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SVC-16A Apple Service Fundamentals

Apple Service Fundamentals is a 2-day course that teaches students the skills they need to handle face-to-face customer interactions involving all Apple devices. Successful completion of the Apple Service Fundamentals exam (SVC-16A) fulfills the prerequisite for Apple Certified Mac Technician (ACMT) 2016 and Apple Certified iOS Technician (ACiT) 2016 certification. Interactive discussions and hands-on exercises guide students through the best way to manage customer interactions, the required safety precautions, and basic troubleshooting skills. Students knowledge and skills are tested and reinforced by working through real-world scenarios and role-playing.

Course Objectives:
Upon completion of the Apple Service Fundamentals course, students will be able to:
• Identify and validate customer engagement skills such as empathy, setting expectations, positioning a refusal of service, and conflict resolution
• Position a repair, upgrade, or attachment so its clear that the recommendation helps to solve the customers issue
• Identify and validate strategies for setting realistic resolution expectations
• Identify and practice ESD precautions
• Identify the customer statements that generate a Safety First case
• Demonstrate the proper and safe handling of batteries and portable computer case assemblies with a built-in battery, and respond to events that involve these batteries
• Explain why documentation is important to the service workflow.
Understand the components of clear, concise, and complete case notes and the negative impact of poor case notes.
• Find and use any Apple products serial number to determine its level of coverage
• Describe the importance of accurate troubleshooting to the business and the customer
• Demonstrate basic troubleshooting and deductive reasoning skills, including the use of smart questioning techniques and first-level
evaluation and isolation skills
• List the tools and resources that are available to help troubleshoot

Course Outline:
• Customer Experience Skills and Managing Customer Expectations
• Determining Service Levels
• Documenting Customer Interactions
• ESD Precautions
• Recognizing Safety Issues
• Embedded Battery Safety
• Basic Troubleshooting

Apple Service Fundamentals
Apple Fundamentals exam plan
Killexams : Apple Fundamentals exam plan - BingNews Search results Killexams : Apple Fundamentals exam plan - BingNews Killexams : Best Computer Hardware Certifications 2019

Becoming a computer technician is a great point of entry into the IT field. In addition, computer hardware certifications can help demonstrate your knowledge and competency in maintaining computers, mobile devices, printers and more. Below, you’ll find our pick of six computer hardware certifications to help you get your IT career off the ground.

Although we cover our favorite hardware certifications here, the idea that hardware can operate independently of software (or vice versa) isn’t true. If you dig into the curriculum for any specific hardware-related certs in any depth, you’ll quickly realize that software is in control of hardware.

Software comes into play for installation, configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting and just about any other activity you can undertake with hardware. The hardware label simply indicates that devices are involved, not that hardware is all that’s involved.

Job board search results (in alphabetical order, by certification)

Certification SimplyHired Indeed LinkedIn Jobs Total
A+ (CompTIA) 1,566 2,396 2,282 2,187 8,431
ACMT (Apple) 134 258 196 44 632
BICSI Technician (BICSI) 384 657 30 92 1,163
CCT (Cisco) 473 826 601 722 2,622
RCDD (BICSI) 276 378 377 104 1,135
Server+ (CompTIA) 2,318 3,064 1,250 1,069 7,701

Differing factors, such as specific job role, locality and experience level, may impact salary potential. In general, hardware professionals can expect to earn somewhere in the mid-$60,000s. SimplyHired reports average earnings at $71,946 for IT technicians, with highs reported at almost $116,000. The average national salary for computer hardware technicians ranges from about $31,000 to more than $53,000. However, some certifications command higher salaries. Certification Magazine’s “Annual Salary Survey” (Salary Survey 2018) average salaries for CompTIA Server+ at $98,060 and the A+ credential at $97,730.

CompTIA A+

The CompTIA A+ certification is the granddaddy and best known of all hardware credentials. For anyone serious about working with PCs, laptops, mobile devices, printers or operating systems, the A+ should at least be on their radar, if not in their game plan.

Since the first A+ credential was awarded in March 1993, the program continues to draw active interest and participation. With more than 1 million IT professionals now possessing the A+ credential, it is something of a checkbox item for PC technicians and support professionals. It also appears in a great many job postings or advertisements.

A+ is also ISO 17024 compliant and accredited by ANSI. Thus, this credential must be renewed every three years in keeping with concomitant requirements for continuing education or regular examinations to maintain certification currency. Some 20 continuing education units (CEUs) are required for renewal.

Earning an A+ from CompTIA involves passing two exams: 220-901 and 220-902. exam 220-901 focuses on hardware, networking, mobile devices, connectivity and troubleshooting. exam 220-902 draws on knowledge of installing and configuring common operating systems (Windows, Linux, OS X, Android and iOS). It also covers issues related to cloud computing, security and operational procedures. Candidates will find a variety of question formats, including standard multiple-choice, drag-and-drop and performance-based questions on these exams.

Candidates who earn the A+ often find themselves in job roles that include technical support specialist, field service technician, IT support technician, IT support administrator or IT support specialist. The A+ is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense (in DoD Directive 8140/8570.01-M). Also, technology companies, such as Ricoh, Nissan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dell, HP and Intel, require staff to earn the A+ certification to fill certain positions.

The A+ certification encompasses broad coverage of PC hardware and software, networking and security in its overall technical scope.

A+ Facts and Figures

Certification name  CompTIA A+
Prerequisites & required courses 9-12 months of experience recommended
Number of exams  Two exams (maximum of 90 questions, 90 minutes): 220-901 and 220-902 (CompTIA Academy Partners use the same numbers)
Cost per exam  $211 per exam. Exams administered by Pearson VUE. exam vouchers available at CompTIA
Self-study materials

CompTIA offers several self-study materials, including exam objectives, demo questions and study guides ($178 for the eBook $198 for the print edition), as well as classroom and e-learning training opportunities. Credential seekers may also want to check out the CertMaster online learning tool. Links to CompTIA training materials may be found on the certification webpage.

Recommended books:

CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902 exam Cram, 1st Edition, by David L. Prowse, published Jan. 30, 2016, Pearson IT Certifications, exam Cram Series, ISBN-10: 0789756315, ISBN-13: 978-0789756312

CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One exam Guide, 9th Edition (Exams 220-901 and 220-902) by Michael Meyers, published Jan. 4, 2016, McGraw-Hill Education, ISBN-10: 1125958951X, ISBN-13: 978-1259589515

ACMT: Apple Certified Macintosh Technician

Given the popularity of Apple products and platforms, and widespread use of Macintosh computers in homes and businesses of all sizes, there’s demand galore for Mac-savvy technicians.

The AppleCare Mac Technician (ACMT) 2018 credential is Apple’s latest hardware-related ACMT certification. (The credential was formerly called the Apple Certified Macintosh Technician or Apple Certified Mac Technician.) Per Apple, the ACMT 2018 “qualifies a technician to repair all the Mac products that were covered by prior ACMT certifications, plus all other Mac products that were produced before April 2018.” Technicians with the ACMT certification who work at an Apple-authorized service facility are allowed to perform service and repairs.

The ACMT’s two required exams are the Apple Service Fundamentals and the ACMT 2018 Mac Service Certification. Service Fundamentals focuses on customer experience skills, ESD and safety, troubleshooting and deductive reasoning, and product knowledge. The Mac Service exam covers troubleshooting and repair of Mac hardware (mainly Apple iMac and MacBook Pro systems). Note that the Apple Service Fundamentals exam is also required for the Apple Certified iOS Technician (ACiT) 2018 certification.

The ACMT 2018 is a permanent credential and does not require annual recertification. However, as new products are added to the Apple portfolio, AppleCare will make associated courses available through Apple Technical Learning Administration System (ATLAS). You must complete these courses to service new products.

ACMT Facts and Figures

Certification name AppleCare Mac Technician (ACMT) 2017
Prerequisites & required courses AppleCare Technician Training recommended
Number of exams Two exams (must be taken in this order):

Apple Service Fundamentals exam (SCV-17A) OR Apple Service

Fundamentals exam (SVC-18A)


ACMT 2018 Mac Service Certification exam (MAC-18A) Each exam: 70 questions, 2 hours, 80 percent passing score

Tests administered by Pearson VUE; Apple Tech ID number required

Cost per exam TBD
Self-study materials Self-paced training: Apple Technical Learning Administration System (ATLAS)

AppleCare Technician Training, $299

Instructor-led training courses: LearnQuest

BICSI Technician and Registered Communications Distribution Designer

BICSI is a professional association that supports the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, mainly in the areas of voice, data, audio and video, electronic safety and security, and project management. BICSI offers training, certification and education to its 23,000-plus members, many of who are designers, installers and technicians.

