Phil Schiller on iPhone XR Display: ‘If You Can’t See the Pixels, at Some Point the Numbers Don’t Mean Anything’

Engadget's Chris Velazco recently sat down for an interview with Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller to discuss all things iPhone XR. We've rounded up some of Schiller's comments about the device below.


What the "R" stands for in iPhone XR:
I love cars and things that go fast, and R and S are both letters used to denote sport cars that are really extra special.
How the iPhone X led to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR:
We had this technology we were working on for many years to be the future of the iPhone. It was a huge ask of the engineering team to get it to market last year, and they did. ... We knew that if we could bring that to market and it was successful very quickly after that, we needed to grow the line and make it available to more people.
Making sure the iPhone XR is still "the best phone":
If we're going to push the upper boundaries with XS and XS Max to make something the best, how do we make something that's more affordable for a larger audience? To make the overall iPhone audience even larger? What choices can we make and still make it a phone that people can hold and say, "I have the best too"?
Expanding on that:
We don't think about categories. We think the iPhone X technology and experience is something really wonderful, and we want to get it to as many people as possible, and we want to do it in a way that still makes it the best phone.
Addressing concerns about the iPhone XR's lower-resolution display:
I think the only way to judge a display is to look at it. …

If you can't see the pixels, at some point the numbers don't mean anything. They're fairly arbitrary.
As far as the iPhone XR launching over a month after the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Schiller simply said "this is when it's ready."

iPhone XR pre-orders began last Friday in over 50 countries. The first deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, October 26. The colorful device starts at $749 in the United States.

Full Article: With the iPhone XR, Apple broadens its 'best'

Related Roundup: iPhone XR
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)

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Apple’s Phil Schiller Talks About Upcoming Photoshop for iPad App at Adobe MAX

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller today made a surprise appearance at Adobe's MAX conference, which saw Adobe previewing a full version of Photoshop on the iPad, set to be released in 2019.

Adobe's upcoming version of Photoshop is "not watered down" and is version of Photoshop with all of the assets and tools needed to create the same projects you can make on the desktop on the iPad. According to Adobe, Photoshop for iPad would not have been possible without the company's close work by Apple and the power of the iPad Pro.


According to Phil Schiller, Adobe is excited about the upcoming version of Photoshop for iPad and can't wait for everyone to get it. Adobe, says Apple, has understood its vision for the iPad since the beginning. Apple "cares deeply" about the evolution of the iPad into a tool essential for creative workflows.
At Apple, we care deeply about the evolution of the iPad into increasingly a tool that is essential to a creative workflow. That's why over the last few years we've been creating the iPad Pro line and we've been building unique technologies like our A-Series chips, special versions of that with the CPU and GPU performance for professionals.

We've been building in displays unique for professionals like our 12.9-inch Retina display with ProMotion technology and really fun tools like Apple Pencil, which is perhaps one of our most advanced technologies, but it's so fun and accessible to use. And Adobe has recognized that from the beginning.

Adobe has understood the potential of the iPad Pro and our teams have been working together on some really amazing technology.
Schiller went on to say that Adobe's announcements today are "the beginnings of the world" seeing the kind of work that Apple and Adobe are able to do together. The new version of Photoshop for iPad will appeal to current Photoshop users, but also to a new generation of creators "looking for an entirely mobile workflow" that's more accessible, more intuitive, and simpler to use.

Along with Photoshop for iPad, Adobe today also unveiled Project Aero for creating AR experiences, and Schiller reiterated that AR is "hugely important" to Apple. "We have a vision where we think that will impact all of our lives," he said.

When questioned about the role of the creative professional at Apple today, Schiller said that creativity has been a part of the foundation of Apple from the beginning, both internally and externally.
As I think back on it, I know Steve showed us all the idea that people with passion can change the world. Those words mean a lot to us. We think long and hard about what Apple's role should be supporting Adobe and all of our other users out there.

It is that old line that Steve said: 'We exist at the intersection of technology and lieral arts' and that focus on creativity and the arts to unleash that passion, unleash that vision is just as important to us today as it was from the very, very beginning. None of that has changed.

