Category: New Releases

What will Monday bring at WWDC?

WWDC kicks off on Monday with the Keynote speech at 10 A.M. PT, and new information has come through the Apple vine to suggest that not only will the excellent Swift Playgrounds iPad app get some nice upgrades, but also we’ll get a glimpse at the Siri Speaker.

 

In a slightly surprising non-mysterious move, today Apple actually announced that Swift Playgrounds, (aimed at making learning how to code fun), will soon be able to program and control robots, drones, musical instruments, and other toys when the latest version of the app is released at WWDC.

 

Swift Playgrounds version 1.5 is set to be released on June 5, and will support several popular Bluetooth-enabled devices, including LEGO’s MINDSTORMS Education EV3 robot, Sphero’s SPRK+ robotic ball and BB-8 droid, UBTECH’s Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit, Dash by Wonder Workshop, Parrot drones, and other toys.

 

YAY KIDS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE KIND OF JUST LIKE KIDS! From the Sauce, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering:

 

“More than 1 million kids and adults from around the world are already using Swift Playgrounds to learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift in a fun and interactive way, now they can instantly see the code they create and directly control their favorite robots, drones and instruments through Swift Playgrounds. It’s an incredibly exciting and powerful way to learn.”

 

Yes sir it is! Swift Playgrounds is a free download on the App Store for all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, and iPad mini 2 or newer.

 

Now this next WWDC news is a little more run-of-the-mill mysterious. It’s said that Apple’s much talked about Siri Speaker will definitely be unveiled next week during the Keynote, that it’s already in production, and that it will be shipping a little later in the year, perhaps as late as the Fall.

 

Apple will also be debuting iOS 11, new WatchOX & TVOS, and MacOS 10.13, and well as possibly new 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models and new Macs.

 

You should be able to watch WWDC on Apple’s website, or on your Apple TV.*

 

 

 

 

*Streaming requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. Streaming via Apple TV requires an Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV (4th generation).

New iPad News

The rumored upcoming 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are apparently already deep into production, ahead of a reported announcement during the keynote address at WWDC this June.

 

Sneaky leaks have come out in the last couple of days, which talk about a device that has smaller bezels, four speakers, a new microphone slot located at the top rear of the case, a Lightning port, camera with vertically-aligned flash, side volume rockers, and a Smart Connector.

 

The most talked about feature is the bezels, which mean squeezing in a 10.5-inch display into the same form factor as the 9.7-inch iPad.

 

Alongside software updates (iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS), the upcoming WWDC is said to have smallish MacBook announcements as well as possibly a reveal of a Siri Speaker.

 

WWDC begins with the Keynote address on Monday, June 5th at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA, and you should be able to watch it on the Apple website, through the iOS Apps, and on your Apple TV.

 

Learn how to take better photos on your iPhone 7

Want to take better photos on your iPhone 7? You’re in luck!

 

Recently, Apple launched a “How to Shoot on iPhone 7” website and video series that hosts a bunch (20, to be exact) of  tutorials designed to, well, do exactly that – shoot well on an iPhone 7.

 

The content is consistently being updated, and four new tutorials were added this week. You can learn stuff like how to shoot a selfie, how to edit a selfie – you know, all the important things! You can also learn how to shoot the Horizon  and shoot with zoom, if you’re a little more interested in that kind of thing.

 

Here’s a sample tutorial, and you can check them all out here.

 

 

 

 

 

New MacBooks coming our way

Rumor has it that Apple will be announcing a refresh for it’s MacBook line at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June, with high expectations for an updated MacBook and MacBook Pro, and the possibility of a new MacBook Air.

 

All of the updates will likely only be internal, however, with updated processors, the MacBook Pro and the MacBook both in line to receive a faster Kaby Lake processor.

 

The MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March 2015, with Apple putting more focus on the other models, however the affordability of the Air has kept it’s sales strong, likely ensuring it’ll be around for a few years more.

 

WWDC keynote begins at 10:00 AM PT, and according to rumors, we’ll also see announcements regarding a new iPad Pro, as well as a Siri speaker.

 

 

 

Wave hello to the Echo Show!

