Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Unlimited Zoom in Photos App

Most of the time, the zoom limit in the Photos app is not a big deal. However, there are times where I'd like to zoom in more without flooding my camera roll with screenshots. Thanks to iDownloadBlog, there is an easy glitch that will allow unlimited zoom. Simply pick a photo, tap "Edit", select the crop icon, and rotate the photo 90° in any direction. You should now be able to zoom in without any limits. You can also rotate the photo into any orientation and have the same effect. Exiting the app or switching photos will cause the make it so that the glitch must be done again. Note that this glitch requires iOS 9.3.2 or the beta of iOS 9.3.3.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Future For Siri

According to Tech Insider, Apple acquired a competitor to Siri that strove to make human-like artificial intelligence, VocalIQ. VocalIQ uses contextual clues like a human would to provide the best response to user input and learns over time. Hopefully, this will make Siri smarter as Siri will mostly do a Bing search if it doesn't know what to do. Meanwhile, Google will bring up a card with the answer to many questions. Siri is expected to open up to developers this year, expand to the Mac platform, and will likely have an Amazon Echo rival in the future.
"What if you change your mind an hour later? Simply saying something like 'Find me a Mexican restaurant instead,' will bring you new results, while still taking into account the other parameters like parking and WiFi you mentioned before. Hound, Siri, and any other assistant would make you start the search session over again. But Vocal IQ remembers. That's more human-like than anything available today."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules Coming Soon?

The Federal Communications Commission requires base stations like the AirPort Extreme to be regulated to a standard of security. Because of this, Apple may have plans to update their line of base stations. This follows reports of Apple Retail Stores having a limited supply of these products. Albeit a small refresh, this seems to suggest that new models may be coming in the near future.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The End of Jawbone?

Jawbone fitness trackers where the only major deterrent to me not buying a Fitbit two years ago. Later, I would've learned that Fitbit wouldn't support HealthKit, while Jawbone would. I felt that I made the wrong decision. However, Jawbone may be struggling a bit now, as they have ceased production of their fitness trackers and are looking for a company to take over their speakers [Source: Tech Insider]. Many are starting to speculate that Fitbit could follow the same path and that this signals the fall of the fitness tracker industry. Personally, I find that they're not built to last, as my Fitbit One broke after one year. There is one thing that could save Jawbone. They are developing one last product that may reignite their business. This product is focused on clinical health. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Samsung Pay Mini

According to ETNews, Samsung Pay, Samsung's equivalent of Apple Pay, has performed poorly, making Samsung resort to making an iOS version in hopes of making the service more popular. This iOS version would be called Samsung Pay Mini. It wouldn't work with point-of-sale (at retail stores), but it would work with entering credit card information for online retailers. There is one catch to this app, it's planned to only be released in South Korea.
"By releasing SamsungPay Mini, Samsung Electronics has completed a versatile platform that absorbs online and mobile payments. Besides of online payments, SamsungPay Mini will be a catalyst for Samsung Electronics in tying together variety of additional businesses."

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Apple Walkie Talkie?

In a patent, Apple has detailed what appears to be a headset with functionalities similar to that of a walkie talkie [Source: AppleInsider]. It can connect with other devices wirelessly to communicate. It allows for easy communication when in a large crowd. This could be very useful for those who work in conventions or areas with lots of people. The patents are below.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Microsoft Leaves the Smartphone Market

In my opinion, Microsoft's smartphones will not be missed. They were a modern testament of the now defunct Zune and failed to keep up in today's world centered around technology. They managed to make smartphones with 41-megapixels look bad, which is the technological equivalent to placing a 18-carat diamond on a plastic ring. The decision by Microsoft to leave the smartphone market behind is one long overdue [Source: The Verge]. You know something like this will happen when Microsoft supports the Android and iOS versions of their apps more than the Windows Phone version. However, this does mean the laying off of up to 1,850 people worldwide (who may or may not have owned the phone they worked on). To end this on a relatively positive note, let's hope that the Windows Phone is remembered as a lesson to other big name companies hoping to enter the smartphone market (I'm looking at you Amazon).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SiriKit Finally Coming At WWDC?

