Sunday, April 30, 2017

Why the Nintendo Switch is a Game Changer

I've been playing with the Nintendo Switch for about a week now, and while I'm not prepared to do a full review on it yet, I do have to make this point clear. I know it's been said time and time again, but I have to reiterate it: the portability aspect of the Nintendo Switch completely changes the way you will look at big triple-A titles. With console games, I find myself not having enough time to commit myself to sit down, turn on the console, and play the game. You don't just play these games for short periods. Meanwhile, handheld games, specifically those on the 3DS, can be played in quick bursts, but often have clear limitations held back by the hardware. The Nintendo Switch solves this problem by putting console quality games wherever you go. No other console can do that. Now, you want to see all your favorite games on this system. Rocket League, Fallout 4, Overwatch, and so on. Games you'd like to have more time playing, but don't have the chance to. While many of these games likely won't be ported due to the technical limitations of the Switch, it's important to see how game developers will rethink their future titles. Local wireless play may soon be an alternative to online play even. I can only hope this becomes a reality.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

tvOS Predictions

According to 9to5Mac, tvOS 11 will have Picture-in-Picture and User Switching. It's funny because I literally had these two ideas just before this article came out. Unfortunately, I didn't write that blog post before this came out, so just take my word for it. The TV has historically been the American family's gathering place after a long week. While that has died out with every screen having a TV on it, it doesn't hide the fact that the Apple TV needs multiple user profiles. Amazon Echo even has this. The other feature, Picture-in-Picture, helps make use of the "smart" aspect of the smart TV. What good is an Apple TV if you can't do anything while content is playing? Anyways, I definitely hope these features get added at WWDC.

Friday, April 28, 2017

homeOS Coming at WWDC?

Apple's answer to the Google Home and the Amazon Echo could be coming as soon as this WWDC [Source: Sonny Dickson]. The rumor mentions that it could be using Beats speakers, which would be amazing. It would explain why Apple is trying to get rid of their Beats speakers with clearance sales. It will also be an AirPlay device, justifying the discontinuing of the AirPort line of products. It would be amazing if we could see this product so soon.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Echo Look

Yesterday, Amazon announced the Echo Look. It's basically an Alexa-enabled camera. It uses machine learning for fashion advice. Creepy as that sounds, one thing worth noting is the new form factor likely doesn't allow for the regular Amazon Echo's speaker. Personally, I'd say the best thing about Amazon Echo was how it combined voice recognition with a great speaker. This, in my opinion, combines voice recognition with a camera, which just seems really odd. It's available for $200 via invitation.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day One Books

Day One, the popular journal app, has announced they will be offering a service to print journals. It's called Day One Books. While I don't feel most people would be comfortable about turning their personal stories into coffee table books, I do see potential for trip stories. Personally, I wouldn't mind documenting my upcoming college journey in one of these books. The books can display location and weather metadata in summaries and in individual posts. They start at $14.99, available in soft and hard cover, and are purchased through Apple Pay in the Day One app.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Where is the new iPad Pro?

It's very frustrating when there's a rumor drought for a product you want to get. It was frustrating when news sources left us on a cliffhanger with the 2016 MacBook Pro. But it's happening again with the iPad Pro. While the refresh of the iPads earlier this year was completely welcome, we were expecting iPad Pro updates in April, hopefully with an event at Apple Park. April is almost up and we haven't heard much about the iPad Pro. So this post basically goes to Apple as a plea that they can get the next iPad out soon enough, without sacrificing quality of course. It's been a year since the last iPad Pro update, which was minor, and even longer since the iPad Pro launched. As much as appealing to the target demographic of social butterflies is a good strategy, you're leaving your iPad and Pro-market in the dust.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Difference Between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C

USB-C is still a very new technology, so there have been a few misconceptions about the new port. Thunderbolt 3 uses the same port as USB-C. However, it's important not to get the two confused. Having USB-C doesn't mean that every USB-C device you plug in will be at Thunderbolt 3 speeds. Thunderbolt 3 has speeds up to 40 Gb/s. Meanwhile, USB-C has up to 10 Gb/s. In order to achieve Thunderbolt 3 speeds, both ports and the connecting cable must be Thunderbolt 3 compatible. Otherwise, they will be bottlenecked down to the component with the lowest speed.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Apple Podcasts

The long neglected iTunes Podcasts has finally had a quiet rebrand. It is now Apple Podcasts. Most users probably won't notice this change at first. However, podcasters using Apple Podcast marketing materials will. The new Apple Podcasts badge is the most prominent result of the rebrand. Apple also updated the service's Twitter handle to @ApplePodcasts.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


