I’m reviewing the Pebble Time right now, but I’ve kept wearing my Apple Watch, and let me tell you: I feel pretty silly wearing two of these things. But that’s nowhere near the pinnacle of silliness: the Pinnacle, a line of luxury Swiss-made wristwatches with an Apple Watch on the other side.
Announced Monday by California watchmaker Nico Gerard, and available for preorder, the Pinnacle watches feature a normal-looking fancy watch on one side, which you wear facing out on your wrist. It’s got a 41mm case and a date indicator, and it’s water resistant to 100 meters, but you can’t really take it that deep, because the other side, where the clasp would normally go, is an Apple Watch, which is only water resistant to 30 meters.
The yearly iPhone refresh is a fact of life, as unmistakeable a sign of fall as back-to-school sales and baseball playoffs. And one thing you can count on just as certainly as a new iPhone is the rumor mill spinning out of control leading up to its unveiling. The iPhone 6s is no exception.
To help make sense of the chaotic hearsay, we’ll collect every rumor that surfaces about the iPhone 6s, from its reported specs to its guesstimated release date, and everything in between—as well as try to discern the plausibly of the rumor. If tradition holds, expect Apple to officially announce its next flagship phone in early September. It’s going to be a long, rumor-packed summer...
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It’s been almost a decade since Apple first filed a patent to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), but Cupertino’s plan is reportedly still underway.
According to Business Insider, Apple is secretly conducting trials to set up its own MVNO service in the U.S., and is also in conversations with European telecoms companies to bring the service to the other side of the pond. This MVNO service would essentially make the Cupertino tech company its own carrier, with iPhone owners paying Apple directly for cell service and data plans.
When companies claim their products are unhackable or invulnerable, it must be like waving a red flag in front of bulls as it practically dares security researchers to prove otherwise. Apple previously claimed that Macs were not vulnerable to the same firmware flaws that could backdoor PCs, so researchers proved they could remotely infect Macs with a firmware worm that is so tough to detect and to get rid of that they suggested it presents a toss your Mac in the trash situation.
Corey Kallenberg, Xeno Kovah and Trammell Hudson will present “Thunderstrike 2: Sith Strike” at Black Hat USA on August 6. “Although several attacks have been presented against Mac firmware, unlike their PC counterparts, all of them required physical presence to perform,” they wrote in the description of their talk. “Interestingly, when contacted with the details of previously disclosed PC firmware attacks, Apple systematically declared themselves not vulnerable. This talk will provide conclusive evidence that Macs are in fact vulnerable to many of the software-only firmware attacks that also affect PC systems. In addition, to emphasize the consequences of successful exploitation of these attack vectors, we will demonstrate the power of the dark side by showing what Mac firmware malware is capable of.”
According to the latest market share survey from NetMarketShare, the market share for Mac OS X and iOS both rose in July.
According to the report, among desktop operating systems, Mac OS X had 7.66% of the global market share in July compared to 7.54% in June (that’s global market share; in the US it’s over 12%). The all-time high for OS X was in October 2013 when it had 7.73%. Windows remains dominant with 90.85% as of July. That's down from 91.07% in June.
iOS had 41.56% of the mobile operating system market share in July, up from from 40.83% in June. This compares to 51.07% for Android, 2.51% for Windows Phone, 2.11% for Java ME, 1.47% for Symbian, and 1.16% for Blackberry. The all-time high for iOS was in July 2012 with 65.94%.
NetMarketShares’ monthly surveys don’t measure market share in terms of computer systems sold. Instead they sample data from visitors to some 40,000 web sites operated by their clients. And note that NetMarketShare’s numbers don’t equate to sales.
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In a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iMac will be updated this quarter with even better screens and improved processors. This begs the question: what about the MacBook Pro?
But back to the iMac. Better screens than the 5K model with Retina display? Kuo thinks we'll see an all-in-one with a LED phosphor material called KSF that will boost color saturation. Purportedly, LED backlights with KSF phosphor are emerging as a new wide color gamut solution.
