Saturday, December 31, 2016

Apple's Plans for 2017

One of Apple's biggest plans for 2017 will be making edge-to-edge displays. In previous years, Apple has made thinner and thinner bezels for iPads, but now, they're getting rid of them entirely it seems. In addition, it will be the iPhone's 10th anniversary, which makes the new redesign more understandable. So, we'll probably see the first big design change in the new iPads coming this spring. Definitely looking forward to that. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Theater Mode for iOS 10.3

According to Sonny Dickson, iOS 10.3 will release next month and there will be a new "Theatre Mode" coming to Control Center. This mode will be depicted with a popcorn icon. What this mode will do, no one can say. Could it be a new dark mode? It is worth noting that there is a scene icon in HomeKit that is a popcorn icon. I actually use this scene an already know it as "Theater Mode." I just spell it like that because 'Merica. Maybe this is a preset for HomeKit?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

'Ring In the New Year' Apple Watch Achievement

This new year, Apple is promoting a new achievement to promote use of the Apple Watch as a workout companion. This medal will be called 'Ring In the New Year.' To earn it, you must complete all three activity rings for one week, starting on a Monday. This is only available in January. You will also receive an iMessage Sticker for this task.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AirPods: First Impressions

Yesterday, I finally received my AirPods. After getting to know them for about a day, here are my first impressions. First off, they do in fact stay in my ear. I have shook my head very hard, and they have yet to fall out. Obviously, results may vary for different ear sizes, but they definitely work for me. The sound quality is also very good. I'm no music critic, but I have no complaints about music quality. My only real wish is that I want to be able to double tap on an AirPod to skip a song. This setting is customizable, but skipping a song is not an option. Other than that, it's just a matter of price. I feel that Apple could've added in a 1-month promo code for Apple Music to sweeten the deal. They'd likely profit in the end, by hooking people in on the convenience of Apple Music. That would make the $159 price tag a bit better. Overall, I really like my AirPods and they join my phone, keys, and watch in my daily routine.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Handbrake Finally out of Beta

After 13 years in beta, Handbrake, the video conversion app, is finally out of beta. Handbrake has always been the choice app among many for converting video, which ultimately aided its development. With version 1.0.0 out, users can finally say they're running what is technically a stable build of Handbrake. Handbrake is available for free from its official website.

Monday, December 26, 2016

AirPods Orders Expedited

While delayed Apple products are often expedited by Apple at no additional charge (i.e. Apple Watches, 2016 MacBook Pros), AirPods orders are seeing dramatic changes in their delivery dates. I ordered mine an hour after they went on sale and the delivery date was around January 12. Had I ordered 30 minutes earlier, I would've gotten them around December 19. Now, they're expected to come tomorrow, December 27. They would've come on Christmas if that wasn't a holiday. So, needless to say, production was cranked up to an 11 on these orders. Let's hope quality isn't sacrificed as a result.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Alexa Holiday Tips

In addition to the free reading of A Christmas Carol with Alexa, there are some other holiday commands you can give your Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, or Echo Dot. For a holiday story, say, "Alexa, tell me a holiday story." For some music, ask, "Alexa, play happy holiday music." Finally, see what happens when you ask, "Alexa, open my gift." Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Listen to 'A Christmas Carol' for Free with Amazon Echo

Until January 3, you can listen to Tim Curry read A Christmas Carol for free with your Alexa-enabled device. Definitely a great way to test out your new Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, or Echo Dot if you got one. All you have to say is, "Alexa, read A Christmas Carol from Audible." The Audible-powered audiobook lasts about three hours, but you should be able to save your spot in the book if you can't listen to it all in one sitting.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Spotify Adds Touch Bar Support

In an unexpected, yet not-surprising move, Spotify has updated their Mac app to support Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. It provides basic functionality for music playback. It also adds AirPods support. Taking one AirPod out of your ear will pause your Spotify music, just like any other AirPods-supported app. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pokémon Go for Apple Watch Released

After confusion about Pokémon Go for Apple Watch's fate, Pokémon Go for Apple Watch is finally available for trainers. While the casual audience for the game has died down, this may reignite Apple Watch-equipped trainers. It definitely makes the game easier to play without the need to be focused on a phone. Pokémon Go is available on the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

AirPods and Apple Watch

One of the best features of AirPods is how it fits into Apple's vision of continuity. How Apple Watch handles this is really cool to see. First, if you're wearing AirPods and you receive a phone call, the accept button will have an AirPod symbol, noting that the audio source will be your AirPods. The other feature is how AirPods will show their battery life in the battery view of watchOS. Both AirPods have their battery shown.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Waiting for AirPods

This morning, I got up early and went to my local Apple Store in hopes of getting a pair of AirPods. When I got there, I managed to get fifth in line, a few minutes before a bunch of other people showed up. During the thirty minute wait, I learned that there were only eight pairs of AirPods in stock yesterday, the day AirPods was released. When the store opened, there were none in stock. While that was disappointing, I did get to talk to Sebastien Page, founder of iDownloadBlog, as he was in line after me. So, if you still need AirPods for Christmas, like 99% of the world, then be sure to wake up early and hope you're lucky. Good luck!

