Posts Tagged ‘ios’

apple-watch-selling-points

Apple WatchOS 2

  1. Native Apps! – The biggest news is that developers can now write native watchOS apps. Currently, all watch apps are written as extensions for iPhone apps so that the bulk of the CPU processing is done on the iPhone itself. Now apps can be truly standalone. How much this impacts on battery life is yet to be seen, but we love the idea!
  1. Facetime Audio – If this is able to be used over Wi-Fi without an iPhone, this would be awesome. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
  1. APIs, APIs, APIs – Developers now get access to all the watch sensors including the digital crown.
  1. Nightstand Mode – When the Watch is on its side and charging, it automatically goes into Nightstand mode – displaying a digital clock. The Crown transforms to a snooze button and the side button turns off an alarm. Very cool.
  1. Time Travel – A new feature that lets you scroll from the current time into the future, letting you see upcoming events and weather forecasts. So, if you have a meeting at 3PM, you could check your watch at 1PM and scroll forward 2 hours to see if you’ll need an umbrella, all without entering any dedicated calendar or weather app. Clever and obvious now that I’ve seen it!
  1. Voice Activated Workouts – You can use Siri to start and end workouts if you can bear to be seen talking to your wrist in the park.
  1. Support for HealthKit and HomeKit APIs through Siri – “Siri,,turn my living room lights play me some Eric Clapton in the kitchen” or using the new APIs, turn the digital crown to adjust your room temperature in the Nest app? You get the idea.

Apple_Pay_UK

Apple Pay is coming to the UK and we are now getting more of an idea of the stores that will accept it from day 1.

As electronic payments have now overtaken cash payments for the first time in the UK, Apple have arrived at the right time to push that number up.

One of the best additions to Apple Pay is Transport for London who will give you the ability to touch in and out on the tube or bus. But Apple will also be updating the Passbook app on your phone and renaming it Wallet, allowing you to store all your Credit, Debit and loyalty cards in one place.

The banks that have signed up in the UK;

Apple-Pay-UK-bank-support

Weirdly Barclays Bank have been omitted from the initial list, but have commented on Twitter about the situation.

Thanks for your tweets this evening. We can assure you that we’ve been talking with Apple about how our customers (1/2)

— Barclays UK (@BarclaysUK) June 8, 2015

could use Apple Pay in addition to our existing mobile and payment services, and that these talks remain constructive. (2/2)

— Barclays UK (@BarclaysUK) June 8, 2015

Most people will be worried of how secure this will be, but Apple Pay requires authentication through Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanner before it will authorise a payment. The Apple Watch is permanently unlocked and authenticated while on its owner’s wrist, but needs a passcode if it is taken off of your wrist before it can make a payment.

The transactions are secured using the new digital secure remote payment standard, which ensures that the actual credit card data is never transferred over to who you are paying.

Here is the more extensive list so far of retailers accepting Apple Pay;

  • Aeropostale
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Babies ‘R’ Us
  • Bi-Lo
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Champs Sports
  • Chevron and Texaco, including retail stores like ExtraMile
  • Disney Store
  • Duane Reade
  • ExtraMile
  • FoodMaxx
  • Foot Locker, including Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, House of Hoops, and Run by Foot Locker
  • Footaction
  • Harveys Supermarket
  • House of Hoops by Foot Locker
  • Jewel Osco
  • Kids Foot Locker
  • Lady Foot Locker [basically, all Foot Locker variants]
  • Lucky
  • Macy’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Meijer
  • Nike
  • Office Depot
  • Panera Bread
  • Petco and Unleashed by Petco
  • RadioShack
  • Run by Foot Locker
  • Save Mart Supermarkets
  • Sephora
  • Shaws
  • Six:02
  • Sports Authority
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Staples
  • Star Market
  • Subway
  • Texaco
  • Toys ‘R’ Us
  • United Supermarkets
  • Unleashed!
  • Walgreens
  • Wegmans
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Winn-Dixie

The in-app payments also work on the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. Launch partners for this come in the form of the following; Addison Lee, Airbnb, Argos, Booking.com, British Airways, Domino’s, easyJet, Hailo, HotelTonight, hungryhouse, JD Sports, Just Eat, lastminute.com, Miss Selfridge, Ocado, Stubhub, thetrainline.com, Top10, Topshop, Uncover, Vueling, YPlan, Zalando and Zara.

Coming in July!

