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Category Archives for Technology

Amazon Announces New Line of Alexa Devices

Amazon held a press event today to announce a whole new lineup of it’s Alexa smart home products. Ranging from an updated Echo to newer accessories for every room. Expanding upon the smart home products & it’s ability to interact with other devices in your household.

 

Starting off with the updated Echo. After 3 years Amazon has updated the product that kicked off the smart speaker market. The new Echo comes in a slightly smaller form factor & houses a dedicated woofer & tweeter with Dolby sound. Additionally it’ll now come in fabric cloths meant to provide a softer feel similar to that of Google Home. The Echo will be priced at $99 & is available today.

Next up was another upgrade to the Echo line in what Amazon is calling the “Echo Plus”. The design mimics that of the original Echo while packing some extra hardware inside. The major update is it’ll house a Smart Home hub internally allowing it to serve as the center of your smart home (light bulbs, switches, etc) they’ll even ship out the Plus with a Philips Hue bulb for a limited time. Internally the speaker architecture has been improved alongside Dolby sound to provide a better listening experience. The Echo Plus will be priced at $150.

 

Next up is the Echo Spot which is designed to fit in between the Dot & Echo Show. Offering a small display on its cylindrical design it can be used as an alarm clock while still having Alexa built in & the ability to connect to a speaker system via bluetooth or wire.

 

Lastly Amazon offered an accessory for Echos. Echo Dot will come in at $20 a pair & serve as puck like buttons for certain Alexa-Powered games. A buzzer essentially. Outside of trivia games there’s no confirmation on what else the buttons will be capable of doing via Alexa.

Credit: TechCrunch

 

That said Amazon has released what looks like a very competitive lineup feature & price wise. Stacking up against other companies entering the space such as Apple & Google. Alexa is definitely the dominant smart speaker/assistant in the game right now & today’s release has showcased Amazon’s plan to integrate it in as many rooms/scenarios as possible. You can begin ordering the new Alexa line of products today!

http://amzn.to/2ytJ5LV (aff)

 

Everything Announced At Apple’s iPhone 8 & X Event

Apple just wrapped up their highly anticipated September 12th event & here’s a look at everything officially announced.

 

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple watch saw an upgrade in an all new LTE based model. Identical in its design & form factor the series 3 focuses on freedom from the phone with cellular/LTE. Allowing you to receive texts, calls, and stream music all from your watch without the need of your phone. This works via a new eSIM Apple has built into the watch. No word on the carrier plans & how that’ll work as of yet however the series 3 will start at $399 for LTE & $329 for the non-cellular model and works its way up from there depending on your model.

Recap:

  • LTE/Cellular Chip
  • $329 Starting price point / $399 for LTE 
  • Available Sept 22nd

Apple TV 4K

 

The Apple TV set top box got it’s much needed 4K support driven by the A10x processor (same as the iPad Pro). This means the Apple TV can deliver much more powerful content including 4K content & improved gaming experience for TVOS apps. Outside of that the box & overall design remain the same. The 4K version of the Apple TV will come in at $179 for 32GB model & 64GB at $199.

Recap:

  • 4K Content Support
  • 32 GB= $179 64 GB=$199

iPhone 8

The much anticipated release was that of the iPhone lineup & Apple kicked things off with the iPhone 8 line, the 8 & 8 Plus. The phones share a similar design to that of the iPhone 7 with the biggest change being the all glass body & steel frame. This design change makes way for one of the new features wireless charging (Qi supported) & also integrates some new internal hardware such as the new A11 Bionic chip. Overall performance across the board has seen big updates from graphics to processing power. Coming in a new brushed gold, space grey & silver finishes. Similar to the 7 the base 8 model will include a single 12 megapixel camera while the Plus will feature the dual camera system. Outside of the physical changes the hardware will also make way for the future of augmented reality & ARKit as Apple’s been pushing forward with this technology in several of their apps. Price wise the 8 will start at $699 & Plus comes in at $799 for base models.

