Tag Archives: iphone

Apple unveils iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch

iphone

Apple introduced two new iPhones, its long-awaited Apple Watch and a mobile payment system as part of a marketing blitz aimed at drumming up consumer excitement. Now the question is whether the new gear will live up to the hype.

Speaking from the Flint Performing Arts Center in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, Calif., Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller kept the audience waiting beyond the event’s scheduled 1 p.m. ET start, a fitting delay for a company that has kept its fans waiting for a new product.

First up was the company’s new larger, thinner iPhone 6, which features an aluminum body and glass front that curves around the sides. (See CNET for complete coverage of Apple’s product launch.)

The base model comes with a 4.7-inch screen and the other, dubbed the iPhone 6 Plus, has a 5.5 inch-screen. The iPhone 6 screen has over 1 million pixels, while the iPhone 6 Plus has over 2 million pixels, Schiller said, emphasizing what he called the the devices’ “stunning display.”

Gesturing toward giant photos of a lizard and a butterfly projected on-stage, Schiller also highlighted the new iPhone’s enhanced camera, which he said includes image-stabilization functionality.

The new phones will be available Sept. 19; pre-orders begin Sept. 12. With a two-year contract, the iPhone 6 will cost $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).

“They’re definitely targeting the more professional user and the ‘phablet’ user,” observed CNET Editor-at-Large Tim Stevens.

The technology giant has much riding on the popular reception to its new iPhone, sales of which drive most of the company’s profits and which account for more than half of its revenue. But Apple’s new offerings may be even more important, as the company seeks to entice customers with an expanded lineup of products and services designed to keep them within its technological ecosystem.

To that end, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the company’s new mobile payments tool, called Apple Pay, which aims to let users make purchases from their iPhone or Apple Watch. He noted that Americans make roughly 200 million payments per day, but called the process “antiquated.” With Apple Pay, consumers can pay for goods without sharing credit card, address and other personal information with a merchant, Cook said.

Apple Pay uses short-distance wireless technology called near-field communication, or NFC, to enable users to make purchases — a system already built in to many Android phones. 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.

Then, finally putting an end to months of rumors and speculation, Cook presented Apple’s new wearable device, the Apple Watch, describing it as the “next chapter” in the company’s history and a “breakthrough.”

The watch, which is available with six interchangeable bands, comes in stainless steel, aluminum or 18K gold and is priced at $349. Users navigate by tapping and swiping the face, as well as through a crown on the right side of the watch that brings up apps. Apple Watch, which works with the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s, as well as the iPhone 6, will be available early next year.

“Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created,” Cook said. “It will redefine what people expect from a watch.”

Ian Fogg, senior director for research firm IHS, said Apple wants to validate wearable gadgets in the same way the iPhone in 2007 established a mass market for smartphones.

“However, moving into a new category is a bold, expensive and risky effort,” he added in a client note. “This Apple Watch is a first-generation device, and whether it is successful or not Apple will aim to iterate and make it a must-have companion for every iPhone owner.”

Although Apple has posted solid financial results this year, investors and even some of the company’s famously rabid fans have seemed underwhelmed by recent product launches. The last iPhones and iPads, while commercially successful, have been deemed only incremental advances — pleasing refinements that remain well short of the big leaps forward Apple has made in the course of growing into the most valuable company in the world.

That’s of particular concern for a company that, under co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, was vaunted for its design prowess and ability to discern consumer tastes even before those were fully formed. Apple is also eager to reclaim market share taken in recent years by Samsung and other makers of mobile phones based on Google’s  Android platform.

For Cook, the Apple Watch could prove either a canny move into a lucrative new product segment, or a dead end. The gadget — which fans referred to as the Apple iWatch as rumors intensified in recent months that a device was imminent — is the first developed entirely under Cook’s leadership since he succeeded Jobs as CEO in 2011. For both Apple and other companies making smartwatches, it also represents a key test of consumer interest in a technology that to date has failed to dazzle customers.

A critical challenge for Apple, experts say: Building a device that — like the iPod, iPhone and iPad before it — compellingly fills a need users may not know they have. No surprise, then, that Cook touted HealthKit, a software development tool that integrates health and fitness apps through the Apple Watch while giving consumers control over what health data they choose to share.

Although the company could benefit from expanding into new product segments, in the short-term it remains highly dependent on rolling out devices that push the design envelope and capture the public’s imagination. Indeed, until today Apple hadn’t released a brand new product since launching the iPad four year ago.

In the interim, Apple’s competitors have stormed into a range of areas ripe for innovation, with Google working to develop driverless cars and Facebook pushing the envelope on virtual reality. That has raised concerns that, without Jobs, Apple risks losing the vision that powered its rise.

