Alphabet (Google) Becomes the Most Valuable Company in the World

Alphabet (Google) Becomes the Most Valuable Company in the World

Alphabet the parent company of Google has recently became the world’s most valuable company overtaking the behemoth that is Apple. This is big news as the stock climbed 4.2 % as of market open this Tuesday.  The companies market cap is now valued around $542 billion while the previous holder Apple sits at around $532 billion.

Alphabet which was consolidated into one company not that long ago helps the company diversify. Their investments are spread of course throughout all sorts of ventures & projects from Android, Adsense, AI, health tech, internet access and much much more. These various revenue streams have definitely helped the company grow year over year & take over one of the worlds biggest companies. There’s no doubt of the parent companies successful year thus far in market & related to that of product releases. 2010 was the previous year in which Alphabet was worth more than Apple so it’s been quite some time. Their play is to go forward & invest further in mobile as they see most of their ad revenue & business going forward being in that field.

There’s no doubt the market will continue shift & both companies are anything but invulnerable or doomed.

Caudabe Veil XT iPhone 6/6S & 6/6S Plus Case Review

Caudabe Veil XT iPhone 6/6S & 6/6S Plus Case Review

Caudabe’s Veil XT is an iPhone case that focuses on simplicity & minimalism. One of the thinnest case in the market coming in at just 0.35 mm. The idea behind it is it’s a case for those who don’t necessarily want a case & appreciate the original form & function of the iPhone. This is what made it personally stand out to me. The Veil XT compared to the Veil model offers full coverage around all edges of the phone with exception of the front screen. Veil XT’s purpose is to protect the phone from scratches & minor falls. This isn’t your average case with reinforced material or shock protection again it’s purpose is to maintain the naked feel of the iPhone.

Price:$21 USD

The case is made for a variety of phones however in this review I’ll be examining the 6S & 6S Plus models.

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Video Review:

Design:

Again the design on this case is minimal. A very light & thin plastic like material with a matte like finish. Personally I like the feel of the case however I could see it being prone to slipping for some. The Veil XT covers all of the iPhone’s edges neatly. All port cutouts are precise & flush. I had no issue accessing the volume rockers, sleep/wake button, or mute switch. Additionally the bottom ports which are covered in the XT model were all easily accessed as well. All 3.5 mm AUX/headphone connectors worked without any issue. The slim design of the case made it easy to plug in any cord without exception in my testing where as other cases tend to be a bit to thick for certain angled connectors. The lighting port & speaker grills are also aligned perfectly as to cause no issues.

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Beyond that the branding on the case is kept to a minimal aspect as well with Caudabe logo subtly on the back. Personalization wise the case is offered in a variety of colors that add a great customization aspect to the case.

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Further testing the case accommodated for what I’d call design oversights on the iPhone 6 models. The protruding camera lens for example is solved by a very thin lip added to the Veil XT evening out the phone. This comes at not detriment to the flash on the iPhone. All of this accomplished without adding more than 0.35mm to your iPhone.

Installation:

Installation was fairly simple however it’s worth noting that case is very fragile. Taking your time is important & not using excessive force as it can lead to breaking the case. I noticed in my testing that the iPhone 6 models for some reason were much more difficult to take off compared to the bigger 6S Plus models of which there are no difference other than size. Other than that you simply slide the phone in starting from the bottom as recommended & snap your phone gently into place.

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Pros/Cons:

Pros:

Affordable $21

Minimal Design

Customization

Precsicse cutouts

Cons:

Fragile (Not meant for hot swapping)

Doesn’t offer front or full protection


 

Overall the Veil XT is a case that isn’t for everyone that much is certain. However Caudabe from what I’ve seen in their PR doesn’t shy away from this rather they own up to it. That’s something I personally respect, the case is meant for those who want the simplicity & original design on the iPhone while still getting minor protection against everyday damage. In my opinion a case should be unobtrusive in it’s design not hindering me from accessing my phone in anyway while also being protective to a certain level. The Veil XT in my case achieves all of that while being affordable & stylish in it’s simplicity.

I’d reccomend it to those who want to add some level of case/protection to their phone. A skin meets case design that can be added & forgot. For more information head over to Caudabe website for the Veil XT or Veil case.

 

Apple’s All New Smart Battery Case

Apple’s All New Smart Battery Case

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.20.12 PMThe 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.

Samsung Agrees to Pay $548 million to Apple Over Patent Infringement

Samsung Agrees to Pay $548 million to Apple Over Patent Infringement

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.

 

iPhone 6S Review: The “S” is for Speed

iPhone 6S Review: The “S” is for Speed

The iPhone 6S is Apple’s current flagship device. An “S” release that was debuted alongside the 6S Plus. The typical “S” upgrades mean faster, more advanced hardware, new features type of phone. The 6S packs all of that & more in the same design you’ll find on the 6. The only difference being the improved durability from the 7,000 series aluminum that makes the phone that much more stronger & less prone to bending/dents.

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This review will break down my overall thoughts on the product & answer some of the major questions consumers may be posing such as what’s new & is it worth the upgrade?