Recap:

  • Glass body w/steel frame
  • Wireless charging support
  • A11 Bionic Chip
  • $699 for iPhone 8 & $799 for iPhone 8 Plus base models

iPhone X

 Jumping in the naming scheme a bit Apple’s one more thing is what most would consider the pro iPhone. The X seeks to change the iPhone design fundamentally by integrating a 5.8 inch OLED screen experience that offers a full edge to edge display. Replacing the former home button with  gesture based swipes to navigate iOS & the all new Face ID feature to unlock your device. Face ID takes advantage of several cameras/sensors in order to detect your face & unlock your device. The X will also feature the new A11 bionic chip & house the dual camera system on the back at a vertical alignment versus the previous horizontal layout on the 7 Plus. In conjunction with the hardware software changes have been announced such as the ability to take portrait mode photos with your facetime camera & offering what are known as “Portrait Lighting” a beta feature which will allow for lighting effects to be used on your portrait mode photos. From a design perspective the iPhone X will come in the form factor of the traditional 7 or 8 size but have a screen equivalent to the Plus due to the edge to edge display. Coming in at the highest baseline we’ve seen for an iPhone at $999.

Recap:

  • 5.8 inch OLED edge to edge display
  • No Touch ID replaced by Face ID (Facial recognition)
  • Glass body coming in Silver & Space Grey
  • A11 Bionic CPU
  • $999 baseline price (64 GB)

 

Software Features:

Outside the new hardware we some new software features integrated into the new iPhone 8 & X lineup some of which will surely make their way to iOS 11 overall.  These include features like

Face ID (Facial Recognition unlock for iPhone X)

Portrait Lighting Effects

The portrait mode will get a new beta features that allow for lighting effects to be adjusted prior to the photo.

Animoji

More of a fun filled feature Apple is throwing in the iPhone X’s new camera in conjunction with the sensors & what not used for AR will also be used for animated emojis. Tracking your face & allowing you to adjust the expression of everyone’s favorite emoji to send via iMessage.

 

 

That about wraps up all the major announcements from Apple’s event! Mainly focused on that of the iPhone we now have a three tiered release for the next Apple smartphone. All coming down to your upgrade plan & what you are seeking most of your next iPhone. This all comes in conjunction with the upcoming release of new software from Apple later in the year such as iOS 11, TVOS, WatchOS & much more. What are your thoughts on the event? Stay tuned for more coverage & thoughts on everything announced today at the new Steve Jobs theater.

 

 

 

 

 

What To Expect At Apple’s September 12th Event

Apple’s hosting their first ever event tomorrow in the new Steve Jobs theater in Cuptertino. Fitting as the announcement will likely center around the all new iPhone 8, the phone Jobs himself displayed back in 2007. As always rumors have surfaced & floated around the closer the event has become. Leaks from the GM builds to dummy models. That all said here’s what you can expect from Apple event tomorrow.

iPhone 8

Highlights:

  • A11 CPU
  • Glass Body
  • Edge to Edge Display
  • Wireless Charging

 

The biggest release is focused on the next iteration of iPhone. The 8 from all leaks will aim to finally adopt an all screen look very popular among Samsung phones. Foregoing the home button for a full display with touch pressure like features to make up for the loss of the physical button. This means more screen real estate overall while still maintaining the same features. As for the back the cameras will now align vertically & be housed in a glass body. The biggest feature missing with the loss of the home button will be that of Touch ID. Apple may look to remedy this with whats being called “Face ID” essentially facial recognition. This isn’t new tech but knowing Apple they’ll aim to make it seamless while of course offering top tier protection to your smart phone. All while of course increasing the internal specs RAM, processing power (A11), and so on.

iPhone 8 will still come in two models a 4.7 inch & 5.5 inch Plus model. This will also be the first iPhone to incorporate wireless charging. Apple has been testing the technology & is said to finally bring it to the iPhone 8 to make charging wireless most likely to eventually rid of the lightning port.

As always we’re getting a fast iPhone with a slightly new look & feel. The big focus here being the screen & how we interact with an all touch display & less physical buttons. The software in this case will play as big of a role as the new hardware.

