Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Siri Jokes About iPhone 7 Event

If you tell Siri, "See you on the 7th," she'll respond with a variety of funny responses [Source: MacRumors]. For those who don't know, the tagline for the upcoming iPhone 7 event is "See you on the 7th." Here is a quick rundown of the responses:
  • "I can't wait for National Acorn Squash Day either. Mmmm."
  • "Do you remember... the 7th day of September... ba da ya, dancing in September!"
  • "And the 8th, and the 9th, and the 10th... in fact, I'll be here all year."
  • "Be there or be heptagonal, Joe."
  • "An auspicious day!"
By the way, I looked it up, and National Acorn Squash Day is an actual holiday that occurs on September 7th. The more you know.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

See You On The 7th

Apple has officially acknowledged their iPhone 7 event. Event appears to have the tagline: "See You On The 7th." Simply put, the event will take place on September 7th. The tagline may be a reference to the iPhone 7, almost confirming the device's name. We'll just have to see... on the 7th.

Monday, August 29, 2016

New MacBook Pro and Air Coming in October

According to Bloomberg, refreshes to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air may finally come this October. The MacBook Pro, which I'm particularly looking forward to, will be thinner, use USB-C, and have a dynamic function bar to replace function keys (pictured below). The MacBook Air will have a minor refresh. All we know is it will likely just use USB-C, which is a topic I will save for another day. The existence of the MacBook Air is up to debate at this point. The MacBook pretty much defeats the purpose of the MacBook Air, considering the MacBook is lighter. If the MacBook Air gets USB-C, there is almost no point for there to be a MacBook Air. Anyways, none of these Macs are expected to be revealed next week, but it's not out of the question.

Mockup Credit: Martin Hajek

Sunday, August 28, 2016

42mm Apple Watch 2 May Have Larger Battery

According to a Weibo user, the Apple Watch 2 could have a larger battery for its 42mm model. It currently has a 205 mAh battery, but that could be bumped up to 246 mAh. Whether or not these pictures are real, we can be confident that the next Apple Watch will have a larger battery. It is possible that this Apple Watch will be announced next week at the iPhone 7 event.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

iPhone 7s To Remove Home Button

For the first iPhone 7s rumor, Bloomberg expects that the 2017 iPhone will remove the iconic home button. Instead, the home button and Touch ID would be part of the display, making the iPhone a smooth piece of glass. In addition, it's also worth noting that this iPhone would mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Until then, let's focus on the iPhone 7.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Spotify Hiding Songs From Artists With Apple Music Exclusives

According to Bloomberg, Spotify has been burying songs of artists that have Apple Music exclusives within their search results for the past year. In addition, their songs will not be included in any Spotify featured playlists. This is a particular issue for small artists who debuted exclusively on Beats 1. While Spotify has been leading streaming music technology for sometime now, it seems that Apple Music is quickly becoming a threat, especially with their exclusives, software integration, large library, and better artist support. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Voice Assistants Restrained by Microphone Technology

According to Bloomberg, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and other voice assistants are being held back by a lack of advancements in microphone technology. In a world where cameras and displays are constantly updated, people tend to forget about the phone part of a smartphone. Microphones have long been neglected. This causes phones to not properly be able to detect speech accurately. How many microphones, the quality of them, and their placement all are factors for how well these services will work. Hopefully, we'll see better microphones as time goes on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Siri Errors Cut By A Factor of Two

According to Steven Levy, Apple has used machine learning to cut Siri errors by a factor of two. Machine learning allows a device to correct itself by learning from its mistakes. Because of this, Siri is much more accurate. This same technology is also used in QuickType and Apple Pencil.
"This was one of those things where the jump was so significant that you do the test again to make sure that somebody didn’t drop a decimal place."
- Eddy Cue 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pokémon Go: Appraisal Update

In an effort to keep Pokémon Go players satisfied while game mechanics are being fixed, Niantic updated Pokémon Go with an Appraisal feature. This allows the user to gain insight on their Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, this isn't very useful to experienced players and is pretty uninformative to newer players, so I see this as just a filler update. I mean, my team leader called my CP 10 Magikarp "above average." Pokémon Go is available from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].

