AWT News Update: December 13, 2017

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Smaller chips, an updated app, and popular cameras are in our news today:

  • More efficient 7nm process chips may only be used by Apple and Samsung in 2018
  • The Iconfactory updates its classic Twitterrific app, with a change that uses less power on the iPhone X
  • Once again, the iPhone is the most-used camera brand on Flickr

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

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Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for December 13, 2017.  

Each year, the small etched lines that make up the circuitry in our devices get smaller and smaller, meaning that the chips themselves can be smaller and more power efficient. A report out today says that the only smartphone makers that will probably use the newest process for etching chips — what’s called the 7-nanometer process — in 2018 will be Samsung and Apple. Smartphone industry growth has been slowing down, so chip suppliers are wary of spending the money to build new wafer foundries. Only if a company can ship 120 to 150 million 7-nanometer chips can they afford to develop the new processors and build the plants to produce them, and the only two smartphone manufacturers at this point who could make orders of that size are the aforementioned Apple and Samsung. Even the huge Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is apparently staying put with larger, less efficient chips because of costs. It’s expected that the 2018 iPhones will include a 7-nanometer A12 processor.

The folks at The Iconfactory make Twitterrific, a wonderful Twitter app for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Today, the company updated its app with a new true black theme that looks great on iPhone X and actually helps save power with the new iPhone’s OLED display. When it’s showing black on the screen, those pixels are actually turned off and not using power. As noted by The Iconfactory’s blog, “Running Twitterrific with this new theme looks amazingly sharp and feels great. The timeline and user profiles seem to extend right off the edges of the device creating a wonderful visual experience. We think you’ll be pleased. Lastly, the update includes redesigned versions of Twitterrific’s light and dark themes, both of which have been adjusted for greater contrast and clarity across platforms.” There are plenty of other new features, including automatic poll detection, a redesigned theme panel with different avatar shapes, and improved font size selections. Iconfactory also added support for Apple’s Dynamic Type accessibility feature, which allows users to define font size across compatible apps. 

What’s the most popular camera model in the world? iPhone! In 2017, Apple’s iPhone beat out camera makers Canon and Nikon (the number two and three spots) for the top spot in the Flickr annual review of camera rankings and top photos. 54 percent of the top 100 devices used on Flickr were iPhones, and all top 10 devices of 2017 were iPhone models. Flickr’s numbers are pretty accurate, as the photo sharing site has over 75 million registered users. Since the first iPhone appeared, the top device on the list has been an iPhone, showing how consumers have moved from point-and-shoot cameras made by traditional camera makers to Apple’s smartphone. More and more professionals are now turning to the iPhone for higher-quality photos as Apple has consistently made the cameras built into the device better each year. That 54% number listed earlier is almost double the number of users that share photos from Canon cameras — at 23% — and three times the number of Nikon users at 18%. 

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.