WWDC 2015

So WWDC 2015 happened and what a show as these are starting to look like worldwide events rather than just a tech company keynote.

Quite a bit happened last night as we followed it on TheTechSpy’s Live Twitter account as literally every minute there was something new to announce.

So here it goes, all the best bits for iOS9 in bitesize chunks for you lovely people to digest;

iOS 9

1: With the new Proactive Assistant, Siri is starting to look a lot more like Google Now. As you speak to it, Siri will learn your habits, locations and when and where to open apps that you use. For example, if you pop your headphones in every day, it will just launch the music app or suggest directions when you jump in your car.
2: One of the interesting additions to iOS9 is the Caller ID suggestions for unknown calls. This is based in what it finds in your email, so I am not sure how much use this will actually be.

3: They are now bringing us Split displays, allowing you to have two apps open side by side and even adjust the sizing of the apps you are viewing and drag content either side. unfortunately this will only work on iPad Air 2 and of course anything coming out in the future.

4: The other cool new feature was the keyboard upgrades, allowing you to swipe on the keyboard acting like a trackpad. This feature is great for instantly highlighting words or moving the cursor to a new place.

5: Good old transit maps, or Tubes to us Londoners. This will overlay the tube map and stations into maps and will give you details of the stations and train/bus arrival times.

6: Passbook renamed Wallet – Our very own Mr Carroll got very excited at this addition as Apple Pay is finally being introduced to the UK. You will be able to have all of your credit cards and loyalty cards all in the same wallet making paying and earning seamless. The best part is from the start, London Tubes will be accepting Apple Pay as a way to pay your fare….Very nice indeed!

7: My personal favourite is News, it looks a lot like Flipboard and this is superb. This pulls in content from various publications and displays articles in a very smooth and cool way. It delivers newspaper and magazine type articles based on your habits and has beautiful hi-res galleries of photos and can even play video direct from the publication itself.

8: Along with this we particularly liked the idea of being able to have video content from an app while you are doing something else. Imagine writing an email while having YouTube up in a small screen in the top right of the screen.

Part two to follow

Give your iPhone 6/6+ an Android style back button with this ingenious screen protector.

Those of you in possession of Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone models will have experienced occasions when your hand just isn’t in the right location (or simply isn’t big enough) to reach the back button at the top left of the screen.

Sure, most apps now support the handy “swipe in anywhere from the left” feature added in iOS 7, but not all them do.

This is where Haloband has you covered. Launched on Kickstarter this month, the Halo Band is a smart screen protector that uses sone clever capacitive routing to link the area where the Back button normally resides to the empty area to the left of the Home button.

They’ve already smashed through their initial funding target but you still have time to get in on the Super early bird discounted price of $12 for a single unit.

Order yours at the link below:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/haloband/halo-back-make-your-iphone-perfect

IMG_6038

IMG_6040

Nowadays our lives are dominated by screens. Whether it be your PC, Laptop, tablet or smartphone, we are all focused at some point in our day on them.

Although this seems like a bad thing, one thing is for sure, environmentally this is great, as paper is slowly becoming less of a part of our lives.

I am not sure if this is the same for you, but this does mean with all that finger poking at screens and mouse clicking, I almost feel like I have forgotten to hold a pen, as when I go to write a note it feels like I haven’t held one in years which I have to say I do miss.

But of course with most things recently, somebody comes along to bridge that gap and today we focus on OTM Technologies who have started crowdfunding Phree, the digital input device.

phree2

This is the “write anywhere” device which lets draw, write, annotate on pretty much any surface. It will connect to all of your devices over a Bluetooth connection and is compatible with apps like Office, Evernote, OneNote, Acrobat, Google Handwriting Keyboard, Viber and more. So you can sketch or jot down ideas, thoughts or even take down details instantly.

phree

Personally, I can really see this being used in meetings, quickly jotting down notes and minutes to view digitally at a later date, but I have to say I do like the idea of being able to just pull this out and start writing anywhere.

One thing that really surprised us was the fact that not only is it an awesome digital input device, but it will also function to take calls as a headset and to briefly see texts and write to reply back to them…..now that is cool!

phree4

The carry case will charge Phree on the go. The cap attaches magnetically to the body of the case to form an adjustable stand for any smartphone. Just place your phone in the stand, begin writing or drawing off-screen with Phree – you have an instant mobile workstation that actually works. Phree can be ordered with or without a case.