BICSI offers several certifications aimed at ICT professionals, who mainly deal with cabling and related technologies. Two credentials, the BICSI Technician and the BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) are pertinent (and popular) in this story.

The BICSI Technician recognizes individuals who lead an installation group or team, perform advanced testing and troubleshooting of cable installations, evaluate cabling requirements, recommend solutions based on standards and best practices, and roll out new and retrofit projects. Technicians must be well versed in both copper and fiber cabling.

Candidates need a good deal of knowledge about the hardware, networking devices and communications equipment to which they connect cables.

To earn the credential, candidates must pass a single two-part exam consisting of a hands-on practical evaluation and a written exam. In addition, candidates must possess at least three years of verifiable ICT industry installation experience within the past five years. Credentials are valid for three years. Certification holders must earn 18 hours of continuing education credits (CECs) in each three-year credentialing cycle and pay the current renewal fees to maintain this credential.

Interested candidates should also check out other BICSI certifications, such as the Installer 1 (INST1), Installer 2 Copper (INSTC) and Installer 2 Optical Fiber (INSTF).

An advanced credential, the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) is so well respected that the Department of Defense Unified Facilities requires RCDD for all telecom-related design projects. The RCDD is geared toward experienced ICT practitioners with at least five years of ICT design experience. Alternatively, candidates who do not have the requisite experience but who possess at least two years of design experience plus three years of knowledge “equivalents” (combination of approved education, certifications or education), may also sit for the exam. All experience must have been within the preceding 10 years.

RCDD candidates should be able to create and prepare system design specifications and plans, as well as recommended best practices for security design requirements, for business automation systems. RCDDs are also well versed in data center, cabling systems and design for wireless, network, and electronic security systems.

To earn the credential, candidates must meet the experience requirements, submit the application plus credentialing fees, along with a current resume. In addition, candidates must submit four letters of reference two of which much be from current or former clients. One reference may be personal while the remaining references must come from the candidate’s employer.

Other advanced BICSI certifications include the  Outside Plant (OSP) Designer, Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC) and Registered Telecommunication Project Manager (RTPM).

BICSI Technician Facts and Figures

Certification name BICSI Technician
Prerequisites & required courses Three or more years of verifiable ICT industry installation experience (must be within past five years to qualify)

Adhere to the BICSI Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct

Physical requirements: Distinguish between colors, stand for extended periods, lift and carry up to 50 pounds, climb ladders, and possess manual dexterity necessary to perform fine motor tasks

Technician exam prereqs: Both the Installer 2, Copper and Installer 2, Optical Fiber credentials OR the Installer 2 credential

Note: There are no additional credentials required for candidates attempting the Technician Skip-Level exam.

Recommended prerequisites:

50 hours review of BICSI Information Technology Systems Installation Methods Manual (ITSIMM)

TE350: BICSI Technician Training course ($2,545)
IN225: Installer 2 Copper Training course ($2,305)
IN250: Installer 2 Optical Fiber Training course ($2,505)

Number of exams One two-part exam, including written exam (140 multiple-choice questions*) and hands-on, performance-based exam (hands-on performance exam delivered last day of TE350 course; written exam administered the day after the completion of the TE350 course)

*If the candidate doesn’t have both the Copper and Optical Fiber Installer 2 credentials or an Installer 2 credential, the written Skip Level exam will have 170 questions.

Cost per exam $295 (non-refundable application fee must be received by BICSI 15 days prior to exam; retake fee of $130 applies)
Self-study materials Information Technology System Installation Methods Manual, 7th edition electronic download, $220 member/$240 non-member; print and get combo, $260 member/$290 non-member; printed manual, $220 member/$240 non-member, Web-based training through BICSI CONNECT

BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) Facts and Figures

Certification name BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)
Prerequisites & required courses

Five or more years of verifiable ICT industry design experience (must be within past 10 years to qualify)


Two or more years of verifiable ICT design experience (must be within the past ten years) plus three additional years of ICT equivalents from approved education, experience, or ICT licenses or certification (CCNA, for example)

Adhere to the BICSI Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct

Recommended prerequisites:
Minimum of 125-150 hours review of BICSI’s Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM)

DD101: Foundations of Telecommunications Distribution Design ($1,030) (BICSI  CONNECT online course)

DD102: Designing Telecommunications Distribution Systems ($2,815)

125-150 hours of TDMM study

TDMM flash cards ($275)

RCDD Test Preparation Course ($925) (BICSI CONNECT online course)

Number of exams One exam (100 questions, 2.5 hours)
Cost per exam $495 BICSI member/$725 non-member application fee, (non-refundable application fee must be received by BICSI 15 days prior to exam; retake fee of $225 BISCI member/$340 non-member)
Self-study materials

Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual, 13th edition (TDMM) electronic get ($310 member/$380 non-member; print and get combo, $350 member/$435 non-member; printed manual, $310 member/$380 non-member)

Web-based training through BICSI CONNECT

CTT Routing & Switching: Cisco Certified Technician Routing & Switching

Cisco certifications are valued throughout the tech industry. The Cisco Certified Technician, or CCT, certification is an entry-level credential that demonstrates a person’s ability to support and maintain Cisco networking devices at a customer site.

The Routing & Switching credential best fits our list of best computer hardware certifications, and it serves as an essential foundation for supporting Cisco devices and systems in general.

The CCT requires passing a single exam. courses include identification of Cisco equipment and related hardware, such as switches and routers, general networking and service knowledge, working with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC), and describing Cisco IOS software operating modes. Candidates should also have a working knowledge of Cisco command-line interface (CLI) commands for connecting to and remotely servicing Cisco products.

CCT Routing & Switching Facts and Figures

Certification name Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) Routing & Switching
Prerequisites & required courses


Recommended training: Supporting Cisco Routing and Switching Network Devices (RSTECH) ($299)

Number of exams One: 640-692 RSTECH (60-70 questions, 90 minutes)
Cost per exam 


Exam administered by Pearson VUE.

Self-study materials Cisco Study Material page provides links to the course, study groups, exam tutorials, and other related content, including exam syllabus, training videos and seminars.

CompTIA Server+

CompTIA also offers a server-related certification, which steps up from basic PC hardware, software, and networking courses to the more demanding, powerful, and expensive capabilities in the same vein usually associated with server systems.

The CompTIA Server+ credential goes beyond basic courses to include coverage of more advanced storage systems, IT environments, virtualization, and disaster recovery and business continuity topics. It also puts a strong emphasis on best practices and procedures for server problem diagnosis and troubleshooting. Although Server+ is vendor-neutral in coverage, organizations such as HP, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Xerox, Lenovo and HP use Server+ credentialed technicians.

Those who work or want to work in server rooms or data centers, with and around servers on a regular basis, will find the Server+ credential worth studying for and earning. It can also be a steppingstone into vendor-specific server technician training programs at such companies as those mentioned above, or with their authorized resellers and support partners.

Note that the CompTIA Server+ exam is still listed on that organization’s website as “good for life,” meaning it does not impose a renewal or continuing education requirement on its holders. The SK0-004 launched on July 31, 2015. Typically, exams are available for at least two years. If CompTIA’s revision history for Server+ is any guide to future updates and revisions, then it’s likely that we’ll see a new exam making an appearance sometime before the end of 2019.

Server+ Facts and Figures

Certification name  CompTIA Server+
Prerequisites & required courses  No prerequisites

Recommended experience includes CompTIA A+ certification plus a minimum of 18-24 months IT-related experience

Number of exams  One: SK0-004 (100 questions, 90 minutes, 750 out of 900 passing score)
Cost per exam $302. exam administered by Pearson VUE. exam vouchers available at CompTIA.
Self-study materials

CompTIA offers a number of self-study materials, including exam objectives, its CertMaster online study tool, demo questions, books and more. Formal training courses are also offered. Links to CompTIA training courses may be found on the certification web page. Additional resources may also be found at the CompTIA Marketplace.

CompTIA Server+ Study Guide: exam SK0-004, 1st edition, by Troy McMillan, published June 20, 2016, Sybex, ISBN-10: 1119137829, ISBN-13: 978-1119137825

Beyond the Top 5: More hardware certifications

There are many more hardware-oriented certifications available that you might want to consider. As you get into IT and start to develop a sense of your own interests and observe the hardware systems and solutions around, you’ll be able to dig deeper into this arena.

