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Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Watch @maryjblige, @kerrywashington and @TherealTaraji Groove It Out In New @AppleMusic Commercial Directed by @AVAETC [VIDEO]

September 20th, 2015 by Christen

How much black girl magic does it take to convince you that Apple Music is the next big thing in streaming?   Apple is banking on four to be that magic number. Earlier tonight, Apple Music debuted a super cute and nostalgic commercial that set Twitter and Facebook ablaze.


Apple Music MAry J. BLige


You know just how much fun it is to hang out with your girls and listen to music, now imagine that excitement multiplied by TEN! That’s how wild it would be if Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson showed up at your door for a fun girls night in. Now imagine if the evening was orchestrated and captured by acclaimed director Ava Duvernay and you’ve got Apple Music’s vision loud and clear.


Apple Music Commercial
Check out the amazing ode to #BlackGirlMagic and ode to a good old fashioned girls night in via Apple Music below.






What do you think? Is a commercial starring your favorite girlfriends (in your head) enough to make you want to shell out $9.99/month in Apple Music service? Sound off below!

[iPhone Hack] 9 Awesome Things You Can Do With iOS 9 On Your iPhone

September 18th, 2015 by Christen

This week (on September 16) Apple released iOS 9 for iPhones everywhere, and it’s unlocking even more capabilities and possibilities than ever before. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone is the most beloved smartphone on the market — and for good reason.

Nowadays, we rely heavily on our smartphones for just about everything, but most of us aren’t using them to their fullest potential. That’s right, your smart gadget is jam packed with capabilities, and it’s not just smart — it’s straight-up genius. So why not unlock the potential and make the most of your beloved iPhone with 9 awesome tricks you probably didn’t know your iPhone could do.


things you can do with iOS 9

Hey Siri

Customize Siri to respond only to your voice: This cool new iOS 9 feature upgrades the “Hey Siri” feature big time. Now, when your phone is plugged in and the feature is on (Settings > General > Siri > Allow “Hey Siri”), you can set up Siri to recognize only your voice.


It’s Christen, not Christian

Teach Siri how to pronounce names correctlyIsn’t it irritating when Siri can’t seem to get a name right? Did you know you can actually teach Siri how to pronounce a name or a word correctly? Just say, “That’s not how you pronounce it,” and Siri will immediately ask you for the proper pronunciation. From there, it’ll give you three options and you can select the right one.

things you can do with iOS 9

Personal Assistant Siri

Siri reads you emails: When you tell Siri to read your emails, the digital assistant will pull up your 25 most recent emails and proceed to read aloud the subjects. She’ll also tell you what time they were sent. If there is a specific email you’d like to respond to, you can actually tell Siri to “respond,” and from there, you can dictate your reply. (If you really want to feel fancy, you can change Siri’s voice to project a British Male dialect like I did –  aka Butler Siri at your service!)


Let’s Fly Siri

Preview your flight: When Mail or Safari detects a flight number and it’s hyperlinked, you can click on that link, which will bring up a “Preview Flight” option. The next screen will show you all the flight info + a nifty map. (Depending on the travel/airline app you have downloaded on your device – it will then be automatically saved for your



things you can do with iOS 9


Can’t Talk Now

Send a canned or custom message when you can’t pick up: If you can’t pick up because you’re driving/in a meeting/indisposed, shoot the caller a text by hitting “Message” on the call screen. You can even customize it.


Send yourself a callback reminder: When someone calls you and you don’t have time to speak to them, this handy little “Reminder” option pops up above “Slide to Answer.” You can set it to remind you to call them back when you leave, when you get home or in one hour.



Send your location: To make it easier for a pal to find you, you can drop a pin or send your location straight from Messages. From your chat screen, tap on “Details” in the top right corner. Then, you can choose to “Send My Current Location” or “Share My Location.” The latter allows you to select whether you’d like to share your location for one hour, end of day or indefinitely. You have to make sure Location Services is turned on for Messages to use this feature.



Reading At Night

 Inverting colors to make it easier on the eyes at night: Sometimes you stay up late on your phone, and maybe your partner is trying to sleep. One way to keep the light from your screen from disturbing anyone’s sleep is inverting the colors of your phone. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on “Invert Colors.” Another way to more easily access this feature is Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut. From there, select “Invert Colors.” Each time you triple-click your home button, this feature will be activated.