What has changed is the technology. When we talked about that we never envisioned a world where we would be running Photoshop on an iPad Pro wherever you are. I mean, that's just mindblowing.
Following Phil's discussion of Photoshop in iPad, the Photoshop team gifted him with a jacket that references a new feature in the Photoshop updates announced today -- Content Aware Fill powered by Adobe Sensei. The jacket gifted to Schiller plays on that with the phrase "Content Aware Phil."


Adobe plans to release Photoshop for iPad in 2019, but has not yet provided a more specific launch date.


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Apple’s Phil Schiller Explains Why Valve’s Steam Link App Was Rejected

Apple recently made the decision to reject Valve's Steam Link app after initially approving it, leading to many unhappy Steam customers who had been looking forward to the feature.

Apple has been silent on the issue despite several requests for comment, but today, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained the reason behind the rejection to a MacStories reader and other Apple customers on Reddit who emailed to ask Apple to reconsider. In the email, Schiller says the Valve app violates a number of guidelines and that Apple is working with the Valve team to rectify the issue.
We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store. We would love for Valve's games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc.

We've discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone.

We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow in order to ensure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.
The Steam Link app is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac. As our sister site TouchArcade said in a review of the app, it allows for "real" PC-like game experiences on Apple devices.

"I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead," wrote TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp.

As MacStories points out, we don't know the specifics of the guidelines the Steam Link app violates, but Apple has strict rules for features like filters for objectionable content, in-app purchases, loot boxes, and more. Steam Link, as a remote access app, does allow customers to purchase Steam games without standard in-app purchase methods, which is likely to be one of Apple's main qualms.

Valve first announced the Steam Link app on May 9 after initial approval from Apple, but Apple later said the preliminary approval had been a mistake and told Valve the app was not eligible for release due to "business conflicts." Valve's statement:
On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.

Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.
Valve has not commented on what features might need to be tweaked or removed to earn Apple's approval, and it is not clear when we might see a modified version of the Steam Link app available for sale if Valve is able or willing to make the necessary changes to the Steam Link experience.


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Apple’s Phil Schiller on HomePod: We Want to Create a New Kind of Music Experience in the Home That Sounds Incredible

Over the weekend, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller did a quick fifteen minute interview with Sound & Vision, where he once again explained some of the technology behind the HomePod, shed some light on why Apple ultimately decided to create an in-home speaker, and explained how the HomePod will stand out among other smart speakers on the market.

Schiller believes that Apple is in a position to create a "new kind of music experience" that not only "sounds incredible," but is also "fun to interact with." He says that's the driving force behind Apple's work on the smart speaker. Apple's focus, though, isn't on a single product -- the company wants to design a unified experience that's the same throughout the day.

We don't think it's just about HomePod though, or any one product, it's about creating an experience that moves with you throughout the day -- so the experience you have at home, is replicated in the car with CarPlay, at work with iPad and Mac, and when you're out for a run with Watch and iPhone. You can listen to the same music, control your home accessories or ask Siri to do something for you, wherever you are.
Schiller says that Apple Music, Siri advancements in personal music discovery, and Apple's innovative audio work "come together" in the HomePod to deliver an "amazing music experience" to customers.

He went on to explain many of the technological advancements that improve sound quality in the HomePod, including machine learning to allow the HomePod to sense and adapt to its environment, the A8 chip for real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, and echo cancellation, and a more advanced thinking of speaker arrays to "create a wide soundstage."

Schiller also explained in detail how the HomePod's spatial awareness features work. From the moment it's plugged in, the HomePod senses its location. The built-in microphone array listens to how sound reflects from neighboring surfaces to determine where it's located in a room and what's nearby, adjusting audio accordingly. The A8 chip beams center vocals and direct energy away from walls that are detected, while also reflecting ambient reverb and back-up vocals against the wall for better dispersion into the room.
The end result is a wide soundstage with a feeling of spaciousness and depth. This entire process takes just seconds and it doesn't stop with the initial setup. Every time you move HomePod, it uses the built-in accelerometer to detect a change in its location and continues to make sure the music sounds great and is consistent, wherever it's placed. We've also done some great things to help minimize the audible side effects of compression artifacts by developing studio level dynamic processing to optimize for rich, clean bass even at loud volumes.
Thus far, it appears Apple's efforts to focus on sound quality have been successful. While full HomePod reviews have not yet been shared, initial first impressions from reviewers who were able to spend a short amount of time with the HomePod have been positive. Many reviewers were highly impressed with the sound quality of the device, which has been described as "warm," "astonishing," "precise," and an "aural triumph."

