Monday, October 24, 2016

The iPod Turns 15 Years Old

15 years ago yesterday, Apple redefined the music industry by putting 1,000 songs in our pockets by announcing the iPod. While the iPod is largely considered obsolete today, it would go on to help inspire the iPhone. On November 10, 2001, the iPod would be released to the public for $399. Here's to another 15 years.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

iOS 10: Maps

Booking a table using Apple Maps
Proactive suggesting directions
Apple Maps has had a rough start, but in iOS 10, I found that the Maps app has finally grown into a full-fledged navigation system and then some. The Maps app uses the cohesion of the Apple ecosystem, the functionality of third-party apps, and the intelligence of Apple's Proactive technology to create an amazing experience. Here's a scenario that happened to me recently: after a family gathering, we decided to go out to lunch. I pulled out my phone and reserved a table using OpenTable through the Maps app. My Maps widget updates and adds the restaurant's location to its list. It also kept the location of my car. I could choose to drive, walk, use public transit, or request a ride sharing service, like Uber, for my transportation method. While giving me directions to the restaurant, my Apple Watch tapped me whenever the directions were updated or a turn was coming up. Different haptics tapped my wrist as I got near a turn. It was pretty intuitive. Anyways, I feel like Maps has finally redeemed itself after its initial issues. I would definitely recommend trying out Maps again. I never really get the chance to use navigation since I typically drive from Point A to Point B everyday, and will use my car's built-in GPS system. But now that I have done this, I will probably use the Maps app whenever I get the chance to go somewhere new.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Magic Toolbar

Apple has used the term "magic" in some of its product names, and even in some tag lines. There's the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad. What do these have in common? They're input accessories. Apple may continue this trend with the Magic Toolbar [Source: The Trademark Ninja]. For those who follow the blog, you know I am very excited for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display coming out next week. This laptop will feature a contextual touch screen strip where the function keys are on current models. This may be called the Magic Toolbar. It makes perfect sense. The trademark belongs to Presto Apps America LLC, but this may be a fake company made by Apple to allow for some secrecy. The name sounds a bit generic and they are trademarking that seems to be on Apple's grounds. So, we'll just have to see this Thursday how things play out.

Image Credit: Martin Hajek

Friday, October 21, 2016

IBM Says Macs Have Better Value Than PCs

At the Jamf Nation User Conference, IBM announced that they found Macs to be cheaper than PCs when deploying them into their workplace. They believe this because Macs required much less maintenance than PCs. Over four years, IBM saved up to $543 with each Mac they bought. 73 percent of IBM employees want their next computer to be a Mac. Anyone wondering how to deploy technology in their company may want to check this out.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nintendo Switch

Today, Nintendo revealed their next-generation console, the Nintendo Switch, the final name for their NX console. Nintendo has a lot riding on this after the flop that was the Wii U. Switch is a hybrid between a handheld and a home console. In addition, it can play more third-party games, including The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Unfortunately, the short, three-minute trailer we saw this morning will be the last thing we will hear of the Switch until 2017. I'd like to give my thoughts and impressions in a separate post.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Apple Confirms 'Hello Again' Event

Yesterday, I talked about how Apple was rumored to host their event on October 27. Today, Apple has confirmed that. The event is called "Hello Again," a reference to the "Hello" slogan used by the original Macintosh. That being said, this all but explicitly confirms that the event will be centered around the Mac, part of Apple that has gone neglected for too long. Every Mac model, except for the MacBook hasn't had an update for a year, and some for several years. Let's mark our calendars for October 27.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Apple Event on October 27th

Literally as soon as I say there won't be an Apple event in October, there's an Apple event in October. And I'm not complaining by any means. Maybe I should start saying Apple won't be doing stuff more often. According to Re/code, Apple will be hosting an event on October 27. I can't remember the last time Apple has done an event on a Thursday. At this event, we're likely going to see some Mac refreshes. I've been really looking forward to this event. I'll be sure to cover as much of this as I can, including when Apple confirms the event.

Monday, October 17, 2016

No Apple Event in October?

If you're like me, then you've been probably shocked on how little news there is on the new Macs, especially since we were expecting to see them this month. MacRumors has begun to question whether there will be an event, as they have a confident source saying that the new Macs will be released in October. Even if they were released on the same day as the event, it seems unlikely. There haven't been invites sent out yet and events typically don't happen right before the end of October. In order to make it in time for the holiday shopping season, I'd guess they are skipping the event in favor of a quiet update.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Note 7 Banned From All U.S. Flights

The United States Department of Transportation has officially banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from all U.S. flights. It is labeled as a "forbidden hazardous material." Not only are they banned from carry-on luggage, but also cargo. All of this, even if it's powered off. If you try to get past this, you could potentially face criminal prosecution. Safe travels everyone!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What Happens if the iPhone 7's Home Button Fails?

The iPhone 7's home button is a significant deviation from its predecessors. It has no click mechanism and simply vibrates to mimic the feeling of the button being clicked. However, it appears that the button can fail, leaving the user without an essential hardware function. Luckily, Apple did program a temporary workaround [Source: MacRumors]. A message will popup acknowledging that the home button needs to be serviced. From here, a digital home button will be displayed on screen that will function like a normal home button. Hopefully, this doesn't happen to too many people.

