A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled, Can You Hear Me Now? (An Open Letter to Apple), where I wrote about my frustration at the volume levels put out by iTunes Radio and iTunes Match. I received many comments to that post and instead of writing my findings as a comment, I wanted to write what I learned and what I did in a separate post.
I won't rehash what I wrote in the other post, if you didn't read it you can do so here.
Richard Sherman has drawn much of the attention as the Seattle Seahawks prepare for their conquest of East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of MetLife Stadium. But of course, Richard Sherman isn't the only story as Pete Carroll's team heads east to face John Fox's Denver Broncos. And fans know that, but beside periodic news reports, how are Seahawks fans going to keep track of everything going on? The answer is load your iPad or iPhone with Seahawks apps.
I'm not your stereotypical woman when it comes to watching football. Instead of dreading football season, I sit next to my husband on the couch every Sunday watching the game, sometimes even yelling louder than he is.
This football season has even been more fun for me, since my favorite team is playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday. I live in Colorado, so take a guess who I'm rooting for!
If you're also a football fan and are as excited about the big game as I am, you might want to download some apps to enjoy the experience even more.
Here are five Super Bowl apps to check out.
There were a couple reports Thursday related to Apple TV, suggesting that we'll see an update or a new device—or both—in the coming months. A report on iLounge said Apple will be adding games to their Apple TV device by March or even earlier in a major update to the platform. The information is said to come from "reliable industry sources." The games would be downloaded directly to the device (rather than using an iPhone or iPad as an intermediary), and the controller would be a Bluetooth device that Apple is currently working on. In addition, a report on 9To5Mac said that a new Apple TV device will likely be coming the first half of this year, and will include a new operating system based on iOS. As I understand it, the operating system is already based on iOS, so maybe they mean that the interface will be more like iOS. They also say that along with the new hardware Apple will introduce an App Store for the Apple TV.
Have you noticed the girl on her Mac in your meeting? How about the guy who’s researching directions on his iPhone? Maybe your friend with a lightweight iPad is following along with the professor’s lecture while you flip through a 300-page textbook? This growing trend among college students leads me to ask: Why has Apple become so prevalent at school?
Apple continues to promote the iPad Air with commercials using a narration of a verse by Walt Whitman taken from the movie Dead Poets Society. Similar to the longer 90-second commercial that Apple released earlier, these two 30-second spots again show the iPad being used in a wide variety of settings. As usual, the commercials are artfully done and fun to watch. The narration:
According to a post on AppleInsider, a Wall Street analyst is claiming that Apple has now finalized their design for the iPhone 6. And he says that according to his contacts in Apple's supply chain it will have a 4.8-inch display and will come with the new, faster Wi-Fi protocol called 802.11ac. He said that we can also expect major software innovations with the next version of iOS, including a mobile payments system that will take advantage of iBeacons, Passbook, and Touch ID. Plus, the faster 64-bit processor on the A7 chip being used in the latest iPhones and iPads along with Touch ID will enable new services. Finally, he also said to expect a 13-inch iPad late this year. These points square with what we've been hearing, and it seems likely the iPhone 6 will be larger. He didn't say anything about a phablet, but even that seems to confirm earlier rumors the two larger phones will launch at different times, with the smaller of the two coming first and an even larger iPhone coming later.
All the rumors continue to point to a larger iPhone. Plus, these rumors are increasingly suggesting not only will there be two different sizes, but also that the two phones will launch at different times. AppleInsider yesterday reported that according to a Chinese analyst, the iPhone 6 will launch in June at the WorldWide Developers Conference with a 4.7-inch screen. The post says the resolution will be 1136 x 640, which is the same as the current iPhone. As I noted in a previous post, that would be a logical step for Apple to take, because it would be easier for developers and because the pixel density, while less than the current iPhone, would still be on par with the iPad — and probably not noticeable. However, AppleInsider notes that other analysts expect Apple to increase the resolution for their 4.7-inch iPhone. Citing the Chinese analyst, AppleInsider also says that a 5.7-inch "phablet" will come later. It would be interesting if Apple would give it a different name, as they did with the iPad Air. They might call the 4.7-inch model the iPhone 6, and the larger one the iPhone Pro or something. But of course that's pure speculation.
Any rumors at this point are necessarily sketchy, and even more so the current iWatch rumor, given that the Korean site that originally posted it then removed it. That could be because they got further evidence that suggested it was wrong. Or that the information was correct and Apple asked them to take it down. Anyway, according to 9To5Mac, the Korean website DDaily posted an article saying that a forthcoming iWatch from Apple would have a 1.5-inch OLED display, and that it would launch this summer. Plus, 9To5Mac says that the use of OLED suggests that the iWatch would have a curved display. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, a technology that some manufacturers are now using for curved displays. I think it's inevitable that Apple will jump into wearable computing. They've already taken so many steps in this direction, including patents and hiring personnel. I'm convinced we'll see an iWatch, and a summer launch would make sense because it leaves fall open for the iPhone and iPad launches.
When I’m not evaluating the latest iOS apps, or experimenting with the newest iPad or iPhone accessories, I spend my time helping organizations think about their future. The Consumer Electronics Show included plenty of announcements that will influence the strategic choices made at Apple for years to come.
