Both among tech and entertainment names to be interviewed
Among the list of speakers coming to the New Establishment Summit hosted by Vanity Fair in October will be Apple's Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive, making a second appearance at the event. He will be joined in Apple representation by Beats co-founder and Apple music executive Jimmy Iovine, though it is unclear if the two will appear together. The event will run October 5–7 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
Our grades for the likelihood of various whispers and scuttlebutt
So now that it is finally confirmed that Apple has chosen September 9 for its big event, and a different venue than usual to accommodate more press and that requires some street closures for a likely outdoor component (which hints strongly that something unexpected is up), the rumors are again flying about what we should expect to see at the event. Let's have a look at what's being whispered about, and a (speculative) look at the odds any of it will happen.
Three devices intended to unobtrusively clip to bags, purses
Today Belkin announced a new line of fashion-inspired charging cables. MFi certified to ensure iOS compatibility, these Lightning to USB cables are designed to clip on and off any bag, purse or keychain, so that users are never without a cable to charge their iPhone, iPod or iPad. The new fashion cables are available in three design options: a leather tassel, a braided USB clip, and a metallic keychain.
'Hey Siri, give us a hint' headlines the invitation
Apple has officially invited media to its September 9 event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The heading for the event is "Hey Siri, give us a hint," referencing Apple's voice recognition and interpretation technology that may extend itself past the iPhone and iPad at the event in either OS X or other hardware.
Fun app allows you to make wanted posters out of your friends pictures
So with Halloween on the horizon and convention season being a year-round thing, we've decided to bring you a little gift. What if there was a quick way to create some themed decorations for your haunted house or themed party? Today, we humbly suggest Wanted Poster Pro, an app that allows you to create your own wanted posters right from your iPhone or iPad.
Leef iBridge is the iOS equivalent of microSD storage
The Leef iBridge is the answer to a couple of our recent prayers. It is an elegant, MFI certified, USB and Lightning drive solution for Lightning port equipped iPhones and iPads that allows users to transfer data directly between a Mac or PC via USB drive to their compatible iOS device. It supports unprotected video and music files in the full range of formats supported by Apple on these devices (including ALAC) as well as Office-style document types. Read onto to see why we like it a lot, and why iOS photographers and videographers will love it as well.
Ruling benefits Lenovo, Android generally, though patent no longer infringed
One of the lynchpins of Apple's original court challenges against Android was set aside in a European court on Tuesday, as a top patent court in German ruled that the European version of Apple's "swipe-to-unlock" feature for the iPhone "was already suggested by the state of the art" at the time, and should not have been granted patent-level status.
High-end headphones offer superior sound at significant cost
Today is the fourth installment in an unplanned series about Audiofly in-ear headphones. We've taken a look at their starter models, the respectable A33 and the bolder version, the Clublife Paradise, but today we get to take a look at the high-end headphones from the company. Only the testing block today is the Audiofly AF56 in-ear headphones.
Rush to put Watch in all stores accompanies revamp of Apple SWASs
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly has announced that the retailer will change course on the Apple Watch, and rush to put the wearable in all 1,050 of its retail locations in the US "by the end of September," instead of the 300 outlets it was previously planning for. In addition, the iPhone maker's "Store Within a Store" branded Apple sections within Best Buy stores in some 740 locations are undergoing renovations in time for the holiday season.
Requires vents to release small amount of water vapor, runs for a week
Users of smartphones are always complaining -- despite huge advancements in battery technology over the past few years -- about the need to recharge devices frequently. A new form factor from British firm Intelligent Energy could potentially change this to only having to recharge a phone on a weekly, rather than daily, basis. The company has placed a hydrogen fuel-cell battery into an iPhone 6 as a proof-of-concept, with only tiny changes to the casing for the device.
Convenient cable boasts two ends: micro USB and Lightning
If yours is a house of multiple devices chances are you leave with at least a couple of different cables in tow. But is it absolutely necessary? Doesn't it become a hassle trying to keep track of all those cords? Lucky for you, Tylt is here to fix that problem with the Flyp-Duo reversible USB charge & sync cable, a cable that lets you charge your iOS and Android products without excess cord clutter.
