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Famed Motorola design lead Jim Wicks is leaving the company

Storied phone maker Motorola is losing yet another industry legend. Following the departure of Rick Osterloh, the company s former chief executive, who led the firm through a tumultuous acquisition by Lenovo, longtime designer Jim Wicks has announced his resignation. He ll join the faculty of Northwestern University s McCormick School of Design in July.

We greatly appreciate Jim s contributions in leading a consumer experience design team that delivered standout, iconic, and award-winning industrial design and user experiences for Moto s mobile and wearable products, an executive of Motorola Mobility1 and Lenovo s Mobile Business Group said in a statement. We wish Jim well as he enters this new phase in his career.

Related: Motorola s old team now designs all Lenovo phones, has big plans for Moto Maker2

Wicks, who worked as a designer for Sony until 2001 before accepting a leadership role at Motorola, is widely credited with pioneering some of the firm s most celebrated smartphones and wearables. He oversaw the design of the clamshell Razr, a phone lauded for its striking appearance and thin profile, and the Ming, a touchscreen device sold in China that predated the iPhone. His more recent efforts include the Verizon-exclusive Droid series of phones, the 2013 Moto X3, and the circular 2014 Moto 360 smartwatch4. Wicks retained his role at Motorola even as the company underwent drastic changes in ownership and structure. In 2011, the company s smartphone division, Motorola Mobility, spun off from the rest of Motorola in an attempt to stem losses incurred by a stagnating product portfolio and sagging smartphone market. Google acquired the company for $12.5 billion.

In 2013, faced with Motorola s mounting losses and under pressure by third-party Android manufacturers who felt threatened by the phone maker s hierarchical proximity to Google s software team, the search giant sold Motorola to Chinese smartphone company Lenovo for $2.9 billion. That lead to superficial changes Motorola s Chicago headquarters moved from Libertyville to River North but also a decline in staff: by 2014, the company s ranks had fallen from 3,000 to 2,000. And they continued to fall.

Related: Motorola s old team now designs all Lenovo phones, has big plans for Moto Maker5

Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing pledged to turn the firm around in four years, a plan which has yet to materialize. Last year, Motorola s parent firm laid off 500 employees following a 31-percent dip in phone shipments. Motorola held a 5-percent share of the global smartphone market in January 2016 down 5.2 percent from a year prior, according to ComScore.

Despite the turmoil, Wicks, along with Osterloh and longtime Motorola engineering lead Iqbal Arshad, stayed on. The nail in the coffin, though, may have been Lenovo s decision to take a more active role in shaping Motorola s image and product lineup. It phased out usage of the company s Motorola brand while retaining the shorthand Moto title for high-end smartphones, and oversaw the release of underwhelming follow-ups to last year s mid-range Moto G series. (Tellingly, in Lenovo s May financial report, it wrote that its Motorola integration efforts did not meet expectations. )

Whether the departure of Wicks signals the beginning of a wider exodus remains to be seen, but one thing s for certain: Motorola has lost one more talented team member.

References

  1. ^ Motorola Mobility (www.anrdoezrs.net)
  2. ^ Motorola s old team now designs all Lenovo phones, has big plans for Moto Maker (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ 2013 Moto X (www.anrdoezrs.net)
  4. ^ 2014 Moto 360 smartwatch (www.anrdoezrs.net)
  5. ^ Motorola s old team now designs all Lenovo phones, has big plans for Moto Maker (www.digitaltrends.com)

Here are the 5 features that will make you upgrade to MacOS Sierra

Nearly every summer brings the promise of sunshine, marigolds, and in the case of Apple a new iteration of Mac OS X. This year is no different, as the Cupertino-based company utilized its WWDC keynote to introduce developers and Apple users to its forthcoming operating system, MacOS Sierra. Name changes aside, the newest OS promises to bring a host of new features designed to capitalize on the system s tight integration with WatchOS and iOS, Apple s mobile OS for the iPhone and iPad.

Related: Robust iOS integration and a sleepy Siri aren t enough to perk up MacOS1

Many of the features, namely Siri, take a cue directly from the iOS playbook, while others, like the Universal Clipboard, introduce brand-new functionality to the Apple ecosystem. Below are five of the most convenient and useful features coming to a Mac near you later this year assuming your machine is newer than 20092, that is.

Siri integration

Siri is, hands-down, the biggest addition to MacOS. The feature has been a staple of iOS since 2011, and has been rumored to make an appearance on the Mac for years. Craig Federighi, Apple s vice president of software engineering, was quick to highlight just how convenient the virtual assistant will be on Mac, especially when paired with the software s latest advancements. The intuitive feature will live in both the menu bar and dock, but like the software s mobile counterpart, it will require manual activation.

