Rumor: Apple Pay to premiere with iOS 8.1 rollout later this month

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 11:32
Category: iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

applepayicon

The rumor mill has it that iOS 8.1 will include the first incarnations of Apple’s anticipated Apple Pay feature come October 20th.

Per the coolest of cats at The Mac Observer and BankInnovation, Apple will reportedly release iOS 8.1 on October 20, and the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system update will include Apple Pay support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The company launched iOS 8 in mid-September without Apple Pay mobile payment support, but Apple promised it would be enabled as part of an October update.

News of Apple’s plans comes from unnamed sources. Those sources also said Apple may have other big improvements in store for iOS 8.1.

(more…)

Rumor: PayPal excluded from Apple Pay service providers due to relationship with Samsung

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, 11:27
Category: retail, Rumor, Uncategorized

paypallogo

It’s inevitable: competition and past legal strife creates some awkward scenarios.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and BankInnovation, PayPal was conspicuously absent from Apple’s list of secured partnerships when Apple Pay was announced in September. Now comes word that PayPal was initially part of Apple’s vision of Apple Pay, but that negotiations fell apart due to Pay Pal’s relationship with Samsung.

Apple and PayPal started talking early on in Apple’s development of Apple Pay, as Apple was setting up partnerships with the card issuing banks and card networks. Since PayPal’s a payments industry leader, it would have been shortsighted for Apple to not reach out to PayPal.

But while these talks were going on, PayPal went ahead and partnered with Samsung on the Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner, a move that was reportedly forced onto PayPal by eBay CEO John Donahoe. PayPal’s now-former president David Marcus was purportedly categorically against the Samsung deal, knowing that it would jeopardize PayPal’s relationship with Apple. Donahoe won the day, however.

(more…)

iPhone 6 “Bendgate” scandal leads to copycat efforts

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014, 11:33
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

Never underestimate the power of stupidity in the face of an Internet trend.

Per Daily Dot, two 15-year-old UK residents going by the names of “Kylie” and “Danny” recorded footage of themselves entering an iPhone 6 Plus and bending at least one iPhone 6 Plus handset, using the display table as leverage.

Since the iPhone 6 was released two weeks ago, it’s been plagued by claims that it’s easy to accidentally bend, something multiple people have already put to the test in videos. But not like this.

The two uploaded the following video, which was later removed, then reposted via a mirror.

Without a contract, the iPhone 6 Plus retails at US$649.
(more…)

OS X Yosemite hits Golden Master, almost ready for debut

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, 18:49
Category: News, Software

OS X Yosemite is almost ready.

Per Macworld, Apple on Tuesday released the golden master candidate of its forthcoming Mac OS to members of its AppleSeed developer program.

yosemitelogo

The GM version of an OS is typically the final product, though the developers who’ve been beta testing Yosemite since June still have time to find a few more bugs. Apple also opened up the Yosemite beta to the public for the first time in 14 years, so a lucky million Mac users got the chance to take Yosemite for a test run.

(more…)

Initial iPhone 6 Plus benchmarks show lower FPS rate, new benchmarking tools, additional pixels taken into consideration

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, 09:39
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

In spite of some nifty new hardware, the iPhone 6 Plus may in fact generate a lower frames per second rate than the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s handsets when it comes to rendering 2D and 3D graphics at its native resolution.

Per AppleInsider, a set of GFXBench 3.0 GPU benchmarks published in an initial reviews of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus showed moderate to significant GPU improvements over iPhone 5s across the board.

However, one of the benchmark’s developers, Eszter Szilva, stated that the current, public version of the app did not yet support the native resolutions of the new models’ displays. Kishonti provided a prerelease GFXBench version 3.0.2 that does. The benchmark app should be released publicly soon, but the developer shared a prerelease copy to complement benchmark scores.

iphone6handsets

The adjusted benchmarks show that the A8 Application Processor used in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is around 24 to 46 percent faster at low level tasks, and around 50 percent faster at higher level OpenGL ES scene rendering than the A7 chip introduced in last year’s iPhone 5s, at least when rendering at the same 1080p resolution.

(more…)

Consumer Reports puts iPhone 6 handsets through bend-test paces, comes back with results

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:44
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

The Internet has exploded with images and videos of bent iPhone 6 Plus handsets as well as a viral video of someone deforming the handset with his bare hands. And, with that, Consumer Reports sprang into scientific action to perform actual tests that seem to indicate that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets may be tougher than currently rumored.

Per Consumer Reports, the publication used what’s called a “three-point flexural test,” in which the phone is supported at two points on either end, then force is applied at a third point on the top—you can see the testing for yourself in our video. The group applied and measured the force using a high-precision Instron compression test machine. Along with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we tested the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and HTC One (M8), and for those wondering about their old iPhones, they tested the iPhone 5 as well and used one sample of each phone.

The tests, ironically enough, seem to mirror a three-point flexural test used on Apple’s labs via their own Instron machinery.

