Apple’s new Operating System Updates & Features in iOS 11 at WWDC 2017

Apple has been the leader of the Smartphone and Tablet since the first iPhone launched and they continue to make iOS updates that will enhance the use of these devices while trying to keep a competitive advantage over Android.

On June 5th at the Worldwide Developers Conference  2017, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO announced the updates for iOS 11, he said this version takes the best and most advanced operating system and take Apple’s operating system to the next level, bringing in new subtle designs and new looks to some of the standard apps are a part of the updates.

Apple is a technology giant for good reason, they have created and maintained an operating system that has taken the world by storm, iPhone users are quick to denigrate other phones as they see Apple products in general as superior to anything currently on the market. This may or may not be true depending on your personal preference, but one thing is for sure Apple has a huge following and a market share to support the hype.

Apple's new Operating System Features in iOS 11

Some of the features to look in iOS 11:

  • Drag & Drop for iPad
  • Augmented Reality for iPhone
  • Apple Pencil Updates
  • Customizable Control Center
  • Wider Range of Setting
  • 3D Touch Integration
  • Siri Enhancements for more Intelligent & Natural Voice Recognition
  • Persistent Dock for Multi-Tasking
  • New One Handed Key-boar
  • New Home-Kit to Support Speakers
  • AirPlay 2 to include Multi-Room Functionality
  • App Store has been Revamped
  • Files App to not Include iCloud but is more User-Friendly
  • Peer to Peer Money Transfer
  • New Screen Effects

These are just a few mentioned updates to the Apple operating system expected in September 2017. These updates will be a huge step for the Apple Smartphone and Tablet platforms claiming to make it the world’s most advanced operating system. There are no questions that Apple has created unique hardware that has changed the lives of many people.

Vensi has been developing iOS applications since the beginning for our enterprise customers and we look forward to the new iOS 11 release, hoping these enhancements will provide more features and add more value in our development of iOS applications.

If you are looking for an Enterprise Application Development Team Apple’s new OS features in iOS 11, contact us at vensi.com/contact_us  for more information.

 

 

Pixel Phone Made by Google and How it Stack up Against Apple

google's pixel phone

The latest Google’s Pixel phones are finally arrived by stepping into the smartphone competition to show what a new Android version looks like. The Pixel phones features software integration to premier Google’s services, including Google Assistant, Google Photos with unlimited cloud storage and Daydream -Mobile Virtual Reality.

The competition between smartphones is thinner than ever, unique features have become more common and more important than pure specifications between devices. Every major smartphone can take great photos, work faster, and run the apps smoothly so that the buying decision is becoming tougher than ever before. Today’s smartphone market is an extremely competitive market, with the major companies like Apple, Samsung, LG, and more. After a long waiting period, Google has controls over both hardware and software with the Pixel superior smartphone entry.

Google does not want to specifically compete with its own partners such as Samsung, LG and others, but their latest smartphone Pixel is much more likely to compete with Samsung rather than. An overview of new Pixel phones, they actually look like Apple’s latest iPhone 7 or a little too similar, but it could attract long-time iPhone owners who are waiting to switch to Android without sacrificing design. In the past days swapping your iPhone to Android almost meant settling for a phone made from cheap and tacky plastic but it is no longer true, now Android makers also have stepped up in the premium smartphone game.

Coming to specifications, Pixel phones are the first devices to offer Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor which is the latest and most powerful in the market, this chip can compete with Apple’s  iPhone 7 processor A10 Fusion. 4GB of RAM, which is more than in iPhone 7 that will make a difference while doing multiple tasks.

The main concern to some Android users is that the Pixel phones are lacking few features such as wireless charging, but it has rapid recharge capability, charging in just 15 minutes , users can get 7 hours of battery life. The Pixel devices are not water-resistant, and no stereo speakers like the latest iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 Plus is really changing the photography game in smartphones by dipping into its dual-lens camera and optical image stabilization. On the other side, Google’s Pixel camera also looks good on paper by touted a DXOMark of 89 rating, which is the highest rating ever for a smartphone in the present market.

3.5mm jack in Pixel phone is satisfyingly not new in Pixel which is a reference to Apple’s decision to eliminate the port in their latest smartphone iPhone 7, irritated some customers.

Pixel phones are the first devices to offer the latest version of Android 7.1 Nougat, it delivers a whole host of improvements including Google Assistant integration and new shortcuts. Nougat also offers added features, like the ability to use multiple apps simultaneously in split-screen mode.