You can investigate all the major system vendors (including HP, Dell, IBM, and other PC and server makers) as well as networking and infrastructures companies (such as Juniper and Fortinet) to find hardware-related training and certification to occupy you throughout a long and successful career.

Although ExpertRating offers many credentials, we rejected them after viewing several complaints regarding the general quality of the courses. Obviously, such complaints are from disgruntled customers but were enough to make us proceed with caution.

This is also an area where constant change in tools and technology is the norm. That means a course of lifelong learning will be essential to help you stay current on what’s in your working world today and likely to show up on the job soon.

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Killexams : CompTIA Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

Headquartered near Chicago, CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association made up of more than 2,000 member organizations and 3,000 business partners. Although the organization focuses on educating and certifying IT professionals, CompTIA also figures prominently in philanthropy and public policy advocacy.

CompTIA certification program overview

CompTIA’s vendor-neutral certification program is one of the best recognized in the IT industry. Since CompTIA developed its A+ credential in 1993, it has issued more than two million certifications.

In early 2018, CompTIA introduced its CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway. While you’ll still see the same familiar certifications that form the bedrock of the CompTIA certification portfolio, this new career pathway program more closely aligns CompTIA certifications to the real-world skills that IT professionals need to ensure success when managing and supporting IT infrastructures.

CompTIA certifications are grouped by skill set. Currently, CompTIA certs fall info four areas: Core, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Additional Professional certifications.

  • Core Certifications: Designed to build core foundational skills, CompTIA offers four Core certifications: IT Fundamentals+ (a pre-career certification focused on IT foundation framework), CompTIA A+ (focused on user support and device connectivity), CompTIA Network+ (targeting core system connections with endpoint devices), and CompTIA Security+ (focused on entry level cybersecurity skills).
  • Infrastructure Certifications: Designed to complement the Network+ credential, you’ll find three Infrastructure certifications: CompTIA Server+ (focused on issues related to server support and administration), CompTIA Cloud+ (covering hybrid cloud, virtual system administration and deploying network storage resources), and CompTIA Linux+ (focused on Linux operating system administration and management).
  • Cybersecurity Certifications: CompTIA offers three cybersecurity credentials: CompTIA CySA+ (CySA stands for Cyber Security Analyst, and targets IT security behavioral analysts), CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner; focuses on professionals who design and implement security solutions), and the CompTIA PenTest+ (Penetration testing, targets professionals who conduct penetration and vulnerability testing).
  • Additional Professional Certifications: This category includes several credentials which don’t readily fit into any of the foregoing CompTIA career paths, including: CompTIA Project+, CompTIA CTT+ and CompTIA Cloud Essentials.

CompTIA Core Certifications

CompTIA IT Fundamentals+

CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ is ideal for beginners with a basic understanding of PC functionality and compatibility as well as familiarity with technology topics, such as hardware basics, software installation, security risks and prevention, and basic networking. It’s also ideal as a career planning or development tool for individuals beginning their IT careers or those seeking to make a career change. A single exam is required to earn the credential. CompTIA launched a new IT Fundamentals+ exam (Exam FC0-U61) in September 2018. This new exam focuses on computing basics, database use, software development and IT infrastructure. The English version of the prior exam (Exam FC0-U510) retires on July 15, 2019. Exams in other languages retire on December 1, 2019.

CompTIA A+

The CompTIA A+ certification has been described as an “entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians,” and for a good reason. This certification is designed for folks seeking a career as a help desk, support, service center or networking technician. It covers PC and laptop hardware, software installation, and configuration of computer and mobile operating systems. A+ also tests a candidate’s understanding of basic networking, troubleshooting and security skills, which serve as a springboard for CompTIA networking or security certifications or those offered by other organizations.

According to CompTIA, more than one million IT professionals hold the A+ certification. The A+ is required for Dell, Intel and HP service technicians and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense. CompTIA released new “Core” exams for the CompTIA A+ credential on January 15, 2019. These new exams provide additional focus on operational procedure competency and baseline security topics. Candidates must pass the Core 1 (exam 220-1001) and Core 2 (Exam 220-1002) exams. The Core 1 exam targets virtualization, cloud computing, mobile devices, hardware, networking technology and troubleshooting. The Core 2 exams focuses on installation and configuring operating systems, troubleshooting software, operational procedures and security.

CompTIA Network+

Many IT professionals start with the A+ certification. While the A+ credential is recommended, if you have the experience and don’t feel a need for the A+, you can move directly to the CompTIA Network+ certification. It’s geared toward professionals who have at least nine months of networking experience. A candidate must be familiar with networking technologies, media, topologies, security, installation and configuration, and troubleshooting of common wired and wireless network devices. The Network+ certification is recommended or required by Dell, HP and Intel, and is also an accepted entry-point certification for the Apple Consultants Network. The Network+ credential meets the ISO 17024 standard and just like the A+, it is recognized by the U.S. DoD. A single exam is required to earn the certification.

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ covers network security concepts, threats and vulnerabilities, access control, identity management, cryptography, and much more. Although CompTIA does not impose any prerequisites, the organization recommends that cert candidates obtain the Network+ credential and have at least two years of IT administration experience with a security focus. To obtain the Security+ certification candidates must pass on exam, SY0-501.

Infrastructure Certifications

CompTIA Linux+

The CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certification is aimed at Linux network administrators with at least 12 months of Linux administration experience. Such experience should include installation, package management, GNU and Unix commands, shells, scripting, security and more. The A+ and Network+ certifications are recommended as a preamble to this certification but are not mandatory. Candidates must pass two exams (LX0-103 and LX0-104) to earn this credential. The exams must be taken in order, and candidates must pass exam LX0-103 before attempting LX0-104. In 2018, CompTIA began testing a new beta exam (XK1-004). The beta exam offering ended October 22, 2018. New exams generally follow beta exam tests so interested candidates should check the Linux+ web page for updates.

CompTIA Cloud+

As the cloud computing market continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the CompTIA Cloud+ certification has been keeping pace. This certification targets IT professionals with two to three years of experience in storage, networking or data center administration. A single exam, CV0-002, is required. It tests candidates’ knowledge of cloud technologies, hybrid and multicloud solutions, cloud markets, and incorporating cloud-based technology solutions into system operations.

CompTIA Server+

CompTIA Server+ aims at server administrators with 18 to 24 months of experience with server hardware and software technologies, and the A+ certification is recommended. The Server+ credential is recommended or required by HP, Intel and Lenovo for their server technicians. It is also recognized by Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). A single exam, SK0-004, is required to achieve this credential.

CompTIA Cybersecurity Certifications

CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)

As cybercrime increases, the requirement for highly skilled information security analysts will continue to increase as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports anticipated growth of 28 percent for information security analysts between 2016 and 2026, the fastest rate of growth for all occupations. One of the newer additions to the CompTIA certification portfolio is the Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) certification. The CySA+ credential is specifically designed to meet the ever-growing need for experienced, qualified information security analysts.

CySA+ credential holders are well versed in the use of system threat-detection tools, as well as the use of data and behavioral analytics to secure applications and systems from risks, threats and other vulnerabilities. CySA+ certification holders are not only able to monitor network behavior, but analyze results and create solutions to better protect against advanced persistent threats (APTs), intrusions, malware and the like.

CompTIA describes CySA+ as a bridge cert between the Security+ credential (requiring two years’ experience) and the master-level Advanced Security Practitioner Certification (CASP), which requires 10 years of experience. To earn a CySA+, candidates must pass a performance-based exam.

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner+ (CASP+)

While CompTIA no longer uses the “master” designation, the highly sought-after CASP+ certification is most certainly a master-level credential. Targeting practitioners, CASP is the only performance-based, hands-on certification currently available from CompTIA. This certification is designed for seasoned IT security professionals who plan, design and implement security solutions in an enterprise environment.

Although this certification doesn’t impose any explicit prerequisites, it’s not a bad idea to earn the Network+ and Security+ certifications before tackling the CASP exam. You should also have 10 years of IT administration experience plus a minimum of five years of technical security experience (thus securing this certification’s place as a “master” credential).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Network Solutions and Verizon Connect, among other companies, require CASP+ certification for certain positions. The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy also accept CASP+ as an industry-based certification required by employees and contractors who perform IT work in DoD data centers. The CASP+ certification requires that candidates pass the CAS-003 exam, which consists of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions.