In iOS 11, I would like to see something called FoodKit implemented. With mobile ordering becoming more and more prevalent, Apple has an opportunity to streamline the process. Having an app that combines all your food menus would allow users to have a personalized menu. Ordering or reserving a table would add that restaurant's location into your suggested places in the Maps widget. Calories from the meal could be added to your Health app. There is a lot of potential with this idea. It just needs developer support.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Apple Watch NikeLab

Apple released a new variant of the Apple Watch Nike+ called Apple Watch NikeLab. It's a Space Gray Apple Watch Series 2 with a black and cream Sport Band. While there's not much else other than that, it is limited edition. It will be available April 27 from

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Live Photos Coming To Websites

Apple has announced that Live Photos will be available on the web through an API. This will allow developers to embed Live Photos on their websites. There is likely a lot of possibilities of where this can lead to in terms of web development. On their developer site, you can take a look as to how Live Photos may look on the web.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

'Earth Day Challenge' Apple Watch Achievement

To promote Earth Day, Apple is issuing achievements for workouts of 30 minutes or more. You just have to complete the workout on April 22. You will also receive stickers for iMessage for completing the challenge. This will be the third special achievement, the other two being the Thanksgiving challenge and the New Year challenge.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

iPhone 8 and Touch ID

According to Andy Hargreaves, the iPhone 8 may be forced to get rid of Touch ID. If Touch ID cannot be placed underneath the display, Touch ID will be absent. Personally, I would prefer a Touch ID sensor on the back of the phone if this is the case. Apple's alternative would be facial recognition. I don't like this for two reasons. One, I don't want to see my face when I unlock my phone or make a payment. Two, the Galaxy S8 has shown that a simple picture of the owner can unlock a phone. At this point, I can only hope that Touch ID can be implemented under the display.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Supposed iPhone 8 Leaked Renderings

KK Sneak Leaks has released what they claimed to be leaked renderings of the iPhone 8. These can't be verified whether they are real, but KK Sneak Leaks has been correct in the past. Even if these are real, the design could easily change by the launch. In this rendering, the space around the Home Button is being used for Control Center, similar to Touch Bar.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Custom Watch Faces

This will be my biggest hope for watchOS 4: Custom Watch Faces. Similar to iMessage Stickers, Apple should make easy-to-create watch faces for Apple Watch. Companies and organizations could make their own color schemes and logos fit into their watch face. University students could have their school's mascot and colors incorporated. Fallout could have a Pip-Boy themed watch face. The possibilities would be endless. Make it happen Apple!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

iPhone 8 Will Have 3 GB of RAM

All three models of the next iPhone will have 3 GB of RAM [Source: Timothy Arcuri]. This isn't a big deal, but it is nice to see all three models achieve this standard. 3 GB breaks the whole everything is divisible by 8 rule. I don't think RAM matters much in a smartphone since most of the activities are just social media and picture taking. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Apple Park Causing Tree Shortage

Apple Park is a beautiful campus that uses elements of nature and technology in its design. Unfortunately, Apple may be purchasing a few trees too many. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Apple has bought so many trees, it has created a tree shortage. Apple plans to buy up to 3,000 trees for Apple Park. Very interesting to see how Apple's architectural feats affect other areas.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mac Pro Concept

With Mac Pros and new displays not coming for some time, let's look at a really cool concept for them. CURVED/labs has created this concept. It's modular, has a Touch Bar, and comes with ports galore. Check out the image and video below.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Ok, Burger King"

We've all heard the stories of commercials and TV setting off smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. But this was the breaking point. Today, Burger King released a new ad. An employee for Burger King is seen holding a Whopper, and notes how 15 seconds is too short to do an ad. He then has an idea and says, "Ok, Google. What is the Whopper burger?" Owners of a Google Home would hear their devices respond with "The Whopper is a burger, consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100 percent beef with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame-seed bun." Google Home's source is Wikipedia. Now, for those who don't check up on the Whopper's Wikipedia page every 5 days, here's what the quote was for the past decade or so: "The Whopper sandwich is the signature hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King and its Australian franchise Hungry Jack's." Doesn't have the same ring. Looking at the change log, it can be seen that Burger King's marketing chief changed the page himself. When consumers realized this, they also began to change it to more negative descriptions. The higher ups at Wikipedia eventually reverted the page and locked it down. Meanwhile, Google captured the advertisement's audio and restricted Google Home from responding to the commercial. This does beg the question: Can we trust products like Google Home if they're just going to use Wikipedia as their source most of the time?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Close the Rings Challenge 1.0

Apple held a challenge to Apple employees to be more active in February. Those who closed their three Apple Watch rings for a month would receive a pin. The pins are gold, silver, and bronze. The color is based on performance. What's awesome is that the pins match the digital achievements given by the Activity app. There was also a shirt and note given to participants.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Next-Gen AirPods Case Patent

According to Patently Apple, a new AirPods case could have a fancy trick up its sleeve. The case would have the ability to charge other devices. Specifically, Apple Watch, through its MagSafe charger. However, another idea would be to charge iPhone with the newest model expected to have wireless charging. The case could serve as reserve energy. However, this is probably less likely because its harder to implement and most consumers do not care for wireless charging.

