Why Apple Acquired FoundationDB

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According to a report by TechCrunch, Apple has acquired database company FoundationDB. The company develops “scalable and fault tolerant databases that support multiple data models.”

The company has ceased to offer downloads of its database software, according to a notice put up on its website. Foundation DB is one of only a few company’s that provides NoSQL that offers true support for ACID transactions, and competes partially with Google Spanner. The company provides NoSQL services using a proprietary multi-model approach. Most database management systems are organized around a single data model that determines how data can be organized, stored, and manipulated. In contrast, a multi-model database is designed to support multiple data models against a single, integrated backend.

NoSQL has several applications, with the major one being the ability to store user profiles. As such, the acquisition of FoundationDB could help Apple improve the data stored by its iCloud and iTunes Store user-base, or even for maintaining databases for the ResearchKit platform. Beyond user-profiles, the company’s expertise in modern NoSQL databases and ACID transactions could also be deployed in other emerging applications such as for session store – which would include maintenance of a database comprising session information for users of web applications. NoSQL has emerged as one of the most efficient options for storing web-app session information. This can attributed to the key value storing properties of NoSQL databases, the unstructured data derived from session data is easier to store in a schema-less format. This attribute of NoSQL could help Apple streamline some aspects of its session data for the iCloud web apps.

Apple could also use FoundationDB’s NoSQL expertise to manage data generated by their own apps. Most of Apple’s apps have well over a million users, who require support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Large numbers of users combined with the dynamic nature of usage patterns is driving the need for more easily scalable database technology. With other technologies, it is a bit difficult, to get the dynamic scalability and level of scale needed, and this is where NoSQL could help Apple. NoSQL provides a much more flexible, schemaless data model that better maps to an application’s data organization and simplifies the interaction between the application and the database, resulting in less code to write, debug, and maintain.

I think that the fruits of this acquisition might manifest at Apple in more than one area of Apple’s business. I’m hoping that the first area to be touched upon is iCloud and Apple’s suite of web-apps for the service.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 22nd March 2015

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 22nd March 2015

Thoughts on the Apple Watch Edition

Why Swiss smartwatches have no chance against the Apple Watch – Quartz

‘SWISS HOROLOGISTS ARE WELL POSITIONED TO OUT-APPLE APPLE’ – Daring Fireball

The inside story of how Apple’s new medical research platform was born – Fusion

Create Insanely Cool Shots by Unlocking HyperLapse – Austin Mann

Tim Cook on Apple’s Future: Everything Can Change Except Values – Fast Company

Inside Apple’s Top Secret Health and Fitness Lab for Apple Watch Development – Good Morning America

After Six Months of Rejections, Launcher Returns to the App Store – MacStories

I, for one, welcome our new newsletter and podcast overlords – Six Colors

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Thoughts on the Apple Watch Edition

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As was predicted by John Gruber, the Apple Watch Edition is by no means an affordable consumer electronics product. The Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000 and goes all the way up to $17,000. Some might argue that this is so because the Apple Watch Edition isn’t a consumer electronics product, that it is a luxury product, but I am finding it difficult to call it that.

In my view, the only aspect that adds a sense of luxury to the Apple Watch Edition is the fact that the case for the Apple Watch Edition has been crafted from 18-karat gold. Yes, Apple has paid a lot of attention to detail towards how it forms this case, with it being twice as strong as regular gold, and it being hand-polished (although the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Sport boast the same level of craftsmanship). Beyond the gold case, the Apple Watch Edition is nearly identical to the regular Apple Watch, which starts at $549.

The lack of a second differentiating attribute beyond the gold case, creates an impression that Apple didn’t really think this one through – that the marketing and product design team, failed to build a compelling positioning for this product (something we’ve grown to expect from Apple). Most luxury watches in the market also do use precious metals and jewels as a selling point, but they offer a couple of other things as well – 1) unlike the insides of the Apple Watch (which is all chips and circuits) the insides of a luxury watch are a piece of mechanical marvel, built in most cases by humans and not machines. 2) unlike the Apple Watch, luxury time pieces are built to stand the test of time, they have an eternal charm and tend to be passed on for several generations. I remember when on my 14th B’day, my dad handed me his Omega – a watch that will be passed along future generations. The Apple Watch Edition on the other hand, will last a few years at the most, post which it will seem to be obsolete.

With the “Spring Forward” event, Apple revealed a lot about the Apple Watch – it revealed the price, tech-specs (such as battery life, supported technologies, storage, dimensions, etc). Yet, they still have been mum about whether the Apple Watch Edition (or any Apple Watch for that matter) will be upgradable or not. To me, this is the biggest un-answered question about the Apple Watch. Most watches that currently retail upwards of $10,000 will last a life-time if not more, yet although the Apple Watch Edition costs the same, it will not last more than a few years.

This does not mean that the Apple Watch Edition will not sell (I don’t think that someone like Jay-Z would mind dropping $10,000 in order to upgrade his Apple Watch Edition every couple of years). The Apple Watch Edition caters to egotistic people, who wouldn’t want to be caught wearing a $350 watch, people who want to use the Apple Watch, but want exclusivity. This also could result in creating a halo effect for Apple as some have suggested, where regular people see celebrities buying the Apple Watch Edition, and decide to get the regular Apple Watch. That being said, I think that the halo effect could have been achieved without having a separate exclusive variant of the watch as well (celebrities used the iPod and the iPhone without them being priced or positioned uniquely).

To me, the Apple Watch Edition is one of Apple’s only product in recent years that seems to be introduced just for the heck of it, just because Apple can. The Edition doesn’t really warrant its separate existence, considering the fact that it doesn’t serve a purpose beyond gratifying the uber-wealthy (by this logic, Apple should start selling iPhone’s made of real gold as well).