Set a time to turn off music: For those of us who like to go to sleep with soothing music playing, this is going to be your fave trick. Choose whatever music-playing app you want (could be iTunes, could be Spotify) and then go to your Timer app. From the screen, click into “When Timer Ends,” scroll to the bottom and select “Stop Playing.” Then, set your timer for however long you’d like. Your music will come to a halt by itself once the timer is up.


These are just a few ways you can make the most of your iPhone experience with iOS 9.  What are some of the things you can do with iOS 9? How are you looking forward to getting more out of your smartphone? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!



Stay Laced With The Latest iPhones For Life With New Apple iPhone Upgrade Program

September 10th, 2015 by Christen

Have you ever wanted the new Apple iPhone EVERY TIME the latest version is announced?  Now Apple has your back!  Originally, the smartphone payment programs began with carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon, but now Apple is getting in on the action and lacing you with the latest iPhones for life for a small monthly fee.

Exclusively at Apple’s retail stores in the US, customers can choose their carrier and get an unlocked iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus with the opportunity to get a new iPhone annually and AppleCare+ on the new iPhone Upgrade Program with monthly payments starting at $32 and $37.

If you’ve ever priced AppleCare+ on your own then you’re probably aware of the $129 price tag for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (current iPhone 6 & earlier models it’ll cost you $99). Now I’m not the greatest mathematician, but paying $32 a month for the latest iPhone WITH AppleCare+ coverage is a GREAT DEAL! Ultimately, instead of paying $199 and being locked into a 2-year carrier contract that $32 bucks will turn into $384 over twelve months (remember that $199 AppleCare+ inclusion) which means you’re actually only paying $185 for a phone and depending on your carrier plan, you could be saving big bucks.

Personally, I’m strongly considering the plan since I typically upgrade every other year. With the new Apple iPhone upgrade program I could potentially upgrade annually without costing me a fortune. For more information on the Apple iPhone Upgrade program, visit

Are you thinking about switching up the way you pay for your iPhone and carrier service? What are some of your favorite money saving tips? Sound off below!

What’s So Special About The New Apple Pencil [Video]

September 9th, 2015 by Christen

In case you’ve been living under a rock this afternoon, you may have missed some pretty big Apple announcements earlier today.  Apple today also introduced Apple Pencil for iPad Pro, a precision input device available for purchase separately, which makes drawing and sketching feel remarkably fluid and natural. The touch subsystem of the Multi-Touch™ display in iPad Pro has been redesigned to work with Apple Pencil to dramatically reduce latency and deliver incredible accuracy for activities like fine art illustration and detailed 3D design.




Must Read:  The New iPad Pro Could Be An Entrepreneur’s Dream — But It Comes At A Hefty Price!

iPad Pro pencil copy

Advanced sensors in Apple Pencil measure both pressure and tilt for a fast and fluid drawing experience, while a built-in Lightning® connector makes for quick and easy pairing and charging. Apple Pencil also works with popular apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate and Office 365 for iPad, offering new levels of creativity and productivity.


Must Read: Apple Introduces iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus (Everything You Need To Know)


So now that Apple has a stylus, I mean, Apple Pencil – what makes it so unique?  Check out the video below to find out!



Now that you’ve seen the Apple Pencil in action, is it worth the $99 price tag and availability in November? Sound off in the comments section below.

Seven Ways Apple Wants To Change The Way You Live, Work And Play (WWDC 2015 Recap)

June 9th, 2015 by Christen

Yesterday at WWDC 2015 – Apple announced a bevy of new features and products and Drake was the pitch man in charge! Many of the innovation announcements rivaled competitive apps and technologies that are already available on Google’s platform, but that’s not stopping Apple from giving it’s annual WorldWide Developers Conference the highlight it deserves.  It’s clear that Apple wants you all to themselves and isn’t interested in “playing nice” with the competition. Check out how Apple wants to change the way you live, work and play using their latest innovations below.


WWDC Drake

Apple Music Wants To Become Your Go-To Music Streaming Service

The biggest announcement of the day was Apple’s new streaming service, Apple Music. While many saw this coming… (remember that $3 billion Beats acquisition last year?) Spotify is years ahead with a loyal and budget conscious fanbase that refuse to lose.

