John Brandon

About the Author John Brandon


What Apple’s new push into AR means for your business

I clicked on a 3D desk and placed it into my real office. The colors were not quite right, so I tried a different one. Eventually, everything looked perfect.

I was using the new IKEA Place app running on an iPhone 8 Plus. The phones use a new A11 Bionic processor that is powerful enough to handle the real-time 3D graphics overlays on top of a real-time photo, and it works remarkably well for imaging an office layout.

As is usually the case for me, I started thinking about how augmented reality (AR) on the iPhone could be used in other ways. The phone is fast and popular — it’s a massive footprint. (Apple will likely sell many millions of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus phones in the next few months.) AR is catching on finally, mostly with people who want the tech to work smoothly and without any goggles, add-ons or fuss.

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What Apple’s new push into AR means for your business

I clicked on a 3D desk and placed it into my real office. The colors were not quite right, so I tried a different one. Eventually, everything looked perfect.

I was using the new IKEA Place app running on an iPhone 8 Plus. The phones use a new A11 Bionic processor that is powerful enough to handle the real-time 3D graphics overlays on top of a real-time photo, and it works remarkably well for imaging an office layout.

As is usually the case for me, I started thinking how AR on the iPhone could be used in other ways. The phone is fast and popular — it’s a massive footprint. (Apple will likely sell many millions of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus phones in the next few months.) AR is catching on finally, mostly with people who want the tech to work smoothly and without any goggles, add-ons, or fuss.

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What business leaders need to know about the Apple iPhone X

It will change your life, but will it change your business? That’s a good question to ask come November when Apple releases the brand-new iPhone X, a phone that is packed with high-end features for augmented reality (AR), facial recognition to authenticate and log in to the phone, and a screen that stretches all the way to the edges.

There’s no question this is a consumer-oriented phone, one that emphasizes things such as animated emojis and watching movies on the bright and colorful OLED screen.

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What’s so special about Microsoft Surface Studio? 3 important features to know

For a $2,999 price point, you might wonder — is the Microsoft Surface Studio desktop really worth it? I tested one recently and found myself being drawn to a few important features that made it worth the high price even compared to similar models from Dell and even Apple.

1. Microsoft Surface Studio’s incredibly high resolution

The high resolution of Microsoft Surface Studio was one of the surprises for me because I sometimes don’t like extremely high-resolution displays. They might be clear, but the color quality sometimes suffers. And in some cases, the extra resolution doesn’t really help with detail work in Photoshop and other apps because you don’t really notice the difference.

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What’s so special about the Microsoft Surface Studio? 3 important features to know

For a $2,999 price point, you might wonder — is the Microsoft Surface Studio desktop really worth it? I tested one recently and found myself being drawn to a few important features that made it worth the high price even compared to similar models from Dell and even Apple.

1. Incredibly high resolution

This was one of the surprises for me, because I sometimes don’t like extremely high-res displays. They might be clear, but the color quality sometimes suffers. And, in some cases, the extra resolution doesn’t really help with detail work in Photoshop and other apps because you don’t really notice the difference. The Studio uses a resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels, and believe me, you notice. For photos, I was able to zoom in and make fine adjustments to pixels in ways I couldn’t do on any laptop or on my normal 2K resolution display. Even normal Word documents looked better on the Studio’s display without any jagged text.

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Email to Essential smartphone users causes alarm

The term “improperly configured” is a real plague on the IT landscape.

It can refer to a firewall protecting an enterprise; it can create problems on a web server. For one newly minted smartphone company, it can also look pretty embarrassing.

Essential phone recently sent an email to customers asking for proof of identity. This request was a little odd in the first place — who does that anymore? The email basically asked customers to send a picture of a photo identification or passport by email. From a security standpoint, that’s a bit like asking people to text your credit card number to a hacker.

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One big lesson from the Essential smartphone email fiasco

The term “improperly configured” is a real plague on the IT landscape.

It can refer to a firewall protecting an enterprise; it can create problems on a web server. For one newly minted smartphone company, it can also look pretty embarrassing.

Essential phone recently sent out an email to customers asking for proof of identity. This request was a little odd in the first place–who does that anymore? The email basically asked customers to send a picture of a photo identification or passport by email. From a security standpoint, that’s a bit like asking people to text your credit card number to a hacker.

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Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa agree to talk to each other, but no one cares

Bots that talk to each other — there’s a big headline. Or is it?

For most of us, the Amazon Alexa bot became a way of life over the last year. I use the Echo speaker on my desk. I have a Dot speaker in two bedrooms of my house. I’ve used Alexa on my phone many times, and I’ve tested it on pre-production cars. It’s connected into my home security system. It can read books from Audible.com, and it tells pretty good jokes (at least they are better than some jokes by humans).

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Why the iPhone 8 probably won’t be worth the $999 price tag

How much are we really willing to shell out for an iPhone? That’s the loyalty test Apple is expected to deliver during the iPhone 8 product launch on Sept. 12.

With a price tag that will likely be a dollar short of $1,000, the iPhone 8 will use a screen technology called OLED — currently used by Samsung and others but a first for Apple. It will look brighter and clearer, and it may stretch almost to the edge of the enclosure.

The problem? It had better make waffles. And talk to the dead. Or offer a warm towel in the morning.

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