Still blown away by inline translation in Skype

Recently I told you about inline translation in Skype and how it helps me to communicate in Mandarin and Japanese. I was using it on iPhone but now I also logged in on my PC. This has shown me another level of support. I can now see the original and the translation, both ingoing and outgoing. The two screenshots show English/Italian because it is easier to compare than English/Japanese or English/Mandarin. And before you ask, I could also do it with German instead of English.

The inline translation
The original

Also works in Teams. And also works with spoken words.

Microsoft is extending Zero Password support to consumers

Windows 10 and Windows 11 users can now opt to remove passwords as a way to access a Microsoft account app.

I still see Enterprise IT shipping new PCs with old password schemes instead of Windows Hello. It’s a long and windy road, but Microsoft takes another step to get rid of passwords forever.

Meanwhile people still get told to use local Windows accounts. I believe this is going away with Windows 11. I have not used them for many years.

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A few thoughts on the Apple event

Just watched the Apple Event, like many of you. I am not going to list every detail announced. Other people do a much better job at this. Instead I am going to comment on what stuck in my head.

If you followed all the leaks, you were mostly mis-lead. I don’t pretend I know what will happen and that’s good. I would have been very wrong. No, Apple Watch 7 will not have a boxier design.

For the easy part: new iPhone in the same fashion as last year. iPhone 13 and 13 mini, iPhone Pro 13 and 13 Max. They look very similar, with new camera modules. On the iPhone the lenses are now in opposing corners, not on one side. The cameras are also noticeably larger. Beautiful new colors to show you have a new one.

Halide compares the iPhone 13 Pro camera to previous models

It’s the cameras that blow me away each year. The Pro models now have a 3x tele. Last year it was 2x for the Pro and 2.5x for the Pro Max. Very welcome change. The ultrawide gets a much-needed macro mode. Video recording now provides a new mode, where it automatically sets the focus bracket “intelligently” and you can change it in post. You have to see it to believe it. Insanely great.

Apple Watch 7 gets a larger display that is rounded into the body. Apple claims it is also much more durable. The display remains brighter in the off state. The body keeps compatibility with all bands, Watch gets a faster charger that connects to USB-C. I hope they maintain compatibility to old chargers. Apparently there are no new sensors.

iPad gets a small spec bump to A13 Bionic which was introduced with iPhone 11 and new cameras with a 12MP ultrawide front camera supporting automatic framing in video calls. The enclosure keeps the old almost iconic form with wide bezels at the top and bottom. It now looks seriously dated.

The new iPad mini was the secret star of the show. It’s actually more of an iPad Air mini than an iPad mini. TouchID in power button, same body design, now with Truetone flash. Best of all, it now has a USB-C port, unlike the new/old iPad. This is now the real iPad lineup: 12.9″ Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini. The smaller Pro and the iPad somehow don’t fit in this range anymore.

Fitness+ is coming to more countries and Apple just subtitles instead of dubbing the audio. I am not sure how well that will work with people who have to stare at the screen during workouts. 1 month free trial, and 3 months if you buy a new Watch 7.

Speaking of which: Apple isn’t ready to ship. While you can preorder the iPhone from this Friday to be shipped a week later, Watch does not yet have a release date. Later this fall. I guess there will be a run on Xmas gifts.

It’s always interesting what Apple does NOT say. No performance comparisons between A14 and A15 for instance. I also missed updates on availability for iOS and watchOS, assuming they are coming next week. (Update. next Monday)

And to end on a high note: the iPhone Pro models get displays with variable refresh rates all the way from 10 to 120 Hz. That is going to save a ton of battery. It made the always-on Watch 5 display possible.

What were your highlights?

Datenspeicherung in Europa und digitale Souveränität

Letzte Woche habe ich einen frechen Tweet abgesetzt:

Google hat mit der Telekom gerade die Microsoft Cloud Deutschland gelauncht

Es ging um die Ankündigung von Google, mit Telekom zusammen eine Cloud für Deutschland anzubieten. Es ist sicher kein Zufall, dass T-Systems-Urgestein Bernie Wagner jetzt Google-Chef in Deutschland ist.

Ich war bei Microsoft Cloud Deutschland (MCD) sehr skeptisch. Die Älteren erinnern sich noch, dass Microsoft auch schon mal die Idee hatte, T-Systems als “Datentreuhänder” dazwischen zu schalten. MCD ist gescheitert, weil das Angebot zu teuer, zu unvollständig und zu wenig nutzbar war. Kristian Köhntopp kommentierte die Google-Ankündigung trocken:

“T-Systems in the Middle” ist halt kein Servicekonzept, sondern ein Angreifermodell


Microsoft ermöglicht ja ohnehin schon, alle Daten in Europa zu speichern. In Frankreich wollen sie nun einen neuen Anlauf machen, nicht nur die technische und operationale Seite in Europa abzubilden, sondern auch die rechtliche. Dazu wird von den Franzosen eine eigene juristische Einheit gegründet, der diese Cloud gehört und die komplett in Frankreich residiert. Das zu lösende Problem ist, dass jedes Unternehmen, dass auch in USA operiert, dem Cloud Act unterliegt. Die meisten Unternehmen sind davon betroffen, abgesehen vom Bäckermeister um die Ecke und eben Regierungen. Und die wollen mehr Souveränität als nur Speicherung in Europa.

Automatic translation in Skype and Teams

On Clubhouse I collaborate with people who do not speak each others’ language. There is a backchannel chat but we would have to copy & paste from translation apps.

Skype saves the day. You can enable automatic translation into your own language. No matter what your partner throws at you, it quickly gets translated. This is so amazing.

The same service is also available for Teams, of course.

My screen (left) shows everything in English, her screen shows everything in Japanese. We write in our own language.
Another example: Elsie’s screen (left) shows everything in Mandarin while I mix German and English.

Ich hoffe auf Verbesserung der AirTags

Vor drei Monaten hat Apple die AirTags geändert, so dass der Stalking-Schutz früher anschlägt. Seitdem werde ich dauern von meinen eigenen AirTags gewarnt. Ich gewöhne mich an das Gezirpe, aber ich wünsche mir zwei Verbesserungen:

  • Ich möchte gerne AirTags in der Family sharen. Ein AirTag, der alle Mitglieder einer Family erkennt. An unserem Hundehalsband hängt ein AirTag und der Hund soll von zwei Menschen auffindbar sein.
  • Ich möchte gerne, dass der AirTag auch eine Apple Watch als Begleiter erkennt und nicht nur ein iPhone. Ich lasse das iPhone oft zu Hause, aber nicht den Schlüssel.
Frau Brandlinger mit AirTag

Noch habe ich die alte Firmware 1.0276 drauf und auf den iPhones noch iOS 14. Es besteht also Hoffnung.

BNN: ‘Forever changed’: CEOs are dooming business travel — maybe for good

Business travel has “forever changed,” Greg Hayes, CEO of jet-engine maker Raytheon Technologies Corp., said in a Bloomberg Radio interview in July. About 30 per cent of normal commercial air traffic is corporate-related but only half of that is likely mandatory, he said. … Having saved billions from slashed travel budgets during the pandemic with only a marginal impact on operations, companies, banks, consulting firms and government offices will be hard pressed to explain why they’d return to their old ways. … “We don’t think business travel will ever return to 2019 levels,” said Will Hawkley, the global head of travel and leisure at KPMG LLP. “Corporates are looking at their bottom-line, their environmental commitments, the demand from employees for more flexible working and thinking: Why do I have to bring that back?”

Alexander Michael Pearson, Tara Patel and William Wilkes, Bloomberg News

The planet thanks you.

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