Bigger Phones, Digital Payment, Wearable Tech All Carry Apple’s Signature Style
The Big Day finally came — that day being called ‘Christmas in September’ by Apple fanboys and tech watchers appeared by live stream (albeit it with some technical difficulties) and live tweet, dropping the newest products, services, and apps by the company that continues to attract the most global attention with its signature ability to inspire with storytelling in a staid and left-brained industry.
The Apple Event, held annually in Cupertino, California, released as expected two new versions of their perennial classic, the iPhone. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display, sporting a 1334×750 pixel resolution, whereas the iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch screen with full HD 1920×1080 display resolution, apparently competing with the Android trend of larger screens.
Internally, the two iPhones identical, but with improvements over its predecessor the iPhone 5s. The new camera is an 8-megapixel shooter with an f/2.2 aperture 8-megapixel, with a new sensor and a faster autofocus. Both have digital image stabilization, but that of the 6 Plus has additional stabilization that uses the gyroscope and the M8 coprocessor. The front-facing camera gets some new features like HDR and a burst-shot mode.
The processor has been upgraded from the A7 to the A8, which promises to be up to 87 percent more efficient, with CPU processing power up to 25 percent faster and GPU speeds up to 50 percent faster. The M8 motion coprocessor, in addition to aiding in image stabilization, is able to recognize when its user is walking, running or cycling, and can even detect changes in air pressure. Lastly, both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus will come with near-field communication (NFC) which will let users make purchases in conjunction with Apple Pay, which we will cover in detail further here. They also come with the same Touch ID system as the iPhone 5s.
Available for pre-order on Friday, September 12 and everywhere on September 19, the iPhone 6 retails at $199 for a model with 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for the 64GB phone and $399 for 128GB; the iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $299 (16GB), $399 (64GB) and $499 (128GB).
The next big story, and that which seemed to initially interest Wall Street the most, is the aforementioned Apple Pay — a digital wallet that will allow iPhone owners to use their device to buy items in actual bricks-and-mortar establishments as well as online. While this is a feature of many Androids, Apple claims their system will be more safer and more useful. From CBS News: “Apple has teamed with financial industry heavyweights including American Express (AXP), Mastercard (MA) and Visa (V) and says Apple Pay will work at more than 220,000 retailers nationwide. Apple has been working with companies like McDonald’s, Disney, Target, Subway, and Whole Foods to integrate its service as well.”
The final unveiling of the day was the much anticipated Apple Watch, a sleek and simply designed wearable-tech wristwatch whose look and functionality harkens back to the original iPod. It comes in a variety of changeable styles, from metallic to leather bands, and with a multitude of screen displays. The most interesting innovation for this writer is the digital crown, a movable piece that allows for precision of control that the touch display could make problematic.
At present, an Apple Watch requires a corresponding iPhone and features many of the same apps — Maps, Siri, and the like. It certainly looks great, and it will be interesting to see how the Apple Watch will affect the wearable tech industry, as Apple products have in the past with MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets.
The Apple Watch will start at $350, and that it will go on sale in early 2015.
We at iFixYouri were able to get our hands on the newest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus! Check out the size difference — both in screen width and in how slender they are, particularly the 6 Plus. Pretty cool!
iFixYouri, one of central Florida’s fastest growing businesses, just grew a little faster, opening two new locations in the Orlando area — one in Longwood and the other in front of the Mall at Millenia.
Specializing in smartphone, tablet and computer repair, iFixYouri was recently named one of the fastest growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine, coming in at number 595 on their annual list of 5000 top companies in the United States.
Christopher Johncke, Founder and CEO, stated: “We’re extremely proud to be growing in the Orlando market, among others. I went to college in ‘The City Beautiful’, and have a big spot in my heart for it. We love being part of the community and love even more helping the people with their sometimes difficult devices.”
The electronic device repair shop has five Central Florida locations: East Orlando (UCF), Downtown Orlando, and Altamonte Springs, along with the new additions Longwood and Mall at Millenia. They will be celebrating the launch of their new locations with Grand Opening specials and a Grand Opening event, which will be open to the public, complete with entertainment and refreshments.
From the mundane to the ridiculous, Johncke says they have seen it all when it comes to electronics repairs. “Owners placing phones in toaster ovens, water damage, construction workers dropping an iPhone in a cement mixer, to iPad’s falling off of five story buildings,” laughs Johncke. “Yeah, we’ve seen it all.”
The Longwood store is located at the corner of W SR 434 and Wekiva Springs Road, next to Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and the new Publix in Springs Plaza. The other store is located at the entrance to The Mall at Millenia between Greens and Grill and the Sprint Store on the corner of Conroy and Millenia Blvd. In celebration of the new branches, iFixYouri will be running Grand Opening specials at both locations for the next week. All repairs come with a 1-year warranty.iFixYouri Longwood 2491 W State Road 434 #1051 Longwood, FL 32779 407-960-5609 iFixYouri at Millenia 4104 Millenia Blvd #113 Orlando, FL 32839 407-930-3777
Details of the Grand Opening Events will be announced in the next week. For more information email email@example.com.
People have often complained about the relatively small size of the iPhone screen in comparison with other smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Motorola Moto X; Apple seems to be addressing the iPhone’s screen size with the new iPhone 6. The current iPhone 5s has a 4-inch display with 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 PPI.
The forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 is rumored to ship with a 5.25-inch display. The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a larger 5.7-inche screen pushing it into “phablet” territory.
