Apple spent record $1.7B on research & development last quarter, $6B in fiscal 2014

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 86
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    True, as Google's running around $2.5B/quarter in R&D. I don't think that anyone would dispute a corporate culture difference between Apple and Google though. Seeing what sticks is a valid approach, even though it's less efficient. It's certainly more fun.

    What has been "fun"?

    I can see that making fun of Google Glass has been fun, but I don't think that's what you meant. And anyway, I think Glass has been a disaster for the valid concept of wearable displays, since now any legitimate effort will be looked on askance because of that one-eyed creepy Google geek disaster. So, where's the fun? I have to confess I also have a big problem with self-driving cars, since handling a good road machine is one of the great joys in modern life. What else you got?

    Edit: I just was handed a clipping of something I had been wondering about re Google—the origin of their Cardboard VR viewer that they gave away at Google I/O. That really was fun, but widely mocked by the likes of Gruber, etc. i think it's great, though, except for some quibbles about the focal length.

    Anyway, turns out it was designed by two Google engineers, David Cox and Damien Henry, based in Paris and working on their own time, presumably just for fun. Does that count?
  • Reply 22 of 86

    Sorry fellow, but it's not my job to add words to dictionaries. That's the job of those who supply that dictionary, in this case Apple. It's no more my job to make up for Apple (and HumSpell's) deficiencies than it is for me to debug their code.

  • Reply 23 of 86
    inkling wrote: »
    Sorry fellow, but it's not my job to add words to dictionaries. That's the job of those who supply that dictionary, in this case Apple. It's no more my job to make up for Apple (and HumSpell's) deficiencies than it is for me to debug their code.

    Since you're a poor speller (or perhaps just a lousy typist), have you tried using the dictation function? It's quite good.
  • Reply 24 of 86
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    inkling wrote: »
    Sorry fellow, but it's not my job to add words to dictionaries. That's the job of those who supply that dictionary, in this case Apple. It's no more my job to make up for Apple (and HumSpell's) deficiencies than it is for me to debug their code.


    Actually, it is your job. All spell checkers, at least the better ones, give the option of adding words. If you don't know why dictionaries aren't bigger, then you don't understand how spell checkers work. Many offer extra dictionaries for specialized writing. But you don't want those dictionaries on all of the time, because of the extra errors that you will get. Errors corrections that themselves are wrong.
  • Reply 25 of 86
    Steve Jobs would be rolling in his grave if he saw the current product lineup and money being spent on R&D.
  • Reply 26 of 86

    Well yes, I guess you write instant messages at the grade-school level OS X/Hunspell isn't that bad. It does know that "cathc" ought to be spelled "catch." It's a great spell checker for grammar schools, middle-schools, and junior high. But that's all.

     

    But I edit science books by people with multiple PhDs. I don't gripe that it doesn't understand extremely technical terms or the Latin names used for various plants and animals. I gripe that it doesn't have words that are a part of any college-level vocabulary, and that you can find commonly used in any of our country's more important newspapers.

     

    Take one that's used numerous times in a book I'm editing—exceptionalism. Yeah, there is is with a red line under it. Stupid OS X doesn't know it exists. OS X's spell-checker is a high school dropout who flips burgers for the minimum wage. Pity him. It's not his fault, it's Apple's fault, Adobe's fault, and the fault of all those who put him in that lamentable position. They use Hunspell but contribute little to improving it.

     

    Google gives almost 3 million hits for "exceptionalism," and Wikipedia has several entries for it in various forms. Although my context is different, it's a common term in today's political debate—whether "American exceptionalism" should be a part of our foreign policy. Here's a Washington Post article that has the term in a headline:

     

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/americanexceptionalism.htm

     

    That is just how bad the spell checker in OS X is. It's not even useful for newspaper reporters. If you're high school dropout, OS X's spell checker is fine, and I don't fault the Hungarians who created it. English isn't their mother tongue. This isn't their problem.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunspell

     

    http://hunspell.sourceforge.net

     

    But I do fault Apple for selling hardware at premium prices and yet shipping it with a spell-checker that still thinks this is 1988 and that lots of memory means 640K or RAM.

     

    Today's spell-checkers should do a lot more than they do. They need to know obvious derivative words, such as "exceptionalism" from "exceptional." They need to understand proper hyphenation rather than just slap two words in their word list together and pretend that might be an actual word.

     

    For instance, I just entered: "catdowry" and Hunspell's response is to give me a choice between "cat dowry and "cat-dowry." The first is OK, but is the latter an actual word? No, I can't even force Google to give me a single hit on it. A word has to be in common use before people began to hyphenate it or merge it into one word. Cat-dowry isn't such a word, even though Hunspell will give that impression. Hunspell does what no spelling checker should do, it lies. It tells me something is a correct spelling, when it isn't even a spelling.

     

    That's what I'm talking about. Apple spends millions making little tweaks to the UI just so OS X 10.10 looks different from 10.9. But it doesn't seem to have spent a penny giving OS X a college-level vocabulary.

  • Reply 27 of 86
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,843member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    Steve Jobs would be rolling in his grave if he saw the current product lineup and money being spent on R&D.