However, this time branding is explicitly Google, the name of the event says “Made by Google”. Google is presenting the Pixel as their phone, not an Android phone with stock firmware.

Google Assistant is Google’s a new strategy to rule voice search world

Google assistant conversation

Voice search is growing, and Google is investing heavily in products that utilize this voice technology. This voice search engine has gained traction in recent years, adults and teens began the experience of Voice Search’s ability to get quick answers to their questions, show directions and so on. By 2014, Google had taken an extreme interest in voice search and voice recognition and answers, and Google felt that voice search was the future.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced in 2016 Google’s I/O keynote that 20 percent of all queries are voice searches through Android smart devices, and this number is growing. Google unveiled an upgrade of Google Now, a virtual assistant called Google Assistant. In this upgraded version, you can ask multiple questions for an answer like a clear conversation till get the right answer and it works like as a personal and conversational assistant.

Google already knew that users are increasingly interacting with Google search for information, Google also helps users searching for the world’s information but trying help users  in daily tasks. Google Assistant uses the new advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, natural language processing, voice recognition and translation to provide improved and assistive user experience, which makes Google speech recognition the clearest and most accurate voice recognition software in the world.

Google Home device brings Google Assistant:

Google also announced it’s new Google Home, which is built in Google Assistant and like a voice-activated home assistant. It is a direct competitor to Amazon Echo also called Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Google Assistant lets every customer enjoy entertainment, manage everyday tasks, and get the right answer from Google. With a simple voice command, you can ask to play a favorite song, set a timer for the oven to prepare food, check your flight, or turn on your lights. The hardware of Google Assistant is designed to fit your home with in different colors and materials. Google Home will be released later this year.

How Google Assistant helps to get things done:

Here Google Assistant combines machine learning and web search to understand what a user is asking and responds to them based on the  user’s request. Google search has been serving users to get information to complete the tasks done by a user itself, but Google Assistant is going beyond that, aiming to understand your requests and helps you get things done. It makes it easy to buy movie tickets while on the go, to find that desired and nearby restaurant for your family to grab a quick bite before the film starts, and then helps you navigate to the theater.

We at Vensi. Inc, are always around and happy hearing from you. Please get in touch if you want something voice solutions or mobile app solutions for your business.

Apple’s latest updates and features at WWDC 2016 for iPhone and iWatch

ios10 and watchos3 features at WWDC 2016

This time, Apple focuses on only software, no new hardware has been released. At WWDC 2016 Apple announced latest updates and features primarily on iOS, MacOS, tvOS and watch OS.

iOS 10: iOS 10 features started with a redesigning Lock screen, includes 3D-touch, notifications that enable access to more information, easily accessible camera, and new widgets. Control Center also has been redesigned with the support of 3D Touch and a wake-up feature that wakes up the screen without bypassing notifications. iphone Siri can do a lot more in iOS 10. An updated Siri allows developers to build Siri support into their apps so that we can now ask Siri to do more things with third party apps like a Uber to book a ride or WhatsApp to send a message.

Messages have been updated with new features like background animations, bubble effects, sketching feature, which also was introduced on the Apple Watch, this feature allows users to create drawings. A predictive emoji feature that can suggest words in the message to replace emoji’s, by tapping on selected emoji, that word will replace the emoji automatically. Message app has its own Message App Store in this update, so iOS developers can create iMessage apps that can be used and improve Message app with unlimited capabilities. Message app can now send stickers and GIFs to order dinner and make payments.

And Apple added a dedicated Home app to operate multiple HomeKit devices, Photos app improved the recognition feature. Map and Music apps also have redesigned.

Watch OS 3: watchOS 3 is a significant update, introducing new apps, new watch faces, and impressive performance improvements. According to Apple, it is going to feel like a whole new watch. Navigation has been improved, with left and right swipes now used to change the iwatch face.

Activity sharing is new in watchOS 3, allowing Apple Watch owners to share their workout and activity information with friends to compete with each other  stay motivated. New activity-based Smart Replies in the app are available to communicate with friends and family over activity achievements. There are settings in the Activity app to customize workouts and activities for wheelchair users, with wheelchair pushes contributing to all-day calorie goals.

