FaceTime ▪ August 26

AAPL: 109.69

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Apple has called the iPhone “the world’s most popular camera,” a title originally earned by aggregating all iPhones together for counting purposes. But while the exact sales numbers for each iPhone model are difficult to quantify, there’s no question that Apple has already sold over 750 million iPhones, and well over 100 million iPhone 6 devices. Those are huge numbers, and well beyond the typical sales of individual point-and-shoot cameras.

Few people appreciate that growing iPhone demand has created an unusual challenge for Apple: reliably sourcing the tens of millions of parts needed to meet first month demand for tens of millions of iPhones. To that end, Apple’s camera maker Sony had to upgrade its manufacturing plants twice this year to produce more of the CMOS image sensors needed for smartphones including the iPhone. Even with a partner as large as Sony, however, iPhone-specific engineering requirements and the risk inherent in brand new technologies have led Apple to hold off on using the latest and greatest camera innovations in its devices. Instead, iPhones go with thin, lower-resolution sensors that offer great overall image quality for their size, and never eclipse rivals on raw specs.

So what can we realistically expect from the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus cameras next month? Here are my educated guesses…

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FaceTime ▪ July 29

FaceTime ▪ June 10

iPhone 6 Camera

Code found in the first iOS 9 developer betas reveals that Apple is planning to support some significant camera features and upgrades with the new software version. Presumably planned for the next iPhone hardware version, developer Hamza Sood has discovered code in iOS 9 that reveals support for long-awaited changes to the front-facing FaceTime camera. According to the code, iOS 9 adds support for a FaceTime camera with 1080p video capture, up from the current 720p camera on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus… expand full story

FaceTime ▪ May 13

bleep

If you want the security of knowing your voice, text and picture messages can’t be intercepted, direct peer-to-peer communication with end-to-end encryption is the gold standard: and that’s what BitTorrent offers with its Bleep app.

Every conversation is between you and your friends. There is no cloud to hack because messages are never stored in the cloud.

For text messages and photos, Bleep offers the choice of Whispers – where both text and images disappear when they’ve been read – and Messages, which stores them locally on the device. You can also make voice calls with the same peer-to-peer encrypted technology …  expand full story

FaceTime ▪ May 4

FaceTime ▪ April 27

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Facebook continues to add new capabilities to its Messenger app today with the launch of a new video calling feature. A new video icon at the top of conversation threads will initiate a call, allowing participants to communicate across platforms over Wi-Fi or LTE connections.

The addition puts Facebook in competition with Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype, and other similar services. Interestingly, web-based video chat has been available on the desktop for some time, and was previously powered by Skype.

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