iPhone 6: Bendgate? Or, Breakability Leader?

For all the news about customers bending their new iPhone 6 models, overlooked is SquareTrade’s breakability testing:

The iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, iPhone 6 Plus, performed impressively in Breakability testing, and each carries the top Breakability Score™ in their respective category. The SquareTrade Breakability Score ranks today’s top devices based on how prone they are to break due to accidents. Evaluating key elements such as front and back panel design, edge construction and materials, size, weight, friction quotient, water resistance and grip-ability, SquareTrade’s Breakability Score fills in the missing gap left by traditional device reviews: it tests devices in everyday danger situations brought on by our lifestyles and habits.

I wonder if ‘bendability‘ fits into the score.

Apple Television: Now It’s 2016

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster has made a career out of Apple predictions, primarily the much anticipated and totally invisible Apple television. Lance Whitney:

Analyst Gene Munster returned to his mantra of an Apple television set. The analyst has been forecasting such a product for the past few years, but so far Apple has yet to produce one, instead continuing to focus on mobile devices. The company has offered the Apple TV set-top box for many years. But should it ever hit the market, the much-rumored Apple television would likely take shape as a full-blown HDTV set with access to traditional and online entertainment, apps and other content.

He’s becoming a laughing stock in the industry because of this Apple television fetish. Munster:

Given how many times we have predicted a television and have yet to see one launch, it may be easy to dismiss our insistence of the television. However, as recently as 9/12 on Charlie Rose, CEO Tim Cook said that the TV is a category in which Apple has great interest in, given the experience is ‘stuck in the 70s.’ Cook also noted that Apple has ‘taken a stab’ at TV with Apple TV and claimed that it is an area Apple continues to look at. We also note that in Steve Jobs’ biography in 2011, Jobs stated that he felt he finally cracked the TV. We believe the evidence remains that something is there, the question remains when.

Indeed.

The Absolutely, Positively, Horribly, Terribly Bad Battery Life In iPhone 6 Plus

As it was for about 10-million other Apple customers, I bought my iPhone 6 Plus sight unseen. Why? I like to live dangerously. Apple’s new products usually are good enough that there’s little ‘buyer’s remorse’ by ordering from the first manufacturing run, and there’s a social camaraderie while standing in line a few hours. Besides, zealous Kool-Aid drinking cult member and all that.

I picked up my iPhone 6 Plus on Friday, showed it off to a co-worker, so we went to a couple of Apple Stores on Saturday to check out the new models. And, again on Sunday. Why two days? It took that long to find an iPhone 6 Plus displayed on the Apple Store product tables that did not have a drained battery.

That’s right. In each case, Saturday and Sunday, the iPhone 6 Plus models on display in the Stores had their respective batteries completely or nearly drained. The best we could do was the 5th Avenue Apple Store at mid-day Sunday, and even then the battery was already down to less than 20-percent.

There are two take aways from that experience (as well as the first 24-hours of using my iPhone 6 Plus).

First of all, that means the iPhone 6 Plus models on display in the Apple Store were constantly being used by prospective customers and didn’t have a chance to recharge during the course of the day. When we could get to an iPhone 6 Plus on display that did not have a customer holding it in hand, it was because the battery was so drained the screen was blank.

Secondly, iPhone 6 and iOS 8 have a lot more going on behind the scenes so there is a need to watch which applications are doing what, when, and how often. Add up all the alerts, location checking, notifications, extensions, and widgets that are new to iOS and battery life is impacted– and not in a good way.

Simply put, iOS 8 needs more monitoring; more riding herd on the apps that phone home, or generate notifications, and anything else to do with using the CPU, cell phone, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.

Without paying close attention to which applications are battery wasters, the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 could get the reputation of being battery hogs. Fortunately, iOS 8 also provides a way to know which apps are using the battery the most. It’s called ‘battery shaming.’

