Apple execs talk developing ResearchKit: ‘there’s a strong personal connection’

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Apple SVP Jeff Williams announcing ResearchKit

Following the introduction of ResearchKit at this month’s Apple event, Apple executives Jeff Williams and Bud Tribble held a question and answer session with Apple employees regarding the new initiative, according to a source who provided a transcript of the conversation. Williams, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations, is the top executive in charge of Apple’s health engineering initiatives, including the Apple Watch, HealthKit, ResearchKit, and fitness software. Tribble is a Software Engineering Vice President with a medical background as a doctor, and he organized many of the partnerships for both HealthKit and ResearchKit…

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ResearchKit may go beyond individual studies, open up era of ‘open-source’ medical research

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We’ve already seen the potential of Apple’s ResearchKit platform to sign up large numbers of participants to medical studies in an incredibly short time, but a reported conversation between the founder of an open science non-profit and an Apple VP suggests that the potential goes far beyond this.

Fusion, in an extensive profile, reports that Apple may be intending to collect anonymised health data in a central database accessible to medical researchers around the world, enabling each to benefit from that shared data to forward their own studies. The vision was initially put forward at a conference back in September, long before ResearchKit was announced, by Stephen Friend, the founder of Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit that champions open science and data sharing.

“Imagine ten trials, several thousand patients. Here you have genetic information, and you have what drugs they took, how they did. Put that up in the cloud, and you have a place where people can go and query it, [where] they can make discoveries.” In this scenario, Friend said, patients would be able to control who could access their information, and for which purposes. But their health data would be effectively open-sourced.

Apple reportedly took an immediate interest in the idea …  Read more

Most Nintendo iOS games will be developed in-house, will be different to console games, may include freemium

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Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has told TIME magazine that most Nintendo “smart device” games will be developed in-house, rather than by partner DeNA. The company announced on Tuesday that it would finally start making games for smartphones and tablets.

Development of smart device games will be mainly done by Nintendo […] DeNA has extensive know-how in developing the “service” side of things, and will be primarily responsible for the service-oriented operations. We will be able to greatly leverage strengths of each party.

Iwata also confirmed Jeremy’s view that we’re unlikely to see classic Nintendo games like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda come to iOS and Android devices in their original forms …  Read more

How-To: Transfer, edit, and share DSLR or point-and-shoot photos using your iPhone or iPad

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Apple’s iPhones became Flickr’s most popular camera phones in 2008 and most popular cameras overall soon thereafter, but even now, iPhones constitute only 9.6% of the photo-sharing site’s userbase. Despite the iPhone’s undeniable popularity, over 90% of photographers are using other cameras: Canon has a 13.4% share, Nikon 9.3%, Samsung 5.6%, and Sony 4.2%, with tons of other brands following close behind. While the cameras in phones continue to improve every year, they’re not the best tools for photography — they’re just the ones most people carry with them all the time.

If you shoot photos with a DSLR or point-and-shoot camera, you probably aren’t sending images directly to the Internet from the camera itself. You probably come back home, transfer your photos to your computer, then edit and share them with Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom or one of Apple’s three photo management apps — iPhoto, Aperture, or the beta version of Photos.

For around $30, your iPhone or iPad can change the way you shoot, edit, and share photos. Using the right accessories and apps, you can easily publish DSLR-quality photos a minute after snapping them. I’ve been doing this for years, and it works incredibly well; today, it’s actually better than at any time in the past, thanks to recent iPhone and iPad hardware improvements. This new How-To guide will walk you through everything you’ll need to know to use your iPhone or iPad as a photo editing and sharing station, looking at photo transferring accessories, editing software, and sharing options…

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Nintendo to start making iPhone games, including first-party IP like Mario

The jailbreak community has worked to get Mario onto the iPhone for years.

The jailbreak community has worked to get Mario onto the iPhone for years.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has finally decided that it is time to start making mobile games for platforms like the iPhone. The company has confirmed it will begin developing titles for smartphones and other mobile devices (presumably, ‘tablets’) featuring famous franchises like Mario.

Until now, Nintendo has been resistant to share its first-party intellectual property  (‘IP’) outside of its own consoles. Clearly, it was worried that bringing characters like Mario to the iPhone would cannabilize sales of its own hardware like the Nintendo DS.  However, as part of a new partnership with a mobile gaming company, there has clearly been a change of heart by Nintendo executives.