Video Review:

 

Hardware/Specs:

The iPhone 6S features the following hardware

  • A9 X CPU
  • M9 Co-processor
  • Retina 4.7 inch display (3D Touch Sensor)
  • 16, 64, 128 GB variations
  • Improved Touch ID Sensor
  • 12-megapixel iSight Camera (720P 30 FPS, 1080P 30 FPS, 1080P 60 FPS, 4K 30 FPS)
  • 5-megapixel FaceTime Camera

Price wise the 6S can range anywhere from $649-$849 depending on the model chosen.

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The new A9/M9 CPU performs at outstanding speeds in everyday usage. Packaged with iOS 9 my experience with the 6S was efficient & it handled everything I threw at it. Despite my gripes with iOS 9 multitasking, gaming, and day to day use of the phone ran smoothly.

A noticeable difference in switching between apps & perhaps the most pivotal change in my opinion is the Touch-ID 2 sensor. This allows you get into your phone instantly, and I mean instantly. To the point where people have complained that you can’t just preview your lock screen unless you use your non Touch-ID finger. My personal favorite upgrade to the 6S it makes getting in & out of your phone secure but doesn’t at all compromise on efficiency.

What’s New in the 6S:

Aside from the obvious hardware upgrades & overall performance be it on benchmark testing or everyday usage here’s a look at some other things new in the 6S.

Camera- The updated camera more specifically the rear facing camera shoots amazing photos & videos. Still one of the easiest cameras to use, the iPhone has amazing quality with a very raw look to their photos. Great for those who like to edit their photos after the shot has been taken. Video wise you now have 1080P 60 FPS video (Sample Video) which is super fluid! Taking another step up you have 4K video at 30 FPS which is outstanding. While most people won’t shoot in this format it is an option. Additionally the Facetime camera features a software flash which has been overdue, and the new Live Photos feature. Essentially it makes a gif out your pictures recording a couple seconds before & after you take a picture. While its great to capture the moment surrounding a shot I honestly found myself just turning it off as I don’t use it all that often.

Sample Pictures

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3D Touch– The 3D touch sensor within the screen allows for pressure sensitive based interaction. You can press deeper into the screen to get sub-menus to pop up as well as interact with certain items in iOS. This is what Apple calls peek & pop. While it seems gimmicky after spending time with the 6S you find yourself trying to force touch items on older iOS devices. The support isn’t all there across apps however the apps that do feature it make it that much more convenient to quickly access certain functionality. It’s a glimpse at how we’ll interact with iOS in the future & another control mechanism for apps. Certain gaming developers have already begun adding 3D touch based support to their apps.

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These are the most noticeable differences aside from the already mentioned A9, M9 and Touch ID updated hardware in the phone. Though they’re slight additions to the phone if you use your camera on a daily basis (which I’m sure many iPhone users do) then its definitely a big difference. The 3D touch while a nice add on to iOS & the iPhone is still in its early stages. It’s not a selling point as of right to upgrade by itself much like Siri was or the camera upgrades on previous iPhones.

Upgrade?

That said is it worth upgrading to the 6S? The phone itself is hands down one of the best smartphones out there without a doubt. However if your on last years 6 you can probably wait out this generation unless you simply just have the money to spend. Anything below an iPhone 6 then by all means the upgrade is 100% worth it. You get a phone while not different in looks except the new Rose Gold (Pink) color it comes in. Does pack a punch with its all new hardware. A faster and sleek device. For those who want the smaller screen size & portability coupled with speed the 6S is simply the best smartphone in that category. Backed by an amazing app store, iOS ecosystem, and hardware it’s the reason it’s the top selling phone for Apple & why their sales have reflected as such.

Are there better featured Android phones out there, certainly. However one thing I like about Apple is their patience to not rush out new features to appease the crowd. Rather they try to implement things when they feel they’ve near perfected it & made it such a seamless experience. This is shown in the Touch ID sensor, their camera & it’s software, the overall build of the device.

Overall Thoughts-

All in all the 6S is a great phone for most people, if you want a bigger screen sized iPhone than the 6S Plus is your best bet. For your other needs well there’s a phone for everyone but for iOS users and those looking to update their current iPhone line you can’t go wrong the 6S. Keeping in mind when I bought this phone along with the 6S Plus I was upgrading from an iPhone 5S. Which still to this day is one of my favorite iPhones. It was efficient for me and still is for most people but the significant jump from that to the 6S really showcased all that I was missing. The lighter & rounded form factor that is reminiscent of the earlier iPhones. From an engineering perspective I’m still amazed at the power they pack in year after year into these even thinner devices. A truly great device for all my day to day needs.

Miscellaneous:

  • The Camera hump on the back while aesthetically unpleasing didn’t bother me much case or no case.
  • Rose Gold is more a soft pink
  • Phenomenal Battery Life (Apple claims 9-10 hours) however in reality I get everyday usage out of it & for the most part I’m always within a chargers distance
  • Touch-ID is crazy fast. Hands down my favorite sensor upgrade.
  • 1080P 60 FPS… I use this more than I do my DSLR which is incapable of shooting in such a format.

In typical “S” upgrade fashion it’s a phone that is that much faster & better despite it’s external likeness to last years model. It’s Apples best phone in that its their latest. Faster, more durable, and packed with their latest OS & features. The iPhone is Apple’s baby & lead selling device & the iPhone 6S encompasses the exact reason why.