Perhaps more than any tech provider, Apple is under the gun to innovate. And to be sure it is trying mightily to do that. Along with expanding into the wearable computing segment, Apple is developing Internet-enabled tools people can use to control lights, thermostats and other parts of their home. For enterprises, meanwhile, the company wants to let employers harness the power of “Big Data” from their Apple devices.

“A lot of other companies don’t need to be as bold on a frequent basis as Apple,” Soumen Ganguly, a director at consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Co., told CNET ahead of Apple’s latest commercial launch. “But people have come to expect it from Apple. They’re only as good as their last great product, and we’re four years away from that.”

A sense that Apple may be losing its bite hasn’t kept investors from bidding up its shares, it’s worth noting — the company’s stock has risen nearly 26 percent this year. The shares edged up $1.65, topping $100, shortly after the presentation began.

If there are questions about Apple’s creative mojo, it is clear from Tuesday’s event that its marketing instincts remain intact. Winding up the event, Cook brought out the band U2 to play a tune and pitch the group’s new album, which the executive said will be available for free download for all iTunes users.

6 Useful Hidden Features of iOS7

ios7

Seems like everyone has found the SAME “Top 10 Hidden iOS7 features,” already, so they’re not really all that hidden anymore. Here are MY favorite semi-hidden features — ones that I find useful.

1. Turn Siri into an English butler. Ask him to “Call Josh,” and he’ll respond, “Ringing Josh.” His confused responses to your silly questions seem downright charming. General –> Siri –> Language –> ENGLISH (UNITED KINGDOM)……

2. A special sub-tip: Siri can now read you any bit of text you select. Accessibility -> Speak Selection –> (On), Voices -> Select. And choose the speed, too. Then, when you select text, you move the black bar to the left until you see the “Speak” selection.

3. Want a more ANDROID-like interface? Though it’s possible to adjust the size of the default font, (Accessibility –> Larger Type), you can also invert the colors entirely, turning your white pastel experience into a more clear, machine-like display. (Accessibility –> Invert Colors.)

4. Save your passwords and credit card numbers in Safari. This is quite convenient, and saves you from having to re-enter your credit card number inside the window of the mobile version of a website. Settings –> Safari –> Passwords and Autofill, Saved Credit Cards — and enter in your card, and then toggle Credit Cards” to on. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re reasonably confident that your device won’t be stolen, but Safari won’t show you the card you entered, so even if someone manages to access your phone, you should be ok.

5. Save battery by reducing automatic system service updating. This requires a bit of hunting. Settings –> Privacy –> Location Services — scroll ALL the way down, past all of yours apps — to System Services, and you’ll see a plethora of toggles corresponding to different ways that your phone can communicate with cell towers and other devices. Some of them, like Diagnostics and Usage, tend to run constantly in the background; others run only when you start up an app. Disable a few of them, and your battery life should last a little bit longer.

6. The new Control Center can be useful, but it can also be annoying if you’re playing a game. It’s easy to disable it. Just go to “Settings –> Control Center –> and hit the “Access within apps” toggle.

iPhone 5S would begin a critical time for Apple

ios7

Here we go.

Word is that Apple is going to unveil its new iPhone at an event scheduled for Sept. 10, according to All Things D.

Few other details were known, although Apple is widely expected to show off a new iPhone 5S that has been rumored to include improved cameras and processors as well as possible goodies like a fingerprint sensor for added security.

PHOTOS: Google Street View from 22,000 feet

But if the date holds up, it will mark the beginning of a critical few months for Apple.

“We are on track to have a very busy fall,” Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, said on the company’s earnings call in July. “I would like to leave it there and go into more detail on October.”

It appears things will get rolling even sooner.

The iPhone continues to be the company’s main source of growth and profit, and it’s essential that each new version entice a sizable number of users to upgrade. The high end of the smartphone market has become increasingly saturated, with users becoming more hesitant to switch when a new phone comes along.

At the same time, many users are opting for older versions that carriers sell at heavy discounts. If history is a guide, Apple probably will discontinue sales of the iPhone 4, keeping the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

Apple continues to gain smartphone market share in the U.S., but it is struggling in the rest of the world to compete against phones running Google’s Android operating system. Analysts have been calling for a cheaper iPhone, and it’s possible the company may also trot one out at the Sept. 10 event.

VIDEO: YouTube video claims to show rumored, low-cost plastic iPhone

All of these phones, old and new, will likely come with the radically redesigned iOS 7 operating system that Apple announced at its developers conference this summer. While developers have been testing out beta versions of the new iOS, it remains to be seen what kind of reception it will get among the general public.

The new Mavericks operating system for Macs will also be released this Fall. And so will a new beta version of the iCloud versions of Apple’s iWorks products.

