Monday, November 20, 2017

Spotify Holiday Sale

If you're looking for some affordable holiday music streaming, Spotify has you covered. For just 99¢, you can get three months of Spotify Premium. That's a screaming deal. You can get this until December 31, 2017. Note that you can not get this deal if you have provided a credit card or used a free trial, this does not apply to you. You have to be a new user. To sign up, go to Spotify's website.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

'Hey Siri' is Coming to macOS

Thanks to Jonathan Levin, Steven Troughton-Smith, and Guilherme Rambo, we know that "Hey Siri" will be coming to macOS in an update. Or at least the iMac Pro. The iMac Pro will likely have an A10 chip that will allow for this feature even if the iMac Pro is off. Given that this iMac Pro is meant for professionals, or at least high-end consumers, this isn't a big deal if the feature is exclusive. Similar to Touch Bar, professionals aren't interested in gimmicky features like these. That being said, it is interesting to see dedicated chips that can perform tasks when the device is off. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

HomePod Delayed Until 2018

Apple has officially announced that HomePod will not be available until early 2018 [Source: The Verge]. We were expecting it in December. Of course, this is following AirPods launch, as it was delayed from October until mid-December. Stock was very limited, and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case for HomePod too. No word on the iMac Pro yet.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Apple Park Now Open to the Public

Today, Apple Park opened its Visitor's Center for everyone to see. Inside are iPads with ARKit rigged up for visitors to explore a 3D model of Apple Park. The gift shop has exclusive souvenirs for purchase and a cafe. If you're in the area, be sure to check it out. The official page has hours and other information.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Apple To No Longer Accept watchOS 1 Updates

Apple announced that they will not accept watchOS 1 app updates to be submitted to the App Store starting April 1, 2018. watchOS 1 was the OS that shipped with the original Apple Watch. These apps ran very slow and did not run natively. Building with newer SDKs will allow for faster and better apps. Very few apps still use this SDK, but small developers may find themselves doing this. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

iPhone X Shipping Estimates Improve

iPhone X shipping estimates have dropped on the Apple Online Store to 2-3 weeks. Previously, it was 3-4 weeks. It looks like Apple is getting their stock under control and we could see a relatively smooth Christmas shopping season for prospective iPhone X owners. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

iOS 11.2 Supports 7.5W Wireless Charging

With the new beta of iOS 11.2 being released, we now know that iOS 11.2 will likely support 7.5W wireless charging for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. This will make charging quite a bit faster than 5W wireless charging. Realistically, users can expect to experience about 20% in half an hour [Source: MacRumors]. Qi Wireless charging standards can allow for up to 15W but it seems it will be sometime until we get that, likely to avoid a battery fiasco of some sort. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

iOS 11.2 Will Give Better Explanation of Network Controls

If you enable or disable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth in iOS 11's Control Center, there's a lot that isn't revealed about what is happening. Disabling Wi-Fi will still allow Wi-Fi processes such as AirDrop, location accuracy, and Personal Hotspot. Disabling Bluetooth will still allow Handoff, Apple Watch connections, and Apple Pencil connections. These will automatically re-enable at 5 a.m. the next morning. iOS 11.2 will make this much more clear by providing a one time pop-up explanation and descriptive text each time you do this.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Apple to Reduce iPhone 8 Production

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will shift production from the iPhone 8 in favor of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X by 50-60 percent. The iPhone 8 Plus outsold the iPhone 8 by about a million units as consumers begin desiring larger and larger displays. The iPhone X was definitely in need of more production, but I was surprised that this year's "Plus" model was so popular, and it seems Apple was too.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Better Control Center on iPhone X

The iPhone X has an interesting way of activating Control Center. You have to swipe down from the right side of the notch. However, Guilherme Rambo has tweeted about a more natural solution that involves using a 3D Touch from a side, similar to how 3D Touch App Switcher would work. I'd welcome this change since I can understand how hard it could be in one-handed situations to open Control Center in its current state. Let's hope Apple sees the difficulty as well.

