Sunday, October 15, 2017

Discord Video Chat

In a highly anticipated update, Discord has finally rolled out video chat to all users. With this update, users can share screens and video chat with up to 10 people in a channel. This is a pretty momentous update for no other reason than video chat on Discord has made a name for itself. For more information, watch the entertaining video below.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Apple Pencil Support Coming to iPhone in 2019

According to The Insider, Apple is looking to add Apple Pencil support to iPhone in 2019. I’m not saying I’ve been needing this feature, but really? 2019? I’d like to say Apple’s flagship stylus works with more than just one device sooner. I’m not a big fan of styluses because of Steve Jobs, but I understand that they’re good in the right situations, especially if the stylus is not required. That being said, it seems like the Apple Pencil is due for an update in support. Locking it behind iPad Pro models will not sell these very well. Adding support for iPhone would be a step in the right direction. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Avoiding Apple ID Phishing

There is an easy way for malicious developers to request Apple ID credentials while looking completely legitimate. Simply display a prompt with the exact text the legitimate prompts would have. This isn't something you should be constantly worried about since these apps are rare and likely won't come from popular apps. Felix Krause wrote an excellent article about this topic. In short, to verify these popups are legitimate, just press the home button. If you exit to the Home Menu, it's a hoax. If nothing happens, it's legitimate and from the system. This is the best way to ensure you're not a phishing victim.

Image Credit: Felix Krause

Thursday, October 12, 2017

iOS 11 is Installed On More Active iOS Devices than iOS 10

iOS 11 is now on the majority of active iOS devices. Just over three weeks and iOS 11 is at 47.32% adoption [Source: Mixpanel]. iOS 10 is at 46.01% adoption, with the remaining 6.67% on an older version. This is the tipping point I suppose, since the OS is on the majority of devices. As an Android developer, I can confirm what Apple says about Android adoption is true, and having more users on your latest operating systems helps a lot with keeping apps fresh and accessible.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Yelp Gains Support for Apple Pay

Yelp has been updated with the ability to make payments through Apple Pay. This allows for the ability to pay for delivery or takeout, for restaurants that support it. Due to the popularity of Yelp, more so than OpenTable, we may be able to use Apple Pay at many more locations than before. Yelp is available for iOS from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Most Prospective Buyers of the iPhone X Intend to Buy 256 GB Model

According to RBC Capital Markets, 57% of all prospective iPhone X buyers intend to buy the 256 GB model, with 43% intending to purchase the 64 GB model. Given that iPhone X is marketed toward those more integrated into the Apple ecosystem, it's not out of the question to believe they use their devices more see it fit to purchase a higher storage capacity. Plus, when you're spending about $1,000 on a phone, many likely think to jump up to avoid storage issues in the future. This does raise questions about how Apple produces these phones. If 256 GB sells out too fast, many will likely be deterred from buying the 64 GB model.

Monday, October 9, 2017

iPad Pro May Feature Face ID

The next device Apple will make to support Face ID will likely be the iPad Pro, according to Ming-Chi Kuo. Of course, this means the iPad Pro will have the TrueDepth camera system the iPhone X will have. If so, this may suggest that the screen will have minimal bezels and have no home button. If Apple sees Face ID as the future, I'm glad they're embracing it by putting it in more devices. I hope that they find a way to add wireless charging to more products as well. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Stop Apple Watch from Showing Now Playing Automatically

In watchOS 4, Apple Watch will automatically open the Apple Watch audio app you're listening to on your iPhone. For example, if you start a song in Apple's Music app on your iPhone, your watch will open the Music app as well. This can be convenient in the right situations, but for many, it's disorientating. To disable this, simply open the Apple Watch app, go to General > Wake Screen and disable Auto-launch Audio Apps. That's it.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

AIM Will Be Discontinued After 20 Years

This year, the last 90s kid will become an adult. Fittingly, AIM, or AOL Instant Messenger, will be discontinued just before the end of the year. December 15, 2017 to be exact. I could go on and on about the rise and fall of AOL, but it’s a perfect example of how rapidly developing technology changes, but also deprecates older technologies. The advancements in technologies made even SMS a bit obsolete in favor of iMessage and other data-based SMS services. It’s no surprise that AIM is being discontinued. I forgot it existed until today.

Of course, I’m a bit saddened by this news. AOL was my first email account I got, and I would use AIM to message far-away friends. Seeing that AIM stick figure... “thing” got me really nostalgic. I was a bit surprised AIM had a Twitter account. Who knows? Maybe somebody will make an “AIM Rewritten” service. With Cuphead doing as well as it is, I wouldn’t mind a 90s nostalgia instant messenger. It’s something to think about. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

iOS Updates Don't Slow Down Devices Intentionally

I've always found this conspiracy theory funny. The idea that Apple intentionally slows down older devices through iOS updates. That's not how that works. Older hardware (which cannot be changed mid-use) does not account for new software (which can be changed on the fly). Major iOS updates typically take advantage of new features on the newest phone. Your older phone does not anticipate these updates since hardware has so many limitations once it's pushed out. That's also why recalls are such a big deal. Futuremark put this entire theory to the test and confirmed that the theory is wrong. Benchmarks of CPU and GPU showed very consistent results over multiple years. While it's not completely definitive, it's a good way to judge these things. Check out their site for the full results.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Quick Impressions of the Google Pixel 2

Yesterday, Google announced some new products. Most notably, the Google Pixel 2. To me, nothing revolutionary was announced. Last year, Google poked fun at the iPhone 7 for not having a headphone jack, only to follow in its steps one generation later. They also made their own AirPods that also cost $159. These are attached to each other, similar to the Powerbeats3 Wireless. The original Google Pixel also barely had better camera specs than its competition, but used it to boast its phone more. The same thing here, with Apple and Samsung tied in the DxOMark test for smartphones with a score of 94. The Google Pixel 2 gets a 98. It's clear we're reaching the threshold for camera optics on a phone. Eventually, it's just going to be more megapixels and less emphasis on optics. It's not that I want to bash on the Google Pixel 2. I waited about 8 months for this phone, hoping to use it as a development phone. But I'm not seeing anything revolutionary. The only benefit I see is a cheaper original Pixel. If there's one last thing I wish to mention, I wish they kept the "Really Blue" color and didn't replace it with "Kinda Blue." Really Blue made the phone look like a blueprint, perfect for a developer phone.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why Do I Use Yahoo! Again?

