Is peace on the horizon for smartphone rivals?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014, 08:20
Category: Apple, Business, Google, Legal, News, Opinion, Patents, Samsung

gavel_transI’m not holding my breath that the Apple vs. Samsung patent war will end any time soon, but perhaps there is hope that one day in the future, we won’t have to read any more posts or articles about the never-ending ruling appeals filed by Apple or Samsung, or at least not as many. As of last Friday, Apple and Google have agreed to drop all current patent infringement lawsuits between them and move on with their lives.

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Google Glass is back in the public’s shopping cart

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Date: Thursday, May 15th, 2014, 08:23
Category: Accessory, Gadget, Google, News, Wearables

google_glass_headsetEarlier this week, Google put Google Glass back “on the shelves”, so to speak, as it made the wearable device available for public purchase again. Still at the premium price of $1500, Google hopes it can get its Explorer program to expand by making it available again. Google posted the following on its Google+ account;

“We’re still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand: google.com/glass

We’re ready to keep meeting new Explorers, and we can’t wait to hear all your experiences and feedback to continue to make Glass even better, ahead of our wider consumer release.”

That last part is of particular interest as 9to5Google suggested a month ago that maybe a more affordable version is down the road;

“In addition to the insane price tag ($1,500 for Galaxy Nexus specs is crazy, Google), a consumer release of Glass is still expected to take place this year. That means improved hardware and a far cheaper price should be on the horizon.

That release should come this fall, with Glass news hopefully being a major point at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference.”

Hopefully soon, we’ll also see some kind of development toward the ongoing privacy concerns regarding wearables in general, of which Glass is in the spotlight.

 

 

Apple’s iPhone upgrade promotion starts today

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 08:33
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, News, Promotion, Retail Store

iphones-5s-5c

According to 9to5Mac, sources close to Apple say that starting today (May 8th), Apple will begin contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email this week, inviting them to come into their local Apple Store to upgrade their device to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. No trade-in prices have been mentioned, but it’s expected that this is an extension of Apple’s iPhone hardware trade-in program which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Reports from outside sources have said that Apple has recently increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-programwhich it may be leveraging in the promotion in an attempt to increase iPhone sales.

Back in January, Apple posted its first quarter iPhone sales and analysts were disappointed that it didn’t meet their expectations. Even though Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 47.8 million a year earlier, Wall Street analysts were expecting closer to 57 million iPhones to be sold. These “disappointing” numbers may be the impetus behind the upgrade promotion which will hopefully bring up sales numbers for the current quarter.

What about you? If Apple knocks on your door, are you inclined to run to your nearest store to upgrade your iPhone? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

No new hardware at WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014, 09:09
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Mac, News, OS X, Software, WWDC

wwdc14 crop

We you eagerly anticipating a first glimpse of new Apple TV and iWatch hardware at WWDC? Hopefully you can settle for peeks at iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, because it sounds like that’s all we’re going to get. Sources have told Code/red that Tim Cook has no intention of parading out its upcoming hardware, or software associated with it, at the convention.

Healthbook-appicon

What you will probably see is a lot about Healthbook, Apple’s new health and fitness tracking app, which many speculate will tie in closely with the hardware of the iWatch. You can get a ton of info on Healthbook over at 9to5Mac with this article which covers it in quite a bit of detail.

How disappointed are you about the news? Will new iOS and OS X goodies be enough? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

A good view of the Amazon smartphone

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 2nd, 2014, 08:13
Category: Amazon, Features, Hardware, Mobile, News, photos

amazon-logo-150x60What’s the one thing missing from today’s tech lifestyle? That’s right, another smartphone! At least that is what Amazon is betting on when it launches its own phone later this year. There have been a few photos of phone’s hardware in the last month, but it appeared that there was some type of case obscuring details of the device’s appearance. The folks over at BGR have managed to snag a nice, clear image of Amazon’s yet unnamed smartphone.

 

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New MacBook Airs sport new processors and cheaper

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, 09:05
Category: Apple, Hardware, Intel, MacBook Air, News, Processors

macbook-air-13-inchApple’s MacBook Air models were quietly updated on Monday, with the only major changes being a slight speed-bump and a lower price. Anyone hoping for Airs with Retina Displays will have to wait a bit longer. At $100 less than the previous models, the starting price for an 11″ Macbook Air is $899 which now uses a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache, and 128 GB of flash storage. Both the 11″ and 13″ models can be configured with the faster 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache.

