Earlier I wrote a post about smart light bulbs from Connected By TCP. I'm really enjoying the ability to schedule the bulbs so that my porch and living room are lit up when I come home after dark on dreary winter evenings. The great utility of these bulbs is their flexibility in regard to scheduling. Plus, they're smart enough to know the time of dawn and dusk. Although I find the soft white LED light of the Connected by TCP bulbs appealing, I was eager to try one of the smart bulb options that offer color. Elgato was kind enough to send me their Avea bulb, and I've been having fun trying its different moods.
If you go on vacation or otherwise have some reason to set up an automated reply to incoming emails, you can do so via your iCloud account. It's not possible to do this via the Settings on your iPhone or iPad because turning on this feature is usually done at the server level. And there's a good reason for that: it's very easy for your email to get stuck in an infinite loop. For example, if you and a friend both set up an automated reply by creating a rule in your desktop email programs, you could end up sending thousands of emails to each other, with each person's computer responding to the repeated out-of-office replies with its own out-of-office replies.
Many rumors have now suggested Apple will be coming out with a larger iPad next year, with the most recent courtesy of the Japanese magazine Mac Fan, as reported by the website Macokatara. The magazine's January issue, which came out November 28, has published a schematic of a 12.2-inch iPad that it calls the "iPad Air Plus." The report says that it will ship sometime between April and June of next year. It will be powered by a new A9 processor and will have four speakers, one on each edge of the casing. The placing of the speakers will allow for stereo sound even if the iPad is rotated. The size is expected to be 305.31 x 220.8 x 7 mm.
A new survey by UBS reported by Business Insider found that 10 percent of the 4,000 consumers they surveyed expected to buy a smart watch next year. Extrapolating that figure of 10 percent to the number of iPhone users, UBS estimated that Apple will sell 24 million Apple Watches by the end of their fiscal year on September 30. Based on an average price of around $425, that would generate over $10 billion in revenue and would likely add over $3 billion in profit for the company's fiscal year.
One of the nice features of the iPhone and iPad is the ability to see a photo of your contacts, such as when a call is coming in. You can manually add a photo to a contact by tapping Edit and then tapping Add Photo. Doing so lets you either select a photo you already have on your device or take a photo of the person on the spot. However, there's a much faster way. With just a couple taps you can add photos from all your Facebook friends to your contacts.
Monday, Dec. 1, is World Aids Day, and a portion of every product Apple sells will go to support (RED) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS. In addition, through December 7, 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of (or in-app purchases in) select apps will go to support (RED). You can see a list of the apps in iTunes.
Three Apple products made Time magazine's list of Top 10 Gadgets of 2014, with the Apple Watch coming in at number one. (Which is a bit ironic, since it won't be available until 2015.) The iPhone 6 Plus ranked fifth on the list and the iPad Air 2 ranked ninth. Time described the watch as a "daring foray into the wearable market" and said that "Apple could be the first company to make wearable computers ubiquitous."
It took me over a year to get in the habit of using Siri, partly because she seemed so human-like. I was worried I'd say something dumb. One day I finally got it: there ain't no one listening. And ever since then I've used Siri with abandon. Lately I was surprised to discover that Siri offers a helpful guide to what you can say or ask.
Black Friday is here, and Best Buy has a great deal: $100 off on all iPad Air 2 models. (However, according to AppleInsider, some WiFi models were aleardy sold out as of 7 am Friday morning.) In addition, their discounts include $75 off all iPad mini 3 models and up to $200 off on some cellular data iPad mini 2 models.
First there were reports that the new iPhones bent easily, and now there's a report that some users are complaining that their displays are easily scratched. It turned out that bending wasn't as much of a problem as first reported, and I'm hoping the same will be the case regarding the scratching. AppleInsider has posted an article about extended discussions (nearly 700 posts) on Apple's forums of the scratching issue. People say they are noticing scratching on the display after less than a week of normal use, and that these displays seem more prone to scratching than on other recent iPhone models. AppleInsider suggests the fault could lie with the new design of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which lack a protruding bezel "lip" that might have helped protect earlier models from brushing against surfaces. The curved-edge design leaves the glass more exposed.