Category Archives: Mobile

WWDC 2015: iOS 9, HomeKit, Apple Pay and more announcements to expect

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Analysts, investors and all eager Apple fans are gearing up for the Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, from June 8-12 in San Francisco. The company plans to reveal many interesting products, be it hardware or software. Apple has now confirmed that the keynote will be streamed live from Moscone Center. According to the invitation, the event is about to become ‘The epicenter of change.’ Here’s a closer look at what we can expect at WWDC 2015.

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1. iOS 9

There’s a lot being said about iOS 9 and how it might be the clear-cut star of the event. As per rumours, Apple’s biggest addition will include taking on Google Now with a new iOS initiative internally called Proactive. According to 9To5Mac, Proactive will leverage existing features such as Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps ‘to create a viable competitor to Google Now’. The company also has plans to introduce a new smart home app for iOS 9 called ‘Home’. The new app will allow a user to set up new smart home products such as Wi-Fi garage door openers, smart thermostats akin to Nest’s Learning Thermostat, and wireless door locks with iPhones and iPads.

Additional features included may revolve around a new security system called Rootless, that is called a huge kernel-level feature for OS X as well as iOS. It is aimed at preventing malware, improving safety of extensions and will prevent administrative-level users from accessing certain data on the devices. It is also said to be huge blow to the jailbreak community.

For Apple, iOS 9 is all about change. The company has penned down a new strategy as well, as it expects to widen the time/life span of support for its older devices including the iPhone 4S. Needless to say, this will help the company maintain a foothold in emerging markets where people don’t really replace a high-end device every time its new variant arrives. All in all, Apple isn’t worrying about designing a flashy new OS, but will rather focus heavily on improving stability and optimisation for their yet to release iOS 9.

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2. Apple Watch

It’s been over a month since we witnessed Apple’s smartwatch, but it seems like the spark for the device has already dialed down. As of now, Apple has only only released its first OS update which include a few bug fixes and new language support. But apart from this, developers see the watch’s main benefits as saving time or the labour of frequently taking out a phone. In conversation with 9to5mac, Apple’s senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams revealed that a software development kit designed to create Watch-native apps would be released during WWDC.

This implies that we can expect third party apps which will not find the need to be paired to the iPhone at all times, but will able to run independently on the Watch itself. Rumour has it that the company also has plans to replace its favoured font Helvetica Neue across iOS 7 upwards with a custom-designed San Francisco typeface, according to this report.

3. Apple’s new streaming music service

Apple’s upcoming music streaming service, which is based on the recently acquired Beats, will reportedly be dubbed Apple Music. What is rather interesting is that this new service will be resemble Apple’s now-defunct Ping social networking system, which was officially closed on September 30, 2012 and replaced with Facebook and Twitter integration in iTunes. Apple is most likely to unveil the new streaming music service at WWDC, according to the Wall Street Journal and is said to cost $10 per month and provide unlimited listening as well.

Re-branding the acquired Beats Music service, the new service could be built into iTunes and the iOS Music app. According to the report, Apple also plans to augment its free, ad-supported Internet radio service with channels programmed and hosted by human DJs. The service is said to debut at WWDC and might launch a few weeks later.

4. Apple’s new television service

Speculation is mounting that Apple’s take of the future of TV is going to be focused on delivering a new type of service, rather than a new piece of hardware. Wall Street Journal had reported that the new service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox and would be available on Apple devices such as the Apple TV. The recent announcement of HBO Now also supports rumors that Apple is interested in streaming TV content. The service’s retail price is expected to be $15 a month.

Apple-Pay

5. Apple Pay

Apple Pay, which was a hit with over a million activations in 72 hours, may have a few announcements lined up at WWDC. Apple is expected to introduce a new rewards program for the payments service. The company could finally announce its expansion plan for Apple Pay to more countries such as India, Europe, Middle East and Africa, as rumoured last year. Details on Apple pay announcements for WWDC and scarce.

6. HomeKit

Apple may finally officially launch its home automation platform, HomeKit and WWDC. HomeKit is a set of tools in Apple’s iOS 8 software designed to work with smart home devices. The company announced the home automation platform at its conference for developers last year, but devices compatible with the software have yet to appear in stores.

According to a report, accessories for Apple’s HomeKit will hit stores this month. The HomeKit app called Home may also be introduced as part of iOS 9. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in a statement last month that, “HomeKit has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market and we’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month.”

