Should You Buy This Apple Product?

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, November 27, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Watch
In the last decade, Apple has firmly established its reputation as the foremost maker of some of the tech world's favorite gadgets. The iPhone is the most well-known smartphone on the market, the iPad is almost universally recognized by children who use them at home or in the classroom, and the Mac is the first choice of creative professionals of all stripes. But for every winning Apple product, there is one that many think is not quite worth the premium price tag.

When you're in the market for a new gadget, whether it's a phone, a wearable, or a piece of tech to be used around your home, it's important to weigh the price that you’re paying against the value that you’re getting. While some people will pay just about any price to get the latest from Apple this is not highly recommended. In fact, there is one Apple devices that a few analysts recommend steering clear of — especially as Apple works out the issues inherent in the first generation of a new product: Apple Watch.

It was exciting to see Apple unveil its first smartwatch, and even more exciting to see its capabilities evolve as app developers got on board and Apple gave them access to more of the device's functions. But unless you have funds to spare for a device that probably won’t be all that useful to you, the Apple Watch is a gadget you should probably pass up for now.

This fall, developers gained the ability to build native apps for the watch, but many of the apps that are available for the device right now still depend on the iPhone. (The updates Apple made to its Apple Watch software means that while you still have to have an iPhone to set up and use an Apple Watch, you'll be able to run apps on the Apple Watch itself instead of on a paired iPhone.) Neither Apple nor the developers who are building for the Apple Watch have yet figured out a killer app for the device, and that shows in the selection of useful-but-not-particularly-compelling apps available for the watch so far.

Also on the list of smartwatch functions that Apple hasn’t quite figured out yet? This involves the problem of battery life.

The Apple Watch can typically last through just a day before recharging, which makes it impossible to use the watch throughout the day and then rely on it to track your sleep at night or wake you up in the morning.

There are also plenty of other smartwatches available for purchase at much lower prices, and the price of the Apple Watch doesn't seem worth it when you consider that the technology will be outdated when Apple introduces the next generation of the wearable — which could happen as early as 2016 if current rumors prove correct.

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Apple Has More Tricks Up Its Sleeves

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, November 26, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Watch Health App
It appears that Steve Jobs did not prescribe any new product pipeline, but it's clear the world's largest company by market cap has more than a few health-related aces up its sleeve.

While it's unclear what new products Apple may be developing, Creative Strategies President Tim Bajarin says health is likely the theme considering that its become a key part of its mobile platform, tying it closely with the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

"If Apple sees a hole in the health area that could benefit from a product they create that can tap into their hardware and device ecosystem, it makes sense for them to create that device," Bajarin said in an e-mail to TheStreet.

Despite the obvious health implications of the Apple Watch, CEO Timothy Cook told The Telegraph that it won't seek Food and Drug Administration approval for the wrist-held computer though it may do so for other products. "I wouldn't mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long," Cook said. "But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it - maybe an app, maybe something else."

"My view on Apple is unchanged," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, portfolio manager of the Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. "Everyone seems to want to trade the stock and they should just own it as it is inexpensive and a great call on new products down the pipe."

As Apple has increased its research & development spending (it spent US$ 8.1 billion in fiscal 2015, up from US$ 6 billion in fiscal 2014 according to the company's most recent 10-K filing), it is clearly moving beyond smartphones, tablets and computers.

For starters, Apple has also been steadily increasing its supply-chain commitments over the years, suggesting it's not sitting back on its laurels.

Assuming Apple wanted to seek FDA regulation on an adjacent product to the Watch, it could be something used to diagnose or treat a specific disease. The Cupertino, California-based company would not be able to make a medical claim about benefits and risks without getting FDA approval first.

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Apple Watch 2 Rumors Have Trickled In

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, November 25, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Watch 2 Rumors
Everyone knows that Apple’s first plunge into the wearable world is just getting started, but rumors of the Apple Watch 2 are already heating up. Even though the launch of a second-generation Apple Watch is clearly in the distant future, Apple is presumed to be hard at work on the project, so no doubt the rumors will come pouring in about the device over the coming months.

Kyle Wiggers of Digital Trends compiled the rumors about Apple Watch and here they are:

Launch Date
Apple has its contractors sign strict non-disclosure agreements when building new products, but Quanta Computer’s chairman Barry Lam may have accidentally revealed the launch date for the Apple Watch 2. In minutes of an investors’ meeting, spotted by G4Games, Lam said the Apple Watch 2 was already in development, with a planned launch in the second quarter of 2016.