Monday, December 19, 2016

AirPods Finally Released

Today, AirPods were finally made available at Apple Stores. However, they were made available in small quantities, typically less than 100 units per store. Apple is making an effort in letting people buy these in time for the holidays, but it's clear that it's going to be hard to get ahold of these. AirPods were in very high demand when I tried getting a pair. I didn't take note of the special holiday hours and found that my Apple Store opened an hour earlier than usual, leaving me to find none of the earbuds. This seems to be a trend with Apple products this year. MacBook Pros, LG UltraFine Displays, and now AirPods.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Why RFID Wallets (Likely) Do Nothing For You

Many have unknowingly fallen into the trap setup by today's wallet makers when purchasing an RFID-blocking wallet. You may think that these wallets protect you from having your identity and credit card information stolen, but chances are, you were never at risk for this. RFID stands for radio frequency identification, meaning a small device that transmits data using radio frequencies. These are usually found in animal trackers. What they aren't found in are most credit cards. When referring to a credit card with RFID capabilities, they can be used through contactless payments, like Apple Pay. The difference is, you don't need a fingerprint to pay using these. They're much more vulnerable, for a little more convince. Few people use these cards. If you're unsure about if you have one, you'll usually be able to tell from the marketing on the card. MasterCard PayPass, American Express ExpressPay, Discover Zip, and Visa payWave are the big names in the contactless credit card business. If you have one of these cards, then an RFID wallet may be for you. But for other credit cards, whether they have a magnetic strip or a EMV chip, you are not at risk for RFID theft.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pokémon Go for Apple Watch Still Coming

This morning, a fake image of an email from Niantic posted on Reddit falsely convinced many people that Pokémon Go for the Apple Watch would be canceled. However, Niantic has publicly announced that development on the Apple Watch port has not ceased. Announced at the iPhone 7 event, Pokémon Go for Apple Watch was supposed to be released in December. The dwindling popularity of Pokémon Go has implied that Niantic may feel that a port is no longer necessary.

Friday, December 16, 2016

AirPods Available in Apple Stores on Monday

According to MacRumors, AirPods will be available in Apple Retail Stores starting Monday morning. Apple hasn't officially confirmed the specific date AirPods will come to retail stores, but they did say next week would be the general timeframe. If you got a late pre-order and are forced to wait 4-6 weeks for your AirPods to ship, getting one this Monday may be your best bet. Good luck!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Super Mario Run Releases on iOS

Today, Super Mario Run made its debut on the Apple App Store. The entire carousel of the App Store has been designed around Super Mario Run. After the success of Pokémon Go, it seems that Super Mario Run may be another money maker for Nintendo, combining the popularity and versatility of mobile games and the Mario intellectual property. Super Mario Run is available exclusively on the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stay Safe This Holiday Season

This isn't a very tech related post, but below is a video that serves as a reminder that public safety should never be sacrificed for anything. While no one was seriously hurt in the video, there was a car crash that could've been easily been prevented with some more cones. The Comcast repairmen did not take the proper safety precautions needed for the situation given and caused slides offs and a crash. My point is, no matter who you are, make sure you're doing everything you can to keep safety a top priority. Happy holidays.

You can read Comcast's public statement about the incident via their news page.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

AirPods Available on Apple Online Store

AirPods were finally available to order this morning, starting at 6 AM PST. This batch was expected to deliver on December 21. In just over an hour, the estimates turned to December 29. And just after that, the estimate turned to "4 weeks." That estimate has remained the same as of the writing of this post. However, AirPods are expected to be available next week at Apple Retail Stores. Maybe it's best to hold off and see if you can get a pair at your local Apple Store. I don't know how, but I guess Apple managed to get AirPods in time for the holiday season, even if it's just 4 days before and they're sold out for weeks...

Monday, December 12, 2016

iOS and tvOS 10.2 Released

iOS and tvOS 10.2 have been released today, which means the TV app is now available. The TV app adds some cool features. It puts all of your shows in one place, letting you queue and access TV shows and movies. If you have a cool provider (i.e. not Time Warner Cable), then you may have access to Single Sign-On, letting you sign in to all of your video apps with your service provider. iOS 10.2 is available to compatible iOS devices starting today. tvOS 10.2 is available to fourth-generation Apple TVs starting today.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Report Spam in Calendar

Recently, many iCloud users have been receiving spam in the form of calendar events. Apple has started to address this issue starting on If you receive an event from someone not on your contact list, you can report it as junk. This will hopefully cut down on this spam. While this is only available on, it will likely be available on iOS and macOS in this week's iOS 10.2 update.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stupid Mario Run: Nintendo's Patent-Pending Anti-Piracy Measure

With Super Mario Run coming out this Thursday, Nintendo is ready to line its wallets with another round of mobile in-app purchases. To unlock the full version of Super Mario Run, a $9.99 price tag is hidden in the in-app purchases section. But that's not why I'm writing this post.

Nintendo has made the facepalming decision to require Super Mario Run to connect to the internet continuously... to prevent piracy [Source: Mashable]. Piracy... on iOS? I would think the whole point of making a big deal of announcing your first Mario game on mobile at an Apple event would be to utilize the technologies Apple gives to you. A huge plus for developers on the Apple App Store is that they don't have to worry about piracy. Most iOS users don't know how to pirate. Meanwhile on the Play Store, piracy is completely rampant. Androids simply need an APK file of the app to get a free copy. Even games with advertisements will work without internet, which disables the ads. So, why would Nintendo want to burden iOS users with an anti-piracy feature? I'm not sure, but it's certainly making that $9.99 price tag look less appealing. And you're certainly not going to be able to use this app on a subway as advertised. School WiFi networks already blocked Miitomo, Nintendo's other game, so this will likely use up data.

