Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘Apple News’ Category

Sep 201409

Apple Unveils iPhone 6 and WATCH

by Ashley Martin

APPLE made no bones about it today: This was an historic occasion. Gathering reporters, designers, fashion experts at the Finch Center — today’s 9.9.2014 Keynote Event carried with it an incredible anticipation. The Finch Center itself was the site where Steve Jobs himself took the stage and unveiled the very first Macintosh, along with the first iMac years later. Today, Apple wanted the world to know that they were about to make history again.

And, boy…did they ever.

Normally, these Apple keynotes begin with a kind of “state of the company” address, with statistics ranging from retail performance all the way to how many iPads have been sold. But not today. Tim Cook took the stage at 1:03PM, and within three minutes, we were on to the iPhone announcement! There was a lot to go over, and we are going to attempt to give you the important information you need to know — so buckle up, and let’s go!

iPHONE 6

Two new iPhone sizes were introduced today — the iPhone 6, with a 4.7” Retina HD (more on that shortly) display, and the iPhone 6 Plus, with a stunning (and huge!) 5.5” Retina HD display. Not only are they bigger, but they’re dramatically thinner as well. The iPhone 6 measures just 6.9mm thick, while the Plus measures 7.1mm thick. At first glance, the 0.2mm difference is practically indistinguishable. In fact, looking at these two phones stacked side-by-side, you can’t tell the difference.

They are amazingly thin, folks.

The glass of the enhanced display curves ever so slightly into the aluminum casing, bringing a seamless transition from screen to body that really looks impressive. It gives Apple a chance to once again highlight their design chops as compared to the competition.

An all-aluminum body and back completes the package, along with the antenna bands that we have come to expect from Apple phones. The power button has been moved from the top to the side for easier access on the larger phones. They really are a beautiful work of engineering.

RETINA HD DISPLAY

Apple bills the enhanced Retina HD Display as not just bigger, but better. It has better viewing angles, higher contrast, and a special technology called “dual-domain pixels,” which deliver decidedly more accurate color reproduction at all angles. The iPhone 6 has a 1334×750 resolution at 326ppi, while the Plus comes in at a full-HD 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. Each display even has an improved polarizer, which will increase picture quality in sunlight.

These displays also have a much improved white balance, and both will have the full sRGB color standard.

Along with bigger displays come new ways of viewing apps. The iPhone 6 Plus will seamlessly switch to landscape mode (much like the iPad), and offer even more functionality in apps that can take advantage of the added space.

TECHNOLOGY

Both iPhone 6 models come with the new 64-bit A8 processor, which is reportedly 25% faster and 50% more power-efficient than the A7 it replaces. It is built with a 20nm fab process that crams twice the transistors — 2 Billion! — on a microchip that is 13% smaller than the A7.

It also comes with the new M8 Motion Coprocessor, which further increases the A8’s efficiency. The phones themselves even come with a new sensor, the barometer, that can measure elevation based on ambient air pressure.

As you can imagine (and I’m sure many of you were hoping for!), all this power efficient technology brings with it amazing battery life. The iPhone 6 has up to 14 hours of talk time, and the Plus comes in at a full 24 hours! Here are some of the other battery specs for your viewing pleasure:

CAMERA

The new iPhone features a much-improved 8MP iSight Camera, with Apple-designed video encoding and an image signal processor that is built in to the new A8 chip. New picture and video features are included, such as Focus Pixels, improved face detection, continuous autofocus, and enhanced noise reduction technology. It can take 1080p video at either 30fps or 60fps, and is capable of 240fps slow-motion video — twice the frames per second as the iPhone 5s!

The front-facing camera has also been enhanced, bringing the new FaceTime HD Camera improved face detection, and the ability to capture 81% more light for improved regular and low-light pics. It even has a new Selfie Burst Mode for even clearer self pics.

WIRELESS

Both new iPhones have greatly improved LTE Wireless radios, which enable the fastest LTE browsing yet on an iPhone. They will also carry the most LTE bands ever on a smartphone — up to 20 LTE bands — boosting performance no matter what carrier or country.

The devices boast 150Mbps LTE speeds, and VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) which brings with it wideband, super-quality HD voice calls. You will also have simultaneous LTE voice and data, so you can still access data in your favorite apps while talking.

The phones will also support the new 802.11ac wireless standard, which will give you 3x the wireless performance of 802.11n on the previous generation. The iPhone 6 will also let you initiate phone calls using your Wifi connection at home, and will seamlessly (without interruption) transition back to LTE without you even noticing.

SECURITY

The familiar Touch ID-enabled Home Button remains on both models, bringing the security you’ve grown to rely on to iPhone 6. With Touch ID, purchasing apps, music, TV shows, and all the content you love is incredibly easy and secure.

