Apple Apex – Week of April 4th

By: Michael Carey

Welcome to Apple Apex. This weekly column will feature the biggest need-to-know stories for fans and users of all things Apple. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.

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 iOS 11.3 arrives with Battery Health feature

CC: Apple

Apple’s highly anticipated iOS 11.3 is now available for download on iOS devices. The central point of the new update includes new features to allow the user to see their battery health level, and favor either peak performances or battery saving performance.

Inside of the Settings app under the Battery tab, you will find a new “Battery Health” feature (remains in Beta).The new section of the Battery tab allows you to see the Maximum Capacity of your iOS battery, and tell you how your battery is being supported. If your phone is above 80% of its capacity, Apple claims you are in good shape. If you fall below 80%, Apple allows its users now to opt for two different features for your battery. You will notice a “Disable…” text in blue in the description beneath the Peak Performance Capacity bar. If you choose the Peak Performance option, your iPhone will run at full power, but your battery will deplete faster. If you opt for a more conservative approach, you can disable the Peak Performance option for a better battery experience – but your iPhone’s performance.

In addition, iOS 11.3 brought more upgrades to the iOS experience, and the iOS ecosystem. Apple music now streams music videos without being interrupted by ads – making their product more appealing to those who are on the fence between other streaming services such as Spotify. Apple News gets a facelift with more up-to-date stories via videos in the new Video group under the “For You” tab.

Fortnite comes to iOS for all

The popular co-op survival game Fortnite, has left Beta, and now is available for all users. Epic Games took to Twitter on Monday to announce the news.

The game launched on iOS under a Beta in early March after being restricted to an “Invite-Only” party. According to 9to5Mac, in just three days on the App Store, Epic Games generated a whopping $3 million in sales based on in-app purchases.

Fortnite has been apart of the recent surge of survival based games in the gaming world including mobile devices, and home consoles such as Xbox One and Playstation 4. It’s main competitor, PUBG (PlayerUnkown’s Battleground’s) is also on the App Store. Fortnite has enjoyed the top spot on the iOS App Store for nearly its entire time on the storefront.

To download Fortnite for your iOS Device, follow this link.

 

CC: Epic Games

Apple hires former Google AI Leader

CC: Getty Images for TechCrunch

While Apple and Google are busy going head-to-head with their cloud saving services, phones, and computers, Apple is bringing a Google employee to their side.

After recently departing Google, John Giannandrea has joined Apple to head its “machine learning and AI Strategy” according to Engadget. A letter from Tim Cook to employees, obtained by the New York Times, reassures employees of Apple’s “commitment to privacy, and our thoughtful approach”. Rumors first suggested that Giannandrea would stay within Google.

The hiring of Giannandrea at Apple comes just a day after Google began to reshuffle some of their employees at their headquarters. Jeff Dean, one of Google’s earliest employees, will take the helm that Giannandrea had vacated. Google is allgedly beginning to push for AI components in more products, and every future product will have a focus on AI implementation.

While as to what exactly Giannandrea will be doing at Apple, this lines up nicely with a recent hiring spree Apple commenced in regards to Siri. It is no secret that Siri is not on par with Amazon’s Alexa, or the Google Assistant, but these two move are pointing in the direction that Apple is beginning to gear up on improvement of Siri and their overall AI program. Siri was a heavy influence on the HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker – but many critics nailed Apple down, wondering if the HomePod is indeed a “Smart” speaker. Giannandrea will report directly to Tim Cook as he begins his new life at Apple.

One More Thing… Companies are abandoning the Apple Watch

When the Apple Watch was revealed, Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer of Apple, stated that apps on the watch were “designed for lightweight interactions”. In recent months many companies have abandoned the watch due to this reason.

Instagram joined eBay, Amazon, Google Maps, and Whole Foods as major companies to pull their apps from the smartwatch.

No need to be alarmed however. This is not a case of companies not believing that the Apple Watch is a failure.  Many companies are beginning to realize that this “lightweight” interactions are not needed for a device so small. The Apple Watch was never designed to show you your entire Facebook feed, or your entire Twitter timeline – only so much can be seen on a 42mm screen (even less on the 38mm Apple Watch).

Apple is expected to reveal a new Apple Watch in September, featuring a 15% bigger screen.

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Thank you for checking out Apple Apex. Check back weekly for the latest news, rumors, and leaks on everything Apple.

This article was written, researched, and edited by Michael Carey. If you wish to connect with Michael, follow him on Twitter at @MichaeICarey or email him at mcarey@whipradiotu.com 

Disclaimer – Michael Carey and WHIP Radio are in no way affiliated with Apple.