Friday, November 10, 2017

iPhone X Green Line

Some users are finding that a green line is appearing on the iPhone X. The line seems to appear on the edge of the screen whenever the screen is on. There doesn’t seem to be a fix readily available. However, there are reports of Apple Stores replacing them for free, so that’s worth a try. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

“This Weekend Only” Deals

With iOS 11’s new App Store, Apple is creating a new way to save on apps. Now, going to the Today section will show apps with deals for the weekend, appropriately titled “This Weekend Only.” From Thursday thru Sunday, apps will have special offers. For example, Chipotle’s app will be giving out chips and queso for free with any entree purchase. Be sure to check out the deals. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Apple Park Visitor Center

On November 17, Apple Park will open to the public. Apple is also sending invites to those who live near Apple Park to visit on the 16th. This center has an observation deck, a cafe, and a seating area. There is also a gift shop. After all the waiting, it’s exciting to see the visitor center finally open so the public can experience Apple Park firsthand. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

280 Character Tweets

I've always thought that 140 characters wasn't enough. Today, that limit has been bumped to 280 characters. It's a simple change, but it will probably change Twitter a lot. The brevity of Twitter was it's gimmick. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, but it's a change I'm fine with. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

iStockNow for iPhone X

If you're looking for an iPhone X, iStockNow may be able to help you find a store with stock. This tool gives you an idea of stock around the country. A green pin means there is stock, while a red one means no stock. You can also filter by color and capacity, so I highly recommend checking it out!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Animoji Karaoke

I've mentioned before my concerns with Animoji for the iPhone X. However, the internet works in very strange ways and has created Animoji Karaoke. Using screen recording, iPhone X users can capture Animoji mouthing words to songs. They can then overlay music and make it look like they are singing. The video below is probably one of the most amazing things I've seen. It would not surprise me if Apple officially acknowledged this and made some kind of dedicated app to create these. If Animoji will be part of iPhone X's feature arsenal, then embracing crazy things like this would be awesome. If AnimojiKit (as I mentioned before) becomes a thing, it would be hilarious to see licensed characters do the same thing.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

4K HDR Movies On Sale

With the release of the iPhone X, which features an HDR screen, and the 4K Apple TV, Apple has some great 4K movies discounted to just $9.99 on iTunes. If you want to future-proof some great movies, I highly recommend checking out some of these films. Right now, you can see them by going to the iTunes Store, going to the Movies section, and you should see a banner in the carousel at the top.

Friday, November 3, 2017

iPhone X: First Impressions

The iPhone X was finally released today, and I got my hands on a demo at my local Apple Store. Looking at the picture below, you can see that compared to my iPhone 6s, the screen is way larger than that of my iPhone's, despite having a similar size. Having this extra screen space is an amazing luxury, especially with apps that take advantage of the display. I found this useful with the Calendar app, which gives you just enough extra space to see more of your day or week without scrolling. Both of these phones are at full brightness as well, but you probably see the iPhone X's OLED display shows some whiter whites. The gestures took minimal time for me to get used to, but I'm sure that's different for whoever you ask. The real kicker is the camera. The photo below was taken using an iPhone X, but this doesn't do it much justice. Having a camera this stellar in your pocket is truly amazing. The different lightings that can be taken in portrait mode gives a lot of power to the user when done right. There were no third party apps installed on the demo, so I can't say how many apps are optimized. I made an app in Xcode the other day and found some staggering differences as to how the iPhone X displays some storyboards, so hopefully no existing apps are ruined. This display has a lot of potential, and it gives me much more excitement as to what features Apple will do for this phone in the coming months or for next year's model.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thieves Steal iPhone X Models

Tomorrow, the iPhone X will finally be available, but some thieves felt the need to make a quick buck off of the limited-supplied phone [Source: CNET]. They stole over 300 iPhone X models from Stonestown in San Francisco. This will definitely affect supply for prospective iPhone X buyers in San Francisco. They were estimated to have stolen over $370,000 worth of iPhone X models.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Potential AirPower Price

Apple announced the AirPower wireless charging mat this last September, but only told us it would be released next year. While the features it boasts are pretty nice, how much it should cost is up to debate. X-Kom has an AirPower mat available for 999 Złotych. This cannot be purchased, and the validity of the listing cannot be confirmed, but we have reason to believe this means the product will be $199. That's a bit much for a charging mat. Most charging mats cost around $10-$30. A premium one from Apple should cost at most $100, in my opinion. Take into account that this works best with AirPods ($159), the wireless charging case for AirPods (sold separately; $69), an Apple Watch Series 3, and an iPhone 8 or iPhone X. That's a lot of money for just a charging mat.