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The New iPod Touch

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Just A Few Things About iOS 8 That We Could All Do Without

Posted by mluciano | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products | Posted on 24-09-2014

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So Apple users out there! In case you have been living under a rock for the past few days, the new iOS 8 update has finally released. Naturally, with just about any update from Apple, we can expect a menagerie of different things that we don’t like or problems that we encounter. Luckily, there haven’t been too many issues that have caused a lot of headlines. Usually after every iOS update, we can expect an X.0.1 update to fix whatever ailments are being discussed over the internet. Regarding this new update however, Apple seems to have gotten things under control more so than usual. That being said though, there are still some aspects of the new iOS 8 update that people are not necessarily enthused about.

Texting

Let just take some time to talk about the one thing that we use our phones for the most; Texting. We’ve all seen plenty of memes involving the horrors of autocorrect. There is now something else that we can worry/laugh about involving our texting habits. As if autocorrect wasn’t enough, now there’s now something called “QuickType” that we can concern ourselves with. For any Android users out there, you are more familiar with this than us Apple users. “QuickType” is essentially a feature to replace the autocorrect that we’re used to. Instead of you just hitting the “space” button in order to have your correct place, now there are a myriad of words that the texting app predicts that you could mean. All you need to do is hit that word and it will take it’s place in the text you’re righting. It’s not the worst thing, but we can expect some of the word suggestions to be annoying or funny enough that we’re all waiting for the funny Facebook pictures to surface.

The Overall Download

Whenever we Apple users have downloaded our new updates, we’ve known that they’ve been pretty huge, but this new update is a bit ridiculous. Just from the few people that I know that have downloaded this new update, I’ve heard many a horror story of deleting hundreds of pictures, different videos, and even some of their favorite apps. This new update only requires 1.2 GB of free space on your phone. That being said, then why does it require you’re phone have 5.7 GB of free space??? What the heck Apple? This is where things don’t really make sense in an over-the-air download. Mind you, that if you decide to use your computer to download the update, you can sync up your iPad or iPhone and it won’t take up any space on your mobile device. It will just download. *I would highly suggest this option. It’s much better than dealing with all of the deleting that you’d have to do.

The Infamous “Privacy Problems”

This biggest talk of the new update is the “Key Contacts”. This feature allows you to double tap the Home button and see all of the people you’ve recently had a conversation with.  This could be good on one hand. Mainly just to make things a bit quicker in the long run. That being said, it could definitely make things a bit… complicated. What I mean by this is it could cause some problems. Allow me to paint a picture for you. You’ve recently broken up with an ex. You double tap the home button to close an app, and you see that you just recently were texting her, even though the deleted the conversation. Now all those feelings rush back, and you’re tempted to talk to that person again. That and then there is the “Recently deleted photos” issue. Instead of having the photos that you delete be, well… deleted, there is now a “Recently deleted photo” album in your “Pictures” app. Thanks for the reminder Apple, but if we deleted the picture or text conversation, it was more than likely for a reason.

This app is still a welcome update, as the iOS 7 update has been out for a while now, and having this new update accompany the OS X Yosemite update just makes sense. There are still plenty of aspects to love about the new update, but just in case Apple is reading this, these are our complaints. An iOS 8.1 update fixing the issues mentioned would be very welcomed.

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The New iOS 8 Is Taking A Few Shots At Android And Making Us More Connected Than Ever

Posted by mluciano | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products | Posted on 04-06-2014

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Just in case you’ve not been on the internet at all with the past couple of days, Apple just recently had their WWDC 2014 event. Let me just be the first to say that I was quite impressed with what I saw. While there may not have been any new hardware announced (does the iWatch even exist???), there was still quite a lot that was shown off. Obviously the two biggest parts of the keynotes, again in case you missed it, were the announcements of the new OS X 10.10 Yosemite, and the new iOS 8! Yes, the next big iOS update is here, so for all of us iPhone and iPad users, this is the part where you pay attention.

