Tag Archives: iPhone

Apple releases its new TV Remote app for iPhone

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You can put down that awkward Siri remote. Apple just launched a new way to navigate around Apple TV.

Flagged at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the Apple TV Remote app is one of a suite of recent products designed to improve the user experience of Apple TV. Released Monday, the app, which does everything the Siri remote can do, lets you select programs and play games from your iPhone.

Simplifying text entry, the Apple TV Remote app helpfully allows you to enter show names, usernames and passwords with your phone’s keyboard. It also employs game mode to make use of the smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope, and lets you ask Siri to help you track down new TV shows. Read more…

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Apple Loop: New iPhone 7 Leak Reveals Big Changes, Awkward iPhone SE, 3 Year Wait For New iPhone

This week’s Apple Loop includes the unsightly bulge on the iPhone 7, a new battery for the handset, the re-engineered lightning earpods, some thoughts on the iPhone SE’s position, a new research lab in France, a look at Apple’s musical future, the iPhone’s new product cycle, and a potential new franchise for Apple TV.


Cloud Computing

White House reportedly won’t back encryption bill arising from iPhone case

The Apple Store in San Francisco.

(Reuters) – The White House is declining to offer public support for draft legislation that would empower judges to require technology companies such as Apple Inc to help law enforcement crack encrypted data, sources familiar with the discussions said.

The decision all but assures that the years-long political impasse over encryption will continue even in the wake of the high-profile effort by the Department of Justice to force Apple to break into an iPhone used by a gunman in last December’s shootings in San Bernardino, California.

President Obama suggested in remarks last month that he had come around to the view that law enforcement agencies needed to have a way to gain access to encrypted information on smartphones.

But the administration remains deeply divided on the issue, the sources said.

The draft legislation from Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the Republican chair and top Democrat respectively of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is expected to be introduced as soon as this week.

The bill gives federal judges broad authority to order tech companies to help the government but does not spell out what companies might have to do or the circumstances under which they could be ordered to help, according to sources familiar with the text. It also does not create specific penalties for noncompliance.

Although the White House has reviewed the text and offered feedback, it is expected to provide minimal public input, if any, the sources said.

Its stance is partly a reflection of a political calculus that any encryption bill would be controversial and is unlikely to go far in a gridlocked Congress during an election year, sources said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the pending legislation, but referred to White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s statements on encryption legislation. Last month Earnest said the administration is “skeptical” of lawmakers’ ability to resolve the encryption debate given their difficulty in tackling “simple things.”

Tech companies and civil liberties advocates have opposed encryption legislation, arguing that mandating law enforcement access to tech products will undermine security for everyone. Several lawmakers, including U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, have vowed to oppose any attempt to limit encryption protections in U.S. technology products.

Even some intelligence officials worry that enabling law enforcement agencies to override encryption will create more problems than it solves by opening the door to hackers and foreign intelligence services. Some also say it is unnecessary because the government has other means of getting the information it needs.

The Justice Department dropped its legal action against Apple last week, saying it had found a way to hack into the phone.

Apple vs FBIThe White House last year backed away from pursuing legislation that would require U.S.technology firms to provide a “back door” to access encrypted data. The backpedaling resembled a retreat by President Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s on efforts to require a special computer chip in phones to give the U.S. government a way to monitor encrypted conversations.

But the desire for encryption legislation among some intelligence and law enforcement officials has never gone away, and it gained new life after the Islamist militant-inspired attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

Obama, speaking at the South by Southwest entertainment festival in Austin, Texas, last month, warned against “fetishizing our phones” and said that doing nothing to address law enforcement’s encryption challenges “can’t be the right answer.”

Obama, however, also cautioned against Congress taking any action that would be “sloppy and rushed.”

Apple and others have called on Congress to help find a solution to the problem of criminals and terrorists using encryption to avoid surveillance. A separate proposal to form a national encryption commission to further study the issue is also not expected to be enacted this year.

Meanwhile, tech companies are stepping up their efforts to implement encryption and other security measures. The Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp announced this week that it had implemented complete encryption of its service – and now cannot get access to customer messages even if was ordered to by a court.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Dustin Volz; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Grant McCool)

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What it’s like to use Motorola’s new Moto 360 smartwatch with an iPhone

Moto360

REVIEW:

I spent one week using Motorola’s revamped Moto 360 smartwatch with an iPhone — so you don’t have to.

The 360 is now available for pre-order, and while Motorola nailed it in terms of coming up with what looks and feels like an expensive accessory, the experience too often falls flat. In fact, I got compliments on how nice it looked, but felt morally obligated to explain that it didn’t do much for me.

Let’s take a closer look at the gadget — the design, battery, the maligned “flat tire” – before coming to a verdict on whether the watch is actually worth the price tag (the most basic model starts at $ 299 and it runs as high as $ 450).