Next up should be iPads in October, probably new versions of both the main and mini iPads. These will be every bit as important to Apple as the new phones.

The company reported a surprising drop in iPad sales in the most recent quarter. And worldwide, sales of all tablets dipped in the last quarter.

The iPad has been a hugely disruptive product since its launch in 2010. But the recent weakness has raised questions about whether its days of super-charged growth are over. Releasing new versions will be Apple’s best chance to show that’s not the case.

Beyond these two major product categories, Oppenheimer’s remarks at the earnings call tantalized that perhaps at last Apple was getting ready to reveal a whole new product category this year. The iWatch? The Apple TV?

PHOTOS: Rare Apple items at auction

“We are very hard at work on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall in across 2014,” Oppenheimer said.

One thing that will be interesting to watch is whether the company is hit with the same production problems that struck last year. After the iPhone 5 went on sale, demand was so heavy that some customers had to wait weeks to get theirs.

Indeed, the combination of a new iPhone, a new iPad and the iPad Mini in 2012 clogged Apple’s production chain for months. It would take well into this past Spring before the company said that it had achieved supply and demand balance.

For the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, the company said it could have grown faster had it been able to deliver all the products customers wanted.

With Apple’s stock regaining some momentum in recent weeks, but still well off its all-time high from last September, the coming months will demonstrate whether the company can convince investors that its best days still lie ahead.

Apple iOS 7: What’s new, what’s catch-up

ios7

Tech enthusiasts love nothing more than a good old fashioned smackdown. And now that Apple has released iOS7 to developers, the slugfest over whose mobile operating is superior promises to get even nastier.

The main event pits Apple against Google’s Android, of course, the operating system adopted by Samsung, HTC, and a slew of other handset makers. But direct comparisons aren’t always easy. For starters there is no one single version of Android. And phone makers often layer their own software — and features — on top.

At the core of iOS 7 is a beautiful and translucent new design. But Apple piled on new features too, some of which are new and innovative, others which have the company playing catch-up. A few areas to compare:

•Sharing: Apple’s AirDrop, a Mac feature new to iOS, is a peer-to-peer networking feature that lets iPhone users share pictures, Web sites and certain other files with contacts who are close by — Apple hasn’t spelled out just how close. You tap the Share button and select the person you want to share with. AirDrop makes the transfer using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Recipients can choose whether or not to accept whatever it is you want to share.

The rough equivalent on Android takes advantage of NFC (Near Field Communication) to have two people share files by bumping one phone against the other. Windows Phones also use NFC for sharing. Apple continues to eschew NFC, especially in areas such as mobile payments.

WANT IT NOW on iOS? Try the Bump app, an iPhone stalwart that lets Bump users share things by knocking their phones together.

•Radio: Apple adds iTunes Radio, a new feature with 200-plus radio stations in multiple musical genres. You can build stations around artists whose names you type in. Google has its own radio service called Google Play Music All Access, a subscription service. Apple’s is free (and ad-supported). Google’s is $7.99 a month right now, but lets you listen to any available track on demand. Microsoft, meanwhile, touts the Xbox music service on its phones. And there are many big third-party competitors, from Pandora to Spotify, Slacker and beyond.

WANT IT NOW on iOS? Download Pandora’s free version.

•Multitasking: This is an area of catch-up for iOS since Android has traditionally handled the ability to keep a bunch of apps going at once more handily than Apple. Apple devices currently have some multi-tasking ability, but iOS7 amps it up. It’s not just a matter of switching apps. Apple gets to know you over time so that it refreshes an app at an optimal time, such as the social app it knows you check out daily at 8AM.

WANT IT NOW on iOS? This one’s going to be tough. Lifehacker recommends Background Manager and Dash for jailbroken devices (which would leave out us mere mortals).

•Photography: Apple adds Instagram-like filters, an in-camera option that lets you choose shooting modes more easily — still, video, panorama, and now, square — and instant organizational tools that sift your pics automatically into “Collections,” “Moments” and “Years.”

On the Android side, a lot depends on the phones. For example, Samsung and HTC have added a bunch of different photo tricks. The iPhone’s camera is easy to use and takes great snaps, but nearly everyone else offers more gee-whiz features.

WANT IT NOW on iOS? The organizational features look promising to help control the chaos that is Photo Gallery for most of us. Is there an app for that? The App Store lists some, but most photo tools are aimed at editing. Readers, if you have a tip let us know in the comments or email us at techcomments@usatoday.com.

(Update at 1:55 p.m. ET: Thanks to reader Colin Whiteneck for writing in to remind us about Disney’s Story app, which groups your photos by location and date and makes photo albums out of them. You can edit the albums with text and “other look and feel edits,” Whiteneck says. Contributor Jennifer Jolly took a look at it for us just last month.)