Apple will, however, need to convince its customers that sound improvements are worth the premium price the company is charging for the device. HomePod is more expensive than competing products from Google and Amazon, but some reviewers have questioned whether the average consumer will value sound quality more than affordability.

Phil Schiller's full interview, which goes into more detail about Apple's aim with the HomePod, how voice recognition works, HomeKit integration, and more can be read over at Sound & Vision.

The HomePod, which is priced at $349 in the United States, can be pre-ordered from the online Apple Store. The first HomePod orders will be delivered to customers starting on Friday, February 9, the official launch date of the device.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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Phil Schiller Says iPad Pro Can Both Supplement and Replace the Mac

Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller believes the iPad Pro can be both a PC replacement and a supplementary device to the Mac.


In a wide-ranging interview with T3 about the iPad Pro and other Apple products, including the iPhone X, iMac Pro, HomePod, and AirPods, Schiller said the iPad Pro's exact use case ultimately varies by customer.
What we've learned, truthfully, is that it's both, and that depends on the user. For some people, iPad Pro is a replacement for their computer. Not that you throw away your computer. People don't often do that.
Schiller added that, for many customers, the iPad Pro becomes their primary computing device, especially while traveling.
But that it becomes your primary computing device. The way you mostly hear about this is people say, 'I use a computer at my desk' or 'I use a notebook at my desk, but when I travel, I travel just with my iPad Pro'. It is so great in that situation.

So for those customers, the iPad has become their primary device, but they don't think of it in their brains as competing with their previous computer. It's just the computer they spend the most time with.
Schiller acknowledged that this isn't the case for everyone, as some customers may only use an iPad Pro for certain tasks where a tablet can provide a better experience, such as reading or watching movie and TV shows.
So depending on what those tasks are, for those customers they're augmenting. And what we try to do is not tell the customer that either direction is the right or wrong way. It's almost like they’re making a distinction between the two, even though the uses are overlapping, and one is replacing the other frequently.
Schiller referred to the iPad Pro as a computer on a few occasions, which contrasts with Apple's latest "What's a Computer?" ad for the tablet.


At the end of the video, a mother asks her young daughter "what are you doing on your computer?" and the daughter responds by asking "what's a computer?" to imply that the iPad Pro is not a computer.

While the ad might suggest Apple's increasing focus on the iPad over the Mac, Schiller ensured that the company "cares deeply" about its pro customers. "We love that so much is created on Mac," he said.

To address the needs of those professionals, Apple is launching a powerful iMac Pro this week. The company is also working on a modular Mac Pro that will be accompanied by Apple-branded pro displays.

Interview: Apple's Phil Schiller on How the iPhone X 'Seemed Impossible at the Start'


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Apple Studied Paintings and Shined Light on People to Perfect New Portrait Lighting Feature

iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X feature advanced cameras with a new Portrait Lighting feature that uses sophisticated algorithms to calculate how your facial features interact with light. That data is used to create lighting effects, such as Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, and Stage Light.


In a new interview with BuzzFeed News reporter John Paczkowski, Apple says it studied the work of portrait photographers such as Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and Johannes Vermeer, a seventeenth-century Dutch painter, to learn how others have used lighting throughout history.

"We didn't just study portrait photography. We went all the way back to paint," said Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller.

"If you look at the Dutch Masters and compare them to the paintings that were being done in Asia, stylistically they're different," said Johnnie Manzari, a designer on Apple's Human Interface Team. "So we asked why are they different? And what elements of those styles can we recreate with software?"

Apple said it took what it learned, went into its studio, and spent countless hours shining light on people from different angles.