Yeah, that's right. Team Mystic for life.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Apple Music Festival 2016

For the second Apple Music Festival, as it was called the iTunes Festival in previous years, the event will be held in London. It will be from September 18 to September 30. Counting the iTunes Festival, it will be the tenth Apple-held music festival. The event can be watched via Apple Music and information is being relayed via Beats 1.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Apple Retail Changes

In addition to changing the naming format of the Apple Retail Stores, Apple will be updating several aspects of their stores. First off, there are new positions: Pro, Creative Pro, and Technical Expert. Several of the positions are being renamed as well. For example, Red Zone Specialist is now just Specialist. There will be a new design that new Apple Stores will follow. Older stores will likely receive the change over in time. Finally, Apple updated the motto for Apple Store employees to follow.
 Enriching lives. 
We are here to enrich lives. 
To help dreamers become doers, 
to help passion expand human potential, 
to do the best work of our lives. 

We give more than we take. 
From the planet, 
to the person beside us. 
We become a place to belong 
where everyone is welcome. 

We draw strength from our differences. 
From background and perspective 
to collaboration and debate. 
We are open. 

We redefine expectations. 
First for ourselves, then for the world. 
Because we’re a little crazy. 
Because “good enough” isn’t. 
Because what we do says who we are. 

We find courage. 
To try and to fail, 
to learn and to grow, 
to figure out what’s next, 
to imagine the unimaginable, 
to do it all over again tomorrow. 

We believe our soul is our people. 
People who recognize themselves 
in each other. 
People who shine a spotlight 
only to stand outside it. 
People who work to leave this world better than they found it. 
People who live to enrich lives.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Donate Through Apple to Louisiana Flood Relief Efforts

If you would like to donate money to help relief efforts for the Louisiana flood, you may want to consider doing it through Apple. Not only do 100% of the proceeds go to the efforts made by the American Red Cross (as they should), but you won't get any telemarketing calls as your information is not transmitted in any way. Donations can be made in $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 denominations. To donate, use Apple's website or iTunes. You will use your iTunes account and your connected credit card will be charged.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Apple Watch 2: GPS

According to a Bloomberg report, the Apple Watch 2 will have GPS. This will allow the Apple Watch to determine its location accurately. It's also useful for fitness applications. This does not mean it will have cellular connectivity. It will rely on the iPhone for this, as it will reduce strain on the battery. This does leave potential for better fitness-based Apple Watch apps.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Apple Store Rebranding

Since the dawn of time, Apple's retail stores have been called Apple Stores. But it appears that they may be renaming their retail stores, by dropping the "Store" from it [Source: MacRumors]. Anyways, an example of this would be the Apple Store at The Grove. It would now be called "Apple The Grove." The change is to make Apple Stores to seem more like community gathering areas instead of a place where you spend money.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Automatic Pro

Automatic is a Bluetooth dongle that plugs into the OBD-II data port that most cars have. I personally used one since I've started driving and it helps me keep track of my trips, how much gas I use, and where I park. It also automates my house. So, yeah. Definitely a neat little device. However, the only problem was that it relied on my iPhone. If for some reason it didn't sync properly, as it must for each trip, data could be lost. With Automatic Pro, the newest generation of Automatic, now has 3G connectivity. There's no subscription fees. To learn more, check out the official website to learn about  Automatic. Automatic Pro is available to purchase starting today for $129.95.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Individual Read Receipts in iOS 10

In iOS 10, you can choose to send or restrict read receipts from specific conversations. Read receipts tell your recipient the time you read their iMessage. To toggle this option, tap the Details button in any iMessage conversation and use the switch "Send Read Receipts." This is very similar to how you can toggle "Do Not Disturb" for conversations. I hope this helps any beta testers or developers! iOS 10 will come out in September.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tesla Rebrands 'Autopilot' Term in China