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 15th March 2015

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 15th March 2015

Key Numbers from Apple’s “Spring Forward” Event

Apple Releases iOS 8.2

Wish List: Remove Apple apps on iOS – Six Colors

Early Adapter: USB-C enters, riding a MacBook – SuperSite for Windows

Here’s a transcript of Tim Cook’s surprise Mad Money call – iMore

Thoughts on Apple’s March 9th Event – MacStories

Review: Ulysses for iPad and Mac – Six Colors

Thoughts on Today’s Apple Event – MacSparky

Hands-on with a (working) Apple Watch – The Verge

Apple Gets Sweet Deals From Mall Operators – WSJ

Thousands Have Already Signed Up for Apple’s ResearchKit – Bloomberg Business

All The iPhone Apps You Can’t Delete Are There For Rich People – Medium

How Apple Makes the Watch – Atomic Delights

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Apple Releases iOS 8.2

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Earlier today, following the “Spring Forward” event, Apple released iOS 8.2. The update brings support for the Apple Watch, with the introduction of an all new Apple Watch app.

The Health app has also been improved, which include the ability to select units of measure for certain statistics, the ability to add and visualize workout sessions from 3rd party apps, and new privacy settings which let you turn off tracking of steps, distance, and flights climbed. iOS 8.2 also boasts improvements with regards to stability and offers several improvements and bug-fixes.

As always, you can get the update “Over the Air” through your phone, or through iTunes.

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Key Numbers from Apple’s “Spring Forward” Event

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Apple events have now almost become as mainstream as The Grammy’s or the Oscars, and Apple has been live-streaming them for the past few occasions. As a result of this, we decided not to cover Apple events starting with WWDC 2014. The rationale behind this decision was that since most of our readers are now watching the event along with us, it doesn’t make sense covering it live. For a few of those who didn’t, we think that the best place to find out what was introduced, is through Apple’s very own website.

As part of our coverage, we will be sharing some after thoughts within a couple of days of the event, and we will also be sharing information that you won’t find on Apple’s website. To get us started, here is a collated list of key numbers from today’s keynote.

Key Numbers from Apple’s “Spring Forward” event

  • 6 stores opened in China in the last six weeks. Total stores have touched 21 in China with an aim to get that to 40 by the end of the year
  • 453 stores globally
  • 120 million customers visited Apple retail stores during the last year
  • 25 million Apple TV’s sold
  • Apple TV to now cost $69.99
  • 700 million iPhone’s sold
  • iPhone YoY sales growth of 50%
  • #1 smartphone and customer satisfaction rate of 99%
  • 2500 banks supporting Apple Pay and 700,000 retail locations now supporting Apple Pay
  • 40 new models of cars shipping with CarPlay
  • Last year the PC industry shrunk by 2%, while Mac sales went up by 21%

The new 12 inch Macbook

  • Weights just 2 pounds
  • 13.1 mm thin making it 24% thinner than the 11 inch MacBook Air
  • The new keyboard is 4 times more precise and 40% thinner than the predecessor
  • The display has a resolution of 2304×1440 pixels
  • The display panel is 0.88 mm thin and consumers 30% less energy
  • The unibody architecture features a logic board that is 67% smaller
  • The new MacBook features 35% more battery capacity by utilising the new architecture
  • The new MacBook will ship in Silver, Space Grey, and Gold
  • It is the most environmentally friendly notebook the company is made
  • It is also the worlds most energy efficient notebook
  • It starts at $1299 and will ship on April 10

Apple Watch

  • 18 hours of battery life
  • The Apple Watch Sport starts at $349
  • The Apple Watch starts at $549
  • The Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000
  • Pre-orders begin on April 10. Sales begin on April 24 in 9 countries
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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 1st March 2015

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 1st March 2015

Apple Acquires Camel Audio

Apple Sends Invites for “Spring Forward’ Event

Apple Watch will replace your car keys, says Tim Cook – The Telegraph

Tim Cook Talks Apple Watch Water Resistance and European Apple Pay Expansion – MacRumors

Apple Car: Three More Thoughts – Monday Note

This might be the worst argument against the Apple Car – Vox

Apple airs filmmaking iPad ad narrated by Martin Scorsese for the Oscars – 9to5 Mac

Apple Spending $2 Billion to Build Two New Data Centers in Europe – MacRumors

The Apple Watch Edition’s upgrade dilemma – iMore

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Apple Sends Invites for “Spring Forward’ Event

apple_event_spring_forwardEarlier today, Apple sent out invites for a media event that it will be holding on Monday, March 9 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The event will start at 10:00 am, PDT. The event’s tagline “Spring Forward” is a strong indicative that it will revolve around the Apple Watch.

I am extremely excited about the Apple Watch, but I have several questions related to pricing and functionality that I am hoping are answered during the event. I also have a feeling that Apple will use this event to update their Macbook Air line-up (we may or may not see a new 12 inch Macbook Air, but I’m pretty confident the line-up will be refreshed).

As Apple did during the announcement event, Apple will be providing a live-stream for this event as well.

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Apple Acquires Camel Audio

According to a report by MacRumors, Apple has acquired a popular music plug-in and effects company called Camel Audio. The U.K. based company is the maker of several instruments, plugins, and apps, including the well known Alchemy synth.

The report by MacRumors is based on information found on corporate registry site Companies House. Camel Audio’s address has been updated to 100 New Bridge Street, which is Apple’s London address, and the company’s sole director is now listed as Apple lawyer.

It is safe to assume that this acquisition is related to Apple’s Logic Pro X and Garageband software. I can already imagine Apple implementing some of Alchemy’s technology and library into EXS24.

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