Second-Gen Apple TV Updates Are No More Apple Ends Tech Support Declares Device Obsolete

The second-generation Apple TV is the latest Apple device to be retired. Apple has added the digital media player to its retired products page and will no longer provide most product support for the device, according to a report from AppleInsider.

Apple TV HDMI connection
image courtesy of http://www.apple.com/ca/appletv/what-is/

Coverage is still available in Turkey and California, because the Apple TV is classified as a vintage product — meaning that it has “not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago” — but for everywhere else, Apple has classified the Apple TV as an obsolete device.

The second-generation Apple TV was notable for taking a different approach compared to the original Apple TV when it launched in 2010, dropping the device’s internal hard drive for media storage and relying much more on streaming and remote applications.

It also introduced the compact black box form factor found in subsequent Apple TV models. After it was discontinued in 2012, the second-generation Apple TV was replaced with an incremental update in the third-generation Apple TV, which itself was discontinued in 2016. As AppleInsider notes, the third-generation Apple TV has seen minimal updates within the past year.

As of late, Apple has taken a stronger focus on apps for the home electronics space. The latest fourth-gen Apple TV, which was released in late 2015, is built with bolstered internal specifications and Apple introduced an Apple TV-specific App Store that has games and apps from outlets like Facebook. While a long-rumored actual Apple home TV is far down the road, Apple expects to rely on the Apple TV to maintain a presence on your own TV.

The original article can be found on IBT. Please find it here.

Apple iPhone 7

Since its launch in September, the iPhone 7 has helped Apple maintain its spot as a dominant player in the tech market. You might think too with Christmas three weeks away that the phone is flying off the shelves and it is.

Apple looks even better now to some Samsung users since the Note 7 has had its battery issues and people might be contemplating a move to the iPhone.

Internet rumors told us about a lot of potential features and the release confirmed them too. It was no surprise that social media sites lit up with outrage because the headphone jack is gone. Apple is pushing us to move to Bluetooth or wireless headphones and this is a smart move.

Stock sold out early with iPhone 7 plus and Jet Black 7 being among the hardest to get. Stock is trickling in now and Apple has cleverly created this need that we must have the new iPhone 7 particularly the Plus. Head over to the Apple website and check out this comparison page on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Having used the phone quite a bit, some things stood out for us while using the new iPhone.

Size and Colour

Apple phones don’t let you add an SD Card like Samsing phones. This meant that users of 16GB models were often running out of space. The 7 starts at 32GB, much like the Galaxy s7 and has 128 and 256 models available.
The screen on the 7 is 4.7 inches like the 6 and 6s models while the 7Plus is a 5.5 inch screen. The Space Grey color has been replaced by Black and Jet Black. The Gold, Rose Gold and Silver models are still available.

Home Button

The Home Button is very different on the new 7. It no longer clicks like previous versions. Force works when using the home button to unlock your phone. It’s a lot less prone to breaking or wearing out according to Apple. I still don’t like this feature much and prefer the clickable home button on the iPhone 6s. Apple also gives you three options to use when setting up the home button using this technology, one that I think could confuse many users.

Water Resistant

Taking a page from Samsungs book, the iPhone 7 is water resistant. Apple has never done this before and its a great move. How many of us buy a lifeproof or Otterbox case to protect our phone from water. The phone is not waterproof however and we encourage you to find out the difference before you take a plunge in the pool with it. A water resistant phone is not waterproof.

Sonos now available in Apple physical and online stores

sonosapple

sonosappleLast month Sonos announced it was expanding its collaboration with Apple by bringing Sonos into Apple’s physical and online retail stores. Two of its most popular speakers — the PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 — were available 468 Apple Stores worldwide on October 5, and Apple’s online stores outside of the US starting November 2.

“Our expanded collaboration with Apple is a great example of our ongoing work with our full ecosystem of partners to make it easier than ever to listen to music out loud at home,” said Patrick Spence, president of Sonos. “Apple Music on Sonos is a powerful experience, one we’re proud to bring directly to Apple fans at Apple Stores worldwide.”