Design

The Moto 360 comes in three models; that is, two sizes for men and a one-size-fits-all for the ladies, all of which are customizable online. This gives users quite a lot of options in terms of personalizing the look of the gadget— at least to a certain extent, but I’ll talk more about that later. Each gender gets one color that the other does not, and there’s also a special double grab wristband only available for the women’s model — sorry gents.

From VentureBeat

Get faster turnaround on creative, more testing, smarter improvements and better results. Learn how to apply agile marketing at our roadshow in SF.

In one corner: The guys get stainless steel in silver, gold, and black. The watch comes in two sizes, the original 46mm case and the new, smaller 42mm version. In the other corner: The girls get silver, gold, and rose gold (and it’s a real rose gold-inspired color, not the iPhone 6s’ apparent pink pearl hue) in the smaller, 42mm size.

In either case, the bands are not fixed and are interchangeable with other bands of the same model.

Give some love to the ladies

For the first time ever, Motorola designed a watch for women. The mobile company says it did some studies to come up with the proportions of the gender-oriented watch.

“We are not a one-gender world, and there are many tech-embracing women, like myself, and I always felt a little left out of this category,” one of the heads of design for the watch, Katie Morgenroth, told me when I asked her why they created a watch specifically for women. To me, the decision just implies that the first watch was not unisex; it was for men.

Moto Maker and Michael Kors

The moment I laid eyes on the new 360, it reminded me of Michael Kors’ watches. That has something to do with their round shape, which I prefer over Motorola’s squared competitors.

I went to Motorola’s customization site, Moto Maker, and created my own. I kept it classic. I went for an all-rose gold women’s watch with a wristband of the same color. I also pushed it a little further with a $ 20 upgrade for a line-carved Bezel instead of the plain one. With all the upgrades (I selected every one), the watch came to $ 399.

Moto360 bands

Once it arrived, the watch looked even better in person. It’s heavy enough to feel expensive, but not so much as to become uncomfortable. The biggest disappointment was something I was aware of from the moment I first saw it: This watch is a bit too small for my taste.

My rant

I’m a tall woman and my body is proportionate to my height. My hands are big, my arms are long, and I like bigger, thicker watches. The Moto 360 does not get lost on my wrist or anything like that, but I would like the option to wear something that fits my body type.

“The original 360 at the 46mm, larger case size just feels too big. It feels maybe more like technology and less like a fashion statement,” said CXD design director Dickon Isaacs, when I asked him about the design choice.

I am sorry, Mr. Isaacs, but I think we’ll have to agree to disagree: A big watch is not less of a fashion statement. If anything, it’s quite the opposite. If you don’t believe me, ask Michael Kors.

Moto360Michael-Kors-800x600

I like chunky watches as my statement piece, and I felt I should have the option to order one, just like the guys.

Isaacs’ response to my demand was simple: “Well, you can get the men’s watch.”

Moto 360 + iPhone

The watch is powered by Android Wear, so the experience will feel familiar if you’ve ever owned a smartphone powered by Google’s OS.

I own an iPhone, and I was worried I would not be able to pair the device to my phone. Thankfully, I was able to sync the two pretty easily.

The process was seamless and self-explanatory. The watch turned on and a couple of minutes later it prompted me to charge it to at least 50 percent before the first use — just like my old Motorola phone.

Moto-360-charging

As the Moto 360 charged, I paired the devices, watched a short tutorial video, and then the watch guided me through the basics (pull down to access settings, swipe left from the home screen to get to the apps, swipe up for the tabs in use, left again for more options, and right to dismiss a tab).

When the wearable is paired to an Android phone, you can connect to Wi-Fi for web access when you don’t have your phone, you can answer texts, and you can access maps (read more about what Android Wear lets you do here). However, that is not the case for iPhone owners.

With an iPhone, the Moto 360 watch functions as a notification center and controller, and it doesn’t do much when your phone is not around. Yes, I can look at the time, set an alarm or a timer, and turn on the flashlight, but that’s not all that impressive for a smartwatch. While connected to my iPhone, I can check the weather, look at notifications from Twitter and WhatsApp, stop and change songs – even from Pandora and Spotify, answer phone calls on my phone (because the watch doesn’t have a speaker), and check in on the stock market (?!).

But I can’t reply to messages, I can’t look up an address on maps, and I can’t start an app from the watch. I have to go to the phone to do all of this. If I ask “Okay Google” for help, it sends an alert to my phone so I can do it from there.

Let me remind you again, I’m using the 360 with an iPhone. If you own an Android smartphone, enjoy your native experience — kudos to you and your functional watch-phone relationship.

Of course, Google and Motorola have not set high expectations for Android Wear-iPhone support, but I was still optimistic that most things would function properly.