Yahoo! has gone downhill, especially when you look back on their decisions. Their search is currently powered by Bing. They chose not to buy Google for $1 million. But this is just... I don't know. Verizon, which now owns Yahoo!, disclosed that the 2013 hack on Yahoo! did not just affect one billion accounts as Yahoo said. It actually affected all three billion accounts in existence. Will this change under the guidance of Verizon or will Yahoo! fade in an era where cybersecurity standards are more important than ever?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Samsung Will Make More Money from iPhone X than Galaxy S8

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung will make about $4 billion more making parts for the iPhone X, than they will making Galaxy S8 parts. For those who don't know, Samsung does supply quite a bit of the parts used in iPhones. Samsung executives occasionally refer to Apple as their best client. With the iPhone X having a large OLED display, it's not hard to believe that Samsung would make a pretty penny with the amount of hype and demand the iPhone X has.

Monday, October 2, 2017

iOS 11 Removes Wish List

iOS 11 has made the unfortunate decision to remove the wish list. This was a feature I've waited forever for before it was finally added in iOS 7. It's a shame that they removed it when Apple made a big deal about the remodel of the App Store in iOS 11. The wish list was a great way for me to keep track of apps I wanted to buy. I would also check it if apps were on sale. If I got an iTunes gift card, I was sure to check my wish list before anything else. Now, I don't know what to spend it on. It's a mystery why Apple would remove this feature.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

New Photo Projects in macOS High Sierra

macOS High Sierra introduces an obscure but cool new feature for Photos. There are extensions that allow you to make more than just the Books, Calendars, and Cards that Apple makes. You can download compatible apps and create things like t-shirts with your photos. If you have a compatible app, in Photos, use File > Create and pick a third-party app. Hopefully, this doesn't give Apple an excuse to drop out of the print business entirely.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Facebook and Blood Drives

Facebook wants to make it easier for those in need of blood to get it. If you tell Facebook you're a donor, it will attempt to find those seeking blood near you. From what I can tell, the feature is limited to just India, as October 1 is India's National Blood Donor Day, but it's a neat idea that shows how technology is making strides to help others and save lives.


Friday, September 29, 2017

32 Bit Apps in iOS 11

As I’ve discussed, 32 bit apps no longer work in iOS 11. However, I’ve never talked about what it looks like. Essentially, you’ll see a cloud icon next to the app name, and tapping on the app will display a message. The app will not open and will need to be updated for use.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Echo Buttons

An interesting product Amazon announced was Echo Buttons. These are more of accessories to Echo. They're designed for family game night with Alexa. As someone who enjoys playing Jeopardy on Echo with my family, this peaks my interest. As a developer for Alexa Skills, I see some potential for this. Each button could be used to keep track of each player's score, rather than a sum score at the end of the game. While they aren't available yet, they will be sold at a price of $20 each.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Future of the Home Phone

Amazon made some announcements regarding their very successful Echo line. From the little I've seen of the lineup so far, it looks very... Kindle Fire-esque. While that's not great, something did catch my eye: the Echo Connect. This $35 device connects to your existing home phone jack and you can make and receives calls on your Amazon Echo device instead of your home phone. This is what I've been waiting for. Something to bring the home phone into the 21st century. Home phones have long been shadowed by smartphones, but I think a separate number that can call 911 with your home address is still something good to have. This is what I wanted HomePod to be in a way. Add some HD voice functionality with others that have the device and you're set. A home phone that can be voice controlled (perfect in the kitchen) with all of the functionality of Alexa. While you're at it, send a message, ask for conversions, or ask Alexa for the next instruction of that recipe. This is how the home phone should evolve.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

iPhone X Launch Day Supply

This is a bit worrisome for iPhone X stock. There's expected to be just 12 million units produced by launch day [Source: Jeff Pu]. Apple has probably manufactured about 2 million units so far and we expect them to manufacture another 10 million units for a total of 12 million units. That TrueDepth camera is likely to blame.  Now, 12 million units is nothing to scoff at, but considering that this will have accumulated over almost two months and it will be sold out in minutes, there's no denying that this will be a hard product to get a hold of.

Monday, September 25, 2017

iPhone 8 Drop Test

The iPhone 8 (and iPhone X) has a glass back to allow for wireless charging. Apple calls it the most durable glass in a smartphone. But, glass is glass and glass shatters. But SquareTrade put this to the test and compared it with a Samsung Galaxy Note8. The results were about the same. So, if you find yourself getting one of the new iPhones, please get a case.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Putting iPhone into Recovery Mode

Today, my iPhone 6s had an issue and would not boot no matter what. I let it sit for a few hours and realized how hard it was to work without my iPhone. I can't just quickly bring out my laptop, write down a reminder, and put it in my pocket in a dining hall. While it's nice that we have alternatives and work arounds, there's no denying that a smartphone is essential to almost any lifestyle. So when my iPhone wouldn't boot, I knew I had no other choice. I had to put it into recovery mode. For iPhone 7 users and above, please replace every instance of "home button" with "volume down button." I held the sleep/wake button and the home button. Hold it past the startup screen. Keep doing this until you see the iTunes logo appear. I plugged my iPhone into my MacBook Pro and I was presented with some options. I tried updating it, in hopes it would resolve the issue without needing a restore. That didn't work. I had to do a restore, meaning wiping all of my data and restoring from an iCloud backup. Thankfully, I had a recent backup from the morning before. This weird iPhone hard-lock was not preemptive, with the exception of more and more slowdown (but I was used to that), so paying a little bit for extra iCloud storage for backups just paid for itself. While it was a bit tedious and time-consuming (especially with Apple Pay and Apple Watch), I got my iPhone back up and running. It's a little bit snappier now too.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

T-Mobile and Sprint Merger

Via Reuters, we have reason to believe that T-Mobile and Sprint are very close to merging. T-Mobile would own most of the merged company, with Sprint owning 40-50%. It could be finalized as soon as the end of October. What this means consumer-side is shady. I am very curious to see what comes out of this.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fixing Apple Watch Series 3's Digital Crown

If you've seen the LTE Apple Watch's Digital Crown, the red color is a bit of a subjective matter. I personally don't like it. But WatchDots has us covered. WatchDots makes little covers for the side buttons and the Digital Crown. You can have it match a specific band color or just use them to cover up that color. If you want to cover up that red crown, check them out!

(This is not a paid endorsement.)


