Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Mac, News/Rumors

Apple to roll out multiple products in 2014, including iWatch, ‘iPhone 6,’ 12″ MacBook and low-cost iMac

Apple is preparing to release multiple new products in Q3 2014,  including the much rumored iWatch, redesigned “iPhone 6,” a 12-inch MacBook Air and a low-cost iMac.

According to the KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who often provides reliable information, the only thing we can expect to see in the first half of the year is a small iMac update. Starting at the end of the third quarter and continuing into the beginning of the fourth, the company will start introducing a number of upgraded and new devices.

“We believe the rumored iWatch will be Apple’s most important product this year, carrying much more weight than iPhone 6,” Kuo writes, adding, “as market feedback for the product should reveal whether Apple still has the ability to continue making game-changing products with Tim Cook at the helm.”

Such products, like an upgraded Apple TV set-top box is set to appear somewhat later, including the rumored 12-inch ultra slim MacBook and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. The fourth quarter will bring the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is also rumored to be delayed due to issues with in-cell display technology.

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Here is an overview of all of Kuo’s predictions for this year:

iWatch

The iWatch is believed to be available in two sizes: 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch and equipped with flexible, sapphire-covered AMOLED displays. Additionally, the product will feature biometric recognition, an NFC chip, wireless charging, a 200-250 mAh battery, and get a slim and light design. The iWatch may also be offered at multiple price points, with the most expensive version costing upwards of $1,000.

iPhone 6

The device will come in two sizes: 4.7 and 5.5-inches, with resolutions of 1334×750 (326ppi) and 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi), respectively. Both models will be provided an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTPS display panels, optical image stabilization, and Touch ID. Both smartphones will have up to 20% narrower bezels than and measure between 6.5-7mm thick.

iPads

Both the second generation iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display may come with an A8 chip and Touch ID. The analyst also says that the new Air could also receive a bump in iSight camera quality thanks to a new 8MP sensor, and launch earlier than October.

Macs

An updated iMac, equipped with a new processor is believed to be the first product launch of the year. The company could also reveal a new lower-priced model, which would help boost slipping iMac shipments. In addition, a new MacBook model could be expected in the near future: a 12-inch MacBook Air with a higher resolution display.

KGI is usually pretty reliable on the product details in reports like this, though the timing is sometimes less accurate.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Fingerprint scanners: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5S Touch ID

Following the debut of the iPhone 5s and its Touch ID fingerprint scanner in October last year,  Samsung followed with its own version of a fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy S5, which is scheduled to be released on April 11.

A new YouTube clip from Tanner Marsh offers a comparison of Touch ID on iPhone 5s with the fingerprint scanner of the upcoming Galaxy S5, showing the process of setting up fingerprint recognition on both products and comparing and contrasting some of the available functionality.

Both systems are embedded in the home button and both serve as an easier way to secure a device, but that’s the only similarity.

While Apple’s Touch ID utilizes a round home button that captures a motionless fingerprint, Samsung’s sensor requires a swiping motion to scan the finger from base to tip using a rectangular home button.  As mentioned in the video, the method used by Samsung may inhibits one-handed operation and owners with smaller fingers can be limited to the digits they can register due to the sensor’s size.

Both devices have not only pros, but cons as well. While Samsung’s fingerprint sensor faces a number of issues, Apple’s Touch ID suffers from its own problems, such as “fade,” or the increasingly erratic performance of the fingerprint sensor over time. The updated version of its iOS helped to solve the issue, bringing several improvements to Touch ID’s fingerprint recognition capabilities.

As for speed, both devices work pretty fast.

Notably, that in addition to unlocking the device, the S5′s scanner can also authorize PayPal payments and be accessed by 3rd party developers. Apple also has plans to include payments with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner, but has yet to do so.

iPhone, News/Rumors

iPhone 6 displays go into mass production in May, 5.5″ model delayed

According to a new report from Reuters, Apple is preparing to begin mass production of the 4.7-inch display to be used in the iPhone 6 this May.

Previous reports indicated that the iPhone 6 would go on sale in two various sizes: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Citing supply chain sources, the report also says that the much rumored 5.5-inch model of the device could be delayed due to difficulties with in-cell production technology, and is probably to commence a few months after the initial production of the 4.7-inch displays.

To push production forward, the company could initially fall back on older thin film technology for the 5.5-inch display, then switch to in-cell at a later date, sources said.

The both new iPhone versions were expected to use in-cell touchscreens, a technology that slims down the overall thickness of a smartphone’s touch panel by incorporating capacitive touch sensors into the LCD array. The company first applied the tech in 2012 with the iPhone 5.iphoneplus-130205

A last week report from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei stated that the iPhone 6 could be presented “as early as September”, and will be available in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display sizes. However, according to the claim from UBS analyst Steve Milunovich, the 4.7-inch version of the new device might be the only model to appear later this year, with a timeframe for the larger 5.5-inch version unclear.

In addition to a larger display, Apple’s next-generation iPhone will likely come with a durable, sapphire screen, and a thinner, bezel-free design in addition to expected camera and processor upgrades.

