Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Best Triple-Lens iPhone Concept I've Seen

With rumors of a triple-lens iPhone, I've seen some questionable concepts. It's hard to make three lenses look good while keeping them close enough together, while keeping the flash. However, Apple Hub on Instagram created a stunning concept for an iPhone with three lenses. The three lenses are put together with a fully symmetric design. But now the flash appears to be absent. Upon closer inspection, you'll see that the flash is integrated into the ring surrounding the cameras. This looks cool by itself, but I'd love to imagine what this would look like in action for photos and as a flashlight. It's such a subtle detail. Hopefully, it would work well as a flash from a photography stance.

A post shared by Apple Hub (@theapplehub) on

Monday, January 14, 2019

How the iPod Touch Could Return

The iPod Touch hasn't been updated since July of 2015. With rumors of a possible revival in the news, how could the iPod Touch return? A lot of people simply say, "Just release a new version." But I think Apple needs to put more consideration into this. Society has changed a lot since the iPod Touch's prime. Everything is data driven and online. With the iPhone, people forgot about the luxury of cellular and simply consider it the gold standard. I remember as a kid, I would look everywhere for a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you don't have Wi-Fi, iCloud contacts get de-synced, you don't receive text messages, and you can't use apps that revolve around an online connection. Pokémon Go is virtually impossible to play without a cellular connection. The answer here is to add cellular connectivity to the iPod Touch. It's been done with the iPad and it would work even better on an iPod Touch. Its portable nature would be perfect for a data-only plan. The only issue I would see is that it would compete too well with the iPhone. Why buy an iPhone when you can just buy a cellular iPod Touch? You get iMessage, FaceTime, FaceTime Audio calls, and data. The way I see it, I don't get calls from spam callers anymore.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

T-Mobile Adds Automatic Spam Protection

We've reached an interesting point where the general reaction to a phone call is to let an unknown caller go to voicemail by default. Spam callers are so prevalent, the philosophy is "if it is important enough, they'll leave a voicemail." T-Mobile may be the first step to change this. They've launched Caller Verified to help combat scam callers. So far, it's only available on Samsung Galaxy Note 9 phones, but it will expand later this year. While this isn't groundbreaking, I think there should be more focus put on protecting consumers from scam callers.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

AirPower Finally Enters Production

After missing its projected launch window and losing the interest of many, AirPower seems to have finally entered the production phase [Source: ChargerLAB]. Luxshare Precision has started production of AirPower. Luxshare Precision also made AirPower and USB-C cables, so we are fairly confident in this rumor. We don't have a definitive release date or price yet. It should be interesting to see how stock fairs. Will it be super hard to get like AirPods? Will stock be well-balanced? Or will it be too plentiful with no one to buy it? It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to the long-awaited release of AirPower.

Friday, January 11, 2019

TCL TVs Will Not Support AirPlay 2

Apple made the surprise announcement this week that AirPlay 2 would be built-in on leading smart TVs. However, it seems that TCL didn't get a memo from Apple as they had no announcement. Today, MacRumors asked a TCL spokesperson if there were any plans to add AirPlay 2 to TCL TVs. They responded by saying they're committed to Roku, which powers their TVs and rivals Apple TV. This isn't surprising. Walk into any Target or Walmart and go to the TV aisle and you will see 4K TVs with significant price drops compared to any other TV. I would not expect them to bundle AirPlay 2 in a TV that cheap. So far, Vizio, Samsung, LG, and Sony have announced support for AirPlay 2. I can imagine we may hear more at WWDC.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Disney Films and iTunes

iTunes now offers 4K movies standard with an HD movie purchase. And with Disney owning roughly a third of the film industry, they've been withholding their 4K movies from iTunes and Google Play in an effort to keep 4K from being standard. They will happily sell you a 4K movie on a BluRay disc or on a different streaming platform. It's unfortunate, but hopefully we'll see Disney embrace 4K as a standard. Keep in mind they own Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios, in addition to everything else they make.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