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Automatic Setup in iOS 11

iPhone 8 pre-orders will be delivered tomorrow for many, so here's how you can quickly setup your new iPhone with an existing device running iOS 11. First, power on the new device and pick a language. Hold your two devices near each other and the existing device should have a prompt appear. Tap continue, and you can follow the prompts from there. This will transfer your settings and preferences, but you can choose whether you want to restore from a backup or start fresh with the new device.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

iPhone X Delays

I wasn't very fond of the iPhone X when it first launched, but it looks nicer each day I see it. Clearly, I'm not the only one that thinks so. Despite the constant criticism, we see growing hype for this device. The iPhone 8 pre-orders were the first pre-orders to not immediately sellout. In fact, they were readily available throughout the weekend. This is because most are waiting for the iPhone X pre-orders. But now we're seeing the same thing that happened to AirPods happen to iPhone X. We already expected this. If this device gets even further delayed, it will be another AirPods fiasco. Knowing Apple, AirPower will probably have the same issue. According to Barron's, we have reason to believe that the iPhone X will be delayed until mid-October. Understandably, given the amount of time and hype this device has gathered, we would hope for it soon, especially given its drawbacks and price. We will just have to wait and see how long this phone takes to get to us.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Impressions of ARKit

Today, I got a chance to try out some apps made for ARKit. I've tried IKEA Place, which lets you place IKEA furniture in your house and HomeCraft, a similar app that lets you place generic furniture in your home. Both were very solid. I was impressed. It just takes a quick calibration where you point the camera at the floor and it works like magic. Most AR apps I've used have trouble pinning the object down to the floor and don't move naturally. ARKit does a great job of keeping the object pinned down and making it feel natural. I'm excited to use more apps that use ARKit in the future.

Monday, September 18, 2017

32-Bit Apps in iOS 11

iOS 11 will be released tomorrow, which means that 32-bit apps will no longer function. To check if you have any 32-bit apps, go to Settings > General > About > Applications and you will see any apps that will not work in iOS 11. In addition, you should see a notice appear if you try to open one of these apps, so if you use a 32-bit app frequently, you probably know about this. Most apps are already 64-bit, so most apps are fine. I saw a few apps get updated today for 64-bit compatibility, so be sure to update any apps.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

5 Years of Consistent Blogging

Time flies! It has been five years since I have started blogging once a day here. It's crazy for me to look back and say that I would have to make sure I would have a post up before I go to bed. Most people don't have such a responsibility. If I was going to be without internet for a few days, I would have to write ahead and schedule posts. If I had an event that would take up most of my evening, I would write a post beforehand. Even through my other responsibilities, like being a broadcast editor for my high school, I still put up a post. And all of that has given me some sense of accomplishment. I started this in middle school and now I am in college. So, thanks for all the support and for reading Tech Talk 4 Geeks!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Using Apple Watch to See If You've Lost Your iPhone

If you've lost your iPhone, you could use your Apple Watch to ring your iPhone, but you're not always in a position to ring your phone loudly. Here's another way I use my Apple Watch to find my iPhone. The first thing I think of when I can't find my iPhone is "Is it near me or did I leave it somewhere completely different?" To figure this out, I take a quick glance at my watch. If the red "disconnected" icon appears at the top of the screen, it's not in the general vicinity. This helps me retrace my steps while filtering out any places that may throw me off. If the icon does not appear, it's near you and you can retrace your steps just a few minutes back. I use this strategy whenever I worry I misplaced my iPhone.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Children Under 13 Cannot Use Face ID

Apple will not allow children under 13 to use Face ID. This comes from the App Store Review Guidelines. This isn't a huge deal since not many kids that age would have an iPhone X, but I'm curious about the reasoning for this. If Face ID is the future of Apple products, would this rule continue to be in effect?
Apps using facial recognition for account authentication must use LocalAuthentication (and not ARKit or other facial recognition technology), and must use an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

iPhone 8 Pre-Orders Start Tonight

While the iPhone X won't be available for some time to pre-order, the iPhone 8 will start pre-orders tonight at midnight. In addition, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K pre-orders start tonight. All pre-orders will be available on Apple's website. It should be noted that the times listed are in Pacific Time, and that when I say midnight, it's actually 12:01 a.m.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What Happened with the Face ID Demo

The Face ID fail at Apple's event yesterday was embarrassing, no matter what actually happened. You never want to see that happen during a presentation. But, thanks to David Pogue, we know what happened, as he contacted Apple. As some have speculated, while people setup the iPhone X for the demo, they may have woken it up accidentally and looked at it, causing the iPhone to recognize that as a bad attempt. We see that as the lock icon doesn't shake as I assume it would if it detected an incorrect face. From this, we can assume that there were no more Face ID attempts. This checks out with me and most people, but definitely not a good way to show off one of the flagship features of the iPhone X.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

iPhone Event 2017: Quick Thoughts

I just now finished watching Apple's iPhone 8/X event. Here are some quick thoughts.

Apple Watch Series 3

The general consensus is that cellular on an Apple Watch isn't very practical. I'm not going to call someone while I'm surfing. I'm not away from my phone long enough to justify an extra $10 per month on my phone bill. Series 3 without cellular looks nice. More speed is all I can ask for. Compatibility with the AirPower Mat is nice. I was hoping Series 2 would cost about $100 less and I could get that, but it looks like we're stuck with the same price.

Apple TV 4K

This was a product that was two years late. There were rumors two years ago about a 4K Apple TV. I think it's important to note that we have video games in 4K now. I understand it wasn't as mainstream two years ago, but if iPhone 6s could shoot 4K video at that time, it seems that would've been perfect timing. If not then, then last year, but now just feels late. The features for the TV app look nice, but that's for any Apple TV.

iPhone 8

This phone looks solid. Yeah, it was just performance upgrades and a glass back, but I really like this phone. Coming from an iPhone 6s owner, I like this phone for no other reason than there weren't a bunch of gimmicks Apple was trying to sell me on. Granted, they offered wireless charging, but I am excited for wireless charging. The idea of placing my phone in my car and having it charge and connect to CarPlay is awesome. AirPower Mat is still a cool idea. I believe that will revolutionize the way people travel with Apple products. No itinerary just for cables. Just bring your devices and the mat. No one likes the transition for things like AirPods and Apple Watch, but I get why we need the upgrade for wireless charging. I also feel this introduction to wireless charging could be a great transition for USB-C next year, so users can choose between USB-C and wireless, causing less controversy.

iPhone X

For me, this phone is very controversial. I love the design. An edge to edge display for iPhone looks beautiful. But paying over $400 extra for that display plus Animoji doesn't seem worth it to me. If they announce the iPhone 11 next year and lower the price point, I would be much more excited about that phone. I would like it if they made an "AnimojiKit." Developers could take 3D models of popular characters, like Mario, and have users send animated versions of them. I don't care for the emojis. I don't like Apple making these emojis a flagship feature of their $1,000 phone. To me, it's just an iPhone 8 + a great display + a replacement for Touch ID + Animoji. In short, it's just the display that appeals to me. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

[iPhone 8 Spoilers!] The Next AirPods

Apple is expected to updated AirPods, and that iOS 11 leak has given us some details [Source: Steve Troughton-Smith]. What we can see from the leak doesn't tell us much in terms of features, but the biggest change we can see is that the LED is moved from inside the case to outside. This design could possibly help production for Apple, which is always welcome. We'll see if there are any new features tomorrow.