 

iPhone X

Highlights:

  • 5.8 OLED Display/Edge to Edge
  • A11 CPU
  • Glass Body
  • Wireless Charging

The newest edition to the lineup this time around will be what is known as the iPhone Pro or iPhone X. This will offer a better screen, be more expensive, & offer slightly higher quality/spec phone. The big selling point here being the OLED screen it’ll feature to truly take advantage of all the screen real estate the phone has to offer. That said it’ll also house a higher price tag expected to come in at around $1,000+.

 

LTE Apple Watch

The smartwatch product is set to finally get an LTE model (cellular connection) which would allow it to work independently without being tethered to the phone for certain tasks. Unsure how the connectivity will work as of yet if it’ll piggy back of your phone plan etc. Outside of that we’re likely to see some internal changes improving overall performance for the watch however outside of that the rumors seem to be up in the air.

4K Apple TV

The set top box is set to get the 2017 upgrade with a new A10X chip to power 4K content which is expected to stream via iTunes & other services on the TVOS platform. The design is expected to remain the same alongside possible remote improvements but one thing is for sure the internals will be getting a big upgrade.

Minor Upgrades/Touching Base:

Outside of the new product launches we’re likely to see Apple recap on some of their past announcements. Namely products like the unreleased HomePod (Apple’s Smart Speaker), possible AirPod editions 2 (minor design changes/improvements), iOS 11 recap, AR Kit discussion & some possible other surprise announcements could be thrown into the mix. Given the leaks this year a lot is confirmed on the software end with iOS 11 GM being distributed by accident. This has given incite in how the software will play alongside the new phones. The event will be heavily iPhone focused & seeing as it’s the 10th year of the iPhone we expect nothing less than some major changes in how we interact with this everyday device.

 

Stay tuned for coverage tomorrow live & prior to the event!

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns

As of Tuesday Travis Kalanick CEO of Uber has officially stepped down from the role amidst a lot of pressure over the last weeks that range from various sexual harassment claims to his mothers recent passing.  Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2009 building what is now the most recognizable ride sharing service.

According to sources early Tuesday morning five members of Uber’s board called for Kalanick’s resignation amidst all the turmoil. Citing that Uber as a company needs new leadership. Upon discussing further with other board members Kalanick agreed to step down as CEO but remain on the board of directors releasing the following statement.

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight”

Uber has been in the public eye following allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace to Kalanick’s own dispute with an Uber driver caught on tape & the most recent personal tragedy with his mothers passing. Not to mention a series of other ongoing lawsuits from the likes of Google to name but one.

Uber a company valued at about $70 billion has definitely had it shares of ups & down. The recent spotlight has certainly hurt the company’s overall image & that can be argued that it stems from the top. However with Kalanick resigning we can only see how new management/leadership plays out for the ride sharing business.

Scrivener for iOS Overview

My thanks to Literature & Latte for sponsoring the following content as well as DigitalDojos over the last week. Literature & Latte are the makers of great apps such as Scrivener & Scapple. IF your looking for the best writing app solution look no further! Check out more info over at http://literatureandlatte.com

 

Scrivener has proven over time to be one of the best writing apps in the market. Offering a studio based application that gives you the ability to create, edit, review, research an entire project in one environment. Designed for long form writing Scrivener allows you to write the way you want structuring & revising your story in whatever format or order you see fit. It’s the go to app for any long form writing I do or even E-Book related material. Since it’s release the folks over at Literature & Latte have been hard at work to take their amazing desktop app to the mobile end. After years of planning & development Scrivener made its way to iOS & the team spared no features or thought when it came to porting it over for mobile. Here’s a look & overview of Scrivener for iOS (iPad & iPhone) retails for $20 via the iOS App Store

 

Video:

 

Interface-

Scrivener for iOS is simplicity meets advanced features. L&L did a great job of offering a lot of the apps main   feature set in a scaled down version. The binder, writing tools, and organizational tools such as cork board, folders, and so on are all included. Throughout the app you have multiple features at your disposal tucked away into the interface. Whether it’s swipe gestures or the Scrivener keyboard that gives you access to commonly used characters & tools to navigate around your article. All of which are extremely useful given your using Scrivener on a smaller device than you may be used to. However whether it was the iPhone or iPad I found navigating through the document seamless & intuitive.

