Molly Forstall's first foray on Broadway after years in Silicon Valley. They share their love of theatre with their children, Freya and Nils, both of whom are enthusiastic theatregoers and performers. Thanks to Carole for the magnificent journey.
Forstall's announcement of his position as Broadway producer comes just a day after leaked Sony emails suggested he'd received .11 percent of Snapchat's stock to serve as an advisor to the company. Since being ousted from Apple in 2012, Forstall has kept a very low profile, and this occasion marks his first public announcement and appearance in years.
Scott Forstall first fell in league with Apple in 1992, when he took on a job at Steve Jobs' company, NeXT. When NeXT was acquired by Apple in 1997, Forstall stayed on, working on the Macintosh user design team. He was promoted several times and in 2005, he began working on iOS. Forstall has been largely credited with the skeuomorphic design present in the early years of the operating system, an aesthetic that eventually led to disagreements with other executives at the company following Steve Jobs' death.
From design mockups to purported case leaks, the much-rumored "iPad Pro" has been steadily building steam for the past few months. Today, several new cases apparently designed for Apple's iPad Pro have been leaked, and one in particular is far more detailed than any previously released (via SonnyDickson.com).
The notable new case leaked today is the first to feature a tri-fold design with a fabric cover, marking a substantial increase in complexity over the simple soft plastic cases seen previously. This increased complexity could be a sign that case manufacturers are increasingly confident in the iPad Pro's design specs and thus willing to invest in more expensive case designs such as this even months ahead of the expected launch.
Recent rumors point towards the iPad Pro's screen measuring between 12.2- and 12.9-inches, with the expected array of cutouts for the volume rockers, back-facing camera, lock button, and a charging port. The newly leaked cases have cutouts for all of these features, including what appear to be speakers at both the top and bottom of the device, in line with previous rumors surrounding the tablet.
The new cases also include the mysterious cutout on the left side of the device. Some previous rumored cases have included the cutout, with rumors variously suggesting it could be for a SIM-card tray on cellular models, a second Lightning port, or perhaps a USB-C port. The Wall Street Journal previously claimed Apple is indeed considering including USB on the iPad Pro.
As is always worth pointing out, these early case designs could still be far off from the actual design of whatever the iPad Pro turns out to be, due to case manufacturers creating molds off of leaked or unsubstantiated design elements. But while there have been some notable misses over the years, case designs have generally proven accurate indicators of upcoming product designs.
The latest rumors peg the iPad Pro as perhaps having a triple-core A8X processor, 2 GB of RAM, Touch ID, and possibly shipping with a first-party Apple manufactured stylus accessory. Release date rumors have fluctuated significantly as Apple as reportedly pushed back its internal timeline several times. The latest rumors suggest production could begin in September, perhaps setting up for an October launch alongside a refresh of the existing iPad lineup.
Apple's next-generation iPhones could adopt 7000 Series aluminum used for the Apple Watch Sport, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News. The so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" would likely use Apple's custom Series 7000 aluminum alloy, which is designed to be 60% stronger than most aluminum, and one-third the density of stainless steel, while still maintaining a light weight.
Apple elaborated in more detail about the Series 7000 aluminum it used for the Apple Watch Sport on its website, noting that each casing is machined, polished and blasted with microscopic zirconia beads to achieve a consistent satin texture found on each Apple Watch. An additional anodized outer layer helps protect against scratches and corrosion, while the anodizing process also makes possible alternative colors like Space Gray.
For Apple Watch Sport, we started with 7000 Series aluminum — the same used in competition bicycles. We altered it to create a new alloy that’s just as light, yet even more durable — it’s 60 percent stronger than most aluminum, and one-third the density of stainless steel. It has a bright, lustrous colour and a uniform structure free of defects and impurities. Each case is machined and polished, then blasted with microscopic zirconia beads to achieve a consistent, satin texture. A special anodizing process creates a hard, clear outer layer that helps protect against scratches and corrosion.
Economic Daily News has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming plans, and the translated report does not offer many further details, so this rumor should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt. Nevertheless, it is common for Apple to introduce new features on one device before expanding to others. Force Touch, for example, was exclusive to the Apple Watch before making its way to MacBooks, and the technology is also rumored to be included in the next iPhone.
Apple's App Store increased its revenue lead by 10 percentage points over Google's Play Store in the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest numbers from App Annie obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The App Store's revenue was also almost 70% higher than the Play Store, despite Google Play receiving 70% more app downloads during the three-month period ending March.
Apple's increased App Store revenue helped it reverse a trend that saw Google Play slowly catch up in revenue over recent quarters, although the Play Store continued to widen its lead in overall downloads. Apple previously held about a 60% advantage in App Store revenues over Google Play during the third quarter of 2014, but that figure rose to about 70% in Q1 2015 on the strength of the United States and China.
"China was a bright spot for Apple – mirroring the strong market share gains that the iPhone made in the country. Apple’s larger-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus proved immensely popular in the Chinese market where consumers prefer bigger display smartphones.
In the first quarter of 2015, China passed the U.S. as the top country for iOS app downloads, App Annie said. China still trails the U.S. and Japan for App Store revenue. The Google Play store does not operate officially in mainland China."
The disparity between the App Store and Google Play in terms of overall revenue and downloads is a longstanding trend between the iOS and Android storefronts. A number of popular developers turn to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch because Apple's ecosystem provides a more lucrative opportunity for earnings, while Google Play receives more downloads because there are significantly more Android users worldwide.
Apple Watch demand among U.S. teens remains relatively low even as the device's launch approaches, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster's latest semiannual teen survey, which asked approximately 6,200 teens in the United States about their device usage habits and future buying plans.
Only 11 percent of teenagers surveyed plan on purchasing an Apple Watch, down from 16 percent in the fall survey. Of those 11 percent, the top reason teens cited for wanting an Apple Watch was style, followed by design. Only five percent of teens currently own a smart watch.
We believe the lower purchase intent reflects a wait and see approach to the Watch as it seems unclear what will be the "killer app" for the Watch. We expect teens to be a good market for the Apple Watch given the popularity of the iPhone, but believe it will take time for influencers (celebrities) to make the watch popular among teens.
Though teens don't yet seem to be interested in the Apple Watch, the iPhone and the iPad remain the most popular smartphone and tablet among teenagers. 66 percent of teenagers surveyed owned an iPhone, down slightly from 67 percent in the fall survey, while 64 percent owned an iPad, compared to 66 percent in fall of 2014.
72 percent of teens expect their next smartphone purchase will be an iPhone, while 60 percent expect their next tablet to be an iPad. Comparatively, interest in smartphones and tablets from other companies remains low. 21 percent of teens expect their next smartphone purchase to be an Android, and 16 percent plan to buy an Android tablet. Interest in Windows tablets has grown slightly, however, and 20 percent of teens expect their next tablet purchase to be Windows-based.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Apple Watch has been popping up on the wrists of celebrities like Pharell Williams, Katy Perry, and Drake, as Apple attempts to boost its popularity ahead of the device's April 24 launch. Celebrity endorsements like these along with heavy marketing may lure teens towards the Apple Watch in the coming weeks.
The next teen survey will be published in October, and by that time, it's possible the Apple Watch numbers will shift dramatically if Apple's marketing tactics are successful.
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