Image Credit: @stroughtonsmith

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tesla and Hurricane Irma

Tesla vehicles could be purchased in variations of battery capacity. However, the way Tesla approached this was very unique, to say the least. A 60 and 70 kWh battery variation actually came with a 75 kWh battery. However, based on the model purchased, the Tesla would stop functioning before the battery was fully depleted. The owner could "upgrade" their battery by paying an additional fee, which lets them use the fully battery. So when Hurricane Irma caused people to flee, one Tesla owner needed an extra 30 miles [Source: Electrek]. Tesla responded by allowing these Teslas to use their full battery until September 16. How crazy is that? Of course, Tesla did good on their part by giving those who needed the extra milage exactly what they needed. But it just blows my mind how a company was able to essentially give all of its customers more battery. It should be noted that the 60 and 70 kWh models have been discontinued, since most owners prefer the higher capacity.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

[iPhone 8 Spoilers!] Emoji on iPhone 8

Just as a courtesy, I will be making the titles clear that they spoil what's to be announced this Tuesday. In addition, what I do put up in the title will be obscure, so if you read it already, you haven't been spoiled. That said, do not read further if you do not want to be spoiled.

Okay.

Hey, Apple. I would very much appreciate it if you didn't have the entire iOS 11 golden master leaked early. There are these things called Non-Disclosure Agreements with huge consequences if you fail to follow them. Yeah, please use them. At this point, I have no idea what else you have up your sleeve. Okay, so we've seen Snapchat and their face filter things, right? Where you take a picture and some fancy effect is augmented over your face in real time? Well, try combining that with emojis. That's Animoji [Source: Steve Troughton-Smith]. Apple will use it's face tracking advancements to allow you to create facial expressions and send them as an emoji to your friends. It's a neat concept, but it also sounds a bit gimmicky. Nevertheless, it makes good use of the facial recognition and if Apple's done with Touch ID, I can only hope they do a good job supporting it. Apart from the design and display, this is what you're paying a thousand dollars for. Truly, this phone was meant for only the most daring social butterflies.

Edit: I will say the animal ones are very cute.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Our First Look at Apple Watch Series 3

The iOS 11 Golden Master has been leaked, giving us a huge slew of leaks for both the iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3 [Source: MacRumors]. I'll get in to more of these in a separate post, but I wanted to spotlight our first look at Apple's next wearable. Apple Watch Series 3 has been rumored for sometime now to feature LTE connectivity. This image basically confirms this. Looking at the watch, we see 5 blue dots, which we can assume represent cellular reception. The crown is also red, something we haven't seen in an Apple Watch Sport before. With these leaks, I don't know how much Apple will have left to surprise us with.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Thursday, September 7, 2017

iPhone 8 May Start Shipping After iPhone 7s

Apple will likely announce two models of iPhones this Tuesday: the iPhone 7s and the higher end iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 is expected to ship after the iPhone 7s rather than simultaneously [Source: TechCrunch]. How long after? We don't know. But, it will be likely that pre-orders will start September 15, the Friday after the announcement. Hopefully, we don't hear them say "October" or we know it will be delayed.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Inside the Steve Jobs Theater

The Steve Jobs Theater is stunning from not just the outside, but the inside too! There are a few things to take away from the diagram below. The stairs lead past an exhibit room, which has retractable walls to prevent people from seeing the soon-to-be-unveiled products. There are also two rotating elevators that were custom-made for the Steve Jobs Theater. The press is truly getting the first-class treatment on this one.

Image Credit: City of Cupertino

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Apple Park: Almost Complete

A week before the first event in the Steve Jobs Theater, we have drone footage from Duncan Sinfield of an almost completed Apple Park. In the video, people are already inside of the Steve Jobs Theater. It's amazing to see this come to fruition a few years later.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Beats Studio3

This is something I've been hoping for since the announcement of the Beats Solo3 headphones last year. Apple has finally announced the Beats Studio3 headphones, equipped with Apple's W1 chip. What separates these headphones from the Solo3 headphones is their noise-cancelling functionality. What's been bugging me these last few months is that the Studio Wireless headphones are more expensive than the Solo3 headphones, yet they didn't have the W1 chip. Someone without knowledge on Beats headphones could be missing out on the sweet features of the W1 chip. While it's not something I would buy anytime soon, it brings me peace that we finally have these headphones. The only thing is, there aren't any other updates, meaning we probably won't be seeing Beats Solo4 headphones anytime soon. The Beats Studio3 headphones launch this October (hopefully) and will cost $349.99 [Direct Link].


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Siri Leadership Transferred to Craig Federighi

At WWDC, we saw some vast changes for Siri, specifically machine learning, something Apple usually doesn't do for privacy reasons. This can likely be attributed to the Siri leadership position being transferred to Craig Federighi. We didn't see many new features for Siri aside from translations, but perhaps this is the framework of a new Siri. If this is true, that would be great going down the road, as we would probably see less "5 new Siri features each year" and more "Let's just ask Siri." I've mentioned how if I have a random trivial question, I can ask Alexa and she'll tell me the answer a majority of the time. Meanwhile, I don't bother with Siri because I know she'll just do a Bing search and move me over to Safari, defeating the purpose.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Half of All Smartwatch Sales Were Apple Watches Last Quarter

According to research firm IDC via MacRumors, nearly half of all smartwatch sales were Apple Watches. It's market share was estimated at 49.6%. The next best selling watch is from Samsung, with 11% market share. It seems that Series 2 and Apple's popularity could be attributed to these growing numbers. Hopefully Series 3 keeps this momentum going.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Friday, September 1, 2017

Apple Store in Simi Valley Closing Down

Lasting just over 11 years, the Apple Store in Simi Valley, California is closing down this month. An Apple Store closing is a very rare occurrence, but it can happen. Many people report that the mall the store was located in was a bit of a graveyard, so it's likely that a combination of poor sales and bad location are to blame. The store will close September 15.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

iPhone 8 Event Invite: Let's Meet at Our Place

Apple has officially announced that their iPhone 8 event will take place on September 12. Possibly more importantly, Apple has confirmed that this event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater. That's why the invite says, "Let's Meet at Our Place." At this event, we can expect new iPhones, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, and more.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Home Button May Hide on Home Screen on iPhone 8

According to Bloomberg, the digital Home Button on the iPhone 8 would be replaced by the dock in iOS 11 for the iPad Pro while on the Home Screen. Getting to the App Switcher would likely be via gesture. This is half and half for me. I like the idea of saving space where it can be, but at the same time, the Home Button does have some uses on the Home Screen. Even at the iPhone 7 announcement, Apple noted how useful the Home Button is. App Switcher, Siri, Apple Pay, TOUCH ID (*cough* *cough*), haptics, and screen shots. I don't want to learn new gestures for all of these. We have enough space on the Home Screen as it is in my opinion.