Image Credit: iwayne

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus Availability Update

One of the most popular, and hardest to obtain, iPhone 7 models was the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus. Today, it is available in many Apple Stores. Jet Black iPhones are particularly hard to find because of their popularity and production process.To see if your local store carries it, check iStockNow for a visual map.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Samsung Offers $100 To Note 7 Users That Stay Loyal To Brand

After the Samsung recall and discontinuation of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is hoping to soften the blow to it's user base by offering $100 to stay within the Samsung ecosystem [Source: TechCrunch]. To receive this, an affected customer in the U.S. must exchange their phone to another Samsung phone. The credit will vary, but it can be up to $100. After all is said and done, Samsung is expected to lose $17 billion from this issue. Perhaps this should be taken as a lesson. Lithium-ion batteries are closer and closer to us, and as we incorporate them into our earbuds and watches, it may be important to be wary of them at times.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Get Amazon Music Unlimited for $3.99 a Month

Amazon Music Unlimited is Amazon's music streaming service that launched today. For a monthly fee, you can get access to millions of songs, similar to Apple Music and Spotify. While the price for Prime members is $7.99 per month, Amazon had a great idea for owners of Amazon Echo devices. One of the best features about Amazon Echo is that you can ask Alexa to play any song from Amazon's massive library of music if you have Amazon Music Unlimited. Many people would get the service just for their Echo's but stay with their other streaming services for their other devices. If you're part of this group, you can get Amazon Music Unlimited for just $3.99 per month. The only catch is that you cannot use the service on non-Echo devices. Echo users can ask Alexa to start their free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited to start their subscription.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Samsung Discontinues Galaxy Note 7

In an somewhat expected, yet surprising move by Samsung, the Galaxy Note 7 has been permanently discontinued for safety reasons [Source: The Wall Street Journal]. The exploding battery issue has become too dangerous for Samsung to take any risks. In addition, Samsung stock dropped almost 10%. If you own a Note 7, please power it off and return it. Note that you cannot bring a Galaxy Note 7 on a commercial airline, as they are a flight risk. Your options are likely limited by owning a Note 7. I highly recommend exchanging it for another smartphone of your choice. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Samsung Halts All Sales of Note 7

Today, Samsung announced that they would be halting all sales of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 worldwide until further safety investigation has been conducted. This is understandable, as several of the replacement models meant to alleviate the exploding battery issue have already exploded. You can't help but feel bad for Samsung though, because many have been waiting for the next generation Note, and having to wait longer to be able to have piece of mind can be frustrating, especially so close to the holiday season. Another scary thought is that since the replacement models were designed specifically not to have this issue, how can anyone be sure that the problem is truly gone? Samsung is asking all Note 7 users to stop using their phones and power them off.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Why I Dont Like The New iPhone 7 Colors

The iPhone 7 ditched Space Gray for two new colors: Black and Jet Black. Although their appearance is totally subjective, there is a specific reason that I don't like the new colors. They disrupt the continuity of Apple's colors. MacBooks, iPads, Apple Watches, and Beats headphones that used Apple's color scheme will likely not adapt to the new colors. They currently offer these products in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. The iPhone 7 comes in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Black, and Jet Black. I believe that they will not update these products with the new coloring scheme, at least not for Jet Black, as it is very hard to produce. I would hate to buy all my Apple products in Space Gray, just to have them messed up with the new colors. Luckily, I prefer the Silver color, so this doesn't affect me too much. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Catches Fire on Plane

According to The Verge, a replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has caught fire on a Southwest flight as it pulled out of the gate. Luckily, no one was injured. The phone started smoking at around 80 percent in the owner's pocket. It may be noteworthy that Brian Green, the owner of the phone, only used a wireless charger to charge the device, however, that should not have any correlation. These replacement phones were meant to alleviate the exploding battery issue that initially caused the phone to be recalled. Samsung has not commented on this development.

Image Credit: The Verge

Friday, October 7, 2016

Markup in iOS 10

Markup is Apple's annotating tool used in macOS, and now it works with iOS 10 with Photos. To use it on a photo, just select a photo from the Photos app. Tap Edit, and tap the three dots in the circle near the bottom right corner of the screen. Select "Markup" from the available options. You can now annotate and draw on the photo of your choosing. I hope this helps!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

iOS 10.1 Warns That Older Apps Slow Down iOS

In the iOS 10 beta, Apple had an alert notifying users that used 32-bit (and typically deprecated) apps would likely have lag in iOS. This alert was removed in the official public release. However, this alert seems to have returned in iOS 10.1. It will also note that the developer should improve the app and update it to 64-bit. These outdated apps will also be removed from the App Store soon.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Why Google Abandoned Nexus

Yesterday, Google announced their Pixel smartphone, the successor to their Nexus phones. But why did they stop using the Nexus brand? Here's my speculation. First, the final phones for Nexus were called the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The numbers represented screen size and version number (interchangeably at times). Their tablets were the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Keeping the 6 on the Nexus would be confusing to consumers, forcing them to know the difference between a 6P and a 6Q. Another Nexus 7 wouldn't do much good either. So, rebranding it must've been the best choice. One of the selling points of Pixel is that there's no version number. Also, Pixel's name origin comes from the Chromebook Pixel. So, hopefully that clears up any confusion about Google's new phone.