Quanta is the sole manufacturer of the original Apple Watch, so it does seem likely Apple would continue to use the Taiwanese manufacturer for future wearable projects. Lam said that while stores will start selling the Apple Watch 2 in the second quarter, mass production will not start until the third quarter next year. That fits with analyst predictions for the Apple Watch 2 launch date.

Launching in the second quarter means that Apple will most likely reveal the Apple Watch 2 at its new March event, where it announced the original Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook last year. Either that, or it announces the Apple Watch 2 at WWDC 2015, but that seems unlikely since WWDC is a software event for developers.

No Big Design Changes
A new report out of South Korea, which was spotted by G4Games, states that the next Apple Watch will stick with its original design and form factor. The Apple Watch 2 will supposedly sport the same rectangular screen sizes with the same resolution, and the body of the watch will be identical to the current model.

The report claims that the Apple Watch 2 won’t be any thinner — even though the display thickness is said to be shaved down — because the battery will be made larger. Apparently, both LG and Samsung are creating the displays for the next Apple Watch. This might allow the Apple Watch 2 to be compatible with all of the straps made for the original Apple Watch.

A Camera for FaceTime Calls
Apple wants to make the Watch 2 appealing even to those that already own the Watch, and plans to add some new features to make the wearable more appealing. That’s according to 9to5Mac’s intrepid Marc Gurman, who writes that future Apple Watches will sport a front-facing video camera for FaceTime conversations and much-enhanced wireless capabilities.

Sources told 9to5Mac that it’ll sit near the top of a future Apple Watch’s display and enable wearers to make and receive video calls right from their wrists. That wouldn’t make the next-generation Apple Watch the first smartwatch to pack a camera — that dubious honor goes to the Samsung Galaxy Gear — but it’d be the first with camera placed in an orientation suited to video calling on a smartwatch (the Galaxy Gear’s faces outward).

The feature, should it make it to market, would be a surprising but not entirely unexpected addition. Apple arguably laid the groundwork for a camera with FaceTime Audio audio integration in watchOS 2.0, the forthcoming Apple Watch update. However, many believe that the report won’t actually prove true.

More iPhone-free Activities
However, video calling is no good without solid connectivity. That’s where making the Apple Watch "tether-less" comes in. Allowing the Apple Watch to do more without a Bluetooth connection to your phone is part of an internal Apple initiative, 9to5Mac claims.

Apparently, a "more dynamic" wireless chip will let next-generation Apple Watches perform tasks without needing to be connected to an iPhone over Bluetooth. The current-generation Apple Watch already uses Wi-Fi for app updates and simple messaging, but the report implies that the new chip will enable features like heavier data transfer and router triangulation for improved location accuracy.

Of course, FaceTime video and more powerful wireless connectivity will come at an unsurprising cost: power. In fact, 9to5Mac says the increased consumption will largely negate any battery improvements. It's a trade-off that Apple may be comfortable with, Gruman reports. Through the course of market research, the company found that the majority of Apple Watch owners are satisfied with its current one-day battery life.

The FaceTime camera and improved wireless are as of now slated for a second-generation Apple Watch, which is expected to be introduced in 2016, but 9to5Mac reports that plans may change depending on the "roadmap" and "component availability."

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Major Issue Hounds iPad Pro

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, November 24, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iPad Pro Problem
After the Apple iPad Pro launch, there were several concerns expressed regarding issues encountered. Hence, this early, it would not be surprising to hear that some iPad Pro owners are less than satisfied with their purchases.

But unlike 'Bendgate' or 'Chipgate,' the issue that customers are running into with their iPad Pros is not entirely trivial and the nitpicking is not entirely limited to a few customers.

A few days ago, as The Register reports, one early adopter of the over-sized tablet took to Apple’s support forums to discuss a troubling issue he kept running into every time he needed to charge the device:

"At night it was down to 40% so I charged it and went to bed. When I woke up it was 'dead'. It wouldn’t wake up. I needed to perform a hard reset to get it to come to life. Worked on it for a couple of hours and had to run an errand. Plugged it back in as I was going to need a full charge later that day. Came back to it, same thing. Dead. I needed to perform a hard reset to get it to turn on."
Over the next few days, dozens of iPad Pro owners chimed in with similar complaints. This isn’t merely a case of user error — there’s a real issue with the iPad Pro.

Last 19 November, Apple added a support page to its website informing customers that the company "is aware of this issue and is investigating." In the meantime, Apple is telling iPad Pro owners who can't turn on their tablets to "force restart it by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo."