Image Credit: Olivier Charavel

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Thoughts on ARKit

I genuinely thought AR was dead for a long time. When the Nintendo 3DS came out in 2011, I was most excited about AR Games, a collection of Nintendo-themed AR demos centered around physical cards. The technology became dormant and never really did anything until Pokémon Go last year, to which most people playing the game immediately turned the feature off. When Apple announced ARKit at WWDC this year, I genuinely thought they lost it. I thought AR was just a gimmick with no potential. I thought it was something you picked up once and stopped using (and that could potentially still be the case). But now that I've seen what so many developers can do with this technology, it could change our daily lives. Augmenting furniture into our rooms before buying it, using the camera as a ruler, augmented walking directions, and augmented models of food instead of regular menus. I'm not a big fan of games centered around AR, because they seem gimmicky. But nevertheless, the strong framework is there. If this technology is really as good as we've been seeing in not only Apple's demos, but also from developer's demos too, there's a whole new ballgame. I understand a lot of people are saying that they don't see the point or that the whole thing seems pointless. To that, all I can say is things like Snapchat and Twitch exists. If I told you fifteen years ago that I wanted a service that only displayed pictures sent to me for seven seconds, you'd say that would never catch on (I still don't get why Snapchat is so popular still). If I told you fifteen years ago that I wanted a website that would let me watch people play video games live, you'd say nobody would want to watch other people play video games. And here we are. Could it flop? Absolutely. But sometimes it takes some risks and a large community of developers to create something really amazing. It worked for the App Store, and it could work here too.

Monday, August 28, 2017

ARKit and Menus

This is a really cool one. You know when you're at a restaurant and something jumps out to you on the menu and you'd like to see a picture of it for one reason or another? With ARKit, this can be made possible. Kabaq uses ARKit to let you see the menu on your table. Now you know what the large size is versus the small size. Check out the video below for an idea of what it's like.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Swift Courses Expanding to Community Colleges

Apple is expanding their App Development with Swift curriculum to community colleges. This curriculum is derived from the iBook that was released with the introduction of Swift a few years back. It's a full year course, and the original iBook is still available on the iBooks Store for free [Direct Link].


Saturday, August 26, 2017

iPhone Edition's Controversial Price

While we did know this for some time, this is a really hard pill to swallow. The iPhone 8 or Edition or whatever will start at $999 for 64 GB [Source: The New York Times]. This is very deterring, but it probably won't change the fact that it will sell out. Take a look at the Apple Watch Edition (Generation 1), costing over $10,000 in some variations. People who bought those are now stuck with a slower processor than Series 2. My question is how much are we willing to pay for a phone that will immediately become obsolete? I understand that there are cheaper options for iPhone, such as the iPhone 7s, which is becoming more tempting. But Apple isn't supposed to work that way. Apple has always been about paying more for a higher quality product than its competitors. Not, here are your options: cheap phone, regular phone, and super expensive phone. Especially considering that the features in the iPhone 8 have been in other phones for years and that features have been sacrificed for the new design. My theory is that the price is so high to keep supply from getting too scarce. Apple probably cannot manufacture enough Face ID scanners and OLED displays to keep up with demand with a lower price point. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Beats Solo3 Neighborhood Collection

According to MacRumors, Apple is selling a new collection of Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones called the Neighborhood collection. In addition to Apple Retail Stores, Apple will sell these at Target stores in their clothing section to complement certain styles. It's interesting to see how Beats can be associated with other industries.

Image Credit: John Lewis

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tile and Alexa

One of the cooler applications of Alexa is being able to use it with Tile. For those who don't know, Tile is a Bluetooth tracker that can be rung from a compatible device. Alexa is a great helper if you need to find something you've misplaced in your home. Just say, "Alexa, ask Tile to find my keys" or something like that and you'll probably hear your keys ring (provided they have a Tile on them). To add the Tile skill to your Amazon Echo, just use the Alexa app.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

iPhone Event 2017 Date Prediction

According to Mac4Ever, Apple may host their annual iPhone event on September 12, a Tuesday. This will likely be an accurate prediction as Apple tends to use Tuesdays to announce their products and uses this week a lot for iPhone announcements, although this will be one of the earlier announce dates in recent years. Furthermore, the iPhone 8 will likely be released on September 22, just over a week later. We'll know for sure when Apple sends out invites to the event.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HomePod Setup

When I first saw how AirPods and headphones with the W1 chip would work, I was wondering how this could be applied to speakers. HomePod answers that [Source: iHelp BR]. The video below from Guilherme Rambo via Twitter reveals how HomePod setup appears. It starts out like AirPods do, but then get more into advanced settings, such as where the speakers are for HomeKit. It seems these cards will be playing a much larger role in iOS 11, such as NFC and Wi-Fi sharing.

Monday, August 21, 2017

AirPods Shipment Times Improve Further

Almost a year since their announcement, AirPods shipping estimates have now dropped to a mere 2-3 weeks. Originally, shipping estimates were at 6 weeks, recently dropping to 4 weeks. While still a long time compared to most Apple products, this is certainly an improvement. Hopefully, the next generation of AirPods doesn't suffer from stock issues.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Apple's Hidden Job Offer

ZDNet's Zach Whittaker has discovered a hidden website on Apple's domain for a "talented engineer" willing to work on "critical infrastructure." The page was at us-west-1.blobstore.apple.com, but is no longer available. Apple certainly holds this job in high regards, considering it works with "tens of thousands" of servers and "millions" of disks. The page was captured by Whittaker and is below.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

iOS 11 Fixes Passcode Exploit

Apple will fix the world's dumbest passcode bypass in iOS 11 [Source: TechCrunch]. Do you have $500 you feel like burning? Just buy this passcode guessing box and follow these extremely conditional steps. Take a pre-iOS 11 iPhone and plug it into the box. Make sure the passcode was changed in the past 10 minutes. Also, the passcode should only be 4-digits long. Yeah, Apple fixes that in iOS 11. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The iPhone Edition's Run