Open Settings in iOS 8, open General, open Usage, then open Battery Usage. In a moment you’ll get a list of which apps use the most of your iPhone’s battery; in the past 24-hours, and over a longer period of time.

For me, Mail is seldom used but always on in the background and uses, so far, about 15-percent of the iPhone’s battery. Safari, which I use more frequently, is at 20-percent. My Pedometer app, which is always running, only 1-percent. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Every new iPhone model ups the power requirements and capability, and iPhone 6 Plus, even with a much larger battery, is likely to provide a day, or at best, two days of battery life, with average usage. That’s the problem. What’s average usage?

On another note, the iPhone 6 Plus screen is to die for; absolutely gorgeous color, with photos and movies unlike anything I’ve seen from such a small device.

iOS 8: The Complete Guide

Good list of details and photo gallery from CNet on the major goodies in iOS 8.

iOS 8 by itself simplifies and enhances features you already had in iOS 7 and adds more conveniences to the apps you already know. It’s not a drastic change like the redesign in the previous version, and it’s not even as big an overhaul as iOS 6. But it is definitely something you’ll want to download for the improvements it adds across the board. Just keep in mind that its most promising features may still be in development.

What isn’t mentioned is how much of an upgrade iOS 8 is for app developers. Within the next six months iPhone users will have thousands of extensions and widgets available.

iPhone 6: ‘Does it Blend?’

The answer, of course, is yes. Put an iPhone 6 into a blender and it will blend. Just after it disintegrates.

iOS 8 is ‘Chatty’

How is your experience running iOS 8 on an older (non-iPhone 6) iPhone? I only had it on my iPhone 5s for two days before picking up an iPhone 6, but my experience says iOS 8 is a bit of a battery hog. Or, ‘chatty.’ Gordon Kelly found similar issues:

Reports of this nature are not unusual with iOS updates. Apple’s control over hardware and software is typically cited as a major advantage for its fast and reliable iOS roll-outs, but there are still millions of variables such as app combinations and settings which can play havoc

iPhone owners running iOS 8 will need to check apps more carefully for usage, but that’s easier thanks to the ‘battery shaming’ list in Settings.

A Few Words On iPhone 6

After pouring over the first user reviews, I noticed a difference, in both tone and content, between reviews of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Apple’s iPhone 6 models. See if you can make it out.

Lauren Goode:

There are a couple of reasons why the Apple iPhone 6 Plus might also be too big for me to purchase. But I have to admit it: I’m tempted. I really like this phone. And to people who actually prefer huge smartphones: You are going to like this phone, too.

That’s mostly because it’s not just a smartphone; it’s a statement phone. What Apple is doing isn’t even especially innovative — “Us, too!” the company is shouting, as it chases after that flatbed truck filled with phablets — and yet, they’ve made this big phone feel fresh and desirable.

Geoffrey A. Fowler:

Apple arch-rival Samsung includes a 16-megapixel camera in its Galaxy S5 phone. The main camera on the latest upgrades to the iPhone line still has just 8 megapixels. Yet the images from both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the best I’ve tested on a phone to date.

Andrew Cunningham (on iOS 8):

iOS 7 and iOS 8 feel like two halves of the same update, two equally necessary steps in the journey from Old iOS to Modern iOS. iOS 7 was a facelift, a new release that added some nice user- and developer- facing features but was overwhelmingly focused on changing the way existing parts of the system looked. iOS 8 freshens up the underpinnings of the operating system, opening an unprecedented number of things up to third parties without sacrificing the things that define iOS. iOS 7 was transformative on an aesthetic level; iOS 8 is transformative on a functional level.

Matt Warman:

There are countless things neither the iPhone 6 nor the 6 Plus don’t do: there’s no 4K video, there’s no higher pixel count than rival models and there’s no HD audio, to name but a few. But that’s to miss the point. What’s made the iPhone so successful is its combination of user-friendly simplicity with sufficiently advanced functions and a beautiful, pleasing design. The iPhone 6 builds on that, and set next to the iPhone 5s it instantly makes its predecessor’s design look out of date. The 6 Plus may be bigger, but if a larger screen is what you want, it’s peerless.