CompTIA PenTest+

The latest additional to the CompTIA certification family is the CompTIA PenTest+. An intermediate-level credential, PenTest+ is designed to complement the CySA+. While CySA+ is defensive in nature (focusing on threat detection and response), the PenTest+ credential is offensive, focusing on using penetration testing to identify and manage network vulnerabilities across multiple spectra.

There are no mandatory prerequisites, but the Network+ and Security+ (or equivalent skills) are highly recommended, along with a minimum of two years of information security experience. Candidates pursuing the cybersecurity career path may take the PenTest+ or CySA+ credential in any order.

The exam was released in July 2018, and is focused on communicating and reporting results, analyzing data, conducting penetration testing and scanning, and planning assessments. The exam also tests a candidate’s knowledge of legal and compliance requirements.

Additional Professional Certifications

CompTIA Project+

The CompTIA Project+ certification focuses exclusively on project management and is ideal for project managers who are familiar with project lifecycles from planning to completion, who can finish a project on time and under budget. Project managers interested in this certification should have at least one year of project management experience overseeing small- to medium-sized projects. The Project+ credential requires that candidates pass a multiple-choice exam, PK0-004.

CompTIA Cloud Essentials

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certification is geared toward individuals who understand the business aspects of cloud computing and how to move from in-house to cloud storage. In addition, they should be familiar with the impacts, risks and consequences of implementing a cloud-based solution. A single exam is required to earn the credential.


The CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) certification is perfect for anyone interested in technical training. It covers instructor skills, such as preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation, in vendor-neutral fashion. Adobe, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Microsoft and Ricoh all recommend CTT+ to their trainers and accept it in lieu of their own in-house trainer certifications.

Two exams are required for the CTT+ credential: CompTIA CTT+ Essentials (TK0-201) and either CTT+ Classroom Performance Trainer (TK0-202) or CTT+ Virtual Classroom Trainer (TK0-203).

The CTT+ Classroom Performance Trainer and CTT+ Virtual Classroom Trainer are performance-based exams. In this case, you must submit a video or recording of your classroom (or virtual classroom sessions), and complete a form that documents your training preparation, delivery and student evaluations.

In addition to certification levels, CompTIA groups its certifications into several career paths:

  • Information security
  • Network and cloud technologies
  • Hardware, services and infrastructure
  • IT management and strategy
  • Web and mobile
  • Software development
  • Training
  • Office productivity

The CompTIA Certifications page lets you pick a certification level and/or a career path and then returns a list of certifications to focus on. For example, one of the most popular career paths in IT is network administration. CompTIA’s Network and Cloud Technologies career path offers numerous certifications that can help you advance your network administration career, such as IT Fundamentals+, A+ and Network+ (Core certs), along with Cloud+ and Linux+ (Infrastructure certifications) and Cloud Essentials.

Those interested in network security (one of the fastest growing fields in IT) should consider the certifications in CompTIA’s Information Security career path. This includes all four of the Core credentials (IT Fundamentals, A+, Network+ and Security+) along with all cybersecurity certifications (CySA+, PenTest+ and CASP+).

CompTIA provides a comprehensive IT certification roadmap that encompasses certifications from CompTIA as well as a variety of other organizations, including Cisco, EC-Council, Microsoft, (ISC)2, ISACA, Mile2 and more.

Because CompTIA credentials do not focus on a single skill (such as networking or virtualization), CompTIA credential holders may find themselves in a variety of job roles depending on their experience, skill levels and areas of interest. Here are just a few of the possible careers that CompTIA credential holders may find themselves engaged in:

  • A+: Typically, A+ credential holders find work in support roles, such as support administrators, support technicians or support specialists.
  • Network+: Network+ professionals primarily work in network-related roles, such as network analysts, administrators or support specialists. Credential holders may also work as network engineers, field technicians or network help desk technicians.
  • CySA+ Security Analyst: Common roles for professionals interested in cybersecurity, information security and risk analysis may engage in roles that include security engineers, cybersecurity analysts or specialists, threat or vulnerability analysts, or analysts for security operations centers (SOCs).
  • Security+: Security spans a variety of jobs, such as network, system or security administrators, security managers, certified or administrators, and security consultants.
  • Server+: Roles for server professionals include storage and server administrators, as well as server support or IT/server technicians.
  • Linux+: Linux professionals often work in roles such as Linux database administrators, network administrators or web administrators.
  • Cloud+/Cloud Essentials: Cloud+ credential holders typically work as cloud specialists, developers or system and network administrators. Cloud Essentials professionals tend to work in areas related to cloud technical sales or business development.
  • CASP+: Common roles for CASP+ credential holders include cybersecurity specialists, InfoSec specialists, information security professionals and security architects.
  • Project+: Project+ credential holders typically engage in project leadership roles, such as project managers, coordinators and directors, or team leads.

While the examples above are by no means exhaustive, they provide an overview of some available careers. Your career choices are limited only by your interests, imagination and determination to achieve your personal goals.

CompTIA training and resources

CompTIA provides various and extensive training options, including classroom training, study materials and e-learning. A wide range of CompTIA Authorized Training Provider Partners (CAPPs), such as Global Knowledge, Learning Tree International and more, operate all over the world. Classroom and online/e-learning offerings range in cost from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on the particulars. Visit the CompTIA Training page for more details.

CompTIA works with third parties to offer self-study materials (the search tool is available here). Content that has been through a vetting process is branded with the CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) logo. Other materials that allow you to study at your own pace, such as audio segments, lesson activities and additional resources, are available through the CompTIA Marketplace.

Finally, every CompTIA A+, Linux+, Network+, Server+, Security+ and IT Fundamentals+ certification candidates must check out CertMaster, CompTIA’s online test prep tool. CertMaster helps you determine which courses you know well and those you need to brush up on, and suggests training to help you fill in the gaps.

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Grads of first US Apple Developer Academy feted in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — The inaugural class of the Detroit Apple Developer Academy, a free program that teaches students the fundamentals of coding, design, marketing and project management, celebrated its unique accomplishment during a ceremony Thursday.

The academy in Detroit for people interested in a career in the app economy is the first in North America and was launched as part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

“Can you believe it? That you're here at this moment where all your hard work has paid off,” Lisa Jackson, the tech giant's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, asked the graduates. “I do want to be among the first to say congratulations."

The 90 grads range in age from 18 to 64 and include a high school student, a pastor and a mother and son.

People are also reading…

The academy is supported by Michigan State University and the Gilbert Family Foundation and Rocket Companies. Michigan State supplies the program's instructors and mentors, while the Gilbert Family Foundation and Rocket Companies provide money and space.

“As a Black man in America, it is hard to find opportunities like this that gives you the skills to get started in tech," said graduate Mario Crippen, a 28-year-old from Detroit. He added that he was thankful for the "chance to change the narrative around Black tech and making my son proud of his dad.”

Crippen and his classmates received 10 months of training, with all equipment needed for iOS development provided. Graduates developed new apps now available on — or soon coming to — the iPhone app store that address a range of consumer needs, including travel, health and wellness and more.

Apple opened its first Developer Academy in Brazil nearly a decade ago and has more than a dozen other academies around the world, including in Brazil, Indonesia and Italy. It announced the Apple Developer Academy in Detroit in January 2021.

The Detroit graduation comes after a federal judge last year ordered Apple to dismantle a lucrative part of the competitive barricade guarding its app store. The judge didn’t brand Apple as a monopolist or require it to allow competing stores to offer apps for iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Those were two of the biggest objectives sought by Epic Games, the maker of the popular Fortnite video game that filed what it would hoped would be a landmark antitrust case after defying an exclusive payment system that funnels 15% to 30% of all in-app digital transactions on iPhones to Apple.

Both sides are appealing the decision.

Academy grads have earned jobs at companies such as General Motors, Ford and Rocket Mortgage. One was accepted into Michigan State's engineering college, an accomplishment that earned a shoutout from school President Samuel Stanley during Thursday's ceremony.

“I'm going to be the first to welcome you to MSU,” Stanley said, pointing to Paul Campbell, who completed his high school requirements in the morning while attending academy classes in the afternoon.

The Detroit Apple Developer Academy is accepting applications from people 18 and older for the upcoming class on a rolling basis.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Thu, 30 Jun 2022 08:08:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Shortcuts for Mac: The Future Is Now

To say we’ve followed Shortcuts closely at MacStories is probably an understatement. Federico was relying on it to run MacStories months before it was publicly released as Workflow, and today, the app is deeply embedded in every aspect of our production of the website, podcasts, and Club MacStories content, as well as the way we operate the business.