Having quick access to common shortcuts such as highlighting, annotations, undo/redo & so on makes long form writing a breeze on the app. Furthermore Scrivener for iOS offers up customization in the form of tapping & holding any button on the keyboard interface for you to swap it to a more preferable shortcut. Outside of that the app behaves & functions similar to that of the desktop version so if your used to that interface then you won’t be disappointed. Scrivener allows a great organizational system through it’s binder feature. Organizing drafts, research, and whatever other miscellaneous parts of your  script, book, etc.

 

 

Features-

Again a lot of what you may be used to from the desktop scrivener app is present on mobile whether it’s the full rich-text editing, import/export options, or annotation tools. Scrivener for iOS doesn’t skip out on features despite it’s more minimal UI.  Beyond that iOS has brought sync functionality via Dropbox to make syncing between devices easier than ever. So whether you want to write on your MacBook or PC then take it on the go via an iPad or iPhone Scrivener allows for jut that. Simply sync your Dropbox account you use on your PC/Mac w/the iOS counterpart & your work can be synced across no matter what device your on or changes that need to be made. As someone who alternates devices throughout the day this is something thats crucial for me. I tend to start writing on my desktop & can easily be on the go needing to make changes to documents or books I may be working on. The ability now to simply add a thought via my iPhone or swap to my iPad makes the whole writing process that much more enjoyable & convenient!

 

Why Write w/Scrivener?

So what makes Scrivener stand out from any other word processors or heck even a simple notes app. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy simply writing in any empty text editor from time to time but when it comes to full expanding upon my thoughts & getting some serious writing done I always turn to Scrivener. Whether you use it to write a novel, develop a manuscript, or in my case create an E-Book it offers everything you need & more. Scrivener focuses on making the environment for long form writers accessible & tailored to your needs. Rather than writing in one motion your free to jump around to multiple documents, pages, thoughts & stitch it all together in the end. What makes me enjoy using Scrivener is it allows me to write however I see fit. Great tools like the binder allow you to split up multiple documents or drafts only to reorganize it later on depending on your process. The cork board or research tab makes it easy for you to import media to refer to be it notes or images as you write. Gone are the days of toggling between browsers & multiple apps just to reference a quick thought while writing.

 

I can go on & on about the use cases for Scrivener & how it makes the writing process that much more efficient but honestly its something you need to try & adopt depending on your writing style. While it may not be for everyone it can be used to write anything simple, complex, you name it. The flexibility the app offers really shines in the mobile application. It makes writing longer form content on the iPad a mere tap away.

Verdict-

All in all Scrivener is simply an all around writing application that you’d be hard fought to find something you couldn’t use it for. The transition from desktop app to the iOS platform has been one where the folks at L&L did a phenomenal job. Personally seeing their journey from going through devs to hiring in-house to re-develop from the ground up has been something to witness & to see the end result come out so polished definitely speaks to the talent of the team. As a content producer apps like these make my life that much easier & allow me to do my job without having to worry about the tools at my disposal. Scrivener for iOS simply allows me to open & get writing anyway I see fit.

Find out more information & grab Scrivener for iOS for $20 today!

Xbox One X Announced at $500

Today at E3 Microsoft  announced the release information on their latest Xbox console. The Xbox One X set to release November 7th 2017 will feature the most powerful console to date. Featuring the following:

  • 8-core custom AMD CPU (2.3 Ghz)
  • 12GB GDDR5 Ram
  • 6-Teraflop based GPU
  • 1TB Drive

Every Xbox One X will also feature a 1 month free Xbox Game Pass & 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold. The final price tag… $500. This is the most powerful console set to come to market alongside the PS4 Pro. Offering true 4K support (60 FPS) & games to match. The E3 announcement also showcased some Xbox One X exclusives such as Forza Motorsport 7, State of Decay 2, and Sea of Thieves.  In terms of the design the Xbox One X looks very similar to that of the previous S. Slightly slimmer & sans the vented top in a black design.