Small percentage of devices have component failure that results in blurry photos
Apple has posted a new repair program for owners of the iPhone 6 Plus that will replace the device's iSight (rear) camera free of charge for up to three years after the phone was purchased, regardless of warranty status. Apple said it had determined that "a small percentage" of iPhone 6 models sold primarily between September of 2014 and January of 2015 have a component in them that could fail, causing photos to look blurry.
Leak from French carrier hints at seven-day preorder window for next iPhone
Some carriers may reportedly start to offer preorders for the next collection of iPhones within days of the rumored upcoming September 9 event, one expected to launch the smartphones. A leaked image from a French carrier appears to show an internal notice to staff that registrations for iPhone preorders will begin from September 11, just two days after the event, with the possibility similar timing may also apply to other carriers around the world.
Notes that mobile payment option is accepted at a million stores in US
Apple has added another commercial to its gallery of recent ads under the "if it's not an iPhone" banner, with a new rhyming ad that touts Apple Pay as another competitive advantage over rivals. The company's mobile payment option, which replaced credit and debit cards with more-secure Wallet-stored encrypted cards that can be used in conjunction with the iPhone 6 line's built-in Touch ID to offer safe, nearly-instant payment.
Free use of Samsung smartphone, data plan for month offered to iPhone users
Samsung is offering a trial of its smartphones to owners of the iPhone, in an attempt to acquire more sales by convincing iOS users to switch. Open to only iPhone owners in the United States, the "Ultimate Test Drive" promotion provides access to the user's choice of either a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or a Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphone for a 30-day period, with Samsung claiming there to be "no obligation" to acquire the borrowed device after the trial.
In-ear headphones that offer great sound but come with a high price tag
If you're like us, in your day-to-day lives you probably prefer listening to music with in-ear headphones -- and chances are you're used to trading off certain things, like great bass and overall clarity, for portability and comfort. Today, we're here to show you that there is a better option, provided you're willing to invest the money. We take a look at our third in Audiofly's in-ear headphone series, the improved AF45s.
China iPhone sales continuing to skyrocket amid contracting market
A new report from industry analyst Gartner claims that Apple's iPhone sales are continuing to grow, and that Samsung's sales are continuing to fall, particularly in China. Overall, the report says that Apple's worldwide smartphone share increased 36 percent, rising 2.4 percentage points to 14.6 percent, while Samsung's sales have dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year. In China, Apple's sales grew by 68 percent, while the overall Chinese smartphone market fell four percent compared to the same quarter last year.
At stake is $400 million of $548 million damages award
Samsung has made its intention known to appeal the ruling on the its first trial with Apple before the US Supreme Court. In papers filed today, the Korean manufacturer petitioned that the continuing battle with Apple in the California courts be suspended until the matter could be heard before the Supreme Court, following the refusal last week at the US Federal Court of Appeals.
Process far from over, and still not yet certain
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has advanced the process to invalidate one of Apple's original iPhone design patents. The decision, which moves the process along a bit farther was made on August 5, twice for obviousness, once for obviousness in connection with a different patent application, and once for lack of novelty.
Outage affecting some users of App Store, iTunes, iBooks, Mac App Store
[updated with Apple revisionism on outage time] An outage of services has affected some users, making Apple's main iTunes-oriented stores (the iTunes store, the iOS and Mac App Stores, the iBookstore, and even the corporate Volume Purchasing Program) unavailable for the past two hours or so. According to Apple's own system status page, some percentage of users have been unable to make purchases since approximately 4:20 PM Eastern, and the outage is ongoing.
Cheap and cheerful fitness tracker offers features for new and seasoned gym-goers alike
Fitness tracking is hip right now, which is probably one of the more beneficial things we've done as a species, as far as trends go. If you've not jumped on the bandwagon yet, you might be a little wary about dropping a significant amount of cash on something you're not sure you're going to utilize. But if you're interested in getting started, we'd like to introduce you to Misfit Flash, a budget-friendly, feature-packed fitness tracker.