Image Credit: Patently Apple

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Most ransomware locks up your files until you pay the program money. However, Rensenware takes this concept to a more frustrating level [Source: Engadget]. It will lock your files until you score 0.2 billion points in Touhou Seirensen (Undefined Fantastic Object), a top-down shooter game. This started off as a gag, but caused people's computers to freeze up. Developer Tvple Eraser didn't expect this to happen and replaced his program on GitHub with a fix tool. It may have been a joke, but this was no laughing matter to those affected. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Navigate Through Tabs Quickly

On computers without a Touch Bar, it can be a bit inefficient to constantly switch between tabs in a browser. Luckily, there's a little known keyboard trick that you can use. On macOS, use the command key and the number of the tab (left most is one and so on...). On PC, just do the same thing, but with control instead of command. What's nice is that this command is pretty universal. I've tested it on Safari and Chrome, but I'm sure other browsers use it as well. I hope this helps.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Potential Apple 8K Displays?

According to Pike's Universum, the rise of 8K displays may warrant Apple creating an 8K display for the next Mac Pro. We really don't have any details other than that. All we know is that Apple will make displays for the Mac Pro. 8K is certainly great for professionals, but a more affordable option would be helpful for the average consumer.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Today, Apple released the Clips app. It's an app that allows the user to create videos in a square format with pictures, music, and text. In other news, professional users are desperately waiting for a new desktop. Anyways, these types of apps aren't my expertise, but for the social butterflies out there, try out the Clips app for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

iPhone 8 Could Be Delayed

According to the Economic Daily News, the iPhone 8 could be delayed to October or November. If this is true, this would be a similar situation to AirPods, which were scheduled to be released in late October. Of course, AirPods were delayed beyond that. Hopefully, the iPhone 8 doesn't suffer the same issues. It's a bit too early to say anything on the iPhone 8, but it's already April. We have just 5 more months.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

State of the Mac Pro

No matter what, no company can ever be considered perfect. Even Steve Jobs admitted this at the Antennagate Keynote for the iPhone 4. It's hard to deny Apple's short comings, but it's nice to finally hear some official word back from the company regarding them. Apple has long neglected catering to their "Pro" demographic, an important portion of the market to hold. While Apple has been traveling toward a post-PC world, they've turned away from their desktop user base as well. The same computer that Apple hyped up with parts made in the USA and its own movie trailer, would be the same computer to go over 1,200 days without a single refresh. It's also their most expensive computer. In the end, Apple said the new Mac Pro will be coming next year, with better upgradability. There will also be Apple-branded displays. While the computer is coming later than most would prefer, it's a big step that Apple was so transparent with today's news.
"If we've had a pause in upgrades and updates, we're sorry for that — what happened with the Mac Pro — and we're going to come out with something great to replace it."
- Phil Schiller
Image Credit: TechCrunch

Monday, April 3, 2017

iOS 10.3.1 Released

Not long after iOS 10.3 being released last week, iOS 10.3.1 was released today. It's a small security update. The details of this update a relatively scarce, but it addresses a WiFi vulnerability. Given that, I see no reason why iOS users shouldn't update. It's a mere 30 MB.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

How USB-C Could Replace HDMI

USB-C is the cable that many have dreamed of. Reversible, compact, and universal. And its adoption keeps getting larger. However, how long until HDMI gets replaced by it. It's hard to believe that some PCs still use VGA for displays, so it wouldn't be a stretch to say that video adoption is a bit harder to pull off. It may take a while, but if the industry pushes for it, here's what you can look forward to with USB-C. Ethernet would be easier to pass through. Some HDMI cables allowed for Ethernet, but many didn't, so this would be a new standard. USB-C also would probably have a better time with 4K video and graphics. Perhaps manufacturers would be kind enough to let TVs power peripherals via USB-C, meaning no clunky power cables. Finally, USB-C is easy to plug in. I would definitely love to see this in the future, and we just might.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Siri Gets in on April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day is always an interesting day for me. It's the one day where I'm momentarily surprised by something and then come to expect it for the rest of the day. It's also the day I have to remember where the apostrophe goes in Fools'. But Siri seems to spend her day switching doorknobs in the ninth dimension. Ask her how her day is. See what she says. If you ask her to flip a coin, she might give you a combination of both. Thanks to MacRumors for the story.

Image Credit: MacRumors