•The bottom line: Apple devotees will find a lot to like in the upcoming iOS7 release. But for folks looking to buy a phone between now and fall, the question becomes — try one of the hot new Androids, a Windows Phone or even a new BlackBerry, or wait for iO7 and, presumably, a new iPhone…

Discuss!

Apple’s next iPhone to sport 4G LTE tech, report says

Apple’s next iPhone will sport speedier fourth-generation wireless networking, according to a report.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal says Apple’s next iPhone will work with some but not all 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and other countries when it’s released.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have 4G LTE networks in the U.S. These networks offer considerably faster data speeds than 3G networks, though use differing frequencies.

4G LTE technology was largely expected to be included in last year’s iPhone model, the iPhone 4S. Apple chose instead to go with HSPA+, a slightly speedier 3G technology, but a far cry from what can be had on the 4G LTE spec, which can be ten times as fast.

Apple later brought the technology to its third-generation iPad, which arrived five months after the iPhone 4S. Apple got around the frequency problem by offering carrier-specific models in the U.S. and other countries.

This is not the first such report to claim Apple would add the 4G technology — which has become common among rival smartphones over the past two years — to the iPhone.

A report from Boy Genius Report ahead of last year’s 4S claimed that Apple’s carrier partners were testing 4G LTE iPhones based on logs the blog obtained. More recently, a story from the Korea Times noted that Apple was in talks with local carriers to add support for the area’s specialty LTE network bands.

There have also been a handful of analysts saying Apple absolutely needed to add 4G LTE to the iPhone or risk not keeping up with competitors. Others, including Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, argue that a significant portion of consumers don’t know what the technology is, or say they don’t need it.

One of Apple’s only mentions about adding the technology to its own phones came during an earnings call with analysts. At the time Apple CEO Tim Cook said the technology “would force design compromises we’re not willing to make.”

Apple is expected to debut its next iPhone at its press event Wednesday. It kicks off at 10 a.m. PT. CNET will be there to cover it live. Expect more details on that early next week.

iPhone 5, What Will We See On Release Date?

The wait is almost over! As the summer comes to an end, the fall will begin with the release of the most anticipated phones in history. That’s right the iPhone 5 release date is just two weeks away and we can finally confirm when it will be in stores as well. According to a report in TechCrunch, Verizon is having an all-staff vacation blackout from Friday, September 21 to Friday, September 30. An AT&T representative has also confirmed that employees are not allowed to take time off between September 21 and September 30 as well. In the past these vacation blackouts have aligned with the release of new Apple iPhones. Expect to see the iPhone 5 in stores on September 21st, 2012.

In addition to the iPhone 5 release in September it appears that Apple [NASDAQ: AAPL] will hold a major event on September 12th, and might have a few other tricks up their sleeve. We might be introduced to new iPods and a iPad mini, either way the next two weeks will be very exciting. iPhone 5 preorders will also be available on September 12. Apple (AAPL) has yet to confirm these dates, but knowing them it will be done in the last minute. Apple is known for last minute surprises so, keep your eyes peeled for more iPhone news in the coming few days.

With a larger screen, the release of iOS 6 and a new smaller connector the anticipation for the new Apple’s new iPhone is at unprecedented levels. Here is everything that we know about the upcoming iPhone 5 which will most likely be dubbed “the new iPhone.”

iPhone 5 Release Date

As mentioned above the iPhone 5 release date is expected to be on September 12th at a major Apple event and expected to hit stores on September 21st. iOS 6 is also expected to be released at this September iPhone event. We have also heard a rumor of a new mini iPad being released this fall along side the iPhone 5 release date.

iPhone 5 Potential Specs

The biggest update to the iPhone 5 is a new iPhone connector and larger iPhone screen. This is huge news because now Apple’s chargers will no longer be consistent across devices and a larger iPhone screen has been on everyone’s wish list since day one.

The newest rumors are that of a centered front facing camera and the possibility of Near Field Communication controllers directly connected to the Power Management Unit of the new iPhone. This NFC rumors comes from a report on 9to5mac. NFC has been a buzzword surrounding the mobile industry for a while. Let’s see if Apple can introduce it successfully to the world.

The next enormous spec change is having 4G LTE compatibility for the iPhone5. Most Android phones are already using the 4G network, so this move makes complete sense. Next, a quad core processor and upgraded chipset, here’s a new report on the possibility of a quad core processor. Next, is the potential of a 3D camera for the iPhone – take this one with a very large grain of salt though. Last but not least is the introduction of a “LiquidMetal” casing which would allow for a stronger and unique casing. Check out the report below. In addition to a few new specs, you can expect to see an updated operating system aka iOS 6. Here are some rumors surrounding the iOS 6 release date.