The dimensions are as follows L x 142mm, W X 18mm and a Weight of 30 gr with a touch swipe display on board the pen. Phree at the moment comes in 4 colours, but the designers will run a survey to properly deduce what colours people want.

We love this and have not seen anything like it. It is is fully funded on Kickstarter and you can currently nab yourself one for $189 with a case.

phree3

The big day is here. The Apple Watch is now in the hands of the lucky few who ordered one on release day.

Apple are currently experiencing supply constraints meaning that if you ordered one now, you won’t receive one until late June.

I went to the local Apple Store on the 11th April to try on a few models and see if they worked for me. Here’s how the 42mm stainless steel model looked:

watch

Demo Mode Activity App

It is gorgeous. The band is expertly crafted and compliments the watch face perfectly. As a luxury watch owner, I was expecting to see a big difference between this watch and the ones I own, but I just couldn’t fault it.The watch and straps look and feel to be made with precision and with an exceptionally high quality. I stood there unable to choose which strap combination I would buy and in reality thinking of how many of them I would purchase over time. The steel bracelet and Milanese Loop were particularly beautifully made.

I think Apple have hit the nail on the head here, you are buying one face and then get to choose multiple straps. Essentially you will have a watch for different occasions as the straps were so simple to remove with a click of a button but yet felt so secure. Imagine buying a Rolex or Breitling with a leather strap and deciding to buy a steel bracelet for diversity later. The luxury brand will charge you £600+ for that strap, where as Apple ask you for on average around £120.

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Milanese Loop

Apple’s appointment system allows for fifteen minutes to try on up to three different watch and band combinations. In reality, I tried on many more.

It should be noted that the watches they allow you to try on are locked into a demo mode which Apple staff tell me is to prevent people trying them on and running out of door. Fair enough, but it meant that I couldn’t test the digital crown for example to see how easy it is to operate. For actually testing the watch, they have one bolted to the table.
watch2

Demo Mode iMessage

I tried using the Apple Watch’s various apps and found them to be of the typical iOS quality. I came away without ordering one as I came to a strange conclusion. When the Apple Watch was first announced I thought ‘I’d love a smart watch, but I’d want it to look like a normal watch’.
After trying one on, I had completely the opposite reaction. I don’t think I need any of the Apple Watch’s features, but I want one precisely because it looks so good. What a turnaround.

Our smartphones have come a long way when it comes to audio, but the problem is the thinner they become the less likely the audio quality will improve.

Take the iPhone for example, no one can argue that it is a superb phone and the audio output is pretty good, but it could be much better. Without a massive advancement in technology, this isn’t happening anytime soon.

Shure, the audio specialists, make some of the best earphones in the business, but even they think that plugging the Shure 535’s into the iPhone really doesn’t show off their potential. Try it, plug-in your best headphones into your iPhone and listen to a track, then listen to the same track with the same headphones on your computer with a dedicated sound card and you will very quickly hear the difference.

The only solution is a portable amp which magnifies the audio signal to amplify the sound. Otherwise without this, the louder you make the music the more distorted it will become. These portable amps need to be powered and are normally expensive and bulky and are aimed at the audiophile.

The guys over at UAMP want to change this with a Kickstarter campaign.

“We wanted to capture that premium sound you get from hi-end audio equipment and make it available on every device, without the complications, terrible interfaces, or exorbitant costs. Uamp provides the same hi-fi sound for a fraction of the price and size of standard amplifiers. The Uamp unit measures 43 x 43 x 9mm and weighs just 26 grams – we’ve crammed all the electronics of a hi-end amp into one tiny device. Its nano design means it can easily fit into the smallest of pockets, allowing you to carry it with you anywhere – walking, jogging and cycling, or travelling on the bus, train and plane. Combined with its ten hour battery life, Uamp is truly a portable device.”

The difference here is not only its size and ability to be recharged by USB, but also its price. With postage to the UK, this will cost you about £40 which for anyone who has spent £250+ on headphones it’s a small price to pay. UAMP have kept this simple and stylish, with little LED’s and a slick design. You simply plug-in your iPhone and then your headphones on the other side and away you go.

uamp2

With a 10 hour rechargeable battery and adjustable EQ levels, working with every device no matter the makers, this really is an amp for the budding audiophile. Priced at about £45 all in on this campaign, it really is worth a punt, especially if the manufacturer delivers as much as they promise.

uamp

UAMP