“This is a big deal — both for our companies, and for music lovers around the world who can now experience Sonos and Apple Music like never before. We know that the best way to discover Sonos is by experiencing it first-hand, which shoppers in 180 Apple Stores will be able to do, with a hands-on Sonos and Apple Music demo featuring a guided Sonos app experience on the iPad Pro.”

It wasn’t long ago that Apple Music joined Sonos as its exclusive partner in the connected home, creating experiences that only Sonos and Apple Music could provide– Beats 1 Radio in every room in the house, Apple Music exclusives like Frank Ocean in the kitchen, and Drake’s latest drops in the bedroom. With expanded collaboration, the Sonos whole home sound system with Apple Music’s curated playlists and personalized recommendations, tuned perfectly for your home.

 

Songs made with #Apple GarageBand Live Loops #music #tech

Examples of music made with GarageBand Live Loops

I’ve been working with Garage Band Live Loops over the past few weeks. It’s been a ton of fun learning how the interface works and putting together some songs that actually sound quite good. If you’re looking for some examples of what you could do with Live Loops check out the songs below.

 

If you get a chance please log on to SoundCloud.com and “like” these songs.

 

#iPhone7 Rumors and Release Dates

iPhone7Apple’s latest iPhone, the 7 should be released on September 7th.

Rumor has it that iPhone 7 will ditch the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, causing much outrage among current Apple users. You won’t then be able to use your current headphones on new Apple devices as you can now.

Every device since the Sony Walkman arrived in 1979 has had the jack on it. Apple once again goes against the grain and tries to show us that it still thinks differently. iPhone 7 is expected to come with updated EarPods that connect via Lighting — or, in a somewhat longer shot — Bluetooth.

If you are looking to upgrade to the 7 and are expecting major design changes you may be disappointed. The 7 is expected to have minor upgrades prompting one blogger to call it “iPhone 6SS,” In addition to the 7 and 7 Plus, a Pro Model may also be released.

Ditching the headphone jack would also leave room for a second speaker grille, which has appeared on other leaked photos. That would allow the iPhone 7 to be the first model with true stereo sound.

A redesigned home button  “Force Touch” home button. Instead of a physical mechanism, Apple will use its ‘Force Touch’ technology and a motor inside the iPhone to provide the sensation that the button is being physically depressed.

The camera should also get an upgrade with some sources saying that a dual lens might be possible. According to the rumors, the dual camera would likely be included on the 5.5-inch-screen iPhone 7 Plus and/or Pro, but probably not the standard 4.7-inch-screen iPhone 7.

Access Parental Controls From Anywhere with #app for #iphone and #android @linksys #wifi #router

Linksys WiFi smart router

Linksys today announced a whole new user interface, design layout, navigation experience, and new innovative features for its Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app. The newly designed app for Apple and Android smartphones provides a more intuitive layout with simple-to-navigate options that enable millions of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi users to simply monitor, manage and control their home networks while at home or away.

New and improved features launched today:
· New contemporary user interface
· New organization for simpler feature discovery and use
· Intelligent router offline notification (Initially available on EA9500 router)
· Easily share guest Wi-Fi name and password – tap and text or email
· Guest access now supports up to 50 guests
· Prioritize internet bandwidth to chosen devices
· Parental controls to block specific sites and internet access for selected devices on a schedule
· More device icons to associate with client devices
· Easily view how much external hard drive space is available

Parental controls for WiFi router
Parental controls for WiFi router

“Being first to market with a router app for managing and monitoring a home network, we wanted to continue to advance the software for a more intuitive approach to make it easier to use and find tools that will make managing and sharing a home network easier,” said Dan Albertson, Linksys senior product manager. “What separates good routers from great routers is the software. The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app clearly differentiates its home router solutions by providing all the basic and advanced management and control features but also continues to add new features that leverage the intelligence of the home router.”

The app has been completely updated and redesigned, providing simple utility, such as looking up and sharing the wireless credentials for up to 50 guests with a few taps on a mobile device. The app will also enable users to change bandwidth prioritization quickly and easily on the fly, ensuring your bandwidth-sensitive video calls and gaming sessions never slow down.

