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Nobody reviews hardware more exhaustively than chip gurus over at AnanadTech – for these guys, no detail is too small and nothing escapes their scrutiny. When the publication set out to review the Galaxy Note 3, it shamed Samsung by spotting some tweaked code which artificially inflates the device’s scores on popular benchmarks by anywhere between twenty to fifty percent.
Not only did it provoke a reaction from Apple’s marketing head honcho Phil Schiller, the discovery has prompted AnandTech to really scrutinize other device makers. Shockingly enough, turns out most Android OEMs pad their results by increasing CPU/GPU clock speed during benchmarking to make them look good.
So, who are the cheaters? Almost everyone, except Apple and Motorola. Samsung, HTC, Asus, LG and many others are all dirty and guilty of gaming the benchmarks.
If that’s not the biggest wake-up call the benchmarking industry has ever seen, I don’t know what is. I myself feel dirty even blogging about this, but the numbers don’t lie and that’s the sad state of things. Just who are the cheaters? Go past the break for the full disclosure…
Mostly every Android smartphone OEM cheats by using performance-enhancing code that overclocks the CPU/GPU and raises the chip voltage to its highest state when a popular benchmark is detected, AnandTech has discovered in its extensive analysis.
This involves LG, Asus, HTC and other big name gadget makers, with the exception of Google/Motorola and Apple. Notably, the iPhone maker has never faked benchmark scores, AnandTech noted.
The hilarious part: these nonsensical performance “enhancements” yield modest five to ten percent speed gains, which hardly absolves the cheaters from wrongdoing.
“I can’t stress enough that it would be far less painful for the OEMs to just stop this nonsense and instead demand better performance/power efficiency from their silicon vendors,” wrote authors Anand Lal Shimpi and Brian Klug.
AnandTech rightfully calls the issue a “systemic problem,” a pandemic among Android licensees that won’t go away simply because it’s not what hardware vendors want.
We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop.
With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization.
It’s possible that older Motorola devices might’ve done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior.
The table below says it all (‘Y’ is for Yes, ‘N’ stands for No).
The publication doubts much can be done to rectify the situation because beefing up the benchmark scores runs rampant at virtually every major Android OEM licensee.
Virtually all Android vendors appear to keep their own lists of [benchmarking] applications that matter and need optimizing. The lists grow/change over time, and they don’t all overlap.
With these types of situations it’s almost impossible to get any one vendor to be the first to stop. The only hope resides in those who don’t partake today, and of course with the rest of the ecosystem.
As for Samsung, the company has an established history of messing with benchmarks.
Back in July, AnandTech caught Samsung cheating using the performance-enhancing code to fudge benchmarks for the then-new Galaxy S4 smartphone. Though it’s been shamed twice, the South Korean chaebol now has the nerve to announce its own benchmarking efforts.
Like anyone would believe the scores produced by such a targeted benchmark. I’m sorry if all of this sounds harsh, but AnandTech’s findings really got me enraged and I refuse to accept them as a fact of life.
This isn’t about the if-Apple-had-done-this at all.
Has our industry really come to this?
And who’s to blame?
AnandTech’s discovery is nothing if not an appalling admission of dirty tactics Android manufacturers resort to in absence of real innovation.
If ordinary users had any say, it should never be about the speeds and feeds!
Before signing off, let me get something else off my chest.
Everyone and their brother think they’re entitled to bash Apple these days – from the defensive Samsung suggesting that Touch ID is a fad to chip maker Qualcomm’s silly statement that the 64-bit A7 chip is but “a marketing gimmick” (of course it’s not).
Got PCalc running in 64-bit on the iOS simulator – took about an hour, not very tricky. Now just need a 5S to actually test it on.
— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) September 16, 2013
At the same time, Qualcomm – an Apple supplier and partner – goes all out promising to bring out its own 64-bit mobile processor at some point in the future, because “the OS guys will want it”.
It seems to me that jelly competitors just can’t keep their mouth shut.
