Google adds Swift support to upcoming Fuchsia OS

Google has been quite cagey about their forthcoming operating system, Fuschia. Neither confirming its existence in any official capacity, or saying what its purpose is. All the while, developing it publicly out in the open. Though we still don't know what it will be used for, we can see from the code repositories that one unique feature is coming: Swift support.

Swift creator Chris Lattner leaves Tesla after only six months on the job

Former Apple executive Chris Lattner is leaving Tesla. He barely lasted six months on the job. “Chris just wasn't the right fit for Tesla, and we've decided to make a change,” the electric car company said Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

He exited the same day Tesla hired leading artificial intelligence expert Andrej Karpathy as its new director of AI and Autopilot. Lattner's LinkedIn profile had not been updated at post time to reflect his exit from Elon Musk's company.

He did tweet though that he was interested in any available roles for a seasoned engineering leader. “Turns out that Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all,” reads his impromptu tweet. “I'm interested to hear about interesting roles for a seasoned engineering leader”.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Tesla saw a number of high-profile departures over the past few months amid pressure from CEO Elon Musk on engineers to develop and perfect autonomous car systems by the end of 2017, a tall order.

Credited as the creator of Swift, Apple's new modern pogromming language, Lattner left Apple this January to take a position as Vice President of Autopilot Software at Tesla. During his Apple tenure, he also held the title of Senior Director of the Developer Tools team.

Photo creidit: Sean O’Kane for The Verge

Download Apple’s new Swift app development curriculum from iBooks Store

Apple on Wednesday announced a new app development curriculum targeting U.S. high school and college students who are eager to learn the secrets of mobile app development with the Swift programming language.

Titled “App Development with Swift”, the new curriculum is now available as a free download from iBooks Store. It's an extension of Apple’s existing K-12 Everyone Can Code curricula, which has been downloaded 430,000 times.

Noting that the app economy and software development are among the fastest-growing job sectors in America, Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company is thrilled to be providing educators and students with the tools to learn coding.

“Community colleges play a critical role in helping students achieve their dreams, and we hope these courses will open doors for people of all ages and backgrounds to pursue what they love,” said Cook.

The full-year course focuses on app design and development with Swift, the company's modern programming language. It includes various Swift Playgrounds exercises and Xcode tutorials, as well as homework projects, a teacher guide with solutions, grading advice and more.

Starting this fall, the following community college systems serving nearly 500,000 students nationwide will teach the new curriculum, among others:

Alabama Community College System Columbus State Community College Harrisburg Area Community College Houston Community College Mesa Community College San Mateo Community College District

Houston Community College will be opening an iOS Coding and Design School to teach the new curriculum.

“We are thrilled Apple is offering this incredible opportunity to advance student learning, which will especially help us bridge the gap in computer science training for minorities and women,” said Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado.

“We can’t wait to see what these students will do and already have local businesses offering mentoring and internship opportunities.”

Apple says that select high schools will teach the curriculum as well. At many campuses, local businesses will also offer students mentoring and internships, added the firm.

More than a thousand schools across the US plan to teach with Everyone Can Code materials in the fall. Feel free to check out Apple’s existing free coding materials on iBooks Store.

Apple’s marketing chief says smart speakers should have built-in displays

Philip Schiller

Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, recently sat down for a quick interview with Gadgets 360, discussing the possibility of App Store upgrade pricing, the future of Amazon Echo-like smart speakers, Apple's new programming language Swift and more.

Commenting on Echo-like products, Schiller opined that smart speakers should feature a built-in display for those times when you want to, say, share photos, which is something voice-only assistants are not perfectly suited for.

Asked to share his thoughts on devices like Google Home and Amazon's Echo, he said:

Well, I won't talk to either one specifically, I don't want to. My mother used to have a saying that if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all. So, instead, let's abstract the conversation just briefly to some of the general concepts and talk about those, because it's really interesting.

First of all, there is a lot of talk in the industry about voice-driven assistants and we believe deeply in voice-driven assistants that's why invest in Siri, but there is interest in a voice-only assistant, where there is no screen, and we think it's important to that there are times when it's convenient to simply use your voice when you are not able to use the screen.

For example, if you're driving and you want Siri to work for you without having to look at the screen, that's the best thing. Or maybe you're across the room, and you want to ask Siri to change the song you were listening to—you don't have to walk over and back and you can use Siri instead.

So there's many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn't mean you'd never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don't think suits many situations.

For example, if I'm looking for directions and I'm using Maps, Siri can tell me those directions by voice and that's really convenient but it's even better if I can see that map, and I can see what turns are coming up, and I can see where there is congestion, I understand better my route, and what I'm going to do.

Or, for example, with photography, and one of the most popular reasons for our products is photography now, and photography requires a screen.

So the idea of a device without a screen, well it's not really useful for that whole category of photos that we all share. and all the social networking apps that are now embracing photos more and more, well, it doesn't work really so great in voice-only assistants.

Or the biggest category of all of apps is games, and I have yet to see any voice-only games that, for me, are nearly as fun as the one that I play on my screen. And so I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful, their intelligence is going to grow, they're gonna do more for us, but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this.

Bloomberg claimed Amazon was working on bringing a seven-inch touchscreen display and telephony to a next-generation Echo Home device. Due next year, the premium device will target kitchens and cost more than the current Echo gadgets.

“The latest Amazon speaker will be larger and tilt upwards so the screen can be seen when it sits on a counter and the user is standing,” said one of the people familiar with Amazon's plans.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced a new Invoke smart speaker with built-in Cortana, Harman Kardon audio technology and other features, due this fall.


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A recent supply chain rumor claimed AirPods manufacturer Inventec had landed Apple's first order for an Echo-like device with Siri, AirPlay and more. The accessory should sport a Mac Pro-like cylindrical chassis with a concave top with built-in controls and a speaker mesh.

According to Australian leakster Sonny Dickson, Apple's gadget will use Beats audio technology for “excellent acoustic performance” and include seven tweeters, a woofer and possibly the company’s W1 wireless chip which debuted in AirPods.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the connected speaker will file as the iPhone maker's first AI-driven smart home device. It’s expected to be targeted at the premium segment of the market and cost more than Amazon’s $179 Echo.

The analyst said the Siri-driven speaker could be announced at WWDC 2017 in June.

Siri device mockup via iFunnyVlogger on Twitter

Swift Playgrounds gains editing tweaks, 5 new languages, MapKit support & more

Apple announced today that Swift Playgrounds, its free iPad app aimed at teaching kids and students the basics of coding in Swift, has gained some new features. Aside from being available in five additional languages—Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German and Latin American Spanish—the new version sports editing improvements and supports the MapKit and Swift 3.1 code in your playgrounds.

Swift creator leaves Apple to be Tesla’s VP of Autopilot Software

Swift creator Chris Lattner is leaving Apple to take a position as Vice President of Autopilot Software at Tesla. Lattner announced his departure Tuesday on a Swift.org forum, and Tesla published a blog post shortly after welcoming him to the company.

Lattner has been at Apple since 2005, and is credited with building early versions of the Swift programming language in 2010, before a team was formed to further the project. Most recently, he held the title of Senior Director of the Developer Tools team.