I was genuinely excited when my colleague Mark Gurman revealed iOS 9's Proactive — Apple's competitor to the Android assistant Google Now — because it sounded like something that would radically improve my daily iPhone use. “Like Google Now,” Mark said, “Proactive will automatically provide timely information based on the user's data and device usage patterns,” details Apple confirmed when it officially announced Proactive at WWDC. Google Now's success made an Apple response inevitable: who wouldn't want an iPhone that correctly anticipated your needs, reducing your need to manually hunt for information?
But unlike Google, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has portrayed as a miner of personal data for “God-knows-what advertising purpose,” Apple has positioned itself as a champion of user privacy. As such, Proactive apparently doesn't use cloud servers to process your personal data, which Google has done to great effect. Instead, iOS processes data directly on your device, so its scope — whatever your device is holding — and utility are a lot more limited. Consequently, the iOS 9 beta version of Proactive doesn't do much; its features could have appeared on the annual WWDC slide that flashes 50 new iOS additions on screen for less than a minute before disappearing.
Readers, I'd like to ask you a question. We've seen what Google and third-party developers are currently doing with Google Now cards, and it's pretty awesome — everything from helping you manage commutes (like Proactive) and trips (way beyond Proactive) to finding TV shows, scheduling return taxi rides, and sending birthday greetings. My question: would you rather see Apple slowly iterate on Proactive as it sorts through each new feature's privacy implications, or tackle Google Now with a bolder and more powerful Proactive, privacy be (mostly) damned? A poll is below…
Because it's so device-dependent, Proactive currently feels more like a collection of small parlor tricks than a major new feature. One tweak creates a shortcut to the Music or Podcasts app when you plug in headphones, routing you to something you left off playing before. Another cross-references your emails against incoming calls so you can guess who's calling even without a contact on file. And the most visible feature uses your location to suggest nearby places to visit, and show you news headlines popular with people around you.
Proactive primarily lives in the former Spotlight search location, where you are presented with a list of recent contacts, app suggestions, a collection of nearby things you might want to do at a given time of day, and a handful of recent news articles. Unfortunately, over the weeks I've been using Proactive, very little in this collection has been useful to me, even though I read news and use apps every day. The app recommendations are almost thoughtless and the nearby recommendations are repetitive and mechanical; I don't feel like either my device usage or the data I'm willing to share with Apple are being used well. My favorite Proactive feature, a Lock Screen computation of the travel time to my next calendar event's destination, has been great as a reminder to leave but not as an accurate estimate of driving time — it's usually significantly off for some reason.
Google's philosophy with Google Now was essentially that people would love the results of processing their emails and data, and get used to the privacy tradeoffs. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that some people agree entirely with Google. Even so, the Google Now web site says that “you control the settings that determine the information provided,” implicitly acknowledging that yes, data processing is being done, but you can turn off Google's access to data you don't feel comfortable sharing.
Apple has portrayed Google's “let us go through your mail and make your life easier” approach as creepy, and suggested that Google Now-like services are only worth adding to iOS if the user's data remains private. Of course, some people agree with Apple. But there's another possibility: trust Apple with your data, because Apple (thus far) hasn't appeared to be as willing to exploit user data for unspecified purposes as Google.
How would you prefer to see Proactive evolve? Register your opinion in the poll below, and share comments if you have them!Take Our Poll
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Vous vous rappelez du buzz des photos volées l’année dernière ? Et bien préparez vous à de nouvelles révélations cet été car les hackers n’ont pas pris de vacances et ont ainsi obtenu de nouvelles photos intimes de stars. Ce tout dernier leak de Miley Cyrus nue n’a pas encore été confirmé mais connaissant la ...read more
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Less than two years after they each went into service, only one of the three Lightning cables pictured above is actually working properly. It's not the big Belkin cable on the left, which is visibly pretty wrecked, or the thick, no-name 6-foot cable on the right, which looks fine on the surface but can't properly supply power to a connected device. The one that works without problems is, amazingly, Apple's official Lightning cable — the one that has been pilloried by numerous dissatisfied users, notably including our own Zac Hall, for coming apart after months or years of use.