Once activated, Siri will listen to your inquiry and respond appropriately. You ll be able to use the feature to play music, launch apps, and look up miscellaneous information on the web, among other tasks. In addition, Siri will be able to search your files in lieu of Spotlight, allowing you to locate files based on their location, origin date, document type, and other complex facets that might further define your results. You ll also be able to click-and-drag whatever results you find to other windows, or to the notifications pane. Apple even announced that it s opening up the mobile version of Siri to third-party developers, something that would expand the software s functionality to non-native apps and possibly impact the desktop iteration of Siri in the future.

A shared, Universal Clipboard

Continuity was first created to provide a seamless experience between the Mac and various devices, one that allows users to start an action on one device and finish on another. While Handoff and Cellular Calls which allows you to make or receive cellular calls on a Mac, iPad, and iPod touch, in addition to your iPhone remain the system s two flagship features nearly two years down the line, the inclusion of a shared clipboard in MacOS Sierra could change that. The aptly-titled Universal Clipboard will let you copy images, video, text, and other data from your iPhone, and easily paste it on a nearby Mac, or vice versa. It s a handy little feature that s sure to make jotting down that grocery list a little easier.

Auto Unlock for Apple Watch users

For most people, entering a passcode before using your computer isn t exactly a burden. But it often seems unnecessary given just how connected our devices have become with one another. Thankfully, MacOS Sierra includes a subtle feature called Auto Unlock, which works in conjunction with WatchOS 3 to make life a little easier for Apple Watch users. With Auto Unlock, you merely need wake your Mac from sleep mode while wearing the Watch to gain access to your machine. Just walk up and open your laptop and time-of-flight networking protocols will take care of the rest.

Redefined Photos

Photos are an important aspect of our lives, as they allow us to capture and share our memories with our family, friends, and complete strangers (thanks Instagram). Apple knows this, and the new-and-improved Photos application will provide users with a better way to sort, categorize, and present the photos and video they capture on the daily. The recently-announced Places and Faces feature, for instance, will look to capitalize on Apple s Advanced Computer Vision, and thus work to learn the people in your photographs and place their whereabouts on a map using GPS metadata. The new technology will also let you to search for locations, scenes, individual objects, and people. The intuitive search function can provide you with images of every sunset you ve ever captured, for example, or present you with every image you ve taken that contains a bicycle. Photos will also include a separate People and Places albums, so you can look up images of your special someone or chart your photo ventures on an interactive map that beautifully showcases your travel exploits.

MacOS Sierra will introduce Mac users to Memories, a feature that automatically creates contextualized videos and slideshows based around people, places, events, and a wealth of other information housed in your metadata and beyond. You ll be able to quickly tweak these so-called memories to fit a specific length (short, medium, long) or mood, the latter feature of which lets you outfit your photo and video montages with music that could be defined as Epic or Happy, among other attributes.

Livelier Messages

Messages are certainly not a new addition to MacOS Sierra, but never before have they been outfitted with the kind of personality afforded by Apple s forthcoming OS. With iOS 10 and Sierra, users will be able to send larger emojis and play videos and preview links from directly within the conversation. When responding, you ll also be able to to tack a heart, a thumbs up, a series exclamation points, or other icons onto a message bubble with what s known as Tapback. It s not a revolutionary feature, but it adds a bit of fun to an app that rarely meant to be taken seriously.

In regards to other message features coming to iOS 10, it s hard to say whether Apple will carry them over to the desktop version of iMessages. Apple showcased a laundry list of new features that are set to make their in the fall, including background animations, stickers, and predictive emojis. Users will also to make payments with iOS 10, and send heart beats, drawings, and Snapchat-like edited photos without ever leaving the app. Apple is even opening up iMessage to developers. Many of the aforementioned features make use of the 3D Touch technology found on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, but it s possible that they may find their way to Macs outfitted with a Force Touch trackpad.

This, however, remains to be seen, as Apple has yet to definitively announce such inclusions in MacOS Sierra.

MacOS Sierra launches is slated for release in late 2016, with a public beta set to kick off in July3.

A developer beta is also available right now4, however, you ll need an official developer account with Apple in order to download and install the OS.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

References

  1. ^ Robust iOS integration and a sleepy Siri aren t enough to perk up MacOS (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ assuming your machine is newer than 2009 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ public beta set to kick off in July (beta.apple.com)
  4. ^ beta is also available right now (www.digitaltrends.com)

Here’s the 5 features that will make you upgrade to MacOS Sierra

Nearly every summer brings the promise of sunshine, marigolds, and in the case of Apple a new iteration of Mac OS X. This year is no different, as the Cupertino-based company utilized its WWDC keynote to introduce developers and Apple users to its forthcoming operating system, MacOS Sierra. Name changes aside, the newest OS promises to bring a host of new features designed to capitalize on the system s tight integration with WatchOS and iOS, Apple s mobile OS for the iPhone and iPad.

Related: Robust iOS integration and a sleepy Siri aren t enough to perk up MacOS1

Many of the features, namely Siri, take a cue directly from the iOS playbook, while others, like the Universal Clipboard, introduce brand-new functionality to the Apple ecosystem. Below are five of the most convenient and useful features coming to a Mac near you later this year assuming your machine is newer than 20092, that is.