This is a feature I feel is long overdue. Apple is planning to give developers the ability to program commands into Siri, according to The Information. Apple will take measures to ensure that this is used responsibly. I'm assuming that Apple will use their new favorite naming scheme for their APIs and will name it SiriKit (in line with watchKit, HealthKit, etc.). This would also coincide with OS X gaining Siri support. This year seems to be Siri's big year and for good reason. This would suggest that this will be a feature-heavy update for the Apple ecosystem, something we've been needing for a while. Personally, if SiriKit is true, I hope Starbucks takes advantage of this because I want to do mobile orders, hands-free, while I drive to a Starbucks.

Monday, May 23, 2016

New MacBook Pro Could Have Touch ID

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the next MacBook Pro could have Touch ID integrated into the hardware. This comes not long after I wrote about how the Touch ID in iOS devices could be used with Macs. This is a big update for the MacBook Pro, potentially the largest since the addition of the Retina Display. Hopefully, we'll hear more about it at WWDC.
"While long overlooked, the MacBook line is the brightest spot for Apple’s 2016 rollouts. This is particularly true of the two new MacBook Pro models, to be introduced in 4Q16, as they will have a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID, use OLED display touch bar (to replace physical function keys, located above the keyboard) and adopt USB- C / Thunderbolt 3."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Apple Store To Be Opened in Brooklyn

Thanks to some job listings, an Apple Store is confirmed to be built in Brooklyn. This will be Apple's first retail location in Brooklyn. The Williamsburg building the store will be at is currently undergoing renovations. Apple Stores in New York typically go above and beyond most other Apple Stores. This Apple Store will have several distinctive features that other stores don't have yet, such as a Genius Grove and a forum with a 6K video wall.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Apple Watch Replies and Birthdays

If you receive a text message from someone whose birthday is that day, your Apple Watch will give a slightly different set of pre-written responses. The top response will read "Happy Birthday!" In addition, if the message was in a group chat, the top response will read "Happy Birthday, [First Name]!" I hope this helps!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Self-Driving Ubers

It's funny, I was literally talking about the idea of self-driving Ubers with my friend this morning before I even found out about this. Uber announced plans to create self-driving cars that can function as Uber cars. This allows cars to pick up passengers, without a driver. It is currently being tested on the streets of Pittsburgh. Uber states that the main purpose of this is safety, and that they hope self-driving cars will hopefully be included in the Uber fleet by 2020.
"Real-world testing is critical to our efforts to develop self-driving technology. Self-driving cars have the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of life for people around the world.  1.3 million people die every year in car accidents — 94% of those accidents involve human error. In the future we believe this technology will mean less congestion, more affordable and accessible transportation, and far fewer lives lost in car accidents. These goals are at the heart of Uber’s mission to make transportation as reliable as running water — everywhere and for everyone."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Apple To Make Macs Unlock Via iPhone

Similar to how an Apple Watch can be unlocked if the user unlocks their iPhone, Apple plans to make Macs unlock through the use of an iPhone according to MacRumors. This would specifically have emphasis on Touch ID, as this effectively gives Macs a way to use Touch ID should they need it. It should be noted that it is currently unlikely that Macs will get a hardware accessory for Touch ID.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Siri For OS X Leaked?

