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Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Apple + Beats Will Make Standard Headphone Jacks Everywhere Obsolete… Here’s Why

June 11th, 2014 by Christen Rochon
Apple + Beats

Apple + Beats lightning connectors coming to an iPhone near you soon.

 

The pieces of the Beats/Apple $3 Billion dollar acquisition puzzle are slowly coming together.  What we know thus far is:

 

1.  Apple acquired Beats Audio and Beats Music to strengthen it’s audio and music quality brand for consumers.

 

2.  Apple has quietly introduced a new specification for manufacturers in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows them to create headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. (via 9to5 Mac)

 

3.  Apple rarely does anything – JUST BECAUSE.

 

It’s pretty clear that Apple is working on super audio headphones that will eliminate the need for batteries, have better quality sound and possibly have firmware updates similar to the iPhone devices themselves.  It’s too early to make claims on how soon Apple will make 3.5mm jacks obsolete but once again Apple is staking a claim as a leader in the mobile brand industry.  Apple is developing some innovative new headphone tech using its own proprietary Lightning connector and that fact alone is is significant. If Apple get partners on board and Lightning headphones prove to be popular with users, it’s easy to see how Apple could push Lightning headphones as a big differentiating feature for iPhone and other Apple devices.  No more cross-using headphones for other mobile devices which could either make you love being an Apple user or hate being limited to Apple products altogether.  

 

 

Although Apple has not flipped the switch on the audio input support for Lightning cables and existing iOS devices yet,  it will release a software update in the future that will enable support in devices running iOS 7.1 or later.  Could the iPhone 6 be the first device set up for the lightning connected Beats headphones?  I hope so.

 

3 iPhone Household Hacks Coming Soon Courtesy of iOS 8

June 6th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

Earlier this week, Apple took the wraps off of its the new mobile operating system, iOS 8, which is kinda available now for developers, but once the kinks and bugs are fixed will be available for everyone else in the Fall.  The latest software is packed with great tools for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, but there are a handful of features that parents of iPhone loving households will especially love.  Check out our three favorite iPhone household hacks that could be coming to an iPhone near you soon, courtesy of iOS 8.

iOS 8

iOS 8 Household Hack 1 – HomeKit

Soon, you can turn your home into a home of the future (kinda like the Jetsons – where Rosie the Robot is replaced by Siri the iPhone instead.) HomeKit is a technical feature that allows iPhone users to control their homes with their devices, like magic. It’s a software kit that taps into Siri, the iPhone’s voice-activated personal assistant, to listen for audio cues like “it’s time for bed,” which could then lock doors and dim lights, or whatever you program. “Smart” Internet-enabled appliances like Nest and the Philips Hue bulb may be potential partners with Apple’s new HomeKit SDK.

 

household iOS 8

 

iOS 8 Household Hack 2 – Ask To Buy

‘Ask To Buy’ gives you the power to set limits or approve purchases from anywhere! My niece is notorious for buying games, in-app purchases and more (when you’re not looking of course!)  Now your kids can request to purchase an app, game, movie, etc., and you can allow the purchase from anywhere! You could be on a business trip and when your kid requests to buy a game while he or she is with a sitter you still have control over approving the purchase. “Ask to Buy,” doesn’t just limit app purchases on the iPhone or iPad either – permissions can be set for music in iTunes and iBooks too!

 

health

iOS 8 Household Hack 3 – Health

Want to keep your kids active, healthy (and keep an eye out on it all?) The newly announced Health app will be the best new tool in your arsenal.  Health is a new app built in to iOS 8, and it’ll not only track important data like lab results, vitals, and medications but info collected from your fitness apps and gadgets as well. If you use Fitbit, Nike+, and the nutrition-tracking MyFitnessPal, the new Health app for iOS 8 will gather all of that data into a single dashboard, so you can get a clear overview of you and your family’s fitness activity and health.  If you’re a parent concerned about childhood obesity – you can easily reward your kids based on their daily fitness outputs (all managed by you in the Health app).

