Tag - Reviews
This week, the MacNN Podcast takes a good look at some of the burning issues of the past week, including of course the release of iOS 9. We talk both about the entire downloading experience -- one of the smoothest we've seen in a long while -- and our first impressions on some of the new features and optimization of the release. We also talk about two of Apple's biggest court cases, the Move to iOS app on Google Play, and how useless most app store reviews are.
(Warning: minor film spoilers are contained in this article) Early reviews of Steve Jobs, the two-hour Danny Boyle-Aaron Sorkin collaboration for Universal Pictures that stars offbeat casting choice Michael Fassbender in the title role, are in and are uniformly positive about the film. The movie presents Apple co-founder and former CEO Jobs as "both an iconic visionary and a monster with a silicon chip where his heart should be," but uses history, Jobs' daughter Lisa, and an ensemble cast to create an "astonishingly brilliant" film that even won raves from another co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak.
Technology is becoming hazier and hazier every day. There's tablets, phablets, notebooks, netbooks, laptops, and desktops -- all promising to do different things -- but what if you're torn? What if you want something portable, but full-featured? Then you might be in the market for a convertible tablet. The obvious choice that most people leap to is the Microsoft Surface, but it's certainly not the only option. We checked out the second-generationThinkPad Helix, a two-in-one tablet-turned-laptop by Lenovo -- see what we thought of it!
We like having a Bluetooth keyboard on hand, particularly when traveling or just around the house for when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, we've yet to find one we absolutely love to pieces. Generally, they're made smaller than laptop keyboards, but not quite small enough to make them perfect for lugging around comfortably. Enter the E6700 keyboard from Rapoo, which looks very cool -- but has a rather awkward design choice. Check out our full review for more info.
Reviews are starting to come in on the Apple Watch, but the overall consensus is what might have been predicted: that it is, by far, the best smartwatch in the world; that it redefines the bar for smartwatches in the same way that the iPhone did for mobile smartphones in 2007; that it makes nearly all other smartwatches look like toys. However -- much like the initial iPad reviews -- there is a lingering question of how much need there is for it.
New hotel reviews from TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com are now appearing alongside other local data from long-time partner Yelp in Apple Map search results, even though the two companies are not yet listed as official sources on the Maps attribution webpage. The feature expansion appears to have been implemented very recently, and reports say that some locations now offer additional photos and information on hotels from the two new sources.
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that would make it illegal for businesses that provide services or sell goods to impose a contract on consumers that would waive their right to make statements against it. Assembly Bill 2365 adds a section into the California Civil Code that makes it unlawful for a business to take action against a customer who decided to voice their displeasure, imposing penalties for each attempt to do so.
Messenger bags are not a one-size-fits-all type of market. From consumers looking for something that is picked from a shelf at random where materials don't matter, to constant travelers that keep their office with them every day -- the variation between the needs of the buyer can be quite large at times. But what if a discerning shopper is looking for a high-quality bag that will take sustained abuse without suddenly falling apart, wants a bag to keep looking good day after day, and is willing to pay for quality? Waterfield Designs, a company out of San Francisco, California which specializes in handcrafted bags, looks to fill that need with a new bag named the Rough Rider.
There is no denying that the introduction of Apple's proprietary Lighting port changed the accessory market. It is becoming increasingly rare to see a company include a 30-pin dock with any sort of home speaker. What originally started out as a 30-pin dock-equipped alarm clock has now been slimmed down into a much smaller package with the shift to Lightning. The question is, have any of these reductions hurt what was originally a standout product? Electronista spent a few weeks with this new alarm clock and have posted our verdict in the full review.
LG, the other South Korean tech giant, finds itself in a difficult position. Namely, it has to compete with Samsung, which has become an absolute behemoth in displays, processors, tablets, and smartphones. As many other Android manufacturers have found, there is really little to be done on the platform in order to differentiate one's handsets from the pack. HTC has taken the high build quality path, releasing the iPhone-quality HTC One flagship to mixed results. Others have gone the super low-end route, but very few are making money. With the G2, LG has decided to switch up the standard form factor while maintaining a solid-but-affordable build quality. How well have they pulled it off? Check out our full review of LG's new flagship in order to find out.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE