Saturday, August 27, 2016

iPhone 7s To Remove Home Button

For the first iPhone 7s rumor, Bloomberg expects that the 2017 iPhone will remove the iconic home button. Instead, the home button and Touch ID would be part of the display, making the iPhone a smooth piece of glass. In addition, it's also worth noting that this iPhone would mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Until then, let's focus on the iPhone 7.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Spotify Hiding Songs From Artists With Apple Music Exclusives

According to Bloomberg, Spotify has been burying songs of artists that have Apple Music exclusives within their search results for the past year. In addition, their songs will not be included in any Spotify featured playlists. This is a particular issue for small artists who debuted exclusively on Beats 1. While Spotify has been leading streaming music technology for sometime now, it seems that Apple Music is quickly becoming a threat, especially with their exclusives, software integration, large library, and better artist support. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Voice Assistants Restrained by Microphone Technology

According to Bloomberg, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and other voice assistants are being held back by a lack of advancements in microphone technology. In a world where cameras and displays are constantly updated, people tend to forget about the phone part of a smartphone. Microphones have long been neglected. This causes phones to not properly be able to detect speech accurately. How many microphones, the quality of them, and their placement all are factors for how well these services will work. Hopefully, we'll see better microphones as time goes on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Siri Errors Cut By A Factor of Two

According to Steven Levy, Apple has used machine learning to cut Siri errors by a factor of two. Machine learning allows a device to correct itself by learning from its mistakes. Because of this, Siri is much more accurate. This same technology is also used in QuickType and Apple Pencil.
"This was one of those things where the jump was so significant that you do the test again to make sure that somebody didn’t drop a decimal place."
- Eddy Cue 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pokémon Go: Appraisal Update

In an effort to keep Pokémon Go players satisfied while game mechanics are being fixed, Niantic updated Pokémon Go with an Appraisal feature. This allows the user to gain insight on their Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, this isn't very useful to experienced players and is pretty uninformative to newer players, so I see this as just a filler update. I mean, my team leader called my CP 10 Magikarp "above average." Pokémon Go is available from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Yeah, that's right. Team Mystic for life.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Apple Music Festival 2016

For the second Apple Music Festival, as it was called the iTunes Festival in previous years, the event will be held in London. It will be from September 18 to September 30. Counting the iTunes Festival, it will be the tenth Apple-held music festival. The event can be watched via Apple Music and information is being relayed via Beats 1.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Apple Retail Changes

In addition to changing the naming format of the Apple Retail Stores, Apple will be updating several aspects of their stores. First off, there are new positions: Pro, Creative Pro, and Technical Expert. Several of the positions are being renamed as well. For example, Red Zone Specialist is now just Specialist. There will be a new design that new Apple Stores will follow. Older stores will likely receive the change over in time. Finally, Apple updated the motto for Apple Store employees to follow.
 Enriching lives. 
We are here to enrich lives. 
To help dreamers become doers, 
to help passion expand human potential, 
to do the best work of our lives. 

We give more than we take. 
From the planet, 
to the person beside us. 
We become a place to belong 
where everyone is welcome. 

We draw strength from our differences. 
From background and perspective 
to collaboration and debate. 
We are open. 

We redefine expectations. 
First for ourselves, then for the world. 
Because we’re a little crazy. 
Because “good enough” isn’t. 
Because what we do says who we are. 

We find courage. 
To try and to fail, 
to learn and to grow, 
to figure out what’s next, 
to imagine the unimaginable, 
to do it all over again tomorrow. 

We believe our soul is our people. 
People who recognize themselves 
in each other. 
People who shine a spotlight 
only to stand outside it. 
People who work to leave this world better than they found it. 
People who live to enrich lives.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Donate Through Apple to Louisiana Flood Relief Efforts

If you would like to donate money to help relief efforts for the Louisiana flood, you may want to consider doing it through Apple. Not only do 100% of the proceeds go to the efforts made by the American Red Cross (as they should), but you won't get any telemarketing calls as your information is not transmitted in any way. Donations can be made in $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 denominations. To donate, use Apple's website or iTunes. You will use your iTunes account and your connected credit card will be charged.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Apple Watch 2: GPS

According to a Bloomberg report, the Apple Watch 2 will have GPS. This will allow the Apple Watch to determine its location accurately. It's also useful for fitness applications. This does not mean it will have cellular connectivity. It will rely on the iPhone for this, as it will reduce strain on the battery. This does leave potential for better fitness-based Apple Watch apps.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Apple Store Rebranding

Since the dawn of time, Apple's retail stores have been called Apple Stores. But it appears that they may be renaming their retail stores, by dropping the "Store" from it [Source: MacRumors]. Anyways, an example of this would be the Apple Store at The Grove. It would now be called "Apple The Grove." The change is to make Apple Stores to seem more like community gathering areas instead of a place where you spend money.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Automatic Pro

Automatic is a Bluetooth dongle that plugs into the OBD-II data port that most cars have. I personally used one since I've started driving and it helps me keep track of my trips, how much gas I use, and where I park. It also automates my house. So, yeah. Definitely a neat little device. However, the only problem was that it relied on my iPhone. If for some reason it didn't sync properly, as it must for each trip, data could be lost. With Automatic Pro, the newest generation of Automatic, now has 3G connectivity. There's no subscription fees. To learn more, check out the official website to learn about  Automatic. Automatic Pro is available to purchase starting today for $129.95.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Individual Read Receipts in iOS 10

In iOS 10, you can choose to send or restrict read receipts from specific conversations. Read receipts tell your recipient the time you read their iMessage. To toggle this option, tap the Details button in any iMessage conversation and use the switch "Send Read Receipts." This is very similar to how you can toggle "Do Not Disturb" for conversations. I hope this helps any beta testers or developers! iOS 10 will come out in September.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tesla Rebrands 'Autopilot' Term in China

Ensuring that whatever you make is properly localized is key to getting as many people to like your product and to keep good press. Good examples of good localization include the Animal Crossing series, taking creative liberties to ensure that American audiences weren't confused with Japanese traditions by replacing them with American references and holidays in the American version. And of course, the worst example of good localization is the Chevrolet Nova, which translates to "doesn't go" in Spanish, which is bad considering this is a car. After a non-fatal crash caused by Tesla's autopilot in China, the Chinese website no longer uses the term "zidong jiashi," which can be interpreted as "self-driving" [Source: Reuters]. Not exactly what you want when it comes to press reception. The term was replaced with a similar term that means "self-assisted driving." Whether or not this discourages people from using the feature, time will tell, for those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A10 Chip Pictures Leaked

Based on a picture from GeekBar, the A10 chip is in production is will be put into the iPhone 7. This isn't much of a surprise, as this is typical for Apple's cycle. Looking at how the chips are labeled, it appears they were produced in mid-July. Whether or not this leak is true, we can be confident that the A10 chip will be in the iPhone 7.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Stranger Things

The Netflix original series, Stranger Things, has a surprisingly Apple-orientated history behind it. For starters, the poster for the series had its sketch done with an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil [Source: Mashable]. Kyle Lambert, the artist, finds the technological combination to be very natural to draw on. In addition, the Stranger Things soundtrack will debut exclusively on Apple Music [Source: Consequence of Sound].

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fake Speakers for iPhone 7?

According to NWE, the holes for a second speaker on the iPhone 7 may be just to make the bottom of the phone symmetric. These left speakers would not serve any function, although the right speakers would work properly. Not only would this mean there wouldn't be dual speakers, but it taunts headphone users as where the holes are cover where the 3.5 mm headphone jack would be. We'll hopefully know about this next month, September 9th.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Siri Plays Pokémon Go?

From time to time, Siri will reference pop culture in her responses. Pokémon Go is no exception, which is a bit ironic considering it uses Google Maps. Asking her what her favorite Pokémon may yield one of the following results [Source: viridian-]:
  • Hypno ... is ... the ... most ... mesmerizing - hey, wait a minute!
  • Geodude, dude.
  • Polymaths prefer Poliwags
  • Oh, that one right there! Touching his egg! Did you see it?
  • I like playing peekaboo with Pikachu.
  • My favourite is Abra. No, Kadabra. Actually, Alakazam.
  • My heuristic algorithm does not currently support favourtism when it comes to animated creatures.
  • That yellow species with an electrostatic tail or veriable angles is rather cute.
  • Well, i couldn't exist without electrodes. (Thanks Ralpie)
  • "_____", I choose you! (Thanks Dragonilic)
  • I believe all Pokemon were created equal. (Thanks BaconLondoner)
Asking Siri if she plays Pokémon Go will yield more responses [Source: 9to5Mac]:
  • I like playing peekaboo with Pikac[h]u.
  • PokéStop!
  • Of course. That’s what it’s all about. Oh, wait, that’s the hoké Pokémon.
  • Snorlax. Zzzz. Sorry, what was the question?
  • Confining virtual beings inside powerful devices makes me feel funny for some reason.
  • Oh, is that why everyone keeps asking what color a Geodude is?
  • Chance! Go!
  • I’ve been looking in the muck for Muk.
  • I like pocket monsters. Pocket assistants, too.
  • Just make sure to look both ways. And up and down, too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

World Trade Center Apple Store

On August 16, the World Trade Center Apple Store will make its debut. This retail store has been rumored for a long time now, and Apple has finally acknowledged its existence. It will open at noon their time. Unfortunately, we don't know much more about this store other than that.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Netflix Network Speed Test App

Netflix relies on having their user base to be able to access content in a fast and convenient manner. That said, it's surprising to see that they are now making websites and apps for speed testing. The FAST Speed Test app is very minimalist, but it gets the job done. It'll give a reading of your internet speed. The test is based on Netflix services, like downloading a video file. FAST Speed Test is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pokémon Go: Third Update

Version 1.3 of Pokémon Go may be it's biggest update yet. First off, if you're traveling above a certain speed, a prompt will be displayed requiring you to acknowledge that you're a passenger before continuing. The nearby screen is now "Sightings" which isn't really different, but it should only display Pokémon within about 700 feet. Sightings is just a feature to hold players over until a better system is made. Bugs were also fixed with how bonus XP was given for special throws. Battery saver mode has been brought back and you can change your username, but only one time. Pokémon Go is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].