These complaints aren't without merit: even Apple-authorized Lightning cables do break, which is particularly infuriating given how expensive they tend to be. But there's a lot of bad information about Lightning cables floating around right now, and having spent a lot of time using them and reading user complaints, I wanted to help people avoid some of their preventable failures. Taking a few precautions can save you a $10 to $20 replacement cost, as well as wasted time and stress…
One thing I've noticed about Lightning cable failures (and reports of Lightning cable failures) is the consistent places where they're happening: many occur at the junction point between the Lightning plug and the soft plastic cable, some impact the Lightning plug's pins, and relatively few are at or near the USB port. The reasons are a combination of strain, corrosion, and — in some cases, but fewer than one might think — shoddy manufacturing.
As a general rule, legitimately Apple-authorized Lightning cables don't sell for less than $8; apart from Amazon's cables, relatively few are less than $10. If you're getting a cable for less than that, even if it's claimed to be an authentic Lightning cable, you can automatically assume that corners were cut when making it, and that you're taking on a higher risk of a failure that's not (entirely) your fault. By comparison, strain and corrosion typically are your fault. Yank on a cable, pull it from both sides, or let it make contact with liquids — very few cables are going to be able to withstand that sort of (ab)use. So here's what you can do to keep your cables working.
(1) Grasp the hard plastic jacket, and only the hard plastic jacket, when connecting and disconnecting the Lightning plug. Apple touted the Lightning connector as more durable than the 30-pin Dock Connector it replaced. And the connector is indeed more durable — after testing tons of cables, I have yet to see an authorized Lightning plug or even the hard plastic jacket around it come apart. But the cabling itself is made from a softer plastic that can detach from the connector. If you grip the hard plastic jacket when plugging and unplugging the Lightning connector, you'll considerably reduce the likelihood of cable failure.
(2) Don't strain or kink the cable. Lightning cables are almost all coated in soft plastic (rarely in resilient fabric), but regardless of their exteriors, they contain bundles of thin wires that can break — invisibly. If you stretch a cable to its maximum length and tug, put a bunch of sharp bends into the center of the cable, or knot it, you may see what appears to be elastic, rubbery flexibility outside, but the metal inside is preparing to snap. Apple's cables and most others have “strain relief” points between their plugs and cabling, but they're only “relief,” not cure-alls. Avoiding sharp bends in the Lightning cable and tugs on the ends will keep your cable working longer.
(3) Keep the pins clean and away from liquids of any kind. If you want to criticize the Lightning standard for any design flaw, its use of exposed pins (versus the metal jackets found on micro-USB and USB-C) would be the easiest target. Exposed pins are easier to scrape off, damage, or splash with a stray soft drink droplet causing corrosion. Any of these things could easily happen if a Lightning cable is used in a car near a cup holder where keys, coins, or beverages are often found. Jacketed pins aren't immune from these issues, but they're less likely. The best thing you can do is keep the pins clean — both on your cable, and on the device you're using with the cable. Dry off any moisture immediately, and make sure nothing has gotten into your iPhone, iPad, or iPod's Lightning port that might mess up the connection.
If you've followed these guidelines and your cable has failed, don't hesitate to contact the cable's manufacturer for a replacement. Your warranty period will depend on the cable's own warranty, the country where you live, and — if it's an Apple product — whether you have AppleCare, which might well have extended the warranty's duration by a year. If you're completely out of luck with the cable, vote with your pocketbook and buy a replacement from another company instead.
More From This Author
Check out more of my How-To guides, editorials, and reviews for 9to5Mac here! I've covered a lot of different topics of interest to Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users. Don't forget to click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page to see everything!
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Le paparazzi n’a pas manqué l’instant crucial où une vague un peu plus forte que les autres nous gratifie d’une vue magnifique sur le téton de Natasha.
Pour les plus jeunes se voit dit rien mais elle s’est fait contraire principalement pour son rôle de Jessica dans les films American Pie. Cela nous rajeunit pas
Here’s a picture that is floating around of Marilyn Monroe’s tits… Because fat girls love to talk about how Marilyn Monroe was a size 15 or some shit…saying that back in the day, girls were more voluptuous and meaty and that is what is actually sexy… Meanwhile studies have come out recently, than the average […]
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