The news marks the next step in Apple’s relationship with IBM. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple is teaming with IBM and Japan Post on a pilot scheme that will hand up to 5 million iPads out to elderly people in Japan by 2020, to help them keep in touch with their families, physicians and community.
In addition to existing iPad apps like FaceTime and Messages, the tablets will come loaded with custom IBM apps designed to help remind senior citizens to take their medication, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet, while also allowing direct access to community support services such as grocery shopping.
IBM first designed its artificial intelligence computer system, Watson, to dominate humans in Jeopardy. Now before the machine takes over the world, Watson is moving on to the finer things in life by releasing a new cookbook, Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson.
By linking up with Watson, Apple not only solidifies its existing relationship with IBM, but also gains a very powerful ally in its quest to revolutionize the way we think about mobile health with the Apple Watch and iOS 8 Health app.
Apple’s partnership with IBM has birthed eight new enterprise apps that the companies announced today on Apple’s Business apps page. The new MobileFirst apps focus mostly on healthcare by providing hospital techs and nurses new methods to access patients records, log data and track progress.
Along with the four new healthcare apps, IBM and Apple also created apps for insurance agents, flight attendants, retailers and industrial production.
Apple and IBM’s partnership to bring iOS apps into the workplace produced 10 apps last year. Today at Mobile World Congress, IBM announced that it is launching three more MobileFirst apps aimed at the banking, airline, and retail industries.
The three new iOS apps are available for deployment and customization starting today. The apps are part of Tim Cook’s initiative to change the way people work by giving companies access to high-quality iOS apps. IBM says its clients for the MobileFirst apps include American Eagle Outfitters, Sprint, Air Canada, Banorte, and more than 50 others.
Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty last summer. Photo: Apple
Update: Downplaying reports about the size of its impending layoffs, IBM says it will let go of only “several thousand people,” not the much-larger number reported by Forbes. We’ve updated this story and its headline to reflect IBM’s statements.
Things aren’t going well for IBM. Six months into its partnership with Apple, Big Blue is reportedly preparing for the largest corporate layoff in history.
After nearly three years of quarterly revenue decline, IBM is preparing to ax a staggering 111,800 employees, according to Forbes. Saying it does not respond to “ridiculous” rumors, IBM says the layoffs will be much smaller than that. How the layoffs will affect the company’s business with Apple remains unclear.
Looking for a new hard drive? Stay away from 3TB units. Photo: Backblaze Media
One year ago we were given some insight into which hard drives last the longest thanks to Backblaze media’s analysis of the tens of thousands of hard drives in their data center. The company uses regular consumer-grade hard drives due to the cheaper costs to power their unlimited storage offerings for customers, and this year they’re back with a new study revealing which 4TB hard drives are too big to fail.
After spinning 41,213 disk drives in its data center, Backblaze crunched the numbers at the end of 2014 to find that if want a hard drive with the lowest failure rate possible, go with an HGST drive.
The iPhone: coming soon to a business near you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple is serious about getting its products into the enterprise market — and to prove it, it’s calling in the services of longtime Hewlett-Packard executive John Solomon to take charge.
Solomon’s precise job title and role at Apple are unclear, but according to the well-connected Re/code, he will be helping Apple “boost sales to big companies and government agencies with large technology budgets.”
A lot has changed since Steve Jobs flipped off IBM 30 years ago. Photo: Andy Hertzfeld
2014 will go down as one of the biggest years in Apple history. The stock hit record highs. The company’s first wearable was revealed. And Apple dropped $3 billion on its biggest acquisition ever. But of all the huge news Apple dropped in the last 12 months, nothing is likely to have as big an impact as the previously unthinkable announcement that Apple and IBM buried the hatchet and partnered up.
The move was significant not only for the historic aspect of the two rival tech titans uniting, but also for how it will impact all of us in the workplace. In his final note of the year, top Apple analyst Horace Dediu dubbed the IBM partnership “the most significant technology news of 2014.”
That may sound ridiculous considering how much hype Apple Watch is getting ahead of its release, but Dediu points to the first wave of apps created by the partnership. These offer an early indication of just how transformative the relationship could be. For the first time, enterprise apps are being designed for their users (the employees) rather than their employers.
Just take a look at the difference between IBM’s new Expert Tech app compared to the closest equivalent from Oracle, and see which one you’d rather work with: