Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at Jordan@9to5mac.com.  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for 9to5Google.com and the latest gear and deals on 9to5Toys.com.

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June 24, 2013

In its extensive review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, AnandTech notes an issue with the machine’s new 802.11ac WiFi capabilities that it says is limiting the faster Wi-Fi chip’s potential. While it was able to get an average of 533Mbps using the iPerf networking tool, Anand found real world file transfers would only get 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps:

I disabled all other wireless in my office. Still, no difference. I switched ethernet cables, I tried different Macs, I tried copying from a PC, I even tried copying smaller files – none of these changes did anything. At most, I only saw 21.2MB/s over 802.11ac. I double checked my iPerf data. 533Mbps. Something weird was going on. I plugged in Apple’s Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and saw 906Mbps, clearly the source and the MacBook Air were both capable of high speed transfers. What I tried next gave me some insight into what was going on. I setup web and FTP servers on the MacBook Air and transferred files that way. I didn’t get 533Mbps, but I broke 300Mbps. For some reason, copying over AFP or SMB shares was limited to much lower performance. This was a protocol issue.

According to the review, the problem is likely with the OS X networking stack that is for some reason artificially limiting the capabilities of 802.11ac: expand full story

9to5toys 

tsmc-560x369-560x300A report out of DigiTimes this morning claims that TSMC has reached a deal with Apple to supply 20nm, 16nm and 10nm chips for future Apple devices. However, as is often the case with DigiTimes, there are a few causes for concern surrounding the report. Leaving the site’s track record on other rumors aside, we must point out that rumors of TSMC supplying chips for Apple’s device are nothing new. In fact, DigiTimes itself reported back in 2011 that Apple would tap the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in a move away from its long-time supplier and biggest rival Samsung. Needless to say, it hasn’t happened yet, and there’s no proof as of yet to back up follow up reports from last year claiming Apple entered an agreement with the company. DigiTimes isn’t even the first to report it this year: expand full story

9to5google 

June 21, 2013

There have been no shortage of fingerprint sensor rumors surfacing since Apple acquired Authentec last year. According to several reports from analysts, including the often reliable Ming-Chi Kuo and the not as reliable Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, Apple’s next-generation iPhone is likely to include a fingerprint sensor. We’ve discussed how it could certainly make a stand out hardware feature for Apple’s expected “S” upgrade, and today the US Patent and Trademark Office published patent applications that show Apple could be experimenting with exactly that (via PatentlyApple).

According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a biometric sensor assembly, such as a fingerprint sensor, comprises a substrate to which is mounted a die containing sensor circuitry and at least one conductive bezel. As used in the description and claims that follow, “bezel” means a unitary, substantially uniformly composed structure, most typically metal or conductive plastic. The die and the bezel are encased in a unitary encapsulation structure to protect those elements from mechanical, electrical, and environmental damage, yet with a portion of a surface of the die and the bezel exposed or at most thinly covered by the encapsulation or other coating material structure

Validity-Fingerprint-sensorThe patent describes a process of embedding a fingerprint sensor into the bezel of a device, which sounds a lot like the finger print sensors Validity was showing off embedded in Android devices at CES this year (pictured right). Apple notes in the patent application that the sensor would be “approximately the width of an average user’s fingertip, but only several pixels tall, typically between 1 and 8 pixels, and possibly as many as 16 pixels tall” when viewed from above.

Apple doesn’t get too into what functions for users the fingerprint sensor would provide, but does note that “the sensor captures a number of thin strips of the fingerprint as the finger is swiped, and the complete fingerprint is assembled in software for use in authentication.” expand full story

electrek 

June 20, 2013

Today, live from Facebook’s press event, the company just announced that its bringing video to Instagram with a brand new set of features. In what appears to be direct competition for Twitter’s rapidly growing Vine video sharing app, Instagram will soon allow users to share similar short video clips. On stage, Instagram demoed an updated iOS app that now includes a button for video capture that will allow users to create 3-15 second long videos using multiple clips.

It also announced that it has partnered with an artist to create 13 brand new custom filters specifically for video and a handful of leading experts to integrate “mind blowing” cinematic video stabilization features (something that isn’t too great in a lot of other apps).

So what does this mean for your content? Nothing’s different from photos. We’re still committed to making sure you have control over all of your content. Only the people who you let see your photos will be able to see your videos. And as with photos, you own your videos.

As for where videos will appear, like photos, Instagram says “your video will appear on your profile and in feed. If your visibility is set to private, only your approved followers can see videos or photos you share.”

The video feature will also be available on the web, allowing users to view Instagram videos in any browser without having to use the apps. expand full story

9to5toys 

June 19, 2013

black-pearl-feature-art-e1371662676749You probably haven’t yet heard of Black Pearl: a new startup run by former Apple hardware guru Tim Bucher and a number of former execs from Netflix, YouTube, Intel, Amazon, and others. GigaOM gives us some details on the new company, which it thinks is currently working on an Android tablet and TV cloud solution of sorts.

According to the report, the team is currently working on a tablet that is likely Android-based in addition to a companion device that will act connect TVs to the cloud and allow users to stream content. The report adds that the company is also developing apps for iOS, Android, PCs, and Macs. Add in that the company has registered for trademarks such as “home data center”, “Data Mesh”, and “Lyve”, and GigaOM thinks Black Pearl could be working on a home entertainment platform that works alongside a dedicated tablet: expand full story

9to5google 

Parallels announced an update to Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac today that introduces experimental support for OS X Mavericks. That means developers with access to Mavericks will be able to run Parallels Desktop 8 on the OS and also install the OS X 10.9 preview in a virtual machine.

The company has an article available to walk devs through getting Desktop 8 for Mac running on Mavericks and another outlining best practices for installing it as a virtual machine. While you can’t yet install Mavericks into a blank virtual machine, you will be able to update an existing OS X install to the developer preview. Those error messages some users were getting when attempting to run Mavericks on Parallels Desktop 8 should also be taken care of with the latest build.

Parallels hinted more news about Mavericks and its integration with Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is on the way and is answering questions in its forums here and here.

Good news if you don’t yet own a copy: Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is currently 25% for a limited time. expand full story

electrek 

We told you that XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a critically acclaimed game of the year on PC and consoles from 2K Games, would be arriving in the App Store starting tomorrow on June 20. However, today the game has already started hitting App Stores around the world at the expected price of $20 USD. The game of course features enhanced controls specifically suited for the touch screen, but otherwise aims to bring the full XCOM: EU experience to iOS devices: expand full story

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