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7. OS X 10.11

The potential name for Apple’s next OS X operating system codenamed OS X 10.11 Gala is most likely to have a preview at WWDC. The OS X 10.11 will most likely focus heavily on bug fixes, optimization improvements, and security enhancements, much like the iOS 9. According to rumours, Apple may convert many IMAP-based applications like Notes, Reminders, and Calendar to its own iCloud Drive system, improving communication in these apps between devices and increasing security.

A trusted Wi-Fi feature will allow Macs and iOS devices to connect to authorized wireless routers without additional security measures. It would add more heavily encrypted wireless connection for non-trusted routers.

Source: FirstPost

 

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iPhone 6 release date, news, rumours, specs and price

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iPhone 6: Everything you need to know
The iPhone 6 is finally official. After months of leaks and near endless rumours, Apple’s latest smartphone has been unveiled ahead of a September 19 iPhone 6 release date.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 rival is not alone either. As many had predicted, the iPhone 5S follow-on has landed alongside a big brother – the iPhone 6 Plus. While the iPhone 6 runs a 4.7-inch display, the 6 Plus packs an LG G3 rivalling 5.5-inch screen.

What’s more, the new iPhone had to share the stage with Apple’s first wearable. The Apple Watch will not hit retailers until ‘early 2015’ but it already looks set to stomp over rivals such as the Samsung Gear Live and Motorola’s Moto 360.

Packing a completely new design, iOS 8 operating system, a faster processor and improved camera optics, the iPhone 6 is a sizeable improvement.

Read on for everything you need to know about the iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Release Date: When can I buy the iPhone?
Keeping with tradition, the iPhone 6 release date will be held just 10 days after the phone’s formal unveiling. That means the device will hit retailers on September 19.

Coming as something of a double act, the iPhone 6 Plus release date has been confirmed for the same day.

The September 19 iPhone 6 release date will see the phone hit 10 territories on day one. As well as the UK, the new Apple phone will hit the US, Australia, Canada and France next week. Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico and Singapore will also be among the first to get the iPhone 6.

Heading for a more comprehensive release later in year, Apple has confirmed that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 115 countries by the end of the year.

For those who just can’t wait until September 19 to secure their own iPhone 6, Apple has revealed that iPhone 6 pre-orders will open this Friday, September 12. iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will be held at the same time.

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iPhone 6 Design: What’s new?
Visually, the iPhone 6 is a whole new beast. Slimmer than its predecessor, the phone packs a refined, rounded edged design. Both new Apple phone’s follow this design principle.

However, while the iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm thin, the iPhone 6 Plus is a slightly beefier 7.1mm thick. This, though, is still slimmer than the 7.6mm iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 lines up at 129g in weight, the 6 Plus weighs 172g.

“Today, we are launching the biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone,” Apple CEO Tim said in unveiling the device.

As well as shaving off millimetres, the iPhone 6 looks totally different. The phone’s rounded corner look has been finished with an anodized aluminium back. The Apple logo, although not illuminated like some had suggested it might be, is made from a stainless steel inlay.

There will be three iPhone 6 colours available at launch. These echo those of last year’s phone, with silver, space grey and gold hues set to be available. The same colour options will be available on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Another design difference sees the phone’s power button relocated. Unlike past iPhone’s which have hosted this physical control up top, the iPhone 6 moves the button to the device’s side. This sees the phone closer mimic some of its leading Android-based rivals.

The biggest iPhone 6 design change, however, is the arrival of two handset sizes. This move had long been expected though.

Months before launch, Topeka Capital analyst Brian White stated: “The next iPhone will offer customers more choice in terms of screen size.”

He added: “The Company has never offered multiple screen sizes for a single model, we believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach.”

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iPhone 6 Specs: The Screen and Processor
The iPhone 6 isn’t just about looks. The phone features improvements under the hood, too.

Up first, display. While the phone had been tipped to feature a Quantum Dot display coated in scratch resistant Sapphire Glass, neither point came to fruition. Instead the iPhone 6 packs a 4.7-inch LCD Retina HD display with an Ion-strengthened glass layer.

Although falling a little short of the rumour mill expectation, the iPhone 6 screen looks set to be capable of more than holding its own against the competition.

While the traditional iPhone 6 screen benefits from a 1334 x 750 pixels resolution, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is a little more detailed. It adds a more traditional 1920 x 1080p Full HD panel. Both displays offer fingerprint-resistant oleophoblic coatings, wide viewing angles and 500 candela brightness levels.

