Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Apple Music and Beats 1 Released

Today, Apple Music was released. Here are some quick impressions. I'm no music critic, and I probably have no credibility for this post, but I do know one thing. This is a unique idea by Apple. It builds on where iTunes Ping failed. I like the idea of a global radio station (Beats 1) with live DJs. I only wish my car had Apple CarPlay so that I could easily listen to this in the car. I can't really critique the music selection for reasons mentioned earlier. I hope anyone curious about it gets the opportunity to try it out. They probably will as Apple is making this as universal as possible with versions for PC and Android.

Monday, June 29, 2015

iPhone Was Released 8 Years Ago

Eight years ago, the device that would change the way millions of people live would be released. June 29, 2007 was the day. The original iPhone had no Apple App Store and was exclusive to AT&T. However, this device was unique and gave has-been giants Blackberry, Nokia, and Sony a run for their money. Below is a gif that shows the evolution of the iPhone. My, how times have changed. It should be noted that the anniversary falls on the eve of the premiere of Apple Music.

Image Credit: Engadget

Sunday, June 28, 2015

iOS 8.4 and Apple Music Premiere

This Tuesday, iOS 8.4 and Apple Music will be released. iOS 8.4 allows for Apple Music, so be sure to update. The update will be available at 8 AM PDT. Apple Music will premiere at 9 AM PDT. Personally, I'm excited to hear the very first broadcast of Beats 1. It's a radio broadcast that streams 24/7 from hosts around the globe. Be sure to listen for the very first broadcast. Apple Music is available in the music app.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

iOS 9 Low Power Mode

In iOS 9, Apple will introduce Low Power mode. This allows iOS devices to extend battery life by about three hours. This is done by disabling mail fetch, motion effects, Background App Refresh, and lower CPU use. When enabled, it is indicated by a yellow battery icon. iOS 9 will release this fall along with the next iPhone.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Customize An Apple Watch Band

If you've ever wanted to go outside of the bands that Apple sells, you could try this out. Casetify, the case making company, is at it again. In their traditional style, they will customize an Apple Watch band with any image. They're waterproof. You can upload an image and even add a filter. They cost $70 from Casetify's website.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Freedom' by Pharrell Will Be Exclusive To Apple Music

With the release of Apple Music coming soon, Pharrell Williams has announced that his single '
"Freedom" will be exclusive to Apple Music. This comes after hearings of Apple talking with artists on publishing their music on Apple Music. What else will this spawn in the future? Apple Music will be available with a number of updates on June 30th.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kenwood Aftermarket System Now Shipping

If you're like me, you're freaking out about how the car you want probably won't support Apple CarPlay by the end of the year. If that doesn't work out, you can always buy an aftermarket system. While this isn't the best option, it will get the job done. Kenwood has started shipping their aftermarket system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They start at $900. It may be something to consider.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Flyover Locations

There are 7 new Flyover locations in Apple Maps. They are Almería, Braga, Jerez de la Frontera, Karlsruhe, Kiel, Kingston upon Hull, and San Juan. Flyover allows you to see photorealistic 3D tours of locations To see these amazing sights in Flyover mode, just go to one of these locations in Apple Maps on your Mac or iOS device and find the Flyover button. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Home Button On iOS To Be Removed?

Apple may remove the iconic home button on iOS devices. The Touch ID sensor would possibly be integrated into the screen, along with the button. This would make the device's form factor much smaller.
"Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan's IC design industry. The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button."
- DigiTimes

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Apple Will Pay Artists During Apple Music Trial Period

As opposed to prior terms, Apple will now pay their artists during free trial periods of Apple Music. Previously, if a user had a trial, the song they played wouldn't be paid for by Apple. After a message from Taylor Swift telling Apple that she won't put her albums on Apple Music unless Apple changes their terms. Eddie Cue spoke out publicly on Twitter.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Original iPad mini No Longer Sold By Apple

Apple has removed the listing for the original iPad mini. This means several changes to the iPad lineup. Now, the cheapest iPad is the iPad mini 2, starting at $299. The original iPad mini was $250. This also means that all iPads, mini and regular sized, have a Retina Display. The original iPad mini didn't have one. The next-generation iPads, and possibly a large iPad, will debut later this year, around October.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Next-Generation iPhone Expected To Have 7000 Series Aluminum

If you have an Apple Watch Sport, then you'll be happy to know that the next-generation iPhone will have the same aluminum used in your watch. That's called 7000 Series aluminum. Soon, your Apple products will be made of the same material used in competition bicycles.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Apple Watch 2 Rumors Start Surfacing