As someone who works across a Mac and iPad all day, the lack of Shortcuts on the Mac was frustrating, but something I was willing to deal with because the app was such a good fit for the way I worked, even when I had to run it in parallel to my Mac instead of on it. Going into WWDC, though, my feelings about automation on the Mac aligned closely to what Jason Snell wrote on Six Colors earlier this year. As we discussed on AppStories, the time had come for Shortcuts to be available on all of Apple’s platforms, which was why I was so pleased to see it become a reality during this week’s WWDC keynote.

With the addition of Shortcuts to the Mac, Apple has ushered in a new era of automation on the Mac. It’s an important moment for macOS as well as Shortcuts. Automation has a long history on the Mac, but over time, system-level automation stagnated. Updates to things like AppleScript and Automator were sporadic, and their complexity meant their use has been largely relegated to power users.

The situation wasn’t all bad. Excellent third-party options filled the void to offer a wide variety of functionality. Today, you can automate tasks with a long list of apps like Alfred, Hazel, BetterTouchTool, and Keyboard Maestro to name just a few that I use regularly. However, the fragmentation of automation solutions has also resulted in a higher learning curve than many users are willing to scale.

Announcing Shortcuts for Mac into that complex context required Apple to deliver a clear, consistent message about what the Shortcuts on the Mac will mean to everyone from experienced users who rely on existing technologies to newcomers, which I think they accomplished. On the one hand, Apple left no doubt that the company views Shortcuts as the future of automation on all of its platforms, the Mac included. Apple’s words were backed up by its actions, such as the fact that the most popular Automator actions have been replicated as Shortcuts actions. On the other hand, though, Apple has made it equally clear that this will be a multi-year transition and that it isn’t abandoning powerful automation tools like AppleScript, shell scripts, and JavaScript, which will provide flexibility and power beyond the actions that will be shipped this fall when macOS Monterey is released.

There are many interesting details in Shortcuts for Mac, but I’m struck by a couple of big-picture aspects of what Apple seems to be trying to accomplish with the app. The first is the promise of a much-needed structure for automation across all of the company’s platforms. If you watch the WWDC session video on how to make great Shortcuts actions, it’s immediately apparent that the team behind the app has a clear vision of what makes a great action for building shortcuts.

One of the reasons for Shortcuts’ success on iOS and iPadOS is that reality lines up with the team’s vision. There’s a built-in structure to actions, and the way shortcuts are built is elegant in its simplicity. That helps the app stay out of the way, allowing users to create everything from simple one-action shortcuts to complex ones with hundreds of actions. In both cases, the app itself stays out of the way, for the most part, allowing users to focus on the problem they are trying to solve instead.

That’s not to suggest that there isn’t room for improvement. Of course, there is. Federico and I dedicated an entire episode of AppStories to our Shortcuts wishes. However, the app wouldn’t have made it from an indie app by a few young developers to the engine at the heart of automation across all of Apple’s platforms without getting the fundamentals more than a little right.

The second thing that struck me about Monday’s announcement is how well Shortcuts has been set up to succeed on the Mac. Although I’ve wanted Shortcuts on the Mac for what feels like forever, I think the wait will be worth it in the end. Had Shortcuts been brought to the Mac too early, it would have been starting from a full stop. By waiting until Mac Catalyst apps matured and iPhone and iPad apps could be run on M1 Macs, Shortcuts will enjoy a long list of third-party apps that support it day one. I migrated my M1 MacBook Air to an M1 iMac that I’m testing, and when I installed macOS Monterey, I already had more than a dozen third-party apps to test with Shortcuts. Add to that the fact that AppKit apps can add Shortcuts support, and it’s clear that Apple is sending the message that Shortcuts is the future of automation for all apps, not just a subset built a certain way.

I contacted a few of the developers whose apps should be well-known to MacStories readers to get their perspective on Shortcuts for Mac, asking what impact they think the app will have on automation. Their insights reflect the excitement and opportunity for a new age of automation on the Mac that Shortcuts represents.

Steve Troughton-Smith, the developer of the Internet radio app Broadcasts, the color-picker app Pastel, and other apps, had this to say:

Apple was very deliberate in how it framed Shortcuts on the Mac as the future of Mac automation and the clear replacement for Automator. That’s a huge responsibility for a very young team at Apple, and they’re going to have users on day one that have been using AppleScript and Automator for decades, in arcane, bespoke workflows. There are ancient subsystems throughout macOS that now need to be brought into the modern era and integrated with the Shortcuts world view. Seeing how the Shortcuts folks rise to meet this is going to be fascinating; this is the day Shortcuts became an adult.

Simon Støvring, the maker of Scriptable, Jayson, and Data Jar, had a similar sense that Shortcuts is entering a new chapter of its history:

With the introduction of Shortcuts for Mac, it feels like we’ve entered a new era in automation. In their WWDC sessions, the Shortcuts team talks about a transition from Automator to Shortcuts. Automator has served us well on the Mac for several years, but now there’s a tool that works across macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. This makes automation accessible to new people, and I find that very exciting.

As the creator of apps that take advantage of Shortcuts, Støvring was also glad to see the expansion of the audience and opportunities for developers:

It’s interesting that as Apple is broadening the audience for Shortcuts, they’re also making it easier to share shortcuts by bringing back file sharing.

As a developer of a few Shortcuts utilities, it’s great that I can now release apps built on more or less the same codebase for macOS and reach a larger audience. I’m excited to see what people will do with all the Shortcuts utilities on their Mac!

Greg Pierce, the developer of the automation-focused text editor Drafts, was impressed by the thought and care that has gone into making automation more accessible to a broader audience while continuing to support existing automation solutions:

Shortcuts on the Mac should have an immediate impact. Users with a history of automating workflows on the Mac may not immediately drop everything and flock to Shortcuts, but having a consistent automation story across macOS and iOS is a big win for users.

Shortcuts will make automation more accessible and friendly for users who find the legacy tools (like AppleScript) intimidating or have adopted the Mac platform more recently.

I’m very impressed at how much thought Apple seems to have put into making Shortcuts on the Mac that pushes automation on the platform forward while still embracing the legacy, with support for Automator import, AppleScript and shell scripts, and the like.

Finally, Joe Hribar, the creator of Timery for Toggl, looks forward to Shortcuts for Mac making his app easier to use and understand by users on every platform:

Shortcuts for Mac is going to enable more people to do more things with automation—and make it easier all around: easier to build, easier to understand, and easier to use because it’s available on all their devices. Build it once and use it everywhere.

Specifically for Timery, I’m looking forward to having the same actions as on iOS to quickly perform tasks like starting time entries along with other automations. Time tracking should be quick and easy, and Shortcuts helps make that possible.

When I think back to the first time I saw a YouTube demo of Workflow, which would become Shortcuts after it was acquired by Apple, the app seemed like impossible magic. It didn’t seem possible that an iPad app could do what Workflow did in 2014, but it did.

It’s remarkable that watching that video more than seven years later, it’s still recognizable in the Shortcuts of 2021. The app has matured a lot over the years, but at its core is the same powerful idea the Workflow team struck on in 2014. It’s an idea that adapted concepts pioneered by Automator on the Mac to work on the iPhone and iPad, is now poised to pick up on the Mac where Automator left off.

Just over four years ago, Workflow was acquired by Apple and renamed Shortcuts. At the time, there was a lot of uncertainty about what would become of the app that was beloved by legions of iOS geeks, including the MacStories team. In ‘The Future of Workflow,’ Federico laid out best and worst-case scenarios, writing this about the Mac in his best-case scenario:

Under Apple’s guidance, Workflow could grow into a safer, more integrated, extensible automation service and developer platform unlike anything that has ever been attempted on the Mac before.

An optimist at heart, Federico concluded his story with this:

Workflow gives power back to the users. Now only Apple can turn Workflow’s promise into a reality, ushering us into a new era of automation for everyone, on every device, in every app.

I want to believe.

I wanted to believe too. We held our breath, hoped for the best, and watched as the app matured inside Apple, a very different environment than the one where it began. With the announcement that Shortcuts is coming to the Mac, I feel like we can finally let that breath out and relax a little. The questions posed by Federico in The Future of Workflow feel like they’ve been answered. The new era of automation on Apple platforms is now.

You can follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2021 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2021 RSS feed.