I wrote a report, CES 2014: Implications for Apple, that outlines seven areas in which CES “trends” will help shape Apple’s future. Here is a brief summary.
Cloud-based document storage services are a wonderful boon, and I'm a big fan of Dropbox. Any document I'm working on, I put it in my Dropbox folder. As I make changes, the most recent version of the file is automatically uploaded to the web. And because the document is in the cloud, I can access it from my iPads or from any computer connected to the Internet. The Dropbox app on my iPads lets me view most document file types. Box is yet another popular cloud storage service, and whereas Dropbox offers 5GB of storage for free, Box announced on Wednesday that for the next 30 days they're offering 50GB of free storage for life if you download the new Box for iPhone and iPad 3.0 (free).
Recently, AT&T created headlines, raised suspicion, and set tongues wagging with its announcement that they are starting a new Sponsored Data program. This new plan will allow eligible 4G customers to access mobile content and apps without impacting their monthly wireless data plan. In simpler terms this would be like a toll-free service for wireless data where websites that sign up as sponsors will be free for AT&T wireless customers. As a result, no data will be deducted from a surfer’s monthly allotment of data. Data charges will be borne by the sponsoring company.
Let's face it, these days, you can't go anywhere without at least one smartphone being present. Especially if you're enjoying a night out on the town. It's getting so that your favorite happy hour might just feature one or two sad faces, upset that they can't get Wi-Fi access.
Google yesterday announced a new version of their free Chrome web browser that has some great features. Plus, they launched a new app that lets you view movies and TV shows that you've purchased in the Google Play store. An important new feature of Chrome is an option for compressing data, meaning that you use up to 50 percent less of your data allotment when browsing the web. If you turn on this feature, the app uses Google's servers to compress the web pages that you're accessing before they appear on your iPhone or iPad. This new feature also enables Safe Browsing, which protects you from malicious web pages so you don't inadvertently download spyware or viruses. When you open the Chrome browser, it automatically explains this new option and presents you with a screen to enable it. You can subsequently toggle it on and off in the settings panel for Chrome. Tap the settings icon at the top right in Chrome, then select Bandwidth, and then Reduce Data Usage. You'll see a screen that lets you turn the feature on and off and that shows your data savings. (See screenshot.)
Not many people yet appreciate the iBeacon feature built into their devices. But you will. iBeacon continues to gain momentum, and more and more people will begin to use it this year. A post on AppleInsider yesterday reported the first use of iBeacon for mobile payments. This is likely the future: You've selected your items for purchase and as you walk out the store you simply tap your iPhone to confirm the purchase, and you're on your way. According to AppleInsider, iMobile3 has developed a system called PassMarket that will store your payment information for a particular retailer. The system interacts with your iPhone via iBeacon, so that when you approach checkout, iBeacon will sense your location and automatically give you the option of paying via your phone. According to the article, iMobile3 envisions that this will be readily adopted by retailers because the technology basically integrates systems they're already using. And for reasons explained in the article, this system is more secure than the system that was recently breached at Target.
I've attended dozens of CES (and COMDEX) tradeshows and every time I return, people ask me "what was the big thing this year?" Usually it's something straightforward like larger televisions, 3DTV, Blu-Ray, tablets, or smartphones. But this year, the big thing was "THINGS" itself! The phrase "The Internet of Things" refers to the increasing connectivity and intelligence of ordinary tools and appliances. Thanks to technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and IPv6, we have reached a tipping point where everyday devices like light bulbs, door locks, and thermostats can be connected to each other and to the Internet.
In a previous post I mentioned a rumor that the iPhone 6 will continue to have an 8-megapixel camera, but that it would come with optical image stabilization. Now yet another rumor has appeared that supports the claim that Apple is working on optical stabilization technology. Last Thursday the US patent office published an Apple patent that describes in detail how optical image stabilization and improved autofocus will work in the iPhone camera. Images from the patent application and a description were posted Friday by UnwiredView.com. According to the post, the patent indicates that Apple has been working on this technology since at least early 2012, so it could well be that it's ready for the iPhone 6. A quote from the patent describes Apple's approach to autofocus (AF) and optical image stabilization (OIS):
Apple's reach just keeps increasing, with the iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display becoming available on the shelves at Staples stores this past week. In the past, Staples had only sold the devices online, beginning last September. The prices are the same as Apple's and other outlets, but their trade-in price is may be of interest: they're paying as much as $300 for your old iPad. Plus, you get 5 percent back in rewards credits. Staples also sells the iPod and a wide range of accessories. But no iPhone yet.
Ōlloclip makes some of my favorite tools for iPhone photography and this year at CES the company was there in force, showing off their impressive new array of iPhoneography gear.
Yet another rumor is suggesting, based on checks with Apple suppliers, that Apple will introduce two new iPhones later this year, one with a display of 4.7 inches and one at 5.5 inches. According to StreetInsider.com, citing analyst Brian White, it's likely that Apple will continue to sell a 4-inch model, giving consumers a choice among three different sizes. White also says that it's likely Apple will introduce the larger phones at different times, first launching the 4.7-inch model on the regular iPhone cycle, and then subsequently having a separate event for the larger device. His rationale is that the larger device would fall into the "phablet" category and be different enough that Apple would have a separate event to introduce it.
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