Restrained tech media certainly isn’t helping by politely giving haters a lip service and spewing Apple doomsday scenarios when the company is at the top of its game. Last time I checked, only Apple thus far has managed to deliver the world’s first 64-bit mobile chip.
And only Apple has the world’s first 64-bit mobile operating system with the kernel, libraries, APIs and frameworks fully-optimized for 64-bit computing – and the company is now accepting 64-bit submissions from its registered developers .
Apple’s doing all of that without resorting to the murky benchmark-gaming tactics. And Apple doesn’t lie to its customers about the benchmark scores of iOS devices like most Android backers do.
The full report is well-worth reading: you’ll never look at benchmarks the same again.
So, what do you think and where do you stand on this issue?
You're reading It’s Not Just Samsung: Everyone Games Benchmarks Except Apple And Motorola
What is Apple Silicon?
During its WWDC 2023 keynote, Apple officially confirmed its transition from Intel chips to its own Apple Silicon for the Mac. In addition to details for developers, Tim Cook announced that the first Mac with Apple Silicon would ship to consumers by the end of this year.Apple M1
At its ‘One More Thing’ event in November, Apple officially announced its first Apple Silicon processor designed specifically for the Mac, dubbed the M1. The M1 chip features an eight-core design alongside a powerful Neural Engine and GPU, offering dramatic efficiency and performance improvements for the Mac.
With Apple controlling the processor in a Mac, it can offer significantly better software optimization than others like Intel. In the case of the Mac, this means that macOS 11 Big Sur is optimized specifically for the M1 processor. By creating the silicon themselves, Apple has much more control over how well macOS and a Mac hardware perform together. Even without touching on the technical specifications of the new M1 chip, the improved optimization in macOS should make for dramatic performance and reliability improvements.
Using Apple Silicon in the Mac also means that the Mac can now run iPhone and iPad applications. While developers can opt-out of this, it means that you’ll be able to find iPhone and iPad applications in the Mac App Store for the first time.
iPhone and iPad apps on the Mac through the Mac App Store
Rosetta 2 translation allows you to run apps made for Intel Macs on Apple Silicon, and sometimes apps perform better in Rosetta with Apple Silicon’s M1 than they do natively with Intel, Apple says.
Universal apps are apps built for Apple Silicon and Intel processors and are downloadable from the Mac App Store or from the web.
When it announced the new M1 processor during the special “One more thing” event from Apple Park, Apple touted that it’s the “first chip designed specifically for the Mac.” It’s built using a 5-nanometer with 16 billion transistors, and Apple says it was designed “for Mac systems in which small size and power efficiency are critically important.”
As such, the M1 features industry-leading performance per watt. This is why the first Apple Silicon MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models are able to offer such notable improvements in battery life compared to their Intel predecessors.
Apple Silicon’s M1 chip is an 8-core CPU with four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. The high-performance cores each provide industry-leading performance for single-threaded tasks, and Apple says they are “the world’s fastest CPU cores in low-power silicon.”
Apple also says that the four high-efficiency cores deliver “outstanding performance at a tenth of the power.” In fact, the high-efficiency cores are so powerful themselves that they deliver similar performance to the dual-core Intel MacBook Air while being much more efficient.
In total, Apple says that the eight cores work together to provide “incredible compute power for the most demanding tasks and deliver the world’s best CPU performance per watt.”M1 GPU Apple Silicon Neural Engine
The M1 chip also brings Apple’s industry-leading Neural Engine to the Mac for the first time. The M1 Neural Engine features a 16-core design that can perform 11 trillion operations per second. Apple has used the Neural Engine in the iPhone and iPad since the A11 processor was introduced in 2023. Neural Engine was something designed specifically for machine learning tasks like video analysis, voice recognition, artificial intelligence, photo scanning, and much more.What’s next for Apple Silicon?
