That charging cube we've all come to know and love might be getting some "love handles." A photo out of China shows a wider charging brick with indentations on the side to make it easier to grip. This could all be speculation, but it would make sense. Apple already has a different charging adapter for the iPad, because it uses more power, and the expectation is that the upcoming larger iPhone will use a battery that is almost 50 percent bigger than the iPhone 5s. It's understandable that it might need a more powerful charger than the current model.
I travel a lot, and depend on my iOS devices during those travels. That makes a reliable extra battery pack an extremely important part of my travel gear. Recently I've been using a UNU battery case ($99.95), but that's specifically for my iPhone 5s. It doesn't have a USB port to power my iPad Air, and when the next iPhone comes out, it won't be compatible.
As a developer for iOS, Mac OS, Android, Amazon Fire, Windows Phone, and even Samsung Bada, I have enough platforms to support. Apple makes it relatively easy and even though the next iPhone is likely to have a new screen resolution, it should be straightforward to accommodate. Android, however, is another story. This chart from Open Signal, via Gizmodo shows just how fragmented the Android market is.
It's a new day at Microsoft. For the first time in decades, neither Bill Gates nor Steve Balmer are involved in running the company. While Gates left years ago to concentrate on his charitable foundation, Balmer stepped down as CEO six months ago, and this week he dropped off the Board of Directors. Instead of concentrating on charity, Balmer will use his trademark enthusiasm to cheer on his newest acquisition, the Los Angeles Clippers.
I’ve written before about Apple’s likelihood of introducing a 128 GB model of the iPhone, and possibly dropping the 16 GB configuration. I’ve also written about their reduction of the price difference to double the memory of a particular configuration, at least for the iPod touch. That was long overdue. For years, Apple charged $100 to go from 16 GB to 32 GB or from 32 GB to 64 GB, despite the decrease in memory costs over time. Combined with Apple's insistence on a closed design, with no expandable storage, those pricing decisions added insult to injury.
I just learned of (and backed) a Kickstarter campaign to learn Swift and iOS 8 programming. It's being run by a friend and colleague of mine, named Paul Solt. He's an award-winning app developer and a great instructor. I've had the opportunity to attend live training from him, and he's offered video training before, also via Kickstarter, with great success.
One of the newest Apple employees, Andre Young a.k.a. Dr. Dre, is the latest to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Apple CEO Tim Cook and VP Phil Schiller also did it, and passed the challenge on to Dre. For the uninitiated, the challenge is to donate money to fight ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or allow yourself to be doused by ice cold water. Of course, most challengees (especially the super wealthy and famous) are expected to do both. So far, quite a few celebrities have gotten into the act, including Bill Gates with a sophisticated contraption.
BestBuy may have jumped the gun, but for now at least, their website shows the Moto 360 with pricing ($249.99) and specs, and states "Coming Soon" for availability. The page might come down, so here's a screengrab and the specifications. The pricing is actually pretty attractive (as is the watch) given that it is voice actived, waterproof, and manages to fit in a 1.5-inch round LCD touch screen.
There is a good article over at CNET on how an iPhone 5s from Verizon could work on AT&T. I won't go into the details here, but suffice it to say, as carriers standardize on LTE, it is possible to make a phone that works on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and other carriers. Indeed customers already could migrate between AT&T and T-Mobile, which use GSM SIM cards. In fact, I use an old AT&T iPhone on Consumer Cellular's service.
Carriers and mobile retailers have created their own dilemma by signing up users for two year contracts. This means that retailers won't get another shot at their next iPhone for 23 months or more. Given the rapid pace of innovation, many users are either left out or finding creative ways to upgrade. Personally, I leverage our Family Plan so I can get the latest iPhone each year and hand down my one year old model to a family member.