    Predicting post mortem behavior of Jobs is just as impossible as predicting his behavior when alive.

  • Reply 28 of 86
    I would like to see more information about how long this 35% increase in research budget has been going on? I suspect it started after Steve Jobs died in 2011. I am glad they have not tried to spend more than this. They already have the sapphire debacle to work out, and they don't need any more growth because any faster would kill the companies culture.
  • Reply 29 of 86

    Given all the resources it has, and given how relatively small the investment would have to be, wouldn't be amazing if Apple hired the best damn scientific talent from around the world (a la Ma Bell of yore), and created something like this.

     

    What a lasting legacy that would leave!

  • Reply 30 of 86
    You do know that the dictionaries are installable items in OSX and some companies specialize in better (more complete) versions.
  • Reply 31 of 86
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    Steve Jobs would be rolling in his grave if he saw the current product lineup and money being spent on R&D.

    Maybe, maybe not. But I agreed with Steve's reluctance to spend money. He always was very focused on destroying his competitors by being better at everything and outthinking them at every turn.
  • Reply 32 of 86
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    inkling wrote: »
    Well yes, I guess you write instant messages at the grade-school level OS X/Hunspell isn't that bad. It does know that "cathc" ought to be spelled "catch." It's a great spell checker for grammar schools, middle-schools, and junior high. But that's all.

    But I edit science books by people with multiple PhDs. I don't gripe that it doesn't understand extremely technical terms or the Latin names used for various plants and animals. I gripe that it doesn't have words that are a part of any college-level vocabulary, and that you can find commonly used in any of our country's more important newspapers.

    Take one that's used numerous times in a book I'm editing—exceptionalism. Yeah, there is is with a red line under it. Stupid OS X doesn't know it exists. OS X's spell-checker is a high school dropout who flips burgers for the minimum wage. Pity him. It's not his fault, it's Apple's fault, Adobe's fault, and the fault of all those who put him in that lamentable position. They use Hunspell but contribute little to improving it.

    Google gives almost 3 million hits for "exceptionalism," and Wikipedia has several entries for it in various forms. Although my context is different, it's a common term in today's political debate—whether "American exceptionalism" should be a part of our foreign policy. Here's a Washington Post article that has the term in a headline:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/americanexceptionalism.htm

    That is just how bad the spell checker in OS X is. It's not even useful for newspaper reporters. If you're high school dropout, OS X's spell checker is fine, and I don't fault the Hungarians who created it. English isn't their mother tongue. This isn't their problem.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunspell

    http://hunspell.sourceforge.net

    But I do fault Apple for selling hardware at premium prices and yet shipping it with a spell-checker that still thinks this is 1988 and that lots of memory means 640K or RAM.

    Today's spell-checkers should do a lot more than they do. They need to know obvious derivative words, such as "exceptionalism" from "exceptional." They need to understand proper hyphenation rather than just slap two words in their word list together and pretend that might be an actual word.

    For instance, I just entered: "<span style="line-height:1.4em;">catdowry" and Hunspell's response is to give me a choice between "cat dowry and "cat-dowry." The first is OK, but is the latter an actual word? No, I can't even force Google to give me a single hit on it. A word has to be in common use before people began to hyphenate it or merge it into one word. Cat-dowry isn't such a word, even though Hunspell will give that impression. Hunspell does what no spelling checker should do, it lies. It tells me something is a correct spelling, when it isn't even a spelling.</span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">That's what I'm talking about. Apple spends millions making little tweaks to the UI just so OS X 10.10 looks different from 10.9. But it doesn't seem to have spent a penny giving OS X a college-level vocabulary.</span>

    You just don't listen, do you? I've explained why this is so. This has nothing to do with Google's search, as it isn't a spell checker. We all know that sometimes typing a word in Google will come up with the correct spelling where few spell checkers will do so. These serve different purposes. The fact that no spell checker is uniformly good is proof of that. Some are slightly better with some words, and others with different words. But none are as good as you seem to expect they should be. And sometimes Google search is worse. Think of how much money Google invests in this because, unlike the *free* checker in OS X, correct understanding of search terms for Google is the blood of their business. If they can't get it right more than they do, then there's little hope for anyone else.

    Look, this isn't something that is useful to argue here. Spell checkers were a marvel when they first came out, but have improved just a bit since then. I've seen claims over the years for new spell checkers that used supposedly unique algorithms to figure out what you meant, and to serve up the proper word. But none of those worked any better, and most worked more poorly than conventional checkers.

    If you're going to be stubborn about this, and insist that you just won't ever add words, because it's "not your job", then suffer, as its your own fault that you can't work within the parameters these things offer.

    You can buy spell checkers. Go and find one that you think is better, if you think that the free one isn't good enough. That what we do.
  • Reply 33 of 86
    normmnormm Posts: 653member



    As the biggest tech company, Apple should be supporting basic research.  When they were small, it made sense for them to do only very focused  applied research, and depend on the rest of society for basic research that benefits everyone.  Now they are so big that they should be a major force pushing many avenues of science forward that don't just benefit them.  For example, they should support basic research on chemical sensors at universities so that someday the Apple watch will be able to smell my blood sugar, and smell whether the food I'm about to eat contains something I'm allergic to.

