Apple patent shows potential use of shifting mirrors to help camera/optical stability

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 08:16
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Patents, Pictures

losmirrors

When in doubt, use mirrors.

A recently published patent application posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site shows that Apple has revealed a new concept that would offer improved optical image stabilization using mirrors.

The patent, entitled “Mirror Tilt Actuation,” describes an image sensor for small, multifunction devices like an iPhone that would compensate for the user’s hand movement to improve picture quality.

Apple introduced optical image stabilization in its products last year with the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The smaller iPhone 6 accomplishes this through software, while the larger iPhone 6 Plus also uses hardware OIS for superior image taking capabilities.

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New legislation requires U.S. wireless carriers to unlock out-of-contract phones

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 04:52
Category: iPhone, Legal, News

iphoneunlock

This could come in handy.

America’s top wireless providers can no longer refuse to unlock devices for customers who have paid financing plans in full or completed their contract term under a new set of industry rules — agreed to over one year ago — which went into effect yesterday.

As part of the pact, wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon, and will notify active customers whose devices are eligible for unlocking. Those who have purchased a used, carrier-locked device can also have those unlocked for a “reasonable fee.”

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Smartphone theft drops dramatically in London, two U.S. cities following kill switch implementation

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 04:34
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Legal, News, Software

iphone6handsets

This may be better news, but keep an eye on your iPhone when you’re in crowds.

Thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in three major cities since manufacturers began implementing “kill switches” that allow the phones to be turned off remotely if they are stolen, authorities said on Tuesday.

The number of stolen iPhones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York in the 12 months after Apple Inc added a kill switch to its devices in September 2013. In London, smartphone theft dropped by half, according to an announcement by officials in the three cities.

“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Johnson, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were among numerous officials arguing for new laws mandating the kill switches.

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Apple confirms that Aperture will be discontinued after launch of Photos for OS X

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Date: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015, 14:45
Category: News, Software

apertureicon

It’s time to move on from Aperture.

Shortly after last week’s deployment of OS X 10.10.3 to developers, Apple updated its official Aperture page on its website, adding a notice stating that Aperture will be removed from the Mac App Store when the Photos for OS X app launches.

The same notice can also be found in the app’s Mac App Store description. Once removed from the Mac App Store, it will no longer be possible for new users to obtain the Aperture software, but those who have previously purchased Aperture will continue to be able to download it from the “Purchases” tab.

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Updated Touch ID hardware to provide more secure, reliable Apple Pay experience

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 13:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

touchid

The Touch ID hardware is about to get better.

A report from well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo released on Tuesday stated that Apple’s new Touch ID model will improve the Apple Pay experience with fewer reading errors.

Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, projects that Touch ID module shipments will grow 12.4 percent this year to 262 million. His forecast was revealed in a research note to investors.

According to Kuo, the upgraded Touch ID module will “offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience by reducing reading errors.” He expects companies in Apple’s supply chain to begin ramping up for the new Touch ID module in the second quarter of calendar 2015.

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Time Limits desperately needed on iOS

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Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 07:52
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, Kids

TL;DR I’d like to see the Time Limits feature from OS X come to iOS Restrictions.

Time Limits in OS X Parental Controls

It’s hard to deny that the iPad is an unbridled success and that it changed how we use computers in our daily lives. For kids, this might be the understatement of the decade. The iPad is a kid’s dream, it can play games, movies, music and can be interacted with on many levels.

The iPad’s popularity with children is simultaneously its best and its worst feature. Ask any parent with young kids.

I have two kids (ages 7 and 4) and they received iPad minis for Christmas. While iPads are nothing short of magic to young kids, things can quickly turn ugly when young ones are told that “it’s time to put the iPads away.” My seven year old is definitely ready for an iPad but my four year old is borderline. An unfortunate reality of having multiple: what you buy for one you need to buy for the other.

It’s important to set limits on iPad use for young kids, so that they can do other things like homework and playing with other kids and we generally limit their use to one hour on weekdays and two hours on weekends. The problem is enforcing these time limits. While my seven year old generally complies, my four year old frequently breaks down in tears.

The solution is system-level time limits that shut off the iPad after a user-defined interval. Unfortunately, third-party iOS apps don’t have system level access (thanks to sandboxing), so the feature has to come from Apple.

Luckily, Time Limits are already available on OS X. (more…)

How Apple could improve the awesome VIP Sender feature

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 07:29
Category: iOS, Mail, OS X

Apple Mail: Could not add VIP. A maximum of 100 VIPs is allowed. Please remove any unused VIPs and try again.

TL;DR I love the VIP Sender feature in OS X and iOS and use it all the time, but it needs to be expanded.

It works like this: click a sender’s name/email address in either OS X Mail or Mail.app and select “Add to VIPs.” Doing so prioritizes email from that sender and when new mail arrives, you’ll see an alert in notification center.

It’s super-convenient when you’re waiting for an important email from a client, colleague or your spouse. You can’t help but notice the email’s arrival on your iPhone lock screen and VIP Sender has saved my bacon many times. I’m using a VIP Sender this week to correspond back and forth with my account, for example, because I’d like to know immediately when he emails me.

The problem is that Apple caps the number of VIPs at 100 and once you’ve reached the cap your only option is to remove some VIPs. Removing a VIP Sender involves, navigating to the “VIP” folder in Mail, then clicking on senders individually, then on “Remove from VIP.” While not difficult, it can be time consuming.

While we should all endeavor to curate, organize and better tend to our email, but who has the time?

Here are two simple enhancements that would make VIP Sender infinitely more valuable…

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JetBlue to begin accepting Apple Pay on international flights next week, domestic flights later this year

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Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 07:31
Category: Finance, iPhone, News

jetbluelogo

This is sort of cool.

While assorted vendors are lining up and adding support for Apple Pay, JetBlue Airways has announced that it has become the first airline to use Apple Pay to purchase things in-flight starting next week.

Starting next week, passengers on select JetBlue Airways flights can use Apple Pay on their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets to buy food, drinks and certain onboard amenities when the plane reaches cruising altitude. You’ll be able to upgrade to available premium seats via Apple Pay as well.

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MacBook Air falls 1,000 feet from airplane, survives

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Date: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 07:15
Category: Fun, MacBook Air, News

shatteredmba

Your MacBook Air may be tougher than you think.

Apparently, a South African pilot managed to drop his MacBook Air notebook from the light aircraft he was flying when the canopy flew open. The MacBook, along with his flying license and logbook, fell 1000 feet into the fields below–but amazingly survived the experience.

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DexCom device, app to work with Apple Watch upon launch, continuously monitor glucose levels for diabetics

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Date: Monday, February 9th, 2015, 08:46
Category: Hardware, News, Software, Wearables

applewatchhero

This is interesting.

Medical company DexCom says that a glucose monitor made by the company that monitors blood sugar levels will be supported by the Apple Watch. The company is currently working on an app for the wearable that will be able to show blood sugar levels at a glance and can monitor them continuously.

The app has apparently been under construction for some time and while the Food and Drug Administration is generally required to approve new medical hardware, a hands-off approach to the companion app has allowed developers to sink their teeth into its creation for the time being.

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