MacRumors has shared some images that appear to show Siri in Mac OS X 10.12, or the next macOS. One of the images shows an app icon similar to Dashboard. In fact, the icon is where Dashboard used to be in the dock. For those who don't know, Dashboard was an app that would act as a pegboard for information, like stocks and weather. Siri would be an ideal candidate to replace a central hub for information, especially in combination with Notification Center and Mission Control. The other image is a menu bar icon with "Siri" written on it. I'm assuming both of these icons are ways to activate Siri. Anyways, hopefully we'll learn more at WWDC.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

GitHub Student Developer Pack

In a technologically thriving world where it only takes some coding know-how, a laptop, and a great idea to make a difference in the world, businesses are doing their part to help get their powerful technologies into the hands of aspiring student developers preparing to enter the workforce. Enter the GitHub Student Developer Pack, a program that gives an array of coding related products to students with free trials or at discounts. Last night, I applied for it, and this morning, I was accepted. It just requires proof that you're a student coder. From Amazon Web Services to the Unreal Engine, there are so many great products that students should play around with. To get your pack, fill out the form from GitHub Education.

Monday, May 16, 2016

GarageBand Updated To Celebrate Chinese Music

Apple released an update for the Mac and iOS versions of GarageBand that add Chinese instruments. This is to celebrate the "rich history of Chinese music." Apple says that they've added Chinese instruments like the pipa, erhu and Chinese percussion to their growing instrument list. There are also 300 Chinese musical loops added. And to top it off, you can share GarageBand creations via Chinese social networks if you wish to.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Google has created a new iPhone app called Gboard. It's a new keyboard that lets you do Google Searches without leaving the app you're in. Tapping the "G" in the keyboard opens up an embedded Google Search window. Searching will bring up results in card form. You can easily take these cards and paste them into a message by tapping one of them. One nice thing about it is that you can even search for emojis through the app. Interestingly, Android users will have to wait for an Android equivalent of this app. There's no official release date for an Android version, but Google says they have plans to release one. Gboard is available from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Saturday, May 14, 2016

UK Working on Driver's License Compatible with Apple Wallet

When Passbook first came out, I hoped that driver's licenses would be compatible in some way. Today, an official version of this has yet to be seen, but the UK is currently working on a solution. According to Oliver Morley of the UK's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, a prototype is being developed for a digital driver's license compatible with Apple Wallet. It should be noted that it is intended as an "add-on" for a driver's license, not a complete replacement. My only hope is that if this takes off in the UK, the US will be quick to follow.

Friday, May 13, 2016

iTunes Music Removal Glitch

A number of people are experiencing some music from their iTunes libraries being deleted without their permission [Source: The Loop]. Apple has confirmed this glitch and says they're working on a fix. This fix should come next week. Apple had the following to say on the issue:
“In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission. We’re taking these reports seriously as we know how important music is to our customers and our teams are focused on identifying the cause. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we’re releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards. If a user experiences this issue they should contact AppleCare.”

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Faster App Store Review Times

One major criticism of the Apple App Store from developers is the long app approval process. As annoying as it is, it's there for good reason, as you can easily see when you compare the overall quality of the Apple App Store with the Google Play Store. However, this long wait time is being shrunk. Previously taking times nearing 10 days, many developers are noticing that their wait times are about 2 days [Source: AppReviewTimes.com]. This is very helpful to developers that need to push important updates or want to get their app out quicker. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

iTunes Could Stop Selling Songs in 2018

Although an Apple representative stated that this is not true, rumors have surfaced that Apple wants to ditch the iTunes Store for music and switch entirely to streaming music [Source: Digital Music News]. This would shift the entire focus to Apple Music, making customers pay a monthly fee to play music, something that isn't for most people. This would effectively remove the philosophy that most songs could be purchased for $0.99. Let's hope that Apple representative was correct.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Disney Infinity Discontinued

In an unexpected piece of news today, Disney has discontinued their Disney Infinity line of toys-to-life line of figurines. Disney Infinity was a major pioneer in the toys-to-life market, rivaling Skylanders, amiibo, and Lego Dimensions. People have long speculated when the toys-to-life hype train would slow down, and fans worry that this is a sign. Senior vice president of Disney Infinity John Blackburn described the choice as "difficult." Disney Infinity was available on many gaming consoles, but also has a deprecated version on the Apple TV. Unfortunately, this seems to suggest that Disney will look into more mobile games with in-app purchases, something that many fans do not want. Two more play sets will be released before the discontinuation of the toy line in June.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Apple Releases iPhone Ad Featuring Neil Patrick Harris