What I have referred to on this blog as the iPhone 8 has been often called the iPhone Edition, due to its expensive price and unique design. It would also fall in line with the Apple Watch Edition. This potential naming has led many to wonder, "Will the iPhone Edition have a limited run?" Well, first we have to take in this: the iPhone Edition will not likely go down in price in the coming years. At least not enough to reach what an iPhone 7 would cost today. Given that, iPhone Edition will probably be either a special edition iPhone or will be updated each year as the premium flagship phone, like the Galaxy S8 Edge. The second thing to consider is that Apple could release exclusive APIs and features for the iPhone Edition. It wouldn't make sense just to throw that away the next year. Imagine if Apple did away with the Apple Watch tomorrow. That's not encouraging for developers to adopt Apple's latest technologies. Hopefully, we'll see more iPhone Editions, particularly one with Touch ID. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

McDonald's Uses iPhone 8 Roundup in Marketing

We've seen a lot of confidence put into rumors. People have waited outside Apple Fifth Avenue before an iPhone was announced. There have been cases made for iPhones before they were announced. And now, we have McDonalds using a render of an iPhone, before it has been announced.  The image below is an advertisement for mymacca's from McDonald's Australia. Needless to say, this is fake. The dots on top have been switched to bars in iOS 11. The creator of the render has tweeted on the subject as well. In the end, I'm talking about McDonald's on a tech blog, and in the end, isn't that all McDonald's wanted.

Image Credit: Amir T. via MacRumors

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Facebook Celebrates Birthdays with Donation Features

Birthdays are celebrated in different ways on different social networks. Facebook is taking a new approach by letting the birthday person pick a charity and ask that others donate as a birthday gift. It's an interesting initiative, a large company giving its avid users a chance to ask for donations rather than physical possessions. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Issue with Smart Locks

Everything in the home is becoming tech-enabled, including door locks. Door locks is a bit too much, even for me. Before you buy a smart lock, read this first and determine if they're right for you. Consumer Wi-Fi-enabled locks are what keep your home secure, should you install one. While I don't believe hacking to be a concern, because it would have to be specifically targeted towards you. That being said, I don't think the convenience is worth the sacrifice of security. In addition, if you have an Amazon Echo or similar device (even an iOS device) near an open window, it could potentially hear commands from outside. Since these devices can control smart devices, including smart locks, that could be an unintended security hole. With this in mind, choose wisely if a smart lock is right for you. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Apple Watch Series 3's Selling Point is LTE

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, we have reason to believe that Apple Watch Series 3 will boast LTE connectivity as its main selling point. In addition, there won't be any major redesign. To me, it seems like a weird choice. It's basically advertising a higher cell phone bill. In addition, while it may be a little faster, this is only really useful if the Apple Watch is disconnected from its iPhone, which isn't too often. Hopefully we see more meaningful features. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Pinnacle of Apple Music

You know when you plug your phone into your car and the song alphabetically first starts playing? Well, who would guess that a trending song on Apple Music and iTunes would be the solution to that problem? The song known as "A a a a a Very Good Song" is hitting the charts. This song is literally ten minutes of silence. Because it's alphabetically first, you have time to switch inputs or choose a song to your liking before you're blasted with a song that you're not in the mood for. "A a a a a Very Good Song" is available from Apple Music and iTunes for 99¢ [Direct Link].

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Apple's Audio Future - AirPods

AirPods are easily my favorite earbuds on the market. They do what wireless audio should've been this whole time. Put in an earbud and you're connected. So, how can Apple improve on this? I don't have much, but I would like to see customizable gestures added. Volume up and down with a slide and double tap for the next track. I wouldn't mind seeing that. Other than that, better production times for the next generation would be awesome. AirPods are an amazing companion to an Apple Music subscription and a long study session. I love my pair still eight months later.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Apple's Audio Future - Beats Solo3

Today, I'll be talking about the Beats Solo3 and how it can be improved. Let's get right into it. First off, I think it should use USB-C for charging and as a medium for audio. Micro-USB seems really strange since Beats is owned by Apple, but as long as we're changing the port, we might as well go directly to USB-C. Next, Find my Beats. If AirPods can use Find my iPhone, I see no reason why Beats can't do the same. Personally, I love the design of the Solo3. For me, it sets the standard for on-ear headphones. I love its wireless capabilities, battery life, and iOS integration. I would like to see an update for the Studio line, but for now, the Solo3 does a lot right for Apple and their vision for music.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Apple's Audio Future - HomePod

Apple has had music at its heart since the iPod. With the HomePod coming this year, let's take a look at how Apple can improve this device and how it stands in Apple's history. 

For those who remember, the iPod Hi-Fi was released in early 2006. It was a speaker that you would plug in an iPod and enjoy music in your home. Steve Jobs said when he introduced it that the iPod was an on-the-go device. But Apple wanted to expand to home audio. It ultimately flopped and was discontinued less than two years later. Fast forward eleven years, and we have the HomePod. This time, the playing field has changed. I have emphasized how music is now in the cloud and not in our pockets. HomePod requires no device plugged in to it, untethering your device. Yet, despite this, I believe HomePod will not do as well as Apple hopes (at least not in its current state) and will ultimately be remembered as iPod Hi-Fi 2. Why?

First, the iPod may have caused the downfall of both of these products. People like to listen to their music using headphones, even if its in their own houses. Maybe it's just me, but do people really sit down in their houses anymore and listen to music for extended periods of time? If so, do people do it frequently enough to justify $349 speaker purchases? People have families and neighbors that will be disrupted by loud music. Personally, I don't think either of these products accomplished anything normal headphones will. Plus, headphones can be taken anywhere. These products don't even have batteries to take to a get-together.

Let's talk money. iPod Hi-Fi was priced at $349. HomePod is priced at $349. Need I say more? You can't justify the price by saying Echo is $200 and a good speaker is $300 so a combination would cost $500. That's not how anything works. By that logic, the original iPhone probably would only be owned by seven people in the world. I'm no audiophile, but I love the speaker quality of the Amazon Echo (not the Echo Dot). For less than $200, I'm getting a great speaker (if I ever even need to use it), plus an amazing assistant that works well. Which brings me to my next point.

Apple, come on. You can't just announce you're adding translations and a few other trinkets to Siri and call it a day. You're getting beat up in the ring with Alexa and Google. You're grating on the nation's last nerve with your classic "but I found this on the web" bit. A Bing search isn't going to get you anywhere.

So, why do Google Home and Amazon Echo work? They don't put a huge focus on music. They focus on the experience. Those little moments when you ask your family a random trivial question that no one knows the answer to, but then you ask Alexa and she tells you. That's why we buy these smart speakers. We disregard the fact that we have a microphone recording us constantly for that, and we love it. And now, Google Home and Amazon Echo are even replacing the home phone with their products, which I love! It's genius, and it's something I wanted Apple to do long ago. 