APPLE PAY

Integrated with the Touch ID is a new payment system called  PAY. Apple Pay uses built-in NFC technology in iPhone 6 to make using your credit and debit cards at supporting retailers a snap. Just point your iPhone at the NFC Payment unit, use your Touch ID to authenticate the transaction, and boom — you’re done. It really does seem to be simple and easy to use.

You will set up your credit/debit cards in Passbook, which will now function as your sort-of digital wallet. You will also be able to use Apple Pay in supporting apps and websites. It’s very intriguing, and it will be available for use in October. I will be anxious to see if this innovation will finally bring mobile payments into the mainstream.

iOS 8

Finally, iOS 8 will be available for download on September 17th. This is the software that will bring that familiar Apple experience to the iPhone 6, and a lot of awesome technology that will integrate with OS X Yosemite when it is released in October. More on that to come.

SUMMARY

The iPhone 6 (both models) will be available for pre-order on September 12th, and at retail stores on September 19th! Simpy Mac and MacAuthority are the best place to get your hands on the new iPhone, and we also partner with the best carrier with the best mobile experience — AT&T. Stop by any of our stores today to learn more about AT&T and how you can get the iPhone 6 for yourself!

WATCH

Here’s where the history-maker comes in. The iPhone 6 was incredible enough to make this a great day for Apple, but in classic Steve Jobs fashion, Tim Cook set the stage for an amazing announcement using Job’s “One more thing…” catchphrase, and the audience went wild! It is the beginning of the wearables-era at Apple…

The WATCH.

It’s hard to describe what happened next — a video played showing the new device and everyone at the Flint Center stood to their feet with thunderous applause. It was incredible to watch, and you could see the pride all over Tim Cook’s face. This was his moment — and Apple’s — to really shine in the post-Jobs world. And they did just that.

Apple’s goal with the WATCH was to design the most intimate and personal device they’ve ever created. It comes in two distinct sizes, three separate collections, with numerous band, color and build choices. There really is an Apple watch for everyone.

The collections include WATCH, WATCH SPORT and WATCH EDITION, each with their own unique design variations. The watch itself comes in either stainless steel, brushed aluminum, or 18-karat gold. The Watch and Watch Edition come with sapphire crystal displays (the hardest transparent material on earth, other than diamond!), and the Sport comes with Ion-X glass (to make it exceptionally resistant to scratches and shattering). All editions are water resistant.

INNOVATION

Apple incorporated some amazing technology in a very small, wearable device. This was no small engineering feat! It comes with a digital crown that enables unique interaction with the touchscreen. It is a multi-functional rotational button that lets you zoom, scroll and select items on the screen without covering up the display with your fingers.

The Retina display is optimized with fonts and elements that are easy to read at an arms length, and in addition to being multitouch, the display is also able to sense pressure! In other words, it knows the difference between a tap and a press, and the watch will give you options based on the input it senses.

TIMEKEEPING AND NOTIFICATIONS

Apple designed the WATCH to be incredibly accurate as well, using precise technologies to keep the watch within 50 milliseconds of the global time standard. It will also change timezones automatically as you travel. There are over 2 million ways to customize the watch face as well, so there’s something for literally everyone!

The watch has a built in haptic feedback system that Apple calls the Taptic Engine, which gives you subtle and different feelings of feedback depending on what you’re doing with WATCH.

TECHNOLOGY

There are so many ways to interact with the watch itself, and just as many ways for apps to create unique experiences in a wearable device. Everything from the heart rate sensors on the bottom, GPS-connected apps, and an accelerometer bring unheard of functionality to a wristwatch.

Apple has also put tons of very small technology inside the watch itself. Their new S1 system is a fully-enclosed microcomputer, which is the engine that drives the experience.

Charging is also incredibly innovative — and easy. The Apple Watch combines MagSafe technology with inductive charging, making charging the watch almost effortless. Just bring the charging piece close to the back of the watch, and magnets snap it into place, no precise alignment necessary.

FEATURES

Apps such as Mail, Calendar, Messages, Maps… you name it, they work with Apple Watch. Along with those standards, Apple has included Phone capability and Siri integration. You can even dictate text messages with Apple Watch.

A new app called Digital Touch gives you a new fun and spontaneous way to interact with the people you care about. You can tap, sketch, and even walkie-talkie from wrist to wrist! It really is incredible.

There’s even an Activity App and a Workout App that can track your movements and calories based on your heart-rate. They suggest goals, track progress, and provide additional functionality with built-in GPS monitoring and altitude tracking.

If that weren’t enough — Apple Watch will also support Apple Pay with NFC!

The Apple Watch will be released in early 2015.

SUMMARY

Whew! Incredible news from Apple today — two new iPhones with larger displays and incredible technology, and a new wearable device called Apple Watch that Apple believes will change the smart watch market forever.

Folks, there’s lots more information out there! Check out apple.com for even more details about both announcements, and visit any of our stores to chat with an Apple Specialist about availability and pre-ordering the new iPhone with AT&T.