There’s no questioning the power they were able to pack into a slightly smaller footprint of the Xbox & push towards the standard of 4K games/content. However at $500 entry price point it definitely puts the console out of reach for some. Xbox One S comes in at around $100 more than it’s PS4 competition.

Xbox One X hits the stores worldwide November 7th this year.

Yahoo $4.48 billion Sale to Verizon Approved

Yahoo & it’s shareholders have officially approved the sale to Verizon that will be set to close on Tuesday. The deal closes at $4.48 billion for the company that has seen a struggling past. Yahoo alongside AOL (two names that yes still exist) will be combining under Verizon in a new company called “Oath”.

Alongside the transition Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer will be stepping down & Verizon will be issuing a 15% employee cut. Given Yahoo’s recent password hack the original asking price was lowered by $350 million. In the event of said sale Yahoo’s stock has gone up by a little over 9%. Verizon has stated this acquisition & merger of both companies is a combined scale effort. Looking to increase growth leveraging both Yahoo & AOL’s user. Oath is set to act as a B2B branding company. In much simpler terms it’s a unified brand for Verzion to pitch out to investors & the public while keeping Verizon it’s own separate entity. A marketing ploy.

Two unlikely names combining under another time can only tell how Oath will benefit the future of Verizon.

 

 

Apple’s WWDC 2017 Overview

Apple hosted their annual World Wide Developers Conference for 2017. Here’s a run down of the major announcements & product releases. Skipping the traditional Apple sales numbers & figures Tim Cook simply opened with the statement that Apple is doing great.

Video Overview

 

Broken into 6 parts WWDC focused on

  • tvOS
  • WatchOS
  • Mac Lineup
  • iOS 11
  • iPad Pro
  • HomePod

 

tvOS

Apple first announcment focused on the recently overhauled Apple TV OS. Not much was highlighted about the OS other than to confirm rumors that Amazon Video will be coming to Apple TV. This means Prime members can now stream Amazon Video content on their Apple TV devices. We’re sure to see the Amazon App hit the TV App-Store soon.

watchOS

Coming off the release of the Apple Watch 2 the company seeks to bring some software updates to improve the overall OS performance as well as bring some new customization to the watch. watchOS 4 will be bringing features like new watch faces, improved activity goals, improved music controls & some behind the scenes improvement.

 

A look at some of the new watch faces featuring the all day siri assistant face or the interactive Toy Story faces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minor touch ups here for an already highly improved OS.

 

macOS

This time around for the Mac rather than an all new OS we got another revision of what we’re currently on with Sierra. Dubbing the new OS update “High Sierra” yup you read that right. High Sierra will focus on updates to the core technology of the OS. These updates however are not to be dismissed as they make big leaps towards modernizing the OS as a whole.

Three main areas that High Sierra will aim to focus on:

File System- Ditching the HFS file system MacOS finally makes the leap to APFS (Apple File System) the same filing system that is used on iOS. This means all your documents, photos, and so on are now organized in a system that is not only safer but faster in it’s overall performance whether it’s duplicating files or  transferring them across the drive.

Video- Adopting the new HEVC standard for video MacOS will support H.265 files which is up to 40% better compression for video & supports the raising standard of 4K video. Allowing to stream & handle 4K playback much more seamlessly on the mac.

Graphics- On that same token graphics is another big area High Sierra seeks to improve upon. Metal 2 will bring much needed improvements to the GPU in macs & allow for overall better performance be it gaming, video editing, and so on. The same platform will allow for a better VR experiences on the mac. Yup that’s right VR on the mac. Metal VR will allow developers to creative VR experiences on the mac & work effectively with new headsets as well as pro grade apps on the mac such as final cut.

Outside of these core improvements several apps throughout macOS will also receive some updates & new features. Safari is a notable one that’ll be getting features such as Auto-Play video blocking & intelligent tracking prevention when it comes to your browsing habits. Other apps such as Photos & Mail will also get some new features such as editing tools & improved full screen support. You can read more about the updates to apps here on the official page.

Dev Beta is available today while Open beta will be released in July.