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WSJ: Apple announcing $30-40/month Web TV service in June, shipping in September with 25+ channels

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According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to launch an online TV service this fall with support for “about” 25 channels. According to the report, the service will debut on all of Apple’s iOS devices, ranging from the Apple TV to the iPhone and iPad, and will be announced in June (which is also when the Beats overhaul will debut) and fully released in September of this year. Industry executives said that the service will be priced between $30 and $40 when it launches. Of the 25 channels, the service will be headlined by ABC, CBS and Fox.

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Apple releases iOS 8.3 Public Beta (build 12F5047f), Beta Program now comprises both iOS and OS X

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Apple has updated its Apple Seed website to include many references to iOS device management. It has also updated the name of its program to ‘Apple Beta Software Program’, dropping the specificity of it being for OS X only.

Apple is now offering iOS 8.3 as a public beta. Interested customers can sign up to be part of the program on this website. After signing up, you can enroll into the iOS public beta program. (Note: The program is still rolling out. A link to join the iOS program may not appear immediately upon registration).

9to5Mac reported that this was in the works a few weeks ago, with a launch due for mid-March. In addition, we exclusively revealed that Apple is gearing up to offer the same public beta scheme for iOS 9, in the summer.

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How-To: Choose the best external hard drive for your Mac (or iOS device!)

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I feel old saying this, but having used computers since before external hard drives existed, I can say with certainty that buying a hard drive is easier today than it’s ever been before. For traditional drives, prices are low, options are numerous, and capacities are so high that your only choices are “enough space,” “more than enough space,” and “way more than enough space.” I could point you towards a gigantic 5-Terabyte $139 Seagate USB 3.0 hard drive right now and end this article without another paragraph. Since Apple doesn’t even sell a Mac with that much disk space, you could back up five (or more) computers to that drive without running out of room. Or you could store a decade worth of digital photos alongside a giant media library. For $139!

But buying an external hard drive isn’t necessarily that simple. There are a bunch of factors worth considering before making a purchase, including everything from reliability to portability, design, capacity, speed, and connectivity. Some hard drives are really cheap but have a higher chance of failing after a year or two of heavy use. So in this How-To, I’m going to discuss the big issues you need to consider, and guide you towards the best external hard drive for your needs…

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Game developers seek Apple Watch event spotlight as major companies ready apps

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Hundreds of iOS developers have been working with Apple in secret Cupertino-based sessions on apps for the Apple Watch, and now we’ve learned that this list includes game developers. According to two sources, multiple “mass market, casual” game developers have been in the running to show off light games on stage during Monday’s “Spring Forward” event in San Francisco. While Apple could end up not showcasing games next week, we’re still told that they are championing the idea of light weight gaming on the Apple Watch. As one source said, “the iOS gaming ecosystem will be well represented on the Apple Watch despite [the simplicity] of the Software Development Kit (SDK)…

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Apple plans relaunched Beats streaming music service for WWDC, skipping March event; Apple TV still coming

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Apple won’t take the wraps off of its upcoming Beats-based music streaming service at its March 9 “Spring Forward” event, according to music industry sources briefed on the launch timeline. Instead, Apple currently plans to introduce the service, at least in beta form, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. The WWDC keynote likely takes place on Monday, June 8th, and that’s the event where the debut will occur. The new iTunes music streaming service is based on technology acquired from Beats Music, including curated playlists, cloud-based libraries, and offerings customized to the musical tastes of individual users. The service will be priced as high as $7.99 per month, which is less expensive than current $9.99 pricing for Beats Music, Spotify, and Rdio…

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Apple Watch predicted to take 55% of the 2015 global smartwatch market with 15.4M units shipped

Apple Watch shipments Strategy Analytics

Research firm Strategy Analytics released its latest report today forecasting global Apple Watch sales and smartwatch marketshare for 2015. The firm’s predictions put Apple’s anticipated global smartwatch marketshare at more than half with 54.8% reached in 2015. Notably, that forecasted percentage is versus all other smartwatches combined competing with the Apple Watch.

While the report predicts that Apple will take the overwhelming majority of smartwatch sales this year, it predicts a relatively conservative number of units shipped globally in 2015 at 15.4 million. That forecast still beats the collective “other” group with a 12.7 million units shipped globally predicted.

To be clear, the firm is predicting that the as-of-yet unreleased Apple Watch will outsell the existing smartwatch market in 2015…

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Google said to be planning iOS support for Android Wear, could debut at I/O conference

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Last month a developer managed to hack together a solution that enabled iPhone users to see their notifications on Google’s Android-powered wearable operating system, but at the moment there is no official way to use the two competing platforms together. That could change at Google’s annual I/O conference later this year, if new rumors are to be believed.

According to French tech blog 01Net, Google is developing an update to Android Wear that would enable it work with Apple’s iOS devices…

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