Apple released a preview of iOS 9.3 today outlining some of the new features. One of them being what they call “Night Shift” mode. This is similar to the popular tool known as F.lux for mobile & desktop users. F.lux adjusts screen color to allow for a warmer tone & easier on the eyes experience. For those who use their computers for prolong uses of time should definitely check out the tool. Recently F.lux was made available to iOS users through a xcode workaround. However now Apple is implementing their own solution right into their OS.
As their preview page describes the feature:
Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep. Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings. Pleasant dreams.
Soon enough we’ll see this pushed out to iOS after developers & users have had time to test it & Apple irons out any bugs. Given the amount we use our devices nowadays in some cases more than our computers this is a very welcomed feature.
You can read more about iOS 9.3 beta features here.
In a quiet update Apple unveiled their all new accessory for iPhone 6 & 6S devices, the smart battery case. This is Apple’s first official battery case that will compete directly with 3rd party cases. The case itself is made of the same silicone soft touch material they use in their other cases. While being lined with a microfiber material to protect the phone & make it easy to slide in & out. Unlike traditional battery cases this won’t come apart rather you slip your phone into the case docking it on the built in lightning connector.
All ports will remain accessible & the case itself will provide up to 25 hours of extended usage. This will of course vary on how you use your device but nonetheless you can guarantee all day battery life & then some while sporting said case.
Price wise it’s retailing for $100 USD in a white & charcoal gray color scheme. That all said the design of the smart battery case is odd to say the least. While it’s simple in its colors & aesthetic the battery is housed in a hump behind the case that adds a weird bump to your phone. Needless to say at first glance I thought this was a joke. Given Apple’s recentdesign decisions with the Magic Mouse 2 for example, this is definitely an odd product approval for a company that puts an emphasis on design.
The case by all means is useful like any battery case you sacrifice a bit of added weight & size for convenience of having your device last longer. Eliminating the need to carry cables or an external battery pack around. Companies like Mophie for example have led the way in such category. The Apple Smart Battery Case while useful just doesn’t sit right for me as far as design & look/feel goes.
They are available for order today & will be dispatched starting December 10th.
Awhile back Dropbox aquired the mail application “Mailbox” fro around $100 million. I remember the waite queue the application had to even get access to it. Filled with swipes & gestures the objective was to get to inbox zero.
In an announcement today Dropbox announced they’ll be shutting down the email client alongside their photo tool Carousel. The official shut down date for Mailbox will be Feburary 26th, 2016 & Carousel shut down in March 31st, 2016. This is a move to center Dropbox’s focus of their staff & mission. As they put it in their official statement
Building new products is about learning as much as it’s about making. It’s also about tough choices. Over the past few months, we’ve increased our team’s focus on collaboration and simplifying the way people work together. In light of that, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down Carousel and Mailbox.
The blogs for Mailbox & Carousel will feature FAQ & some information on how to make the transition seamless as possible.
As far as alternatives go here’s a list of some great mail applications to try out on iOS.
It’s been 5 years since Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung over patent infringements. As in typical corporation lawsuit fashion it was dragged out over the years.
Samsung has recently agreed to pay the $548 million damage claim fee. While it’s a big amount by any means it’s a significant cut from the previous $2+ billion dollar request. However here comes the catch, Samsung reserves the right to be reimbursed in full if the court appeals the decision. Though Apple disputes their dispute, which surely will drag this out longer.
The lawsuit began over Apple’s claim that Samsung had infringed on multiple patents from tap-to-zoom & other gestures that the iPhone/Apple held. Samsung has come out saying that they’ll pay in full if Apple invoices them before December 14th, 2015. Side note but I’d like to be the one to either prepare & or see an invoice of that amount.
As with most of these cases we’ll see appeals from both sides & a back & forth battle. Samsung already has requested for a Supreme Court review in the upcoming summer. However until then Apple has a pretty big check heading their way.
They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Flickr used to be one the premier photo sharing sites & back in the day was dominated with mostly DSLR quality photos. However in recent years that has shifted drastically. Flickr’s 2015 year in review showcased that iPhone has become the most used camera at 42%. Overtaking Cannon & Nikon cameras.
The infographic showcases a lot of useful information about Flickr’s site & user base. However these stats really show the shift towards mobile photography. Almost every smartphone nowadays features a high quality camera & software to match. That in combination with photo editing & sharing apps have added on to the mobile photo revolution.
Personally my T4i has found a permanent spot in my office mainly for videos but even that has been surpassed nearly by my 6S Plus. Theres still of course time & place for the DSLR, it has far more superior quality & level of control however for easy & convenient photos the mobile phone is definitely the #1 solution thus far.
The big rumor as of late is that Apple may be removing the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack in order to make the next gen iPhone 7 that much thinner. Reputable Japanese Apple rumor site Mac Oktakara says that they have reliable sources that Apple is looking to scrap the standard port for a thinner profile. In order to do this they may be looking into a lightning based earpod solution for you to listen to your music & bluetooth would still be available. However for almost any other headphones out there you’d require a lightning to 3.5 adapter.
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has scrapped something that seems proprietary to the consumer whether or not it effects all sorts of hardware. We saw this with CD drive in the Air, Scroll wheel on the mice, 30-pin to lightning switch, the list goes on. With the smartphone space going thinner & lighter this has required manufacturers to find clever ways to save space where they can without compromising power.
This switch however would effect users from using any other pair of headphones outside of the standard ones Apple would provide, unless of course they had said adapter.
Many articles have pointed out that some companies already provide a lightning based headphone solution such as the Philips M2L/27 Fidelio . This would be a move in Apple’s case to unify the lightning connector & have a much slimmer profile. While thinnest is appreciated in smartphones I’m not suer if its worth the cost of switching everyone over to a new standard that would involve them carrying around an adapter or using the standard headphones. Unless Apple finds a way to design & implement this in a much more useful or clever way then I can only see blowback from the consumers.
Again this as of now is still a rumor & the iPhone 7 is still months away but isn’t something totally off base of what Apple has done in the past.