Fri, 01 Apr 2022 03:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Apple needs to take fertility tracking more seriously

Fertility apps have always been sketchy. As I’ve experienced it, it’s a Faustian bargain of sorts: Take your chances on one of many options in your app store, and pick the one with the best reviews, or maybe the simplest interface. You’ll sign up feeling unsure of what to make of the opaque data policy, and then you’ll bear with the ensuing deluge of targeted ads – all in exchange for an accurate prediction of when you’re most likely to conceive. Judging by those ads for maternity clothes and organic cotton onesies, someone somewhere knows I’m either trying to conceive or have already given birth, even if they can’t decide which. I don’t like it, but I put up with it.

I’ve been mulling the subject of period and fertility trackers ever since I decided I was ready to become a parent, though for privacy’s sake, I didn’t imagine writing about it until after I’d given birth to said imaginary baby. But in the two months since Politico published a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, the case that has overturned the constitutional right to an abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, a lot of people have been talking about period trackers. Some activists and privacy advocates have asked if the data captured by these apps can be used to help prosecute someone seeking an abortion in a state that doesn’t allow it. Some have simply exhorted readers to delete these apps altogether.

I understand why. And I also understand why people use these apps in the first place: Because the version of that app that’s built into your smartphone OS isn’t very good.

In my case, I have an iPhone. I’ve been using period tracking for a couple years now, though Apple began introducing these features much earlier, in 2015. From the beginning, Apple was criticized for moving slowly: Some observers wondered why Apple didn’t have women’s health features ready when it launched the Apple Health app the year before.

In its current form, the app is decent in the sense that it can accurately predict when you’re about to menstruate, and it’s easy to log when you do, either through your iOS device or Apple Watch. This is useful not just for avoiding potential surprises, but for knowing when your last period started in case your gynecologist asks. (And they always ask.) What's more, irregular periods can sometimes underscore larger health issues.

The fact that Apple hasn't paid more attention to this, when hundreds of millions have downloaded third-party alternatives, is honestly surprising: Apple could own this space if it wanted to.

In order for it to do that, though, Cycle Tracking has to be equally good at helping people get pregnant or avoid pregnancy. Because ultimately, those users all need the same set of data, the same predictions, regardless of their intention. If you know you’re ovulating and want a baby, you should definitely have sex. If you’d like nothing less than to get pregnant, that ovulation window is also a useful thing to be aware of.

Here’s what Apple would need to add to its app to match its competitors and build a true all-in-one period and fertility tracker. (Apple declined to comment for this story.)

Ovulation prediction

Apple Health shows participating users a

First off, it must be said that Apple doesn’t attempt to predict when you’re ovulating. What you’ll see is a six-day fertility window, shaded in blue. But not all fertile days are the same. One has a roughly 30 percent chance of conceiving on ovulation day or the day before; five days before, your chances are closer to 10 percent. Unless you plan to have sex for six days or avoid it that whole time, a six-day fertility window with no additional context is not very helpful.

Other fertility apps learn from previous cycles to predict how long your typical cycle is and when you’ll likely be ovulating. I’ve seen more than one app present conception odds on a bell graph, with some even displaying your estimated percentage of success for a given day. Apple can decide for itself how complex of an interface it wants, but it most definitely has the machine learning know-how to predict ovulation based on previous cycles.

A proper calendar view

Apple’s is the only period tracking app I’ve seen that doesn’t offer a gridded calendar view. Which is incredible when you remember everything related to fertility (and later pregnancy) is measured in weeks. Instead, Apple Health shows the days in a single, horizontally scrollable line. On my iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch screen, that’s enough space to see seven days in full view. Also, if you input any data, whether it's sexual activity or physical symptoms, that day will be marked with a purple dot. That isn't helpful at a glance when that dot could mean anything. Another tip for Apple: color-coding might help.

If I were just logging my period, I’d appreciate not having the red-colored possible period days sneak up on me. (Okay, okay, you can set notifications too.) But for those trying to conceive, a calendar view would help for other reasons, like matching factors like sexual activity and body temperature against your predicted fertile days. Which brings me to my next point…

An easier way to log and understand basal body temperature

Apple Health users have the option of logging their basal body temperature.

One way that many people measure their fertility is by taking their temperature every day, at about the same time. The idea is that your temperature shoots up right before ovulation, and drops back down after, unless you’ve conceived. It doesn’t matter so much what each day’s studying is; what matters is the pattern that all of those inputs point to. And the only way to see a pattern is to view your temperature readings on a graph.

This is how temperature tracking was meant to be done in the old days, before smartphones: with graph paper. It’s awfully difficult to spot the surge when you’re scrolling, one day at a time, through Apple Health’s left-to-right calendar. It is very easy to spot the surge when it’s presented as an infographic. And I know Apple could do a good job of this. This is already how Apple presents changes in my daily exercise minutes or fluctuations in my heart rate throughout the day.

Oh, and while I’m ranting on this topic, Apple doesn’t just let you type in whatever number you see on your thermometer. You have to select it from a scrolling dial, similar to how you would set an alarm in the Clock app. (When you go to enter your temperature, you start at the last temperature you entered.) Basal thermometers show your studying down to the hundredth of a degree, so even mild fluctuations in temperature from one day to the next can lead to an annoying amount of scrolling.

The ability to recognize ovulation strips

Apple Health users have the option of logging ovulation test results.

Not everyone uses temperature readings to predict ovulation. Many people use the newer invention of ovulation tests: at-home pee strips that measure Luteinizing Hormone (LH), which surges ahead of ovulation. The result always includes two lines, and how close you are to ovulating depends on how dark each of the lines are. Because that color exists on a spectrum, from light purple to very dark, it can be difficult to suss out the nuances with the naked eye, especially toward the deeper end of the color grade. Fortunately, many apps allow you to take or upload a photo of the results, and the app will use camera recognition to classify your test results into one of three categories: low, high or peak. Again, I have no doubt that Apple has the technology to do this.

Resources for pregnant people

One of the reasons people get and continue to use fertility apps after they get pregnant is that they can learn, week by week, whether their baby is the size of a raspberry, prune or avocado. These apps can also be a resource for first-timers who are feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what symptoms and bodily changes they can expect at each stage. The information in these apps vary in depth, and likely accuracy. There’s no governing body so far as I can tell that regulates what information apps include as resources. Not even the App Store. I’m not suggesting Apple write its own content. But it can use the same system of curation that it uses for the App Store, Apple News, etc. to provide users information from trusted outside sources, whether that be medical sites like WebMD or reputable medical centers like the Mayo Clinic.

Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:07:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Citi Offers 5 Reasons Why Investors Should Still Buy Apple Stock

This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.

Tue, 12 Jul 2022 22:45:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : The Information: Apple's autonomous driving project is a costly wreck

"Earlier this year, a test vehicle nearly hit a jogger who was crossing the street and had the right of way."

From Wayne Ma's "Inside Apple’s Eight-Year Struggle to Build a Self-Driving Car" ($) posted Monday to Information subscribers:

Last August, Apple sent several of its prototype self-driving cars on a roughly 40-mile trek through Montana. Aerial drones filmed the drive, from Bozeman to the ski resort town of Big Sky, so that Apple managers could produce a polished film, with picturesque mountains in the background, to show CEO Tim Cook how their costly and long-running autonomous car project, Titan, was making progress.

Inside Apple, executives hailed the demonstration as a success. The vehicles showed they could drive without relying on highly detailed, three-dimensional road maps, which most rival self-driving-car programs require...

The good vibes following the Bozeman demo didn’t last long. Apple’s test vehicles, which are modified Lexus SUVs, struggled to navigate streets near its Silicon Valley headquarters without the maps, smacking into curbs and sometimes having trouble staying in their lanes while crossing intersections, according to two people who worked on the program. And earlier this year, a test vehicle nearly hit a jogger who was crossing the street and had the right of way, one of these people said...

Getting rid of high-definition maps has caused numerous problems for the test vehicles, forcing Apple’s human backup drivers to take over many times due to safety concerns, according to data Apple is legally required to file with California regulators and a person with knowledge of the situation. And in the first quarter of the year, one of Apple’s test vehicles, driving around 15 miles per hour, almost hit a jogger who was crossing the street at an unmarked crosswalk. Apple’s self-driving software first identified the jogger as a stationary object before recategorizing it as a stationary person and then finally as a moving pedestrian, all of which took place in less than a second.

But rather than stop, the car only slightly adjusted its path. The backup human driver slammed the brakes at the last moment, and the car stopped within a few feet of the pedestrian, according to a person familiar with the incident. Apple later determined that the car would have almost certainly hit the jogger if the backup driver hadn’t acted, this person said.

