Category: New Releases

Possible WWDC Dates

Apple’s big annual developer conference, WWDC – where it also usually announces big software updates – is coming up! The company has yet to announce the exact dates, but the rumor mill has begun, and it suggests that it will happen between Monday, June 4 and Friday, June 8 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, the same as last year.

 

The McEnery Convention Center is apparently booked up with other events for every week in June except for the first, and Apple has held WWDC in June since the 2000’s.

 

 

Except for last year, the company usually releases the dates of the event in April, so we’ve got a while to wait until the dates are confirmed.

 

The software updates we can likely look forward to hearing about are iOS 12, MacOS 10.14, new tvOS and WatchOS.

 

There may be a hardware announcement, but the rumor mill has not begun on what that may or may not be.

 

Tickets to the World Wide Developers Conference will likely cost around $1,599 and be distributed randomly through a lottery. If you can’t afford that ticket, or don’t win the lottery, Apple will be streaming the opening keynote live, and will provide videos of developer sessions on their website.

 

 

 

New Whole Foods Perk coming with Amazon Prime

Amazon recently announced that it will offer free 2-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries for Prime customers via Amazon Prime Now.

 

What.

 

You read that right, beginning in four select markets – Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, Prime Now Members will get free Whole Foods Delivery with only one caveat – their purchase must be over $35. At Whole Foods? Sounds easy peasy.

 

Oh, and the delivery window? A measly 2 hours. If you need your foods within the hour?  That’ll be an extra $7.99.

 

From the Sauce, Whole Foods Co-Founder and CEO, John Mackey:

 

“We’re happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” said Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey in a press release.

 

Amazon plans to expand the service across the country during 2018.

 

 

HomePod is (almost) here!

Apple’s $349 HomePod will launch in the US, UK and Australia on February 9! AND customers can preorder Apple’s home wireless speaker starting on Friday.

 

Even though the wait for the Siri speaker has been longer than expected after the launch was delayed from late 2017, we’re still pretty excited to see her in all her glory!

 

A direct competitor to Alexa and Google Home AI Assistant/speaker systems, HomePod promises to be everything you need from a home assistant. That’s some future words, right there. But will it stand up? With other companies already moving on to Video AI assistants ( Hi Alexa Show) some are wondering if Apple might be behind the ball a teeny tiny bit.

 

Either way, we’re excited to find out.

 

 

 

HomePod is configured through the Home app on an iOS device running iOS 11.2.5 (which is yet to be publicly released).

 

It will be available in two color choices, white or space gray. Order it from January 26 for $349.

Apple’s battery replacements are taking a while…

Apple recently faced some backlash after it revealed that as its phones’ batteries age, their software’s performance slows intentionally to prevent unexpected shutdowns. In response to said backlash, Apple lowered the cost of replacement iPhone batteries from $79 to $29 for the iPhone 6 or newer.

 

However. Unfortunately now Apple is telling customers that those $29 batteries? For the iPhone 6 Plus, they’re backlogged until late March, possibly early April. Bummer.

 

The smaller iPhone 6 batteries are looking more like a slim 10 days wait.

 

 

You can read Apple’s response to the backlash here, and how they’re responding to it. Hopefully if you’re waiting for a new battery, you don’t have to wait too long!

 

 

 

 

New Apple Ads

Apple today uploaded several new iPhone X ads to its YouTube channel, mainly highlighting features such as Face ID and Animoji, adding to an Ad posted a couple of days ago that went right ahead with the first of their usual Holiday tearfest ads.

 

Chhhhheck ’em out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fancy New Apple Store to open in Brooklyn next weekend

Apple is opening it’s all-new retail store in Downtown Brooklyn next weekend –  Saturday, December 2 at 10:00 a.m. local time.

 

The store is located in the new 300 Ashland building in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, with an official address of 123 Flatbush Avenue.

 

And it faaaaaancy.

 

It’s Apple’s second store in Brooklyn it’s 11th store in New York City, with seven locations in Manhattan, one in Queens, and one on Staten Island.

 

Worldwide, the Downtown Brooklyn store it Apple’s 499th retail store location.

 

That’s a lot of Apples.

 

 

Apple making a folding phone?

Apparently, Apple is developing a foldable iPhone with a LG Display, according to Korean site The Investor. They’re partnering with LG rather than the norm Samsung because of fears Samsung might access secret foldable iPhone tech.

 

Back in December of 2016, there were rumors suggesting LG’s display division were planning to mass-produce foldable displays for smartphones as early as 2018, and Apple was tossed around as a name involved with the project.

 

LG has a bunch of prototypes of folding phones, like one that folds over like a book and (believe it or not) a second that rolls up kind of like a newspaper.