The execution seems to be another problem. Having a continuous connection wastes data and battery life. Once every 24 hours maybe? Even the Xbox One had better anti-piracy tactics than this. I mean, get real. Am I going to have a valid copy of the game at the beginning of the day and by noon, it will be pirated? Are there enough pirates out there to justify having this continuous connection? While they're less common, iPod Touches will have no means of running this app since they don't have cellular data. Younger kids won't be able to play as their favorite Italian plumber because of an anti-piracy measure. I see the trending hashtag now: #MarioGate.

Am I over exaggerating? Maybe a little. How much data can this take up? Will this have an impact on my battery? I shouldn't judge this until we have some hard evidence to make an argument. But at the same time, is piracy a big enough of an issue to justify bricking Super Mario Run when you have no signal? For all we know, all this data checking if your app is pirated may mess up Nintendo's servers, just like Pokémon Go. In the words of George Santayana, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."

Friday, December 9, 2016

Apple Store Employees Wear Mario Pins for Super Mario Run

In honor of the upcoming release of Super Mario Run, many Apple Store employees are sporting a new 8-bit Mario pin. This is because of the upcoming release of Super Mario Run. Yesterday, Super Mario Run demos were installed on Apple Store devices, giving the public a chance to check out the new game. It's cool to see this app have such an effect on the store as a whole.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pokémon Go and Starbucks

In hopes to reignite the hype for Pokémon Go, Niantic has made a deal with Starbucks, turning every café into a Pokéstop. In addition, there's a Pokémon Go Frappuccino. This news comes during the week we expect Pokémon Go to add about 100 generation 2 Pokémon. Pokémon Go was also just named the Breakout Hit of the Apple App Store for 2016. Also, Super Mario Run will be releasing next week. It is definitely a big week for Nintendo in mobile gaming.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bluetooth 5

Bluetooth 5 has been adopted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This means that manufacturers are allowed to use Bluetooth in their devices. But what is Bluetooth 5? Bluetooth 5 is the new version of Bluetooth. It has four times the range, twice the speed, and eight times the broadcast message capacity. It's also a big push for the smart home and the Internet of Things. And, as always, it improves the power draw, so that it eats up less battery. However, it isn't a simple software update. Manufacturers must first use this in their devices for consumers to use it. There's a good chance that it'll work with next year's iPhone 8.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S8 Won't Have a Headphone Jack

After mocking the iPhone 7 for not having a headphone jack, the next flagship smartphone for Samsung will not have a headphone jack, according to SamMobile. During the controversy of the iPhone 7's lack of the headphone jack, I said to many that it would become the industry standard. Samsung's removal of the headphone jack will be another big push toward this future. This phone will likely be revealed in February.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Simpsons Reference in Apple Maps

There's a small detail that many will miss in Apple Maps for iOS. If you tap the info button, choose "Add a Place," and select "Other" from the types of places, you'll be taken to a map to position a marker and a text field to enter the name of the place. However, you may notice that there's some hint text with an example. It reads "e.g. Moe's Tavern." This is a reference to Moe's Tavern in The Simpsons animated series. It's nice to see that the developers had some fun with this by adding such a small detail.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Apple's Battery Site

If you've been needing some tips regarding your batteries, Apple's battery website may help. On this page, Apple has some information on how to keep your batteries in top shape, in addition to how Apple's lithium-ion batteries work. It also dispels some myths about charge cycles and trickle charging. For example, since a full discharge counts as one charge cycle, there is nothing wrong with charging your phone every night. It's a very good page, and I recommend every Apple user take a quick glance at it to learn a bit.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Potential iPhone 6s Battery Shortage

After an announcement that Apple would repair the batteries of deteriorating iPhone 6s batteries, it seems that Apple Stores are low on stock. When I went to my Apple Store to get my battery replaced, I was told that every Apple Store in proximity was out of the battery and would not get one until mid-next week. This can be frustrating for many users as it seems to be getting exponentially worse. My iPhone shutdown twice while I was waiting. Hopefully, these batteries get back in stock soon, as many people are being affected.

Note: this is not a safety issue, just a matter of keeping our phones from shutting down.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Super Mario Run Release Details

Super Mario Run, a runner game from Nintendo similar to Temple Run, will be releasing on December 15. While the base game will be free to purchase, the full game costs $9.99 as an in-app purchase. Although this is cheap by Nintendo standards, most seem to think this is a bit too much given what we've seen. In addition, Nintendo believes Super Mario Run will outdo Pokémon Go. Unless they mean in revenue, there's no way the amount of downloads will exceed that of Pokémon Go, especially considering this is an iOS exclusive for the time being. Super Mario Run will be free when it releases [Direct Link].