     

    Edit: I read this after posting


    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Given all the resources it has, and given how relatively small the investment would have to be, wouldn't be amazing if Apple hired the best damn scientific talent from around the world (a la Ma Bell of yore), and created something like this.

     

    What a lasting legacy that would leave!


     

    It wouldn't be that small an investment to properly support the research of the world's best scientists, unless they stuck to only theoretical research.  But it would be great PR to accumulate a pile of Nobel Prizes for Apple!

  • Reply 34 of 86
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    Steve Jobs would be rolling in his grave if he saw the current product lineup and money being spent on R&D.

    That is totally untrue. Right at the beginning of the Bush recession, Jobs was asked, in a press conference, about what Apple would do during the recession. He stated that Apple would put more money into R&D, as other companies were cutting back to save money, because that way, at the end of the recession, Apple would have some new amazing products for sale while their competitors would be putting their R&D departments back together.

    Jobs wasn't resistent to R&D spending. He just believed that at the size Apple was, their spending needed to be focussed on the product lines they had, and that, unlike earlier, Apple couldn't afford to reinvent the wheel.

    But as Apple grew, and became more successful, R&D spending increased. It's still a fairly small percentage of their sales. But $6 billion is still a big number.
  • Reply 35 of 86
    The anti-Apple brigade are really having to scrape the barrel with their critisism's now.

    "Mute switch fiasco"
    "Ipad mini 3 not as high spec as Ipad air 2 disaster"

    And now
    "spellchecker that ships with Iphone not great "

    Apple must be reeling.
  • Reply 36 of 86
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    Given all the resources it has, and given how relatively small the investment would have to be, wouldn't be amazing if Apple hired the best damn scientific talent from around the world (a la Ma Bell of yore), and created something like this.

    What a lasting legacy that would leave!

    Apple is continuing to build out their research facilities. We don't know everything (or much of anything, for that matter) they are working on, any more than the outside world did of what Bell Labs did, except in later years when AT&T was attempting to fend off the long term attempt of the government to break them up, and tried to use R&D at Bell Labs as a reason for the government not to do so.

    But the work AT&T did required Bell Labs to invest in types of basic research that Apple doesn't need to work in. Most of the first half of the 20th century, there wasn't a technological base of many companies worldwide that could provide the advances the AT&T needed to expand services. So they had to come up with it on their own. The closest to that today has been IBM. But with IBM now selling off so much of the company, including the chip making facilities, I don't know what's going to happen there.

    So, what can Apple R&D that is useful to them, that can't be done better by companies that specialize in it? Other than some chip design, I can't really think of too much. I would love to see them come up with a much better battery, but companies are already spending billions every year on that, and haven't come up with any major new technologies that have hit the market since lithium. We read about new better technologies all the time, but so far, none have made it to market.

    We can all come up with some pie in the sky things for Apple to R&D, but most of that is nonsense from an operational point of view. Look at what happened between them and GT.

    I would like to see them work on a multilayered evaporative process to have diamond fronted "glass" multilayer covers. It can be done, but labs around the world have been working on that for years. What can Apple add to that R&D?

    I don't expect them to work on R&D that has nothing to do with eventual possible sales. I hope you don't either. Bell Labs never did.
  • Reply 37 of 86
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    normm wrote: »

    As the biggest tech company, Apple should be supporting basic research.  When they were small, it made sense for them to do only very focused  applied research, and depend on the rest of society for basic research that benefits everyone.  Now they are so big that they should be a major force pushing many avenues of science forward that don't just benefit them.  For example, they should support basic research on chemical sensors at universities so that someday the Apple watch will be able to smell my blood sugar, and smell whether the food I'm about to eat contains something I'm allergic to.

    Edit: I read this after posting

    It wouldn't be that small an investment to properly support the research of the world's best scientists, unless they stuck to only theoretical research.  But it would be great PR to accumulate a pile of Nobel Prizes for Apple!

    No they shouldn't. That's only the business of business if they see some benefit to them. Basic research is done in universities and government labs. Intel will do that for chip making, because that's their business. But even Intel doesn't do work in basic physics.
  • Reply 38 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Or...learn how to spell. I've never noticed the spell check to be lacking.

     

    informing the user of a feature to learn how to spell doesnt fix the feature. blaming the user is rarely the solution.

     

    ive noticed it a million times -- transposed letters can cause OS X/iOS not to have a clue, but google can suggest it first thing. thats a fault of the software's feature, not the user for trying to use it. 

  • Reply 39 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Since you're a poor speller (or perhaps just a lousy typist), have you tried using the dictation function? It's quite good.

     

    not nearly good enough to replace typing. not by a million years.

  • Reply 40 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    Steve Jobs would be rolling in his grave if he saw the current product lineup and money being spent on R&D.

     

    yes? you knew him well, then? what was the basis of your personal, insightful friendship?

     

    or are you yet another one of the many able to channel ghosts around the seance table? do tell.

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