Apple’s A7 64-bit chip could mean universal, desktop-class apps on the iPad and iPhone

There is lots of analysis out on the web now about how important the 64-bit-ness of Apple’s new A7 chip (in the iPhone 5S). They all seem to be missing a big point: the A7’s power means all sorts of desktop application power can be used on iOS devices like the iPhone 5S, and the soon-to-be-announced iPad 5 (I imagine the iPad mini 2 will use a last-generation processor, such as the iPad 4’s A6X, to keep its price down).

Let’s take a look at Apple’s iWork suite (now free for new iOS device purchasers, by the way) for an example of what the future might look like for OS X and iOS apps.

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Is Apple adding a database to its iWork suite of office tools?

Curious timing here. Apple already announced the iPhone 5S and 5C, and rumors are they will announce a new iPad and iPad mini next month. Apple also announced the iWork (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) suite of apps will be free for every iOS device sold.

Also coming soon is Mac OS X Mavericks and new Macs. Will iWork be free for them, also?

If so, does iWork need a database? Apple subsidiary FileMaker already made a very nice and consumer-friendly database for iOS and OS X called Bento. (Note: it was not in any way enterprise-worthy, and could not hold a candle to Microsoft Access, even.)

Curiously, Bento is being discontinued at the end of September, right before Apple’s next major iPad and Mac announcements. Are these events linked? Or is it just coincidence?


Apple has thrown down the gauntlet: 64-bit Desktop Class A7 Chip and Free iWork Office Suite

Apple has thrown down the gauntlet.

The iPhone 5S has a 64-bit, desktop class, A7 ARM chip in it. This presages the introduction (next year?) of ARM-based laptops.

All new iOS devices will now come with iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and iPhoto and iMovie for free. (My guess is when OS X Mavericks is announced next month, iWork will be free for new Macs, too).

What does this mean for the enterprise?
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Fingerprint recognition may make the iPhone 5S the go-to smartphone for the enterprise

Fingerprint recognition may make the iPhone 5S, expected to be announced later today, the go-to smartphone for the enterprise.

Earlier this year, at a multibillion-dollar enterprise customer of Magenic’s, I saw the pain of using iOS 6—without Kerberos single sign-on—when users had to continually enter usernames and passwords as they traversed through SharePoint server after SharePoint server. This made their system non-viable from a usability perspective. Nobody used it, and IT really couldn’t blame the user.

If Apple combines the rumored fingerprint recognition with the already-announced enterprise features of iOS 7, including per-app VPN, Kerberos SSO, “Open in…” management, enterprise ownership (and possible reassignment) of App Store purchases, AirDrop, iCloud Keychain, and Password Generator, then the iPhone 5S* may very well become the phone to beat for the enterprise.

These features combine high security with ease of use in a heretofore unseen manner. IT is satisfied, and users are thrilled. A win-win combo if ever there was one.

Will BYOD become BYOiD? Bring your own iOS device.

*–Note than a less expensive iPhone 5C is also rumored to be announced today, but it will likely not have the fingerprint recognition on the Home button the way the 5S will.


Rumor: 4x Retina iPhone 6. Would this enable the holy grail of vector images?

Many rumors turn out to be false, and this one is a good candidate for being false. Devs already have to have 2 image densities (normal and “@2x” for Retina screens), so adding an “@4x” would be a pain. But let’s pretend this is true for a second. What might this be the harbinger of?

Designers and people like Jony Ive and Steve Jobs were never totally satisfied with vector images on low-resolution screens because they could never been drawn accurately/precisely enough to match a high-quality, hand-tuned bitmapped image.

But this is how fonts started, right? Back in the 80’s and 90’s, one had to use Adobe Type Manager or similar app from Bitstream to generate point-size-specific bitmapped fonts. Screens were too low resolution, and hinting wasn’t good enough yet, to have scalable fonts. But eventually the hardware and software got to the point where scalable TrueType and Type 1 fonts became good-looking.

Well, what if the same happened for graphics as happend for fonts? What if screens become so high resolution (and mobile graphics processors fast enough yet low-energy enough) that vector images (for buttons, backgrounds, etc.) looked great when displayed on a mobile device? Then, regardless of device size, buttons and other graphics would look superb on any device. Of course they’d look best on a quad-retina screen, encouraging everyone to upgrade. 🙂

Designers would only have to create one version of each image (since it’d be vector), and developers wouldn’t have to worry about naming or placing the various resolution images in different directories. How sweet would that be?

This is all pie in the sky based on a doubtful rumor, but it was interesting to think about. Retina rumor