And I so hoped Apple would have a winner on its hands this year, a new iPhone that would woo me like no other smartphone has done before. And it does. Kind of. But, it's not the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, it's the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Yes, it's the darn new phablet on the block! And that's a problem. Having to go for a phablet to get the best iPhone is extremely limiting and stupid. Where's the normal-sized iPhone 6 that everyone can call the best iPhone yet? This one? I'm not feeling it. It's rubbish. What have you done, Apple?
This has got everything to do with the specs. I am not the first person to call Apple out for using hardware which someone had to raid a parts trash bin to find. The iPhone 6 that I've been waiting for does not feel like an iPhone with sub-par hardware. It just doesn't. The important bits are clearly inferior to Android flagships (heck, even top Windows Phones, which were known for using lesser hardware in the past) and iPhone 6 Plus, and, as you can well tell by now, I am one step away from using curse words to describe it. I'm trying not to go there. No promises that won't happen before the last period.
The focus of Apple's event today was the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch, but one of the more understated stars of the show was Apple Pay. This is not hardware, but a new mobile payment platform which Apple is billing as "your wallet, without the wallet". It works in conjunction with the new handsets to provide a new means of contactless payment and it supports credit and debit cards from American Express, MasterCard and Visa. There's backing from the likes of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Capital One Bank, and users need to just add their credit or debit card to their iTunes Store account to start paying for goods and services with their phone -- or Apple Watch.
A number of big names have already jumped on the Apple Pay bandwagon, including McDonald's, Staples, Disney Store, and Whole Foods Market, as well as the 258 US Apple stores. Apple Pay can also be used in the App Store as well as more than 220,000 locations that support contactless payment. In addition to the benefits of contactless payment, Apple is really pushing the security aspects of Apple Pay. Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services says:
Running counter to many of the rumors circulating ahead of the Cupertino event, Apple today announces the Apple Watch, not the iWatch. Unlike the Moto 360, Apple's offering takes the squarer form adopted by many other manufacturers, but there are differences. Taking design cues from older iPhones -- think 3GS period -- the Watch was relegated to the infamous "one more thing" slot after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were announced. Rather than the unibody design that some had expected, the Apple Watch features six different straps, comes in two sizes (38 mm and 42 mm -- his and hers essentially), and will be available in three different finishes.
Just like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Apple Watch's display is made from sapphire crystal but there's something interesting to the right of the screen. More usually found on a traditional mechanical watch, there's a crown -- but this is not used for winding up a spring. Instead, this is a new form of input that can be used to scroll around the interface, zoom in and out, and doubles up as a home button. Despite the squared surround, the Apple Watch's UI is very round in flavor, mimicking the look of a traditional watch.
Apple’s iPhone 6 launch was hotly anticipated, but anyone tuning into the live stream had to initially endure stuttering video and a lovely, but rather annoying Chinese or possibly Japanese woman talking over the top of things. Apple might make great hardware and software, but it really needs to work on its live streams.
As expected, the rumors and leaks turned out to be spot on. Apple is indeed launching two new devices -- the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, both of which are larger than the existing iPhone 5s.
Apple always streams its major events live, but restricts them to existing users of Apple products. If you want to watch today’s imminent launch of the iPhone 6 and, possibly, a new smartwatch, you need to be viewing on Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second or third-generation Apple TV with software version 6.2 or later.
However, there is a way around this.
In the run up to Apple's latest eagerly anticipated launch event, mobile benchmarking specialist Crittercism has released an Apple edition of its Mobile Experience Benchmark Report.
Focussing on statistics gathered from over a billion users across more than 120 countries it looks at key performance metrics including crash rates across iOS versions and devices along with latency by carrier and Wi-Fi.
A new malicious advertising network is affecting sites including Amazon, Yahoo and YouTube. Dubbed "Kyle and Stan" by the Cisco Talos Security Research group that uncovered it, the malware is able to mutate to attack both Windows and Mac systems.
Online advertising has relatively few major distribution networks, by getting ads onto one of these an attacker has the potential to get malicious content in front of large numbers of users.