Apple temporarily grounded its fleet to investigate what it internally called the “jogger incident,” this person said. It resumed driving within a few days after fixing the identification problem and adding the specific crosswalk to its maps database.

My take: Adding specific crosswalks one at a time is not -- repeat not -- the solution.

Mon, 11 Jul 2022 01:56:00 -0500 Philip Elmer-DeWitt en-US text/html
Killexams : Engadget Podcast: MacBook Air M2 review, Apple betas and NASA’s space pics

This week on the show, Cherlynn and Devindra dive into Apple’s new MacBook Air M2 and its recent batch of OS betas. It turns out a redesign and a whole new chip makes the MacBook Air even more compelling than before (at least more than the 13-inch MacBook Pro). Also, we chat with Lisa Grossman, Astronomy Writer at Science News, about the astounding new photos and data from the James Webb Space Telescope. It’s a clear upgrade from Hubble, and NASA is just getting started!

Listen below, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or courses you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!

Engadget · MacBook Air M2 review, Apple betas and James Webb's space pics



  • Apple’s M2 MacBook Air is very good – 1:21

  • There’s lots of fun stuff to explore in the iOS 16 beta – 7:39

  • Stage Manager in MacOS Ventura is a step forward for window organization – 18:11

  • What’s new in the watchOS 9 beta – 24:11

  • New pictures confirm the James Webb Space Telescope will revolutionize astronomy – 30:44

  • Elon Musk is trying to back out of his Twitter deal after three whole months – 53:14

  • Our Nothing Phone 1 hands-on – 54:49

  • Listener Mail: A phishing test for employees at Lowe’s – 1:02:45

  • Working on – 1:05:58

  • Pop culture picks – 1:06:50

Video Stream

Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar
Guest: Lisa Grossman
Producer: Ben Ellman
Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 02:04:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Apple is a profit machine that revolutionised tech but investors are nursing heavy losses, so what's taken a bite out of its shares?

The interior of the vast shop resembles the foyer of a hip, five-star hotel. The desirable nature of the goods on offer is underlined by the security personnel positioned at the entrance.

It is 10.15am and the Apple store on Regent Street, London, is open for business. Eager customers are milling around the displays of AirPods, iPads, iPhones and the rest. 

This air of untouchable success is at variance with the Apple share price. In January, the US tech titan was worth $3 trillion, the first US company to achieve this status. But its market capitalisation is now $2.3trillion. 

© Provided by This Is Money

The shares are down 20 per cent, as analysts downgraded estimates for third-quarter sales and profits in response to soaring costs and weakening demand. 

Apple, which 15 years ago revolutionised mobile telephony with the first iPhone, today supplies us with a range of sleek devices. It also offers the Apple+ streaming service in whose dramas, such as The Morning Show, its merchandise features prominently. 

How did it lose its edge? 

A question you will be asking if you hold the shares directly or have money in funds with stakes in Apple, such as AXA Framlington Global Technology, Polar Technology or T Rowe Price US Large Cap Growth. 

Problems at Apple's Chinese manufacturing operations are just one cause. The citizens of China are also less hurry on the iPhone. And markets reckon that higher interest rates lessen the allure of tech companies' future revenues. 

In the early years of this decade, the promise of these revenues propelled growth stocks like Apple and the other Faangs, the name given to Facebook (now Meta), Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (now Alphabet). These stocks, which thrived during lockdowns, have been displaced in investors' affections by 'value' stocks, which are cheap, but believed to be full of recovery potential. 

Video: Apple's key to success remains innovation, says Marketrebellion's Pete Najarian (CNBC)

Apple's key to success remains innovation, says Marketrebellion's Pete Najarian



The threat of legislation has also hit Apple shares. Laws could take a slice off the income that Apple makes when third-party apps are downloaded from its app store, an activity that made up 26 per cent of first-quarter sales. 

However, some argue that Apple is anything but a has-been stock. 

Apple is profitable. It also possesses a $73billion (£61billion) cash pile, making it a 'quality growth stock', which could prove more resilient in a recession. US bank JPMorgan has declared the angst overdone, and set a $200 target for shares, which are currently $141. 

Shifts: Stocks, which thrived during lockdowns, like Meta's, have been displaced in investors' affections by 'value' stocks © Provided by This Is Money Shifts: Stocks, which thrived during lockdowns, like Meta's, have been displaced in investors' affections by 'value' stocks

Some even contend that Apple should be considered less a tech company and more a luxury goods business, given the expensiveness of its devices. 

Apple, meanwhile, is wooing consumers with a deluge of launches. These include four iPhone 14 models, a virtual reality headset and Macs fitted with super-fast chips. This flurry of innovation – as much Apple's trademark as its bitten apple logo – will incline some long-term fans to retain the shares, still four times higher than five years ago. 

James Yardley of Chelsea Financial Services says: 'I own Apple shares, and plan to do so for many more years to come. 

'How many people provide up an iPhone to buy Android?' 

Warren Buffett is the most famous enthusiast. Apple shares make up 40 per cent of his Berkshire Hathaway fund, although he is yet to upgrade from the iPhone 11. 

I am one of the very few who did provide up iPhone (overpriced, in my opinion) for Android. But I am more open to shares in Apple and other members of the Faangs like Alphabet – whose empire encompasses Android – and Microsoft. Gerrit Smit, manager of the Stonehage Fleming Global Best Ideas Equity Fund, says: 'The digital revolution is expected to continue growing – at a compounding rate of a fifth. Both Alphabet and Microsoft share directly in this growth through their cloud and software businesses.' 

The UK Competition and Markets Authority may be investigating Microsoft's $69billion (£57.4billion) purchase of Activision, the games firm, a move that exemplifies the regulatory and other obstacles facing Apple and its peers. 

But the current climate seems to be more likely to increase rather than diminish the use of technology. This shift will be managed by people drawing up designs on iPads – and talking, texting and messaging on the latest iPhone.

Fri, 08 Jul 2022 08:51:23 -0500 en-GB text/html
Killexams : This Week in Apps: Apple's Sherlocks, Instagram's 'nudges' and a TikTok-Oracle deal

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy.

The app industry continues to grow, with a record number of downloads and consumer spending across both the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021, according to the latest year-end reports. Global spending across iOS, Google Play and third-party Android app stores in China grew 19% in 2021 to reach $170 billion. Downloads of apps also grew by 5%, reaching 230 billion in 2021, and mobile ad spend grew 23% year over year to reach $295 billion.

Today’s consumers now spend more time in apps than ever before — even topping the time they spend watching TV, in some cases. The average American watches 3.1 hours of TV per day, for example, but in 2021, they spent 4.1 hours on their mobile device. And they’re not even the world’s heaviest mobile users. In markets like Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea, users surpassed five hours per day in mobile apps in 2021.

Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours, either. They can grow to become huge businesses. In 2021, 233 apps and games generated more than $100 million in consumer spend, and 13 topped $1 billion in revenue. This was up 20% from 2020, when 193 apps and games topped $100 million in annual consumer spend, and just eight apps topped $1 billion.

This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place, with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and suggestions about new apps to try, too.

Do you want This Week in Apps in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here:

Instagram to "nudge" teens away from some negative content

Instagram's new nudge feature

Image Credits: Meta

Social apps are taking a closer look at how they're being used by teens and minors as regulatory pressure increases.

Last week, TikTok improved its protections for minor users when adding a new feature that allows users to remind themselves to "take a break" after watching videos for a certain amount of time on the app. As a part of this, the company also said it would notify younger teens on the app that the new tool was available if they had spent more than 100 minutes on TikTok the prior day.

This week, Instagram said it's rolling out its own set of improvements to the teen experience. It's expanding access to its existing parental control features outside the U.S. to users in the U.K., Japan, Australia, Ireland, Canada, France and Germany starting this month, and plans to make them globally available by year end.

In addition, Instagram will now allow parents and guardians to send invitations to teens to initiate the setup of supervision tools. Once enabled, they'll be able to limit their teen's usage of the app during specific times of day and days of the week. They'll also be able to see more information when the teen reports an account or a post, including who they reported and the type of report. For parents who were already using parental controls in the U.S., the feature will be updated to include these new features.