Apple is releasing Apple Music for Android to give itself as wide an audience as possible while taking aim at Google Play consumers too. With its Beats 1 radio station, Apple is also going after Pandora’s radio audience and any other streaming service out there – Tidal included. (I’ll admit, I was a huge fan of Beats Music – so I’ll be especially interested to see what Beats 1 radio brings to the already crowded streaming table.)


Apple Music Connect Could Be The Next SoundCloud 

(Avid SoundCloud user) Drake made a special appearance to highlight the “Apple Music Connect” feature including the launch of ocial music discovery.  Soundcloud has been ahead of is competitors at connecting fans with artists, and it’s always been more of a social network/streaming service hybrid. Which is exactly what Connect is trying to be.


Apple Notes

Apple Notes Update May Change The Way You Work

Notes has always been fairly light on features, but its revamp today puts it in closer competition with third-party organization apps like Evernote. Now you can draw sketches, make checklists, and add photos, maps, and websites into Notes. All things you can do on Evernote.


Read All Your Favorite Books, Articles And More With Apple News

Apple News has taken a few notes from competitor, Flipboard. Just like Flipboard, you can pick a list of publishers or topics to follow, and Apple News will provide a customized news reader. Apple News is “the best mobile reading experience ever,” according to Susan Bailey and with upcoming freebies like New York Times articles and more – it could change the way you consume daily news soon.


Are You Using Your Wallet Or Smartphone To Buy Your Next Purchase?

Apple introduced a robust Apple Pay expansion: It’s coming to the UK, it’s partnering with Pinterest for a new “buyable pin” program, and it’s partnering with Square on a payment reader. Apple also renamed Passbook “Wallet,” and are clearly on the way to replacing your vegan leather wallet with your smartphone – wallet could very well change the way you make purchases forever.


The Next Apple Update Could Have Your iPhone Predict Your Next Move

Siri wants to be the assistant you’ve always wanted and with a little help from Apple, it’s  making its intelligent search even better with proactive assistance on iOS 9. This means Apple devices will now anticipate what you’re looking for based on context and make predictions about what you want based on your past behavior.

Siri will be able to set appointments and with an API for search, the proactive assistance feature will be able to pull information from contacts and apps on your device too.


Apple Maps

New Yorkers – This Next Update Is For US! Apple Maps Finally Gets It Right!

Apple has a horrible track record with Maps, but its new public transit feature should appeal to commuters without cars. Instead of routing people to third-party apps, the iOS 9 version of Maps will provide public transit directions.  Talk about a subway savior! Move over Google Maps – I think Apple may finally get it right!


Apple Wants To Help You Ditch Android For Good 

It’s no surprise that Apple wants to get people to stop using Android, but yesterday’s announcement of ‘Move to iOS’ has just made it easier than ever. Available this Fall – ‘Move to iOS’ is an app designed to help people switching from Android to Apple. The app transfers contacts, message history, photos and videos, bookmarks, email, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books from Android to Apple, and suggests third-party apps to re-add.


With Apple Music being the biggest announcement of the day, it’s clear that music lovers everywhere are looking at their platform choices differently.  Are you a Spotify or Tidal user?  Would you consider Apple Music?  Have any of these announcements made you more/less confident in Apple products? Share your thoughts below.

First Impressions: iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6

April 23rd, 2015 by Christen

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6

Let’s get ready to rumble!  I recently got my hand on the Samsung Galaxy S6 (Thanks to the good folks at Verizon Wireless) and I have been excited to check out the uncanny similarities (and differences) between the iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6.   As an early android adopter (I was the captain of team Android and even scored a cool trip as an ambassador to the 2012 London Olympics) I’m always curious to see just how competitive Apple and Android devices can be.  (Honestly, this is a healthy competition, that at the end the consumers win!)

We’re all about our smartphones and how they enhance our day-to-day activities, so you know I can’t wait to share my favorite user experiences with both devices, but until then, check out this head-to-head comparison and my first impressions of the iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 below.


iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6


Displays: Great Meets Greater

  • Galaxy S6 – 5.1-inch QHD flat panel, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 577 pixels per inch (ppi), Super AMOLED display
  • iPhone 6 – 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750 pixels, 326 ppi, LED-backlit IPS LCD


Both screens can get incredibly bright; however, the fact is the Galaxy S6 takes what the iPhone 6 display is good at: brightness, contrast and colours and cranks it up to a whole new level.


iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6


Internals:  Let’s Talk Performance

  • Galaxy S6 – Samsung Exynos 7420 – CPU: Quad-core 2.1GHz and 1.5GHz CPUs; GPU: Mali-T760, 3GB RAM
  • iPhone 6 – Apple A8 – CPU: Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone; GPU: PowerVR GX6450, 1GB RAM


iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6


Smile For The Camera:  Camera Specs

  • Galaxy S6 – 16 megapixel sensor, F1.9 lens, OIS, autofocus, LED flash – 4k video recording. Front: 5 megapixel sensor, F1.9 lens
  • iPhone 6 – 8 megapixel sensor, F2.2 lens, DIS, Focus Pixels, dual-LED flash – 1080p video recording. Front: 1.2 megapixel sensor, F2.2 lens


The 4k video feature on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is really appealing (especially since I’m trying to step up my YouTube game) But I’ll admit, using my iPhone to film is incredibly easy and has great picture quality as well.  (I think a quality comparison test is in the works soon…)


iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6

All About That Bass:  Speaker Comparison

Sounds come through loud and clear with both bottom facing speakers (however, they don’t compare to the HTC front facing speakers).  Don’t expect too much in the bass department though.  If you’re all about that bass, there’s a wide assortment of Bluetooth speakers for that.


iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6


Everyone knows that the iPhone 6 will cost you a pretty penny, but did you know that (without contract) the Galaxy S6 is priced even higher:

  • Galaxy S6: $699 (32GB), $799 (64GB) and $899 (128GB)
  • iPhone 6: $649 (16GB), $749 (64GB) and $849 (128GB)


These are just a few of my initial impresions and I can’t wait to follow up and give you more of my thoughts and experiences with both the iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 soon!  Do you have an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6? Share your thoughts! Love it? Hate it? Drop your comments below and let us know!

Say Hello To The Newest Macbook Air And Macbook Pro

March 9th, 2015 by Tech Staff



When it came to Apple’s computers at Monday’s launch event, all eyes were on the new MacBook — which comes in multiple metal colors and a fancy new trackpad. But the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs also got updates at the Apple Watch launch.


The MacBook Pro with Retina display now also comes with the brand-new Force Touch trackpad, intended to be more balanced and sensitive than Apple’s previous laptop trackpad. It also comes with a flash drive that’s two times faster, and a longer battery life at 10 hours.

Macbook macbook_overview_og-e1425928684840

Measuring just 13.1 mm at its thickest point, the new MacBook design is an amazing 24 percent thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air®. With a new precision-milled unibody enclosure featuring integrated Wi-Fi antennas and a top case with polished stainless steel Apple logo, MacBook is available in three elegant finishes—gold, silver and space gray—and is the first MacBook with an all-metal enclosure.


Both Air models now come with fifth-generation Intel Core processors, as well as Intel HD Graphics 6000 and Thunderbolt 2 ports. That has a speed of to 2.2 GHz and up to 3.2 GHz for Turbo Boos speed. All new Macs now run OS X Yosemite.


MacBook also features the all-new Force Touch trackpad that brings a new dimension of interactivity to the Mac. The new trackpad features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive and uniform feel. You can even customize the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click followed by a deeper press, for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.

The latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models are available starting Monday through Apple’s online store. The 128GB MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 and goes up to $1,799 for the 512GB model.

The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $899 for 128GB of flash storage and goes up to $1,099 for 256GB. The larger, 13-inch version starts at $999 and goes up to $1,199.


What You Need To Know From Today’s Apple Watch Event

March 9th, 2015 by Christen

Apple Watch


It’s time to Spring Forward with the most anticipated smart watch event of the year!  The Apple Watch event is today and you want answers (and so do we!)  Want to know just how smart this smart watch will be? So do we!  Want to know the design options, app availability and if you’ll really be able to pay with your wrist using Apple Pay? So do we!  As a matter of fact, there are so many questions that need answers, that we wrapped them up to the top five you need to know from today’s Apple Watch event!


5.  How long will the battery last?

According to sources, the Watch’s battery life is supposed to handle five hours of fairly heavy application usage. While it will not run out of battery during a normal day of active and passive use (similar to your phone), it is being reported that the watch will need to be charged nightly.


4.  How will the notification center work?

In addition to the already mentioned Heart Rate + Battery Life Glances, there is supposed to be additional ones for fitness, activity, your clock, weather, music, quick settings, calendar and maps. While all of those options are a lot for such a tiny display, there will also be a full Notification Center — similar to all other iOS devices — filled with alerts, reminders, to dos and more.


