Arrival Time app Twist shuts down suddenly

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, April 6th, 2014, 14:10
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iPhone, News, Software

It’s a sad day for fans of Twist, the ETA/arrival time app and service. After working intermittently for the last four of five days, the website was taken down and the app was removed from the App Store over the weekend.

The developers confirmed that Twist was shuttered on April 5, 2014 in a Tweet:

When I reached out for comment, they replied:

(more…)

Fresh renders of the thin and wide iPhone 6 look phabulous

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 31st, 2014, 19:44
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor
iphone-6-mockup-hajek-t

Render: Nowhereelse.fr

With the rash of iPhone 6 rumors hitting the wires lately, the expression “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” could be considered apropos.

The months leading up to an iPhone announcement (expected in September, in the case of the iPhone 6) are filled with leaks from Apple’s supply chain. Parts, pieces and components become increasingly harder to hide as the company begins to manufacture millions of devices. Manufacturing partner Foxconn (a.k.a. Hon Hai Precision Co.) has the capacity to build as many as half a million iPhones per day at its peak, and as it does, leaks become inevitable.

Armed with leaks of case molds, schematics, and the rear bezel of the iPhone 6, French Apple blog Nowhereelse.fr and graphic designer Martin Hajek teamed up to create some fabulous 3D renders of the most anticipated smartphone of 2014:

Fresh renders of the thin and wide iPhone 6 look phabulous

Courtesy: Nowhereelse.fr

What’s your take on the iPhone 6 renders? Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Is this the iPhone 6′s rear bezel?

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 31st, 2014, 18:05
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

While this one lands squarely in the rumor department, someone posted what might be the first photos of a bona fide iPhone 6 to microblogging service Weibo (via Nowhereelse.fr and BGR)

It might only be the rear casing, but these photos look like they could be the real deal.

What’s your take? Any Chinese readers care to translate the on-screen text to the left of the first image? Any pixel pushers care to grok the EXIF data? Start sleuthing and post your discoveries in the comments.

New leak purporting to be the iPhone 6

iphone-6-leak-weibo-ogrady-1

iphone-6-leak-weibo-ogrady-2

Leaked iPhone 6 dimensions: definitely larger than the iPhone 5

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, March 29th, 2014, 18:55
Category: Hardware, iPhone

The good folks at Nowhereelse.fr have posted a document from a Chinese website that they think could be a schematic design for the iPhone 6. The drawing depicts a device that is 85 millimeters wide by 150 millimeters long, which would give it a display with a 5-inch (diagonal) screen.

iphone-6-schematic-ogrady

The problem with the leaked dimensions is that they don’t sync with previous rumors that we’ve seen about the upcoming iPhone 6 sporting a 4.7, 5.5, or even 5.7-inch display (or possibly, both).

Take this one with a healthy grain of salt and, as always, consider the source. Without further confirmation the drawing should be treated with skepticism and scrutiny, but if you have any theories on it (one way or the other) sound off in the comments.

Rumor department: iPhone 6 to get 5.5-inch display in fall #TAC

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 16th, 2014, 17:58
Category: Apple, iPhone

In probably my favorite post of the week, Apple’s finally rumored to be exploring large displays for the iPhone 6, tentative due in the fall. Look, everyone likes to have a phone that will run al day on a charge but it’s foolish to think that Apple’s not losing customers that want larger screens to Sammy. Sure, many iPhone owners also have iPads (I’d venture to say that it’s a high percentage) which should satisfy their need for a larger screen, but many don’t and they’re not cool with a puny 4-inch iPhone.

Research firm DisplaySearch reports in their new Quarterly Worldwide FPD Shipment and Forecast Report reports that Apple is likely to launch two new versions of next-generation iPhone with two larger display options. According to the report Apple will launch a 4.7-inch model with 1600×900 resolution, 386ppi and LTPS TFT LCD display technology. A larger version of the “iPhone 6″ could pack a 5.5-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401 PPI utilizing the same display technology.

The X factor here is developers. They’re going to need to re-compile their apps for a fourth screen size and Apple will have to tell them about it by WWDC (think June-ish) at the latest.

