TechCrunch Stories September 19, 2013

Update:

In the UK, the iPhone 5s has just gone on sale. Shipping estimates stand at 7-10 days. At the time of writing, all models are expected to be delivered in the first week of October.

The iPhone 5s has just gone on sale in Australia. However, as has been noted several times, supply of the 5s is extremely constrained. As a result, Apple is already quoting 7-10 day shipping estimates for the device. The prolonged availability applies to all models and all colors. 5s cases are similarly low in supply, to a similar extent, quoting 3-5 day shipping times.

Supply issues seem to apply to all countries. In the UK, O2 has announced that they will have no 5s’ in stock, but will order it for when it becomes available. Via CZ on Twitter, for the Apple Store in Hong Kong, the 5s has already lapsed into October for shipping.

The iPhone 5s becomes available in the US at 12.01 Pacific Time tonight.

Thanks Sonny Dickson.

Even cats can unlock the iPhone 5s with the TouchID sensor [video]

Amusing little tidbit from TechCrunch:

I tested a colleague’s hypothesis that you could register the identifying skin segments of your favorite furry friends for Touch ID, too.

The cat’s paw worked, and while it encountered more frequent failures than did a fingerprint, it was able to unlock the phone again repeatedly when positioned correctly on the sensor. Note that no other paw pads would unlock the device, and that cats essentially have unique “fingerprints” just like people, so this doesn’t make the Touch ID sensor any less secure.

I wonder if a rabbit’s foot would work?

TechCrunch Stories August 28, 2013

Cortex-A15-smallAccording to Rapidus.se (via TechCrunch), Apple has purchased a Swedish firm called AlgoTrim for an undisclosed price. The small company specializes in image and video, specifically JPEG, compression techniques on mobile devices which allow faster processing of images on power-constrained mobile devices.

AlgoTrim™ develops advanced solutions for mobile devices within the fields of data compression, mobile imaging and video, and computer graphics.

These solutions are designed to excel in terms of high performance and small memory requirements, making them ideal for mobile devices. Many solutions offered by AlgoTrim are codecs that are the fastest on the market, for example, the lossless codec for general data compression and the imaging codecs.

Apple could use these codecs in its camera and image viewing and manipulation apps on iOS. It is probable that the cost of picking up the company and owning the technology outweighed the cost of licensing the technology over its hundreds of millions of devices. This also could be an “aquihire”.

Apple is no stranger to the Swedish technology market. It picked up Polar Rose in 2010, a face recognition company and C3 a Swedish 3D mapping company in the run up to its Maps product launch. Cupertino has been on a bit of a startup binge lately buying such companies as Embark and Matcha.tv.

Last year, AlgoTrim reported a revenue of 3.0 million USD, with an net income before taxes of EUR -1.1 million.  Until now, AloTrim has been focused mostly on Android development.

Update: The acquisition has been confirmed to TechCrunch:

Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.

TechCrunch Stories June 17, 2013

ifoAppleStore (via TechCrunch) reports that Apple is building a new “big, visually stunning” flagship store in Palo Alto – in the Stanford shopping center, close to the store Microsoft opened last year.

This store design was completed in 2011 by Apple’s long-time architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. It was approved by Steve Jobs about six months before Tim Cook assumed the position of CEO in August of that year. It took another year to refine the design and obtain building approvals. Demolition on the former building began late last year.

If you’re keen to get a preview of what Apple has planned for its retail stores, Palo Alto is reputedly the place to be …  expand full story

Just as Apple introduced iOS 7 equipped with Instagram-like filters built-in to the redesigned camera app (although not for video), word has it Instagram is looking to move into Vine’s territory by adding video features in an upcoming update.  According to a report from TechCrunch, Facebook’s event later this week won’t focus so much on that rumored news reader, but more so on integration of a Vine-like short video feature for Instagram: expand full story

TechCrunch Stories January 28, 2013

Users of Twitter’s new Vine app greeted with porn as top Editor’s Pick

Update: Twitter said in a comment to BusinessInsider that the content was displayed as an Editor’s Pick due to human error:

A human error resulted in a video with adult content becoming one of the videos in Editor’s Picks, and upon realizing this mistake we removed the video immediately. We apologize to our users for the error.

Just a week after the popular photo-sharing app 500px was pulled from the App Store over concerns of nude photos and possible child pornography, the launch of Twitter’s new video-sharing app Vine is running into similar issues. Users began noticing pornographic videos were making their way to the service this weekend, but they were only viewable to users searching for pornography-related tags. That is arguably not as big of an issue as 500px (many apps—Instagram included—have similar problems), but Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch pointed out today that porn has somehow made its way to the top of Vine’s “Editor’s Pick”.

We confirmed, as highlighted in the screenshot to the right, that the pornographic content in question is displayed as the first thing in a new user’s stream upon launching the app. The post has since been removed, but this is clearly an issue for Twitter’s new video service, and it is something that highlights the larger conversation brewing around Apple’s App Store guidelines and adult, user-created content.

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