Apple’s week: Network Rail iPhone benefits, Faceshift purchase, patent wins

Here’s your handy guide to everything you may have missed about Apple over the past seven days.

Network Rail rolls out 22,000 iPhones and iPads to trackside staff for major mobile boost 

Network Rail engineers use iPads and iPhones on the frontline

Network Rail has discussed the benefits of rolling out 22,000 iPhones and iPads to trackside staff as part of a major mobile overhaul at the organisation. Since issuing the devices, Network Rail has developed several apps designed to help staff in their work.

One app, called Close Call, allows staff to report potential safety problems or faults on the railway network. Staff can add pictures and GPS information to reports, which take only a few minutes to complete.

There have been almost 63,000 submissions on the Close Call app since January 2014, representing 80 percent of all safety reports made.

Apple’s iPhone continues to dominate the business smartphone market 

iPhone 6S comes in four colours

BlackBerry subsidiary Good Technology has cast its eye over the business smartphone market, revealing that Apple continues to dominate with 66 percent of smartphone activations in the past three months.

Good Technology’s latest Mobility Index Report reveals that the recent release of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus boosted Apple’s market share to 66 percent of device activations in the third quarter, compared with 64 percent in Q2.

However, this figure is down on this time last year when the iPhone had a 70 percent hold on the enterprise smartphone market.

Apple buys Star Wars motion capture outfit Faceshift in VR push

Apple acquires motion capture firm Faceshift

Apple has purchased Faceshift, a Zurich-based real-time motion startup whose technology has been used in the latest Star Wars film.

Talk of Apple swallowing Faceshift first arose in September, and the firm has now confirmed the acquisition.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” a spokesperson for the company said, failing to disclose terms of the deal.

Faceshift has offices in London and San Francisco, and describes itself as a “facial motion capture software solution which revolutionises facial animation”.

Apple wins patent case against DRM business ContentGuard

Apple Mac computer

Apple’s patent infringement department has a victory to celebrate, having won a long-running battle against a digital rights management business called ContentGuard, which had major concerns about the Cupertino firm’s use of five anti-piracy patents.

ContentGuard is a part of Pendrell Corporation and Time Warner, but its roots can be traced to Xerox Parc. The company claims to invent, develop and license technologies, and boasts that it holds more than 300 patents. It has technology partnerships with LG, Microsoft, Nokia, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Casio, Hitachi, Time Warner and Xerox, but not Apple.

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled this month that Apple was not infringing on the five contentious patents.

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30 November 2015 | 2:10 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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