Katherine Boehret:

I’ve been testing iOS 8 for the past week on both of the new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have the largest iPhone screens yet. Though it had a couple hiccups, like the Mail app crashing a few times, it’s a fast, solid and fresh version of iOS that users will like.

Darrell Etherington:

Apple has outdone itself with the iPhone 6’s design – despite gaining a significant amount of screen real estate, it doesn’t feel huge compared to its predecessor, and it’s still a very easy device to use one-handed. The new, thinner case means it weighs just over half an ounce more than the iPhone 5s, and the even weight distribution across a broader surface area means it isn’t noticeably heavier than the older phone. It manages to make the 5 and 5s feel downright chunky, in fact, which is incredible.

Ed Baig:

Are the bigger iPhones worth all this big time attention? The answer is a resounding yes, a point emphasized by consumers who’ve preordered the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in record numbers. These are the phones Apple devotees have been waiting for: iPhones that measure up to what’s fast becoming the new normal — the large, modern smartphone display. Count me among those glad they’re here.

Walt Mossberg:

I’ve been testing the more mainstream of the two models, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, for about a week now, and I think it’s a terrific phone. In my view, it’s the best smartphone on the market, when you combine its hardware, all-new operating system, and the Apple ecosystem whose doors it opens… The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.

WSJ:

After using both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for a week, I can report that Apple has successfully addressed its size deficiency, and much more. The $199 (with contract) iPhone 6 packs a 4.7-inch screen, big enough to get down to business, into the most comfortable smartphone I’ve ever held. And while the iPhone 6 Plus feels too big for my taste, for $100 more its 5.5-inch screen offers an option for road warriors who don’t want to carry a tablet. While the iPhone 6’s battery life proved mediocre with its screen at full brightness, it’s still the best smartphone you can buy.

Jason Snell:

I’ll wager that for most iPhone 5 users, the iPhone 6 will be a solid upgrade, and after a few days of adjustment, they’ll never miss their old iPhones. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s a device that will undoubtedly find its adherents. They might be people who use their iPhones constantly and also need as much battery power as possible, or people with large hands, or people for whom it will be the only computing device they’ll use every day. Samsung and other competitors have showed that there’s an audience for extra-large phones—and that’s now an audience that can buy an iPhone. That’s the whole point.

John Gruber:

If there’s a certain flatness to this review, a lack of enthusiasm, it’s not intentional. Apple keeps repeating that the iPhones 6 are “better in every way”, and as far as I can tell that really is the case. Better fit and finish, better feel in hand, better display quality, faster CPU and GPU performance, better still photos, better video, better battery life, faster Wi-Fi and LTE networking speeds. I don’t know what more we could ask of Apple from a year-over-year improvement over the iPhone 5S, which remains an astounding device. And I’ve barely mentioned iOS 8, which I think is an improvement over iOS 7 in nearly every regard, with a strong focus on improved utility and no unnecessary gimmickry.

Where are the reviews of which contain a similar voice for Samsung’s Galaxy S5?

The Death of Megapixels

How can you tell if your smartphone’s camera is good or not? By the number of megapixels, right? Apparently megapixels don’t mean what they used to mean. Geoffrey A. Fowler compares Apple’s 8-megapixel iPhone 6 to the 16-megapixel camera in Samsung’s Galaxy S5:

Apple arch-rival Samsung includes a 16-megapixel camera in its Galaxy S5 phone. The main camera on the latest upgrades to the iPhone line still has just 8 megapixels. Yet the images from both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the best I’ve tested on a phone to date.

What makes the iPhone 6 so special?