The M1 chip is just the beginning of a “new family of chips designed specifically for the Mac.” Again, the new M1 processor is designed specifically for lower-power machines where efficiency is especially important. Over the next two years, Apple will likely release new Apple Silicon chips for the iMac, Mac Pro, and higher-end MacBook Pros.
As reported by 9to5Mac as well as the rest of the world, it has been announced that Apple will officially be working in partnership with IBM to once and for all take over the enterprise market.
This is without doubt a historic announcement from both companies and I would assume there are a few companies trembling in their boots having heard this news…Blackberry likely being one of them. But if you delve a little deeper, you may be able to see something more significant in this partnership. Something that will not only affect the enterprise, but could potentially change the entire landscape for the consumer market as well…
I previously wrote a blog post about an artificial intelligence supercomputer that IBM have developed called WATSON. Just look at him…what a thing of beauty he is!
But what on earth has this got to do with Apple and IBM working together?
“Siri, meet WATSON”…”WATSON, this is Siri”
OK, ok…silly introduction aside now, let me explain my thinking here:
When Siri was 1st announced, it blew the consumer market away. Finally we had what seemed to not only be a relatively accurate voice recognition service in the palm of our hands, but we could actually have conversations with our new AI friend. YouTube instantly blew up with videos of people asking Siri silly, or even naughty questions and testing her knowledge on various subjects. The world was going mad for the era of the virtual assistant.
That was 3 years ago however and now we have a number of different options at our fingertips, with the key competitor here being the somewhat unstoppable Google Now.
I am without doubt an Apple fan (maybe not a fanboy though) but I can still admit when I see something that I believe is superior to an Apple product. Don’t get me wrong, Siri has it’s benefits over Google Now, but for the most part, Google Now is faster, and often brings back more relevant information.
This is where IBM’s WATSON could come into play.
It is no secret that Apple appear to be working on removing the need for Nuance’s voice recognition software within Siri, and replacing it with their own…but developing a brand new artificial backend would just be too much of a monstrous task to undertake alone.
With a marriage (quite literally) between Siri and WATSON however, we could see Apple leapfrogging all of it’s competitors in the virtual assistant space, very swiftly. If the AI backend of Siri was to be run by a dedicated service such as WATSON, not only would we be getting more relevant information back, and likely quicker…but we could have an assistant who is truly capable of learning. Just watch how even an OFFLINE version of WATSON destroys humans in a game of Jeopardy:
I recently wrote about what I envisage for Apple in the home, and how iCloud (with the help of Siri) will be a hub to store all we need to automate our home media and eventually our lives. Whether we control Siri on our wrists, phones or even on a set of Beats headphones, the Apple virtual assistant is going to become so much more than what we currently know of it, and WATSON could be the technology that puts Siri and artificial intelligence into hyper drive.
Partnerships like this come every once in a while, but when it comes to Apple, I always have faith that things are not always necessarily as they seem on the surface.
Yes, this partnership will definitely create the penetration into the enterprise market that Apple have been craving, but I can’t help but speculate on what more can come out of this. Yes, this is all speculation…but this is also not something to be overlooked (in my honest opinion).
These services will no doubt be integrated into the enterprise apps and services that Tim and Virginia have already spoken about, but Apple would not be Apple if they didn’t have something greater considered. That is my opinion at least…what is yours?
So, Santa left you a little gift under the Christmas tree in the form of Apple Watch and now you want to know what apps and games you should start off with. Lucky for you, we have recent experience at being new to Apple Watch, as well as about eight months worth of knowing which titles we think are perfect for beginners.
So, if you have just unwrapped your Apple Watch and want to know what you should add first, we have a list of the best 10 apps and games for you.
This game is aptly named. Once you start playing, it is hard to stop. There are hundreds of thousands of basic trivia questions across six categories that are randomly asked of you each turn. The category is selected when Willy the Wheel Spinner spins his wheel of categories. The more questions you get right, the better you score against your friends. Earn all three segments in each category to win it. You can also create your own questions in the Question Factory, which you can share with others. On Apple Watch, you can access all of the same questions and have the same amount of time to quickly answer from the available choices by tapping the option on the screen. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s like crack. This game is available for $2.99.
