Later, we came across a report suggesting that instead of Oreo, Android O would be known as Oatmeal cookie. Then again a source claimed that Android O would be called Oreo. So you can understand the confusion. However, it seems like Google itself is confused about the name of the company’s latest version of Android OS. We say this as a Google employee has said that the company is yet to decide the name of Android O.
The revelation has been made in an AMA session (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, which was held by software engineers from Google. However, the employee has assured that the search engine giant will decide on the dessert after which it’s going to name the next major iteration of Android by the end of this summer. Other than that, the team also confirmed the color of the notification shade in the latest developer preview of Android O is not a bug.
It was supposed to be whiter than the Android Nougat. The reason behind is that Google wanted to match the look of the notification shade and the Quick Settings section of the OS. There is some good news for Google Pixel and Pixel XL owners as well. After receiving the Android O update, they could experience better audio quality from Bluetooth headphones and earphones. However, the engineers from Google have mentioned that not all of the software additions will be available in the aforementioned smartphones.
So Windows Phone is well and truly dead (excepting a tiny handful of Windows 10 devices). There it lies, buried in the graveyard of failed smartphone platforms. Cause of death: Android. Yes, really.
Apple changed everything in mobile, but in the chaotic years after its release, there was a massive opportunity to be the alternative that would ultimately dominate marketshare. It was Microsoft’s for the taking, but Google got there first.
I started reflecting on what happened to these smartphones as the 10th anniversary of the iPhone came and went. And the thought that kept occurring to me is how little everybody knew about what was about to happen to the smartphone industry before the iPhone came along. Nobody knew what they didn’t know.
That led to some hilarious quotes from competitors that are easy to mock now. BlackBerry CEO Jim Balsillie’s “in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.” Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s “It doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.”
After they said those things, all of those CEOs tried (and failed) to adequately respond to the iPhone. BlackBerry duct-taped extra software on its aging platform and tried to make the whole screen a giant button. Palm made a go of it with webOS but couldn’t get carrier support, nor make products good enough for consumers to go out and buy their devices.
Microsoft’s response was Windows 6.5, a hack on an old OS that wasn’t designed for full touchscreen devices. Then Windows Phone 7, which was an admirable reboot with genuinely new design ideas. It came too late, though, and floundered. Windows Phone 8 took a bad situation and made it worse by angering Microsoft’s surprisingly passionate fanbase when they learned existing devices wouldn’t get software upgrades. (The same thing happened with Windows Phone 10, though by then it hardly mattered.)
Oh yeah, one more thing: somewhere in there Microsoft bought Nokia and frittered away the most storied and trusted phone brand in history. Cool job.
So while Microsoft didn’t do itself any favors, I’d argue strongly that all these machinations and flailings weren’t a response (or weren’t only a response) to the iPhone. The real enemy was the company that had set its sights on Microsoft’s phone ambitions since before the iPhone was released.
That company was Google, of course, and it only tangentially wanted to take on the iPhone. Google’s real target was always Microsoft, and it hit the bullseye.
The best window into what Google was thinking about when it was creating Android is the 2012 legal fight it had with Oracle about Java. The deeply nerdy API details of that case don’t really matter now, but the process of a public, protracted court battle gives us a special and unique gift: testimony and documents.
Here’s some of what then-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, had to say about the creation of Android:
Q. And once Android came aboard and Mr. Rubin came aboard, was there a business strategy formed about what Android would be and how it worked?
Q. Can you tell the jurors about that? What was it?
A. My recollection was that the the strategy that evolved over the first year, which would be roughly 2000 and — 2006, was to build a platform — which, again, we previously discussed — that would be free and clear of some of the other licensing restrictions that were slowing down the industry, and that would, in fact, create a viable alternative to the then key players at the time. As you’ve earlier seen in the documents.
So our idea was that if we made something that was generally available, it would provide a lot of customer value; it could be a very large platform; and it would grow very quickly. All of which has, indeed, occurred.
Q: When you say open or alternative to what was out there, tell our jurors what you mean by that.
A. Well, at the time, we were quite concerned about Microsoft’s products. It’s hard to relate to that now, but at the time we were very concerned that Microsoft’s mobile strategy would be successful.
It’s also true at the time that the primary player in the industry was Nokia, who had an operating system called Symbian, which we were also concerned about.
This was before the iPhone was announced and before the whole iPhone revolution occurred.