Things have been rejigged beneath the surface too.

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The iPhone 6 is the first Apple phone to run the new 64-bit A8 processor. This component features 2 billion transistors on a 20-nanometer process. It is 13 per cent smaller than last year’s A7 chip and offers 25 per cent faster processing speeds – according to Apple that is.

Despite also boosting the iPhone’s graphical abilities, the A8 is not alone. The CPU is partnered with Apple’s new M8 ‘motion coprocessor’.

This is a chip dedicated to health and motion tracking. Packing the usual array of sensors (accelerometer, altimeter, barometer, digital compass, gyroscope), the iPhone 6 – thanks to the M8 – is capable of accurately turning your movements into reliable fitness data.

Combine this with the iOS 8 introduced HealthKit apps and the iPhone 6 is shaping up to be a personal trainer in your pocket. With relative elevation measurements, it can even let you know how many stairs you’ve climbed.

The iPhone 6 packs the same Touch ID sensor as the iPhone 5S. Thanks to a few software tweaks, however, the applications of this are now far more expansive. The iPhone 6 will now offer biometric authentication on third-party apps.

This fingerprint scanner will also come in handy when using Apple’s new in-store mobile payment service, Apple Pay.

Battery wise, Apple is claiming the iPhone 6 offers staying power equal, if not better than, the iPhone 5S. It is being tipped to offer 14 hours of 3G talk time so those nightly trips to the charger will still be required. The exact capacity of the phone’s battery, however, is still unclear.

The same can be said for the iPhone 6 Plus, a device which is tipped to run 24 hours of 3G talk time on a single charge.

Apple has mixed things up on the capacity front with the iPhone 6. With microSD card expansion missing as always, the company has confirmed it will introduce a 128GB iPhone for the first time. This oversize option has come at the expense of the 32GB offering though. Bizarrely, the phone will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities.

On a connectivity front, as you would expect, the iPhone 6 is 4G, LTE compatible. Supporting 20 LTE bands, the iPhone 6 will also offer Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling. EE will support this in the UK. For the first time on an Apple phone, NFC has made the cut.

The phone will come bundled with a pair of Apple EarPods headphones, and a Lightning charger. The handset requires a Nano-SIM.

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iPhone 6 Camera: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus compared
For those snap-happy smartphone owners out there, the iPhone 6 camera has also been on the receiving end of some updates.

The phone retains the 8-megapixel iSight sensor of its predecessor and pairs this with a TrueTone flash and a f/2.2 aperture. There are significant improvements on the camera’s performance though.

Apple has claimed that a new autofocus mechanic is faster and more accurate than on previous models. The phone using something the company calls Focus Pixels, a different name for phase detection focussing.

The two iPhone 6 models differ slightly in their camera options. White the larger iPhone 6 Plus benefits from optical image stabilisation – like devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – the standard iPhone 6 only features digital stabilisation.

There is the usual array of all-encompassing camera modes on both devices. Panorama shots have also been boosted to up to 43-megapixel in size.

For those who want their smartphones to tackle more than stills, the iPhone 6 has some pretty impressive video recording capabilities too.

Overlooking unnecessary 4K credentials, the iPhone 6 is capable of shooting 1080p, Full HD video at both 30fps and 60fps. Apple’s Slo-Mo mode makes a welcome reappearance with footage able to be captured at 240fps before being slowed down.

Selfie lovers, you’re covered too. A new 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera features around front. It boasts a f/2.2 aperture and can shoot 720p HD video in its own right. With improve dace detection it is ideal for video calls or, more likely, those Facebook-bound vanity shots.

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iPhone 6 Software: What can you do?
Although existing iPhone and iPads will be running the software two days before the iPhone 6 lands, Apple’s latest phone will be the first to host iOS 8 direct from the box.

An iOS 8 update has been confirmed for September 17, with all Apple phone from the iPhone 4S up, and tablets from the iPad 2 onwards, all set to benefit from the patch.

Back to the iPhone 6 though, and some bespoke software additions are being thrown in.

The larger phones feature a new ‘reachability’ mode to aid single-handed use. These are being introduced through iOS 8 to both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They compress on-screen content down for easier access with a single hand.

Further addressing ease of use, iOS 8 introduces an improved Notifications menu, as well as Mail improvements and new Safari features.

As Apple looks to offer solutions for monitoring your life and your home, the software brings HealthKit and HomeKit to the fore for the first time.