(more…)

Opinion: Why the iPhone 6 camera is only 8 megapixels

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:07
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Opinion, Pictures

By Bob Snow

The iPhone 6 camera has the same 8 megapixel count as the 5s and this has spec-happy geeks bashing the phone. There are compelling reasons for going lower and I will try to lay them out.

Small sensors can suffer when they have a high pixel density. The sites that gather light become very small and they typically sacrifice low light performance. Low light performance gets traded off for higher resolution and even this becomes an issue with small sensors. No matter how high the resolution of the sensor, lens resolution comes into play much more when the sensor is small. If the sensor is small enough, the lens will not have nearly enough resolving power to take advantage of all the pixels. You need a bigger sensor for that. The image can only be as sharp as the light coming from the lens and that will most likely be the limiting factor. Think of a tiny sensor with a trillion pixels. Lens resolution will be the limiting factor.

iphone6camera

There is another reason the iPhone uses an 8MP sensor. Post processing. The latest iPhone 6 does a hell of a lot of post processing. According to Apple, “Auto image stabilization makes up for motion blur and hand shakiness by taking four photos with a short exposure time. Then the best parts of those photos are combined into one image with as little noise, subject motion, and hand shake as possible.” Apple is even using multiple exposures to eliminate noise in post processing. That is a lot of work, even for the powerful 64-bit A8 processor. The more pixels, the more processing that needs to happen. HDR is another feature that requires post processing. Multiple exposures are taken and then combined to create an image with greater dynamic range. Then there is burst mode. The camera takes up to ten images per second and then compares them all to select the best image. The biggest change to the camera of the iPhone 6 is the use of paired “focus pixels” which allow for phase detection auto focus. This is faster than contrast detection and provides big improvements to video and faster still shot focusing. Think about all of the post processing this phone does to the images, all without a hint of delay.

(more…)

Opinion: Flexibility Under Stress

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:37
Category: iPhone, Opinion

By Bob Snow

The new iPhone 6 Plus appears to have a problem. There have been a number of reports of the Plus deforming under a relatively normal mode of use. The phone, when placed in a front pocket for a length of time and stressed, can bend and not return to its original flat form. This is not a problem that can be simply dismissed, nor is it the end of the world. Apple knows how to benefit from the emotion and hype in the lead up to such an important introduction. The downside is that any negative publicity about the product gets similarly amplified. Take a deep breath and let’s look at the ramifications.

beny6

Apple relies on profits from phone sales more than any other product line, and the Plus is a costly and very personal product from the perspective of the consumer. There is a lot riding on this, but it could be much worse. I don’t think the problem will effect the 4.7-inch phone, which should represent the bulk of iPhone 6 sales. Keep in mind that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are still available. What remains to be seen is how many of the iPhone 6 Plus phones get bent and how Apple addresses the problem with customers. Phones with glass screens break all the time. I suspect many, many more of the Plus screens will break in the course of use than phones bending. Apple needs to treat customers with bent phones well. Give them a replacement phone, even credit towards a rival phone through their carrier, if the customer wants to keep a large screened phone in their pocket. For obvious reasons, this is going to be an almost exclusively male problem.

Why is this happening? The phone is made of aluminum. Aluminum, at least initially, bends elastically and springs back. Beyond that, it will deform plastically and not return to its original shape. The sides are critical to the strength of the phone in bending and they may not be strong enough, especially around the button holes. A plastic phone like the 5c remains elastic in bending to a far greater degree. It is more likely to crack or bend far enough to break the screen, before becoming permanently deformed. Plastic has a lot going for it and nothing to apologize for, but the aluminum phones feel great in your hand and there is an aesthetic to them that is very elegant.

(more…)

How-To: How to check and manage battery usage under iOS 8

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 26th, 2014, 15:03
Category: How-To, iPhone, iPod, News

battery-energy-icon

Ok, this is nifty.

Or at least it’ll make Thanksgiving encounters with your relatives wherein they show you their iPhone, ask why it’s only getting 90 minutes of battery life and you point out the 67 open applications while wondering how you’re related to these people a bit easier.

Per AppleInsider, a new new battery tracking feature can be found in iOS 8 by opening the Settings application and navigating to General, Usage, Battery Usage. The list will take a second to populate before displaying a list of apps and how much energy they are consumed.

Apps can be listed in terms of battery usage over the last 24 hours, and over the last week. The percentages displayed show the proportion of battery used by each application when the iPhone is not charging.

(more…)

Apple outlines iPhone 6, 6 Plus bend test process

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 26th, 2014, 15:11
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

History will decide if the bent iPhone 6 Plus scandal will be termed “Bendgate” or “Bendygate” or something else, but one thing’s for certain: Apple’s come up with a reply to it.

Per Macworld and The Verge, the company has stated that only nine users have complained to Apple regarding the iPhone 6 Plus bending in their pockets. The company has gone on to state that about 15,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets were tested prior to shipping last week. While this is only a small fraction of the 10 million units sold so far, they do represent a decent sample group that endure day-to-day rigors throughout the testing process.

bendygate

(more…)