Along with the reported bump in screen size, there are still tons of rumors surrounding Apple’s next flagship handset.

Accessories, News/Rumors

BlackBerry wins injunction, banning iPhone keyboard

A U.S. district court judge last week granted BlackBerry a preliminary injunction against the Typo iPhone keyboard case for infringing on certain patents, effectively banning sales of the Ryan Seacrest-backed device.

The smartphone maker sued over the design of the case earlier this year, stating that it infringed on a number of the company’s patents and its “iconic” keyboard design. The case is designed to add a BlackBerry-like keyboard to the iPhone 5 and 5s. The case features a built-in battery, and a physical, backlit keyboard that looks almost identical to those used in BB products.

According to the initial press release, “BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations.”typo-iphone-keyboard

The Typo team commented on the following :

“We are excited about our innovative keyboard design, which is the culmination of years of development and research.  The Typo keyboard has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from the public.  We are also looking forward to our product launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week and remain on track to begin shipping pre-orders at the end of January.”

The injunction doesn’t allow the sale of the Typo, as the case maker could not prove that its product didn’t infringe on BB’s patents.

“BlackBerry is pleased that its motion for a preliminary injunction against Typo Products LLC was granted,” BlackBerry stated. “This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo’s blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology.”

Meanwhile, Typo said, that the company would continue to develop and sell innovative products “that busy people can’t live without.”

iPhone, News/Rumors

iPhone 6 reportedly coming as early as September, likely in 4.7-5.5-inch sizes

Apple is reportedly working on two variants of the so-called iPhone 6 with significantly larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. According to a new report from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei, the company’s iPhone 6 is expected to launch “as early as September”.

“Manufacturers have apparently begun making such components as fingerprint sensors and chips for liquid-crystal drivers.

Mass production of LCD panels will start as early as the April-June quarter at Sharp’s Kameyama factory, Japan Display’s Mobara plant, and at other facilities, according to sources. LG Electronics will supply panels as well. The new handset’s display resolution is expected to be significantly higher than that of current models.”

A lot of the information, provided in the report, matches up with previous rumors. According to  Macotakara last fall, iPhone 6 will get display panels, manufactured by LG Display and will have a resolution of 1920×1080 and a ppi of 440. Earlier this month, a popular supply chain insider Sonny Dickson shared the similar expectations.iPhone-6-concept-ConceptsPhone-004

There is still too little known about Apple’s new device, however, it’s believed to receive a slimmer and refreshed design and an A8 processor. The new handset is also rumored to come with an 8MP rear camera, 2GB of RAM and more.

Apps Lists, iPad, iPhone, News/Rumors

Microsoft makes Office Mobile for iPhone free for everyone

Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its much-rumored office for iPad suite, which means a $99 subscription to the Office 365 service for most of its functions.

“Indeed, Microsoft does offer Office 365 subscriptions within the just-released Word for iPad and the other Office apps and, yes, it is paying the 30 percent cut, Apple confirmed to Re/code. Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.
Apple has taken a hard line with all manner of publishers that want to sell things, even subscriptions that go well beyond the iPad content — if anything is sold in the app, they have to use Apple’s method and hand over 30 percent.”

In Twitter, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, that the company is glad to have Office for iPad in the App Store, with Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, responding that Microsoft was “excited to bring the magic of Office to iPad customers”.iPad

Microsoft Office for iPad is available as a free download from the App Store, with Office 365 Home Premium available for $10/month or $100/year good for five tablets and five computers, with an Office 365 Personal subscription good for one computer and one tablet coming later this year for $7/month or $70/year.

While most media attention was paid to Microsoft’s Office for iPad debut, the company also presented an update for its Office Mobile app version for iPhone, making the software free for home use.Office_Mobile

The change was announced in a post over at the Office blog: “With Office Mobile, you have the ability to view and edit your Office content on the go.”

The new version of Office Mobile for iPhone also brings several bug fixes and stability improvements.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Сapture your memories with Instagram and Fotobit frames

Are you a digital photography enthusiast who love using Instagram to capture your memories? Well, there’s nothing better than the nostalgic feeling you get when reliving a memory through a photo. Fotobit is an amazing creation! It is a modular photo framing system that allows you to easily install multiple frames simply by mounting a base frame to then create custom configurations.

Fotobit frames are equipped with an durable clip system and can be used in limitless possibilities and combinations. It is you, who use imagination to create unique patterns, breathe life into your room and share your beautiful masterpieces with friends and family.

“Traditional photo frames made the task too daunting, so that’s when I came up with Fotobit, which I hope inspires people to get photos out of their phone and onto their walls,”-says Alan Yeung, Fotobit co-founder.4

Lightweight photo frames hold 4” x 4” prints protected by a clear acrylic window. You can start your exposition with a single photo frame mounted to the wall and then attach to it more ones, to get small or large-scale photo compositions. It is easy to arrange and rearrange your frames, grouping your images by event or themes.5

Fotobit itself is a 4.25 x 4.25-inch frame designed for wall-mounting your Instagrams. The frames consist of several components: the front, the back, a matt and a clear acrylic window.6

Fotobit was designed and developed with the award winning product design team at CRISP^YHKG in Orange County, California. Their frames have been tested for durability and each clip can withstand a weight load of over 30 pounds.