Keep in mind that the Amazon Echo and Google Home don't take away from your phone's experience. What you can do on Apple HomePod, can easily be accomplished on your iPhone. Amazon Echo has a full marketplace of skills that are tailored to the Echo's capabilities and Google Home has a growing library of apps too. Apple HomePod hasn't even opened up third-party support. In fact, I don't think it can even do everything iOS Siri can do because it lacks a proper screen. 

Finally, let's talk design. Look, I don't know what you were thinking when you released this Apple, but no one likes it. We know Jony Ive did not work on this. It looks like a roll of toilet paper. It seems way too compact as well. People were expecting it to look like the Mac Pro. A smart speaker should be tall and sleek. It gives off an impression that it's loud but can also listen well from its vantage point. When you're only putting it in one position forever, no one cares how small it is. 

With all of that being said, I do love the features that AirPlay 2 brings, but that will be available on Apple TVs and other speakers that are likely less expensive. I personally believe it's a rushed piece of technology after the smart speaker market became viable and mainstream. There's not much I like about the HomePod, but I hope Apple learns from it.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

3D Touch Limited on iPhone 8

For those who don't know, you can activate the "App Switcher" as the cool kids call today, by 3D touching on the left edge of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. However, it seems this will be removed for all devices come iOS 11 [Source: Bryan Irace]. This is likely because iPhone 8 will not be able to physically support this particular action. I get that we need continuity, but it's annoying having to support iPhone 8's downfalls on our devices.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Quick Update

Hi all. I will soon be attending Arizona State University studying software engineering. Now, how will this be affecting this blog? I can't say for sure yet. I don't intend to immediately end my daily post schedule, however I cannot guarantee that it will remain consistent. If I am really busy or the internet goes down, I won't have a choice. Maybe I should work on a weekly podcast or video series or something instead of this? I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see. Thanks for sticking with me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Carpool Karaoke Debuts on Apple Music Tomorrow

...

I can't believe I had to write that as a title for a post. Apple, STOP. Just stop. Please. Stop trying to be hip and with the kids. This isn't original, this isn't interesting, and this isn't even on time. If I recall, Apple's Carpool Karaoke was supposed to debut back in April. According to the producers, "Apple has a pulse on everything that feels relevant and feels cool." If this is what they call "relevant" and "cool," I'm sure we can all look forward to an Apple Music produced Fidget Spinner show next year. I get it, not all of Apple's resources are going into this and I'm not obligated to watch it, but when I keep reading articles about how Apple engineers can't put Touch ID into the iPhone 8 after more than a year of time, this doesn't help my current opinion of Apple as a whole. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

iPhone 8 Could Detect Faces While Lying Flat

iHelp BR strikes again and they have discovered references to "resting" associated with "unlock." This may suggest that the iPhone 8 can detect faces even when the device is lying flat on a surface. This isn't a huge deal at first glance, but it does mean that we likely don't have to hold the iPhone super close to our faces to work. Hopefully, Face ID lives up to the rumors and becomes a true successor to Touch ID.

Image Credit: iHelp BR

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Apple Watch Series 3 May Have LTE

The Apple Watch Series 3 will likely be released this fall. According to Jeffrey Grossman via Twitter, we have HomePod firmware evidence that Apple Watch Series 3 will have LTE connectivity. I'm not sure how this will work. Maybe it's just me, but there aren't many times where I don't have my iPhone, but I have my Apple Watch. Maybe this will make it retrieve data faster, or it will just drain the battery more. Hopefully, Apple Watch Series 3 will have a better battery and faster processor.

Friday, August 4, 2017

AirPods Shipping in 4 Weeks

AirPods are very hard to come by. Apple cannot produce them fast enough. Since release in December, AirPods have had a 6-week shipping estimate. Now, it's finally down to 4-weeks. While that is still quite some time, we finally have a quicker estimate from Apple, suggesting that production has been cranked up.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

iPhone 8 May Record 4K Video at 60 FPS

The iPhone 6s was the first iPhone to shoot 4K video. It was and still is only in 30 FPS. However, because of the rumor rush that is HomePod firmware, we now have details about this. iHelp BR has found evidence that the iPhone 8 will record 4K video in a smooth 60 FPS. Not just the rear camera, but the front one too. Maybe now, we'll finally get that 4K Apple TV.

Image Credit: iHelp BR

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pay With Your Face: Practically Magic

With the removal of Touch ID in the iPhone 8, Apple Pay will follow suit with the unlock screen and use Face ID for payments [Source: @r_idn]. Face ID could be executed very well by Apple. Samsung unlocked phones when pictures of people were held up to the camera, so Apple putting some measures ensuring a physical face must be present is nice to hear. However, I just find Face ID fundamentally wrong. I don't want to see my face when I unlock my phone or make a payment. It doesn't feel natural. I hold my credit card when I go to use it. I don't put my face in front of it. Face ID will have to work very fast for me to consider it a good replacement for Touch ID. Let's hope so.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Microsoft and Self-Driving Cars

Recently in the news, Microsoft has been working on a self-driving car. Microsoft is probably the last company I want jumping on this bandwagon. I can see it now. Annoying requests to update in the middle of driving. Or maybe someone "accidentally" deletes system32 during routine maintenance. Scary thoughts, but with Microsoft, they build all of their products on the same foundation. Windows Phone, Xbox, the Surface. Hopefully, their venture into automobiles doesn't cause these issues, but it's a scary thought.

Monday, July 31, 2017

HomePod Firmware Reveals iPhone 8 Design

HomePod firmware has been revealing a lot, but this is the most interesting. Below is the icon used to depict what will probably be the iPhone 8. Steven Troughton-Smith, a developer who has dug through HomePod firmware, went beyond this and looked at the actual code. He has found no evidence that there will be Touch ID. Face ID, the face-recognition alternative, will likely fully replace it. It's disappointing to see Touch ID probably won't be in the iPhone 8, considering how long Apple left us in suspense.

Image Credit: Steven Troughton-Smith via HomePod Firmware

Sunday, July 30, 2017

HomePod's Display

Thanks to multiple users on Twitter, we have an idea of how a display would work on HomePod. It would use an LED matrix. While the images below don't look anything like a Retina Display, I would assume that some material may diffuse the pixels, making them more smooth. In addition, it would only display small icons most likely. How effective this display would be, that's anyone's guess.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

iPod Mini Quickly Appears on the Apple Online Store

Yesterday, the iPod Mini was spotted on the Singapore Apple Online Store [Source: MacRumors]. While this was most likely a glitch, it's cool to see these in present day on the store. My first iPod was a second-generation green iPod Mini, the same iPod as was listed. In addition, if this was real, it would technically be the only device on the entire online store that has a 30-pin connector. The listing was removed quickly.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Friday, July 28, 2017

4K Movies Coming to iTunes?