Although the Apple Watch was just released, Apple Watch 2 rumors are already showing up in the press. The Apple Watch 2 is expected to have a FaceTime camera, improved WiFi capabilities, and new models. The Apple Watch 2 will not have an improved battery. As myself and many others have discovered, normal use of the Apple Watch will keep a decent amount of battery life at the end of the day. I've even found that the Apple Watch's battery is better than a good amount of Android Wear watches. This new Apple Watch would be announced around the time watchOS 2 will be released in the fall.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Unicode 8 Released

With Unicode 8 being released by the Unicode Consortium, new emoji are released as well. These emoji include hot dog, unicorn, burrito, chess, taco, and more! As for when iOS users can use these, it is not certain. Apple has not updated emoji, aside from a few flags and skin tones, since Unicode 6. The iOS 9 developer beta doesn't have any traces of these emoji.

Image Credit: Emojipedia

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Apple Retail Stores Will Begin Selling Apple Watch Tomorrow

If you want your Apple Watch, now may be the time to do it. Apple Retail Stores will sell Apple Watches tomorrow, June 17th. Quantities will probably be limited, given the many different variations of the product. Don't try if you're going for the Apple Watch Edition, just get it online. They will most likely have the Apple Watch Sport with Black Sport Band, due to it's popularity. This comes after a massive delay in the shipment of Apple Watch preorders.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How Paying for Apple Music Works

What happens to that $10 that you'll pay for a month of Apple Music? Basically, of that $10, about $7 of it will go to labels and music owners. This coincides with the 70/30 split for most other Apple purchases. Specifically, it's 71.5% for the labels. Apple Music will be available on June 30th with the release of iOS 8.4.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

1000 Days in a Row!

With this blog post, I will have written on this blog every single day in a row for 1000 days! That's every day since September 17, 2012! Almost three years! To anyone reading this, new to the blog or not, thank you. You're the people who keep me writing every single day. I assure you, it's not stopping anytime soon. Looking back, it's ironic that I managed to do this. When I first started writing everyday, I didn't think it would last long because school was just starting. But, here we are now! So once again, thank you!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Apple Releases Powerbeats2 Wireless Earphones in New Colors

Quietly, Apple has released some new Powerbeats2 Wireless in Apple Watch Sport Band colors. If you want to listen to music on your Apple Watch, I would recommend picking a pair of these up if you have $200 to throw around. They come in black, white, blue, green, and pink.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Friday, June 12, 2015

Quickly Switch Apps in Apple Watch

If you want to quickly go to the last app you used on Apple Watch, there's an easy way. Just press the Digital Crown twice. It's also a quick way to get back to the clock when you're in another app. I hope this helps!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Apple Posts 'Backstage' WWDC Opening Video On YouTube

The opening to WWDC 2015 was absolutely hilarious to say the least. Now, Apple has posted the clip to YouTube. Be sure to watch it if you haven't already. It's a small skit on the "rehearsal" for WWDC's opening act.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

iPhone-Breaking Text Message Bug To Be Fixed in iOS 8.4

If you've been annoyed by the bug that crashes an iPhone, the fix is coming just before June 30th. The fix comes in the form of iOS 8.4. For those unfamiliar, a specific string of Unicode characters can crash an iPhone, leaving people who don't know the temporary fix unable to text people. The temporary fix is to ask Siri to "read unread messages" and to reply to the message with any message. This should fix it.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

iCloud Drive is an App in iOS 9

If you have the iOS 9 developer beta, you may have noticed iCloud Drive in the Settings app. If you go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > and switch on "Show on Home Screen," there will be a dedicated iCloud Drive app that you can use like Finder on Mac. It lets you see all of your files in iCloud Drive no matter which app. iOS 9 is available for developers only at the time, but it will be released to the public this fall.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Monday, June 8, 2015

WWDC 2015: OS X, iOS, and watchOS

In a huge announcement, we got a trio of OS updates and a few updates on other products. Let's take a quick look at what went down at WWDC today...

El Capitan

For OS X, the next update will be called OS X El Capitan. It includes minor improvements on Safari, Mail, and Spotlight. In terms of system architecture, it brings Metal to the Mac, allowing for 40% less processing power needed when rendering graphics.

iOS 9

iOS 9 was made to address four items: intelligence, apps, iPad, and foundation. It brings improvements to Siri, transit for Apple Maps, multitasking for iPad, and more. Wallet will replace Passbook with the addition of rewards cards. News app will also be added that will replace Newsstand. It is much better than Newsstand in the way that it is easier for publishers to use and maintain. Tech Talk 4 Geeks, if approved, will be supported by the News app. Battery life will be increased by about 4 hours with iOS 9 and the update will only take about 1 GB of space. 

watchOS 2

watchOS 2 improves on the things that people don't like about the Apple Watch now. For example, the reliance on iPhone has been reduced with native apps. Third party apps can access Apple Watch's microphone and speaker instead of using that of iPhone's, in addition to the Taptic Engine. Developers can also create custom complications for the watch face. 