The biggest addition that I saw to the new iOS is a little feature called “Handoff”. Handoff is basically a new way to continue working on something from one device to another. Seamless continuity if you will. Lets say for example you’re viewing a spreadsheet or working on an email from your computer but you need to go somewhere. Simply pick up where you left off via another Apple device that’s synced up. All you need to do is swipe up from the bottom left corner if you’re continuing on a mobile device, or click a button if you’re continuing on your Mac. This isn’t really like working with your iCloud. Although you can still sync data, this type of seamless transition is strictly based off of location proximity and your mobile Apple devices. There’s no waiting or loading the data from the cloud. It’s just there!

The next thing that I saw coming with the new update was the HealthKit. Now this is essentially two different app platforms, but it controls the new Health fitness tracker app, and the new HomeKit. This is where Apple has Android beat. Apple owns the iPhone. They have all of the rights. They own the technology that has all of the sensors needed to gather the health data. Android does not. Android still needs separate manufacturers to come up with their own initiatives as they don’t own that type of technology. Samsung has been the only real taker for that sort of app project, with their “S Health”. Needless to say, Apple has the one up on Android in that department.

The HomeKit is the part of the app platform that truly impressed me. This is where virtually EVERYTHING became connected. It’s Apple’s idea of the completely connected home. Once everything is set up correctly and synced together, all you need to do is tell your old pal Siri to “get ready for bed” and a number of crazy things will happen. Your thermostat lowers the temperature. Your garage door gets closed. Your door could even lock for you! It’s the things like this and the Handoff app that show me just how connected Apple is trying to make everything, and personally, I’m totally fine with it!

Android isn’t necessarily a bad OS, and they don’t make necessarily bad products. I’ve seen my fair share of people walking around with them and I even owned a Droid phone for a while (I wasn’t exactly pleased). Even though they remain popular and have their own following, I feel that Apple has just tremendously outclassed them with this new update and its features. Good work Apple, good work.

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The Apple iWatch Is In Production Right Now! (So Say The Reports)

Posted by mluciano | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products | Posted on 07-05-2014

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It’s way too easy to get hung up on new tech. All facts aside, can you really be mad at someone for getting pumped up on new technology. Take the iWatch for example. It seems as if this particular product has been nothing but a rumor for quite some time now. Having said that, the rumors have continuously piled up. Naturally, as rumors begin to escalate and progress, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and start to believe it all. I’m not saying that the iWatch isn’t coming out. In fact I’d say that it is almost definite, although there’s not been any confirmation on it yet.

So where would I get an assumption like this from? Well from our good friends over in China of course!

There have been no official announcements yet, but the China Times recently reported that the device’s production is now underway. Again, it’s still not confirmed that this is what the new device will be, but it’s still pretty safe to assume that it will be an iWatch.

The production of the device is already looking pretty promising with some of what it will reportedly include. So far the reports have shown that the device will include a few SiP modules. SiP stands for “system-in-package”. These little modules can contain some pretty nifty things. Everything from DRAM, flash memory, and even a processing unit all in one. The fact that reports are saying that the new devices will be housing these is still up in the air, as everything is still speculation, but it could be entirely true. These modules are used already in some of our every day devices that we use. Everything from your MP3 playter to your iPhone include SiPs. These particular modules could eventually pave the way for a wearable computer for all we know. It’s all up in the air. Aside from the modules, however, there have been no other technical specs discussed yet.

As far as release dates go, we should expect to see the new device during the end of 2014. Apple talked of starting production for their new product during the second quarter of this year. Wouldn’t you know it, that time has come now. Up the 3 million new tech toys could be (and are more than likely) in production right now as you’re reading this. Again there is no certain answer from Apple yet, pertaining to what the “new category” of device is that they will be releasing.

About 1 in every 2 people think that this whole wearable trend is just that; a trend. Many believe that it will come to pass, as it just doesn’t seem practical. This is where the challenge for Apple is really going to start. There are already smartwatches available for the consumer market today. That being said, they aren’t really selling like hot cakes. I know that I’ve not seen anyone walking around with the new Pebble or Nike Fuel band. I haven’t even seen a Galaxy Gear yet, aside from in store.

Apple is known for pretty much turning anything with their logo on it into gold. Even so, there is no telling how well the iWatch’s reception will turn out, especially if they decide to tack on a pretty price tag as they have been known to do.
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Apple May Be Fashionably Late To The Smartwatch Party, But The iWatch Is Coming!