Hey Alexa… show me what’s new!

 

Amazon just debuted a touchscreen Echo device called “Echo Show,” a speaker system that has all of the features of the Echo with a 7-inch touchscreen.

 

According to the company, users will be able to watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, check on security cameras, swipe through photos, view weather forecasts, connect to smart home products like Hue and Wink, make to-do and shopping lists, and, with the addition of a new video chat experience, make hands-free calls to friends who also have an Echo Show, or who use the Alexa smartphone app.

 

Additionally, a feature called “Drop In” lets users contact other Echo Show devices to do things like let someone know it’s time for dinner, or check in on a child’s nursery.

 

The Amazon Echo Show is available to pre-order right now in black and white for $229.99 and will begin shipping June 28. Those who purchase two Echo Show devices at once can save $100 off your order.

 

 

Free educational sessions coming to an Apple retail store near you

Apple has announced that it’s expanding its “Today at Apple” educational sessions to all of its 495 retail stores around the world in May.

 

Which is pretty sweet, because not only are they free (score), they’re on topics that are incredibly interesting, and will be taught by  highly-trained ‘Creative Pros’, or as Apple calls them, the “liberal arts equivalent” to its technical Geniuses. In select cities, Apple has also said that world-class artists, photographers, and musicians will teach sessions from “basics and how-to lessons” to “professional-level programs.”

 

For the subjects themselves? You’re looking at  photography, videography, music, coding, art, and design.

 

From the Sauce, Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail:

 

“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve. ‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”

 

This is something everyone at all ages is encouraged to participate in.

 

There’ll be special programs such as Teacher Tuesday where educators can learn new ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms, Kids Hour is targeted towards families and will feature music awesomeness like making and robotics, and anyone who’s interested can learn about pro software such as Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, or coding with the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad.

 

 

 

Everything we know (so far) about the 2017 iPhone

Here’s what we know about the next iteration of the iPhone. As always, lots of grains of salt all over this post – Mysterious Apple flavored grains of salt.

 

1. This will be the 11th release of an iPhone, but the 10 year anniversary of the original iPhone.

 

2. It’s predicted that Apple will be releasing 3 new iPhones. Two will be the iPhone 7S and the iPhone 7S Plus, and the third will be either the iPhone Edition, or the iPhone 8. We’re voting iPhone Edition.

 

3.The iPhone will probably be announced in September, and released 2-3 weeks later. There is a small possibility that Apple will announce the iPhone Edition/8 at WWDC in June, but this is pretty unlikely. There are also predictions that the ‘special’ iPhone will be released much closer to Christmas.

 

4.The iPhone Edition will have an edge to edge 5.8″ OLED screen, Faster A11 processor, and glass body. There will likely be no home button and yay for getting rid of wires because it’s said to have wireless charging. Sweet.

 

5. There have been rumors that the Touch ID will be integrated into the display, which is likely, however there have also been rumors that it will be on the back, about where the Apple logo is currently.

 

6.The iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus will both be upgraded from the iPhone 7, but much more along the lines of the incremental hardware upgrades that we’ve seen in the last couple of years, combined with the fresh new software goodness of  iOS 11 (which will be announced for sure at WWDC).

 

7. All three iPhones will be water resistant, the same as the iPhone 7, but their resistance level will be improved.

 

8. The front facing camera may include 3D sensing capabilities perhaps enabling facial and iris recognition. Rumors also suggest that Apple is exploring both a vertical rear camera for improved pictures and a dual-camera setup for the front-facing FaceTime camera.

 

9. The iPhone 8/Edition will be a little more expensive, possibly coming in at just under $1000 clams.

 

10. Supply will probably be pretty constrained at first, because, you know, it’s Apple n stuff. Also, OLED production might be a little harder to come by.

 

Are you excited about the new iPhones? Do you think there’ll be any surprises? C’moooooooon time travel?

 

 

Facebook releases it’s future on us all

At F8, Facebook’s developer conference, the social media company introduced the way that it wants you, the end user, to see the world.

 

How’s that? Well, augmented.