Apple Watch may be known for being a fitness wearable, but you may have not realized that it does more than help you work out your body. It also helps you get your brain fit. Brainess is a brain training game that helps you improve your memory, vision, and computer skills. The app features seven exercises that help give your mind a daily workout, including a couple of memorization games, a math challenge, and more. All games are available on Apple Watch. So, if you head out without working out your brain, you can simply call up the games on your wrist worn device and exercise those cells on the road (if you are taking the bus, not driving). This game is available for $0.99.Map My Run+
Speaking of fitness, Apple Watch comes with a lot of cool sensors for tracking your activities. However, it doesn’t come with a great selection of native software for analyzing that data. This app uses the GPS sensor of your iPhone to track your daily walk, run, or bike ride. It collects data from your pace, route, distance, calories burned, elevation, and more. You can view your stats on your wrist, as you workout. It logs more than 600 different activities and syncs with a number of third-party fitness trackers, like Garmin, Jawbone, and Misfit. Include your goals and current stats to stay on track to get in shape. This app is available for $2.99.
One important activity-tracking feature that Apple decided to leave off its wearable is for sleeping. If you’d like detailed analytics on when you fall asleep, when you are restless, and when you wake up, download this app. All you have to do is keep your Apple Watch on while you sleep and tell the app when you go to sleep and when you wake up. It will gather information on those times when you stirred in the night and when you were deep in sleep. Plus, the app connects to HealthKit to quickly log your nightly sleep cycles so you can have a well-rounded lifestyle tracker. This app is available for free.
If you are the type of person that just hates Apple Maps (we don’t blame you, some of us hate it too), you’ll be disappointed to see that it is sitting on the face of your wrist worn device. You will, however, be happy to know that you can replace it with Google’s mapping service instead. The wearable version features step-by-step text-based navigation after you add the location on iOS. The Apple Watch app also includes three of the most recent routes accessed so you can quickly access them in the future. A recent update provides offline navigation so you don’t even have to use your data when navigating in the big city. This app is available for free.
Another feature that Apple chose to leave of off its wearable is the Reminders app. While you can set up your iPhone to send notifications, many of us would love access to our Reminders app from our Apple Watch for more than just getting notifications. This robust calendar app happens to also connect to your Reminders app in iCloud. You can add items to a list or directly from an event. You can specify dates, times, and even set up geofences to set a reminder when you arrive at or leave from a location. Of course, Fantastical 2 does a whole lot more than reminders, but that’s why we love it on Apple Watch. This app is available for $2.99.
If you also got yourself an Apple TV 4 for Christmas (or maybe you picked it up a couple of months ago when it launched), the first thing you should do is download Apple’s Remote app. Now that it works with the fourth-generation set-top box, you can use it on Apple Watch as a touch pad. Use it to scroll between apps and content on Netflix and Hulu without even having to lean forward to grab the Siri remote. It doesn’t work with games, but it does work with most apps that require moving around and selecting. This app is available for free.
Facebook Messenger is becoming a fairly useful chat app. Recent updates have made it possible to use it to contact anyone, even if you don’t have their phone number or if you aren’t Facebook friends with them. This app keeps you connected to all your Facebook chats right on your wrist. Whenever you get a message, you’ll get a notification on Apple Watch (if you have Notifications turned on for the app). You can respond from the wearable and even send stickers. Send messages using Voice Dictation, or record your thoughts and send them as a audio message. This app is available for free.
When I was a kid, I just thought calculator watches were the coolest thing around. Then, I got an Apple Watch, which does all kinds of cool things, but doesn’t come stock with a calculator. WTF? Luckily, the best iOS calculator maker around, Tapbots, made Calcbot compatible with Apple Watch, so I can impress my friends with my math skills. The app is more than just a basic calculator. You can use it to figure the tip and split the bill with a group or convert different monies around the world. It also works with material conversion, like ounces to pounds or millimeters to inches. This app is available for free.