Research firm DisplaySearch reports in their new Quarterly Worldwide FPD Shipment and Forecast Report reports that Apple may come out with two new versions of next-generation iPhone with two larger display options. According to the report Apple will launch a 4.7-inch model with 1600×900 resolution, 386ppi and LTPS TFT LCD display technology. A larger version of the “iPhone 6″ could pack a 5.5-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401 PPI utilizing the same display technology.
Different markets desire different sizes for the screens. Some consumers prefer the Apple’s more compact size to keep more easily in their pockets, or those who prefer to use their tablets for work. However diversifying their market would appear a wise move on Apple’s part, as Android and Windows phones have moved the iPhone into a smaller market share. It will be interesting to see if they release a few different phones, or if the iPhone 5C experience has made them wary.
Part of the iPhone experience desired by Apple is that of a totally contained phone, with as few buttons as possible, making the majority of interaction done on the screen. Not everyone, however, loves the iPhone’s virtual keyboard. In fact, the lack of a physical keyboard tends to be among the reasons that Blackberry users refuse to switch to the successful Apple phone.
Enter the Typo Keyboard case. Typo is actually a cellphone case, currently available for the iPhone 5 and 5s, with a wireless keyboard on the bottom. The Typo’s keys are laid out in typical Qwerty fashion, with alternate keys for capitalization, numbers and symbols. re-creates the Blackberry experience for use on the iPhone; it is so close to replicating it that Blackberry has filed a lawsuit against the fledgling company.
Inside is a tiny lithium-ion battery, only 1 millimeter thick. The keyboard covers the bottom of the phone, but the ports are still accessible. Lastly, setup via Bluetooth is simple to do.
Unlike bulky Bluetooth keyboards, the 1.4-ounce Typo fits snugly around the iPhone 5 or 5S like a regular slip-on case, adding about a half an inch to the phone’s overall length, and it has shown to increase typing speed for users. However, the Typo covers up the iPhone’s home button and remaps it to a button on the bottom right of the keyboard. It takes some getting used to and if you have a 5S, you lose the convenience of the fingerprint scanner, distinctly altering the iPhone’s intended functionality. Furthermore, The Bluetooth connection disables the iPhone’s auto-correct feature, making the user have to manually correct any typos.
The Typo retails at $99; preorders have sold out and new orders will ship in February.
It appears as though the dominance Apple once held in the smartphone world is at an end, as the phones using the Android and Windows operating systems have increased globally. From C-Net:
Looking at the global smartphone market for the three months ending November 2013, Kantar found that Apple’s share had dropped in almost all regions compared with the same period in 2012. During that stretch, the iPhone’s market share fell by 9.9 percent in the US, by 6.5 percent in the European Union Five, and by 1.5 percent in China.
In most of the regions covered, Apple took second place behind Android. Only in Japan was Apple on top with a 69.1 percent share versus Android’s 30 percent share. Both Android and Windows Phone saw gains in market share across most regions during the year-long period.
Google has updated its Play Music app for the iOS 7, the new operating system for the iPhone 5 and new iPad models. The folks over at 9to5mac.com explain:
Google has updated its Google Play Music app for iPhone with several new features and a refreshed UI for iOS 7. The app was first released last month but had not yet been designed for the latest version of iOS.
Besides the updated interface, the app includes support for “I’m feeling lucky” radio stations, the ability to search for music and create stations by genre, and auto-playlists.
You can grab Google Play Music for free on the App Store.
What’s New in Version 18.104.22.1688
- UI updated for iOS7
- Added support for I’m feeling lucky radio
- Auto-playlists (including Thumbs Up playlist) added to playlist view
- Genre radio stations added for All Access users
- Added ability to search for genres
It’s quite possible you have in your possession a varied assortment of battery chargers – cords, plugs, power strips, USB cables, HDMI cables, A/V cables, phone chargers, ebook chargers, charger adapters, and whole bunch of cords with pins sticking out of them. Further complicating the matter is losing the ones you use the most. “Do I have a backup? Does this work with my device?” is what you’ll ask yourself, and you’ll grab the first thing that fits in two sockets.
But is it an optimal choice? Just because it works doesn’t mean that it works. You could be waiting an inordinate amount of time to charge your phone because you found a cable that is compatible with both your phone and an electrical outlet, or maybe just a USB port. So what should you look for in your charger, and should you opt for another?
I’ve recently been thinking about this after losing my phone charger on vacation. I bought a cheap USB charger at a CVS around the corner from my hotel, and I’ve been too lazy to buy a new charger.* What I’ve noticed is a much slower charge time. So what makes the difference?
The first thing to make sure of is that your generic charger is the connector type is compatible with your phone. Phone connections are not standardized, and many use a different connection, Apple included.
Secondly, know your voltage and amperage. Simply put, voltage is what pulls energy into the device. If the voltage is too high, you could blow out your devices because by overloading the circuits. For mobile phones and other mobile devices like the Kindle that charge with USB, the voltage is typically 5V. A laptop charger might be as high as 20V or 25V. You can usually find the voltage your device needs on the device itself, on the battery, or on the manufacturer’s web site.
As for amperage: amps are the current that’s supplied to your device. Amps are usually listed on your power supply as 2.7A or 1A, for example. This regulates how much power flows through from the power supply to the cell phone or tablet. The amperage listed on your power supply needs to match or exceed the amperage required by your device.
The major concern when searching for a cell phone cable or adapter is to make sure the connector matches your phone. For modern cell phones, the other critical specifications are nearly always the same. To avoid problems, always look for cables and adapters which state that they are for your brand and (if possible) model of phone.