It’s also $40 for a three pack, which includes nails, frame clips, bubble level, optional white matting, optional double stick foam Pads.

According to the developers, they have already reached the stage where they can make Fotobit a retail product for everyone to enjoy. And if they meet their initial goal of $16,000, final retail products can be shipped as early as late May/early June 2014.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple releases cheaper 8GB iPhone 5c

According to a number of reports, Apple has officially released an 8 GB version of the iPhone 5c and relaunched a 16 GB version of the previously-discontinued fourth-generation iPad. The 8 GB model is currently available in Apple’s European Online Stores and priced at £429 unlocked-a difference of £40 between it and the 16 GB model.  The new version is also offered in all of the existing color options.

The 16 GB iPad 4 is sold in Apple’s U.S. Online Store for $399, and a cellular version can be purchased for $130 more at $529.
The relaunch of the 16 GB iPad 4 is a new step to help support the phone’s lagging sales. Meanwhile, Apple’s European stores still currently show the iPhone 4S being sold alongside the new 8 GB iPhone 5c.

The iPhone 5c debuted last September due to high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s and its sales were lower than the company expected. In total, Apple sold 51 million devices during the holiday quarter, a new record for the company but below market expectations of 55 million.iphone5c8gb_ipad4-800x356

With the cheaper iPhone 5c version, Apple believes to stimulate customers’ interest.  Earlier this week, the company also promoted the iPhone 5c, advertising a new set of playful dot-centric for the device on a well-known blogging platform Tumblr as well as the front page of Yahoo.com. 

It was originally believed that the new 8GB 5c would replace the iPhone 4s, but the 4s, which was removed in favor of the iPad Air last October, is still available on Apple’s website and at various carriers.

Both devices are available to order from Apple’s Online Store or through the company’s retail locations.

 

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple launches new animated iPhone 5c ads beyond Tumblr

After Apple has been experiencing some troubles selling the iPhone 5c, the company appears to be experimenting with a new advertising campaign to push the device.

Apple on Thursday launched a digital advertisement campaign on high-profile websites like Yahoo and The New York Times.  The Yahoo homepage offers an ad block on the right side hand of the page where eight various iPhone 5c ads with the tagline “Find your colors” are placed.

Each ad brings a short animation, presenting a few original Tumblr ads. There’s a spot dubbed “Catwalk,” which shows a series of lens flashes, “Baaaa,” which mimics a herd of sheep, and “99 Luftballoons,” which features floating red dots with music from the well-known song.

Each clip offers a number of dots arranged in different ways that eventually come into line as the same dots on the back of the iPhone 5c case, which then zoom out to present the full iPhone 5c. In all, the company has about 17 various animated iPhone 5c ads that are being shown on the web.

iphone-5c-ad

The iPhone 5c has been actively advertised after its release. Web ads have previously been used by the company. For example, Apple has recently shown its Your Verse ads on a number of websites.

Apple seems no to be planing to stop its promotional campaign and is expected to expand the animated advertisements to other websites as well in an effort to further market the iPhone 5c to a wide range of consumers.

During the company’s Q1 2014 earnings call, Apple said, that the results were lower than expected sales of the iPhone 5c. The reason is high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Moov-personal trainer from former Apple engineer

There is no need to describe the hype around “smart” watch-form gadgets. The range of such devices can be divided into smart watches and fitness trackers. The abilities of most of them are not too different from each other, although there are sometimes pretty interesting ideas. Moov, created by a former Apple engineer is one of them.

Unlike many other devices that read parameters such as heart rate, steps, calories and so on, Moov is described as a personal trainer. The accessory not only tracks your activities, it also gives you personalized tips to improve your workout performance. The Moov is provided with nine-axis sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. These sensors collect necessary data, analyzes the quality of the exercises and in real time gives tips to improve your training. For example, while running, the device can provide real-time audio advice in a form of recommendations. It can ask you to change step length or reduce the speed.

The device uses 3d motion reconstruction technology to analyze and distinguish between a bunch of activities, including running, biking, swimming, weight lifting and more. All the tips and programs are created by certified coaches and based on biomechanics and sport science research.

Moov-1

Designed in a form of a waterproof disk, Moov can track the position and movement of the human body during exercises. All you have to do is put it on the wrist, shoulder, ankle. The device will support five activities – running, weight lifting, boxing, swimming and biking – with more to come in the future.

biking-560

The data collected by the tracker, are then sent to your iPhone or iPad and processed by a special app, which corrects certain aspects of your training. Moov connects your device via Bluetooth 4.0. The rechargeable battery provides up to 7 days of work.

Everyone can pre-order Moov for $59.95. Moov is currently available in black or white.