Corning Says Devices With Flexible ‘Willow Glass’ Displays Unlikely to Appear for at Least Three Years

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

corning_willow_glassWhile The New York Times reported earlier this month that Apple is working on a curved glass smart watch that could potentially make use of Corning’s recently-announced bendable Willow Glass, Bloomberg now reports that Corning sees a wait of at least three years before devices using Willow Glass displays will be able to hit the market.

“People are not accustomed to glass you roll up,” [Corning Glass president James] Clappin said after an event marking the opening an $800 million factory for liquid-crystal-display glass. “The ability of people to take it and use it to make a product is limited.”

The Corning, New York-based company is producing the glass and making “a lot of effort” to teach “very big name” customers how to handle the spools, Clappin said, declining to elaborate. The introduction of the glass comes as companies including Google Inc. consider making wearable computing devices.

Clappin noted that Willow Glass may find its way into some simple products as soon as later this year, but that more complex applications such as flexible displays will require substantially more work before they can be brought to market. He also declined to comment on whether Corning had been in discussions with Apple about its rumored smart watch project.

Apple is already a customer of Corning, using the glassmaker’s durable Gorilla Glass in its mobile devices. Corning announced its latest Gorilla Glass 3 product last month, offering three times greater scratch resistance and improved strength, and Apple is assumed to be incorporating the new glass into upcoming products.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/28/corning-says-devices-with-flexible-willow-glass-displays-unlikely-to-appear-for-at-least-three-years/

Apple Tops Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Companies’ List For Sixth Year Running

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Apple has won the number one slot in Fortune‘s annual “World’s Most Admired Companies” list for the sixth year in a row.

fortuneThe ranking is based on a large-scale poll of corporate executives, directors, and industry analysts who were asked to rank companies by nine key attributes: Innovation, People management, Use of corporate assets, Social responsibility, Quality of management, Financial soundness, Long-term investment, Quality of products/services and Global competitiveness. Apple scored #1 in all nine categories.

Apple has had a rough time lately with its stock price in a free fall and the widely publicized failure of its Maps feature. However, it remains a financial juggernaut, posting $13 billion in net income last quarter, making it the most profitable company in the world during that period. The company has its fanatical customer base, and it still refuses to compete on price, making the iconic iPhone and iPad products that are still widely seen as prestige devices. Competition may be stiff, but so far it remains behind: In Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 was the world’s best selling smartphone, followed in second place by the iPhone 4S.

The announcement is a bit of an embarrassment for Brad Chase, founding partner of Capitol Media Partners, who wrote a Forbes guest post earlier this week predicting that “bumbling” Apple would lose its number one slot and that Fortune would have to “defy logic” to place Apple at the top once again. Confusion between Fortune and Forbes led to Chase’s opinion piece being misreported by several media outlets earlier this week as Apple having actually lost its slot in a Forbes ranking.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/28/apple-tops-fortunes-most-admired-companies-list-for-sixth-year-running/

UK Judge Who Chastised Apple Over Samsung ‘Apology’ Now Consulting as Patent Expert for Samsung

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

A UK judge who was involved in a case in which Apple was ordered to publish a notice on its website saying that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab did not copy the registered design for the iPad has been hired by Samsung as a patent expert in a separate legal battle with Ericsson, reports software patent blog FOSS Patents.

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Sir Robin Jacob served on a panel of appeals court judges reviewing the case after Apple complied with the initial court order but in a rather playful manner, quoting judge Colin Birss’s earlier comment that the Galaxy Tab was “not as cool” as the iPad. Sir Robin was unamused, and ordered Apple to change the notice, accusing the company of acting with a “lack of integrity”.

FOSS Patents‘ Florian Mueller discovered that Sir Robin is now acting as a patent expert for Samsung from a mention in a letter from Samsung’s legal counsel concerning the ITC investigation of a patent infringement complaint filed by Ericsson against Samsung. The blog points out that there is nothing illegal in the maneuver and expresses no doubt that the judge has acted properly at all times, but notes that the impression given is not necessarily a favorable one.

I … have no doubt that at the time of the ruling Sir Robin Jacob was not being paid, or improperly promised to be paid, by Samsung, and he won’t have had any contact with Samsung or Samsung’s counsel that would have been against the rules and barred him from adjudicating the Samsung v. Apple case.

Furthermore, Sir Robin Jacob is truly an expert in patent law and there is no question that Samsung will benefit from his knowledge. That said, this just doesn’t feel right. It gives the impression that a judge who deals Samsung’s number one rival a huge PR blow, in a way that I found very extreme and unjustified, will be generously rewarded.