At last, some other topics not related to Microsoft -- and some MS stuff too
It's August, and that means festival season, almost everywhere. MacNN Editor Charles Martin is out on the road again enjoying a big one in Edmonton, Alberta, but he's not letting that stop him from hosting this week's episode of the show. Joining him this week are staff writer Malcolm Owen in Wales, Bradley McBurney in Kelowna, BC, and William Gallagher in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama). We predict, we blame ourselves, we mention Microsoft. Show notes after the jump.
LED smartbulb features bright, clean light at a steep cost
LED bulbs are in vogue these days, cited as being cheap to run, long lasting, bright, and less annoying than compact fluorescent lights. We couldn't imagine life without them at this point. Smart LEDs are starting to become more popular, and while we weren't sold at first, we're coming around to them. Today, we check out another contender in the smartbulb arena, A21 Ilumi Smartbulb, a feature-heavy Bluetooth lightbulb that works with your iPhone.
Move intended to combat AT&T Next, T-Mobile Simple Choice
Sprint has debuted the 'iPhone forever" plan, giving users on the plan the ability to upgrade to the latest iPhone at any time while on the plan. Starting today, new and upgrade eligible Sprint customers can get an iPhone for $22 per month. Anytime customers don't have the latest iPhone, they are eligible to upgrade by bringing the older iPhone into a Sprint store, and upgrading on the spot.
Plug-in powerbank saves you the worry of dead batteries without taking up much space
We've all been there -- that moment when you realize that your phone or tablet is dying, and you're barely through your day. And of course, this only ever seems to happen when being near an outlet just isn't an option. For most people, we go into critical battery saving mode, dimming the screen, turning off the vibrate function -- we've all got our own battery conservation strategies. Scosche has got our backs, though, with their portable powerbank, the GoBAT 6000.
Current UK spending limits will still be in effect, expected to be revised in fall
Lloyds bank on Friday became the latest of the dwindling holdouts to announce support for Apple Pay, telling customers in an email that the functionality will be enabled "very soon" and reminding them of what devices can be used with the service. This leaves only Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Barclays as not having a clear window when support for Apple Pay will be offered. Barclays, which had initially declined to support Apple Pay, was forced to reverse course due to customer backlash.
Wherein, the MacNN staff gazes into the crystal ball
I've been battered with requests on Facebook and Twitter to talk about what we see for the rumored (but likely) September Apple media event. My response sits on a clipping on my desktop, and says in essence, that there is little value in speculating, as Apple will do what Apple will do, but the requests continue. Fine. I give up! I've corralled the staff, and forced them to write about what they see for the next event, and to criticize the rumor mill at large. Read on for our thoughts.
New version brings similar fixes to iOS as given to iTunes.
Alongside updates to iTunes and OS X, Apple has updated the iOS to version 8.4.1. The new version, which saw only two beta releases, provides "improvements and fixes to Apple Music" similar to those offered in the iTunes update. No data is available as to what security issues may have been addressed with this patch.
Active stylus boasts thin tip without drawbacks of Bluetooth pairing
We've checked out a couple of styluses in our day, and for the most part, they're all pretty similar. Most consist of a thick squishy tip, a conductive body, and are there for you through thick and thin, but are only slightly better than using your finger. Of course, there's some newcomers out there that have done their part, creating art-centric Bluetooth styluses that are capable of pressure sensitivity and boast thin tips at the cost of occasionally cutting out. But what about a stylus that takes the best of both worlds? Stilo figured out a way to make that happen with their thin-tipped, non-Bluetooth active stylus.
Tiny speaker promises to brave whatever you throw at it
Portable speakers are great, but there's still usually some sort of caveat. They're portable with an asterisk -- generally intended for indoor use, or outdoor use in "optimal conditions." If you lead an outdoorsy lifestyle, however, rarely will you be in "optimal conditions." That's why EcoxGear came up with the EcoPebble, a durable little speaker that can go wherever you do.
Carrier turns on Wi-Fi calling for limited number of iPhone users
AT&T is allegedly allowing some of its subscribers to take advantage of Wi-Fi calling, starting with those using iPhones running on last week's iOS 9 beta release. The carrier is said to have enabled the function for a limited number of iOS 9 users, letting them make and receive calls through their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus via Wi-Fi instead of the cellular network, but is still stopping short of formally announcing the service's availability.