Moto 360

Some upsides, more downsides

The 360 comes with a heart rate sensor and Motorola’s Moto Body app. The feature tracks my steps, heart activity, and it even attempts — and succeeds — to motivate me to stay active. This is one thing that Apple’s Health app has not been able to do, but that the 360 proved I need in my life.

I would love to use this watch at the gym or on a run, but it turns out I’m not really supposed to. That’s what the Moto 360 Sport is for, Motorola told me. The Sport version comes with extra features like built-in GPS, which is not present in the fashion version because, as a Motorola representative put it, the company “felt like if you were to have your phone, why would you have a GPS antenna on it?”

His argument only reinforced my point: my 360 doesn’t do a lot when a phone isn’t around.

Battery

When I got the watch, I charged it to almost 100 percent in the wireless dock. In its resting position, it looks like a small table clock.

The battery lasted for about 36 hours — a lot, considering I played with it as much as I could.

The only problem was that I forgot to charge it, as I often do with my phone, and I was left without a watch for the rest of the second day.

What I thought was a big deal, wasn’t

“The flat tire” is what some people call the blank space at the bottom of the screen that has been present since the first generation of the Moto 360. Motorola explained to VB why the 360’s display still isn’t a perfect circle, and the company called it “the best design decision” it could make.

But in my opinion, the space – called a shelf or flat tire – is something you’ll grow accustomed to. I easily ignored it after picking a dark watch face.

MotoBody-1

The verdict

Will I end up buying the 360? No. But if I had $ 399 to spare, I would remind myself of the following, as an iPhone owner:

Yes, this watch does things a regular watch doesn’t do — it lets you answer phone calls and pause Pandora — but that isn’t enough if you’re looking for a truly smart gadget. Maybe Motorola will win me over next time? Maybe by then Android Wear will work more seamlessly with my iPhone? That’s unlikely, but I can always hope.


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The iPhone 6s outperforms the 2015 MacBook in some tests, which says a lot about the iPad Pro

iPhone 6S
Although the iPhone’s ‘s’ models aren’t normally as hype-worthy as the full version upgrades, one thing you can always expect out of them is top notch performance. This year’s iPhone 6s, however, has the special honor of being as powerful as one of Apple’s newest laptops, the 2015 MacBook. John Gruber from Daring Fireball benchmarked the iPhone 6S using Geerkbench 3, a multi-platform testing tool designed to measure overall computer performance. Needless to say, the results are impressive. The phone’s A9 chip can outperform or beat the $ 1300 1.1 Ghz MacBook, and nearly go head to head with the 1.3Ghz model: Test iPhone 6s…

This story continues at The Next Web


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Want an iPhone 6S for $1? Get ready to switch to Sprint

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On Friday the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus arrive in stores, and while thousands may line up for a chance to get their hands on a pink (rose gold) iPhone, others will be looking for the best upgrade deals.

In this U.S., Sprint may have just topped them all.

The wireless service provider announced on Thursday a gonzo limited-time trade-in deal to current iPhone 6 customers: $ 1 a month for an iPhone 6S and $ 5 a month for an iPhone 6s Plus.

The payment plan is actually part of Sprint’s “iPhone for Life” plan, which means customers are actually leasing the phone for, in this case, 12 months. After that, they turn in the phone for a new one and continue paying against the monthly lease agreement. While typical Sprint lease plans might charge $ 20 a month for a 16GB iPhone 6s, this one will charge you just a $ 1, meaning that, after 12 months, you end up paying $ 12 for the iPhone 6s. In the case of the larger iPhone 6s Plus, you pay $ 60. Read more…

More about Sprint, Tech, Mobile, Iphone 6s, and Iphone 6s Plus


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iPhone 6s buyers will have to immediately update to iOS 9.0.1

iPhone6s-2Up-HeroFish-PR-PRINT

If you’re planning on buying or receiving a new iPhone 6s tomorrow, you will be asked to upgrade the operating system on the device immediately.

Apple has released a special version of iOS 9.0.1 that’s specifically aimed at the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The OS version was pushed out to the public yesterday, but, oddly, that version didn’t include support for the new phones.

The iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus will ship with iOS 9.0.

The update is nothing major. It fixes a couple of bugs, including a “Slide to Upgrade” dialog problem that was preventing some users from upgrading to iOS 9. The update also fixes an issue that caused some paused video images in Safari and Photo to appear distorted, and another that cause some alarms and alerts not to sound.

Hat tip: Mac Rumors


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Microsoft launches meeting app Invite for iPhone, coming soon to Android and Windows Phone

One of the meeting rooms at Communitech, a startup mecca in Waterloo, Ontario. Google also has 200 employees here.

