Apple seeks face, complications designers for Apple Watch

Apple is looking for new software engineers who can build new watch faces and complications for Apple Watch. A job listing found on its website all but confirms we’ll see a wider range of customization options in future watchOS updates. The faces Apple already ships with Apple Watch are great, but there aren’t enough of them. Yes, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Has Secret Team Working on Virtual Reality Headset

Apple has expanded its research efforts in virtual and augmented reality, building out a large team that is experimenting with headsets and other technologies, reports Financial Times in a detailed post on the company’s virtual reality work that covers recent hires and acquisitions.

Hundreds of employees are part of a „secret research unit“ exploring AR and VR, with the team consisting of experts hired through acquisitions and poached from Microsoft and Lytro, the company that developed the Immerge, a Light Field power camera able to blend live action and computer graphics for a live action VR experience. Apple has also hired Doug Bowman, said to be one of the leading virtual reality experts in the United States.

In addition to recent AR/VR-related acquisitions Metaio, Faceshift, and Emotient, Apple has also just purchased Flyby Media, a startup that worked on augmented reality technologies. Flyby Media created an app that worked with Google’s „Project Tango“ smartphone with 3D sensors, allowing messages to be attached to real world objects that were then viewable by one of Google’s devices.

Most notably, Apple’s AR/VR team is said to have built prototype virtual reality headsets that are similar to the Oculus Rift and the Hololens from Microsoft. Multiple prototypes of „possible headset configurations“ have been created in recent months, with Apple’s interest reportedly inspired by the Oculus Rift.

It is not clear if and when Apple’s work on a headset prototype will make it past the development stage into an actual product, and the company often secretly works on technologies that never see the light of day. The scope of what Apple is building is also unknown, but Financial Times says that the company’s work could potentially be useful for the Apple Car project.

Apple has had a team working on virtual and augmented reality technologies since at least early 2015, when rumors suggested there were a small number of employees investigating how Apple could incorporate the technologies into its products. Apple’s interest in virtual reality dates back much further, however, and Apple has filed multiple patents over the years, for products like video goggles, motion-sensing 3D virtual interfaces for iOS devices, and 3D „hyper reality“ displays.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently questioned on whether he believed virtual reality could go mainstream. He explained that he does not see virtual reality as a niche product, describing it as „really cool“ with „some interesting applications.“

Tags: augmented reality, ft.com, Apple acquisition, virtual reality
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Twitter Considers Boosting Tweet Length Limits as High as 10,000 Characters

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night hinted at an incoming change to the 140-character limit for which the social network has been known over the past decade. Dorsey mentioned that the limit has „become a beautiful constraint“ over the years, but the company is aware of certain workarounds its fans are going through to break away from the rule.

He points towards a possibility in the near future for the site to support full-bodied text tweets that are searchable and can be highlighted by users without a strict 140-character restriction. Back in August, Twitter removed the same limit from its private messaging system, and a month later new rumors about the possibility for the same move for traditional tweets began circling.

„At its core Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly. We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.

Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power. What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature. We will always work to to strengthen that. And by focusing on conversation and messaging, the majority of tweets will always be short and sweet and conversational!“

According to people familiar with Twitter’s plans, speaking with Re/code, the project is referred to as „Beyond 140“ and has a tentative launch window around the end of Q1 2016. Numbers that have been considered internally by the team range from 5,000 to 10,000 character limits, the latter of which would fall alongside the same restriction placed inside of private messages on the site.

The sources point to expandable actions for the new tweets that would keep timelines as tight and orderly as they appear with the current limit, but include an expandable prompt that would then showcase the tweet’s full text when clicked. Recently, Twitter updated its site to allow full images to appear without being cut off, and changed the favoriting star to a heart.

Tag: Twitter
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Steve Jobs team won’t let bad box office kill Oscar campaign

Steve Jobs may have flopped at the box office, but the team responsible for it are still confident that they can make up for the dismal lack of earnings with an Oscar. According to a new report, Aaron Sorkin, Jeff Daniels (who plays John Sculley) and director Danny Boyle recently attended an “intimate brunch and […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Grammar haters score a win in text-messaging study

I try to maintain grammatical integrity no matter what I’m typing. But a new study suggests that people may not appreciate that while text messaging, and it’s not just because they think I’m showing off how much gooder I can word. The researchers concluded that texts that end in proper and correct periods come off […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple confirms its first Singapore retail store is on the way

We’ve written about it previously, but Apple has finally come out and confirmed that its first retail store in Southeast Asia, located in Singapore, will open soon. “We have more than 900 incredible employees working in our Singapore contact center and are thrilled to begin hiring the team that will open our first Apple Store […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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