After months of rumors, leaks and even more rumors, the iPhone 6 is set to be unveiled by Apple in California today. As is the norm with Apple launches, the announcement has garnered a lot of excitement, with people going so far as to queue up outside Apple stores weeks in advance of the actual release.
However, despite these crazy levels of attention and raging anticipation, Apple is still having some rather serious questions asked of it. This one in particular: does the Apple brand still have the X-factor it once boasted?
In New York, a dollar does not go a long way. Hell, if you are dehydrated, you may be hard pressed to buy a bottle of water at that price. If a dollar is all you have in your pocket, you are going to have a negative experience almost everywhere you go.
Today, your dollar may go a bit further -- at the AT&T store at least. You see, Amazon has slashed the price of the 32GB Fire phone to a shocking 99 cents. Early adopters are going to be mad, as they laid out $199. While discounts in technology are to be expected, please keep in mind, Amazon's phone only launched on July 25! Of course, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be announced tomorrow -- has Apple struck fear in the heart of Amazon?
Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only, we do not recommend updating to iOS 8 before its official release (probably) on September 10. If you don't have a developer ID and install iOS 8 your warranty may be voided.
The iOS 8 release is likely to be announced alongside the iPhone 6 following Apple's trend of announcing devices on Tuesdays and releasing iOS updates on Wednesdays. A fairly safe bet would be that iOS 8 will be released on 10 September. But what if I told you that you could get iOS 8 on your iPhone 5s earlier than that?
Many of my friends don’t wear watches. Most prefer to whip out their phones when they want to know the time. I do wear a watch, and it’s partly for convenience (looking at my wrist is quicker than pulling my phone out), and partly just because I like wearing a watch.
Although I own numerous watches, my timepiece of choice is an Omega Seamaster Professional. It’s good looking, solid and reliable, and I cherish it. I’m not adverse to the idea of wearing a smartwatch, the problem is I’ve yet to see one that doesn’t appear cheap and/or ugly.
Unless you've been hiking through the Appalachian mountains, you'll be aware that there has only been two topics of online discussion for the entirety of last week: How to look at naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, and just what Apple is pulling out of its bag for the launch of the iPhone 6 next week on September 9.
The gross violation of privacy of the former -- especially when over 100 other women were victimized -- would make for another article. The web's obsession with the latter, however, can be explained simply by shining a spotlight on Apple's ethos. Or, more simply, by walking into an Apple store.
Reddit has taken the step of banning the subreddit through which the now infamous Fappening images were made available last week. This follows the decision by 4chan -- the site originally used to leak the images -- to introduce a DMCA policy to help cope with copyright material. The move is unlikely to stem the flow of image sharing -- nor is it likely to prove popular -- but Reddit administrator alienth has posted a lengthy statement explaining the reasons behind the decision.
Just in case anyone managed to avoid the news, alienth includes a brief summary of the week's events.
New figures released by the Home Office and published by the BBC show that if you own an iPhone 5, 5C, 5S and 4S in England or Wales, you are most at risk of having your smartphone stolen. If the trend continues, it is likely that the upcoming iPhone 6 will also prove similarly attractive to thieves. Figures show that there were a total of 742,000 phone thefts between 2012 and 2013, and that the largest numbers of theft involved Apple's handsets. Interestingly, despite massively dwindling sales, the next most popular phone to be pocketed by thieves was the Blackberry 9790.
While the iPhone is the most appealing to the light-fingered, the figures show that Apple's claim to be "leading the industry in protecting" seems to be true. New security features introduced in iOS 7 led to a noticeable drop in iPhone thefts, but it still remains the most commonly stolen handset. Apple told the BBC:
I must disagree with colleague Mark Wilson, who last week asserted: "There is no reason for anyone to care about the iPhone 6", which as I write has 124 comments. I'm a big fan of provocative posts, because they engage the readership. But my feelings differ about commentaries that bluster without substance. Mark is absolutely wrong. There is every reason for everyone to care about the next iPhone.
Mark asserts that iPhone "used to be aspirational and high-end. Now the world and his dog has an Apple handset and it's turned from something special into a poor substitute for one of the countless alternatives...The iPhone is run-of-the-mill. It is predictable. It's just plain boring". In many ways, I agree, but his boring assessment is every reason to "care about the iPhone 6".