This is exciting. While many, including myself, do not own 4K TVs yet, the idea of iTunes adding 4K movies is a huge stepping stone for the adoption of 4K. It also gives us insight for upcoming products, like the Apple TV. From MacRumors, listings for some movies showed availability for "4K, HDR" resolution. While it was unable to download at this resolution, it basically confirms 4K is coming. Let's see if we get an updated Apple TV this fall.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano Discontinued

Apple has discontinued the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, the two music players that didn't support Apple Music. The iPod Touch remains as the final iPod. It's the end of an era in some sense. The industry moved on from having a thousand songs in your pocket to having an infinite library in the cloud. It could be argued the iPhone ultimately killed the iPod. While the iPod is almost gone, it will live on in Apple Music.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ARKit and Take On Me

In a really cool development, AR studio Trixi has created an ADKit app that recreates A-ha's "Take On Me" music video. It combines the sketched style of the original video, with the real world. It's quite an amazing thing to see what developers can do. Apple may revolutionize augmented reality now that it has such diverse and creative developer support.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Google Chrome Finally Adds Touch Bar Support

It's nice to see when Google supports its competitor's operating systems. Google helped out Touch Bar users by adding support to it, making use of the touch strip. As shown below, it adds some basic functions, which is nice. It's subjective which is superior, but Safari will show previews of your tabs. I'm neutral on the issue, as sometimes it's useful and sometimes it's downright annoying. When you need it, it might be blocked out by text suggestions, or you have so many tabs open, it doesn't help. Plus, the previews are tiny. Anyways, I'm glad to see Chrome joining in on the party.


Monday, July 24, 2017

New Notification Unlock Screen in iOS 11

MacRumors has recently shown off all of the new features in iOS 11 Beta 4, and one screenshot stood out to me. The screenshot on the right shows after you've tapped on a notification while your device is locked. Could this hint at Touch ID being embedded into the screen in the iPhone 8? Or perhaps this could be replaced by a viewfinder for the front camera for face recognition? Maybe even both. Small details like this are important to note in predicting hardware updates. We'll find out this fall.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Siri: The Movie

When Apple is producing Carpool Karaoke for Apple Music, what can you expect at this point? Be advised, this is not a full movie, just an ad. It is quite humorous. It stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson asking an excessive amount of questions to Siri (You expect me to believe he uses Lyft to get around?). But it's hilarious to watch because of how off the top it is. You can watch the video in the embed below.




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Theater Mode in watchOS

I used to think that Theater Mode was an unneeded feature in watchOS. Then I went to a symphony. I put my watch into Theater Mode. Someone in front of me didn't, and every time their wrist was at just the wrong angle, I had 500-1000 nits of lights directed right at my face. Needless to say, it helps out. It would be nice if Apple took this a step further. For example, having it enabled could dim the screen when you turn on the display, ensure your phone is silenced and also dim your phone's screen if you take it out. That would be awesome.

Friday, July 21, 2017

ARKit for Walking Directions

A tweet from Andrew Hart shows off his new ARKit demo for walking directions. In the video below, Hart's project shows very solid augmented reality directions on an iPhone. It directs him to a nearby Starbucks using superimposed arrows on the screen. Combining CoreLocation and ARKit looks like a really solid way to plot out directions.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Google Play Music Supports CarPlay?

I remember vividly when Apple didn't give out their CarPlay API to just anyone. They were very selective about who had access. Now, even Google is jumping on board and brining the Google Play Music app to CarPlay [Source: reddit]. While I don't use the app, I'm glad Google is committed to making it convenient and safe for users to use their app in the car even if it's not on their platform. Google Play Music for iOS is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gold Beats Headphones

The Beats Solo3 and Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones are really being pushed by Apple, and rightfully so. Now we have a special edition gold-like color of the two headphones. In a partnership with Balmain, a French fashion label, these "Safari" colored headphones run at a premium. The Beats Solo3 are $600 and the Powerbeats3 are $250.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nintendo Switch Online App

I've owned my Nintendo Switch for a few months now and I can safely say that it's probably my favorite modern gaming console on the market. Today, the Nintendo Switch Online app has been released on the Apple App Store. There doesn't appear to have any functionality, as the servers are going under maintenance, however, the app will integrate with Splatoon 2 and it's online modes. Nintendo Switch Online is available from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link].


Monday, July 17, 2017

Apple Celebrates World Emoji Day

📅. It's July 17, which means it's World Emoji Day. I know, we've been waiting all year for today. Apple is celebrating by updating the movie carousel in the iTunes Store with emojis representing movies. 💁🏻🐗🥀🏰 for example was Beauty and the Beast. Also, new emoji are coming in iOS 11. Anyway, lets not celebrate this holiday any longer than we have to and get on with our lives. 👍

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Should Apple Delay the iPhone 8?

The iPhone 8, or iPhone Edition, is becoming more and more problematic for Apple. Touch ID and 3D Touch is difficult to implement in the screen. So the question is: should Apple delay it? If they do, they would probably put on an event for the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus and announce the iPhone 8 at that event or later in the year. The iPhone 8 would be released at a later date. If not, we would get a watered down phone, potentially without Touch ID. Personally, I would prefer a delayed phone. Touch ID is just too important to me. Leave a comment of what you think in the comments below. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Core NFC in iOS 11

Apple quietly announced Core NFC for iOS 11 at WWDC. This will add some new functionality to NFC tags. This opens up some possibilities, such as Nintendo's proposal to bring amiibo support to iOS and Android. A few limitations should be noted. First off, it doesn't support iPhone to iPhone sharing or writing to NFC tags. It can only read NFC tags. Second, it only works on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus currently. Finally, the associated app must be open before the tag is read. For example, you cannot simply tap your locked iPhone to an NFC tag.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Friday, July 14, 2017

Apple's Secret Gift Card Font

Apple iTunes Gift Cards can be redeemed through scanning with your iOS devices. However, most don't think what font is being read. Equinux has solved the mystery. The font is not a regular font like Courier, but rather a custom-made font. By digging through iTunes resource files, the team found two fonts. Scancardium is used to recognize and enter the codes, while Spendcardium hides credit card info as it's entered. With the Scancardium font, you could make your own autoscanning gift card.