Posted by mluciano | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products | Posted on 10-04-2014

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Just because you may be fashionably late to a party doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to be the life of said party. Any time a new device comes out, especially one that is able to generate a whole new section of technology, it seems like everyone jumps on board. This is typical if companies can actually see some use coming out of the device. It all depends on how crazy the demand for the product could become. If enough companies jump on the bandwagon, you can pretty much bet on the product being quite a big deal. Take the smartwatch. Apple has had rumors about their fabled iWatch for around half a year now. Many of the other companies have already beaten Apple to the punch however.

Companies like ZTE, Samsung, and Sony have all already made their own contributions to throw into the metaphorical pot, but Apple is still lagging behind. But, as we all know Apple to be the company that they are and come out swinging, there is quite a bit to expect still.

Apple may be late to the game, but they have some plans for what they intend to do with the iWatch. Rumors have already been spreading like wildfire, but now their may be a credible source to all of the talk.

A KGI analyst, one Ming-Chi Kuo, might as well be the Apple psychic, as so many of his predictions on Apple tech have been pretty spot on. Kuo had a few predictions already set for the new device. He claims that we may expect to see 2 different sizes of the new gadget by the end of this year. Closer to the third quarter of this year actually. We might be seeing a 1.3 inch display size and a 1.5 inch display size. The display of the smartwatch has been rumored to be a flexible AMOLED screen with a sapphire covering. What does the covering mean necessarily? It just means that the device will be able to mimic the shape of your write when you put it on. It might as well be comfortable too right? Kuo also made a prediction that the battery of the device could be anywhere from 200 to 250mAh in size. Since the device is so small, it is thought that the battery will be able to power the device for about a full day. This is already quite a bit longer battery life than many of the other competitors out on the market.

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The design of the watch isn’t the only thing. The functions of the watch are still being rumored as well. It seems like every smartwatch out now has some type of pedometer function to go along with it. Expect to see that with this gadget, as it will be working in tandem with an app called Healthbook on the new iOS 8 when it comes out. Obviously like its competitors, the iWatch has been rumored (to the point that it can basically be confirmed already now) to connect and sync up with your iPhone and iPad. With the way the Galaxy Gear works, it should be expected to be able to connect to your other Apple devices.

The price tag for this new toy is all over the map. That is not necessarily a good thing either, as it’s more towards the “high end” of all over the map. Price range could be in the thousands of dollars for the new smartwatch, depending on the casing and band options that Apple may offer with the new iWatch. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

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Building A Better Battery

Posted by eblasko | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 04-02-2014

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Always have trouble conserving your iPhone battery life? No worries, a better solution is in the works. In the next few years we may start to see batteries pull energy from the air and power themselves through Wi-Fi signals, or even our body movement.For many years, Apple’s engineers have tried to build a battery for iPhone users by adding solar charging to iPods and iPhones. Recently, Apple announced that they are continuing with the solar power experimenting. The race is on to find a better solution at battery life with smartphones. Most consumers say that with all the apps they are using their battery dies on an every day basis while they are on the go.It’s 2014, we do have the technology but the problem is that it is hard to ensure safety of many new power technologies. A faulty battery could turn into a miniature bomb! Revamping the smartphone battery so it will last longer requires exhaustive testing before it can hit the store shelves.

In the fall Apple will be posting a job listing seeking engineers who specialize in solar energy. Many experiments to find the best answer to saving battery life on Apple products are in the works this year.Another experiment Apple is involved with is actually charging the battery through movement, which is a method already used in many modern watches. How does this even work? By swinging your arm, a tiny charging station is activated that generates power to the device. Charging your phone while exercising may be the new million dollar idea for people to stay healthy!

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New Product Categories From Apple in 2014

Posted by jnolan | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products | Posted on 12-01-2014

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Despite the hype, 2013 was actually a pretty calm and quiet year for Apple. 2014 should be a much different and bigger year for the company, who says they have big plans in the works.

During the earlier part of 2013, Apple kept dropping strong hints about new product categories and expanding on the smartphone and tablet market as well. In the last part of 2013, we did see lots of new improvements on older products, but nothing that we could really call new. So, what are these huge new plans that Apple has in store for us? Is a new invention going to turn the whole industry upside down like the original iPhone did?