Mac Lineup

The entire mac lineup received updates to the hardware all mainly surrounding Intels latest Kaby Lake chipset.

 

Macbook – The standard macbook received the latest Intel chipset alongside getting a bump to the 1.4 Ghz i7 model (Turbo boost up to 3.6 Ghz) & available up to 16GB of RAM.

Macbook Pro- Processors upgrades from 3.5 to 4.1 Ghz depending on the 13 or 15 inch model.

Macbook Air- Upgrade to the 1.8 Ghz Intel Kaby Lake chip.

Intel Iris Plus graphics 640 are now the based config for the 13-inch Macbook Pro with the higher 650 upgrade available. Price point wise the 12-Macbook has a new entry level price of $1,299.

iMac- A refresh of the iMac brought all new GPUs to the base 21.5 & 27 inch model housing either the Intel Plus Graphics 640 or Radeon Pro 550 or 560 for the 21.5 inch model which is the first time we’ve seen discrete graphics offered to said model. The 27 inch will have three options for GPUs in the Radeon Pro 570, 575, or 580 at 8GB of VRAM.

The main idea here is that said iMacs be it the 21.5 or 27 inch model can handle VR now making it more appealing for developers or simply gaming through the all-in-one desktop.

The bigger announcement comes around the next generation of iMac. Apple’s iMac Pro is an answer for the prosumers while still housing it in the famous all-in-one shell. The iMac Pro features such specs:

  • Processors that can support up to 22 teralops (8, 10, and 18 core Xeons)
  • Memory up to 128 gigs
  • 4 TB of Storage
  • Improved thermal cooling system

Oh & a truly sleek space grey color scheme to pull it all together

 

As for external ports Apple has added additional ports for expansion via their recently adopted USB C ports. Notice that all the ports axed from either the latest iPhone or Macbook Pro are still located on the latest iMac.

The iMac Pro will start at steeper price point of $5,000 & won’t be available until December. Now this is definitely a machine more geared towards the professional grade consumer in mind. In a way its a response to show Apple still does acknowledge the market while also ignoring their lack of support the Mac Pro. Housed in an all-in-one body & behind a 5K retina display however you can’t help but be marveled at the iMac Pro.

 

iOS 11

Apple then moved on to focus on the mobile line of devices & the latest iOS 11 update set to come later this year. In all honesty not much to highlight here other than a couple features most of which will be brought over to the iPad Pro.

Notable updates include:

  • Apple Pay brought to iMessage (Venmo for iMessage essentially)
  • LivePhotos recieved Loop, Bounce, and long exposure updates to create more interactive photos
  • New Photo Filters
  • Brand new App-Store app
  • Improved iMessage App-Drawer
  • Siri updates including beta translation software
  • AirPlay2 now provides multi-room audio streaming (Think Sonos for your iOS based devices)
  • Improved Control Center UI

 

The other major updates were iPad Pro focused. Bringing for the first time a cross between iOS & macOS for the latest iPad Pro.

AppDock- Think a mac dock for your iPad that can now be brought up in the OS to quickly access functions & most used apps.

 

Improved Drag/Drop Gesture Support – You can now in combination with the splitscreen view easily drag & drop text, images, and files from one app to another.

Improved Markup for PDFs via Apple Pencil & within notes

ARKit – This will bring augmented reality kit to iOS & more particularly the iPad Pro to interact with digital objects in a real life setting. The technology demo’d looked promising & ran well on the iPad Pro.

The improvements while subtle on the iPhone end do bring some promising additions to the iPad line. Bridging the gap between mac & iOS.

iPad Pro

On the topic of the iPad Pro it did receive it’s own update. Coming in now at at a 10.5 inch model while still weighing at a unbelievable 1lb. The biggest & maybe underplayed update comes in it’s new display that is better & bigger in every aspect. Leaving more room for the content to shine with the slimmer bezels. Under the hood however the iPad Pro receives a 120 hz refresh rate versus the previous 60 hz.

The iPad Pro continues to pave the way for a portable device that more some users can entirely replace their mac. Paired with iOS 11’s new feature set the iPad pro is faster & better then ever.

