By Siva Om on Wed, 01/21/2015
FaceTime is great, I love the app and use it often. However, as I've aged, and technology has advanced, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon whenever I FaceTime with anyone who is around my age or older. If you are over 30, read on after the break; this one's for you...
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 01/20/2015
It's been several years since Apple updated the Apple TV, and we keep hearing rumors that a new box is imminent. The rumors have been wrong. Some people are getting impatient and are jailbreaking the second-generation Apple TV in order to add functionality they had hoped that Apple would make available. In fact, the second-generation Apple TV is so superior when jailbroken that it's selling for between $150–$200 on eBay — which is more than the $99 price of a new third-generation Apple TV (which can't be jailbroken).
By Siva Om on Tue, 01/20/2015
I remember interviewing Oculus co-founder and VP, Nate Mitchell at CES 2013, back when his company was barely more than a humble crowd-funded campaign demoing a chunky, duct-taped box that strapped precariously on to your head. We talked optimistically about the future of virtual reality (VR), agreeing that the potential was great, even though consumer interest in this fledgling platform hadn't had a chance to gather much steam. Fast forward three years and Oculus is now a division of the Facebook empire, and we have Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg weighing in on the impact that this emerging technology will have on the world.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 01/20/2015
It's a sad day, as a longtime (since 1984) Mac user. We lost MacWorld magazine last year (and the MacWorld tradeshow) and now MacUser has logged off for the last time. In fact, www.MacUser.com redirects to www.MacWorld.com, which is still around as an online publication. Both magazines were helpful when I, along with the rest of the PC counterculture rebelled to make sure "1984 won't be like 1984!" It was a great way to keep in touch with Apple news and learn about programs and accessories. I also looked forward to the different editorials and columns from like-minded (and not-so-like-minded) writers.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 01/20/2015
It's not a surprise that Samsung might be copying another feature from the Apple iPhone, especially since that feature, Touch ID, is over a year old. Samsung has already had a fingerprint reader, but it was the old fashioned kind that required the user to swipe their finger at just the right speed and angle to be recognized.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 01/19/2015
Every year, Apple updates their "A" series of chips that power the iPhone and iPad, prompting speculation that such a chip might find its way into the Mac product line. There are a lot of compelling reasons why that could happen, but there are usually more compelling reasons against it. Which is probably why it hasn't happened yet. However, the buzz is growing around an A-series chip in Apple's next low-end MacBook Air. Apple could control their destiny, using their own chip instead of relying on (and paying) Intel.
By Jordan Joynt on Mon, 01/19/2015
Your home is well on its way to becoming a whole lot smarter. At CES 2015, we got a glimpse of the first round of HomeKit-enabled devices that will eventually end up in living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.
By Jim Karpen on Mon, 01/19/2015
A Chinese-language publication in Taiwan with sources in Apple's supply chain has reported that Apple will up the amount of RAM in the next iPhone to 2 GB. But even more important, it will be next-generation LPDDR4-based RAM. According to an article on Forbes, this type of RAM is twice as fast as the RAM in the current iPhone.
By Jim Karpen on Mon, 01/19/2015
There's not much to go on, and not many blogs have picked this up. Yet I pass it along, given that I'd love to think that Apple may be offering a special event soon. According to Tgaap, Apple may be holding a special event on February 24. They aren't clear on the date, though, nor on what will be announced. But their "research" suggests that Tim Cook will revisit the Apple Watch and may introduce yet new features. Plus, at that time he would announce the availability dates and pricing for all the various models. According to Tgaap, Apple itself hasn't yet settled on a specific date when the Apple Watch will be available. Which makes sense, given that it often depends on how smoothly mass production goes. And production has only recently begun. The post also says something unknown will be announced, possibly Apple Watch-related. In addition, Tgaap says Apple will announce a new entry-level MacBook Pro with retina display.
By Jim Karpen on Fri, 01/16/2015
On Wednesday Google released a new version of Google Translate (free) in the App Store that has some great new features. Most importantly, it now includes Word Lens: you can point your camera at some text in a foreign language, and the translated text will instantly overlay the image on your screen. You don't even need an Internet connection. According to the announcement on the Official Google Blog, the translation works between English and French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, with more languages to be added.
By Nate Adcock on Thu, 01/15/2015
I promise this will be my final CES post up—not they we ever want CES to end, but it does tend to clog up our main pages with "CES-this" and "CES-that" and after a week, it's time to move on. I will attempt to mention a few of the vendors we might have missed in our main show coverage, and possibly a few other cool non-iPhonethings as well. Just dive in, as it will mostly be pictures, with a quick blurb explaining each item (and maybe a vendor link if I felt like it or grabbed a press kit). If I missed your product at the show, I apologize. At CES, there are too many things to see, and not enough time to write (see all of our show coverage here)..
By Jim Karpen on Wed, 01/14/2015
Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are out, and now that we're in a new year, it's time for the next stage of the rumor cycle: leaked tidbits about the forthcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. According to AppleInsider, which cites a Taiwanese website, sources in Apple's supply chain have said that Apple is considering a dual-lens camera for the new phone — which would make it possible to have an optical zoom feature. It would also improve performance in low-light situations. Already the iPhone camera is excellent, with the iPhone 6 Plus featuring phase-detection autofocus and optical image stabilization. A dual-lens camera would certainly take it up a notch and put the iPhone even farther ahead of competitors.
By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 01/14/2015
It's hardly shocking when Samsung copies features from Apple (or when Apple copies Samsung and Android) but it is noteworthy that the recent revelations from Samsung, at CES, indicate that their next Galaxy S6 smartphone borrows heavily from Apple's design choices. Specifically, Samsung's next phone should have a metal back, like Apple, which is a good thing. But Samsung may be copying some of the features even loyal Apple fans don't appreciate. The next Samsung phone will have a non-removable battery and non-expandable memory. Instead of leveraging their advantage over Apple, with removable batteries and expandable microSD storage, Samsung is eliminating that distinction.
By Jim Karpen on Mon, 01/12/2015
This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Apple enthusiasts. Both Apple Watch and HomeKit hold the potential to be revolutionary in the same way the iPhone was eight years ago. The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the Apple Watch. Bottom line: just as the iPhone freed us from the desktop and made communication and information more mobile, so too will the Apple Watch take things to another level by making information and communication more convenient and easier.
By Nate Adcock on Mon, 01/12/2015
The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.