Virgin Mobile Go All-Out For iPhone

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, June 23, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Virgin Mobile
Apple's flagship product, the iPhone, is considered as one of the most popular gadgets of all time. It is also the single most dominant force in smartphones today, which means putting all the chips in the iPhone basket isn't a terrible strategy.

This is what Virgin Mobile thought of after announcing that, as of 27th June, it wont sell anything but Apple’s smartphone. No Android, no Windows Phone, no anything but iPhone, and Virgin Mobile is 'launching a new wireless plan to match it.

"There's iPhone. And then there's everything else," the company says in its official announcement.

"At Virgin Mobile, we're teaming with Apple to offer you nothing but the world’s most popular phone. Because life in the Inner Circle is about living big, expanding your horizons and pursuing your passions. And it starts with an iPhone you'll adore."

Along with the new iPhone-only sales strategy, Virgin Mobile is launching a new promotion with its US$ 50/month Inner Circle plan. If the user buys a new iPhone through Virgin, they will get the first full year of unlimited service for just US$ 1. After the first year ends, the monthly fee will return to US$ 50.

As with all the "unlimited" plans these days, the service Virgin Mobile is offering isn't truly unlimited at all. The company notes that it will "deprioritize" their service if the user manage to burn through more than 23 GB of data during any billing cycle. Still, that's a huge amount of data, and the vast majority of even heavy smartphone users probably won't come anywhere near maxing it out.

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iPhone 8's Major Design Changes

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, June 22, 2017 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 8 Design
So far, thousands of leaks has featured almost all the possible features of an iPhone 8. Now, it appears that the leaks has centered on one thing - the major redesign.

According to Gordon Kelly of Forbes, it was the accessory maker MobileFun that first spilled the dirt. The company, which nailed the Galaxy S8 design three months before release and confirmed the iPhone 7 design and headphone jack removal three months before release, has officially listed its first product confirming the iPhone 8 design, three months before its anticipated release.

On sale now for £24.99, the 'Olixar iPhone 8 Full Cover Tempered Glass Screen Protector' shows an iPhone 8 with a massive 5.8-inch, elongated display with top bezel 'cut-out' for the front facing camera and sensors.

It is also entirely consistent with the flurry of leaks which have appeared over the last month.

So why does MobileFun keep getting this information three months before release?

Kelly added that it is because this is typically around the time major smartphone makers provide partners with detailed dimensions of their forthcoming devices so third party accessories can be ready in time for launch. MobileFun just has a cheeky (and no doubt self promotional) habit of listing them early.

Furthermore if these leaks carry the historical accuracy of MobileFun’s previous revelations, then this may also reveal the biggest secret remaining in iOS 11.

Back in February KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iOS 11 will feature a 'Function Area' much like the Touch Bar in the MacBook Pro. This was missing from the iOS 11 preview Apple unveiled earlier this month.

The Function Area is supposed to sit in the bottom section of the iPhone 8 display in the space freed up by the removal of the home button and large bottom bezel. The theory is this would allow for contextual controls and rich new notifications, perfect timing if the iPhone 8’s cut-out is going to eliminate the top bar in any case.

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Apple's Future Relies On Micro-LED Screen

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | 0 comments »

Micro-LED Screen
Its critics and followers alike knew that tech giant Apple has started devoting more and more R&D resources towards researching next-gen display technologies.

In 2015, for example, Apple opened up a semi-secretive research lab in Taiwan where a team of 50+ engineers and scientists are tasked with exploring advanced display technologies that would allow Apple to release products with thinner, lighter, and of course, more energy efficient displays.

Looking ahead, it's widely believed that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 will be the first iPhone model to incorporate an OLED display. Still, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Apple is already looking beyond OLED towards the next big thing. To that end, a new report from Digitimes relays that Apple recently ordered a batch of Micro LED screens for testing in future products.

According to the report, Apple may begin trial production on devices with Micro LED displays as soon as this year, though it’s possible trial production might be pushed back to 2018.

"Apple has been keen in the development of micro LED technology following its acquisition of LuxVue in 2014," the report reads, "and recent market speculations also indicate that Apple is likely to crank out a small volume of micro LED display products from its plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan at the end of the year."

As for why Apple is interested in micro LED technology, the displays are said to be significantly brighter and far more energy efficient than current OLED display technology. And as smartphones seemingly take on heavier tasks with each passing year, the need for displays that consume less power becomes more and more of a strategic advantage.

Interestingly enough, Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, while speaking about the Micro LED technology Apple picked up when it acquired LuxVue, intimated a few years ago that the technology represents a "technical breakthrough in displays."

As it stands now, there are challenges associated with building large Micro LED displays, which is to say you shouldn’t expect it to be a feature on Apple’s line of MacBooks anytime soon.

As for the iPhone, well, Samsung and Apple reportedly have a deal for OLED displays that runs through the iPhone 9, so everyone may have to wait a bit before Micro LED displays on smartphones becomes a reality as well.

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What Is Inside The New Apple iPad Pro?

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | | 0 comments »

iPad Pro
Apple’s update to the iPad Pro range will be on public sale in the very near future, but some of the secrets of the professional tablet that many believe can replace the laptop have already been discovered by Ewan Spence of Forbes.

According to Spence, selling the new iteration of the smaller iPad Pro is an easy one to the public. Take the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, make the screen a little bit bigger, make the bezels around the edge a little smaller, and keep everything in roughly the same footprint. Instant improvement and an instant reason to upgrade.

