Google parent Alphabet is now the most Valuable Company!

New Google Logo Sept 2015

Shares of Alphabet opened nearly 3 percent higher Tuesday, pushing the technology giant’s market capitalization past Apple to become the world’s most valuable public company.

Alphabet has a market cap of $547.1 billion, higher than Apple’s $529.3 billion as of 9:45 a.m. ET.

Apple’s massive market cap is still trailed by Microsoft ($425.7 billion),Facebook ($326.2 billion) and Exxon Mobil ($310.1 billion) to round out the list of the world’s five biggest companies.

Alphabet was already set to take the title Monday night, before sealing the deal Tuesday morning. At Monday’s after-hours levels (which technically reflect an indication, but not the real-world value), Alphabet’s market cap hit roughly $570 billion, eclipsing Apple’s market cap of about $535 billion. Shares of Apple opened Tuesday down nearly 1 percent.

Market cap: Apple vs. Alphabet (USD, million)

Chart source: FactSet

The last time Google was more valuable than Apple was in February 2010, when both companies were worth less than $200 billion. At the time, Apple had yet to release its first iPad, the newest iPhone on the market was the 3GS, and the Mac was the company’s biggest product line, accounting for one-third of revenue. Steve Jobs was still at the helm.

Google was being guided by Eric Schmidt, who would hand control back to co-founder Larry Page the following year. The company was a little more than half its current size.

Apple and Google actually flip-flopped multiple times between 2008 and early 2010, before Apple went on a historic tear, jumping from $180 billion in value to over $650 billion in September 2012. At that point, the two companies were separated by over $400 billion. In 2011, Apple passed Exxon to become the world’s most valuable company.

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Apple posts record quarterly figures for first quarter of 2016

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Apple announced its first quarter financial results for the financial year of 2016, which ended on December 26, 2015.

The company posted record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net income or profit of $18.4 billion, the highest in the company’s history. In comparison, Apple earned $74.6 billion revenue and $18 billion net income in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66% of the quarter’s revenue.

In his statement, CEO Tim Cook attributed the record quarter to the strong sales of iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. He also said the growth of Apple’s Service business accelerated and the company’s install base crossed one billion active devices, roughly 1/7th the Earth’s population.

However, despite the impressive numbers, Apple’s stock fell after hours, as although the company exceeded the $18.22 billion net income projected figure by analysts, it fell short of the $76.67 projected revenue figure.

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Music Memos: anyone with an iPhone will sound like a rockstar!

Music-Memos-app-iconApple today released Music Memos, an all-new iPhone and iPad app that is essentially an enhanced version of the stock Voice Memos app for songwriters.

Music Memos is designed for musicians and songwriters to quickly and easily capture their impromptu song ideas on the fly, whenever inspiration strikes.

The app has a simple user interface at first glance, with nothing but a small recording button, but tucked away behind tiny icons are several useful features.

Recording

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To begin recording, simply open the Music Memos app and tap on the blue circle button. The user interface will turn red while recording. Alternatively, you can tap on the “Auto” label in the top-left corner and the app will automatically start and stop the recording based on your voice.

As you are recording, the circle will pulsate to your voice, or musical instruments, and there is a waveform at the bottom of the screen. To finish recording, simply tap the red circle button and the snippet will appear at the bottom with a title, playback button, pitch notation, and other options.

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Tapping on the guitar or drum set icons overlays the music recording with drums and a bass line to provide a virtual, customizable backing band. Moreover, your snippet can be renamed, deleted, tagged, or rated on a five-star scale. The app also provides visual warnings if it detects your recording is too quiet or too loud.

Editing

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Music Memos saves a list of your recordings, accessible by tapping the tray button at the top of the app. Tapping on a snippet’s waveform brings up various editing options for tempo, time signature, downbeat, tuning and length.

The app automatically analyzes your recording and displays musical measures and suggested chord names. Any chord names throughout your song can be renamed or provided further detail by tapping on them.

There are also the options to trim the beginning and end of your recording, adjust the tempo, time signature and downbeat, and keep track of comments, lyric ideas, alternate guitar tunings, or capo position.

Tuning

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Music Memos includes a built-in tuner for chromatic pitch notation, accessible by tapping the tuning fork button in the top-right corner. The tuner automatically shows a letter note once it detects sound.

There are already several existing tuner apps on the App Store, including Guitar Tuna andCleartune, but this is a convenient, all-in-one option that songwriters can use to both record musical ideas and tune their guitars.

Exporting and Sharing

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Music Memos snippets, which are 24-bit 44.1kHz audio files, can be saved to iCloud Drive, exported to Logic Pro X and GarageBand for iOS or Mac, or shared directly on Apple Music Connect, SoundCloud, and YouTube. Simply tap on the tray button at the top, expand a recording from the list and tap the share button.

Music Memos is free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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Google Chrome will soon run much faster thanks to Brotli!

New Google Logo Sept 2015

Chrome is about to load web pages a lot faster than you’ve experienced up until now. A new compression algorithm called Brotli will help making this possible. Google introduced Brotli last September, with it Chrome will be able to compress data up to 26% more than its existing compression engine, Zopfli, which is an impressive jump.

According to Google’s web performance engineer Ilya Grigorik, Brotli is ready to roll out, so Chrome users should expect to see a bump in load times once the next version of Chrome is released in the coming days or weeks.

Google also says Brotli will help mobile Chrome users experience “lower data transfer fees and reduced battery use.” The company is hailing Brotli as “a new data format” that Google hopes will be adopted by other web browsers in the near future.

Firefox seemingly next in line to adopt it. But for now, expect to notice your web pages loading a bit faster in the coming weeks.