Microsoft today launched a new standalone app for scheduling meetings called Invite. Available only for iPhone users in the U.S. and Canada for now, you can download Invite now directly from Apple’s App Store.

Here is how it works. First you suggest times that work for you, and then invite attendees to vote. You can send invites to anyone with an email address — even if they are outside your organization. The recipients select all the times they can attend from the app itself or from a browser, once votes are in, you pick the time that works best.

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The best part is that anyone invited can see what options work best for other attendees, and suggest their own times as well. The sender chooses a final date and time whenever they’re ready, hitting Send Calendar Invites to get it on everyone’s calendars.

Here is how Microsoft explains its thinking behind the app:

Invite is designed to overcome the biggest obstacle when scheduling meetings — not being able to see the calendars of attendees outside your organization. As a result, your proposed meeting can be repeatedly declined until you find a time that works.

From VentureBeat

Location, location, location — Not using geolocation to reach your mobile customers? Your competitors are. Find out what you’re missing.

Certain events and meetings can be moved if something more important comes up, but only each person knows best where they are flexible. By letting attendees pick times that work for them, even when it means moving one of their own meetings, can stop that meeting from being scheduled on a Friday evening.

Invite is mainly designed for users with Office 365 business and school accounts. That said, the app also works with any email account, including Outlook.com, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail.

The app’s launch and limitations are very similar to Microsoft’s Send, a lightweight email app that debuted in July. Like Send, Invite is starting out as iPhone-only, available only in two countries, and with the promise of “coming soon” to Android and Windows Phone.

Invite is the latest in a long line of apps to emerge from Microsoft Garage, the software giant’s lab for experimental tinkering. At this rate, Microsoft will soon have more experimental apps than “final” apps.

And that’s okay, as long as some of them are eventually released or integrated into existing products.

More information:

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In pictures: Apple faithful already forming lines in front of Friday’s iPhone 6s launch

Marcus Barsum waits outside the Apple store in central Sydney Thursday. Reuters/David Gray

Yes, it’s that time again, when the Apple faithful/crazy line up way early to buy the next version of the iPhone, this time the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

This year, people are standing out in the elements — and sleeping there overnight — to buy a phone that looks identical to the one they already have, but with, um, an updated camera and a new kind of screen press.

Here are the lines, in cities around the world.

New York

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 10.53.45 AM

Above: Waiting in line in NYC (Eli Blumenthal ‏@eliblumenthal)

Apple fans line up at the "Church of Apple" in New York to buy an iPhone 6s Friday.

Above: Apple fans line up at the “Church of Apple” in New York to buy an iPhone 6s.

Image Credit: Eli Blumenthal ‏@eliblumenthal

San Francisco

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 11.58.58 AM

Above: (Justin E. Harris @envisionwithj)

Periscoper Justin Harris reported that around 16 people were already camped out at the downtown San Francisco Apple Store Thursday night. Check it out here.

Boston

(Image: MacRumors)

Above: (Image: MacRumors)

Hamburg, Germany

"Oh man wie arm ist das denn. Wegen einem Telefon?" Daniel Knott ‏@dnlkntt )

Above: “Oh man wie arm ist das denn. Wegen einem Telefon?” (Daniel Knott ‏@dnlkntt )

Sydney, Australia

Marcus Barsum waits outside the Apple store in central Sydney Thursday. Reuters/David Gray

Above: Marcus Barsum waits outside the Apple store in central Sydney Thursday. (Reuters/David Gray)

This buyer, a media exec in Australia, sent a robot proxy to wait in the line. (photo: Mashable)

Above: This buyer, a media exec in Australia, sent a robot proxy to wait in the line. (photo: Mashable)


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Google brings note-taking app Keep to iPhone

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More than two years after launching Google Keep on Android, the company is finally bringing its note-taking app to iOS: Google rolled out a new version of Keep for iPhones and iPads Thursday.

Like the Android and web version of the app, Keep on iOS allows you to arrange your notes into a sticky-note-like interface. Notes are synced with your Google account so you can access them across devices.

Though not as full-featured as some competitors like Evernote, Google’s free app offers much more than Apple’s new Notes app. Recorded voice memos are automatically transcribed and you can share notes with people you know so others can collaborate on a checklist, for example. Read more…

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24 hours of the new iPhone 6S launch: Follow live

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

For Apple fans, nothing is bigger than iPhone launch day.

Every year, lining up at stores for the new iPhone is a major event for the Apple faithful. And this year’s release of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus is no exception.

But the mold has changed. While people still line up, an iPhone launch in 2015 looks a lot different than it did in 2007. Mashable will be reporting ’round the clock from Sydney, Singapore, London, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles to capture the glorious anticipation. Read more…

Sydney > Singapore > London > New York >
San Francisco > LA

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