In between Dec 20 and Jan 3, Apple said that customers purchased about $1.1 billion worth of app and in-app purchases which is a new record. Last year, Apple made about half a billion dollars in revenue. In 2015, customer spent a total of $20 billion on app purchases like Minecraft, Trivia Crack, as well as social networks such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. All in all, gaming and subscription apps did the best, like Clash of Clans and Hulu.

Not only has it been creating revenue, Apple has definitely seen growth in jobs. According to the new Progressive Policy Institute Report by Michael Mandel, Apple said it created 1.9 million jobs in the U.S., including 1.4 million through the App Store for developers, entrepreneurs, and some non-IT staff.

The App Store has consistently been the selling point for Apple products. This is a ray of hope because iPhone sales- the largest source of company profits- are expected to drop. Analysts do see revenue decreasing for 2016. Steve Koenig, a Consumer Technology Association market researcher, said that a number of factors, including a strong dollar and weak economies in parts of the world that had been driving new tech spending, indicate that 2016 will be a slower year for global tech spending overall.

The App Store will still continue to provide Apple with a distinguishable selling point because it helps keep customers coming back and gets them to buy more Apple products. Even more, Apple just launched a version of the App store for the Apple TV, expanding its presence to the family room.

Article via Washington Post, January 6, 2016

Photo: Apple. Tree. via Stuart Maxwell [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

Google has been famously testing out their version of a driverless car. The company wants to transform transportation by taking the driver out of the equation.

Driverless cars will be able to shuttle people from place to place while reducing the human error that is often the catalyst for road accidents.The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently made a proposal of rules for driverless cars. These new rules were presented for public commentary in mid December of 2015. The DMV wants to involve the public and will be hosting two workshops early in 2016, one in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles.This proposal draft is the next step in allowing driverless cars on California roads. But Google is unhappy about one of the provisions.

The regulators are calling for the manufacturers of driverless cars to meet several safety and performance standards. These include things such as protecting the privacy of operators from the needless collection of user data and having a third party independently access performance. The rules also call for a licensed human driver, capable of taking over the steering wheel and pedals in the event of an emergency. The problem is that Google’s prototype for a driverless car does not have a steering wheel or pedals.

Google’s maintains that it wants to improve safety by equipping the car itself with protocols that surpass what a human could detect. For instance their cars have sensors that detect objects as far as two football fields away–in all directions. The state of California is looking at the broader aspect of autonomous cars, and remains more conservative on the issue. They  have warned Google in the past to add steering wheels and pedals. California legislators pushed The DMV to require that driverless cars contain wheels and people to steer them whenever they’re operated on public roads.

Google is disappointed that California legislators are limiting the potential of fully autonomous vehicles, the company said. Although the company is still in the prototyping phase where changes can easily be made, it is still a setback.


Article via TechNewsWorld, 18th December 2015

Photo:Auto che guidano da sole. Forse non le vedremo mai sulle nostre strade by Automobile Italia [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]