 

 

Now that you’ve seen our favorite home hack-worthy apps from the new iOS 8  upgrade, what’s your thoughts?  Do you plan on putting any of them into good use? Share your thoughts below.

 

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Five Upgrades Announced At Apple WWDC 2014 Keynote

June 2nd, 2014 by Christen Rochon

Apple WWDC

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage today for WWDC 2014 in the company’s first big press event since the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina launch last fall. Because WWDC is an event for developers, the keynote traditionally focuses on unveiling the next big software updates headed for the iPhone, iPad and the Mac.   It’s all about connectivity & continuity in the iOS eco-system (Sorry, no news about the Beats acquisition).  Finally you can get more out of owning your iPhone, iPad and Macbook… check out a few of the announced upgrades below.

 

 

iPhone

1.  iOS 8 – Lock Screen Productivity - You can now respond to texts, meeting requests and other notifications directly from the lock screen (no need to open up the app in order to be productive.)  Swipe – You will be able to take advantage of predictive text and the option to download different keyboards for your device .  Messaging - You can mute a chatty conversation, and access all the attachments from the conversation in one place, you can add a video message in-line and save individual messages for future use. 

2.  HealthKit / Homekit –  It’s the Passbook version for all of your fitness wearables and home automation devices.  Keep all of your data collected from your fitness devices such as FitBit, Jawbone UP, Witherings and more accessible in the HealthKit app.  You will find all of your home automation information from iHome, Honeywell, Philips and more locked inside of your Homekit app.

 

iPad

3.  iCloud –  Storgage Gets An Upgrade.  First 5 GB free. 20 GB for $0.99 per month. 200GB for $3.99 per month.  (Sidenote:  iCloud drive is coming to Windows)

4.   Photos (formally iPhoto) –  All your photos AND videos can be edited in app and the edited content will be stored in the iCloud and available to all your iOS / Mac devices. (But it will use up your 5GB of free iCloud storage.)  Photos for Mac is set to launch next year. It’s not clear yet whether it’ll be a free download or part of an upgrade to the newly announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

 

Mac

5.  OS X 10.10 will be known as Yosemite.  Yosemite features a flatter, modern design, with slightly translucent windows.  Safari now offers a detailed tab view, so you can get a quick glance at all of the sites you’re browsing.  You can now receive iMessages and SMS messages on any Apple device you own.  If you own an iPhone,  your calls will be shared too, with your Mac serving as a great big speakerphone.  (Bonus:  Yosemite lets you draw a signature to sign documents on your laptop, tracing your finger on the trackpad.)  The update will be available to developers today and to the general public in the fall as a free update.

 

Other huge notables… With photo a surge in photo sharing, now every photo you take is available on all devices.  Family sharing, which lets you get to everything any member of your family has purchased (it also eliminates issues of unauthorized in-app purchases by kids.)  Hands-Free Siri will now allow you to reach out to Siri without the press of a button.  You can also utilize Shazam song recognition, purchase iTunes content and more using Hey Siri.

 

These are just a few answers that consumers wanted to make the use of iOS and Mac products work better together.  Which of these updates will improve the way that you use your devices?  Are you looking forward to the new upgrades?  Share your thoughts below.

 

 

Which Tech Brands Tops The List As Most Valuable In The World

May 29th, 2014 by Christen Rochon

top

 

Last year, Google overtook Apple as the number one most valuable brand after holding the top post for three consecutive years. Check out the latest infographic below that gives a quick review on the top 10 brands in 2014 by BrandZ (the same source used by Forbes).  Google Glass, Internet of Things, Google Maps and Google Music All Access are some of the exciting goings-on announced at the last I/O conference, which made a huge impact on Google topping the list. Sure, Apple had its own releases last year, iPhone 5S and 5c, but the smartphone arena is getting a little boring and consumers demand bigger and better products to make an impact.

Apple and Google aren’t the only tech brands topping the list as most valuable in the world.  Discover which brands are making bank (and which brands surprisingly didn’t make the cut) in the infographic below.