Congratulations on your new Apple Watch. The longer you have it, the more you will understand what features are most important to you. For now, download the 10 apps above and you’ll be off to a great start.
A worldwide wave of school climate strikes, begun by the remarkable Greta Thunberg, has reached the UK. Some critics claim these activist-pupils are simply playing truant, but I disagree. Speaking as both a climate campaigner and an academic philosopher, I believe school walkouts are morally and politically justifiable.
Philosophy can help us tackle the question of whether direct action is warranted via the theory of civil disobedience. This states that, in a democratic society, one is justified in disobeying the law only when other alternatives have been exhausted, and the injustice being protested against is grave.
In the case of the climate school strikes, it is without question that the injustice—the threat—is grave. There is none graver facing us.
It appears reasonable to claim furthermore that other alternatives have indeed been exhausted. After all, people have been trying to wake governments up to the climate threat for decades now, and we are still as a society way off the pace set out even by a conservative organization such as the IPCC.
But if that claim was strongly contested, and it was suggested that climate activism should continue to focus on conventional electoral politics, then attention might revert to the assumed premise that society is democratic. Do people in Britain and elsewhere really live in “democracies,” given (for instance) the vastly greater power of the rich, and of owners of media, to influence elections, compared to everyone else?
A school strike in Melbourne, Australia. Julian Meehan / School Strike, CC BY-SA
I don’t want to adjudicate whether we really live in a democracy. But what of course makes this a particularly salient question for school strikes is the simple fact that in any case children have no voice in this democratic system. And yet the climate crisis and the perhaps equally catastrophic biodiversity crisis will affect children much more than adults.
Our “democratic” system seems to have a built in present-centricness, and a weakness in relation to issues of long-term significance, that seriously undermines its claims to democratic legitimacy. Thus philosophers have sometimes argued, beginning with Edmund Burke in the 18th century, that to make the system truly democratic we would need to somehow include—and give real power to—the voices of the past and the future in that system. Most especially, for they are at risk of suffering the worst: the voices of children and indeed of future generations.
So, a forceful argument could be made that it must be legitimate for children to take part in climate actions, for they do not even have recourse to the democratic channels (such as they are) that adults take for granted. This is especially true once we add that it seems reasonable for children to object to schooling that may well be rendered irrelevant by a climate-induced catastrophe. For example, much of the way that economics, business studies and IT are taught presupposes a world that will probably soon cease to exist.Adults have failed
If you are convinced by this, then all well and good. However, at this point, I want to pull the rug slightly from under the argument that I’ve made so far. I put it to you that, if you are an adult, as I am, then your view in any case is somewhat beside the point.
Let down by adults? Young protesters at the recent UN climate talks in Poland. Andrzej Grygiel / EPA
For the brutal fact is that, try hard though some of us have done, we adults have categorically failed our children. This is a grievous wrong, perhaps the worst thing that mammals, primates, such as ourselves, can do: to have let down those who we claim to love more than life itself. We have set our children on a path to a “future” in which society as we know it may have collapsed. And even if we accomplish an unprecedented societal transformation over the next decade, the massive time-lags built into the climate system mean things will still get worse for a long time to come.
And so on this occasion we adults ought to humbly realize that it is no longer for us to tell our children what to do. We ought rather to take up the role of supporting them in their uprising, asking how we can help them in their struggle for survival. They are inspiring us, now.
The ultimate reason why we should support these school strikes, as I and hundreds of other UK academics have just declared we will do, is that, through our inaction that has led the world they will inherit to this pretty pass, we adults have forfeited the moral right to do anything else.
Rupert Read is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. This article was originally featured on The Conversation.
A Closer look at Apple Watch Series 5 and how it’s different Key features of Apple Watch Series 5: Always-on display, compass and others.
Here in this article we will discuss what’s different in Apple’s latest smartwatch and should you upgrade your Apple Watch?