These software packages are set to collate data from all manner of third-party devices to offer a comprehensive understanding of your most intimate data in one location.

According to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi: “HealthKit provides a single place where applications can create a comprehensive wellbeing and health.”

He added HealthKit will allow users to do “everything from monitoring your activity level, your heart rate, to your weight and chronic medical conditions like diabetes.”

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iPhone 6 Price
As with most things Apple, the iPhone 6 isn’t cheap. Prices for the phone kick off at a premium £539 for the 16GB model.

While the 64GB and 128GB capability handsets will set wannabe owners back £619 and £699 respectively, the larger iPhone 6 Plus will be even more expensive.

The three storage options on the 5.5-inch handset will be priced at £619, £699 and a whopping £789.

Sony’s QX1 Looks To Bring Interchangeable Pro Lenses To Your Smartphone

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Sony’s QX series of cameras is an oddity, but one that the company is apparently still committed to – a new leak from Sony Alpha Rumors reveals a treasure trove of press images depicting a so-called “QX1″ model, which takes the basic concept of the QX10 and QX100 smartphone camera accessories and adds interchangeable lenses.

The QX10 and QX100, for those unfamiliar with Sony’s strange forays into the world of snap-on lenses, are standalone cameras (complete with a sensor and lens combo) that connects to your smartphone via an app for viewfinder and image review functions. Essentially, it replaces the body and controls of a camera, while keeping the essential bits in an external hardware accessory, with the aim of offering serious image quality in a more convenient form factor that takes advantage of the devices we all carry around with us anyway.

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The QX1 would apparently build on this by allowing owners to swap out lenses on a smartphone sensor mount base, with the range of Sony’s E-mount interchangeable lenses being compatible with the device. This means any lens that you could use on a Sony NEX-series camera would work here. The sensor in the companion unit is also said to be an APS-C, which is the same size as those found in most entry-level DSLRs, and it will also include a built-in pop-up flash.

The mount can operate both affixed to a companion smartphone, or controlled at a distance from a device while the sensor/lens combo are positioned separately or placed atop a tripod, for instance, meaning this could actually be a pretty versatile accessory for genuine photogs, possibly with better value than a dedicated camera because expensive parts like the LCD viewfinder display are left to the companion smartphone. Sony Alpha Rumors says it’ll be announced in Berlin tomorrow, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to get a price and date.

Apple Publishes The Top 10 Reasons It Rejects Apps

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Whether you’ve ever built an iOS app or not, you’ve probably heard tales of how frustrating it can be to get Apple’s stamp of approval.

But why does Apple reject apps? What are the big mistakes that most developers make?

In the first release of what looks to be something Apple intends to update regularly, the company has published a running Top 10 list of the most common reasons apps get rejected.

Here’s the list as published when the page first launched:

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Alas, two of the biggest “reasons” seem like fuzzy catch-alls: number one is “More information needed.” Maybe your app’s description is weak. Maybe you forgot to include a link for a support page. Whatever the case, Apple expects some information that you didn’t provide.

Number 3, “Did not comply with terms in the Developer Program License Agreement,” is equally broad.

The other eight, though, are pretty specific. The biggest, specificly-defined issue? Bugs.

At the time of publishing, the top 10 reasons account for nearly 60 percent of app rejections.

[Via CultOfMac; photo via Sean M. on Flickr, used under CreativeCommons]

Source: Tech Crunch

Apple Opens Battery Replacement Program For Affected iPhone 5 Units

Tech AnnouncementApple has created an iPhone 5 battery replacement program after it released a statement saying that it had discovered a “very small percentage” of units “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”

This iPhone 5 battery replacement program is the second to arrive. Late last year, Apple had a replacement program for iPhone 5s units with battery life issues.

Apple says the affected iPhone 5 units were sold between the month of it’s launch, September 2012, and January 2013.

The support site features a tool to check if your serial number belongs to a faulty iPhone 5. The replacement program is available at Apple Retail Stores, Authorized Apple Service Providers, and via AppleCare, in the US and China first. Those outside those countries will have to wait till August 29th.

As per us usual, you’re advised to backup you data, Turn off Find my iPhone, and Erase all Content and Settings before arriving to get the battery replaced.

If you had already paid to get your battery fixed (and you’re eligible for this replacement), Apple is offering refunds.

The program is available up to March 1, 2015 and it does not extend your iPhone 5’s warranty.

Source: Tech Announcement