 

Don’t get too excited yet though, kids, if it happens, we’re looking at a possible release in 2020. Which, to be fair,  is both really far in the future, and also will happen just like that.

 

 

New Emoji coming with iOS 11.1

iOS 11.1 was released to registered developers today via Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

 

The exciting part? Well, CRAZY FACE, the new version will include a range of new Unicode 10 emoji like crazy face, pie, pretzel, t-rex, vampire, exploding head (obvs), face vomiting, shushing face, love you gesture, brain, scarf, zebra, giraffe (yay!), fortune cookie, pie, hedgehog, and more.

 

 

 

 

There have also been some detailed but small design changes to some of the emoji.

 

 

 

 

Yay Emoji! The language of the future?

 

 

 

Apple Special Media event!!

 

Welcome address by Tim Cook at Steve Jobs Theater at its new Apple Park headquarters. P.S. did you hear that Apple didn’t receive approval to host the event until the 4th of September? Apple was given a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Steve Jobs Theater on September 1, indicating that the theater has passed various fire and safety checks. The final signature was September 4.

 

Yikes!

 

Anyway, on to the good stuff. CEO, Mr Cook, starts the morning off by talking about Steve Jobs, and how, after much time, and in this special place, they are now able to reflect on him and his life with joy instead of sadness.

 

He talks about how just amazingly amazing the new Apple Park Headquarters are in Cupertino, California, with lots of nature and marvelous architecture, a visitors center with AR experience, Retail store, and, uh, parking for 14,000?! Well he didn’t say that, but it’s a pretty impressive stat nonetheless.

 

Next, Angela comes up to talk about ‘town squares’ (otherwise known as retail stores), and how there are new store designs coming into play, with a plaza, board rooms, forum’s, new genius bars, and new products featured on ‘the avenues’. There are also going to be more and more ‘Today at Apple’ in store experiences with lessons on coding, photography, music, and, one of our personal favorites, ‘Teachers Tuesdays’, helping local educators learn about latest tech & Apps.

 

Tim Cook then comes back on stage to talk about Apple Watch.  Last quarter the device grew over 50% compared to previous year, and, get this, because this is pretty crazy, Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world, beating Rolex.

 

We see a snazzy little video of people reading actual letters to Apple, thanking them for the health benefits they’ve experienced from using Apple Watch, and then Jeff comes on stage to talk about the future of the device.

 

Watch OS 4 will have Smart activity coaching, redesigned workout track with HIIT, new features for swimmers and Gym machine syncing capabilities. It will also have an updated heart rate system with new features that track resting heart rate and recovery heart rate, and that will notify you if you have an elevated heart rate and you don’t appear to be active, as well as ‘Apple Heart Study’  which will help with arrhythmia like A-Fib, in conjunction with Stanford Medicine.

 

Watch OS 4 will also have redesigned music, and intelligent Siri face, and will be available Sepember 19th.

 

Apple Watch Series 3 itself will be Swim proof, with a barometric accelerometer, all day battery, and, drumroll please, it will come with cellular built in. Which means you can use it by itself for certain periods of time. Which is rad. 

 

Which means you can use Apple Music with Airpods while you’re out and about, streaming music while you exercise or whatnot. The watch also comes with a new dual core processor with up to 70% more performance, a custom wireless chip W2 which gives 85% faster wifi and makes it 50% more power efficient…. AND Siri can talk now! Yay Siri!

 

The Apple Watch Series 3 has a bunch more bands as well as a new gray ceramic finish.

 

It’ll cost you $399, or $349 for the non-cellular version.  Pre-order September 15th, available to buy September 22nd.

 

Next up, we have the Apple TV 4K

The revamped fifth-generation set-top box will be 4k, and HDR 10. 4k is about more pixels, HDR is about better pixels, so it’s going to look real pretty, you guys. It has a A10X fusion chip, same as in the iPad Pro and the CPU performance is twice as fast. Apple is bringing Apple TV App to  7 other countries with a bunch of new local content AND Live Sports, Live news, and HomeKit linked.

 

Now, what most of you came here for. The iPhone.

 

Tim’s back on stage, talking about how much power the iPhone puts into people’s hands, how the 1st iPhone transformed how we use technology, how the App store changed how we played games, communicated, and learnt. How the Retina display changed our viewing experience, how iMessage and FaceTime changed communication, and how Siri changed how we thought about AI.

 

Introducing, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

 

With a glass front and back (the most durable glass ever), Aerospace grade aluminum, the new iPhones will come in  silver, space grey, rose gold. It’ll be microscopically sealed for water resistance.