Ensuring that whatever you make is properly localized is key to getting as many people to like your product and to keep good press. Good examples of good localization include the Animal Crossing series, taking creative liberties to ensure that American audiences weren't confused with Japanese traditions by replacing them with American references and holidays in the American version. And of course, the worst example of good localization is the Chevrolet Nova, which translates to "doesn't go" in Spanish, which is bad considering this is a car. After a non-fatal crash caused by Tesla's autopilot in China, the Chinese website no longer uses the term "zidong jiashi," which can be interpreted as "self-driving" [Source: Reuters]. Not exactly what you want when it comes to press reception. The term was replaced with a similar term that means "self-assisted driving." Whether or not this discourages people from using the feature, time will tell, for those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A10 Chip Pictures Leaked

Based on a picture from GeekBar, the A10 chip is in production is will be put into the iPhone 7. This isn't much of a surprise, as this is typical for Apple's cycle. Looking at how the chips are labeled, it appears they were produced in mid-July. Whether or not this leak is true, we can be confident that the A10 chip will be in the iPhone 7.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Stranger Things

The Netflix original series, Stranger Things, has a surprisingly Apple-orientated history behind it. For starters, the poster for the series had its sketch done with an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil [Source: Mashable]. Kyle Lambert, the artist, finds the technological combination to be very natural to draw on. In addition, the Stranger Things soundtrack will debut exclusively on Apple Music [Source: Consequence of Sound].

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fake Speakers for iPhone 7?

According to NWE, the holes for a second speaker on the iPhone 7 may be just to make the bottom of the phone symmetric. These left speakers would not serve any function, although the right speakers would work properly. Not only would this mean there wouldn't be dual speakers, but it taunts headphone users as where the holes are cover where the 3.5 mm headphone jack would be. We'll hopefully know about this next month, September 9th.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Siri Plays Pokémon Go?

From time to time, Siri will reference pop culture in her responses. Pokémon Go is no exception, which is a bit ironic considering it uses Google Maps. Asking her what her favorite Pokémon may yield one of the following results [Source: viridian-]:
  • Hypno ... is ... the ... most ... mesmerizing - hey, wait a minute!
  • Geodude, dude.
  • Polymaths prefer Poliwags
  • Oh, that one right there! Touching his egg! Did you see it?
  • I like playing peekaboo with Pikachu.
  • My favourite is Abra. No, Kadabra. Actually, Alakazam.
  • My heuristic algorithm does not currently support favourtism when it comes to animated creatures.
  • That yellow species with an electrostatic tail or veriable angles is rather cute.
  • Well, i couldn't exist without electrodes. (Thanks Ralpie)
  • "_____", I choose you! (Thanks Dragonilic)
  • I believe all Pokemon were created equal. (Thanks BaconLondoner)
Asking Siri if she plays Pokémon Go will yield more responses [Source: 9to5Mac]:
  • I like playing peekaboo with Pikac[h]u.
  • PokéStop!
  • Of course. That’s what it’s all about. Oh, wait, that’s the hoké Pokémon.
  • Snorlax. Zzzz. Sorry, what was the question?
  • Confining virtual beings inside powerful devices makes me feel funny for some reason.
  • Oh, is that why everyone keeps asking what color a Geodude is?
  • Chance! Go!
  • I’ve been looking in the muck for Muk.
  • I like pocket monsters. Pocket assistants, too.
  • Just make sure to look both ways. And up and down, too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

World Trade Center Apple Store

On August 16, the World Trade Center Apple Store will make its debut. This retail store has been rumored for a long time now, and Apple has finally acknowledged its existence. It will open at noon their time. Unfortunately, we don't know much more about this store other than that.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Netflix Network Speed Test App

Netflix relies on having their user base to be able to access content in a fast and convenient manner. That said, it's surprising to see that they are now making websites and apps for speed testing. The FAST Speed Test app is very minimalist, but it gets the job done. It'll give a reading of your internet speed. The test is based on Netflix services, like downloading a video file. FAST Speed Test is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pokémon Go: Third Update