 

HomePod

In the final announcement Apple introduced their highly anticipated smart speaker the HomePod. While I’m personally not a huge fan of the name think of it as Siri meets wireless speaker. Competing with the existing market of Amazon Alexa & Google’s Home. Taking it a step further the HomePod aims to rival sound systems such as Sonos with the ability to pair multiple speakers for a multi-room experience.

The HomePod focuses on quality audio with it’s seven tweeter system to produce sound at every angle. Paired with technology that Apple claims will detect the environment in order to project the appropriate sound given the speakers location. Of course the other end of the device is the smart assistant built into it. Trigger the phrase “Hey Siri” will allow you to ask Siri almost anything from sports scores to setting a timer or of course streaming music through Apple Music. The big kicker is its price point at $350. Comparing it to the base models of Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, or even the Sonos Play 1 this is definitely coming it at a more premium price. Pairing this with multiple HomePods in a household will allow for multi-room audio streaming similar to that of Sonos. This is a new area for Apple & one that they’ve been eyeing for quite some time so we’ll see how it plays out in the smart home space. The device will integrate tightly with HomeKit in order to communicate with smart devices be it lights, doors or a security system.

 

Summary:

In all we saw Apple really cover a lot of ground with the conference. Quickly going over micro updates to tv & watchOS & moving into the heavier hitting upgrades such as the iMac Pro & so on. If anything this event showcased Apple pushing the envelope forward for a lot of their technology be it on the software or hardware end. Moving into spaces such as AR & VR showcased Apple’s willingness to dive into what some may consider gimmicky or a trend in tech. Apple doesn’t normally tackle things first rather they try to do it best. The HomePod will have to offer up some better integration & features to stand out against its lower priced competition & time will only tell. The iMac Pro’s announcement paves way for the prosumer space & if anything showcases Apple hasn’t entirely forgotten about that market that once made up a big share of its customers. Featuring a great combination of hardware & software in a way only Apple can do. Are you looking at the typical Apple tax with such hardware? Without a doubt but it’s no question your getting a quality machine that in this case doesn’t pack too many compromises compared to that of the controversial Macbook Pro update. Apple is taking their dominance and pushing it forward in software & hardware while I like the direction their going I still feel there’s more room to improve, a lot more.. iOS 11 for example felt more of a version update of iOS 10 rather than an entirely new OS. iPad Pro users see some great features however it still leaves the OS in many aspects exactly the same. Not too many risks or groundbreaking improvements.

While some will appreciate such updates across the line there still leaves a lot of questions for what Apple has lined up in other areas such as the phone & other lines such as the Mac Pro. Share your thoughts & opinions down below in the comments!

 

 

 

Whats on my iPhone (May 2017 Edition)

It’s been awhile since I’ve taken into account all the apps I use on a day to day basis be it for work,  killing time on my commute, or to get that 3 AM meal I’m craving after getting back from a night out. Thus I wanted to bring back the What’s on my iPhone series & try to keep you all up to date from time to time on the latest & in my opinion best apps I’m currently using. As time goes on of course these change slightly however I’m always open to new suggestions & better alternatives so if you see or know any better solutions drop them in the comments!

App List:

Food-

  • Yelp
  • Cavia
  • UberEats
  • PostMates

Social-

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Skype
  • Messenger
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Discord
  • Viber

Banking

  • Apple Pay/Wallet
  • NavyFederal
  • Venmo
  • Chase
  • CapitalOne
  • PayPal
  • TrueBill
  • Robinhood
  • CreditKarma

Smart Home

  • Kasa
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Ring
  • Philipps Hue
  • OnSwitch
  • Harmony App
  • Apple TV Remote

Transportation

  • Lyft
  • Uber
  • CalTrain
  • Bart

Miscellaneous

  • PrimeNow
  • Overcast
  • Audible
  • Reddit
  • LastPass
  • Youtube
  • Wunderlist
  • Sonos
  • Spotify
  • Amazon
  • AirBnb
  • GOAT
  • Bumble…. Tinder
  • Kayak
  • Soundcloud
  • Funnel
  • Kami 2
  • United
  • GIPHY
  • Adidas Confirmed
  • Groupon
  • Google Maps
  • Charades
  • Rinse
  • Google Voice
  • Asana
  • VSCO
  • Google Drive
  • Eero

 

 

Everything you need to know about the iPhone 7 Simplified

Today Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 to the world. Bringing all new hardware to a form factor we’re all to familiar with. Here’s what you need to know about it.