Mueller himself has found himself embroiled in a somewhat similar situation, having served as consultant to Oracle (as well as Microsoft) while also writing about the patent battle between Oracle and Google.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/28/uk-judge-who-chastised-apple-over-samsung-apology-now-consulting-as-patent-expert-for-samsung/

iCloud’s Photo Stream, Documents, and Backup Services Currently Experiencing Problems [Mac Blog]

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Apple’s System Status page is showing multiple iCloud services with ‘issues’:

cloudServices listed as being affected are Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud and Backup. The services have been having problems for nearly five hours already, and Apple has not yet provided a timeframe for a fix.

(Thanks, Guillermo.)

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/28/iclouds-photo-stream-documents-and-backup-services-currently-experiencing-problems/

iTunes U Hits One Billion Downloads of Free Educational Content

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

itunes_u_iconApple today announced that its iTunes U service has hit one billion downloads, less than six years after its official debut.

“It’s inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “With the incredible content offered on iTunes U, students can learn like never before―there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn.”

Apple notes that over 1,200 colleges and universities and over 1,200 K-12 schools are using iTunes U, offering thousands of public and private courses through the service. Over 60% of iTunes U downloads are coming from outside of the United States.

Apple also touts the sheer size of some of iTunes U’s offerings, with several universities offering courses seeing enrollments of over 100,000 and Stanford University and The Open University each having topped 60 million downloads of their content.

iTunes U debuted as a partnership with Stanford University in October 2005 before launching in an expanded form in mid-2007. A year ago, Apple launched its dedicated iTunes U app as part of an education-focused event leveraging the iPad as the learning platform for the future.

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/28/itunes-u-hits-one-billion-downloads-of-free-educational-content/

Controversial Freemium Game Real Racing 3 Hits the U.S. App Store [iOS Blog]

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Controversial freemium game Real Racing 3 was released in the U.S. App Store tonight, after being tested in several international App Stores. Real Racing 3 is the highly anticipated followup to Real Racing 2, with real cars, photorealistic tracks, and online time shifted multiplayer gameplay.

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Unlike earlier games in the series, Real Racing 3 is free to play, with time-based freemium mechanics. Wait times have been implemented for repairs, upgrades, and additional vehicle unlocks, which can be sped up with the purchase of gold coins.

Our sister site TouchArcade has published a review of the game, explaining both the upsides and the downsides of the freemium gameplay.

Real Racing 3 is a weird game to review. On one hand, it’s free, and is the absolute best looking game available on the App Store right now. You need to experience the sights and sounds of the game as it is downright jaw-dropping to see what Firemonkeys has accomplished on a technical level. On the other, it feels incredibly strange to take a genre that’s typically very hardcore and wrapping it in free to play trimmings with hard timer-based stopping points. The juxtaposition between awesome adrenalin-fueled racing and the “Sorry bro, insert coin or come back later” is very, very odd.

TouchArcade has also released a guide on how to spend conservatively in the game, recommending specific cars, damage mitigation, and strategic repairs.


Real Racing 3 is currently available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/27/controversial-freemium-game-real-racing-3-hits-the-u-s-app-store/

Yelp Updated with Improved Social Features and Streamlined iPad Business Page [iOS Blog]

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yelp today updated its Yelp app for iOS to version 6.5.0, offering improved social search search results and a redesigned iPad business page. Yelp on the iPad is now streamlined, with easier access to hours, menu items, and phone numbers.

“Explore the Menu” and Yelp Deals, which have both been offered on the iPhone for some time, are now available on the iPad. Search results on both the iPhone and the iPad have been enhanced with information on friends who have checked into businesses, and the Yelp app now offers clearer notifications on restaurant hours. The update also includes several bug fixes and performance enhancements.

yelpupdate

We gave our iPad business page a whole lot of love. It’s now more streamline and clear, with more emphasis on business photos. In addition, we’re now showing Yelp Deals and our new “Explore the Menu” feature.

Yelp search just got more social: Now you can see which friends are checked in to businesses directly from your search results.

Getting to a restaurant just after closing is a major bummer. Now we’ll indicate if a business will be closing soon or is just about to open.

We also got in a TON of bug fixes and enhancements: showing your review first in the reviews list, supporting updated reviews on iPad, swipe-able photos on the business page, and huge speed improvements on iPhone5!

Yelp is a universal app that can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/27/yelp-updated-with-improved-social-features-and-streamlined-ipad-business-page/

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