This all sounds awfully precious now, with the benefit of hindsight. The very idea that Google was terrified of Windows Mobile is hard to wrap your head around. After all, we all know that was the iPhone that changed everything in mobile, it was the iPhone that made all those other companies launch half-cocked jerry-rigged products as a stopgap before remaking their platforms later on.
Indeed, that happened with Android, too. Andy Rubin famously revamped Android’s launch plan when we saw the original iPhone presentation:
Rubin was so astonished by what Jobs was unveiling that, on his way to a meeting, he had his driver pull over so that he could finish watching the webcast.
“Holy crap,” he said to one of his colleagues in the car. “I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”
But go back to Schmidt in that trial for a second. The thing he and Google’s other executives were worried about was ensuring that mobile users continued to have access to Google search. He saw clearly that there would end up being a software platform that lots of different manufacturers would license and use to make phones, and he wanted Google to be on it.
Rather than trust Microsoft and Nokia and everybody else to keep their platforms open to them, Google just went ahead and made the open platform itself. And then it released it to anybody to use for free, undercutting Microsoft’s licensing fee for Windows Mobile.
What killed Windows Phone was getting beat to market by Android. It took way too long for Microsoft to release a viable competitor to the iPhone – it didn’t really land until 2010. By then, Android had already been around for two years and Verizon was selling the Droid for a year.
Back then, despite the disruption in the market that the iPhone brought, US carriers still had the power to determine winners and losers. And since only AT&T had the iPhone, the other three in the US were casting about for their competitive product. Verizon, in particular, was going to be the kingmaker.
In 2008, Verizon tapped BlackBerry’s Storm, which was a colossal failure. In 2009, Verizon looked at what else was around. Palm hadn’t been able to convince Verizon to pick up the Palm Pre and Windows Phone 7 was still a year off. So Verizon went all in on Droid and the rest is history.
This is obviously an oversimplified timeline. Nokia woulda-coulda-shoulda made a move, for example. Palm and BlackBerry and everybody else made enough mistakes to fill books.
But in mobile, there’s no greater woulda-coulda-shoulda than Windows Phone. Everything that made Android successful was stuff that Microsoft was basically already trying to do. It’s just that Microsoft did it not quite as well, not quite as free, and way too late.
The Not Hotdog app, which started as a bit on HBO’s Silicon Valley before releasing as an actual app on the App Store, is now available on Android too. The app’s purpose is simple: it helps you identify whether the food in front of you is a hotdog or not. And that’s all there is to it.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the show, here’s how this happened. Midway through the fourth season – which finished airing this week – pompous Erlich (T.J. Miller) and oblivious Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) secured $200,000 in funding from a venture capital firm for SeeFood, an app that the former pitched as a “Shazam for food”.
After cooking up a working demo over a few days, with the help of Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) and Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), they realised that their app was in fact capable of only identifying a hotdog and nothing else. So in a smart pivot, the app came to be a known as ‘Not Hotdog’.
Normally, the joke would’ve stopped there. But HBO went ahead and hired a developer to turn the ridiculous idea into an actual, functioning app, which would be the first for Silicon Valley since its beginning four years ago.
The developer in question is Tim Anglade, who published a lengthy post on Monday regarding the app’s development process on his Medium blog. In it, Anglade mentioned that they used Tensorflow, and a Nvidia GPU to train the algorithm, which took about 80 hours.
Of course, the app is far from perfect. Anglade himself attached a tweet that shows the Not Hotdog app failing if you just put some ketchup on an arm, a banana, or an apple. But that’s missing the point, which is that… okay maybe there’s no point to it. Now go identify some hotdogs, or not.
“We have never seen a technology become ubiquitous so quickly [as Docker],” RedMonk analyst James Governor declares. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has also joined the Docker fray, telling investors that Docker is the “single biggest topic that comes up among … [Red Hat’s] leading [customers].”
Yes, Docker interest is off the charts. As Apprenda executive Chris Gaun puts it: “Everything else looks tiny in comparison.” Whether or not you’re aware of it, developers have very likely spun up Docker in your organization.
Yet the question remains: When will Docker be used in production? Developers have driven Docker adoption because it streamlines development and vastly simplifies deployment. But the immature nature of security and container management solutions around Docker have kept it largely a dev-and-test affair.
That may be changing. According to a recent O’Reilly Media study, 40 percent of respondents already run Docker in production. Docker has 75-plus paying enterprise customers for its data center product, which was made generally available in February, and almost 6,000 paying customers of Docker Cloud, the company’s hosted service.