A new Breathe app is designed to guide Apple Watch owners through daily deep breathing sessions to cut down on stress and induce relaxation, and there are also new Reminders and Find My Friends Apps. There are three new watch faces, including Minnie Mouse, simple numerals face, and an Activity face that shows activity rings plus more faces can work with complications.

An SOS feature will automatically call emergency services when the side button pressed, no matter where you are in the world, and the Apple Watch can now be used to unlock a password protected Mac’s with new Continuity functionality.

The Messages app redesign makes it quicker to reply to incoming texts, and a new “Scribble” feature allowing you to write on the Apple Watch face with a finger.

 

Solving Voice Recognition Issues & Moving Far Beyond

Mobile phones are powerful pieces of technology, and they’ve only reached a fraction of their true potential. Some phones today are faster than computers we used only a few years ago. The trend at the moment is moving from single core to dual core, going up to 1 GHz with more RAM. Even though technology is developing very rapidly, we’re seeing some issues in one of the areas with the fastest growth: voice recognition. Once we move past these issues, the capabilities of mobile phones will exceed the wildest imagination.

In addition to Apple and Google, we know a number of smaller companies working on voice recognition and text to speech technology. In order to bring these two technologies to a global audience though, the challenges of different languages and different accents must be addressed. This issue reminds us of an old Clint Eastwood movie, Firefox, where the Soviets had a plane that was controlled by the thoughts of the pilot. To operate the plane, the Clint Eastwood character had to be able to think in Russian rather than English. This movie came out in 1982, but the problem is one we still face today with voice recognition. Some of the early testing we’ve done with French, Italian and a few other languages revealed issues with translation, but the technology will get there. Once it does, there won’t be a need for large screens. Voice recognition and text to speech will allow phones to be a lot smaller in the next two or three years.

Even more exciting, once today’s technologies are brought together, the mobile phone may be able to sense and interpret your brain waves. Some of the recent research we looked at showed that monkeys are able to control robotic arms based on a technology that can sense what a monkey is thinking about. When the monkey wanted to eat a banana, he controlled the robotic arm to reach for a banana and peel it open simply by thinking about it. We already have our phones on us all the time. Imagine the possibilities when that phone can sense what you’re thinking and knows what’s happening around you.

With a phone that’s always listening and taking action through your speech, brain waves, body temperature and other inputs, the mobile device becomes a super-assistant. Voice recognition acts on keyword recognition. It’s designed to recognize particular buzzwords like “Mom,” with an action, like “send flowers.” Your mobile phone super-assistant will speak into your ear, reading documents or emails, while sensing when there’s a turn coming up. Right now Siri can do certain tasks, but in the future it will be able to guide and help you to do many more things, some of which we have yet to imagine.

Someday, your phone may even save your life by detecting a significant change in your body temperature or heart rate. For example, the phone could sense heart fibrillations and blood pressure fluctuations for cardiac patients. It may also be able to transfer medical data to hospitals and physicians. Phones could monitor blood sugar and blood oxygen levels, which could be life saving.

In another time, these ideas were the stuff of science fiction, but they’ll soon be reality. The mobile industry is the one to watch for enterprise applications. There is already a huge stream of add-in options coming. To be working on these projects today gives Vensi a huge edge. We’re very happy to be in this space.

Building on Siri – The Future of Mobile Software Development

Siri, the voice in the latest iPhone, is a great start for Apple. It’s been successful, probably beyond their expectations. This has made them even more protective in their drive to prevent “jail breaks” – that’s what the development world calls efforts to open up, or gain access to, the operating system so they can run software and do other things not authorized by Apple. With so much at stake, and with those efforts to break through the defenses so relentless, Apple is vigorously defending its technology, using every tool and technique available.  For example, Apple filed a suit recently against Samsung for infringing on four patents, including Siri’s “voice search.” Sooner or later though, Apple will have to yield and open up a bit. When they do, developers will rush to add Siri’s voice recognition features to their applications.

That voice recognition capability is part of a field called natural language processing or NLP, and its potential goes far beyond the usefulness we’ve seen to date. The way it works is straightforward in principle, if not so much in programming. What happens when you say something like “Please call my Mom,” or “Call Mom,” or something similar? The software recognizes the words “call” and “Mom” and links them. Same thing if you say, “Dial Mom.” The software recognizes nouns and verbs and their synonyms and responds by taking a specific action.