Apple released another iPhone ad showcasing Siri's features. This one shows Neil Patrick Harris practicing his thank you speech by asking Siri to read him a note. It's another pretty funny ad by Apple. The combination of watching Harris use a hairbrush as a microphone and mouth out his speech while Siri recites it is priceless. The video is embedded below.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Today is Mother's Day, and Apple is celebrating with a new website that puts a spin on one of their ads. Apple's Mother's Day ad shows pictures of mothers captured on an iPhone. The website allows anyone to upload a photo of their mom and the photo will be added to the array of photos from the original ad.

To end today's post, I wish my mom a happy Mother's Day. Thank you for everything you do!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

iPhone 7 Could Have Headphone Jack

In a turn of events comparable to the world's longest game of tug of war, there are new rumors that the iPhone 7 could have a headphone jack. Nowhereelse.fr shared the image below depicting a part of the Lightning cable. It clearly has a headphone jack. As September gets closer, we're likely to see more accurate parts of what could be the iPhone 7.

Image Credit: Nowhereelse.fr

Friday, May 6, 2016

iOS 10 Will Include HomeKit App

Currently, HomeKit is an API that has no app. Think if HealthKit didn't have a Health app and you had to ask Siri to tell you all of your health information. Apple plans to change this with the creation of a HomeKit app, or a Home app. This comes from an employee from the marketing department from Apple that wrote a review on Amazon. This reviewer says the next version of iOS will have this app. Hopefully, this rumor holds true.
"As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration."
"The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone "HomeKit" app as well."

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Revamped Apple Music Coming Soon

According to Bloomberg News, Apple will be revamping Apple Music at WWDC. Specifically, it will be easier to use. In addition, there will be minor tweaks for integration of streaming. It should be noted that a major criticism of Apple Music is its interface. Potentially, this could be when Beats 2 will be announced. The Apple Keynote at WWDC will take place June 13th.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Star Wars Day 2016

As many of you know, today is Star Wars Day. This is because "May the 4th" resembles the popular adage from the movies "May the Force Be With You." To celebrate this, Star Wars Battlefront will be having several events throughout the week, in addition to giving out 4,444 credits today just for logging in. If you have Star Wars Battlefront, I recommend you login today.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

iPhone Named Most Influential Gadget of All Time

TIME Magazine published a list ranking their top 50 most influential gadgets of all time. At the top of the list was the iPhone. It's crazy to think that just shy of a decade ago, the idea of our lives circulating around a device in our pockets was completely foreign. But when you fast forward to today, you can't refute that the iPhone started this trend and is the most influential gadget of all time, even if you own an Android.
"Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007. Smartphones had technically existed for years, but none came together as accessibly and beautifully as the iPhone. 
Apple's device ushered in a new era of flat, touchscreen phones with buttons that appeared on screen as you needed them, replacing the chunkier phones with slide-out keyboards and static buttons." 
- TIME Magazine

Monday, May 2, 2016

Apple Maps Adds Transit for Rio

Apple Maps adds transit information for cities by the city. Normally, the addition of transit isn't really newsworthy, however this one is different. Rio de Janeiro has had transit information added to Apple Maps. This is important because this is the location of the upcoming Summer Olympics. Potentially, this could give us hints as to when and where Apple will update their transit information. For example, they may add transit information to San Diego just before Comic Con. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Auto Re-Correct

You know when you accidentally send a text message and autocorrect messes up what you wrote? Well, Apple has filed a patent that may alleviate this issue. If you sent an incorrect message, it would let you either resend your message with a correction (which would hopefully include editing messages for iMessages) or send a clarification message. If you received an incorrect message, you could request a clarification message. Both of these ideas are outlined below.