The iPhone 6 boasts an improved sensor and a focus technology called phase-detection, both of which shine in dark or fast-moving situations. On the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple also included optical image stabilization to the lens, to help accommodate for shaky hands, particularly in low light when shutter speeds are slower.

Fowler’s photo comparisons are striking.

Sony Sinks

ZDNet on Sony’s mobile division:

Sony’s mobile unit is heading for trouble, after the electronics giant cut the unit’s outlook amid falling smartphone sales.

Chief executive Kazuo Hirai announced on Tuesday [PDF] a massive impairment charge of about $1.7 billion. But he said Sony remains committed to the business, keeping it as one of three core Sony divisions, despite slow market growth.

It’s a bad sign when sales fall from negligible.

7 Privacy Settings To Change In iOS 8

Apple released iOS 8 for iPhone and iPad and already someone has a list of changes you need to make immediately. Why? Zack Whittaker has the scoop:

iOS 8 has a number of new features tied to your location. It also has new privacy settings, allowing users to limit how long data is stored for, such as message expiry features and new private browsing settings.

But why should they be changed?

Before you do anything like customizing your phone, loading new apps, or syncing your data for the first time, these first seven settings need to be checked, and if necessary, changed.

Oh, so now it’s merely to be checked. Here’s my favorites (which happen to number seven, too):

  • Limit apps from tracking your location in the background
  • Prevent apps from accessing, uploading your data
  • Enable ‘Find My iPhone’ for lost and stolen devices
  • Allow iMessages, voice, and video to expire over time (good one)
  • Prevent sharing your location to others
  • Prevent iPhone location-based tracking
  • Limit advertisers tracking your location, data

Disappointing Record Sales For New iPhone

You knew this would happen, right? As soon as Apple announced record sales for the first day of availability for iPhone 6 models, someone would come out of the woodwork to announce that the record sales number was disappointing. Last year Apple didn’t announce pre-sales numbers, but still managed to sell 9-million iPhones during the launch weekend. This year pre-orders were announced so we’ll have to wait until next week to see how many iPhones were actually sold.

Who cares?

Apple critics care. Apple watchers care. Samsung cares. The cell phone carriers care. For everyone else in the world, it’s pretty much business as usual; just another giant iPhone launch.

How giant?

How about 47 iPhones sold every second during the first 24 hours? Apple may have been able to sell even more if all the online sites could have handled the customer volume, and it’s clear that they could not.

47 iPhones per second is 2,820 iPhones per minute, which is 169,200 per hour, which ends up at just over 4-million iPhones for the first 24 hours. How many Galaxy S5 models did Samsung sell in the first 24 hours of availability? How many Amazon Fire Phones were sold the first weekend?

Nobody knows because Samsung, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HTC, Motorola, and anyone else who sells anything that competes with what Apple sells seems to be eerily quiet about how many they sell. Or, maybe it’s more accurately phrased, ‘How few they sell.’ For some reason the industry’s many critics only focus on Apple’s numbers, despite the company’s paltry marketshare in smartphones, tablets, and personal computers.

Why is that?

It’s because no other company is as interesting as Apple, hence the gargantuan amount of misplaced, outsized attention for every new Apple product launch.

Here’s a thought. While it may be another six months before we see an Apple Watch in an Apple Store to hold and touch and view and fawn over, does anyone else besides me think that Apple may not have announced everything said Watch can and will do when it is launched next year?

Thanks for sharing, Apple– at least now, following the launch of Apple’s latest products, we know what Xiaomi’s new smartphones will look like; we know what features Samsung will add to next year’s Galaxy S6, and we’ll know what functions will be in all the so-called smartwatches in 2015.

A Killing Field

As if Microsoft doesn’t have enough troubles with the Surface Pro notebook tablet hybrid and the now defunct Windows Phone, here’s another example of a killing field at the low end of the PC market– Android apps coming to Chromebooks. ZDNet:

At Google I/O earlier this year the company announced plans to let Android apps run on the Chromebook. It’s starting small, but the first few apps are now available for a Chromebook near you… Android apps will run under the App Runtime for Chrome (Beta) which creates a virtual machine on Chrome OS for handling Android apps.