In addition to dozens of new icons to assign to clients’ devices, the app shows how much hard drive space has been used and how much is still available on external hard drives connected to the router.

Parental Controls

Parents can block websites or shut off Wi-Fi entirely for individual devices. Parents can also set up a schedule for blocking access for each device (available in an app update coming later this year). These parental control features will aid in making sure children use the internet appropriately, providing parents with peace of mind that there is also an ample amount of homework time without the distraction of the internet.

Notifications

A home network is dynamic, and notifications can alert users and provide insight on changing conditions. The new router offline notification feature (initially supported with the Linksys EA9500 router) is the first notification feature available that will detect when the router has lost its connection to the internet for any reason, and alert users with a notification on a mobile device. This feature is useful when users are away from home and could be an early warning system for:
· Phone calls from upset household Internet users that the router went offline and there could be a potential issue with the internet connection.
· Ensuring access to critical wireless devices remotely, such as door locks, IP cameras and smart thermostats
· A potential problem with the users’ internet provider

Manage parental controls from your iPhone or Android mobile device
Manage parental controls from your iPhone or Android mobile device

Other Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Features

The main dashboard provides an immediate glimpse into the current status of the home network. It shows the current connection to the internet and the number of connected devices, as well as quick access to the wireless password and options to reset it or share it. Parental control options from the main dashboard make it easy and fast to change settings as well as the device prioritization features and external storage visibility.
· Devices
· Wi-Fi Network
· Guest Access
· Parental Controls
· Device Prioritization
· External Storage (if any external hard drives are plugged into the router)

Advanced settings

· Single Port Forwarding
· Port Range Forwarding
· Port Range Triggering
· MAC Filtering

 

Hardware issues plague more great offerings from Logiix

Piston-Connect-XL-Flat-Woven-2TWe received a bunch of samples from Logiix and have had no issues with them until recently.

One of their Sync and Charge Jolt cables broke as the Lightning connector piece completely snapped out of the front of the cable. While it surprised me I have had this happen before with another cable by Belkin.

Now to be sure cables like this take a lot of pounding and abuse and the Apple Lightning Connectors are less durable than these. It does make you wonder about the testing as well as the Apple certification that these products go through though and we suggest being cautious with these types of cables.

Logiix graciously replaced them with the Piston Connect Flat and the Piston Connect XL Flat Woven. They have proven to be much more durable and reliable as I have folded and stuffed them in a drawer, carted them around in a work bag and placed them in my car. In short, I’ve put them to the test.

The Logiix Piston Connect XL Flat Woven Cable is an ultra-durable 3M Lightning cable
while the Piston Connect Flat 1.5m Lightning Cable is an ultra flexible and durable sync and charge cable for Apple devices with Lightning Connectors. I loved the 3M cable because of it’s length and I was able to easily sit on my bed and charge my iPad while watching programs on Netflix. Normally I need an extension cord to do this.

Both cables are certified to meet Apple performance standards and I am little weary of this this time given my previous experience. I’m sure these cables will measure up.

The Piston Connect XL Flat Woven Cable retails for 46.01 in Canada and the Piston Connect Flat 1.5m retails for 40.26.

Android device performance lags behind iOS #smartphones #tablets #technology #pr

Samsung S6 smartphone

Android devices are no match for their iOS counterparts when it comes to device performance, according to the Q1 2016 State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report released today by Blancco Technology Group. Based on diagnostics tests run on millions of iOS and Android devices via the SmartChk platform, the report reveals a glaring disparity in failure rates for Android devices (44 percent) and iOS devices (25 percent) during the first quarter of 2016. What’s more – out of the 44 percent of Android devices that failed, the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Lenovo K3 Note models had the highest failure rates.

These findings come off the heels of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s latest smartphone market share report, which shows that Android commanded the lion’s share of the mobile operating system (OS) market share for the three-month period ending February 29, 2016. In particular, Android saw considerable sales growth in various parts of the world, including the United States, Europe, China, Japan and Australia – leaving iOS, Windows and other operating systems in its dust.

