Friday, August 31, 2018

App Store to Require Privacy Policy For All Apps

After so many concerns regarding privacy and technology, Apple will be requiring all new and updated apps to have a privacy policy starting October 3. Privacy policies disclose what data is used and how it will be used by the developer. While this will be a requirement for all updated apps, there appears to be no immediate consequence for developers who choose not to update their apps, other than not being able to update their apps. This will eventually become an unavoidable when Apple makes another essential requirement for apps in the future.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Huge iPhone and Apple Watch Leak

Today, I was very surprised to see leaks of the iPhone XS and the Apple Watch Series 4. I really didn't want to see them, because I like genuine surprise, but these images have been plastered all over the internet. I'm also plan on getting an Apple Watch Series 4, so I was hoping to be floored by its design at the event, not because of a leak. I won't be embedding the images in this post just in case, especially when you can find them anywhere on the internet, but I'll leave links to them for those curious. Here are my thoughts on the leaked devices.

9to5Mac reported on what appears to be gold iPhone X-like devices that come in two sizes. The image is breathtaking. It almost looks holographic. There isn't much else to say here, because it just looks like a regular iPhone X aside from the gold color and size options. They also report that the name for it is iPhone XS.

9to5Mac later showed a leaked image of the Apple Watch Series 4. As an original Apple Watch owner, I've been holding out for this one. I've been so tempted to upgrade, but I knew this would be the one to floor me. I've been waiting for a redesign, and now is the perfect time with watchOS 5 being restricted to Series 1 and later. The edge-to-edge display looks great, and the image shows how much can fit just on the watch face. I'm really glad they showcased the analog watch face. I use an analog watch face, and I find it's always find that Apple supports the digital ones way more. It's nice to see they haven't forgotten the traditional analog watch. It appears to hold up to nine complications. That's a lot of information at a quick glance. I personally want mine with Weather, Timer, iStudiez Pro (class tracking), and MyVerizon (data usage) complications in the corners, Calendar around the rim, and Music, date, Activity (unless I find something better), and battery level in the center. Along with cellular, water-resistance, GPS, improved battery and faster processor coming from my Series 0, I'm hoping we get at least one big new software feature. Overall, I'm really excited for this model, but I still wish it hadn't been leaked.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Spotify + Hulu + Showtime

Last year, Hulu and Spotify teamed up to make a college student bundle that gave subscriptions for both of their services for just $4.99 a month. They are now adding Showtime to that bundle for the same price [Source: The Verge]. Showtime will be available through the Hulu add-on network, but it will also work with the Showtime app. All of this is available exclusively to college students who sign up here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

AirPort Express Gains AirPlay 2 Support

AirPort Express users got a surprise update today, granting their devices support for AirPlay 2. Keep in mind that the entire AirPort line of products has been discontinued earlier this year. The AirPort Express has a headphone jack that can be plugged into any audio output device to effectively turn it into an AirPlay speaker. AirPlay 2 will enable multi-room audio. To get this feature for your AirPort Express, use the AirPort Utility app to install the 7.8 firmware update.

Monday, August 27, 2018

2019 iPhones May Lack 3D Touch

3D Touch is something that I personally use about every day. While that isn't true for every user, the users who do use it can find it very time saving. According to Barclays via MacRumors, Apple may decide to remove 3D Touch from all 2019 iPhone models, even the higher end models. While this could change before release, there may be plans already set to remove it. 3D Touch has been available since the iPhone 6s. We have a year for this to be further elaborated on, and things could change by then.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Smartphone Data Collection

According to Digital Content Next, idle Android devices that are idle tend to send ten times more data to Google than idle iPhones do to Apple. This is just while idle, as actually interacting with the phone will increase these numbers. The findings go way deeper than this. Google Chrome on an idle Android will send location information 340 times a day. Location data is 35 percent of all data sent to Google. It's clear that Google is very interested in its users' locations. We've known the surface of this for some time now. Especially when Google Maps will tell you how busy a restaurant is at any given time. There are a lot more interesting cases in the full paper, so give it a read if you're interested.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Apple Watch National Parks Badge

Another event-based Apple Watch award is coming up. To help celebrate our National Parks, Apple is offering a National Parks-themed badge to any Apple Watch owner that completes a 50 minute or longer workout using the built-in Workouts app. The badge will appear in the Activity app on iPhone.

Friday, August 24, 2018

New iPad Pro Depicted With Strange Indentation

The new iPad Pro seems to have a potential CAD file leaked online [Source: Steve Hemmerstoffer]. Near the Lightning port, there appears to be a small, round indentation on the back. There's a lot of speculation, but the safest bet is that it has to do with the Smart Connector, which deals with Apple's Smart Keyboard. It will be interesting to see if this change is true and visible when the iPad Pro is unveiled.