 

The iPhone 8 will be 4.7 inch with a Retina Display and the iPhone 8 Plus will be5.5 inch with a Retina Display. They’ll both have a True tone display, Stereo speakers which will be 25% louder and have deeper base then the iPhone 7. They both have a brand new chip A11 Bionic chip, which is 25 % faster than A10 chip.

 

They’ll both have a 12MP camera with deeper pixels and a new color filter, and the iPhone 8 Plus has 2 new sensors, f1.8 and f2.8 aperture as well as a new feature called portrait lighting.

 

iPhone 8 has the highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone and the cameras are calibrated for Augmented Reality. Which we love. Duh.

 

Both new iPhones support Qi wireless charging.

 

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus storage starts at 64gb, with the option for 256gb. The iPhone 8 starts at $699 while the iPone 8 Plus starts at $799. You can preorder either iPhone on September 15th, and they’ll be available September 22nd.

 

iOS 11 will be released to the public on September 19th.

 

And now for the One More Thing we were all waiting for, the Holy Moly iPhone X! 

 

Or, as Tim Cook likes to call it, The product that will set the path for technology for the next decade. Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuuun!

 

And here’s Phil to tell us all about it! So what do we have here? We have edge to edge, top to bottom glass, surgical grade steel, water and dust resistant, and space grey and silver finishes.

 

We have a Super Retina display, which is 5.8 inches on the diagonal, at 458 ppi, it has the highest resolution in pixel density on an iPhone. So, what we’re hearing is that Super Retina is better than both Retina and OLED. (Obviously, that’s why it’s super.)

 

It supports HDR, has a million to one contrast ratio, and true tone display.

 

There is NO MORE HOME BUTTON GUYS! But we kind of knew that already. Raise the phone to wake, or tap on screen, swipe up to access the home screen, or to access multitask. To access Siri, say ‘Her Siri’ or press on the larger side button.

 

Unlocking will now rely on facial recognition, or  ‘Face ID’. This actually looks really cool, and like it’ll actually work, and fancy and futuristic and protect-y and all the good things. We like this. Face data is protected, and not sent to a server, and user attention is needed in order for it to work.

 

We have Animoji! As gimmicky as we believe others will call this, we think this is so fun and the tech in it is kinda crazy. Basically, you have a dozen Emoji (including poop, obviously) that you can send as stickers or video’s within iMessage, and you can make the Emoji react to your facial expressions, and speak as if it’s you speaking. Craig Feredihi does a live demo and it’s kind of hilarious.

 

 

The camera on the iPhone X is 12MP, with larger and faster sensors, a new color filter and  f1.8 aperture- f2.8 on wide angle. We have Duel optical image stabilization, better low light zoom, better Quad LED flash, better front facing camera with Portrait mode with portrait lighting for selfies.

 

The Battery life lasts 2 hours more than iPhone 7 and it is of course compatible with Qi Wireless Chargers.

 

Speaking of Wireless charging, we get a ‘Sneak peek’  at Airpower – a charging mart for all your mobile Apple Products, that will be available next year. 

 

 

The iPhone X (did we mention it’s pretty sexy looking? Because it is…)  will be sold at 64GB and 256GB, starting at $999. You can preorder Oct 27th, and they’ll start to ship November 3rd.

 

So there we have it. What do you guys think? We particularly rate the new Apple Watch for having Cellular, and think that’s the beginning of something game changing. And the iPhone X will, likely, set the path for technology for the next ten years. There’s no line of site teleportation (YET) or anything super flashy that we weren’t expecting, but there’s a lot of really smart, really useful tech in that sexy little box.

 

What can we expect after the Apple Special Media Event on the 12th?

Assuming that Apple will follow it’s usual release schedule that it’s kept close to over the past 5 years, this is what we can expect after the September 12th Special media Event.

 

2-3 days after the event, probably Friday September 15th, at 12:00 AM PT, we can likely expect pre-orders to begin.

 

9-15 days after, but most likely 10 days after on Friday September 22nd, we can expect the official launch of the iPhones announced.

 

As this is the 10th anniversary iPhone, and because you can never really  accurately predict what Apple will do, there could be deviations from this – there could be no pre-orders like when they released the iPhone 5S, or, it could be a day or two different on the dates. Rumors are flying that there will be very short supply on the iPhone 8, so it could actually have a later launch date than the other 2 iPhone updates said to be offered this year.

 

We’ll find out all come Tuesday, September 12th. The event is at 10:00 a.m. PT at the Apple Park campus. An iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, LTE Apple Watch, 4K Apple TV and the much speculated about iPhone 8 will all likely be announced.