 

Whats New?

To break it down simply:

Faster

It incorporates an all new A10 fusion chip which means its twice as fast as the previous iPhone 6S plus. Equaling improved performance across the board.

Color Schemes

The iPhone 7 introduces two skews of black. Jet black as its called is the glossy new finish while black is essentially a matte look.

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Better Camera’s

The iPhone 7 will feature a 12 megapixel camera, optic image stabilization, and an improved flash for all your photos. Offering some of the highest quality shots & video. Improving in areas such as low-light shots & overall quality this is the best camera the iPhone has ever sported. Now if your interested in the iPhone 7 Plus that’ll feature not one but two cameras. A dual system where one camera will focus on telephoto shots & the other wide angle shots.  In theory offering you an actual zoom functionality through the multiple cameras. Additionally the front facing camera got some love this time around being upgraded to 7 megapixels.

New Home Button (or lack thereof)

The new home button isn’t actually a button rather a pressure sensitive pad for your touch-ID unlocks, tap to home screen, and so on. It’ll determine the force at which you press it & react as such. Offering haptic feedback so you feel a vibration or click to confirm the press. Similar to whats offered across Apple’s macbook lineup.

No more headphone jack

So the most controversial update was the removal of the standard 3.5 mm jack. This means all audio will now run through the digital lightning port. EarPods have been converted to fit the lightning connector & the phone will ship with an adapter if you choose to still use analogue headphones. This is in an effort to phase out the old connector in hopes for improved digital ones which equal better quality but not the most convenience this early on.

IP57 Resistant

Basically this means its dust & water resistant to a certain standard. So next time you drop your iPhone 7 in a puddle, toilet, or what have you. It’s more likely to withstand such a mishap due to the way its sealed.

Improved Retina Display

While the physical display size is the same the technology behind it has been improved. The display is now 25% more brighter & due to the wider color gamut will display more vivid/accurate reparation of colors.

Stereo Sound

There will now be speakers on top & bottom of the phone to produce a more richer & immersive sound when your gaming on the device or just listening to music out loud.


Now onto some other practical questions you’d want to know about the all new phone from Apple.

How much does it cost?

The iPhone 7 starts baseline (32GB) at $649 while the Plus model will run you $749 this varies on your country & method of payment of course. For example Apple offers their own iPhone program where you can finance it at as little as $32 a month.
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When is it available?

Pre-orders begin September 9th (12:01 AM) & will begin release on September 16th.

Hows the battery life?

Despite all the upgrades Apple is claiming battery life has actually improved. Getting 2 more hours of usage then last years 6S in the 7 & an extra hour in the plus models.

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What are the dimensions?

In terms of size & shape your really getting about the same form factor as the previous models.

 

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Should you upgrade?

This is a more situational question however let me put it this way. The phone itself is faster & for the most part the same form factor as the previous 6/6S phones. If you really want to see the difference outside of speed the phone to go for will be the iPhone 7 Plus as it features the new dual camera system which I think is something most people look for in a new phone given how often we use them as our main cameras nowadays. That said if your on a 6S or 6 Plus you can wait it out for the 7S generation or if your up for an upgrade by all means. Anyone on a phone lower than the 6 honestly would see tremendous differences across the board. It’s not for everyone & of course other factors come into play here like money for example but take a look at what you have & your options are to determine whether or not it’s right for you.

 

That about in a nutshell wraps up Apple’s latest phone. By all means its an engineering marvel as always & will sell well but nothing groundbreaking or features we haven’t seen before from other manufactures. If your in the Apple ecosystem & due for an upgrade now may be the time otherwise it’s either wait or survey what else is available outside of Apple.

 

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