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Apple Maps Will Use Drone Data

According to Bloomberg, Apple will use some drones that can map landscapes. These drones can identify street signs and monitor roads and construction. This would be a quick and easy way to ensure your maps are accurate and up-to-date. Apple has filed their paperwork to the Federal Aviation Administration, so it seems this project is well underway. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Apple to Stop iCloud Calendar Spam

If you use iCloud Calendars, you've likely seen a strange calendar event that you didn't create. I've seen them too. These are spam invitations and should be ignored at any cost. Unfortunately, because of how iCloud invites work, this isn't easy. Apple has told iMore that they are working on a fix. Until then, a good workaround is moving the spam event to a new calendar. Then, delete this new calendar. Doing this will not notify the spammers if your account is real. Credit to MacRumors for that tip.
"We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

iPhone 8 To Have Wireless Charging

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 8 will likely have wireless charging. Specifically, the 4.7-inch model, however, they have stated that all models will have wireless charging previously. This is likely still true. As for wireless chargers, it appears that certain models will include them in the box. It's not known yet if all models will include one. Wireless charging is something that Apple fans have not been exposed to without the need for third party accessories, but hopefully Apple has taken its time in getting it right.

Monday, November 28, 2016

LG UltraFine 5K Display Swooping In and Out of Stock

The LG UltraFine 5K Display announced alongside the new MacBook Pros have gone in and out of stock today. Whether this is because of short stock or an accidental store listing has yet to be seen. However, if you are in need of this display, definitely jump at the chance if you find it in stock at the sale price of $974. The 4K version of this display is still in steady stock, although will take over a month to ship. Both of these displays use the new P3 color gamut found in the new MacBook Pros and USB-C.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

iOS 10: Parked Car

One of the nice things about Maps in iOS 10 is how it tracks where you park your car. If your car works with your phone via Bluetooth or CarPlay, you should be able to see where you parked your car in the main maps menu. Depending on your Calendar events, your parked car should be second or third on the list. Just tap it and you should get walking directions to your car. Note that you should be somewhat distanced from your car. I'm not sure what determines this distance, but you typically have to park in a parking lot for it to work. I hope this helps!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Customizing Touch Bar

If you want to customize your Touch Bar's layout, it's very simple. For most supported apps, you can find this option in View > Customize Touch Bar... From here, just drag the icons down to the bottom of the screen, and you'll see them appear in the Touch Bar. This is especially useful for editing applications, like Pixelmator. I hope this helps!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Creating Memories

In iOS 10, there's a new feature in Photos called Memories. If you'd like to make a Memory out of this Thanksgiving weekend, simply go to the Photos app in iOS, tap the location above the group of photos you want. Now, scroll down to the bottom and tap "Add to Memories." From here you can make cool movies, but in general, it's a cool way to look back on your favorite photos. I hope this helps!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Apple Watch Thanksgiving Badge

If you own an Apple Watch, then you might know about how you can earn badges through workouts. For Thanksgiving, Apple would issue a special badge for those who did a workout that was more than 5K in distance, or 3.1 miles. I managed to earn mine this morning and I personally love the design. In addition, you get a Messages sticker when you earn this badge. It looks the same as the medal, except the design is flat. Hopefully, we see more special badges like this in the future.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


If you'd like to try out Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro without having to leaving the comfort of your home, try Touché. It's a Touch Bar simulator that can be enabled on the fly. Just tapping the control, option, command, and space keys together quickly brings the simulator onto the screen. It appears to be the same simulator that the latest developer build of Xcode uses. If you choose to try it out, you should know that Touch Bar enabled apps typically have a "Customize Touch Bar" menu item in the View menu. Touché by Red Sweater is available for free from their website [Direct Link].

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Video Causes iOS Devices to Freeze

Yet another strange way to crash iOS has been discovered. It's through a video link. To prevent spreading malicious content, I won't post the link. In short, loading this link on iOS slows down the system and eventually freezes the device. This requires a hard reset of the device. To hard reset on an iPhone 7, hold down the power button and lower volume button until the Apple logo appears. On any other device, hold down the power button and the home button until the Apple logo appears.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Apple Announces Black Friday 2016

This Friday will mark another Black Friday and Apple has some deals planned. For those who don't remember, Apple didn't have any Black Friday deals last year because they wanted to phase them out and let third-party retail stores handle them. However, Apple will have their own deals this year. We don't know what they are yet though. Apple has put more of an effort this year in advertising their products as gifts, so that may be part of this. Black Friday starts at midnight after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2016.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Apple Offers Repairs for Unexpected iPhone 6s Shutdowns

If you own an iPhone 6s that you bought between September and October 2015, you may be affected by a bug that causes your iPhone to unexpectedly shutdown. If this has been happening to you, Apple is launching a repair program. This will replace your iPhone's battery. I find it funny that Apple addresses that this is not a safety issue, given what's happened with Samsung's batteries

Saturday, November 19, 2016

iBooks Update Imminent?

After the unveiling of the new TV app, I began to notice a trend. First, Apple Music. It gave Music a  lot more interactivity with users. It added a nice music feed of your albums and playlists, along with the Up Next feature. Now, TV. It gives you a feed of video across multiple video platforms and a new Up Next feature. So, what could be next? I would guess iBooks. While an Up Next feature wouldn't really work, I could totally imagine a feed where you could see recommended books and new books from your favorite authors/series. I could also imagine this happening with Podcasts, but the app is so similar to Music, it wouldn't matter much. Another iBooks update that could happen could be a subscription service similar to Apple Music and Amazon Kindle Unlimited. This is all just my own speculation by the way, not based on any rumors.