“Android devices seem to be a contradiction in terms,” said Pat Clawson, CEO, Blancco Technology Group. “On the one hand, Android is the number one operating system in terms of global market share. But despite this advantage, Android device performance still lags behind iOS and tends to be plagued by high rates of crashing apps and app cache. With the launch of new smartphone models this year – such as Samsung S7, LG G5 and the rumored iPhone 7 – it will be interesting to see how Android device performance stacks up against iOS in the coming months.”

Key highlights from the Q1 2016 trend report include:

  • Out of the 25 percent of iOS devices that failed, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s models had the highest failure rates – at 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
  • While dual SIM emerged as a common source of performance issues in Europe and Asia, it was not prevalent in North America.
  • Crashing apps were detected on 74 percent of Android devices, while open/cached apps were found on 44 percent of Android devices.
  • A significant portion of the top 10 Android crashing apps in Q1 2016 were security-related, including Lookout, 360 Security, CM Security and AVG AntiVirus.
  • Device failure rates were significantly higher in Asia (55 percent) than in North America (27 percent) andEurope (35 percent).
  • ‘No Trouble Found’ returns were highest in North America (73 percent), whereas they were far lower inAsia (45 percent) and Europe (65 percent).

Clawson concluded, “Our data’s value goes far beyond providing a glimpse into device performance issues and trends. By using our analytics dashboard and business intelligence, mobile network operators and OEMs can actually see real improvements to their business, such as a more efficient post-sales customer experience, increased foot traffic, upsell opportunities, fewer NTF returns and reduced customer churn. For enterprise businesses, our data can help get C-level buy in to implement diagnostics tools as a way to cut down on unnecessary IT/support desk workloads, manpower and costs.”

 

iPhone SE drops confirming widespread rumors are true

SE

These days whenever there is an Apple launch or any gadget launch for that matter we hear or read about it weeks in advance via the internet or social media. As past experience tells us this often means that a new product is coming and we had better be ready.

Apple seems to have done it to us again as it confirmed this week that the iPhone SE is a real product that we’ll be able to buy soon. I find it almost laughable this type of marketing still exists but it works well and it’s not likely to change as we line up or scramble to get new tech products when they come out.

There is some legitimate buzz around the new SE and the new iPad, the 9.7 Inch Pro.

iPhone SE 5sesmall

Tech specifications and components are the biggest point of interest when a new phone comes out and the SE does not disappoint. GSM Arena provides complete specifications on the phone itself. Here are some highlights.

The SE will be a Nano-SIM phone with the Apple A9 chipset and a Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister GPU. The internal hard drive will come in 16 and 64 GB sizes with 2 GB RAM. The main camera is a 12 Mega Pixel camera. Colors include Space Gray, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold.

The expected release date for the SE is March 31, 2016.

It’s designed to target mid-range smartphone users much like the 5C did at one time. Unlike the 5C, its components are the same as the 6S however which seems surprising since Apple says the phone will cost only $400 US. We don’t as yet know what Canadian pricing will be but expect it to be over 500 dollars. It’s a curious move for Apple and one that many feel means the company won’t make a lot of money on this phone.

I like the idea of SE because I’ve never been a huge fan of the 6 and 6S screen size and am curious to see what the increased power in the components means. Currently a 5S owner, I’ll be in the market for the SE for sure despite the constant temptation of the 6 while working for a mobility provider.

iPad ProipadPro97small

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro was also released as well. According to some experts this iPad must save the iPad line and boost its struggling sales. Once the darling of Apple, the iPad outsold the iPhone early on but other company’s, including, Samsung and other Apple devices have caught it and hurt its market share. I’ve never bought the idea that tablets will outstrip PC sales as Apple’s Tim Cook once said but the iPad Pro is a formidable machine.

Nano-SIM capable as well, the iPad Pro boasts an Apple A9X chipset and a dual-core 2.16 GHz GPU. It does not have a memory card slot. It comes in 32, 128 and 256 GB sizes  and the camera is a 12 MP. Colors include Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold.

Read the complete specifications here.