Version 1.3 of Pokémon Go may be it's biggest update yet. First off, if you're traveling above a certain speed, a prompt will be displayed requiring you to acknowledge that you're a passenger before continuing. The nearby screen is now "Sightings" which isn't really different, but it should only display Pokémon within about 700 feet. Sightings is just a feature to hold players over until a better system is made. Bugs were also fixed with how bonus XP was given for special throws. Battery saver mode has been brought back and you can change your username, but only one time. Pokémon Go is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tesla Model X Saves A Man's Life With Autopilot

Although many have been somewhat worried about Tesla's autopilot lately, here's a bit of news that is a perfect example of the many benefits of self-driving cars [Source: TechCrunch]. Joshua Neally was coming home from work when a pulmonary embolism suddenly struck him. In a bold move, Neally had his Tesla Model X drive him about 20 miles to an off-ramp close to a hospital. By the off-ramp, he was able to drive to the nearby hospital. He made it to the hospital and recovered. Many question whether he made the right choice to let his car drive him instead of calling an ambulance. Either way, we can all agree he made a better decision than the guy who was stabbed while playing Pokémon Go, and then proceeded to continue playing the game.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Official Rio Olympic Games Apps

Today, the competition portion of the Olympic Games began. There is now a section of the App Store dedicated to Olympic Games apps. If you'd like to keep up with all the action, here's some apps that can help you.

  • The Olympics – Official App - Free [Direct Link] (News. Highlights. Records. Unforgettable moments. An invaluable guide to Rio and Games past.)
  • Olympic Athlete's Hub 2016 - Free [Direct Link] (Made for competitors, this app offers helpful tips, resources, and a way to connect with fellow athletes.)
  • Rio 2016 - Free [Direct Link] (Get the official schedule, real-time results, medal counts, and the latest on Olympic and Paralympic sports.)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Potential iPhone 7 EarPods Leaked

MobileFunTV has showed off what appears to be the EarPods for the iPhone 7. They have the same design, but with a Lightning cable instead of the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. In the video, the headphones appear to be fully functioning. However, from my perspective, the Lightning cable looks a bit fake. That doesn't rule out that the iPhone 7 will only use Lightning and Bluetooth headphones. The video is embedded below.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bug Bounty Program

Today, Apple announced a bug bounty program at the Black Hat Conference. This program will pay people money who find major software bugs and security flaws in Apple software. Prior to this, Google and Microsoft also had similar programs. You could earn up to $200,000 with the bounty. This will come out in September and will be invite-only until later.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Apple Music for Android Out of Beta

Today, Apple Music for Android has been taken out of beta and into its full release. Now you can listen to Beats 1 and the entire Apple Music library on Android. The Android app is designed with native elements, meaning it's not a direct copy of the iOS version in terms of design. We all know that Google never does this with their iOS apps, which can be frustrating at times. Apple Music is available for free from the Google Play Store [Direct Link].

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Instagram Stories

I've never caught up to the Snapchat hype train. I've never understood it to be honest. Why would I only want people to see what I've shared for a set amount of time? I probably sound really old to anyone who loves Snapchat, but I assure you, I am a cultured seventeen year old with knowledge of dank memes and internet tropes. Back on topic, Instagram has basically become Snapchat with Instagram Stories. It lets you share photos for 24 hours with specific people in a Snapchat style format. I still don't get it, but it apparently works. Snapchat keeps growing in popularity and more apps copy its core idea, like SNOW, which is basically the exact same app as Snapchat but with more cats. Instagram is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Monday, August 1, 2016

Siri Command Website

If you'd like to get the most out of Siri, check out, a new website that shows off everything Siri can do. Everything from date calculation to finding your iOS device. Each command comes with an example. I like how the subtitle of the site says, "What can you do for me?" This is a reference to how Siri will have the text saying, "What can I do for you?" I definitely recommend checking it out.