Friday, November 18, 2016

New MacBook Pro Available for In-Store Pickup

In-store pickup is now available for the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Certain configurations are available to pickup within hours if you'd like to get your hands on the new laptop. However, certain configurations are not. Of course, stock varies by store and demand is very high. If you're in no hurry to get a new laptop, I would recommend picking a configuration online and wait for the 4-5 weeks shipping for a few reasons. First, by the time it gets into your hands, more apps will support Touch Bar. If you had a new MacBook Pro, less apps would support it and as a result, leave more of an empty hole in your heart. Secondly, more bugs will be fixed by this time. There have been some strange, but minor, security, graphics, and developer bugs that have been reported on a small number of computers and Apple will likely fix it by the time it ships. Finally, 4-5 weeks is likely overshooting it since we already have in-store pickup. I hope this helps anyone considering buying one. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Apple Pay Holiday Perks

In an effort to promote Apple Pay on the web, Apple has announced some holiday offers when shopping with Apple Pay on the Web. There are quite a few, but the offers vary widely. Some will give you a free iTunes Gift Card, while others will give you free shipping. There are a bunch, so be sure to check out Apple's site for the promotion to see all of the offers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Logic Pro Update in 2017

Ever since Apple discontinued Aperture, their professional photo editing app, I've had fears of them discontinuing their other apps. Aperture, Final Cut Pro, and Logic Pro was Apple's Holy Trinity of professional apps. Real people rely on these apps. I personally use Final Cut Pro for a variety of projects. Final Cut seems to not be going anywhere soon, with an update for Touch Bar support, however, Logic Pro has not received an equivalent update. However, Logic Pro users won't have to worry, as Digital Trends reports that Apple will add support for Touch Bar in Logic Pro in early 2017. More importantly, that means we'll get an update in 2017. Likely, the design will be updated and we may get a new feature here and there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Apple Releases 'Designed by Apple in California' Book

Apple announced today that they will be selling a book called 'Designed by Apple in California' starting tomorrow in the memory of Steve Jobs. The book contains 450 photographs of Apple products from the past 20 years. This book has been made over the past 8 years, which makes me wonder if Steve Jobs commissioned this project himself. Either way, it's quite expensive. The 10.20" x 12.75" size is $199 and the 13" x 16.25" is $299.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Touch Bar Falls Asleep

When I read into the Human Interface Guidelines for Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro, I found it a bit strange that Apple wanted Touch Bar to be used strictly as an input device. I understood that it was an extension of the keyboard, that using it to display information would take attention away from the screen, and of course, it's small. This is precious real estate. You don't want to use the small amount of space on the Touch Bar to show something that could be displayed on the main display. But perhaps another reason it's like this is because the Touch Bar falls asleep to save energy. It dims after 60 seconds, and turns off after 85 seconds. There is no setting for this at the moment. It can be easily turned back on with a tap. So it only makes sense that if you're gonna have to touch the Touch Bar often to keep it in use, you're gonna want to use it as a medium for quick interactions, not immersion. Anyways, I hope this helps.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

AirPods Launch Theories

In all honesty, Apple's AirPods should've been launched alongside the iPhone 7 release. Although I am looking forward to the release of these earbuds, many mock these products as a simple cash grab for Apple since they removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, which doesn't help the fact that they've been delayed. That being said, I have two sources that have two different stories about when they may release. The first one is a bit sketchy. According a, AirPods will release next week. The main source is a European reseller, which doesn't add much credibility. The second rumor comes from Barclays, which says production will begin in December. They're not even made yet according to this rumor. Love them or hate them, it can't be denied that Apple needs to get AirPods out into the public as soon as possible. My theory that combines both is that perhaps pre-orders will begin next week and they'll be here late December or, more likely, early January. In this case, you can still give AirPods as a Christmas gift, but they'll come a bit late.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Apple Pay on Fangamer

With Apple Pay becoming much more useful on the new MacBook Pro and becoming more prominent on the web, I figured I'd show off one of my favorite places to use it. Fangamer is an awesome online shop for geeky video game products. Most of them are produced independently by Fangamer. Anyways, they accept Apple Pay on the web. Previously, I would have to enter a plethora of information just to get a single item, but now I just have to confirm my information and use Touch ID to confirm purchases. Anyways, this isn't an advertisement or anything. This is just one of my favorite places to use Apple Pay. If you have your own favorite place to use Apple Pay on the web, be sure to leave it in the comments below.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Spotify Trashing Hard Drives

When I heard of Spotify installing malware on computers for users who didn't have a paid subscription, I lost a lot of respect for the brand. However, it gets worse as it seems that Spotify excessively writes to hard drives, using up a ton of storage. On various forums, it seems that anywhere from tens to hundreds of gigabytes may be written in an hour because of this. While this is a serious issue, it seems to only be contained to the desktop versions of the apps. If you want to avoid this issue, I would recommend using Spotify through your browser, instead of through the desktop app.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Touch Bar MacBook Pros Begin Shipping

It's been two weeks since Apple's MacBook Pro-centric event and Apple said it would take 2-3 weeks to ship if you ordered a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar on that day. It seems that they were just about on the dot, as MacBook Pros have begun shipping for those who ordered them. In addition, Apple has begun accepting updates for apps that support Touch Bar in the Mac App Store. Since being available, the new MacBook Pro has sold tremendously well, outselling every competing laptop this year and currently taking about 4-5 weeks to ship. I'm looking forward to finally seeing these notebooks out in the wild and what people have to save about them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