 

Screenshot 2014-04-29 03.21.17

 

If you’re pinching pennies, now might be a great time to grab a discount on the old models.

 

 

Excavators dig up hundreds of buried E.T.s

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Date: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, 08:48
Category: Consumer Electronics, Fun, Game, History, News

'ET' FILM - 1982Relax, there is no need to call up Fox Mulder, these E.T.s weren’t buried by a government conspiracy. They were buried 30 years ago by a video game company. The mid-80s saw a lot of changes in not only the personal and business computing market, but also the home video game markets. The two were no doubt intertwined as the emergence of affordable personal computers meant that not only could you do your accounting and word processing on your computer at home, but you could also play games, leaving many to ask, “why should I spend the extra money to buy a separate gaming console?”. It’s not like the gaming console ever went away, but at the time it meant new business challenges to companies like Atari, Coleco, and Mattel who had new sources of competition besides each other and had to struggle to stay in the game (no pun intended). The 80s also seemed to introduce rumors of companies sending their failed products to landfills and Atari was one of them (see also: Apple Lisa).

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California kills smartphone ‘kill switch’ bill

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Date: Friday, April 25th, 2014, 09:55
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, Mobile Phone, News, security, Software

Back in February, State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon introduced a bill that would mandate the inclusion of a “kill switch” in phones sold in the state of California. If approved, the anti-theft feature would have been required to be preloaded and automatically enabled on all smartphones sold after January 1, 2015, leaving the phone inoperable if stolen. In a statement put out by Leno and Gascon at the time of the bill’s introduction, in San Francisco alone, cell phone thefts make up 66 percent of all robberies. Just over the bridge in Oakland, thefts are even higher to over 75 percent. The statement also said that recovering those phones cost consumers in the US more than $30 billion in 2012.

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Mac Pro shipping times are improving

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 25th, 2014, 08:56
Category: Apple, Hardware, Mac, Mac Pro, News

Mac Pro assembly lineBack in mid-February, shortly after the new Mac Pro was announced, we reported about how shipping dates were listed for “April”. Well, April is here and it looks like Apple is finally catching up as shipping times are now listed as 3-5 weeks. At the beginning of April, times had started showing up at 5-6 weeks and have been slowly improving. Alas, you still cannot walk or drive to tour nearest Apple retail store and pick one up. All sales of the Mac Pro are through the online store, which will probably be the case until Apple catches up with its backlog of orders. There are some online retailers selling Mac Pros, which you might get sooner, but their supplies have been limited by Apple.

 

Screenshot 2014-04-24 16.30.29

 

 

 

Apple launches Beta Seed Program for consumers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, 09:57
Category: Apple, Mac, News, OS X, Software

maverickslogoApple is trying something new with its prerelease versions of OS X, it’s letting everyone take a crack at it. Tuesday, Apple launched the OS X Beta Seed Program which allows anyone with an Apple ID to download and try out beta versions of OS X. A complete FAQ for the program can be found here.

According to AppleInsider;

“It appears Apple has been quietly working to implement the new open beta policy for at least a couple of months via a “Feedback Assistant” that turned up in build 13D38 OS X 10.9.3 earlier this month. At the time, the standalone app’s purpose was unknown, though it is now believed to be part of the Beta Seed Program.”

I can see the potential benefits of having a greater number of people testing out new beta releases of OS X to work out bugs faster, which could speed up the turn-around for OS updates. I even know a number of people, including myself, who are power users that would love to try out new versions before they were released. My question, and concern, about this new program is…how useful is it really? Of the people who download the betas, how many will follow through with providing feedback, and how many will simply mess up their system because they don’t know any better, requiring a trip to the Genius Bar. How many “consumers” have the ability to send useful feedback?

If you are reading this and plan to join the program, just remember to create a full up-to-date backup of your computer(s). If anything does go wrong, be prepared to wipe your hard drive and restore everything from your backup. If you plan to try out the program, let us know and tell us why you’re doing it. Do you plan to send Apple valuable feedback, are you trying to solve a problem, or are you just curious?