What Are The Most Valuable Brands of 2014? Apple’s Perfection vs. Google’s Crowdsourcing

 

 

Apple To Buy Beats Brand Making Dr. Dre $3 Billion Dollars Richer

May 9th, 2014 by Tech Staff

Screw healthy water, owning a basketball team or even a tv network… 50 Cent, Jay Z and Diddy’s got nothing on the baller plane as Dr. Dre.  Apparently, Apple is this close to buying up the Beats brand – which wold make Dr. Dre a BILLIONAIRE.  Find out how much he could make off the acquisition below.

According to TMZ,  Dr. Dre could be days away from being the first rapper turned BILLIONAIRE … thanks to a mega-deal for Apple to snatch up his Beats Electronics brand.

Apple will reportedly buy Beats for a whopping $3.2 BILLION — and since Dre and Interscope honcho Jimmy Iovine created the brand … it’s a safe bet they will walk away with a huge chunk of that cash.

Apple To Buy Beats

Dre and Jimmy started the brand back in 2008 with headphones — but now they’re also making bank off speakers, car audio systems, and a streaming service.

The deal could close next week … and would be Apple’s biggest acquisition ever.

Dre came in #2 on Forbes’ most recent list of hip hop’s wealthiest artists — with a net worth of $550 million … while Diddy was #1 at $700 million.

It’s still unclear what Apple will do with Beats, but its focus seems to be on the company’s new music streaming service rather than its popular headphones and speakers. We may also see Beats Audio technology integrated into Macs and iOS devices in the same way that it has in HP laptops and smartphones from HTC.

Via

Three Apps To Keep Your New Year Resolutions

January 3rd, 2014 by Christen Rochon

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It’s day three of 2014 and many of us (myself included) are either still fixated on keeping or scrapping new year resolutions by now.  The notion of “new year, new you” is so appealing, the only problem is –  you can’t bring old habits into the new year and expect revolutionary results.  That’s why I thought that I’d enlist the help of a few habit-forming apps to keep me accountable for my resolutions this year.  Many of my resolutions are common productivity ideals, like going to the gym, better time management, (just like everyone else.)  Luckily, each one of these apps offer a unique appeal to help you stick to your new year resolution goals.  Check out three apps to keep new year resolutions below…

 

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The Habit Factor (iOS / Android)

Cost:  $5.00

The Habit Factor® is the professional’s choice for positive behavior change and habit development.  Example: If your goal is to “Write a book”, you might create a related habit of “writing for 30 minutes a day” and set that to 3x per week (you choose which days).  Only The Habit Factor offers HabitStregnth: the ability to strengthen habits over time using custom tracking periods & Habit Alignment Technology: the ability to create and align habit to your goals.

BONUS:  The Habit Factor Challenge starts January 6, 2014! Develop new habits to achieve your goals & maybe even win a new iPad Air in the process. Enter Now it’s FREE, Visit:  http://thehabitfactor.com/win

 

Apps To Keep New Year Resolutions - The Habit Factor

 

mzl.cogkpvym.175x175-75Lift – Daily Motivation (iOS / Android)

Cost:  Free

Lift is like having a coach in your phone giving you daily motivation, coaching, and prompting.  Whether your goal is large or small, Lift gives you steps and milestones to make progress more manageable.  With coaching, progress tracking, and optional reminders, Lift helps you stay focused and stick with it.  There is a social element to Lift: if you add goals that others are trying to achieve too then you will see everyone who checks-in to that habit. You can connect Lift to Facebook or Twitter, too, if you want to see which friends from those sites are using the service.

Apps To Keep New Year Resolutions - lift app

 

 

Apps To Keep New Year Resolutions Habit Streak ProHabit Streak Pro (Android)

Cost:  $2.99

Habit Streak helps you achieve your goals (or New Year’s Resolutions) in exercise, diet or other areas of your life. Each day you report on whether you succeeded yesterday, building up streaks of habits and ingraining the activities into your life.  Habit Streak has two key advances: Firstly it allows you to build several chains up at once. Secondly it (optionally) prompts you every day to report on your success (whereas one could easily forget to update or look at a physical calendar).