Notably, Meta is also now taking a cue from last fall's congressional line of inquiry into how Instagram's algorithms could be leading teens to develop eating disorders as searches for healthy recipes push them down rabbit holes to content that encourages disordered eating, over-exercise and other things that could trigger negative body image issues. Instagram says it will roll out "nudges" in the app that encourage teens to switch to a different syllabu if it sees them repeatedly looking at the same type of content on the Explore page. This feature aims to help direct them away to content they may be obsessing over to discover something new. It also won't nudge users toward content that's associated with "appearance comparison," the company said.

Of course, by limiting nudges to the Explore page, Instagram isn't fully addressing the problem as users could still encounter this content while browsing their Feed, Stories or Reels. But in that case, the content is there because the user explicitly chose to follow someone -- which is why parental monitoring of the time spent on the app remains important.

Sherlocks from Apple's WWDC

Image Credits: Apple

Apple introduced a number of new features and services across its platforms at this month's Worldwide Developers Conference, but in doing so, the company appears to have once again pulled inspiration from the wider developer community. TechCrunch's Ivan Mehta took a look at which apps got "sherlocked" during WWDC as a result. (The term refers to Apple's old finder app called Sherlock which the company updated with features offered by a competitor, Watson. The move eventually put the latter out of business.)

This time around, Apple introduced a number of concepts popularized by other apps -- like Continuity Camera, which seems to be inspired by companies like Camo, which had allowed users to use their iPhone as a computer webcam. This situation recalls how the makers of Duet Display and Luna had to refocus on serving a broader ecosystem after Apple introduced Sidecar in 2019 to offer a similar ability to use the iPad as a secondary display. Camo, too, will need to shift some of its focus to Windows and Android as Apple moves in on its market.

Other services that may see increased competition include: BNPL apps like Klarna and Afterpay, which will now go up against Apple Pay Later; apps for removing the background from photos, which is now a native iOS 16 feature; medication tracking apps, which will compete with a native Apple Health feature; Figjam and other collaboration tools, which will have a new first-party rival in the form of Apple's Freeform; and sleep tracking apps, whose functionality has been added to Apple Health.

Image Credits: Apple (opens in a new window)

While this year was a particularly bad one for smaller startups that had seen an opportunity in the market, not everything Apple copies is a fully developed product. For instance, Camo saw the shift to online meetings in the wake of COVID was driving consumer demand for better webcams -- and what better way to serve that market than to repurpose the excellent camera most people already carried as a smartphone? But, as Florian Mueller explained on the FOSS Patents blog this week, Camo was more of a feature than a product. And perhaps in those cases, developers should focus on patenting whatever feature it is they've come up with, rather than waiting for Apple to swoop in with an app or API that could significantly impact their business. At least then, some of their work could be compensated.

FOSS also noted, however, that there continues to be concern that apps delivering their software to users through Apple's own App Store are inadvertently giving Apple access to valuable data about their customers and traction. Alternative app stores could help somewhat to alleviate this concern.

In fact, Apple's "sherlocking" was a line of inquiry at last year's antitrust hearing in the U.S. Senate, when a rep from Apple was asked whether there was a “strict firewall” or other internal policies in place that prevented them from leveraging the data from third-party businesses operating on their app stores to inform the development of their own competitive products. Apple had only offered vague responses as to whether or not it leveraged such App Store data for product development ideas.

"We don’t copy. We don’t kill. What we do is offer up a new choice and a new innovation," Kyle Andeer, Apple’s chief compliance officer, had said at the time. He noted simply that Apple had "separate teams" and "controls in place" to avoid such issues.

TikTok relocates U.S. user data to Oracle

In a huge move, TikTok said it would move its U.S. users' data to Oracle servers located in the U.S. at the same time BuzzFeed published a remarkable report indicating that TikTok's U.S. data was regularly being shared with ByteDance colleagues in China. Concern over China's access to TikTok had previously led the Trump administration to ban the app in the U.S. The ban was initially held up by the courts and the appeals were then put on pause when Biden came into office. All the while, TikTok had repeatedly said it would never hand over U.S. user data to anyone.

When the Trump ban was underway, TikTok had engaged in discussions with several tech companies to acquire its U.S. business if it was forced to spin it off. Oracle had been among the suitors, so it's not surprising it was named in the new deal.

In recent days, TikTok had come under fire in media reports about its toxic workplace culture where employees were quitting because of being overworked -- spending some 12 hours a day at their job due to requirements to align themselves with China's business hours. The company was said to also reward the overworked and punish those who set more reasonable boundaries, as it seemed to enforce China's 996 work schedule on non-Chinese employees. This dictates a schedule of working from 9 am to 9 pm, 6 days per week. A WSJ report also noted some U.S. employees said they had worked 85 hours per week on average, resulting in health concerns, stress, anxiety and emotional lows so severe they sought therapy.

render of smartphone showing locket app

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

The next big social platform is the smartphone’s homescreen

This week, we took a deep dive into a new app trend involving social apps that are leveraging homescreen widgets to connect and engage with younger users who are looking for simpler, more private social networking apps that let them stay in touch with friends through casual photo-sharing. Read more here:

Platforms: Apple

Image Credits: Apple

Platforms: Google


eBay live shopping

Image Credits: eBay


Samsung Wallet

Image Credits: Samsung


Image Credits: Instagram



Streaming & Entertainment


Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Health & Fitness

Image Credits: Sleep Reset

Travel & Transportation


Image Credits: Readdle

Government & Policy

💰 Indian esports fantasy app FanClash raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Alpha Wave Global, formerly known as Falcon Edge Capital. Users compete across several titles, including Counter Strike: Go, FreeFire and League of Legends. The company is now experimenting with expanding in the Philippines.

💰 Mobile gaming platform VersusGame raised $25 million in a new funding round with a number of investors, including Apex Capital, Brightstone Capital Partners, Feld Ventures and others. The startup has content creators pose “prediction contests” to viewers, who can win cash and prizes. It has previously worked with BuzzFeed, Billboard, ESPN, UFC and others.

🤝 Reddit is acquiring machine learning startup Spell for an undisclosed sum. The startup was founded by former Facebook engineers to provide a cloud computing solution that allows anyone to run resource-intensive ML experiments without the high-end hardware that would normally be necessary. Reddit could use the ML to Excellerate its personalized recommendations and its Discover tab.

🤝 Spotify closed its acquisition of audiobook company Findaway, announced last November. The company cited the potential for its expansion into audiobooks, noting the market is expected to grow from $3.3 billion to $15 billion by 2027.

💰 Food delivery app Wonder, led by Marc Lore, raised $350 million in a new round led by Bain Capital Ventures at a $3.5 billion valuation, bringing its total raise in equity and debt to $900 million. Lore previously sold Quidsi ( to Amazon, then to Walmart, where he stayed to lead its U.S. e-commerce business for years. Wonder is now looking to bring local restaurants and food truck deliveries to consumers' homes.

💰 Edtech company Pok Pok, which spun out of Snowman (Alto's Adventure, Alto's Odyssey) raised $3 million in seed funding led by Konvoy to expand its play-based learning experiences for kids. The company's Pok Pok Playroom app is designed to help kids learn through digital play using open-ended toys which, unlike mobile games, don't have a goal to achieve, points or other gaming elements.

💰 Indonesian consumer payments app Flip raised $55 million in Series B funding in a round led by Tencent, with participation from Block (formerly Square) and existing investor Insight Partners. The company has helped more than 10 million people in Indonesia as of May this year, up from more than 7 million users in December 2021. Its app lets users perform interbank transfers to more than 100 domestic banks, use an e-wallet, and create international remittances.

💰 Onymos, a “feature-as-a-service” platform for app development, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Great Point Ventures. The startup offers off-the-shelf features that can be added to apps like login, biometrics, chat, data storage, location services, notification modules, underlying logic and server-side functions needed to process data in the cloud.

Image Credits: Grace

A new startup called Grace launched an app to make it easier for parents to monitor and manage their kids’ screen time and app usage on iOS devices. Although Apple offers built-in parental controls, many parents would prefer an app-based solution as opposed to having to dig around in the settings for Apple’s tools. In addition, Grace offers more customization over kids’ screen time schedules. With Apple’s controls, parents can only configure start and stop times for “Downtime,” for instance, as opposed to being able to set other times when app usage should be limited, like school hours, family dinner time, homework time and more.

Grace is also notable for being one of the first to arrive that’s built with Apple’s Screen Time API, introduced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference last year. The new API allows developers to create an interface that works with Apple’s built-in tools in order to expand their functionality.

You can read more about Grace here:

Sat, 18 Jun 2022 07:25:00 -0500 en-US text/html
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