With World AIDS Day coming up in December, Apple has once again teamed up with (PRODUCT)RED to help the fight against AIDS. For this, Apple has created a new color of Beats Solo3 Wireless and Beats Pill+ called "Citrus Red." We don't have a release date on these yet, but we do know the pricing. The Beats Solo3 Wireless is $299.95 and the Beats Pill+ is $229.95, as expected. It should be noted that all proceeds from these sales go to preventing HIV and AIDS.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Apple Support App Releases in Netherlands

An "Apple Support" app has been released in the Netherlands, something that we haven't heard of before. The app is similar to Apple's support website. Why they chose to roll it out in the Netherlands, I'm not quite sure. There are just three Apple Stores over there, so that may be a factor. Whether it comes to the U.S., I can't say for sure either, but I would assume it would eventually make its way. The Apple Support app is available from the Netherlands Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Monday, November 7, 2016

Emergency SOS in iOS 10.2

In iOS 10.2, pressing the home button 5 times quickly will trigger Emergency SOS. This is a feature that originated on the Apple Watch that will call your country's emergency services number. If you're worried you will accidentally trigger this, there is a countdown and warning sound that will play. You can also disable it, which may be viable, since emergency services can be called already through the lock screen. The only difference is emergency contacts will not be texted. To disable this, go to Settings > General > Emergency SOS and disable "Click Sleep/Wake to Auto Call." Keep in mind that this is in iOS 10.2, which is still in beta.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Algorithmic Voting

With the U.S. Presidential Elections fast approaching, voting seems to be on everyone's minds. Google has made it clear it its users that they should vote by providing them with various resources. However, this post isn't about the upcoming election. Instead, it's about the one in 2020. Imagine if a smartphone could pick a political candidate for you and vote for them with just a tap on the "I agree" checkbox. On one hand, it would increase the amount of voters exponentially by making the process simple and provide fast, accurate polling. After all, Google Forms has been quite successful. Why not use the same premise for voting? But there is an issue it brings up: having a phone suggesting a candidate for you. It does beg the question how much influence a tech company should have over an election and your political beliefs. When it comes down to it, these are tech companies, not political advisers.

Note: I was incorrect in stating that Apple was hiding Donald Trump's app from the App Store. Me not seeing his app was situational and may not occur for all users. I apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you to @sot0fied on Twitter for pointing that out.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

iPhone SE Won't Receive Update in 2017

The iPhone SE is probably not going to receive an update next year according to Ming-Chi Kuo. This is because Apple wants to keep their focus on their high-end smartphones. Personally, I was hoping for an update this year. Even if we don't get one this year, it may be better if we get one for the iPhone 8, as that is expected to be a huge update for the iPhone. It's hard to really pinpoint the iPhone SE because it's different from the rest of the iPhones, in that it's cheaper and smaller. In addition, it uses a dated design. As always, we'll just have to see how things play out.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Apple Drops Price of USB-C Adapters and New LG Displays

Apple has dropped the price of several of their products related to the new MacBook Pro. The LG UltraFine Displays are 25% cheaper. The LG UltraFine 5K Display is now $974, down from $1,299. The LG UltraFine 4K Display is just $524, down from $699. Suddenly, these displays got a bit more appealing. All of Apple's USB-C adapters are also discounted. The USB-C to USB Adapter is just $9, down from $19. The Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter is now $29, from $49. The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter are both $49, down from $69. Finally, the USB-C to Lightning Cable (1m) is just $19, from $25, and the USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) is $29, from $35. All of these prices are good until the end of the year.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Single Sign-On In Beta

Single Sign-On allows you to access all of your streaming video through your TV provider with a single sign-on. For example, if you want to use the CBS app, you would normally have to sign in with your TV provider, then watch your shows. Then, you use the FOX app. Again, sign in. With Single Sign-On, you sign in once in Settings, and it works across all your apps. In the latest betas of tvOS and iOS, this feature has finally been activated. It only works with Dish, GVTC Communications, Hotwire, and Sling TV. The amount of providers is expected to grow as the full release comes.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fermata Headphone Dock

As far as Apple accessories go, Twelve South make some of the best I've seen. They make beautiful accessories that often match the finish of your Apple product. So it should come to no surprise that Twelve South would make an accessory for Beats headphones. The Fermata is a charging dock for your headphones. Although they work with most on-ear headphones, I think they look really nice with a pair of Beats Solo Wireless headphones. They have a subtle reversible micro-USB cable for charging. They were just announced today and cost $79.99.

Note: This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Twelve South.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

AirPods Delayed Until 2017?

According to the DigiTimes, Apple may delay the AirPods until 2017. For those who didn't know, AirPods were supposed to come out in late October. When the deadline wasn't met, a vague "Coming Soon" was the new release date. We still have no confirmation from Apple when they will be released, but if it's next year, Apple will miss out on the holiday sales from AirPods. Of course, at the same time, we don't want our earphones to catch on fire and explode while in our ears, so maybe it's worth the wait. Suppliers of AirPods believe that they will come out in 2017, which is a pretty reliable guess at this point.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Potential Apple Music Price Drop

According to Digital Music News and their sources, Apple is considering dropping their prices for Apple Music plans. To keep things simple, all prices in this post will be per month. For individual plans, the change would be from $9.99 to $7.99. Family plans would be dropped from $14.99 to $12.99. Student plans would remain at $4.99. I don't have many opinions on this since I'm on the student plan, but I know this isn't Apple giving Apple Music one last shot. They are very committed to this product, and the people who use it are typically pretty satisfied. In addition, because streaming music is very likely to be the future, Apple has no reason to discontinue Apple Music and is more likely to discontinue buying songs for 99¢, as controversial as that is. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Famous Mac Startup Sound Not Present in New MacBook Pros