Zus – the smart car charger @nondainc #cool #tech for #cars #acura #honda #gm #ford #toyota #subaru #audi #mazda #nissan

Zus is a device for charging your smartphone quickly on the go. The vendor tagline calls it “the smart car charger” because it can be connected to your smartphone via an app which can be used to locate your vehicle using GPS technology. I’ve used the device and found the vendor’s claims hold true – the device and app do work in tandem to record your vehicle’s location. And the charging technology worked as claimed – my iPhone 6 charged in about 3.5 hours, which is much faster than other car chargers I’ve tried.

Where the GPS location technology would really come in handy is if you’re a travelling consultant or sales-person and frequently have to leave your vehicle for work related reasons. I could see this working particularly well if you’re in an unfamiliar or foreign city as a mobile worker. Another scenario where the location technology might assist is at a large sporting event, for example when you need to leave your vehicle in an enormous parking lot.

There’s an app for both Apple iOS and Android platforms. Additionally, the device is made from military grade materials and will continue to work well even on the hottest summer days when the interior of your vehicle gets extremely hot. The vendor claims the device will work up to 100 degrees Celsius –  however I haven’t had the chance to test that out here in Metro Vancouver this winter. The temperature hasn’t gone much above 10 degrees Celsius over the past few months.

If you’ve bought a Zus please let me know how its worked out for you and leave a comment below.

I would really appreciate it if you could like and share this post on the social networks so I can get the word out about my blog!

Thanks – Jay

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Extend the functionality of your iPhone apps with Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Yesterday, Apple announced that Apple Watch,  the newest addition to Apple’s ecosystem, will be available on Friday, April 24 to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US. Apple Watch is a timepiece, communication device and a health and fitness tracker.

“Conceived, designed and developed as a singular product, Apple Watch merges hardware and software like never before,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “In Apple Watch, we’ve created three beautifully curated collections with a software architecture that together enable unparalleled personalization in a wearable device.”

Apple Watch introduces technologies including the Digital Crown, a way to scroll, zoom and navigate without obstructing the display. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to access relevant controls. The all-new Taptic Engine delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.Apple Watch

Customizable Timepiece
An extremely precise timepiece, Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard.* Apple Watch can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the information-rich Modular face, or animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that show you information such as the weather forecast, your current location on a map or the music you’re listening to.

Communication Device
Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone on your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap for notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows you to communicate by sending a sketch, a tap or the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Interact with retailers and services around you by paying for coffee using Apple Pay, boarding a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.

Health & Fitness Companion
Apple Watch encourages you to sit less via the Activity app. It provides a simple visual snapshot of your daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app. With an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone, Apple Watch uses the best sensors for different types of motion and provides a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity and workouts. The Activity app on iPhone collects your activity and workout data from Apple Watch so you can see your history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personalized activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.

Apple Watch is available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three collections—Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport features a lightweight anodized aluminum case in silver and space gray with a Retina display protected by strengthened Ion-X glass and matching high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colors. The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.

Developers in the Apple ecosystem have been creating new apps designed for Apple Watch. From requesting an Uber, checking in to your American Airlines flight, booking a bike for your Equinox class to remotely controlling your Honeywell Lyric thermostat while away. These experiences extend the functionality of your favorite iPhone apps, while delivering a different way to interact. Popular apps such as Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch app that comes with iOS 8.2 on iPhone lets you browse, buy and download apps from the Apple Watch App Store.

Apple Watch delivers up to 18-hour battery life and comes with a unique charging solution that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that snaps into place.

The Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com) on Friday, April 10, Apple retail stores and department store shop-in-shops will begin offering customers the chance to preview their choice of Apple Watch and try it on in-store.

Pricing & Availability
Beginning April 10 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US, Apple Watch will be available for preview, try-on by appointment at Apple’s retail stores, and available for pre-order through the Apple Online Store  (www.apple.com). On April 24, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan. Customers who purchase online or in-store from Apple will be offered Personal Setup to customize and pair Apple Watch with their iPhone.

Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US).

Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later. iOS 8.2 will be available for download today.