 

Facebook’s augmented reality camera, or camera platform as FB calls it, will place digital imagery on the world around you. Think Pokemon Go, except…useful, realistic, change the way we see the world type stuff.

 

From the Sauce, Mark Zuckerberg:

 

“Facebook is so much about marrying the physical world with online, when you can make it so that you can intermix digital and physical parts of the world, that’s going to make a lot of our experiences better and our lives richer. Facebook is so much about marrying the physical world with online.”

 

From now on (actually, for a while now, but here’s where the action really starts) the camera is no longer just a tool that you use to capture images.

 

Now, you can change the world with it, manipulate the images that you capture as well as the environment you see through it. You’ll be able to display and intake information, add digital objects, and enhance existing objects.

 

Again, from the Zuck:

 

“The camera needs to be more central than the text box in all of our apps,” he said. “We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform.”

 

At F8, the demos were on an Oculus headset, but soon, the plan is that you’ll be able to create and interact with augmented reality right on your smartphone. Or whatever replaces the smartphone – which may well be lightweight glasses, according to Zuckerberg.

 

And so the race begins to see who wins on creating the end augmented reality platform. Will the end product be shaped more by  software, rather than hardware? What mix will we end up with?

 

Over the coming months Facebook plans to give developers a chance to use its tools to create their own filters and effects for Facebook’s cameras. Developers who want to build their own apps, games, and art will be able to do so, perhaps taking the Camera in unanticipated directions.

 

Hi Future! *Waves* We’re in you…almost!

 

 

 

 

YouTube TV launch!

YouTube TV has launched!  Ahead of a larger roll out, Youtube TV has launched today for users in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago.

 

Wait, so what does this mean?

 

YouTube TV, announced back in Feb of this year, is a standalone TV service that offers 4 big networks and other channels ( see below) on your iOS or Android mobile device or your desktop  through your browser, with unlimited DVR functionality. It’s a subscription based service that will cost you $35 a month.

 

The big 4 are: CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC and the others include:

 

CW, Telemundo, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, CSN, Fox Prime Ticket, FSI, NBCSN, USA, FX, Freeform, Disney, E, ESPN U, FS2, BTN, ESPN SEC, Bravo, Oxygen, FX, Syfy, Disney Junior, Disney XD, NBC Universo, CBS Sports Network, ESPN News, NBC Golf, National Geographic, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business, Local Now, FXM, Sprout, Universal, Nat Geo Wild, Chiller.

 

More networks coming soon include: AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, WE tv, and BBC World News.

 

You can watch on up to six devices simultaneously, however for now, in order to watch on the big screen you’ll be limited to Chromecast functionality. YouTube has confirmed that it’s planning apps for more connected TV devices to come later this year.

 

You can sign up and get a free trial where available at tv.youtube.com.

 

What do you think about YouTube TV? Yay or nay?

 

 

Apple might be retiring support for some iPads and iPhones sooner rather than later

If you have an iPhone 5, iPhone 5C or an iPad with a 32 bit processor, and you have no thoughts of upgrading any time soon – we’re giving you a bit of a heads up – Apple might have a different thought process…

 

It’s been predicted for a while now that Apple will likely cease support for these devices in the near future. Some are predicting now that it will come early, while others are still thinking that this will come on June 5th with the release of iOS 11 at WWDC.

 

Apple just released iOS 10.3 earlier this week, and the above mentioned devices were supported with this upgrade, however there were hints that future software upgrades will not include support for these devices.

 

What people thought was curious, and which gives credence to the idea that this will happen before iOS 11 is that in the code of the iOS 10.3.2 beta, which was made available to developers shortly after the iOS 10.3 release, users that opened 32-bit software in iOS 10.3 were met with a message saying the app will not work with future versions of iOS.

 

Devices with 32 bit processors instead of 64 bit processors are the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C, the standard version of the iPad (so not the Air or the Pro), and the first iPad mini.

 

So what does it mean if your beloved iPhone or iPad is no longer supported? It’s not the end of the world per se, because these devices would still function, but you wouldn’t be able to install the latest apps and it would be easier for hackers to access your device.

 

Previously, Apple stopped supporting the iPhone 4S, first iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPod touch when it introduced iOS 10.