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Apple Announces New iPhones and the iWatch

Apple Announces New iPhones and the iWatch

6plus

The iPhones

iPhone 6

Besides a completely new design the iPhone 6 gets a bum in screen-size, going from 4 inches to 4.7 inches and featuring a new “ion-strengthened” screen that curves over the edges.  The new design borrows heavily from Apple’s current iPad Air models with gently curved sides and an ultra-thin, 6.9mm frame. As with all phones these days, the power button’s been moved to the side for improved ergonomics.

The specs are as follows:

  • 1334×750 “Retina HD” display with a pixel density of 326ppi
  • A8 64-bit processor, and the M8 motion co-processor for improved motion tracking
  • 8MP camera with a new sensor and larger pixels
  • f2.2 lens with dual-LED flash
  • Digital image stabilisation
  • 1080p video at 30 or 60fps, and a slow motion mode capable of 120 or 240fps (undisclosed resolution).
  • LTE advanced
  • NFC with Apple Pay, a mobile wallet
  • TouchID

iPhone 6 Plus

And just as all those rumors said, Apple did launch a bigger iPhone.  And boy, they went all the way.  The iPhone 6 Plus as a massive 5.5″ display, putting it right up there with the Note 4 and other phablets. And did I mention it’s only 7.1mm thick?

The specs are as follows:

  • 1920×1080 “Retina HD” display with a pixel density of 414ppi
  • A8 64-bit processor, and the M8 motion co-processor for improved motion tracking
  • 8MP camera with a new sensor and larger pixels
  • f2.2 lens with dual-LED flash
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 1080p video at 30 or 60fps, and a slow motion mode capable of 120 or 240fps (undisclosed resolution).
  • LTE advanced
  • NFC with Apple Pay, a mobile wallet
  • TouchID

apple-iwatch-960

The Apple Watch

Despite all the rumors nothing about this watch was leaked, and the product itself is impressive.  It’s not round, but features a square sapphire touchscreen display.  The front is void of any controls, but with pretty thich bezels.

Unlike any other smartwatch so far Apple has reinvented the crown.  Now called the digital crown, it seems to be primary mode of navigation, letting the user easily zoom in and out of Maps and scroll through lists with ease, without continuous (and messy) swiping. The screen can also distinguish between a tap and a press, adding another dimension to navigating the UI.  The watch allows allows voice input through integration with Siri, and has dedicated Maps and Photos apps. Fitness and Health apps also collect biometric data and fitness information, giving it an edge in the fitness tracker space. Finally, round the back, the watch has a heart rate sensor and custom inductive charging.

The watch comes in three finishes (silver, black, and gold) and come with 6 different straps with a custom mechanism for swapping them out.

ios-8-560

iOS

Reachability

Being able to reach every corner of the screen has always been a priority for Apple, and the iPhone 6 Plus’ massive display makes that pretty awkward.  Enter ‘reachability’: by touble-tapping the home button the entire screen will drop down, putting the furthest corners within reach.

Apple Pay

The biggest software reveal of the event, Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile wallet platform that could very possibly have the power to open the industry up to NFC payments.

Payments are done over NFC, with TouchID providing an extra layer of protection.  Credit cards are added by taking a photo of the card or by using credit cards on file with iTunes and your personal details are extremely abstracted from even Apple themselves, promising ultimate security.  If you lose your phone or if it gets stolen you can suspend the Apple Pay service on that device through Find My iPhone.

Widgets

As announced at WWDC, iOS 8 now has widgets that reside in the notification screen – but not on the homescreen.  One can respond to messages, bid on eBay, and more through the Notification Centre.

Siri

Besides integration with the Apple Watch, Siri is now always listening mode and can be activated with “Hey, Siri” in the same way Android users can activate Google Now by saying “Ok Google”.

TL;DR

Apple announced:

  • the iPhone 6 with an A8 chipset, 8MP camera, and 4.7″ display.  Only 6.9mm thick
  • the iPhone 6 Plus, their first phablet.  Has a 5.5″ display and shares many of its internals with the 6.  Only 7.1mm thick.
  • the Apple Watch, a square-faced smartwatch with a focus on fitness tracking and fitness
  • Apple Pay, a mobile wallet
In a Mirror, Cheaply

In a Mirror, Cheaply

So an alleged photo of the alleged “budget iPhone” has been floating around the blogosphere for a while and you know what I thought? I’ve seen that before. You have too, even if you don’t remember.

comparisoniphonechacha

 

Yeah, thought so. That’s the HTC Cha Cha. I’m just hoping that’s a case to hide the next iPhone or something.