 

Apps To Keep New Year Resolutions Habit Streak Pro

What are your goals for the new year?  How are you planning on keeping your new year resolutions?  Are you creating a vision board or writing notes daily?  Share your new year resolution ideas and tips to keep them below.

 

Security Shortcut: Use The New Knock App On You iPhone To Unlock Your Mac

November 6th, 2013 by Christen Rochon

knock

 

I will admit, ever since I picked up the iPhone 5s – I’ve been using the fingerprint scan technology for everything (and by everything, I really mean making iTunes store purchases and unlocking my phone).  I guess I’m just  one of many people that hate the tedious act of typing in a passcode to unlock their smartphone every five minutes.  So you could imagine my surprise when I discovered the new Knock app.  Knock is a combo iPhone/Mac app that lets users unlock their computer, simply by tapping on the phone screen.

 

 

The guys behind Square Wallet brings a type of human touch to technology and security.  Knock was created by William Henderson and Jon Schlossberg. The two came up with the idea after realizing how much they both hated having to constantly unlock their computers.   That type of human approach to security is something the two want to carry on with Knock. Knock works by pairing your computer (a 2011 or new MacBook Air or Mac mini, a 2012 or newer iMac or the upcoming Mac Pro) with your iPhone (iPhone 4S and later). Simply install, for $3.99, the Knock iPhone app, install the free Mac app from the Knock website and follow a few quick steps and you’re ready.

Knock works by using Bluetooth Low Energy, a technology that modern Macs and newer iPhones have. The two Knock apps create a secure connection with one another and when you “knock” on the screen of the phone, it transmits the unlock key to your Mac instantly.

Like Touch ID, Knock is one of those apps that really gives the average user no excuse notto use a password.

knock1

 

Would you use this new security shortcut?  Is it worth the $3.99 price tag?  Sound off below.

Apple News: Is The iPad Air Really Free At T-Mobile?

October 24th, 2013 by Christen Rochon

Earlier this week T-Mobile announced that an exciting Twitter Press Conference to “Unleash” a bit more news for customers and competition alike.  T-Mobile had two big pieces of tablet news to announce yesterday, (in perfect timing that they both come on the heels of the iPad Air reveal.) Could T-Mobile really be unleashing new freebies our way?

 

iPad_Air_vs_iPad_mini_2_3

Freebies is an understatement.  T-Mobile is offering everyone 200 MB of 4G LTE data free every month, indefinitely, regardless of whether or not you’re a T-Mobile customer. If you have a 4G LTE tablet, you can use it with T-Mobile’s network. Since 200 MB isn’t very much data to work with, T-Mobile hopes that this freebie lures you away from the competition. For example, you can score $10 per month for unlimited 3G data plus 500 MB of 4G LTE data, then $10 more every time you want to get 2 GB more of 4G LTE data (tablet pricing only.)  A second major freebie T-Mobile is offering customers the iPad Air for free when it hits on November 1 without a penny out of your pocket (the day of purchase). Instead, you’ll have to pay in monthly installments (which could work for different financial circumstances) at a T-Mobile starting November 1.

Let’s see,  grab an iPad Air from T-Mobile and walk out without any money leaving your wallet AND ON TOP OF THAT the free 200 MB of 4G LTE for life applies for the iPad Air, too? I know plenty of people that may snatch this deal up before it becomes extinct.

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You’ve Updated To iOS7… Now What? Five Features To Know And Love #VZWBUZZ

September 19th, 2013 by Christen Rochon

If you’re like the thousands that spent countless hours updating to iOS7 on yesterday, you’re probably wondering “Now what do I do?”.  iOS 7 adds more than 200 new features, the biggest being a complete overhaul of the user interface. Other new features include Control Center, a panel that slides up from the bottom of any screen that allows settings like Bluetooth and AirPort to be toggled on and off, a number of new camera features, a new multitasking screen, AirDrop, iTunes Radio and more.  Looking for the best features to take advantage of now?  Check out my top iOS7 updated features and how to access them below.