It seems safe to assume that Docker isn’t being used to containerize existing enterprise applications. Instead, developers are bringing in Docker for new application deployments, greenfield opportunities that aren’t dependent on yesterday’s infrastructure. As RedMonk analyst Fintan Ryan has said:
Where we are seeing a massive difference with the use of containers is around greenfield projects. These greenfield projects generally have as close to a blank slate as you are going to find in the enterprise, and with them containers are going into production incredibly quickly — much faster than before.
Indeed, former Appfog CEO Lucas Carlson believes Docker containers are suitable for such cloud-native applications only: “[T]he benefits of containers can only be achieved when the applications run within containers have been built-for-cloud.”
Not everyone agrees with that assessment. On the contrary, Docker CEO Ben Golub told me, “there is ample evidence to show that Docker is being embraced by early majority/pragmatist organizations,” among them Fortune 100 pharmaceutical, retail, health care, manufacturing, and media companies. Some specific customer examples:
ADP is moving its core application to a solution based on Docker Data Center and Docker Swarm
Goldman Sachs is moving 90 percent of its applications to Docker over the course of the next 12 months
The General Services Administration is basing its entire next-generation platform (which tracks $1.7 trillion) on Docker
Multiple U.S. Department of Defense agencies are running truly “mission-critical” apps on Docker
Others include a variety of DockerCon speakers from Barclays, ING, Electronic Arts, Fox, and Oxford University Press, all of which talked about how they’re using Docker in production. While there have been concerns about orchestration, security, and networking, Docker Inc. and the surrounding ecosystem have rapidly filled in the gaps, and Docker is poised for enterprise adoption.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter much: Developers are writing the future with Docker containers, whatever the near-term roadblocks to world domination. Yes, Docker may be used to package legacy applications, and management and security will continue to improve as vendors rally around the standard.
Docker’s speedy adoption, however, isn’t about legacy migrations. It’s about building and deploying applications in the cloud, as well as the developers who live there.
This story, “Docker, not production-ready? Not so, says Docker” was originally published by InfoWorld.
Smaller Smart Keyboard isn’t easy to type on accurately
Camera lens sticks out at rear
iPad Pro 9.7in review
Welcome to Macworld’s iPad Pro 9.7in review for the UK. If you’d prefer a larger screen, read our iPad Pro 12.9in review.
Apple unveiled a new mid-size iPad at its ‘Let us loop you in’ March press event, as was widely expected, but what we didn’t expect was for this to be an iPad Pro. Rather than calling this the iPad Air 3, which it logically and visually appears to be, Apple is presenting it as a shrunk-down version of the 12.9in iPad Pro – and thereby attempting to position the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro as a work device suitable for replacing a laptop, and targeted particularly at designers and illustrators on the go.
But does it succeed? In our iPad Pro 9.7in review, we evaluate the latest iPad’s design and build quality, weigh up the pros and cons of its new features, put the device through the Macworld labs’ most rigorous speed benchmark and battery tests, and compare the value for money that the iPad Pro 9.7in offers compared to the other tablets on the market.
Read next:Best iPad buying guide 2016
iPad Pro 9.7in review: Summary of review
Design: Physically the iPad Pro 9.7 is a close match to the iPad Air 2: weight and dimensions are identical, as is the general design (which remains sumptuous, of course). You now get four speakers – two at the top, two at the bottom – and the bottom speakers are spaced slightly further apart. This results in a much fuller, richer sound – not exactly surround sound, but a far more immersive audio experience than we’ve come to expect from a tablet. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s design
Cameras: One other noticeable physical change is the rear-facing camera, which now sticks out and will scratch on the desk if you lay the iPad flat on its back. Slightly annoying, that, although any sort of case will remove this issue, and you do get the payoff of a heavily enhanced camera setup. The rear-facing camera now has a flash, and has been pushed from 8 megapixels (on the Air 2 and the Pro 12.9in) to 12Mp; there are also numerous smaller improvements to this component.
