Thursday, March 31, 2016


Today, Nintendo released their first smartphone app in the United States, named Miitomo. Dare I say it, it's actually fun. I find myself saying that a Nintendo game is fun less and less often. Most of the time, it's a cash-grab for a game that has no business existing or a fun game that loses its charm after 2 hours. Good Nintendo games are comparable to the drought in California. A long period of dry, arid weather, with an occasional downpour that lasts a very short time. Miitomo is this downpour. When I first downloaded Miitomo, I expected that it wouldn't be a fun experience, seeing how much fun I had with Tomodachi Life, but I wasn't immediately disappointed. Dare I say, I actually enjoyed it. Some of my Nintendo friends and I quickly found ourselves answering questions and giving goofy responses and exchanging photos of our Miis. The launch of Miitomo also coincides with the official launch of the My Nintendo program. This rewards the player for accomplishing certain tasks in games (currently only Miitomo) with a special currency that can be redeemed for discounts and digital goods. Finally, a good marketing decision! Nintendo commissioned a company named DeNA on Miitomo (along with the other apps they have in store) and they delivered. Even 3D Touch was implemented for quick actions! My one hope is that Nintendo will allow the in-game costumes for the Miis to appear in the games the Miis appear in. For example, I'd like to see my Mii wearing his varsity jacket while playing tennis in Wii Sports Club or something. But for now, hopefully this means the game drought is starting to end for Nintendo. Miitomo is available on the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

iPhone SEs and iPad Pros Ship Early To Customers

The iPhone SE and iPad Pro officially release tomorrow, March 31st. However, people in New Zealand have started to receive their devices. People have started posting their new devices on social media, as shown below. Tomorrow, American orders should be delivered. In addition, you can buy iPad Pros and iPhone SEs in-store at electronic retailers.

Image Credit: Jamesreb

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MLB Will Use iPad Pros For Dugout Use

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will provide teams of MLB iPad Pros to keep track of data, like scores. It's weird to think that up to this point, the MLB has used regular paper to keep track of these scores in the dugouts. MLB and Apple have a very good relationship with each other. MLB is an Apple Pay partner and uses iBeacon technology at their ballparks.
"Teams will be able sift through performance stats from current and past seasons, weigh potential pitcher-hitter matchups, look at “spray charts” showing where a player is likely to hit a ball, even cue up videos of plays from previous games."
- The Wall Street Journal 

Monday, March 28, 2016

iPhone Lawsuit Finally Comes To An End

After lots of debate and controversy, the Justice Department has finally dropped their lawsuit against Apple according to CNBC. The case was dropped because of a new exploit discovered in the code of iOS. That exploit has not been revealed and hopefully it stays that way. This discovery postponed Apple's trial last week. It also led to this whole thing coming to an end.
"Applicant United States of America, by and through its counsel of record, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, hereby files this status report called for by the Court's order issued on March 21, 2016. The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook's iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court's Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016. Accordingly, the government hereby requests that the Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016 be vacated."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

iPad Pro Now in 256 GB Capacity

I think that a lot of the people who didn't watch the Apple event last week didn't know that there was a new storage option announced for iPad Pros. For both models, the iPad Pro now comes in a 256 GB option. Previously, the iPad Pro only went up to 128 GB. For the 9.7" model, 256 GB will cost $899 for the WiFi model. The 12.9" model will cost $1,099 with WiFi. If you need a device with a lot of storage, consider buying one of these.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Day One 2 is Free in the Apple Store App

No one is really happy about the new Day One app. It's obviously a cash-grab by BloomBuilt and demonstrates a very low business tactic, at least by 2016 standards. The app adds little to nothing and requires all existing users who wish to update to pay the full price. Mac and iOS together, that's a pretty hefty price tag. Even with the 50% launch discount, it was over $30 for a journal app I already owned. To lower that price tag, you can get Day One 2 for free (normally $4.99) via the Apple Store app. Just open the app, scroll down, and tap the banner that appears for Day One 2. This will let you get it free. This is part of an Apple-endorsed promotion and is perfectly legal. You can get the Apple Store App from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Image Credit: MacRumors

Friday, March 25, 2016

How To Enable Wi-Fi Calling

With the release of Wi-Fi Calling on Verizon, here's how to enable it on iOS. This should work for all carriers, but I'm using Verizon as the example. Also, this requires iOS 9.3 for Verizon customers. First, you'll need to have HD Voice enabled for your carrier plan. It should be free. If the following step doesn't work, contact your carrier to check if it's enabled. Go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > and enable it. You should be redirected to a website to enter your address details. The address you enter will be sent to emergency services if you make a Wi-Fi call to 911. You must manually update this address before calling 911 if it is a Wi-Fi call. Once this is completed, setup is finished.