iMac 4K/5K Displays Cannot Display iTunes Movies in 4K

Apple has been selling 4K movies for some time now. It's a pretty good deal considering that it comes standard with HD movies. But despite all of that 4K movies can only be played on an Apple TV 4K with a 4K TV. Apple iMacs have the capability to display movies in 4K, but users can only get up to 1080p. The same goes for any Mac or iPad connected to a 4K display. It seems a bit ridiculous to spend thousands of dollars on an iMac with a 4K/5K display when it can't display iTunes movies in 4K. I can understand that not everyone watches movies on the iMacs, but the functionality is such a simple addition.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

macOS Mojave Accent Color

For decades, the accent color for macOS has been a blue color. This is seen everywhere, in things like colored buttons and selection lists. This was likely because of the Aqua theme introduced with Mac OS X so long ago. However, macOS Mojave lets you pick your own accent color. To do so, open System Preferences and go to General. You can use the radio buttons to pick your own accent color to give your Mac a bit more uniqueness to it.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Current State of Apple TV

I've been waiting for a good tvOS update for about two years now, but to no avail. With the news of AirPlay 2 and HomeKit coming built-in to Samsung, LG, and Vizio Smart TVs, the future of the Apple TV seems bleak. There can be a lot of reasons for this. The Apple TV only offered access to their media stores, which can be circumvented with Movies Anywhere. The tvOS App Store is very lacking, other than media apps. The only thing Apple TV has over Smart TVs is the promise of updates and continuity. My household has three Vizio TVs and each has a different OS, and each works very different. Apple TV brings consistency to its interface. It also has my Up Next from my iOS devices. If Apple went the way of CarPlay with tvOS and brought tvOS to TVs, it could work well. Apple gets publicity and consumers waste one less HDMI port. The Apple TV box seems more like a waste of space that could easily be built into the TV. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

iTunes and AirPlay 2 Coming to Samsung TVs

In a surprise announcement, Samsung and Apple have worked together to bring iTunes TV Shows and iTunes Movies to Samsung's lineup of Smart TVs. They also brought AirPlay 2 support. Combined with Samsung's other apps on their Smart TVs, this basically eliminates any need for an Apple TV. With CES around the corner, we can bet that Apple will give this treatment to other TV brands as well, as suggested by Apple's AirPlay site

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Apple's New Billboard Ad in Las Vegas

CES is next week in Las Vegas. And while Apple will not be making an appearance at the event, they will be there in some form. A new billboard advertisement has gone up for Apple. It states "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone." It's a reference to "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" and is a great way to advertise the privacy features of the iPhone with so many technology companies in the area. It's a subtle presence that reminds people that no matter which way you slice it, users are not the product of Apple.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Huawei's iPhone Tweet

Twitter often will let you know which client or platform tweeted a specific tweet. Huawei, a popular Chinese smartphone company, tweeted its followers a happy new year recently. However, the tweet gained popularity when it was discovered the tweet was sent using an iPhone. The tweet was deleted and an internal memo regarding the tweet was leaked. As ironic as it is, it's not too big of a deal, but definitely an awkward moment for the company.

Image Credit: Marques Brownlee

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Apple's Slow Realization

With all of the news of Apple's stock price falling, it's important to address the issues of Apple, something I do often as of late. It's obvious why there's a sudden decline. Apple went from the first trillion dollar company to an uncertain, volatile stock symbol. Between Qualcomm, product delays, and the constant chatter of iPhone sales, investors can't sell fast enough. There are other factors I'm likely leaving out, but the iPhone sales are most important. iPhone has been carrying Apple for the past several years. The Mac lineup has been long neglected by Apple, so hearing that the product Apple puts most of its resources into is flopping is not good news. There was a clear lack of innovation. Right now, name one feature that the iPhone XS has that the iPhone X doesn't. Not counting minor upgrades, it's very hard to do. Apple has a lot of cleaning up to do in 2019, so they'd better make it count. They can't afford to wait for 2020 to knock one out of the park.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