The Forbes contributor added that from a hardware point of view, the reality is a little different, as iFixit has revealed. Previously the 9.7 inch iPad Pro was based on the standard 9.7 inch iPad. The latest in the popular teardown features from the DIY repair community shows that the 10.5 inch iPad Pro is modelled on the massive 12.9 inch iPad Pro model. According to the team, once the user open the smaller Pro, it’s clear that it is "a scaled down and streamlined version of its 12.9 inch predecessor."

iFixit has also been able to confirm that the iPad Pro comes with 4GB of RAM (in the form of two 2GB Micron LPDDR4 chips). For those who will be looking to do their own repairs in the future, the new iPad Pro follows some of the construction forms of the 12.9 inch machine - notably with a screen cable tucked safely away in the center of the machine - and the use of standard Phillips-head screws instead of specialist connections. Both of these will make the process easier. It's still awkward to repair, but it's a start.

Of course the biggest piece of the iPad Pro is still missing. To make the best use of the new chips and larger screen users will need the software updates and tools available in iOS 11. That will bring an improved multi-tasking system, file management, and new options for Apple Pencil users. All of these are expected to improve the iPad Pro when the software is made available to the public, presumably in late September.

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Is The New iPad Pro Powerful Than A Laptop?

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, June 19, 2017 | | 0 comments »

iPad Pro
The latest iPad Pro may actually live up to what Apple claimed before that the high-end tablet could replace any laptop, essentially making it the only device a person ever need.

Tech benchmarking website Bare Feats found that the new 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models aren't that far behind the new 13-inch MacBook Pro in terms of performance.

And Bare Feats wasn't comparing the iPads to the base 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel's Core i5 processor. It compared the iPads with the most powerful option for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, complete with the fastest Core i7 processor option. Check out the benchmark results below, where the higher the number indicates better performance:
In theory, and according to the benchmark, Apple's latest iPad Pros could actually be faster than last year's 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor.

On top of the iPad Pros' incredible performance, Apple's newest mobile operating system iOS 11 adds some key features to the iPad that makes it work more like a MacBook Pro laptop than ever before.

For one, iPads will have a Dock, just like you see on the desktop operating system macOS.

And there's also a new app called Files that lets you browse and organize files store in iPads, like documents, photos, and PDFs.

At first glance, it may seem like the US$ 900 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage could offer much better value than the US$ 1,800 13-inch MacBook Pro with the fast Core i7 processor. They both have similar-size screens, and the iPad is half the price for almost as much power. Yet, it's unlikely that the iPad could be the only "computer" anybody would ever need, as it's missing some key features.

Touchscreens like the iPad's are great when it's time to kick a feet up on the couch and browse through casual websites and social media. But when it's crunch time at work, that person would have got to have another input method: a mouse, or a trackpad.

Imagine sitting at a desk and constantly raising an arm throughout the day to tap or swipe the iPad's screen for web browser tabs, links, option menus, and scrolling. It would get tiring pretty quickly, not to mention it's less efficient. It's just not practical compared to a trackpad or a mouse, which requires less effort to control than a touch screen. With that in mind, a laptop can't be replaced by an iPad and its touch screen. Many would still need a laptop for work.

And even if Apple added mouse support on its iPads, the iPad Pro's 4GB of RAM wouldn't cut it these days. RAM, for the uninitiated, makes for speedy and smooth multitasking. It's like a computer's back pocket where it keeps things like apps and web browser tabs that users recently opened handy for when they need to open them again. The more RAM a user have, the more apps and browser tabs they can run in the background without throttling their performance.

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A US$ 12k Hourglass From Apple Designer

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, June 17, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Apple designer Marc Newson created a special hourglass for Hodinkee that retails for a staggering US$ 12,000. It's handcrafted, and it contains noisy nanoballs instead of boring sand. No, there's absolutely no reason to buy one, even if it's a Newson creation.

The hourglass is 150mm tall and 125mm across at the widest point. It contains 1.3 million tiny copper balls that measure just 0.6mm in diameter, and measures precisely 10 minutes.

But the way Newson and Hodinkee describe it makes it sound like something that’s actually worth buying/watching/enjoying. It’s not.

"Sometimes you see an object, and it just captivates you. You can't look away. You can’t even really explain what you’re looking at either," Hodinkee says. "Marc Newson’s Hourglass is one such object. It takes the idea of one of the most basic time-measuring instruments ever devised, and pushes it to its limits."

"It is perhaps one of the most fundamental objects in the world of timekeeping, and arguably one of the oldest, but I love the fact that it is so sort of deeply esoteric, and it has this strange and mesmeric quality," Newson says in the promo video at the end of this post.

"On one hand, you're witnessing time. But on the other hand, it's completely sort of timeless, and it actually if anything focuses your attention on the opposite of time, if that makes any sense."

It doesn't. And the actual manufacturing of the hourglass is impressive itself. The glass object requires a certain precision, and it's hand made, which is remarkable. It’s just Hodinkee and Newson's design stories that are annoying.

"Watching the Hourglass is a multi-sensory experience that cannot be communicated in words," the blog post explains.

"The combination of watching those first few nanoballs bounce around the bottom chamber, the flow begin to change surface patterns in the top chamber, and the unique sound of the nanoballs flying around, hitting the glass and one another as they settle at the bottom, is utterly mesmerizing. Invariably, the first time we show it to someone, there’s a gasp, a big smile, and sometimes even a little giggle as they lean in and get ready to watch for the full 10 minutes."

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