Wi-Fi calling typically occurs when there is no cellular service available. For Verizon customers, you can tell if you are currently using Wi-Fi calling by checking the menu bar and checking your carrier name. It will say "VZN Wi-Fi" for Wi-Fi calling, otherwise it will say "Verizon". Before you call 911, check which one of these are displayed in case you have to update your address.

To update your address, go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > and there should be a link to change it. I hope this helps!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Apple Working On TV Series About Apps

According to The New York Times, Apple is working on a TV series centered around the App Store. Specifically, it will highlight the app economy. Apple is working with TV executives Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens on the project. Apple has worked with Silverman about 10 years ago while he was the executive producer of The Office. Otherwise, there aren't many details about this show and probably won't be for some time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Apple Pay On Websites

Apple Pay is well-known for its point-of-sale use, meaning that you can use it at a store as a credit card. However, it can also be used in-app. This means that you can purchase items in an app (Target for example) without the need of an account or ever having to input your credit card information into the app. Just select Apple Pay and scan your thumb. That's it. However, why would you have an app on your phone if you didn't have an account. The chances of using this feature are quite low. However, being able to use it on a website could be useful. If you visit an online store via a website, you probably won't have an account. That being said, Apple Pay will be coming to websites this year according to Re/code. This would be announced at this year's WWDC event in June.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

iPad Air 2 Smart Covers Won't Work With 9.7" iPad Pro

Although the iPad Pro (9.7") and iPad Air 2 look very similar and are the exact same size, Apple told Macworld that using the iPad Air 2 Smart Cover with the iPad Pro is not recommended. This makes sense considering the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro and lack thereof on the iPad Air 2. That being said, Smart Cases are completely out of the picture, especially considering the iPad Pro's new flash and four speakers. Also, third-party iPad Air 2 Cases probably won't work as well. The new iPad Pro Smart Covers in their awesome new colors will be available for $49 from the Apple Online Store [Direct Link].

Monday, March 21, 2016

Let Us Loop You In: The Scoop

While today's Apple event was a short one, only 63 minutes, it did have some interesting things. After school when I first saw what was announced, I was a bit disappointed to only see rehashed versions of already existing products like the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro.

But you do have to consider the most important business practice of all time, and that is timing.

You could have the greatest innovation, but if it isn't timed properly, it won't work. Take YouTube for example. There were many other companies with their own video services before YouTube, but they didn't take off because of timing. Dial up was slow and the internet wasn't ready for Markiplier and dank memes. The same goes with Apple and today's event. You shouldn't expect a new generation of products during a Spring launch. Apple has shifted away from Spring launches, with the exception of the Apple Watch. Apple very well knows that the holiday season is their time. That is the time when they should time their new generations.

Today was just a refresh. Evolving the iPad Air 2 (which was long overdue for an update) into the iPad Pro and proving that a good iPhone can be both budget-friendly and up-to-date. See Apple? This is what we wanted when you released the iPhone 5c! We wanted Johnny Ive on a budget, not a phone made in a 3D printer.

So, with that said, let's go over today's events.

iPad Pro

As I said earlier, today was a refresh day, so you really can't go into too much detail in terms of what's new. However, the new iPad Pro does bring more continuity with the Mac line of products. Apple is now advertising the iPad Pro as coming in two sizes. Sound familiar? Similar to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air line, iPads now come in multiple sizes under one name. The new 9.7 inch iPad Pro can do pretty much everything the big iPad Pro can do. It's even getting its own Smart Keyboard case.

iPhone SE

Now we come to the little smartphone that could, the iPhone SE. I'll admit, I thought this was going to be an awful release when I first heard about it. But when the details and specs came out, I was astonished. It had all of the internals (with the exception of 3D Touch) of the current iPhone 6s. It had a 12 MP camera, Rose Gold color option, A9 chip, Live Photos, and support for the latest iOS. It succeeds where the iPhone 5c failed, proving that Apple did learn from their mistake. Guess how much (with a two-year contract) the iPhone SE costs for a 64 GB model. $49. Boom! And for the 16 GB model, it's free with a contract. Heck, that makes me want to get one as a developer phone.