For the longest time, starting up your Mac would cause a short chord to play to indicate that no errors occurred during initialization. That is no longer the case for the new MacBook Pros. While some may be disappointed by this, I can understand why Apple may do this. The new MacBook Pros now turn on just by opening the lid or plugging in the charging cable. I believe this is to close the gap between macOS and iOS, as iOS devices quickly and quietly startup. Nowadays, I mute my Mac before I turn it off to silence the sound, because I'll pull out my MacBook in a quiet classroom, and then you hear that sound disrupt the silence. It can be awkward. But my main point is, in an ever-changing world, now based around mobile devices, computers need to evolve to keep up. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Touch Bar and 1Password

With the newest build of Xcode, developers can run the new Touch Bar simulator, which allows them to test their apps using the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar. AgileBits was kind enough to share their vision for how Touch Bar will work for their app, 1Password. The designs look pretty cool and show great promise for what third party app developers have in store for us. I've looked through the human interface documentation already for Touch Bar and the design guidelines, in my opinion, allow for a lot of possibilities for Touch Bar. 1Password is available for $64.99 from the Mac App Store [Direct Link].

Friday, October 28, 2016

Apple Done With Displays

Apple announced their partnership with LG to create 4K and 5K displays to work with their products yesterday. However, most people wanted Apple to make their own displays, like how they used to. According to Nilay Patel, Apple is done with the standalone display business. Unfortunately, this means that there won't be an official Retina Display standalone display anytime soon.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The New MacBook Pro

Today, the new MacBook Pro was announced, and the wait was worth it. Before I go further, this post is an opinion post and not a recap, so I'd recommend watching the keynote or looking at the official site to learn more about the product.

We learned that what we thought was the Magic Toolbar is actually called the Touch Bar. I really like this in that it can be contextual and provide supplemental information, while still providing access to important system functions at anytime, like the mute button. The entire time, I needed to hear them say that developers would have access to this technology, and they did wait a while to say this, but they did. Meaning, this technology can be the gift that keeps on giving as long as developers choose to support it. I also was hoping that Final Cut Pro would be compatible with it on day one. It was. The fact that they even acknowledged Final Cut Pro was crucial. Final Cut Pro has not received an update on the Mac App Store since January of this year. Since discontinuing Aperture, I've had a lingering fear that Apple may soon discontinue all of their pro apps, but this update means that Final Cut (and hopefully Logic Pro) will continue to be supported. The final point I wanted to make was how Apple put emphasis on the "Pro" in MacBook Pro. It was designed to be a top-of-the-line professional computer. It's finally that again, after such a long time without an update. However, it's not for everyone. This Touch Bar is not for everyone. That's why they have the model without the Touch Bar. It's great for more moderate usage, but at a price point that more people can afford. In short, today's presentation wasn't for everyone, but for the people it was for, it was an important step for the MacBook.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Leaked Images of the Magic Toolbar

The Magic Toolbar, which will be announced tomorrow alongside a new MacBook Pro, has had images leaked thanks to source files in the latest macOS Sierra beta [Source: MacRumors]. It appears that the Touch ID area will be embedded into a small square near the right side of the bar. I'm looking forward to seeing everything it's capable of tomorrow at Apple's "Hello Again" event.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bootleg Apple Products

Hi all. I'm very sick today and won't be able to do a proper post myself today, so my dad will be stepping in today. Hopefully I can get back to normal soon. Anyways, thanks for reading!

The other day I was walking with Alex (my son who is the creator of this blog) through Best Buy.  He was laser focused and marching quickly toward  the store clerk several aisles away restocking Amiibos, as I got distracted by a display of colorfully printed Apple EarPods.  These headphones were in the same square plastic case as the genuine Apple EarPods I had in my work bag.  Same shape and design, only they had bright colored patterns, each making its own fashion statement.  And, they were on sale for only $7. How could these be so cheap when the same Apple EarPods in white are sold for $29 at the Apple Store? They are knockoffs, counterfeits, of course, made in China.  Some fakes make their way to brick and mortar stores like BB.  Apple doesn't like counterfeits, and takes this seriously, not so much because they are losing revenue, but because these cheaply made products more often have poor performance, can cause electric shocks and even fires.  What thriving company wants the word ‘fire’ attached to their electronic products (Samsung, anyone?)? This year Apple analyzed the products being sold on Amazon that claimed to be Apple-branded accessories.  They now believe that nearly 90 of these online products are fakes. Although Amazon “allowed” counterfeit products to be sold through the website, Amazon itself hasn’t sold these knockoffs.  “Fulfillment by Amazon” items, stored in Amazon warehouses by third party merchants, were most guilty being counterfeit. Amazon itself hasn’t been selling the fake Apple accessories.  What can you do?  Buy directly from Apple, in the store, or on their online store. If you still want to buy accessories that are not genuine, you can first check them out on Fakespot and read reviews to help determine the quality of each.