AirPower is a Lost Cause

AirPower has officially missed its 2018 release date. I bet most reading this forgot about AirPower until now. And that's just the thing. Most people interested in wireless charging already have a wireless charger. You can get a fully functional one for about $20 on Amazon. But Apple wants to sell you one for probably nearly $200. Most people seem to have lost any interest in this product. Yes, I'd rather have an AirPower that's safe, but that doesn't excuse such an early announcement. If AirPods got delayed, AirPower seemed like a long shot for releasing on time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

CES 2019

CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, and it happens every year in January. It's definitely something to look forward to in the early slump of the new year. After loads of TV sales during the holiday season, we get to take a look at the next generation of TVs. We also get to see how our smart homes will evolve in the next year. As a friendly notice, CES 2019 will start in one week, on January 8, 2019. It will go until January 11, 2019. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

Here's to 2019

With the new year nearly upon us, it's time to set our unrealistic goals and expectations for the future. If you look at the Blog Archive widget on the right side, you'll see that I've been consistently writing 365 posts each year since 2013. And while I do look forward to adding 2019 to that growing list, with over 2,000 daily posts under my belt, I do believe that it is time to move on to bigger and better things in my life. I will stop writing daily posts on May 20, 2019. I started this blog in the summer of 2012 when I was in middle school. Today, I am a sophomore in college. The motto for this blog played off of asking a teenager for technology help, and I think it's fitting that I end my daily posts on the day before I turn 20 years old. With this, I will have written daily blog posts for nearly the entirety of all of my teenage years. I hope that everyone reading this understands my decision. Thank you for reading my blog and I wish you a happy new year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Problem with Multitasking on iPad

iPad multitasking before iOS 11 was simple and to the point. Swipe left from the right edge of the screen to reveal an iPhone-sized second app. Swipe from the top to pick a different app. It wasn't perfect but it got the job done. Probably the most annoying thing with it was that you have to scroll through the app selection, instead of having them all on one page, but everything else felt solid. Now, you have this terrible system where you slide up from the bottom of the iPad. But, not too quickly, otherwise you'll close your current app. That is terrible design philosophy. Power users are the prime demographic for multitasking and you're telling me I have to slide up slowly? Then, tap and hold on an app in the dock, wait for it to hover, and drag it over to the right side of the screen. This feels so cryptic. It's like finding a hidden room in the original Legend of Zelda. How was I supposed to know that specific action would accomplish this? The difference with this is that video games are fun to explore every nook and cranny. You shouldn't have to do that with a mobile operating system. Hopefully, in iOS 13, we see a complete overhaul of this system. It's simply unacceptable.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Problem with Control Center

Control Center has changed constantly over the past few years. It used to be simple. Swipe up and toggle Wi-Fi or something. Later, you'd have to swipe over a page to control volume. Then that was scratched and we have the tile view we have today. On the iPhone X and later, along with all supported iPads, you have to swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to get to Control Center. But on iPhone 8 and earlier, you have to swipe up from the bottom. While change can be hard to accept for some, I think we can all agree that change is easier to swallow when it's a consistent change. iPads have no notches, so it seems weird that only iPhones with notches follow the new swipe down rule. What's worse is that iPhone 8 and earlier owners are likely unaware of this change, so if Apple makes it consistent now, between major updates, there will be riots in the streets. Apple needs to make sure that iOS has a consistent ruleset across all devices.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Instagram's Horizontal Scrolling

Instagram, aside from many aesthetic changes, has largely remained the same app for its entire life. However, Instagram rolled out a mode where posts are looked through horizontally rather than the normal vertical scrolling screen. This mode was meant to only go live for a small group of users, but went out to more than intended. The new mode was so universally disliked that it garnered trending status and media attention. The change has been reverted and we can only guess that Instagram R&D will not put this layout in a future build.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

macOS Mojave's Stacks

When it was first announced, I didn't think too much of the Stacks feature. It essentially groups up your files on the desktop by file type. I figured that's what folders were for and didn't think much of it. However, I now see how useful it can be. I usually just cleanup my desktop from time to time by either trashing files or sending them to an archive folder, but between file purges, my desktop can get very messy, especially during big projects. So, I find that Stacks come in handy often. To enable Stacks, just right click on the desktop and click "Use Stacks."