Not many apps yet, but the flood will come. Microsoft is getting damaged at the low end of the notebook spectrum, while Apple owns the high end and all the profits.

Boom!

Mark Reschke thinks Apple just dropped a bomb on Samsung:

Forget about Apple’s courtroom battles with Samsung. On Tuesday Apple launched what can only be described as an all-out nuclear attack on Samsung. Apple has taken the war from a nearly broken court system and onto the consumer battlefield. Apple’s dual combination product launch wasn’t just a shot across Samsung’s bow, it was a devastating blow to Samsung’s front line which is rapidly collapsing.

Samsung’s profits have diminished in the past year or so while Apple’s profits have increased and the company has solidified its perch as the premium brand.

With Apple hammering away at Samsung with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus along with Apple Watch being announced, coupled with Apple moving semiconductor business away from the Asian tiger, all piled on top of Asian competition blasting away at the low-end, Samsung’s future looks dim. Meanwhile, Apple is moving into a new golden area, being rewarded for their innovative efforts, while Samsung 15 minutes of fame has just been blown away.

Samsung wants to be like Apple so much that their executives cannot sleep at night.

Apple Pay Tops Credit Cards

Bernice Napach on how Apple Pay works better than the traditional credit and debit card methods for payments:

The app uses chip and pin technology, instead of the magnets that credit cards currently use, to keep information secure. The chip generates a one-time authorization code for each purchase and the pin is the unique number a consumer will have to tap into a retailer’s credit card reader for each purchase.

The biggest obstacle to a more secure credit card system isn’t the card, or the iPhone, or Apple Pay’s adoption. It’s the data readers.

How Does It Stack Up For Business?

Ridiculous article from ZDNet asking a ridiculous question:

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are “the biggest advancements in iPhone history,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told Apple fans around the world yesterday. But is a bigger iPhone a good idea for business users?

iPhone is used more in business than all over smartphone models combined. Nothing in iPhone 6 will reduce Apple’s share of the enterprise.

A Few Thoughts On Apple’s New Products

The noise has abated and the dust has settled. Everything you want to know about Apple’s iPhone 6 lines is available online, and, as usual, the world is dividing itself in half over Apple Watch. Some love it. Some hate it.

The haters are the typical crowd who also hated the iPod, iPhone, and iPad (think Henry Blodget and John Dvorak, among others with very poor track records at prognosticating Apple’s failures and successes). You can be sure that if Blodget and Dvorak don’t like it, the Watch will sell in big numbers.

The lovers are also a typical crowd who simply appreciate well designed products that work well together, look great, and provide additional and more convenient functionality. But make no mistake about it. Apple Watch is just like every Apple market disrupting product since Steve Jobs’ second coming. It’s a polarizing device that won’t sell in the same numbers as competitors, but Apple will reap most of the product segment profits.

First, the iPhone 6 line.

There are some surprises, but not many. Bigger, faster, lighter, better performance everywhere, and the camera options are to die for. On the negative side, what’s with the protruding camera? Where’s the highly anticipated sapphire screen? What’s with those line tattoos on the back? Where’s the 32GB model? Where’s the iPhone 6c (last year’s iPhone 5s)?

Second, the Apple Watch.

This is a luxury item and Apple has the design and infrastructure to support it. Multiple watch models, multiple designs for each model (love the black and gold), multiple watchband designs (easily removed, so look for a huge third party watchband market), and probably an infinite number of screen layouts (especially as third party developers get in the act). Yes, it’s a beautiful, highly customizable design, a visually desirable watch, but there are some negatives.

It’s too thick. It’s rectangular only. What’s the battery life? Watches that start at $349 are expected to last for 10 to 20 years. Does anyone believe they’ll still be wearing the same Apple Watch in five years? Planned obsolescence rules, folks.