The good news is that Apple is exploring two iPhone screen sizes (4.7 and 5.5-inches) so that there will be an option for both small and large hands. (Read more at The Apple Core).

What size iPhone 6 would you buy? Is 4-inches a deal breaker?

How Apple can protect kids against predatory IAPs #TAC

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 16th, 2014, 16:29
Category: App Store, Apple

Tom’s under the weather, so I wanted to pitch in and cross-post a few of my ZDNet posts. In this one I discuss an issue that’s near and dear to my heart. My kids have accidentally purchased lots of In-App Purchases (IAPs) from the App Store because of Apple’s 15-minute no password window and nefarious developers that riddle free apps with ads and coerce kids into clicking through to bogus add-on purchases in Freemium apps.

Here are the suggestions I posted on The Apple Core:

  1. Offer the ability to require a password for every transaction.
  2. Offer the option to require a password for free downloads.
  3. Actively track the amount of refund requests in apps targeting kids and set a low threshold for penalizing developers that prey on young users with IAPs. (i.e. if your app generated more than 10 refunds in a day your App comes off the App Store for a day, and so on…)
  4. iTunes Store emails should be sent in real time as purchases occur.
  5. Offer the option to send an SMS or push notification to the account owner’s iPhone or iPad immediately after a purchase
  6. Make refunds easier to requests. Currently you can only request a refund within the desktop version of iTunes, and it’s extremely difficult to find
  7. Add more detail to IAPs in Recent Purchases UI by naming the host app in which the IAP occurred

The problem is that Apple took in $10 billion in revenue from the App Store in 2013, so there’s a strong disincentive to them doing anything that curbs its ferocious rate of sales. (Read more at ZDNet).

What’s your take?

PPUG November 9, 2013 — Wrap-up, links and presentation

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013, 20:45
Category: Meetup, PPUG, User Group

ppug-meeting-2013-1109 001

Last weekend’s PPUG meeting was a resounding success!

In case you missed it, here are links to the products that Jason talked about:

Download Jason’s presentation in both Keynote or PDF formats.

Rob Parker talked about the following;

Youngmoo Kim talked about:

We hope that you can make it to our next meeting.

PPUG Meets in Philadelphia this Saturday, November 9

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 8th, 2013, 20:28
Category: Meetup, User Group

http://thescene.s3.amazonaws.com/pics/bar/2/51481/profile/1205061797294_272.jpgJoin us for a spectacular autumnal meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at noon.

The Philadelphia PowerBook Users Group (PPUG) will hold its pre-holiday festival meeting from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the beautiful Manayunk Brewing Company. We usually have lunch (and a brew) while we talk mobile computing.  We will need to leave the Brewery promptly by 3pm because another group will be using the room.  So that means we will get started promptly at noon.

I’ll be on hand with PPUG co-founders Rob Parker, Bob Snow and Youngmoo Kim to talk about latest developments in mobile computing, including new Macs, iPads, iPhones, and the latest Apple developments right up to the date of the meeting.  Topics will include new iPhones, iOS 7, Mavericks, the new iPads, and Frax, the amazing new app Kai Krause and company.

Come hear special presentations from our panel and some fabulous demos as well. Additionally, we have lots of give aways courtesy of and provided by Sandy Foderick of Apple User Group Resources. Of course we’ll have a healthy serving of Q&A.

Join us for a great meeting, it’s free and open to you and your guests. Feel free to bring items to sell or swap as well.

OUR MEETING PLACE:

Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
215.482.8220

If you are part of a Mac User Group, then forward this announcement to your membership.  All are welcome!

 

Why the Mac (still) beats the PC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, 08:25
Category: Apple, Opinion

Christopher Laincz, Ph.D., is director of the LeBow Ph.D. Program at Drexel University, and associate professor in LeBow’s Department of Economics and International BusinessI’m publishing this guest blog by Dr. Christopher Laincz, because I couldn’t agree more with his opinions. If you don’t agree, be sure to read the pro-PC counter-point article by his colleague Mark Eyerly and sound off in the comments below.

