MobiHealthNews posted a number of iWatch scoops Monday based on sources with "limited but direct knowledge of Apple's plans...." They reported that Apple has over 200 employees working on the project. That suggests Apple is really serious about this new device, not just experimenting with prototypes.
Rumors continue to swirl regarding the Apple TV set-top box. One rumor is that Apple will be adding gaming and an App Store for the device sometime within the next six weeks. My hunch is that there's a good chance for this happening. In addition, there have been rumors that we'll see a new Apple TV device in the first half of this year. Now, according to a post on 9To5Mac, we have confirmation of a new device. Buried in iOS 7 is a reference to the forthcoming device, alongside references to the already-available versions. It's referenced as AppleTV4,1, with the previous iteration being AppleTV 3,2. The post says that the jump in increment to 4 suggests that the box will be a major upgrade rather than a minor update. 9To5Mac also notes that the previous Apple TV was introduced in March 2012, so it would make sense that March would be the month for the announcement for a new generation of the device.
Often Apple rumors are speculation based on comments from individuals in Apple's supply chain. However, the news about Apple's forthcoming use of super-hard sapphire crystal isn't rumor. The manufacturing facility has been built in Arizona and is expected to go into production this month, with 700 full-time employees. According to a report on Bloomberg, Apple will be able to produce as much as two times the current world capacity of sapphire crystal. Citing the mayor of Mesa, Arizona, where the plant is located, Apple will be able to make enough sapphire for 80-100 million iPhones. The question is, of course, what will Apple use the sapphire for?
Last week I had more fun than one person should be allowed to have. At appsworld in San Francisco, I had the privilege of meeting Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.
When you think of Apple, it's natural to think first of Steve Jobs and the tremendous task he performed taking Apple, a company near the brink, and completely turning it around to become one of the world's largest companies and most coveted brands. However, if there were no Steve Wozniak, there would have been no Apple. Wozniak is the wizard who designed and built the first highly successful mass-produced personal computer.
I don't know about you, but if BlackBerry tried to sue me, I wouldn't remain as calm and collected as Laurence Hallier. I got the chance to chat with the veteran entrepreneur, who is currently the CEO of TYPO Keyboards, and I asked him about their new TYPO keyboard case (which many critics say looks like a BlackBerry keyboard—inlcuding BlackBerry itself), what it was like working with Ryan Seacrest, how he feels about BlackBerry, and what's next for this young product venture. Enjoy!
The evidence so far for the next iteration of the iPhone has converged on the expectation of a 4.7- or 4.8-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone, which would fall into the "phablet" category (a combination phone/tablet). The phones will likely have the same aspect ratio as the current phones (that is, have the same shape), but will have larger displays. One rumor claimed the iPhone 6 will have HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and that the phablet will be a 2K device, with 2,272 x 1,280 pixels. Several rumors have said that the iPhone 6 will arrive on the same schedule as usual for a new iPhone, which would mean a September launch, with the phablet having a separate launch sometime later. If you're curious what the new phones might look like and how they compare in size with the current phone, BGR has posted a concept video comparing the various sizes. It gives you a clear idea how much larger the new phones will be.
Don't forget to enter this weekend's Giveaway Contest!
Here's how it works: Every other weekend we raffle off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE then announce the winners through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter, go to iPhoneLife.com/giveaways. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code. If you win an accessory, we will ask you for your mailing address.
This weeks featured items are:
What is Apple up to? The evidence just keeps mounting for a major focus on health and fitness. Today Apple posted a job listing seeking exercise physiologists. We already know they've hired a number of top people with expertise in areas such as medical sensors and health-monitoring equipment. The people being recruited by today's ad, which has now been taken down, would be asked to "design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements…" The website 9To5Mac has posted a screen shot of the ad. Qualifications for the positions include experience with health-monitoring equipment, measuring calorie expenditure, key fitness indicators, and exercise testing. 9To5Mac says the ad suggests that Apple is moving into the development phase, which will entail product testing.
Since 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been saying there are new products in the pipeline. Yet so far we've only had updates for existing products. But it's self-evident that they're up to something health-related, given the people they're hiring: a former executive vice-president of medical affairs, an expert on health sensors, an engineer who's a specialist in health-monitoring equipment, and, most recently, a sleep expert. You don't have to be too bright to infer that this suggests they're working on a product related to health monitoring. Plus, they hired a former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent. Why would they hire a fashion designer if not to help create a fashionable wearable device? All of this points to an iWatch or some other sort of wearable computer.
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will undoubtedly be full of triumphant moments and inspirational stories taking place. Perhaps one of the most inspiring will be a story that is both new and still familiar to many people out there. It's the story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team and their journey to these Olympics. It is partly an ode to determination and partially a gaze into the possibilities of digital currency and crowdfunding on a global scale.