There is little doubt that iPhone 6 will become Apple’s best selling iPhone ever. There’s plenty of pent-up demand, and usability with iOS 8 takes the phone to another level of seamless integration and usefulness.

What about Apple Watch?

Beautiful and well designed, yes, but does anyone really, truly, deeply need a luxury smartwatch with limited functionality? The difference between iPhone and Watch is that we need a phone, and all the capabilities that come with it are icing on the cake. We don’t need a watch. It’s a combination of utility and luxury and Apple Watch seems to be lean on the side of luxury, with more utility than a standard watch, but less luxury than a luxury watch.

Alright, that said, it was easy to spot plenty of usage in Apple’s online Watch videos. When you are driving, walking, or on public transportation (or even sitting down at home or restaurant), a watch is an easier device to use than an iPhone which is stuck in a pocket or purse. Think Maps and directions, Messages, Mail, Notifications, sports scores, and everything else we check on our iPhones daily– but don’t have to dig into back pocket or purse to use. That convenience is worth something.

The typical Apple haters will hate Apple’s latest iAnything even if it was blessed by Jesus himself. The typical Apple fan folks will line up to try and buy, too, but will the great unwashed masses bother? Not all, but some will. We just need to remember that Apple Watch will not succeed in the same numbers as the iPhone already has.

But now we know what next year’s Samsung Gear and other smartphones will look like.

Free iPhone 6: For Life

Gregory Wallace:

The iPhone 6 hasn’t even been released yet, but there’s already a way to get it for free. In an unusual move, Verizon Wireless announced Tuesday it would give away one of the phones.

In other words, a free iPhone. What’s the catch?

Customers must turn in their old iPhone and sign a two-year agreement with Verizon.

I guess carrier subsidies didn’t really die.

Disruption: Apple Redefines ‘Smartwatch’

Apple Watch is coming. The rumors were true, and even the last minute leaks of a rectangular case design were spot on. Bambi Brannan on what we don’t know about Apple Watch:

At first glance, Apple Watch appears to be leaps ahead of Samsung Gear and Motorola’s Moto 360 as well as all other so-called smartwatches. At a starting price of $349, Apple again takes the premium end of the market segment. That means the Edition model and the larger, 42mm Watch, will likely cost more. What about battery life? Apple says Watch will last ‘all day’ but that amount isn’t defined. How long will a recharge take? When will Apple Watch be available?

Apple may have answers to some of those questions by ‘early next year’ but here is what is about to happen to the smartwatch industry.

One thing is absolutely certain. Future smartwatches from China, Samsung, et al, are likely to look and function much like Apple Watch, so, yes, Apple is about to disrupt yet another industry.

But will it sell?

Apple Pay: David, Meet Goliath

Yours truly on Mac360 with a perspective on Apple Pay:

Both Visa and MasterCard have provided incentives for merchants to upgrade their systems by the end of 2015. So, Apple Pay is coming, just not overnight, not everywhere, and not without a few issues, including educating customers and merchants.

I don’t expect Apple Pay to sweep away the nation’s archaic merchant payment system any time soon.

The 5 Steps To Perfect iPhone 6 Security

Apple’s stellar reputation for security took a few hits last week as celebrity iCloud accounts were hacked, and revealing photos revealed. How did that happen? iCloud’s security wasn’t as tight as it needed to be to prevent a little brute force door knocking on celebrity accounts.

With the arrival of iPhone 6, Apple can be expected to beef up security measures to prevent additional tampering with user accounts, and deny access to iPhone and iPad to unauthorized users. Here’s the problem and here’s how it can be corrected to provide ease-of-use and more security layers.

As is usually the case, the user becomes the weak link in most security issues. Who wants an iPhone with a 14-digit alpha-numeric-symbol password just to reply to a text message, or check Instagram. That’s the conundrum. Ease-of-use vs. tight security.