The iWatch

This isn’t really what I would call “big news”, considering the rumors of this product were floating around for months before it was even officially announced that they were in production. Companies like Samsung have already put out smartwatches (and have seen them fail), so how could this be the big new invention that has Apple so excited? Well, although I think something bigger may be in store, let’s face it… Apple is the kind of company that makes sure their products are perfect before they release them, to the point that it will make people wonder why other companies even tried. When the iPhone came out, cell phones had already been out forever. It wasn’t even the first smartphone, at all. But, it changed the way we looked at phones and smartphones forever. It was so inspiring that it almost felt like cell phones never even existed before that point. Could Apple’s iWatch be the next iPhone?

New, Larger iPhone models

It’s been rumored that Apple is working on iPhones with up to 5-inch screens, and according to The Wall Street Journal, they could even be working on 6-inch iPhones. This is a tough spot for Apple to be in because other smartphone companies are putting out phones with way larger screens, and now, the screen size has become the number one complaint from iPhone users. But that problem is not so simple to fix. Apple would have to find a way for app developers to redesign their apps for use with the new phones, or find a way to program the apps to be responsive to different screen sizes. But chances are, they already have it under control.

Other expected new products

Apple Television? Neat, but hardly a contender.  Moving on: There has been word on an iPad Pro coming soon. Adding the word “Air” to their last iPad seems like a hint toward things to come with newer models. But at the end of the day, consumers aren’t ready to turn to tablets for their everyday computing needs. It seems highly unlikely that this is the new and exciting product that Apple has been hinting at since April of last year, unless it ends up being some sort of super tablet that can do anything a MacBook Pro could do. That would be nuts, but it’s highly unlikely.

So, we already know about some new and exciting things to come from Apple this year, and we will have to keep our eyes peeled for what else is to come. My money on the iWatch though. It may not seem like a big deal now, but it might just change everything you thought you ever knew about watches or smart-gadgets.

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Newest iPhone 6, iPad Pro, and iWatch News!

Posted by jnolan | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 02-12-2013

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It’s time for some more Apple rumors! The iPhone 5S and 5C are still fresh in our minds, it still feels like they came out just yesterday. But Apple has already spent hundreds of millions on the production of the iPhone 6. Here are a few more rumors going around about what we could be getting next year.

3D Vision

It has been confirmed that Apple has not only teamed up with PrimeSense, but they bought the whole company. PrimeSense is the same company that built the technology behind the Xbox Kinect motion sensor. It is said that Apple has already spent over $350 million dollars on the Israeli company.

Rumors of the purchase have been around for a while, and everyone automatically assumed that since Apple bought the company that they would be putting the new technology into a new TV. But it is starting to look like they will be looking beyond that and using the technology for a few new things, including the next iPhone release.

PrimeSense has refined their technology and has been able to make it so small that it actually could fit inside the next iPhone and bless it with new 3D sensing capabilities. If this is the case then people will be able to take pictures of any object or person and the camera would be able to determine the size and mass of the object. It seems like old technology that no one would care about after phones like HTC’s EVO 3D, but this goes even deeper. The new iPhone would be able to actually take pictures of items and measure them. For instance, if you need a new couch, you would be able to take a picture of your current one and your phone could give you suggestions on new ones that would fit in the same space. How neat?

iPad Pro?

It has been reported by the Korea Times that Apple is working on a new iPad with a 12.9 inch retina display. The current iPad Mini is 7.9 inches and the original is 9.7 inches. So, this would be a huge jump in size. This is reportedly expected to hit stores in the later part of next year, around the time that we would be seeing a new iPhone release.

Touch ID

The fingerprint reader in the home button of the iPhone 5S is still pretty fresh. Lots of people love it, but others can’t seem to get it to work for some reason. According to new reports, Apple filed a huge patent application with the World Intellectual Property Organization showing that they want to turn the Touch ID into a trackpad.

If this happens, people would be controlling their iPhones by twisting their finger over the home button. You would slide your finger left or right and the map display on the screen would scroll in the same direction. You would also use this to scroll while using the browser. Kind of seems like old BlackBerry technology to me, not that exciting. And as it turns out, I’m not the only person who thinks that. Do you think that a trackpad would be a step backwards for Apple?