 

5 Apple announcements including the all new Apple Watch

apple watch

As I sit here listening to my free copy “Songs of Innocence” by U2 I’m pondering all the press releases from Apple this past week. Apple gave us a lot to think about this week as they announced the Apple Watch device. Are you excited about these announcements or do you think that Samsung already stole their thunder?

I’ve seen the videos for the latest product announcements and definitely think the Apple Watch looks like a sexy cool device but the announcement seemed a little late considering Apple seemed to be first to market with the iPhone and all the hoopla surrounding that release. Yet here we are and here is how Apple is positioning this latest product entry,

“Apple Watch introduces a revolutionary design and iOS-based user interface created specifically for a smaller device. Apple Watch features the Digital Crown, an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display. The Digital Crown also serves as the Home button and a convenient way to access Siri. The Retina display on Apple Watch features Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps. Apple Watch introduces the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker that together discreetly enable an entirely new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel. Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip. Apple Watch also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with your iPhone.”

apple watchThe Digital Crown feature certainly makes sense to me and does seem like a great idea and the product itself does seem tempting considering it would pair with my iPhone via Bluetooth technology. However the $300+ price tag does seem daunting considering all the money I’ve been putting out upgrading all my devices. Will I spend the money? I guess we’ll see.

The next product announcement is the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which are touted as the biggest advancements in iPhone history. We’ve got 2 new sizes which are both larger than their predecessor the 5S and a more powerful processor in the A8 chip. The design overall is sexier and for the gadget obsessed will be a must have for the upcoming fall season. Here’s something from the voice of Apple’s PR team,

“For the first time iPhone is available in two new sizes: iPhone 6 features a stunning 4.7-inch Retina HD display with 1334 x 750 resolution, providing 38 percent more viewing area than iPhone 5s, while iPhone 6 Plus features an even bigger 5.5-inch Retina HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, providing 88 percent more viewing area and nearly three times the pixels than iPhone 5s. The Retina HD displays offer advanced technologies including higher contrast for deeper blacks and dual-domain pixels for more accurate colours at wider viewing angles.
 
With second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the all-new A8 chip offers faster performance and is more energy efficient, delivering higher sustained performance with great battery life. With Metal, a new graphics technology in iOS 8, developers can take performance of the A8 chip even further to bring console-class 3D games to iPhone. The A8 chip also includes a new, powerful Apple-designed image signal processor that enables advanced camera and video features.”

For those interested in viewing media and video files on their mobile devices the 5.5 inch 6 Plus will be a must have. Now onto Apple Pay which is another groundbreaking announcement that allows consumers to simply tap their iPhone at retail point of sale debit machines to pay for merchandise using NFC antenna design technology. While this technology may not be readily available in Canada it is sure to follow shortly as retails ramp up to allow easier purchasing.

“Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, issued by the most popular banks including Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo, representing 83 percent of credit card purchase volume in the US.* In addition to the 258 Apple retail stores in the US, some of the nation’s leading retailers that will support Apple Pay include Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market. Apple Watch will also work at the over 220,000 merchant locations across the US that have contactless payment enabled. Apple Pay is also able to make purchases through apps in the App Store.”

Yet another release of iOS the operating system powering Apple mobile devices will be available soon as well. Here we’re looking at a more intuitive user experience along with a new Messages app that has been completely reworked and features the ability to send a video of what you’re seeing at the moment. According to Apple,

“… iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, will be available starting Wednesday, September 17 to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users as a free software update. iOS 8 delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience with new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard and Family Sharing. iOS 8 also includes the new Health app, giving you a clear overview of your health and fitness data and iCloud Drive, so you can store files and access them from anywhere. With more than 4,000 new APIs, iOS 8 allows developers to further customize the user experience with major extensibility features and robust frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit.”

And finally for those of you seeking more information about the free U2 album; if you are already an iTunes Store customer this is simply a free gift courtesy of Apple, Universal Music Group and U2. In fact the album just appeared in iTunes for me. I didn’t have to do a thing! By the way, the new album is great. You should check it out. For more details about the U2 giveaway check this out.

Jay