With all of the hubbub around iOS 8, it's worth remembering that iOS 7 is still around and still being maintained by Apple. In fact, this week Apple rolled out an update, iOS 7.1.2, which offers bug fixes and security updates. Many of the fixes are related to barcode scanning and iBeacon. The 23.1 Megabyte update can be installed wirelessly, which helps contribute to Apple's record-setting adoption rates. I've been using Android devices a lot lately, and it's frustrating how out of date they get. Industry tracker Chitika Research reports that iOS 7 adoption rates are around 90 percent and that was three weeks ago.
As much as my kids and college professor wife would like to forget, it's almost Back-to-School time, and Apple is making it a little easier with their Back-to-School promotion. College-bound students (and their parents) as well as teachers can save year round with Educational pricing, but now Apple sweetens the pot. The annual promotion covers most Macs, iPads, and since 2013, iPhones.
There is no shortage of rumors, mockups, spy shots, and speculation as we head into the last couple of months before the iPhone 6 is announced. Most of the alleged photos of the device show a metal back, but now rumors from France and Japan, via Apple Insider, suggest the metal strips at the top and bottom are only placeholders. That area will be covered in glass, similar to the current iPhone 5s, when the iPhone 6 ships.
I'm on a train back from CE Week, blogging by iPad with a compact Bluetooth keyboard. While it's convenient to travel light, I will be glad to get back to my 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. In fact, I won't be using that Retina display all that much, because I now have my MacBook hooked up to a pair of 24-inch monitors and the MacBook is tucked away in the new Hengedock docking station.
In a long overdue move, Apple dropped the prices on the iPod touch, particularly for the higher storage capacity versions. Now users can get the current generation of the iPod touch in a 16GB version for $199, and for just $50 more they can upgrade to 32GB and for $100 more to 64GB. That entry level 16GB model now includes a decent camera and is available in many colors. The older model can be snagged for $149 at Apple's clearance/refurbished store.
My Macbook has a bunch of wires plugged in at any time: Lightning cables, USB hard drives, Ethernet, video and more. I'm always looking for anything that makes it easier to disconnect so I can take my laptop and work somewhere else. Plus, when the Macbook comes back to its home, it's nice to have an uncluttered desk.
At CE Week, olloclip, the makers of the original clip-on set of camera lenses for the iPhone, showed off a version for the iPad Air and iPad mini. While some frown upon taking photos with a tablet, olloclip has embraced the phenomenon, even creating a funny and useful pamphlet on the subject entitled "iPad Photography: An Etiquette Guide."
Summer is here, and that means festival season. I've had to demonstrate my apps at various outdoor events this week. Making sure I have power where there are no outlets is always a concern. I also have to bring a stand or case for my iPad for display purposes. This makes the Kanex GoPowerPack ideal, as it not only offers up to 11,000 mAh of power, it has a slide out stand built in! I can display my iPad at a convenient angle and keep it running for hours on end. A 6,000 mAh model is also offered.
Perhaps you didn't attend Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, either by choice or you didn't win Apple's lottery to earn the privilege of paying for WWDC. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones to make it to Apple's event. Either way, you will be interested in attending the independent MacTech Conference in Los Angeles, the first week in November.
I'm on an Amtrak train heading from Rochester, NY, to New York City to attend CE Week. CE Week is like a mini CES, with hundreds of vendors instead of thousands; but it's a nice way to see the latest technology, in one location, in a short time. I will be writing about many of the new products this week and next, but for now, I thought I'd write about some of the gear that makes it practical to work on the train.