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s read further to know more about Apple Watch Series 5 and what it’s worth.What is Apple Watch Series 5?
Although the series 5 watch comes with the same dimensions as the older Apple Watches i.e. 44 mm and 40 mm sizes, touchscreen, a heart rate tracker, optional GPS, and cellular capabilities. Still, it stands out as no longer you’ll need to lower your wrist to turn the display off or on.
In addition to this, users get a built-in compass that can be used during hiking, running or doing other outdoor activities. For me, this new addition is enough reason to upgrade.
Isn’t all this great or you want to know more?
To know more let’s read further.What makes Apple Watch 5 different?
Apple at its annual event clearly showed that the company will not give incremental updates. Instead, the company will offer, the new generation of Apple Watch with new and unique features that older models missed.
For Apple Watch 5 the biggest selling point is the always-on screen, without battery drain. This surely will entice those who are thinking about an upgrade. Moreover, a suite of apps, emergency dialing all are also great add-ons.Specification of Apple Watch Series 5
Despite the fact that the company intentionally neglected to mention any hardware specs during the event. There are a few major differences between Series 4 and Series 5.
Apple Watch Series 5 has the latest series of processors.
It has an always-on display.
Additional storage space and a compass sensor.
Beyond this, you can say fifth-generation Apple Watch is similar to Apple Watch Series 4.A quick comparison of Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 Apple Watch Series 4
44mm: 448×368 pixels, 977 sq. mm display area
40mm: 324×394 pixels,
759 sq. mm display area
44mm: 448×368 pixels, 977 sq. mm display area
40mm: 324×394 pixels,
759 sq. mm display area
40mm and 44mm
40mm and 44mm
LTPO always-on retina display, 1,000 nits brightness
LTPO retina display, 1,000 nits brightness
Up to 18 hours
Up to 18 hours
S5 64-bit dual-core processor
S5 64-bit dual-core processor
32 g-force accelerometer, barometer, gyro, ECG electrode, optical heart rate, ambient light, compass
32 g-force accelerometer, barometer, gyro, ECG electrode, optical heart rate, ambient light
NFC, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS/Glonass/Galileo. LTE is available on select models.
NFC, 802.11 b/g/n Wi- Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS/Glonass/Galileo. LTE is available on select models.
IP68 and 5 ATM dust and water-resistant
IP68 and 5 ATM dust and water-resistantApple Watch Series 5’s biggest competitors?
The other 60% of the market is taken over by companies like Samsung, Fossil, Fitbit, and others. Alongside Emporio Armani is also stepping into the market of smartwatches.
Do you see any similarities here? Yes, you guessed it right it’s similar to the market share of iOS and Android.
iOS somewhere has a 40% share whereas Android has a major share with 60%.
Smartwatches, for now, are considered to be an extension of their parent OS. Where Google offers an app to allow Wear OS devices to work with iOS, Apple offers no such app for Android, so if you have an Apple Watch it means the only choice you have is of Apple’s ecosystem.Should Professionals care about the Apple Watch Series 5?
For professionals, the only thing that could make a difference is the always-on screen. This feature will make it easy to see the time, upcoming appointments, meetings, weather and a lot more without tapping the screen or lifting the wrist. Alongside if you are a traveler or work outdoors then the secondary features will also appeal to you.
A compass will make navigation easy for travelers. Alongside they will have instant access to local emergency services.
In a nutshell, we can say if any of the Apple Watch Series 5 features piqued your interest, it is worth upgrading. However, if none of them seem beneficial and you are okay turning on the display each time you can skip the upgrade for now.Cost of Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 starts at $399 USD for a GPS-only model and $499 USD for a cellular model.How always-on feature works in Apple Watch 5?
Similar to other smartwatches, especially last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 Wear OS watches, the always-on display works only when the watch is on the wrist.
We can say that although, Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t feel very different when compared with older versions, yet it’s always-on display and other secondary features are a big change we are glad to welcome.
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