Enter my 5-step plan to perfect iPhone 6 security for the paranoid non-celebrity Apple customer.

Apple already has all the hardware needed in iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 models. Touch ID, microphone, and front facing camera. Put all the pieces together and a single iPhone app could easily provide near bulletproof security.

#1 – Touch ID: This works well and is not easily compromised. Touch your assigned finger to the Home button and you’re in. Fast and simple. Add another layer by adding additional fingers, to be touched in a particular sequence.

#2 – Voice recognition: Record a series of phrases or words and let your Mac listen to your voice and match what you say, both voice and keywords, to your recorded voice pattern and you’re in.

#3 – Retina scanner: – The iPhone already has a front facing camera. The built-in security app could be set to scan your eye– color, shape, size, retina, lashes, eyebrows– to provide another layer of security, which is enhanced even more if Touch ID and Voice Recognition are required at the same time.

#4 – Facial recognition: – Prior to your eye being scanned at the eyeball or retinal level, iPhone 6’s security app could also recognize your face using advanced facial recognition. Again, it’s an extra layer of security that can work quickly and automatically.

The security app should be set to require all four steps in sequence or all four within an assigned time period (three seconds, for example).

#5 – Keypad swipe: – Instead of using a four-digit password, or a much larger password, Apple could easily incorporate a keypad swipe; one finger, swiping across the screen in a specific pattern, which would unlock the iPhone.

That’s five layers of security, any one of which can be used standalone or in concert with others, applied in a specific order, or within a specific time frame, or both. Security problem solved.

8 Things You’ll Love About Apple’s New iOS 8

Jack Linshi:

While the iPhone 6’s specs aren’t known yet—rumors say bigger screens, sapphire glass and near field communication—something we do know about is the software it’ll run. iOS 8.

Spoiler Alert!

  • QuickType – predictive typing
  • Spotlight – easier to use
  • Health – app based on HealthKit
  • Siri – teams up with Shazam
  • Text replies – reply without the app
  • Photos – looks much like Instagram (no it doesn’t)
  • Calls over Wi-Fi – great idea.
  • Sharing – up to six family members can share apps, etc.

That Was Quick

Yesterday Amazon’s Fire Phone was priced at $199. Today, the day before Apple announces the new line of iPhones, Amazon’s Fire Phone is 99-cents. That’s a fire sale for the Fire Phone. ZDNet:

Amazon’s gameplan here is pretty clear. It’s a “get people into the ecosystem as fast as possible—and at any cost” move. With the iPhone 6 so close, I sense that Amazon is taking some drastic steps to keep the Fire Phone in the game in the face of what is likely to be very still competition.

Anyone besides me notice that Apple mentions how many Macs, iPhones, and iPads are sold every quarter, but Amazon never announces a number for it’s Kindle Fire tablet and Fire Phones?

The ‘Depends’ Tablet

Let’s call this what it really is. Sean Portnoy on the AARP RealPad, a tablet for senior citizens.

“[I]t’s bigger than a smartphone yet smaller than a laptop computer.” That’s how the blog for AARP introduces the RealPad, a new tablet that the advocacy group for people older than 50 has just announced it will be selling to a market it considers vastly underserved: older adults who haven’t taken the tablet plunge… Finally, a year’s membership in AARP is included in the price.

I call it the ‘depends’ tablet. Marketing it to seniors is an insult to their intelligence. Take a look at any Apple Store on Saturday morning and you’ll see plenty of seniors learning to use a tablet– an iPad.

Is It Too Late For Windows Phone?

Ed Bott answers the question that customers ask.

The real missed opportunity for Microsoft so far is in its traditional core business, selling to enterprise customers. New Windows Phone devices have manageability features that should appeal to traditional IT buyers. The trouble for Microsoft is that those once powerful customers aren’t making the buying decisions for most mobile devices, which are purchased by consumers and then brought into the business.