Apple announced during a Wednesday night meetup at its Cupertino, California, headquarters that the company’s popular Siri application is powered by Apache Mesos.
We at Mesosphere are obviously thrilled about Apple’s public validation of the technology on which our Datacenter Operating System is based. If Apple trusts Mesos to underpin Siri — a complex application that handles Apple-only-knows-how-many voice queries per day from hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users — that says a lot about how mature Mesos is and how ready it is to make a big impact in companies of all stripes.
According to Apple's slides, today's Siri is the third generation of the company's voice-based assistant.
Apple has purchased Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for approximately $20 million, reports The Wall Street Journal. LinX specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices and it's possible that Apple will use the company's technology in upcoming iOS devices.
The simple truth is that Apple thinks portable cameras can still aspire to higher degrees of quality and convenience, edging towards SLR-like photos without the complexity, cost, and additional hardware of SLR cameras. The iPhone's camera is one of the features that is improved every year, and it sounds like we're going to see notable breakthroughs over the next iPhone iterations.
An Apple Press release this morning announced that the company will be investing €1.7 billion (US$1.93 billion) to build and operate two new European data centers. The two data centers, one in County Galway, Ireland and the other in Denmark’s central Jutland, will both be powered by 100 percent renewable energy according to Apple. The two new European data centers are expected to be in operation in 2017 and will be used to power Apple's various online services including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri.
“We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date. We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet.”
In its press release, Apple focuses on how they have continued to support jobs in Europe, claiming that they support over 672,000 jobs in the region and paying out €6.6 billion to European app developers. The press release also makes particular and repeated reference to the fact that these new data centers will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, one of the key environmental benchmarks the company has been keen to demonstrate in recent years.
“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives. “We’re excited to spur green industry growth in Ireland and Denmark and develop energy systems that take advantage of their strong wind resources. Our commitment to environmental responsibility is good for the planet, good for our business and good for the European economy.”
All About Apple, an Italian non-profit organization that's been operating for over a decade, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for All About Apple Museum, the “most comprehensive” exhibition of Apple and Apple-related products with over 9,000 pieces in its collection. The organization has assembled a team of volunteers and has been granted permission to use a new location in Savona, Italy, and they're seeking funds to finish the project.
All About Apple has shared a video detailing their goals for the museum (in Italian, with English subtitles).
As seen in the video and campaign page (English version here), All About Apple has been curating pieces that range from classic Macs and NeXT workstations to old Apple marketing material, iPods, accessories, and even Steve Wozniak's original toolbox from the 70's.
I didn't know this organization before, but it sounds like an incredible effort and an interesting project. You can read more about All About Apple here and back the project on Italian crowdfunding platform Eppela.
It's a must-read. Instead of pulling out relevant bits to reprint them here with fancy headlines, I'm going to use one paragraph about Ive's sense of care and ask you to enjoy the full story over at The New Yorker.
We were in the fast lane of I-280, in squinting low sunshine. When I asked for examples of design carelessness, Ive cranked the conversation back to Apple. He has the discipline to avoid most indiscretions, but not always the facility to disguise the effort. “At the risk of sounding terribly sentimental, I do think one of the things that just compel us is that we have this sense that, in some way, by caring, we’re actually serving humanity,” he said. “People might think it’s a stupid belief, but it’s a goal—it’s a contribution that we can hope we can make, in some small way, to culture.”
Apple has published their Q1 2015 financial results for the quarter that ended in December 2014. The company posted revenue of $74.6 billion. The company sold 21.4 million iPads, 74.5 million iPhones, and 5.5 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $18 billion.
“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”
The quarter sets a new record for Apple: before today's results, the company's record was $57.6 billion revenue reported for Q1 2014.
When I started MacStories in 2009, two pillars sustained the narrative around Apple: its “attention to detail” and the “just works” aspect of its software. Since iOS 7, it feels like those pillars have begun eroding at a quicker pace.
Last week, Apple released a holiday commercial called The Song that tells a beautiful and simple story where Apple software and devices aren't the main characters.
Today, Apple has posted a “behind the scenes” video that shows how the song was recorded with a voice-o-graph and ported to GarageBand.
There's a few things I like about these two videos. The ad is powerful, and it focuses on what you can do with technology rather than what technology is. That's a strong message, and it's carried out subtly and elegantly through the video.
And I like that the Making Of shows Dana Williams' real dock (with Spotify in it) and the BioShock Infinite vibe of the voice-o-graph. This is a good follow-up to last year's video.
The full video of Jony Ive's appearance at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit has been posted online (via The Tech Block). In addition to lessons Ive learned from Steve Jobs, this video contains several interesting reflections on the creative process at Apple, how Ive got started with personal computers, and why Apple waited to ship iPhones with larger screens.