There's a lot more to cover, so I'll be sure to go more in depth over the coming days. Until then, feel free to watch the keynote.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What I Could Dig Up: WWDC 2015

Tomorrow is the big day! WWDC 2015! Here's a quick list of what to expect.

  • iOS 9
    • Internal Features
    • Lifestyle App
      • Codename Proactive?
  • OS X 10.11
  • Native Apple Watch Apps
  • Apple Music
  • Apple Pay
    • Rewards Program
  • HomeKit
The stream is available on Apple's website and will start tomorrow at about 10 AM.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Apple App Store May Change 30/70 Profit Split Between Apple and Developers For Subscriptions

Currently, for every app a developer sells, the developer will get 70%. This formula applies to in-app purchases, such as subscriptions. For example, if a user buys a Microsoft Office 365 subscription from the Microsoft website, Microsoft gets 100% of the profits. If they purchase the same thing from the iOS app, Microsoft gets 70% of the profits. They may change soon in favor of the developer to avoid lawsuits and increase appeal. HBO Now and Apple TV apps get 85% profits.
"Changing the App Store's terms of trade could improve the economics of online content businesses and reassure regulators that the company is not abusing its position as gatekeeper to one of the world's most lucrative digital marketplaces."
- Financial Times 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Apple No Longer Sells AT&T iPhone with 2-Year Contract

If you wanted an iPhone with a two-year contract on AT&T, you can't get it from the Apple Store. Now, you can only get it with AT&T Next. The rates are as follows:

iPhone 6
  • 16 GB: From $21.64/month 
  • 64 GB: From $24.97/month 
  • 128 GB: From $28.30/month 

iPhone 6 Plus 

  • 16 GB: From $24.97/month 
  • 64 GB: From $28.30/month 
  • 128 GB: From $31.64/month 

Image Credit: MacRumors

Thursday, June 4, 2015

AltConf 2015 Banned From Streaming Video

If you live in the San Fransisco area and want to watch WWDC live but couldn't get tickets, AltConf would be the next best thing. It's a meet up where people who didn't get a ticket to WWDC could hang out and watch the keynote live. However, this year, Apple has notified AltConf to not stream video as it can affect Apple's potential revenue and take away exclusive control of content.
AltConf's streaming of Apple content "would strip Apple of exclusive control over one of the most anticipated events of the year, and could deprive Apple of potential revenue generated from its exclusive rights." Thus, AltConf must "refrain from publicly streaming or showing any WWDC content. Apple further demands that AltConf and each of its organizers refrain from reproducing or distributing any WWDC content belonging to Apple, in any manner."

Image Credit: MacRumors

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Apple TV Not To Debut At WWDC 2015

On an unfortunate note, according to multiple sources, Apple will not be introducing an Apple TV at this year's WWDC due to delays. This is unfortunate because the Apple TV has not been updated in two years, despite it becoming more essential in the Apple family of products. In these past two years, Apple TV has been given its own page on the Apple Store, been given a variety of promotions for certain televised events, had a price drop to $69 (from $99), and has been an important part of the promotion of the HBO NOW streaming service. This news is unfortunate for me as I was holding off on buying the cheaper, current Apple TV so I could get the new one. Hopefully, we'll see an update soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to Stream the WWDC 2015 Live Stream to Apple TV

If you want to stream WWDC to your soon-to-be obsolete Apple TV, here's how! Apple has updated the Apple TV with the Events channel that appears every time there's an Apple event. It's available again. On June 8th at 10:00 AM, you can watch the event live.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Monday, June 1, 2015

WWDC 2015: Invite Analysis

So I was looking at the invite and promotion graphic for WWDC today and I noticed something. That square in the middle of the invite (highlighted in yellow) is almost identical to the shape of the current Apple TV. Could this be a hint at the upcoming refresh for the Apple TV? The phrase "epicenter of change" seems to suggest a form factor change. Could the next Apple TV be circular, as shown surrounding the rectangle? Also, the small circles on the outside (highlighted in blue) may be a reference to the new apps for the Apple Watch, suggesting some update on Apple Watch. the WWDC keynote will be in a week, on June 8th.