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Siri: Siri can now pull up restaurant reviews, toggle settings, search for images, post to Facebook, play Voicemail, and access tweets. Siri will now attempt to learn the pronunciation of difficult names and Siri also has a new male voice that can be accessed through Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender.

Camera: The Camera app includes new photo filters, which can be applied to the live view. Tap on the colored dots at the bottom of the screen to access the new filters, and swipe on the screen itself to switch between Video, Photo, Square (takes an Instagram-sized image) and Panoramic modes. Focusing photos can also be done by pressing the volume up button rather than tapping on the screen.

Block Phone Numbers: Specific contacts and phone numbers can be blocked within iOS 7. Go to Settings > Phone > Blocked to add contacts that will be prevented from calling (sending the calls to voicemail), FaceTiming, and sending messages.

iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio can be accessed from within the Music app. It is currently only available for users located in the United States, though it works for users outside of the U.S. as long as they have a U.S. iTunes account. Ringtones and Sounds: iOS 7 adds a slew of newly redesigned ringtones and system sounds, which can be accessed via Settings > Sounds.

iMessage/SMS Time Stamps: Time stamps within iMessage are now available. Pull to the left within on a speech bubble within the app to see when a text or message was sent or received.Names in Messages: The way names are displayed within Messages can be changed in iOS 7. Go to Settings > Mail Contacts and Calendars > Short Name (Under Contacts) to select an option. Choices include first name and last initial, full name, and first name only.

Have you downloaded the iOS7 update yet?  (How long did it take?)  Are you waiting to get the iPhone 5s or 5c instead?  Let me know below…

Disclosure:  Please note that I often tweet using #VZWBuzz – VZWBuzz tweets include a 24/7 conversation and a Friday mobile lifestyle Twitter chat with an emphasis on providing information and education about devices, apps and tools useful to consumers. While the hash tag is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the opinions I express tagged #VZWBuzz are my own.

London Fashion Week: Burberry + iPhone 5s Slow Motion = AWESOMENESS

September 17th, 2013 by Christen Rochon

iPhone 5s slow motion

Looking for your iPhone 5s sneek peek?  You don’t have to look any further than via Burberry on your favorite social media feed.  London Fashion Week is in full swing and London fashion powerhouse Burberry took to their Instagram feed to highlight the iPhone 5s camera capabilities to thousands of it’s fashion house fans.

 

If you’ve ever been curious about the new iPhone 5S slow-motion mode, just check out Burberry’s Instagram feed. Apple lent the British fashion house the device to capture its pastel-colored Spring/Summer 2014 collection show as part of a cross-promotional partnership.  The full show of the Burberry Prorsum Womenswear S/S14 show appeared on Burberry’s YouTube page on Tuesday. Apple announced the collaboration last week, noting that behind-the-scenes footage, product details, and preparation footage would accompany shots of the London runway show.  The 15-second video received more than 20,000 Instagram likes in one day.  Take a peek at the new iPhone 5S slow-motion feature video below.

 

The iPhone 5s features the same 8-megapixel resolution of its predecessor, but Apple has given the device a slightly larger sensor in order to improve imaging in low-light conditions. It also has a reworked five-element lens wit ha larger f/2.2 aperture. Apple also swapped out the single flash featured on the iPhone 5 for a dual LED flash unit called “True Tone,” which should help keep flash-aided images from looking washed out. On the video end, the iPhone 5s also has a 120-frames-per-second slow-motion video mode and precision autofocus matrix metering.

“This collaboration celebrates our relationship and shared foundation in design and craftsmanship. We have a mutual passion for creating beautiful products and unlocking emotive experiences through technology, which has made it intensely exciting to explore the capabilities of iPhone 5s,” said Burberry CEP Christopher Bailey. “We’re inspired by what this could mean for the future as we continue to explore the merging of physical and digital experiences.”  With fashion & technology companies teaming up everyday, this trend is bound to grow bigger and better each year.  Who are you looking forward to seeing collaborate next?

iPhone 5s slow motion
iPhone 5s slow motion
iPhone 5s slow motion
via Burberry / Mashable

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