There are many ways this idea can be expanded upon. Right now you have to press a button to activate the software, but you could have a sound activated system that monitors a room and takes a specific action whenever a certain word or sound is heard. It could be in a secure area; it could be in a nursery; or it could be in a conference room. The system could be flexible enough to adapt itself to a complicated spoken command such as “Listen for the phrase xyz, then calculate the latest values for factors 1, 2, and 3. Display the results on the conference room monitor.” The possibilities are endless. Think Star Trek and the voice controlled systems on the Enterprise. They’re always on, always listening, and always responding.

You can extend the notion even further. Cell phones were getting smaller until touch displays and video cameras came along. Then they had to get bigger in order to have a useable display. But, suppose you didn’t have to scroll through apps to find the one you wanted? You could just tell your phone what you wanted or where you wanted to go, and it would sort through the hundreds of apps, find the one corresponding to your needs, activate it, and report/display the results to you. It could also keep track of your location and surroundings and give you a running commentary and make informed suggestions based on your transaction history and interests. Face it, sooner or later your phone will shrink to pen size or smaller, maybe even become part of your body as an implanted micro device.

Or, you might combine NLP with very flexible LCD displays descended from the flexible displays that tech companies like Nokia and Samsung are working on. Then you’d have a screen you could unroll when you need a face to face with someone or want to view content the way you might view it on a TV, magazine, or newspaper. It’d be something like the old-fashioned book scroll you see in period pieces, or even more compact when it’s time to put it away. That’d fit right in with the pen analogy.

So what’s your take on the future of mobile development?  Why don’t you write to us at info@vensi.com and tell us?  If your idea(s) are interesting enough, maybe we can make that happen…

Siri the Imperfect Siren

Siri is like that. An irresistible temptress with a fascinating voice and a wealth of knowledge. One who answers your questions, guides you to your destination, and even suggests activities for you. But, like a siren, she is not infallible. And like a siren, she has a history and sisters that are trying to outdo her, but with limited success to date.

At its core, Siri is a very sophisticated voice recognition program that shares a technological history with other voice recognition platforms such as OnStar. Siri works worldwide with over a dozen applications such as stocks and weather, and (so far) English-only applications in the US such as maps. There are imperfections, however, that can cause frustration and dissatisfaction.

Misunderstanding the speaker is one of them; it’s going to happen with any voice recognition application. Imagine that a real person gives you a phone number over the phone. Do you think you would be able to get it on the first try? Isn’t it likely that you ask whoever you’re talking with to repeat it at least once? You probably do this for the simple reason that it’s hard for anyone to understand what another person is saying with 100% accuracy 100% of the time. It makes no difference what the topic is. Everyone has different speech patterns, accents, tonal values, etc., that make occasional misunderstandings inevitable. A speech recognition program is no different in that respect. It can misunderstand despite the developer’s best intentions.

With Siri, it’s a case of people having unrealistic expectations and just assuming Apple will always get it 100% right. Sure, Siri gets better as it gets to know you and builds its knowledge base. It’s unlikely, however, that Siri will ever get to 100% infallibility with its current software, or even with periodic upgrades.  But that’s okay because 100%  is really not necessary.

This premise can be true for any technology, even Vensi’s. Because of the complex nature of software development and its ongoing evolution, not all of the projects we do are going to be 100% perfect. We are able to meet our clients’ expectations in terms of functionality, delivery timetables and cost without trying to achieve the ambitious goal of perfection. We can get pretty close though, by partnering with our clients so that we really understand their needs, goals and objectives. We make sure that we satisfy every requirement, and deliver on time and on budget. We strive for perfection while balancing the real-world limitations of a competitive marketplace. That’s what Apple did with Siri: They set the bar at accomplishing the best that they could and they launched when they felt it was good enough. Like every technology and software company out there, they go to market as early as possible, knowing they will continue to make improvements and understanding that they will probably never get all the way to 100%.

Sometimes people expect perfection, but more often than not, our clients understand that perfection is not always possible or even necessary. Even if it is possible, it’s not something many clients really want because the cost and effort necessary to reach that last few percent of perfection far outweighs any value it might have.

Here at Vensi, we understand Pareto’s Law: if we can get 80% of the functionality in 20% of the time, the remaining 20% of the functionality will take 80% of the time. Our goal is to balance functionality with our ability to provide high quality, cost-effective mobile and web solutions in a timely manner to our clients. This approach works.