The front-facing camera is even more dramatically boosted, going from 1.2Mp to 5Mp and gaining the Retina flash feature. We look at all this in more detail, and present a selection of test shots and comparisons, in the camera testing section, but suffice it to say that in some conditions you won’t notice the difference from the Air 2’s cameras, in others you’ll notice small improvements, and in others it’s in a whole different class. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s camera performance
Screen: The 9.7-inch touchscreen Retina-class display is in most respects the same as that on the Air 2: same size, same resolution and pixel density, same sharply responsive multitouch functionality. But it adds a new (and optional) feature called True Tone, designed to subtly adjust the screen’s colour output to account for environmental light conditions. And we do mean subtly – it’s a similar kind of idea to Night Shift, producing a warmer, yellower colour palette under electric lighting, but to a much less noticeable degree. We imagine most users will only be dimly aware that the screen seems to have good colour output without being sure why; we saw a clear difference only by sitting it next to the (non-True Tone) iPad Air 2 in various conditions. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s screen
Speed: Thanks to its A9X processor chip, the Pro 9.7 is significantly faster – at least on paper – than the Air 2, and in most tests very nearly as quick as the iPad Pro 12.9 despite having half as much RAM. For the time being you won’t notice much difference between the Pros and Air 2, but the older device is sure to get left behind as more and more processor-intensive apps and games are released with the newest generation of hardware in mind. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s speed test results
Battery: Early battery testing was also impressive, with the Pro 9.7 lasting, surprisingly, an average of 11hrs, 2m in GeekBench 3’s highly demanding benchmark despite having slightly lower battery capacity than the Air 2 (which managed just 7hrs 40m). Both devices should last longer than that in general use. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s battery performance
Accessories: Crucially for its credibility as a laptop replacement, the Pro 9.7 has launched alongside a new keyboard case, a 9.7in version of the Smart Keyboard, and like the Pro 12.9 it features a port on its lefthand edge for connecting to and powering this accessory. It’s about as good as an ultraportable keyboard of its size could be, but nowhere near as accurate to type on as a conventional keyboard (and some way behind the larger 12.9 version of the Smart Keyboard, too). It does a job, but you’ll need to rely on either a solid autocorrect (like the one in Pages), frequent manual corrections, or just lots of practice.
You can also now use the Apple Pencil stylus, which is pretty wonderful, but expensive. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s accessories
UK pricing: The Pro 9.7in starts at £499 in the UK, with prices rising to £839 for the 256GB cellular model. You’re paying a premium, then, and many Apple fans will baulk at the asking price. But we think there are enough enhancements here to justify it, and business users – if they can live with the smaller and harder-to-use keyboard attachment – will get a lot out of this device. It’s still a cool £180 cheaper than the Pro 12.9, remember, and that device doesn’t get the True Tone display or most of the camera upgrades. Read more about the iPad Pro 9.7in’s UK pricing
That’s the summary of our iPad Pro 9.7 review, but let’s look again at each of those areas in more detail – before finally giving our definitive verdict.
Does Docker’s Swarm container orchestration system outperform Google’s Kubernetes? A recent benchmark says so, but the bigger picture is more complex.
According to a study commissioned by Docker from technology consultant Jeff Nickoloff, Swarm outperformed Kubernetes in container startup time. Most of the Swarm-managed containers started in under a second, while Kubernetes took 2 to 3 seconds.
Nickoloff documented his testing in detail, examining both container startup time and system responsiveness under load. Both services ran on a 1,000-node cluster running a maximum of 30,000 containers. On a cluster that was 90 to 99 percent full, Kubernetes startup time rose to 15 seconds, but Nickoloff discarded these results on the grounds that they were likely due to issues that are already being addressed.
Docker said Swarm’s simpler architecture was a key reason for its speed. The Kubernetes stack involves interactions between six other components besides Docker, while Docker Swarm has only two others.
Short and predictable container startup times help Docker obtain operational insights from “distributed applications that need near-real-time responsiveness.” With containers, says Docker, it’s not enough to say a container has been scheduled to run, as Kubernetes does; it’s important to know how long it actually took for the container to start.
In a blog post, Docker states, “In a world where containers may only live for a few minutes, having a significant delay in gathering real-time insight into the state of the environment means you never really know what’s happening in your infrastructure at any particular moment in time.”
Not everyone saw Nickoloff’s findings as a slam dunk. Kelsey Hightower, formerly of CoreOS and now with Google’s Cloud Platform division (where Kubernetes originally took flight), tweeted, “Kubernetes and Docker Swarm focus on different things.” Kubernetes is more of an all-in-one framework for distributed systems, and its complexity stems from offering “a unified set of APIs and strong guarantees about cluster state.”
“Does Docker Swarm win in a few isolated benchmarks?” tweeted Hightower. “Yep. Can you really compare the two projects? Right now the answer is no.”
Some of Nickoloff’s comments reflect that as well, as he was impressed by the “remarkable” parallel container scheduling functions available in Kubernetes’ replication controller, useful in environments where containers have a short lifetime. “Using a Kubernetes replication controller,” wrote Nickoloff, “I was able to create 3,000 container replicas in under 155 seconds.”