In a recent report on mobile payments, the Wall Street Journal said, “Apple Inc. is laying the groundwork for an expanded mobile-payments service, leveraging its growing base of iPhone and iPad users and the hundreds of millions of credit cards on file through its iTunes stores.” This report does not raise eyebrows, but simply states the inevitable fact. Apple's entry into this market will undoubtedly raise the bar, with major players already fiercely competing to gain market traction over how people pay through mobile devices.
A lot of the interest in smartwatches has been stimulated by Pebble, which is the most popular one so far. So what's a smartwatch? They run apps and they typically communicate with your smartphone, such that alerts and other information from your phone appear on the watch's face.
A new app from Facebook called Paper - stories from Facebook (free) is now available in the App Store. You can read more detail about this app and see a demo video in a previous post. The app offers the same sort of immersive experience as the popular Flipboard app, with an attractively designed presentation of your newsfeed. It also offers news on a wide range of your favorite topics taken from the news media.
Some very interesting stories were published in recent days that give insights into a new direction for Apple. As you know, the iPhone 5s and the new iPads have the M7 motion tracking chip. It uses the built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass sensors to track keep a record of all your motions, a feature that is being integrated into a range of apps, including fitness. Apple now seems intent on expanding on this and making health and fitness a major new direction. According to a report on 9To5Mac, this monitoring will be a key feature of iOS 8. The report says iOS 8 will include a new app code named "Healthbook," which will offer the ability to monitor blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and blood-related data points such as glucose levels. You will even be able to enter in information about your medications, if any, so that you can be reminded to take them.
More evidence has emerged suggesting that Apple will be coming out with an iPhone 6 that has a 4.7- or 4.8-inch display, as well as a "phablet" with a 5.5-inch display. The most recent rumors come from a post on BGR, which cites a report from a South Korean securities firm known for having inside sources. BGR says there have now been at least a dozen independent reports of these larger screen sizes. However, this recent report goes well beyond giving the screen sizes and offers details on the other specs. They say the iPhone 6 will have HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and that the phablet will be a 2K device, with 2,272 x 1,280 pixels. Unlike the 5s, they say the iPhone 6 will have a 128GB option, in addition to 16, 32, and 64. Other specs for the new phone are similar to the 5s, including an 8-megapixel camera and a 3.2-megapixel FaceTime camera. The report says, as expected, that the new phones will have the A8 processor. This latest report even goes so far as to say when we can expect the new phones: in the second or third quarter.
With rumors that Apple is gearing up to focus on mobile payment solutions, and the news on Thursday that Major League Baseball stadiums are gearing up to install some 2,000 iBeacon transmitters starting next week, it looks like Apple's iBeacon technology is coming to the fore. According to a post on MacRumors, the devices are expected to be in place in 20 stadiums by the time play begins in March. What will the technology be used for? It will vary from ballpark to ballpark, since they will each be developing their own functionality. In general, iBeacon will be used to help guide people to their seats, to highlight special offers from nearby concessions, track rewards programs, and offer information regarding points of interest.
As a developer and journalist, I get a ton of email. Every day people want me to review their app or gadget, or some app advertising firm wants me to use their services to "monetize" my apps. And of course I have to support my six million customers, at last count. Usually, I ignore the unsolicited spam, but a "personalized" email came across my computer the other day and I had to pursue it.
The subject was "I bet $1.00 I can beat you in WAR OF GEARS"
This is the official announcement of the iPhone life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iphoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce February 10th! We are raffling off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE.
Here's how it works: Every other Friday we will announce the prizes we're giving away through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter the giveaway, go to iphoneLife.com/giveaways. On the following Monday morning, we will randomly select the winners. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code to redeem the app for free. If you win an accessory, send us your address and we will mail it to you.
This weeks featured items are:
Facebook announced a new app Thursday called Paper that will be available February 3. Rather than updating their old app, they simply created a new one from the ground up (though with similarities to an earlier app called Facebook Home). Like the hugely popular Flipboard (free), the new app completely reconceptualizes and designs your news feed so that it's attractively presented and fun to browse. But it does a lot more. Like Flipboard, it also gives you, in a magazine-like format, access to a wide variety of news categories, such as latest headlines, sports, tech, food, etc. According to a detailed post on Macworld, this news content is actually curated by Facebook editors from publications such as the New York Times and Huffington Post. Macworld describes the experience of Paper: "Like its namesake, Paper aims to be a tactile experience—flip through sections, tap a card to unfold stories, scroll through photos, and tilt your phone to see more details in an image." You can see a video demo after the break.
Another year, another State of the Union speech. Two years ago, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, was an invited guest. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was Michelle Obama's guest, and Apple figured prominently in the speech itself. In 2013, the focus was on returning manufacturing to the U.S., and sure enough, the new Mac Pro is now being assembled stateside. The components may come from outside the U.S. but it's a good start. And with a $3000+ computer that doesn't sell in nearly the volumes of an iPhone, the Mac Pro is an easier device to make in America, absorb any potential margin issues, and meet the more measured demand.
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