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10 years on, Apple’s risky move to Intel Macs is one of its biggest successes



Nine years ago today, Apple launched the very first iPhone. But the foundation for its success had actually been laid a year earlier. Ten years ago, in the summer of 2006, Apple had just successfully transformed the Mac, completing a transition from using PowerPC chips to Intel chips and essentially transplanting the the “brains” of its entire line of personal computers.

The transition, which was first announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in 2005, was a big deal. Apple was moving from IBM-built PowerPC processors in its Mac computers to x86 processors made by Intel

The shift was necessitated by the simple fact that IBM’s consumer processors — especially for laptops — simply weren’t competitive with the work Intel was doing. PowerPC processors had the potential to be very fast, but they ran hot and required a lot of power, which is bad for laptops. Moreover, IBM was late in delivering chips, and Steve Jobs felt Apple needed better chips sooner to be competitive. Read more…

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It's also getting a bunch of new features. The app now boasts more currency recognition, adding British pounds, US dollars, Canadian dollars, and Euros to its tally. Going beyond the color in a scene, it can also spot the color of specific objects, like clothes. Plus, it's no longer restricted to just short printed text, with handwriting recognition now part of its skill set. You can also customize the voice that it uses to speak its observations out loud, and set how fast it talks.

Finally, a musical light detector alerts you to the light in an environment with an audible tone -- Microsoft claims the tool will save users from having to touch a hot bulb or LED battery to check if it's on. Despite the big update, there's still no word on an Android launch.

Source: Microsoft