Apple Design Star Jony Ive Rises to Higher Role


SANFRANCISCO: The designer behind Apple’s world-changing devices is rising to a new role that frees him to put his creative vision to work across the breadth of the company.

Jony Ive was promoted to a newly minted positon of chief design officer, essentially taking on a big-picture responsibility and authority once held by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

“In this new role, he will focus entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives,” Apple said in an email response today to an inquiry.

Ive’s sphere of influence will include Apple products, software, and shops.

Day-to-day responsibilities that Ive held in his former position will be divided between his “longtime collaborators” industrial design vice president Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, vice president of user interface design.

The transition is slated to take place July 1, according to a copy of an internal memo posted online.

British native Ive rose to design stardom at Apple after the return of Jobs to the California-based company in 1997.

The relationship Ive had with Jobs has been described as close and collaborative, with Ive heading the team behind devices including the iPod, iPad, and iPhone.

“His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in the memo to employees.

“Design is one of the most important ways we communicate with our customers, and our reputation for world-class design differentiates Apple from every other company in the world.”


Purported Samsung Z LTE Picture Surfaces


Even though Samsung hasn’t released that many mobile devices that run on its Tizen platform that company has made it clear recently that Tizen is here to stay. We can expect the company to release smartphones and tablets that run on this nascent operating system in the future. If a leaked picture out of Korea is to be believed the company will soon release an LTE-capable version of the Samsung Z1.

Samsung Z1 is the first Tizen OS powered smartphone to come out of the Korean company. It’s only available in a handful of markets where it seems to have done well particularly with first time smartphone buyers.

So far the company has not revealed if it has any plans of launching the Samsung Z1 in more markets around the world, particularly markets in the West.

There have been rumors recently about the Samsung Z2 and a “global” Tizen smartphone that might be released in more markets but Samsung has said nothing officially about the possibility of such handsets.

The picture you see above has been leaked online from Korea and it’s claimed to be the LTE variant of the Samsung Z1. There’s no report accompanying this picture which means there no information regarding its pricing and availability yet, and whether or not the LTE version will retain the Z1 moniker or will it simply be launched as Samsung Z.


Soon, Manage Your Pics with Google’s new Photos App


NEW YORK: If you are already in awe of Google+’s image functions, there is a bit of a good news for you. Google may soon launch a photo app with all the features of Google+ image and more.

The app, called Google Photos, will initially be launched on Android and will be followed on iOS too. It may be launched on the web too at, VentureBeat reported.

Just like in Google+, the app lets users search – such as for specific people and objects – back up your photos automatically, and manage your photos.

Users can view their photos by day or month, as well as in a “comfortable view” which shows photos by day in a staggered grid.

The app also supports the ability to pinch your way into photos, swipe out of them, and even drag to select multiple photos too.

In addition to the existing feature set, it lets users create albums, movies, stories, animations and collages.

The editing interface has also been revamped. In addition to the usual still filters and adjustments, the cropping interface has a new rotation wheel and now snaps to various aspect ratios.

The new app includes photo and video link sharing with privacy controls.


No Trust Motion against Lankan PM may Hasten Parl Dissolution


COLOMBO: The contemplated No Confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe may hasten the dissolution of Sri Lankan parliament, political observers said. Over 60 opposition MPs in the House of 224 members have petitioned the Speaker for a No Confidence motion against Wickremesinghe for launching a “witch hunt” against those associated with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and for turning a blind eye to the Central Bank Governor’s unethical conduct.

If the Speaker allows the motion, the Wickremesinghe government will face the prospect of defeat. Presently, it has the support of 94 MPs. But to defeat the motion, it needs 113 votes. The onus of getting the additional votes rests with President Maithripala Sirisena.

Ranil Wickremesinghe This is for two reasons: Firstly, Sirisena fought the January 8 Presidential election with the support of Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) and is duty bound to save him. Secondly, the single largest group in the opposition is Sirisena’s own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and remnants of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA). But Sirisena is yet to establish his dominance over the SLFP and UPFA, which are still in awe of its former supremo Rajapaksa and want him back.

As Head of the Council of Ministers, Sirisena has again offered ministerial berths to attract defectors, but to no avail. To buy time, the government is expected to drag its feet on giving a date for the debate on the No Trust motion. “If Sirisena can’t get the required numbers, he should dissolve parliament and order fresh polls,” a UNP MP told Express. This could happen before June 9, when parliament is scheduled to meet next, the MP added.

He insisted that dissolution cannot be taken as a defeat. “Sirisena’s presidential election manifesto, jointly drafted with Wickremesinghe, had clearly stated that fresh parliamentary elections will be held upon the completion of the new government’s agenda for the first 100 days,” the MP said.


PayPal’s new chief promises new services for a mobile world


As PayPal prepares to split from its corporate parent, its new chief executive is promising to expand the popular online payment system, adding a variety of services for consumers to use when shopping on their phones or in traditional stores.

PayPal will be spinning off from parent company eBay later this year at a time when it’s facing new competitive challenges. Alibaba, Amazon and even Facebook are promoting online payment systems, while Apple Pay and Google Wallet are competing to handle transactions in stores and on mobile devices.

Veteran executive Dan Schulman, who will be CEO of the new PayPal, says his company will compete by positioning itself as a “full-service” payments partner for consumers and merchants, handling mobile transactions, credit purchases and even customer loyalty rewards programs.

PayPal was best known for many years as a payment method for purchases made on desktop computers. But consumers are increasingly using mobile phones to shop online and even when they make purchases in traditional, brick-and-mortar stores.

Almost a third of transactions handled by PayPal are now made on mobile devices. “Those worlds are blurring,” Schulman told The Associated Press in an interview yesterday. “When you go into a store environment, and you have your mobile phone with you, it should be a simple step to do a checkout from that device.”

Schulman spoke after an event where PayPal announced new partnerships with companies that help merchants sell goods online around the world, including in India and China.

PayPal also touted a recent partnership with Burger King that lets consumers pay for their meals with a smartphone app.

“We want to be more than just a button on a merchant’s website,” Schulman said. “We really want to provide a full suite of services and products.”

That includes expanding a PayPal credit service that lets shoppers spread payments over time and the Venmo mobile app that lets individuals exchange small sums when they split a bill or repay a debt.

PayPal, which is based in San Jose, California, has stumbled in one arena. Without admitting wrongdoing, the company agreed this week to pay USD 25 million over US regulators’ allegations that it signed up some customers for credit they didn’t want.



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