Anyways, those were the bulk of the presentation. There were some software updates, Apple Watch bands, and a new thing called CareKit, but other than that, that was it. Oh, and Apple's 40th anniversary. So be sure to check out Apple's website for more information on the keynote. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What I Could Dig Up: Let Us Loop You In

Here's a quick roundup of rumors for tomorrow's Apple Event entitled, "Let Us Loop You In."

iPhone SE

  • Similar to iPhone 5s in design
  • Up to date processors
  • No 3D Touch

iPad Air 3

  • Regular sized iPad Pro
  • Compatible with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil
  • Possible retiring of the "iPad Air" naming convention
    • Could be named "iPad Pro"
  • Similar design to iPad Air 2
  • Starts at 32 GB for $599

Apple Watch Bands

  • New color variations
    • Sport Band
    • Modern Buckle
    • Leather Loop
  • New Nylon Apple Watch Band
  • Space Black Milanese Loop

iOS 9.3

  • Night Shift
  • More Quick Actions (3D Touch)
  • New Health App
    • Activity from Apple Watch
    • Third party apps list shown in charts
  • Password protected notes
  • Apple School

watchOS 2.2

  • Multiple Apple Watches to one (Developer only?)
  • Revamped Maps app
    • Quickly access home and work directions
    • Search Nearby

OS X 10.11.4

  • Performance improvements
  • Password protected notes
  • Import Evernote notes into Notes app
  • View Live Photos in the Messages app

tvOS 9.2

  • Supports Bluetooth keyboards and Dictation
  • Folders for apps
  • New Multitasking view
  • Improved Photos App
    • Support for iCloud Photo Library
    • Live Photo Support
  • Ask Siri to search for apps in the App Store
  • MapKit support

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Significant Battery Increase for iPhone 7

Not shockingly, the iPhone 7 will receive an increase in battery life according to It will have a 7.04 watt-hour battery. That's compared to a 6.61 watt-hour battery in the iPhone 6s. However, it should be noted that the iPhone 6 had a 7.01 watt-hour battery. Considering the iPhone 7 will be thinner that previous models, this is nothing to scoff at. Hopefully this rumor stays true.

Image Credit:

Friday, March 18, 2016

iPad Air 3 Pricing

According to 9to5Mac, the iPad Air 3 will start at $599 for 32 GB. The current iPad Air 2 starts at $499. It should be noted that the iPad Air 3 may be an iPad Pro Mini, as in the iPad Air 2 would still be the standard, vanilla iPad. Moving on, 128 GB and LTE models would be higher, but weren't discussed. All of the details will be announced this Monday at Apple's "Let Us Loop You In Event."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Apple Looking To Create Their Own Cloud Storage Infrastructure

Apple wants to create their own cloud storage infrastructure. What does that mean? Simply put, they rely on Amazon, Google, and Microsoft of all people for cloud-based data solutions. Apple may provide the services of iCloud, but iCloud is powered by its competitors as of now. Apple wants to change that. Apple wants to create their own storage database so services will work faster. When downloading pictures and videos from the cloud, Apple says it will be much faster. When this will come out, I don't know. It might end up not coming out, only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Apple Releases Timer Ad With The Cookie Monster

Apple released a new ad starring the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. It depicts the Cookie Monster setting a timer for his cookies with the "Hey Siri" function. Next, he goes through a montage of crazy antics while waiting for his cookies to bake. After all of that, he checks back on the timer to find that only a minute had passed. Anyways, the video is embedded below if you'd like to watch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

iCloud Hacking Scandal Finally Resolved

Ryan Collins has pleaded guilty to hacking celebrity iCloud accounts and leaking photos on the internet. This was all the way back in 2014. In fact, its impact probably played a big role in the current iPhone backdoor dispute. This event prompted Apple to increase security measure on their devices. Also, the way he did obtain celebrity information wasn't even really hacking. He just sent out phishing emails pretending to be Apple asking for usernames and passwords. I had a feeling that from the start of this situation that whatever happened to those iCloud accounts wasn't because of Apple's security. Of course, not taking action wouldn't have helped Apple's image either. Anyways, it looks like Collins will spend about 18 months in jail for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi Day 2016