"We spent a lot of time shining light on people and moving them around — a lot of time," Manzari added. "We had some engineers trying to understand the contours of a face and how we could apply lighting to them through software, and we had other silicon engineers just working to make the process super-fast. We really did a lot of work."

Schiller acknowledged that Apple aims to make a professional camera, ranked the best among smartphones in a recent review, but he added that the company also cares about what it can contribute to photography as a whole.

"We're in a time where the greatest advances in camera technology are happening as much in the software as in the hardware," Schiller said. "And that obviously plays to Apple's strengths over traditional camera companies."

Apple's software advancements allow anyone to simply pick up an iPhone and capture a high-quality photo, eliminating the learning curve that can come with a high-end DSLR camera from the likes of Canon or Nikon.

"It's all seamless; the camera just does what it needs to," said Schiller. "The software knows how to take care of it for you. There are no settings."

Both the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X rear cameras been advanced with larger, faster dual-lens sensors, new color filters, and deeper pixels. iPhone X also has optical image stabilization for both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, the latter of which has a larger ƒ/2.4 aperture that lets more light in.

Read More: How Apple Built An iPhone Camera That Makes Everyone A Professional Photographer


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Apple Started Developing A11 Bionic Chip When A8 Chip Was Released Three Years Ago

Shortly after Apple's iPhone X event this week, the company's silicon chief Johny Srouji and marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down for an interview about its new A11 Bionic chip with Mashable's editor-at-large Lance Ulanoff.


One interesting tidbit mentioned was that Apple began exploring and developing the core technologies in the A11 chip at least three years ago, when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched with A8 chips.
Srouji told me that when Apple architects silicon, they start by looking three years out, which means the A11 Bionic was under development when Apple was shipping the iPhone 6 and its A8 chip. Back then we weren't even talking about AI and machine learning at a mobile level and, yet, Srouji said, "The neural engine embed, it’s a bet we made three years ahead."
Apple's three-year roadmap can change if new features are planned, like the Super Retina HD Display in iPhone X.
"The process is flexible to changes," said Srouji, who’s been with Apple since the first iPhone. If a team comes in with a request that wasn't part of the original plan, "We need to make that happen. We don't say, 'No, let me get back to my road map and, five years later, I'll give you something."
Apple senior executives Phil Schiller, left, and Johny Srouji

In fact, Schiller praised Srouji's team for its ability to "move heaven and earth" when the roadmap suddenly changes.
"There have been some critical things in the past few years, where we've asked Johny's team to do something on a different schedule, on a different plan than they had in place for years, and they moved heaven and earth and done it, and it's remarkable to see."
A11 Bionic six-core chip has two performance cores that are 25 percent faster, and four high-efficiency cores that are 70 percent faster, than the A10 chip in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Early benchmarks suggest the A11 Bionic is even on par with the performance of Apple's latest 13-inch MacBook Pro models.

The A11 chip is more efficient at multi-threaded tasks thanks to a second-generation performance controller that is able to access all six of the cores simultaneously if a particular task demands it.
Gaming might use more cores, said Srouji, but something as simple as predictive texting, where the system suggests the next word to type, can tap into the high-performance CPUs, as well.
The A11 chip also has an Apple-designed neural engine that handles facial recognition for Face ID and Animoji, and other machine learning algorithms. The dual-core engine recognizes people, places, and objects, and processes machine learning tasks at up to 600 billion operations per second, according to Apple.
“When you look at applications and software, there are certain algorithms that are better off using a functional programming model,” said Srouji.

This includes the iPhone X’s new face tracking and Face ID as well as the augmented-reality-related object detection. All of them use neural networks, machine learning or deep learning (which is part of machine learning). This kind of neural processing could run on a CPU or, preferably, a GPU. “But for these neural networking kinds of programming models, implementing custom silicon that’s targeted for that application, that will perform the exact same tasks, is much more energy efficient than a graphics engine,” said Srouji.
Apple's new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are all equipped with an A11 chip.

In related news, Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science has announced that Srouji will take part in a distinguished industry lecture on Monday, September 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. local time.

Full Interview: The Inside Story of the iPhone X 'Brain,' the A11 Bionic Chip


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