I find myself in a strange town, and I want a cup of coffee. I see a Starbucks and some local dive. I choose Starbucks.

Here’s why: When you walk into Starbucks, you know exactly what you’re getting; and, they’ll customize it to your taste. If they make an error, they fix it immediately. I expect a good experience right from the start.

On the other hand, the local dive might prove great, but it might serve bug-infested sludge.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “risking a dollar or so on the local dive’s coffee is no big deal.” Sure. But when it comes to computers, it’s much riskier. You could easily spend $1,500 on some crappy PC. Perhaps for an extra $500, you could take home a (beautiful and better-designed) Mac with similar specs.

Why do I spend more on a Mac? Because Macs are better. In fact, the quality-adjusted price actually makes the Mac the better deal. PCs can be made in any Joe’s garage – and too frequently are – hence the hardware quality is a crapshoot. The Windows environment is fraught with holes and issues. Ever try to get service help for your PC? Ugh.

Furthermore, I do not need or appreciate my computer warning me at every turn about this risk or that issue. Just fix it, dammit! I’m busy with my own work. I don’t have time to invest in searching for the answers to every PC/Windows security or design flaw that crops up.

This isn’t a problem I encounter on my Mac. Apple takes care of maintenance and quality-control, so I am willing to pay for that. Buy a PC, and the maintenance and quality-control risks are on you. You may have paid less for the hardware up front, but over time you’ll pay with time, money and frustration to keep the thing functioning and not destroying your own tireless efforts.

Mac products stay way ahead of the Windows environment in terms of innovation and user-friendliness. I blame the PC/Windows marriage from hell.

The Justice Department brought an anti-trust suit against Microsoft for abusing its market power to kill off Netscape (which it did successfully). One of the punitive options in front of the Justice Department was to break Microsoft up into two companies: operating system (Windows) and software (MS Office).

Had the Justice Department gone with that option, the software would have been thrown into a more competitive environment. But it didn’t, and as a result the Office Suite has not evolved much.

Some complain that Apple excludes other products from seamless integration with its own. Sure, that may be true, but for me it isn’t a problem.

After falling in love with my 4-year-old MacBook Pro (which I’m using right now), I got a Mac desktop for my home, another for the office, and I just added the iPhone.

Digital bliss.

Christopher Laincz, Ph.D., is director of the LeBow Ph.D. Program at Drexel University, and associate professor in LeBow’s Department of Economics and International Business. He’s actually pretty down-to-earth for a Mac-toting academic.

Appearance: PPUG Saturday in Philadelphia (Withings WS-50 preview)

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 09:28
Category: Accessory, PPUG, User Group, Wearables

Withings WS-50 Wi-Fi scale

I’ll be presenting at the Philadelphia PowerBook User Group (PPUG) on Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. PPUG is the first dedicated PowerBook User Group (PPUG) in the United States and was founded in 1999.

We meet at the Manayunk Brewing Company along the beautiful Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA and our meetings is open to all. We usually have lunch (or a brew) while we talk mobile computing.

We’ve got a big slate to present.

I’m going to present the latest in wearable fitness computers, including the Jawbone Up band, the BodyMedia FIT LINK and their associated iOS apps. I’m also giving an exclusive demonstration of the Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer. It’s your chance to preview the new Wi-Fi scale that measures weight, body composition, heart rate, and air quality before it starts shipping in mid-April.

Rob Parker will do a roundup of the latest gadgets in the ParkerDigital stable, including the Pebble watch, Nike+ Fuel Band, FitBit One, Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 and some iPad mini cases. Apple Distinguished Educator Youngmoo Kim will give a presentation about issues and tricks he’s encountered doing presentations wirelessly using AirPlay. He’ll be presenting using an Apple TV connected to a BenQ 761 projector.

Join us for a great meeting, it’s free and open to you and your guests. Feel free to bring items to sell or swap as well.

Manayunk Brewing Company

4120 Main Street

Philadelphia, PA 19127

215.482.8220