These freezes have not been reported for any other iOS devices, which is leading some users to believe that it might be an issue with the iPad Pro hardware.

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Apple's Black Friday Sale May Be Disappointing, But ...

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, November 23, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple's Black Friday Sale
For those who are waiting to get their chance for an Apple iPhone during Black Friday offering, may in for a disappointment. As Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac, in previous years, authorized resellers of Apple’s products have undercut Apple by as much as 13 percent on Black Friday, and this year isn’t likely to be any different.

Apple will likely offer a free gift card with the purchase of full-price Macs, iPads, and iPods. The amount of the gift cards has varied through the years, though resellers have offered bigger gift cards than Apple and might offer bigger gift cards than Apple does this year, too.

Neither Apple nor retailers are likely to offer any deals on the iPad Pro, but stores could offer about US$ 100 off the iPad Mini 4. Retailers and wireless carriers alike will likely offer a variety of different promotions on the iPhone.

To take advantage of them, buyers should determine beforehand what kind of plan they want, and figure out whether they need a subsidized phone, want to splurge on an unlocked version, or would find an iPhone that’s bundled with a prepaid plan the best fit.

However, one thing that looks promising is what Apple has in store for Siri in the next variant of iPhone.

According to Cult of Mac, a recent patent reveals that Apple’s engineers have been developing a way for Siri to distinguish between different users and offer them customized options based on their past preferences. That would be especially useful as Apple integrates Siri into devices like the iPad and the Apple TV, which are more likely to be used by multiple users than the iPhone, or into CarPlay devices.

The patent describes how Siri would be able to identify "a user providing a voice input, and process ... the input to identify a corresponding instruction based on the user’s identity. In particular, this is directed to processing a received voice input using the subset of library terms used to process the voice input." Once Siri recognizes a specific user, the device could offer different options, such as different music playlists.

Siri isn't the only digital assistant that listens closely to users. Google Now recognizes different accents and switches accents accordingly, and a number of companies, including Apple, promise that their voice recognition systems can be tuned to a particular user’s voice.

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Rumors and Leaks on iPhone 7

Posted by Kirhat | Sunday, November 22, 2015 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 7 Rumors
While everyone is still enjoying the feel of that sparkly new rose gold iPhone 6s in their hands, and the joy of 3D Touch, Apple’s already working on the iPhone 7. And rumors about it are beginning to spread.

If Apple follows its usual strategy, the next iPhone will look different to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, meaning it may introduce a selection of new features related to the body. TrendForce published a press release asserting that say the iPhone 7 will be waterproof, which would make it the first such device from Apple. An earlier post made to the Chinese social network Weibo, and reported by Macotakara, also said the iPhone 7 will have a waterproof and dustproof body.

While water resistant phones have existed for a while, the popularity with manufacturers ebbs and flows, with Samsung choosing to add it on the Galaxy S5, then abandon it for the Galaxy S6. Sony continues to make water resistance a feature on its Xperia smartphones, though it became less prevalent on the Xperia Z5.

Another Weibo post talks about Apple using a new, but unnamed material to make the iPhone 7 case, and it won't be metal. Rumors have spread in the past about an all liquid metal iPhone, but have never come true, and this may signal Apple has decided to go in a different direction with the next generation phone.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 7 will be the thinnest yet at between 6 and 6.5mm thick. That is around the same as the iPad Air 2, and a millimeter thinner than the current generation iPhone.

Up until the iPhone 6s, Apple’s phones only sported 1GB of RAM, even though many Android competitors used 3 or 4GB of RAM in their flagship phones. Now, reports hint that the iPhone 7 will get even more RAM than the 6S, with rumors of 3GB of RAM popping up for the iPhone 7 Plus. The claim has been made more than once, and TrendForce is the latest to join the fray.

Analyst Kuo also chimed in on the iPhone 7 with another report, claiming it will run on a new A10 chip built entirely by TSMC, a Taiwanese chip manufacturer that has worked with Apple in the past, and built some of the current A9 processors. He also claims the iPhone 7 Plus will have 3GB of RAM, while the iPhone 7 will only use 2GB. Foxconn will apparently manufacture the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and it should launch towards the end of next year, says Kuo.

It is very early days for the iPhone 7, despite what these rumors may make everyone think. Nobody even know if Apple will continue with adding an increasing number to the iPhone name, or if it will come up with something new for this edition. Whatever the case, tech blogs everywhere will keep the audience updated with all the news and rumors over the months leading up to the next iPhone’s 2016 introduction.

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