Fashionable speaker doubles as power bank, falls a little short on sound
If you're like us, you like your technology to work well and look good. There's nothing wrong with wanting your devices to be stylish, and there's something to be said for a device that wows you with its appearance and its capabilities. Braven takes that philosophy to heart with Lux, a Bluetooth speaker that's capable of turning heads.
Sleek headphones offer style and cordless convenience
We check out a lot of headphones here, which you've probably noticed by this point. Most headphones we check out tend to be geared toward a certain type of listener, music enthusiasts, club kids, gamers... You name it, we've reviewed it. But today we take a look at a set of headphones that could suit just about anyone's needs, especially when it comes to being downright convenient. Today, we check out the Plattan ADV Wireless headphones by Urbanears.
Rumor posits iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6c models
While rumors of a revamped "iPhone 6c" have been swirling, a source with a good track record has said that he believes Apple will launch it and the other two expected models concurrently sometime in September. Rumormonger Evan Blass tweeted that users should expect little more than a spec bump from the new models, apart from the addition of Force Touch on one more more of the models. There may also be a "rose gold" color addition.
Perfect extra charge for your iPhone
Android users have called us iPhone owners "wallhuggers" because we keep needing to recharge our phone batteries. We do. We are. I'm not convinced Android users are actually any different, but it doesn't matter: even if they had infinite battery life, I'm not going to swap to Android because it would mean swapping to Android. Yet power is a big problem for me, and there has never been a day that my iPhone didn't need recharging. Unfortunately, there have been many, many days when I couldn't recharge it, so at best I was ekeing out time by using it less, and at worst I was carrying a shiny black brick with me. Until I bought a Mophie Powerstation external battery.
Flexible silicone keyboard is lightweight, portable, and damage resistant
There's no denying that we love our tablets and smartphones, but we find that extended typing on them isn't nearly as comfortable as one would hope, especially in the case of smaller tablets. Our iPad Mini is too big to thumb-text, but too small to home-row, touch-type. Having a full-sized keyboard on hand to make extended typing easier is nice. Having a full-sized keyboard that is light, portable, and damage-resistant? Even better. That's where Scosche's FreeKEY roll-up Bluetooth keyboard comes in, offering both convenience and portability.
New TV spot highlights iPhone's spot as top camera among all models
One seemingly little-known fact about the iPhone is that, across the various models, it is the top camera used to take pictures worldwide. Not the top smartphone camera -- the most used camera. In a new commercial from Apple that adds to its latest "If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone" campaign, the camera and its ability to get high-quality photos even in adverse conditions is highlighted.
Event would highlight new iPhone, iPad updates, OS updates, more
A new report has claimed that Apple is looking to put on its expected next big event during "the week of September 7," with a possible (though historically unusual) date of Wednesday, September 9. While unconfirmed, the event would likely introduce the next updates to the iPhone and iPad lines, as well as officially debut the next major upgrades to OS X, iOS, and the watchOS. In addition, it is possible that Apple may reveal a revamped Apple TV.
Two protective iPhone 6 cases and a stick-on wallet offered by MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are highlighting some of the offers available on our own MacNN Deals page. Today, we are showcasing ways to improve your iPhone, including two cases to protect the device from drops and water, and an add-on that can help your iPhone replace your wallet, saving you from carrying around too much stuff.
Modestly priced earbuds deliver big sound in small, stylish package
Earbuds. We're big fans of those humble, tiny headphones that we pop in just about every time that we leave the house that seem to reproduce when left unattended in our junk drawer. And for the most part, we tend to think headphones are like pizza -- when they're good, they're great. When they're not good? Well, it's better than not having headphones. But maybe it's time we upgraded from our $8 beater headphones and tried something a bit better, so we took a look at Audiofly's AF33 in-ear headphones.
Sena Antorini case does a good job of combing a case with a wallet
Sena is one of the select brands that Apple chooses to carry in its flagship Apple stores around the globe. Senna's preferred material is leather, with most of the products in its popular lineup utilizing it in one way or another. The Antorini Leather Wallet Book , as its name indicates, doubles as a both a protective case for your iPhone 6 as well as a wallet for your essentials, and is worth a look for its versatility.
Latest Apple Watch beta now dependent on iOS 9 install to work
[Update: third public beta released for iOS as well] Two weeks after the previous releases, Apple on Thursday offered new, fifth betas of iOS 9 and watchOS 2 to developers. The iOS 9 beta is now required in order to use the latest watchOS 2 beta, and may address some of the long list of serious bugs developers have reported so far, such as random reboots, poor battery life, inoperative Bluetooth connections and other problems unresolved or introduced in beta 4.
Bluetooth enabled LED bulbs create fantastic scenes in your home
If you're like most people, you don't think too much about the light bulbs that hang out in the sockets in your house. Maybe you've got a preference, but most of us are happy as long as they work and illuminate the area adequately. Still, innovation is generally a good thing, which is why we were so excited to try out the Satechi Spectrum iQ Bulb, an LED bulb that utilizes Bluetooth to give users nearly-endless lighting options.
Steals share from Android in US, loses ground to Chinese makers in China
Apple's iOS platform continued a streak of strong growth in both the US and China, according to new ComScore and Canalys report issued yesterday, taking share away from Android. However, while still seeing extraordinary growth in China, surges in shipments from native Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Huawei meant that Apple was knocked to third place in Chinese market share, having briefly captured the top spot.
Durable Lightning Cable stands up to abuse with multiple reinforcements
We're the first to admit that we are not easy on cables. It's not unheard of them to end up in the bottom of our laptop bag, bunched up and crushed together. We also might have a slight problem with being able to put our iPhones and iPads down long enough for them to charge fully, which often leads to the ends becoming crimped, which eventually leads to wire breakage, which eventually leads to the death of a poor, defenseless cable. Sound familiar? That's why Griffin decided to make their Premium Braided Lightning Cable, to give us serial cable-breakers something that can live up to the abuse.
Supposed iCloud Voicemail service uses Siri to answer calls
Siri may one day answer phone calls and transcribe voicemail messages for its users, a report claims, a feature that could end up being more important than the introduction of Visual Voicemail. Employees at Apple are allegedly testing a service which will listen to voicemail messages, transcribe them into text-based versions, and then have them delivered to the user's iPhone, allowing for the content of the message to be quickly understood by the user, without needing to listen to the voicemail at all.
Images of parts increase as next iPhone ramps up production for fall
As one might expect once the unit entered larger-scale production in anticipation of a September release, leaked images from factory workers in China of the next release of iPhones are increasing in frequency, and are increasingly likely to be legitimate. The images thus far have revealed little in the way of changes to the design or casing of the next iPhones, likely to be called the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus," despite rumors of significant new features.
A literally complete handbook on keeping your iOS devices running smoothly
Today's Pointers column was inspired by a real-life incident in which an acquaintance asked me for help in picking out a new iPad. Knowing that they had a fourth-generation iPad -- not far removed from the iPad Air 2 that I have -- I asked why. "Doesn't work anymore," they grumbled resentfully. "Lots of crashes, some apps don't even launch now." I asked if it had ever been turned off. "Every night," they said. I said, "no, not put to sleep -- turned off." "You can do that?!" they exclaimed.
Chinese maker Huawei overtakes Microsoft as Lumia sales drop by 50 percent
A new study by Strategy Analytics has confirmed Apple CEO Tim Cook's claim that iPhone sales were up a staggering 35 percent year-over-year, making Apple the smartphone maker with the second-highest mobile phone shipments overall, including "feature phones." The remaining-but-shrinking market for low-end smartphones and feature phones is what keeps Samsung in first, but Apple's marketshare rose to 10.9 percent share, compared to last year's 8.2 percent.
Simple near-universal bluetooth remote allows for easy music and media control
Let's paint a scenario for you: you're driving along, letting your iPhone serenade you with favorites from your music collection, when suddenly it plays that one song that you hate more than anything. You look away from the road to grab your phone and switch the song to something else, and in that brief moment, you've drifted into the other lane. Sound familiar? If this sounds like something that you can relate to, we'd like to introduce you to the Satechi Media Button, a Bluetooth enabled media remote designed to help you avoid moments just like that.