As for the processor upgrade, the question is whether it will be the latest Intel Broadwell processor or Intel's not-yet-available Skylake (iMacs currently use Haswell chips). With Apple's track record of getting Intel's latest and greatest before anyone else, I'm betting on the latter.
If Apple is indeed getting Skylake processors this quarter, we're almost certain to get substantial upgrades to the MacBook Pro. If not, I don't expect to see the MBP line revved until spring 2016.
According to Intel, Skylake chips “will have the biggest PC innovations in the last 10 years. Skylake will bring wireless charging and data transfers, and also a “significant increase in performance, battery life and power efficiency,” Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, said at last year’’s Intel Developer Forum. The next gen Intel chip will also purportedly offer performance gains of 10x or more and support DDR4 RAM for further speed improvements.
Perhaps most intriguingly, it will adopt the WiGig standard — a technology that enables gigabit-speed communications without using wires — which will form the basis of the wireless docking capability. And, according to some, wireless display connectivity and charging. In other words, it’s possible that a Skylake Mac laptop would need no cables for power, connectivity with accessories, or connection to an external monitor. (Hmmmm. Could Apple be planning a WiGig Cinema Display?)
The problem is that it’s uncertain if Skylake will ship this quarter or in early 2016. That's why it's a guessing game on when we'll see a major upgrade to the MacBook Pro line.
But back to the iMac. In April Apple’s biggest display partner LG Display, said in a paper (since removed) explaining 8K (7,680 x 4,320) resolution and that “Apple has also announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year.” Of course, Apple hadn’t made any such announcement, but could it happen?
I’m dubious, but it’s possible. VESA’s new DisplayPort 1.4a standard allows 7,680 x 4,320 displays, and 8K computer displays are expected to arrive sometime in 2016. Also, the advent of 8K broadcasting in Japan for the 2020 Olympics is expected to spur a new round of TV set resolution increases, even though shipments have not yet started in serious commercial volumes.
According to the IHS research group (www.ihs.com), a global source of critical information and insight, shipments of 8K ultra-high definition (UHD) resolution (7680 × 4320 pixel) TVs are expected to increase from 2,700 shipped worldwide in 2015 to 911,000 in 2019. The IHS 8K TV forecast hinges on the 65-inch screen size, which has by far the highest volume in production and will account for almost 80% of 8K TV shipments in 2019.
However, 4K TVs and monitors, which have four times the resolution of 1080p displays, aren’t yet mainstream devices. 4K TVs only accounted for 20% of global TV sales last year, according to research firm DisplaySearch. Only a limited number of content providers yet offer 4K content — much less 5K — which limits the practicality of owning such displays.
Kuo said he expects iMac sales to grow 100% quarter-over-quarter, ending the upcoming September period with one million units shipped.
I love Siri. I use it all the time. But there are some occasions where having that voice coming out of my phone is just really inconvenient. Fortunately, Apple designed Siri so that you can shut off the vocal responses and just see replies in text.
Pop into Settings > General > Siri, and then tap on Voice Feedback:
Tapping on Voice Feedback provides two choices -- Always and Handsfree Only (see below). Select Handsfree Only, and now when Siri answers a question or does something for you, the response is text only.
If "Hey Siri" happens to be turned on and you invoke Apple's digital assistant by using the phrase, Siri assumes that you're unable to touch the iOS device screen and still provides a voice response. By the way, if you ask Siri to shut up, it won't respond verbally... but you may hurt its feelings (see image at top of this post).
With iOS 9, Apple is working to make Siri a more intuitive, powerful personal assistant. But a new feature not ready for the next major mobile upgrade’s September debut is voicemail transcription, which Cupertino is reportedly readying to roll out next year.
Apple employees are currently testing the new feature, which is called iCloud Voicemail, according to Business Insider. iCloud Voicemail works by enlisting Siri to answer and record incoming calls. She’ll even be able to tell people why you’re not picking up the phone and share your location, if you enable those features. And then she’ll transcribe what the voicemail says, in the same way she recognizes what you say when you ask her to perform a specific task.