Siri integration

Siri is, hands-down, the biggest addition to MacOS. The feature has been a staple of iOS since 2011, and has been rumored to make an appearance on the Mac for years. Craig Federighi, Apple s vice president of software engineering, was quick to highlight just how convenient the virtual assistant will be on Mac, especially when paired with the software s latest advancements. The intuitive feature will live in both the menu bar and dock, but like the software s mobile counterpart, it will require manual activation.

Once activated, Siri will listen to your inquiry and respond appropriately. You ll be able to use the feature to play music, launch apps, and look up miscellaneous information on the web, among other tasks. In addition, Siri will be able to search your files in lieu of Spotlight, allowing you to locate files based on their location, origin date, document type, and other complex facets that might further define your results. You ll also be able to click-and-drag whatever results you find to other windows, or to the notifications pane. Apple even announced that it s opening up the mobile version of Siri to third-party developers, something that would expand the software s functionality to non-native apps and possibly impact the desktop iteration of Siri in the future.

A shared, Universal Clipboard

Continuity was first created to provide a seamless experience between the Mac and various devices, one that allows users to start an action on one device and finish on another. While Handoff and Cellular Calls which allows you to make or receive cellular calls on a Mac, iPad, and iPod touch, in addition to your iPhone remain the system s two flagship features nearly two years down the line, the inclusion of a shared clipboard in MacOS Sierra could change that. The aptly-titled Universal Clipboard will let you copy images, video, text, and other data from your iPhone, and easily paste it on a nearby Mac, or vice versa. It s a handy little feature that s sure to make jotting down that grocery list a little easier.

Auto Unlock for Apple Watch users

For most people, entering a passcode before using your computer isn t exactly a burden. But it often seems unnecessary given just how connected our devices have become with one another. Thankfully, MacOS Sierra includes a subtle feature called Auto Unlock, which works in conjunction with WatchOS 3 to make life a little easier for Apple Watch users. With Auto Unlock, you merely need wake your Mac from sleep mode while wearing the Watch to gain access to your machine. Just walk up and open your laptop and time-of-flight networking protocols will take care of the rest.

Redefined Photos

Photos are an important aspect of our lives, as they allow us to capture and share our memories with our family, friends, and complete strangers (thanks Instagram). Apple knows this, and the new-and-improved Photos application will provide users with a better way to sort, categorize, and present the photos and video they capture on the daily. The recently-announced Places and Faces feature, for instance, will look to capitalize on Apple s Advanced Computer Vision, and thus work to learn the people in your photographs and place their whereabouts on a map using GPS metadata. The new technology will also let you to search for locations, scenes, individual objects, and people. The intuitive search function can provide you with images of every sunset you ve ever captured, for example, or present you with every image you ve taken that contains a bicycle. Photos will also include a separate People and Places albums, so you can look up images of your special someone or chart your photo ventures on an interactive map that beautifully showcases your travel exploits.

MacOS Sierra will introduce Mac users to Memories, a feature that automatically creates contextualized videos and slideshows based around people, places, events, and a wealth of other information housed in your metadata and beyond. You ll be able to quickly tweak these so-called memories to fit a specific length (short, medium, long) or mood, the latter feature of which lets you outfit your photo and video montages with music that could be defined as Epic or Happy, among other attributes.

Livelier Messages

Messages are certainly not a new addition to MacOS Sierra, but never before have they been outfitted with the kind of personality afforded by Apple s forthcoming OS. With iOS 10 and Sierra, users will be able to send larger emojis and play videos and preview links from directly within the conversation. When responding, you ll also be able to to tack a heart, a thumbs up, a series exclamation points, or other icons onto a message bubble with what s known as Tapback. It s not a revolutionary feature, but it adds a bit of fun to an app that rarely meant to be taken seriously.

In regards to other message features coming to iOS 10, it s hard to say whether Apple will carry them over to the desktop version of iMessages. Apple showcased a laundry list of new features that are set to make their in the fall, including background animations, stickers, and predictive emojis. Users will also to make payments with iOS 10, and send heart beats, drawings, and Snapchat-like edited photos without ever leaving the app. Apple is even opening up iMessage to developers. Many of the aforementioned features make use of the 3D Touch technology found on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, but it s possible that they may find their way to Macs outfitted with a Force Touch trackpad.

This, however, remains to be seen, as Apple has yet to definitively announce such inclusions in MacOS Sierra.

MacOS Sierra launches is slated for release in late 2016, with a public beta set to kick off in July3.

A developer beta is also available right now4, however, you ll need an official developer account with Apple in order to download and install the OS.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

References

  1. ^ Robust iOS integration and a sleepy Siri aren t enough to perk up MacOS (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ assuming your machine is newer than 2009 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ public beta set to kick off in July (beta.apple.com)
  4. ^ beta is also available right now (www.digitaltrends.com)
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