Source: Steve Hemmerstoffer

Why People Switch Phones

PCMag conducted an interesting survey on why people switch phones. Particularly from iOS to Android and vise versa. Most people who switch from Android to iOS do so because they believe iOS has a better user experience. iOS users seem to switch to Android because of better prices. Interestingly, people don't seem to switch as much in the sample for reasons like headphone jacks or lack of software updates. It seems to boil down if you believe you get what you pay for or not.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

New York Public Library Shares Books Using Instagram Stories

Libraries often use technology in interesting ways, like renting out eBooks for example. The New York Public Library is taking this a step further with Instagram. According to The Wall Street Journal, the library is allowing users to view selections of certain books through Instagram Stories. It's very clever. The book appears in the library's highlights area. The book even has a dedicated space to place your thumb to keep the same image on the screen. Unfortunately, there's no way to save your progress. In other words, to read the whole selection, you'll have to do it in one go. Right now, it's part one of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Part two will be available tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Back to My Mac Being Discontinued

Back to My Mac has been around for a long time. It allowed users to perform file transfers and screen shares through iCloud. Apple will be shelving the feature with the release of macOS Mojave. I personally found Back to My Mac a bit complicated, with so many conditions that had to be met for it to work practically. There are other free alternatives, like TeamViewer, so not all is lost. Apple also mentions Apple Remote Desktop, which is $80 and receives few updates, so (while it's unlikely) we may finally see an update or a price cut.

Monday, August 20, 2018

2018 iPhone Pre-Orders Expected September 14

According to Macerkopf, Apple will likely start holding pre-orders for the new iPhones on September 14. This would line up historically with Apple's other pre-order dates in previous years. In addition, we can expect Apple to hold their iPhone keynote at the Steve Jobs Theater on Wednesday, September 12, based on previous years. The new iPhones and Apple Watches are just around the corner, so we'll likely be hearing more and more about them in the coming days.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

AirPower May Be Brought Up in September Apple Event

AirPower's announcement was almost a year ago and we have heard no word of it since. We have heard murmurings of rumors saying that its release would be soon. Now, DigiTimes reports that Apple will use their September event to finally give a release schedule. A price would likely be revealed to, probably between $160 and $190. While it would be nice if Apple made a combo bundle with the new AirPods case and the AirPower charger as a reward for our patience, we all know they'd never do that. But it's nice to dream.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

New iPad Pro To Come With USB-C Charger

The iPad has always come with a larger charging block than iPhones. The shape is the most noticeable difference. These have been 10-12W charging blocks with a USB-A port on them. The iPad Pros arriving this September will likely come with an 18W USB-C charging block [Source: DigiTimes]. This would clearly be a significant step up and would allow for even faster charging. It would likely come with a USB-C to Lightning cable so it can connect to the iPad Pro. I believe iPhones would also be able to take advantage of this speed, which is nice considering it comes with the iPad, as opposed to shelling out a ton of money for the MacBook charging block, which is also compatible with the newest iPhones (in terms of maximum charging speed).

Friday, August 17, 2018

Another iPhone X Clone

A while back, we looked at what was probably the biggest iPhone X clone, at least it was back then. We have a new contender and it's from Motorola. Like the Xiaomi Mi 8, the Motorola P30 copies the iPhone X right down to the lava lamp wallpapers and marketing images. There isn't much to distinguish the Motorola P30 from the iPhone X. There's the logo on the back and the logo on the bottom on the front. Aside from a few minor design choices and the OS, they're practically identical. We'll see which phone will be next to hop on this bandwagon.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2018 iPhones May Support Apple Pencil

Regardless of any opinions on styluses and Apple products, it seems baffling that the Apple Pencil has been restricted to be only used with the iPad for so long. That could finally change with this year's iPhone X models [Source: Economic Daily News]. While current iPhone X models would be unaffected, the second-generation iPhone X would support it. Eleven years after the original iPhone declared that styluses are not the future, it finally has one. On the bright side, Apple Pencil is completely optional.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Apple Pillows

Decorative pillows can be interesting and telling additions to any couch and Throwboy has created a Kickstarter to create pillows based on retro Apple products. The products don't feature Apple logos due to copyright reasons, but they are easily identified. In order of release, there's the Apple II, the original Macintosh, the iMac G3, the original iPod, and the original iPhone. Not counting early bird pricing, the pillows are $33 for one in true Apple style.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

AirPods with Wireless Charging Would Use Qi-Standard

While the wireless charging iPhones work with any Qi-enabled wireless charger, the Apple Watch Series 3 has a hit-or-miss record with its compatibility. According to Chongdiantou, AirPods with a wireless charging case will work with any Qi-enabled wireless charger. This would be very convenient for obvious reasons. Despite that, given Apple Watch's unique charger, it makes very little sense to limit its charging capabilities.