Here’s an original for the HTC Cha Cha, and here’s the GSMArena Blog post.

LG Nexus 4 reviewed and leaked on Google+

LG Nexus 4 reviewed and leaked on Google+

lg nexus 4 front

LG’s Nexus phone seems to have a name now, as pictures posted on Google+ have “LG Nexus 4” listed as the device name in the pictures’ EXIF data. Want to know who posted the photos? LG and Google employees. If that’s not confirmation enough for you, I don’t know what is.  The photos themselves are nothing special, and the ones posted by LG have been removed (the person who took them was testing the front-facing camera and an LG Electronics lanyard is clearly visible around his neck. Read on after the break for more information and a gallery.

exifdata

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New Apple Commercials Aren’t Quite Up To Par

New Apple Commercials Aren’t Quite Up To Par

During the opening ceremony for London 2012, Apple aired three new commercials in the US.  Honestly, I don’t think they’re very good.  My reasons are below, after the 3 ads.


In my opinion, the commercials are kind of crap.  They hark back to those jokes about Apple users being idiots.  For a company that prides itself on its intuitive software, Apple really dropped the ball on the Mayday ad.  A casual user can’t use iLife? Not quite the stuff I’d want to show on national television in my home country.  Having a user obsessed with sending cards to his friends and family while his wife’s in labour?  He didn’t even think about calling an ambulance, the Genius had to do that.  The final commercial, while uptight and obnoxious, isn’t that bad.  Hardly Apple quality though.  Let’s not forget, this is the company that brought us masterpieces like the “1984” Super Bowl Mac commercial, the “Get a Mac” series, and almost every iPhone and iPod commercial since.  Just for a quick comparison, a selection of those ads is below.

I just hope this campaign’s a fluke. We all know Google’s more than willing to take their place in marketing nirvana, and some of you may not know this, but they have what it takes.

iPhone 5 Images Popup, Seem to Confirm Larger Display

iPhone 5 Images Popup, Seem to Confirm Larger Display

Some brave fellow has uploaded images of an assembled iPhone 5 next to an iPhone 4S. This latest leak seems to confirm previous rumours of a larger screen and a metal casing, as while the iPhone 5 retains the edge-to-edge glass of the 4S it seems to have a metal back, possible covered in a black soft touch coating.

As with almost all iPhone leaks, take this with a pinch of salt.  Here’s to hoping we will never see a glass back again!

[PREVIEW] Google Currents, or: How I learnt to ditch every other news reader

[PREVIEW] Google Currents, or: How I learnt to ditch every other news reader

 

Yesterday evening Google announced a bit of a game changer.  For ages now iOS has had Flipboard, an awesome app that is, essentially, an RSS reader with a single distinguishing feature:  it’s like you’re reading a magazine.  Alas, that’s how Google’s Currents differs from all those other RSS readers on Android.  Firstly, it’s Google’s baby so support will come fast and hard.  Secondly it has a number of high profile launch partners that will provide content optimised for this new platform.  Thirdly, it works with any RSS out there.  You can, for instance, follow Techno-Speak on Currents.  Just saying, you know?  Read on past the break for our impressions.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs Resigns

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Resigns

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of tech giant Apple Inc., announced Wednesday that he is resigning immediately after years of health problems. The letter of Steve Jobs:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success however I do not believe that Apple will go downhill from now onwards. Sooner or later we all lnew it had to happen. As he mentioned in his letter he is only resigning from CEO and is going to take a more inactive role, I am sure that as long as there is life in Steve Jobs he will contribute in any way he can towards Apple.

Who is the successor of Steve Jobs? It cannot be anyone else apart from Tim Cook.  “The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” Mr. Levinson said. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

“This definitely marks the end of an era,” said Michael Gartengerg, an analyst for Gartner, but he added that “there’s much more to Apple than Steve Jobs.”