Other rumors for the iPhone 6 include a full front display with no borders. It is said that the new display is going to be made with sapphire glass, the same glass used on the touch ID. Apple has reportedly spent a few hundred million on just the development of the machines needed to make high volumes of the glass.

An upgraded camera, external flash compatibility and 128GB storage are also all on the list of rumors.

iWatch could be here soon

Apple is a little bit late on the wearable game, but that might give them the advantage. Seeing where other companies are falling short and applying the knowledge to make a superior device could prove to be fruitful. Mass production of the new watch is said to be in full swing by early to mid 2014.

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SilentSense Phone Security

Posted by jthompson | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 07-10-2013

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If you are an avid Apple user, then you probably know that the iPhone 5s features a new way to secure your phone. Instead of having to type in a passcode, the iPhone now has a touch ID sensor, which allows you to scan your fingerprint, and use that as a secure way to access your phone. Like you would expect, many other phone companies are following suit and creating their own versions of apples touch ID sensor, but some researchers are taking a different approach to this idea.

Cheng Bo and his colleagues, Lan Zhang and Xiang-Yang Li at the Illinois Institute of Technology have been working on their own version of the touch sensor ID that they call “SilentSense.” In it’s initial testing this system identified it’s owner correctly with a staggering 99% accuracy when used on an andriod phone. Instead of storing the owners fingerprint data, the SilentSense stores specific things like the size of the owners fingertip, how much pressure they put on the phone, and even the owners cellphone habits including the way they walk while holding their phone.

Although the iPhone 5s’s fingerprint scanner is pretty impressive, the ideas that it is spawning are even more unique and practical. Bo’s SilentSensor is truly a smart machine, it’s ability to learn who it’s owner is with such incredible accuracy will definitely give iphone’s touch ID sensor a run for it’s money. I am very excited to see what other advancements are coming up with this innovative technology.

iOS 7 Update Precaution

Posted by jthompson | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 25-09-2013

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With Apple brand new iOS7 update finally here, there are a few things that need to be addressed before we all rush to download the new update. Precautions must me taken. I’m not saying your phone will explode or anything of the sort, but if you would rather not spend hours and hours asking all of your friends for their contact information, it would be wise to know what steps you should take before you jump into the new update

To all the Apple mobile device users reading this, we are all aware of the issues with the iOS6 software that we dealt with. While they all not be completely detrimental to how we worked our devices, they were still enough of a bother that it made some of us less than excited. Some of these issues was loss of contacts and other various information. The answer to this loss of information is simple; Back up your data. Make sure all of your contacts, music, photos, etc. are backed up via iCloud, just in the event that the new update should wipe these documents and other files clean.head first. Nothing wrong with being too prepared!

There is nothing wrong with taking extra measures to make sure your data doesn’t get erased. Losing all of your photos and music can be extremely annoying. I speak from experience! Just make sure you back up  all your information before diving into the new update today. Better to be safe than sorry!

iPhone 5 Finger scanner

Posted by jthompson | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 20-09-2013

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 With the release of the new iPhone 5, there has been quite the amount of buzz circulating around a certain feature of the new phone. As many of us have seen in the spy movies, finger scanners just give off that “cool” vibe when it comes to security. It has also always given a more secure feeling to most people that either like their privacy or business associates with important information regarding their work. But how secure is it really?

There have been quite a few scary concerns recently regarding the new security feature. Some have even been worried that thieves may even go to extremes to unlock a phone cut a finger off. Apple has made sure to address even this extreme of an issue and has stated that the finger has to be “alive and attached” to the body still. Extreme but not unheard of. But even with this level of security, it still something that consumers are concerned about. Apple as gone on to elaborate that pass codes will still be a reigning factor in security, but will be more used as a failsafe.

Now that the iPhone 5s and 5c are here now, the implications and overall effectiveness of this feature will now be able to really be put to the test. The idea has been tinkered with for a while now, but is now viewed by some to be the start of a new revolution in security measures. Now that a large scale company such as Apple has “opened the floodgates”, so to speak, I feel it’s safe to say that we should all be expecting the competitive market to take notice and fall suit. Personally, I wouldn’t mind feeling like James Bond every time I pulled my phone out.