It's Pi Day once again. Although not as glamorous as last year's Pi Day reaching 5 digits with the date (3-14-15 = 3.1415), this year's Pi Day is actually rounded (3-14-16 = 3.1416 ≈ 3.14159). In addition, many pizza places and pie bakeries had special discounts on their craft, like 50% off pizzas at Domino's! So, I hope you all had wonderful a Pi Day and I look forward to the next one. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

More iPad Air 3 Cases

I've mentioned awhile back that there were some leaks for iPad Air 3 cases. A little over a month later, we have more of these cases as near definitive evidence of the physical features of the iPad Air 3. The Smart Connector cutout on the side suggests that the iPad Air 3 will support the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil. Camera cutouts provide evidence for an LED flash for the camera. And finally, there are cutouts for four speakers. That settles it, we're seeing a smaller iPad Pro (with an LED flash built in). By the way, this was exactly what I was hoping for. A smaller, more reasonably priced iPad Pro. I absolutely love my iPad Air 2. The screen size is good, it's the perfect size for my backpack, it's great for taking notes, and it's still big enough for me to enjoy my content with a few friends. That being said, I'm really looking forward to the iPad Air 3 with Apple Pencil support. That will be great.

Image Credit: iGeneration

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Closing Apps Doesn't Help Battery Life

It is a common misconception that closing apps from Multitasking Center helps your battery life, for the most part. Craig Federighi from Apple responded to a customer email on Tim Cook's behalf putting this rumor to rest. While many might believe this is Apple bragging, there is definitive evidence that closing apps doesn't help your battery life, although not by much. Apps can be put into three different states: active, background, and suspended. There are a few other states, but they aren't relevant in this situation. Active is the one that uses battery and only occurs when you are actively using it. The background state is when you close the app. It stays in this state for a few seconds. Background state also occurs for apps downloading in the background, playing music, tracking location, or something along those lines. Finally, there's suspended, which occurs after background if the app isn't reopened. Here's the thing, closing an app takes the app out of suspended and puts it into active for a short period of time. In addition to that, opening that app again will require more horsepower, effectively using more battery. Yes, I know that's not a significant impact and yes, I know there are exceptions (*cough* *cough* Facebook), but technically speaking, you are better off not closing your apps. Anyways, I didn't want to go all Vsauce on this post, but I just had to get that out.

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

Friday, March 11, 2016

Audiobooks In The Cloud

It's hard to believe that it's almost been five years since iCloud was unveiled. During that time, we've seen a lot of services use iCloud to store data and sync it across devices. However, the laggard to this was audiobooks. Audiobooks couldn't be downloaded though the cloud. That finally changes. As of March 3rd, you can download your audiobooks on any compatible Apple device through the cloud. Audiobooks aren't the most popular type of media in the Apple ecosystem, but I'm glad to see that Apple is finally acknowledging this category.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

iPhone 5se Invites Sent Out

Apple has sent out invitations for the event that will reveal the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, and new Apple Watch Bands. This event will take place on March 21st. The invitation simply says, "Let us loop you in." This is likely a reference to the Apple Watch bands. It's also important to note that the card uses the colors that Apple products use. Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold. Perhaps these will be used in some of the bands? Again, the event will take place March 21st, a little over a week on a Monday.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Robert Palladino Passes Away At The Age Of 83

Late last month, Robert Palladino, the calligrapher that inspired Steve Jobs and some of Apple's fonts, passed away at the age of 83. Palladino was a Trappist monk who worked doing what he loved and helped nurture the potential of to-be designers, such as Sumner Stone, the designer of the ITC Stone font. One could argue that if it weren't for Palladino, we wouldn't have fonts on computers.
"None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."
- Steve Jobs
While Palladino never used a computer, he had a large amount of influence on how text on computers look today.

Image Credit: Liz Devine

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Google Photos Supports Live Photos

It's interesting to see that Apple's biggest competitor supporting an iOS exclusive feature on their platform. Of course, I'm talking about Live Photos. In an update today, Google Photos now supports Live Photos, allowing iPhone 6s users to store their moving mementos in Google's cloud. As far as I know, Android has no equivalent of Live Photos. Google Photos is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hero Reinvents The Medicine Cabinet

A startup out of New York City named Hero is debuting their new product tomorrow. At first glance, it looks like a fancy coffee maker, but in reality, it's a pill dispenser. But this pill dispenser has a few tricks up its sleeve. First of all, it's connected to your smartphone. You set when it should dispense for you on your phone, and it happens automatically on Hero. It can notify you when you're running low on pills and will give you a link to restock on Amazon. To load your pills, just pour your pills into their own "dispenser container... thing." When you want your pills dispensed manually, just tap the screen of Hero and your pills are dispensed with the correct dosage into a small cup. The only real drawback is the price. It's $399 to preorder this device and the retail price is expected to be about $999. Hero is expected to launch this summer.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ransomware on Mac

