SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

You’ll know Apple blew it when it makes a fingerprint dongle

By now you’ve probably read that Apple’s next flagship iPhone might be running a bit behind the company’s usual release schedule. The culprit seems to be a fingerprint sensor of Apple’s own design, that’s meant to sit behind the full edge-to-edge OLED display on the front of the new premium iPhone. Apple’s said to be struggling to perfect the technology such that it can be mass produced at iPhone scale — a non-trivial task, to be sure. Samsung reportedly tried and failed to integrate a Synaptics sensor into the OLED display of the Galaxy S8, forcing it to move the sensor to an awkward position on the rear of the phone. There was a time when Apple could be expected to overcome these kinds of challenges to the surprise of the industry and the delight of its customers. Now, I’m not so sure. Personally, I’m treating the fingerprint sensor as a litmus test for Apple’s ability to innovate in a meaningful way.

I’m reminded of a chat I had with an HTC product manager the day after Apple announced the original iPhone in January of 2007. He doubted Apple’s ability to mass produce a phone with a 3.5-inch capacitive multitouch display. In fact, he was so certain that he bet me Apple would fail to ship at scale (just 1 million devices at the time). History shows he was wrong — dramatically so. Apple even upgraded the display to glass a few months before the first iPhone shipped, exceeding everyone’s expectations.

Apple’s a company that’s historically led from behind, often through the use of innovative new technologies applied to both the device and, importantly, to the manufacturing and assembly of the device. Remember, Apple didn’t invent the mouse and graphical user interface, it refined what it saw at Xerox and gave it a home on a personal computer. Apple didn’t invent the all-in-one desktop, it made it lickable. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, it found a Toshiba hard drive that was simultaneously big enough and small enough to carry your entire music library, and then built a click-wheel controller to navigate it. Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, it made it easy to use with a finger; just like it didn’t invent the tablet, it stripped away the excess and turned Bill Gates’ vision into a consumer hit.

I’ve been a fan of Apple product design since I purchased a “Graphite” Power Mac G4 back in 1999. I’ve since owned several generations of MacBooks, iMacs, iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, and lots and lots of Apple accessories. But something’s changed. As a result I haven’t upgraded my iPhone in three years, and I haven’t felt compelled to buy an Apple Watch, new MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, or AirPods, despite my profession and a long cultivated habit of “needing” to own the latest and greatest. Lately I’ve been nagged by the knowledge that the latest Apple devices aren’t the greatest available.

What kind of fool wants to charge and use their Magic Mouse at the same time?

Just look at this list of what I consider to be Apple hardware missteps or outright failures over the last few years:

  • The can’t-innovate-my-ass Mac Pro debacle which won’t be fixed until next year at the earliest.
  • Removal of the iPhone’s headphone jack, a move that was user-hostile and stupid, and hasn’t exactly sparked an industry trend.
  • A TouchBar of questionable value, that few apps support, on MacBooks with dubious “Pro” branding.
  • The iPhone 7 broke Apple’s “tick tock” pattern of thoroughly refreshing its hardware every two years, allowing Samsung to set the new benchmark for smartphone design.
  • Apple’s failed effort to bring sapphire glass to the iPhone, putting its supplier out of business in the process.
  • It quit making monitors, partnering with LG instead to create a beautiful display (in an ugly plastic stand) that could be defeated by a router.
  • It abandoned routers at a time when a new breed of mesh routers and smart homes were making the category interesting again.
  • After leading in voice, it’s now conceding the smart home to Google and Amazon with the lack of a Siri-based voice appliance, two-and-half years after the launch of Echo.
  • HomeKit devices are still few-and-far between (and therefore expensive) despite having launched three years ago.
  • The company killed off MagSafe instead of adapting it for the USB-C era.
  • A litany of bizarre and / or awkward design decisions that have resulted in the lumpy iPhone battery case, unrefined iPad Pro Smart Keyboard cover, ridiculous Pencil and Magic Mouse charging positions, iPhone camera bulges, and a forced need for dongles everywhere.

Note that I didn’t include the Apple Watch in this list. The wearable has been a slow burner but it’s certainly not a failure. However, I can’t overlook the fact that the current WatchOS was completely redesigned — which is in itself a tacit admission that its original vision for the product was flawed.

One bright spot for Apple hardware innovation comes in the form of its AirPods, despite their toothbrush-in-the-ear aesthetic. People who own them seem to love them, and they approach wireless audio in new and sometimes surprising ways. But they’re still on six-week backorder some six months after going on sale. That means either Apple is seeing outrageous demand, or it’s suffering manufacturing troubles. In the past, I’d have assumed the former, but my gut now tells me it’s the latter.

Needless to say, I have my doubts that Apple will find an elegant fingerprint solution in time. Some analysts even speculate that Apple could remove the fingerprint sensor completely from the premium iPhone, relying upon advanced face or iris scanning instead. In that case, Apple’s new iPhone might not be able to support Touch ID-based Apple Pay transactions without a little help. And believe me, if you see a fingerprint dongle, you’ll know that Apple blew it.

The post You’ll know Apple blew it when it makes a fingerprint dongle appeared first on Technology News and Reviews | A2Z Support.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Qamar Qrsh

Qamar is a leading authority on global business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Technology Event. Qamar has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world.

Latest Stories
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions.
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Keeping an application running at scale can be a daunting task. When do you need to add more capacity? Larger databases? Additional servers? These questions get harder as the complexity of your application grows. Microservice based architectures and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures are technologies that help you keep your application running with high availability, even during times of extreme scaling. But real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than a basic lift-and-shift migrati...
David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company that delivers fast, low-cost, and reliable cloud storage. Prior to Wasabi, David co-founded Carbonite, one of the world's leading cloud backup companies. A successful tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years, David got his start at ARP Instruments, a manufacturer of synthesizers for rock bands, where he worked with leading musicians of the day like Stevie Wonder, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Led Zeppelin. David has ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Addteq is a leader in providing business solutions to Enterprise clients. Addteq has been in the business for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives on creating innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to modernize the software delivery process by providing Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.
Contino is a global technical consultancy that helps highly-regulated enterprises transform faster, modernizing their way of working through DevOps and cloud computing. They focus on building capability and assisting our clients to in-source strategic technology capability so they get to market quickly and build their own innovation engine.
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...