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

Note7 Banned From All U.S. Flights

The United States Department of Transportation has officially banned the Samsung Galaxy Note7 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 Note7

In an somewhat expected, yet surprising move by Samsung, the Galaxy Note7 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 Note7, please power it off and return it. Note that you cannot bring a Galaxy Note7 on a commercial airline, as they are a flight risk. Your options are likely limited by owning a Note7. 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.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Google Assistant

Today, Google announced their Google Assistant. The Siri clone is compatible with their new flagship phone (which definitely didn't copy any other smartphone), Pixel, their Amazon Echo copy, Google Home, and their other products. Man, Google should've gotten George Lucas to speak at their announcement, because this feels like a new edition of The Clone Wars. I mean, what can you say about Google Assistant? It's an evolution of their "Ok Google" tool, but with a voice and interface. It did what Siri did to Voice Control. Is it a clone? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. The technology industry moves as a whole in order to work. Google was definitely lagging behind with voice assistance, and they needed something to compensate for that. Every company does it. Frankly, it's what technology has come to as a whole.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Microsoft Discontinues Microsoft Band

Most people I ask weren't aware Microsoft had a wearable, and Microsoft made that clear as glass today by removing their Microsoft Band listings from their website. Although it hasn't been confirmed, it seems that they are discontinuing the band, as they have stated that it won't be updated this year. The Microsoft Band lived a short life, starting in 2014 to compete with the Apple Watch. There were only two generations. For some, this is unfortunate, as those in the Microsoft ecosystem are being left in the dust, time and time again. First discontinuing the Windows Phone, and now with their flagship wearable. That's not to say they were seen as good products, but it does mean that the Microsoft ecosystem may not be the best place to go to for continuity and cohesiveness.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Easily Track Cellular Data Usage

One of my favorite parts of iOS are widgets. When used properly, they are very useful and convenient for quick information that you need frequently. One example of this is cellular data usage. If you want to easily track your usage, try this out. Find your carrier's app in the App Store. Make sure this is for your phone plan, not something else (i.e. My Verizon instead of Verizon Fios). Sign into the app like normal. Now, go to Notification Center and swipe to the right and scroll down. Tap the Edit button and find your carrier's widget in the list. Note that your carrier may not have a widget. If not, this method doesn't apply to you. Sorry. I can confirm that Verizon works with this method using the My Verizon app. Now can see your data usage just by going to Notification Center. I hope this helps!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Apple Campus 2 Progress - October 2016

Apple Campus 2 has developed quite a bit since July. Lights and power have begun to turn on as the campus takes shape. In the video below, the auditorium, trails, and center plaza are beginning to form. The auditorium will be underground, the trails are being formed by the construction company, and the plaza will have a large fountain in the center of it. To see all that has come up for Apple Campus 2, check out the video below.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Apple Debuts Balloon Ad

For their first iOS 10 ad, Apple based it around the Screen Effects available in Messages. This ad shows a red balloon go through different areas until it is joined by hundreds of other balloons. The ad ends with someone receiving a happy birthday message with the Balloons Screen Effect. The advertisement is embedded below.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

FCC Votes to Make Better Emergency Notifications

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to enhance emergency notifications sent to smartphones in several ways. These emergency notifications often include adverse weather, missing children, and local emergencies. The FCC has decided to make the character limit 360, up from 90 characters (only on 4G and LTE networks). Links can also be embedded into the notifications to give people more resources about the situation at hand. Hopefully, this will help people stay safe during an emergency situation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Skype Gets CallKit Support

One of the many features I was looking forward to in iOS 10 was CallKit. Skype for iOS finally supports it. I was really hoping for support on iOS 10 launch day, but better late than never. Most people never noticed CallKit, as it was a developer API. CallKit allows for VoIP apps (i.e. Skype, WhatsApp) to display full screen notifications on the lock screen using the native answering screen for normal phone calls. This is the screen with the "Remind Me" and "Message" buttons, in addition to the "Accept" and "Decline" options (or "Slide to Answer"). In addition, CallKit lets you call through VoIP using Siri. For example, "Hey Siri, call John using Skype." CallKit also allows you to call through VoIP through the Contacts app. One of the best parts of CallKit, is that it allows access to so many different Apple services, like CarPlay and Bluetooth devices. These calls are also recorded in the History tab of the Phone app. Skype for iOS is available for free from the App Store [Direct Link].

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jet Black iPhone Shortage

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the popularity of the Jet Black iPhone 7 is not the only reason why it's hard to acquire. As it turns out, the color is very hard to manufacture. Apparently, 30-40 percent of the Jet Black units do not meet Apple's standards and must be retooled. Note that the Jet Black color is the model which has a nine-step anodization and polishing process during production. Combined with the popularity, Samsung recall, and this lengthy process, it makes sense why Apple was very protective of its stock these past few weeks. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Optimize Space with macOS Sierra

My MacBook Pro has had very little space for the past few months. It would often fluctuate between out of space and 20 GB due to caching and other factors. As a result, my computer got slower. With macOS Sierra, I managed to get my laptop up to 40 GB free. The new storage management is probably one of the best features of macOS Sierra. Just open "About This Mac" from the Apple menu, go to Storage, and press the "Manage..." button. While I don't use the store in iCloud feature, I would recommend using the Optimize Storage function. It will remove watched movies and TV shows from your Mac. Note that they will still be available in the cloud. You can also look through a variety of apps and file types and remove some files. For me, I found myself deleting podcasts and Steam games. This saved a lot of storage. I would definitely recommend trying this out, even if you're not out of storage yet.