Monday, August 13, 2018

iOS 12 Beta Pulled

Apple has decided to pull beta 7 for iOS 12 due to performance issues. Given that this is the update that is supposed to work out many bugs and issues, it is a bit worrying to hear reports of 10 second app load times. Granted, Apple is clearly taking steps to ensure that this is resolved and affects as few people as possible. Keep in mind that this beta is for developers and not public beta testers. As such, developers are always told the risks that come with betas and should install on a secondary device. The public beta will be delayed until these issues are ironed out.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Swift Certification

Many programming languages, along with many other forms of technology, usually have a form of certification. Because Apple wants Swift to be taught to many people, an official Swift Certification will be created. Apple worked in collaboration with Certiport. The exam will cover not just the language, but also aspects of Xcode and other app development tools. It will be released in fall of 2018. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

iPhone is the Most Anticipated Smartphone

With the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, our spotlight shifts to this year's new smartphones. PC Mag conducted a survey determining which brand is the most anticipated release. The iPhone took the top place with 42% of respondents looking forward to it the most. Samsung took second place with just over half of that at 24%. Surprisingly, third place went to "None." Apple's iPhone should be announced next month.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Chase Adds Cardless ATM Transactions

Chase will now let you use Apple Pay at almost 16,000 ATMs in lieu of your physical ATM card. The process is simple: authenticate your Chase debit card using Touch ID or Face ID, tap your iPhone to the contactless card reader, and enter your pin. No more wallet to pull out or cards to shuffle through. In addition, Touch ID or Face ID will add an additional but convenient layer of protection.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Scary Google Maps Flaw

Google is notorious for putting ads in its products. And can you blame them? Those servers don't pay for themselves. But a simple oversight may require a policy change for Google Maps ads. pudge_og from Reddit found that when they searched "emergency room near me," Google prioritized an urgent care center with limited hours that was further than the other results on the list. This was because it was an ad. While most of us would notice it was an ad, if you're panicking, you may not have time to notice, and that would cost you an extra 15 minutes of driving. By the way, distances aren't even shown on this screen, so it's a total gamble how far the first destination is. It's a scary thought, especially if you're in an area you aren't familiar with. While the circumstance's chances of occurring vary, I think when it comes to looking for emergency rooms, we could probably do without ads.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Apple Music and Verizon

Apple Music is no stranger to free trials. Apple is now giving six months of Apple Music for free to new and existing Verizon Wireless customers with an unlimited plan. In addition, new and existing Apple Music users are eligible. Existing users will have to cancel and reactivate to take advantage. Definitely a nice perk to get in on if you're an unlimited Verizon customer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

App in the Air on Apple Watch

A lot of Apple Watch apps don't use the Apple Watch's capabilities to its maximum potential. Which is understandable, as Apple Watch isn't always the optimal device in many situations. However, App in the Air does a fantastic job of using Apple Watch for quick, useful information at a glance. The app can be used as a complication on your watch face. It can count down how much time is left on your flight, even when offline. It's fully compatible with Time Travel. About every six hours, it will remind you to stretch. This app recently served as my travel companion on my recent Japan trip and I highly recommend it for anyone going to travel, especially if they have an Apple Watch.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Movies Anywhere

Something I discovered recently was Movies Anywhere, from Disney of all companies. I've heard of it, but never realized its function. It keeps your movies in sync across different platforms. For example, your iTunes Movies can appear in your Amazon Prime Video library without any additional purchase. This can be really useful if you buy your movies on iOS, but don't have an Apple TV, so you can stream it to your Xbox. While only some movies are supported, this is certainly a great option to have.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Los Angeles Tower Theatre Apple Store

From the Los Angeles Times, Apple has finally talked about their plans to create an Apple Store in the Los Angeles Tower Theatre. Apple wants it to be one of the most prominent Apple Stores created, much like their other flagship stores around the world. Apple created a render imagining what a store in the theatre could look like. It keeps a lot of the style of the original theatre intact, but their store clearly takes center stage. Apple wants to get approval to renovate this week.

Apple's Render

Saturday, August 4, 2018

iOS Mogi

Members of the Apple community often share neat and creative concepts for their vision of how iOS could be. Kévin Eugène calls this new concept "iOS Mogi," named after a fishing village in Japan. Siri is context aware and non-intrusive, so summoning her does not take up the whole screen, but acts like a notification banner instead. There are a lot of interesting use cases, so I recommend checking out the whole article. In short, it gives Siri a much more meaningful purpose. A context aware Siri is much better than the static and linear way our Siri responds to requests.

Image Credit: Kévin Eugène

Friday, August 3, 2018

2018 iPad Pros Could Have Rounded Corders

The iPad has always had a square display, despite their rounded shape. This year, that could change [Source: 9to5Mac]. The iOS 12 beta has assets that suggest the iPad Pro could have a rounded display. This would definitely help make the iPad feel like a pane of glass. I'd like to see how this looks with the bezels and final design.

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Apple is a Trillion Dollar Company

In financial news, Apple is officially a trillion dollar company. This is a pretty big milestone as no other publicly traded company has been valued at such an amount. I think this can help put a bit of assurance that Apple will be around for a while at the very least. As one of many Apple shareholders, it's very cool to see this happen in real time. Let's hope Apple lives up to the value by finding a way to floor us this fall with some new announcements.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 iPad Pro Leaked in iOS 12

iOS 12 has assets depicting what appears to be the next iPad Pro [Source: 9to5Mac]. As expected it has no notch and an edge-to-edge display. Face ID is likely embedded in a bezel large enough to house the module. The icon is labeled "HLSipad2." These are probably confirmation if anything as we saw similar leaks last year with the iPhone X.