3.  How much storage will the Apple Watch hold?

The Apple Watch is speculated to include a whopping 8GB of storage. This will allow for music to be stored and played from the device without being linked to the iPhone via headphones or speakers over Bluetooth.


2. When will the Apple Watch be available online and in-stores.

Sources speculate that models could be available for pre-order as early as today and possibly ship by next week.


1.  How much will the Apple Watch cost me?

Hopefully you’ve saved up your coins.  With rumors spreading like wildfire, you could have the option of paying anywhere from $300 to $10k for your very own Apple Watch.

Apple Watch

We’ll keep an eye out for the latest news as it’s released from Apple and will keep you updated all day long! (So bookmark this page and check back often for the latest from today’s Apple Watch event!)

Are you looking to buy an Apple Watch? How much would you pay for an Apple Watch of your own?  Share your thoughts below!

New Emojis For Everyone: Meet Apple’s New Diverse Cast Of Characters

February 23rd, 2015 by Tech Staff

apple emojis

If you’re one of the millions that’s waited for emojis that look like them – rejoice!  New Apple Emojis are on the way!  According to Apple, the computing giant pledged to increase the diversity in its emoji keyboard last March, after a public outcry over the limited options for people of color. (A petition at collected thousands of signatures. Miley Cyrus even tweeted about it, helping it to go viral on Twitter.)

The current illustrated icons include same-sex couples but no black characters. There is an Asian man wearing a traditional Chinese cap and an Indian man in a turban, but the rest of the emoji population is light-skinned.

Creating a more diverse emoji selection wasn’t as easy as releasing a new iOS update. The keyboard of illustrated icons is based on Unicode, the standard for text, numbers and emojis across all platforms. Emoji originated in Japan and were added to the Unicode Standard in 2010. Apple first included them natively in iOS in 2011.

“Apple supports and cares deeply about diversity, and is working with The Unicode Consortium to update the standard so that it better represents diversity for all of us,” said an Apple spokesperson.

What do you think? Are you ready for a chocolate skinned “thumbs up” or have you fulfilled your diversity need with animated gifs and bitstrips?  Share your thoughts below.



Apple Pay and iOS 8.1 Is Here… What You Need To Know!

October 20th, 2014 by Christen

Apple’s iOS 8.1 has arrived and with it, Phone 6 and 6 Plus users can take advantage of the new mobile payment option – Apple Pay. Apple iOS 8.1 also offers the ability to send/receive texts and phone calls from your phone on your Mac, the return of “Camera Roll,” the public beta of iCloud Library and more.  Discover what’s new with the latest update and if you should take advantage of the latest iOS version below!

ios 8

Your MacBook Is Calling

The update brings connectivity between desktop and mobile to a whole new level! With the update, you now have the ability to make and receive calls at your desk, and to get texts from your friends even if they’re not using Apple devices (its no longer limited to iMessage devices). With iOS 8.1 bring continuity to your network of devices and even turn your device into an instant hotspot (You can connect your iPad to the hotspot on your phone, if it’s within range).  (I wonder how this will affect new iPad wifi + cellular sales? I digress.)



The Camera Roll Is Back

Bringing the Camera Roll back does eliminate some confusion since it was replaced with the “Recently Added” folder instead. (You didn’t notice that it disappeared?  You obviously don’t search for last year’s selfies enough…) The iCloud Photo Library will let users save photos and videos to their account and sync with any device. (Beware – you know, celebrity nudes getting hacked and all.)  

apple pay

Apple Pay

Perhaps the most hyped addition to iOS 8.1 is Apple Pay, which will let iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users tap their devices at retail checkout terminals to pay for items. The wallet service requires Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint authentication and an iPhone with near field communication (NFC) technology, which is only featured on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  Pay, Tap and Go!


How To Update To iOS 8.1

iOS 8.1 is available for your device as an over-the-air update, which you can find by going to Settings > General > Software Update; you can also plug your phone or tablet into your computer and update via iTunes. To use the new Continuity features with your Mac, you’ll have to download and install OS X 10.10 from the Mac App Store, for the free update.

Have you downloaded the new update yet? What are you looking forward to most?  Desktop calling, easy access to your photos via the return of the Apple camera roll or Apple Pay?




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