Security has been a very important thing to Apple... obviously. However, a Transmission update over the weekend had the potential of downloading ransomware onto a Mac. Transmission is a BitTorrent client. Depending on several factors, legality of BitTorrent varies. In general, it's best to stay away from it. And this just proves that. Transmission pushed an update that seems to have a chance to infect your computer with ransomware. Ransomware essentially takes your data, locks it up, and holds it hostage until you pay up. If you don't, sometimes it may delete your data. If you do, it might not actually restore your data. This is definitely something you want to get involved in. If you have Transmission installed, they recommend that you do the following:
"Everyone running 2.90 on OS X should immediately upgrade to 2.91 or delete their copy of 2.90, as they may have downloaded a malware-infected file. 
Using 'Activity Monitor' preinstalled in OS X, check whether any process named 'kernel_service' is running. If so, double check the process, choose the 'Open Files and Ports' and check whether there is a file name like '/Users//Library/kernel_service'. If so, the process is KeRanger’s main process. We suggest terminating it with 'Quit -> Force Quit'".

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Apple now has a new Twitter account dedicated to helping people needing support with Apple products (@AppleSupport). They can help with all kinds of Apple related issues. Heck, they're even Twitter Verified, and we all know how hard that is to get. So you know they're official. They've responded to about 100 tweets per hour. It's a good option if you have an issue without any personal information, as tweets are public.

Friday, March 4, 2016

OS X Installer Certificate Update

All OS X installers that were downloaded before February 14, 2016 now longer work if you haven't used them yet. This is due to a certificate expiration and update. Note that this only affects OS X installers, not regular software installers. This actually affects me, as I downloaded the OS X El Capitan installer, but I never found the time to actually install it. So here I am needing to install a new version from the Mac App Store.  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Amazon Tap and Echo Dot

I have a lot of respect for Amazon. The book store that turned themselves into the revolutionary online store that sold almost anything. But then the spark died with their Fire series ironically. Kindle Fire and Fire phone kept me from their ecosystem. Enter Amazon Echo, the $179 virtual assistant. At first I was skeptical, but after seeing Alexa in action at my friend's house, I was really pleased to see how useful Amazon Echo could be even without an Amazon device. Play music, turn on lights, order a pizza. It was truly universal. Heck, it works better than Apple HomeKit in my case as it supports Wemo. I really want to get one for myself and hope to soon.

Anyways, this morning I check the news and was surprised to see Amazon Echo in my top stories. That's when I heard about Amazon Tap and Echo Dot. Amazon Tap is a portable, cheaper version of Amazon Echo. As far as I can tell, the only real catch is that you have to press a button to give commands. Next, Echo Dot is basically a cheaper Amazon Echo that acts as a relay device. It requires an Amazon Echo to even buy it. Seriously, you have to ask Alexa to order you an Echo Dot. Well played Amazon. Basically, if you already have an Echo and want another for another room, just buy one of these for $90. Anyways, these two products come out March 31 and are available for pre-order now. Amazon Tap is available to pre-order for $129.99 [Direct Link] and Echo Dot is available for pre-order for $89.99 [Direct Link].

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Night Shift Disabled In Low Power Mode

Anyone who has used Low Power Mode in iOS 9 may find it really annoying. Having your phone go to sleep after 30 seconds can get really annoying depending on the situation. Well, Night Shift, a feature coming soon in iOS 9.3, will actually be disabled during Low Power Mode. This is kind of interesting. Night Shift is made to limit the amount of blue light the screen emits to help your circadian rhythm. This is leading to some complaints as Low Power Mode and Night Shift are features that would typically be used at the end of the day. Meaning that users would hope to be able to use both features at the same time. We'll see if this makes it into the final public release.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Apple Pencil Functionality Restored In Latest Beta

A little over a week ago, I talked about the Apple Pencil's removed functionality in a developer beta of iOS 9.3. Features such as scrolling wouldn't work with an Apple Pencil. In the latest developer beta, all removed functionality has been restored. Apple has commented on the removal of these features, saying that they were trying to improve the features and thus had to be removed. Anyways, these features will also be restored in the public release of iOS 9.3.