Sep 201409

Apple Special Event Live Blog!

by Shane Roberts

100~iphone-6
Aug 201422

iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program Starts

by Shane Roberts

357693-apple-iphone-5 

Do you have an iPhone 5 and the battery life has been less than ideal? Apple may have a solution for you! As of Friday, August 22nd, Apple is offering free battery replacements on select iPhone 5 models.

Here’s what Apple has to say…

Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.

What do you have to do to to see if your iPhone 5 qualifies, and then serviced if needed?

The best news is you don’t have to go to the Apple Store, or send away your iPhone, we can take care of the replacement in any of our Simply Mac locations, appointment free!

To check to see if your iPhone 5 meets the qualifications for a free battery replacement, and more information, click here!

Aug 201411

Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite Preview

by Shane Roberts

Apple is prepping the release of the next generation Mac OS, Yosemite. Many of you Mac users out there may be curious about what some of the changes are going to be in this upcoming release. Many of which are cosmetic, with Apple tweaking the look of OSX to be more like iOS 7. Here is a bit of a preview of what Yosemite is going to look like, and some of the new updates coming to the OS.

Click the images for a larger view.

Yosemite-dock

One of the changes, like I previously stated, is the look of the OS. That is most noticeable with the dock within Yosemite. Just like iOS 7, it has a more flat look to it, and many of the icons mirrors iOS 7′s.

Yosemite-dark-mode

The text in the OS is a lot smoother and thinner, making it easier to read overall, in my opinion.

A new feature coming to Yosemite is Dark Mode. Dark Mode is in the settings under “General,” where you’d find some of your basic look options for OSX. Dark Mode is great for when you are working in the dark, or if you just prefer the darker look of the Menu Bar and the Dock.

Yosemite-safari-dock

Safari has also gotten a bit of a facelift as well. Similar to the iPad version, there isn’t a lot there to confuse you. The biggest thing with Safari, though, would have to be the speed. Safari in Yosemite is a faster, snappier Internet experience. Pages load significantly faster and are a more fluid working browsing experience.

Yosemite-magnification-dock

Here is a better look at the Dock when you have magnification turned on.

Yosemite-family-sharing

One of the new features that is coming to Yosemite, which has been previously covered, is Family Sharing. Within the iCloud preferences is the Family Sharing option and where you can turn it on/off.

Yosemite-airdrop-finder

Yosemite-messages-window

Above you can see what the windows within Yosemite look like. Obviously, there is a much higher level of transparency within the windows, which you can turn on or off. You also get an idea of the color schemes in both the open/close buttons, and the window navigations buttons.

Yosemite-spotlight

Yosemite-spotlight-2

Another of the new changes coming in Yosemite is with Spotlight. Above you can see what that looks like. When you click on the Spotlight feature, instead of a pop down, it’s a pop up in the middle of the screen. When you search for something, not only will it search the computer, but also the internet, which essentially makes Spotlight your one-stop for all things search.

Yosemite is a great looking operating system, and will be a nice refresher for Mac OS, which has had the same look and feel since its debut back in 2001. Apple hasn’t given a release date on Yosemite yet, but they have said it will be out sometime this fall.

Jul 201429

More Apps now on your Apple TV!

by Shane Roberts

AppleTV

Your selection of what to watch on Apple TV got even better today! Apple released the CNBC and Fox Now streaming apps, and both apps require subscription authentication through a service like Comcast.

CNBC will stream programing in real time, so you can watch CNBC on your Apple TV just like you do on your cable or satellite provider.

Fox Now is on demand video, similar to Hulu Plus or Netflix. When you login and authenticate, you’ll be able to stream popular TV shows like 24, New Girl, Cosmos, and more.

Your Apple TV should update automatically and add these channels to your Home Screen.

CNBC and Fox Now join the following list of apps on Apple TV:

Netflix
Hulu Plus
HBO Go
Watch ABC
Watch Disney
Watch Disney XD
Watch Disney Junior
PBS Kids
PBS
A&E
History
Lifetime
Smithsonian Channel
Watch ESPN
MLB.TV Premium
NBA
NHL Gamecenter
MLS
ACC Collegiate Sports
Red Bull TV
WWE Network
Willow
ABC News
Bloomberg TV
Sky News
WSJ Live
The Weather Channel
Crackle
Yahoo! Screen
AOL On
YouTube
Vevo
Qello Concerts
Vimeo
Flickr
Crunchyroll
KOR TV

Jul 201410

iOS 8 Preview: Family Sharing

by Shane Roberts

family_sharing_icon

iOS 8 is continuing to build on the foundation laid by the radically redesigned iOS 7, that was released last year. One feature that is going to be handy, especially for families out there, is “Family Sharing.”

There has always been the issue of families having multiple Apple ID’s, credit cards, and just general account confusion. With Family Sharing in iOS 8 that should straighten out a lot of that confusion.

Here is how Apple explains Family Sharing -

“Family Sharing is a new way to bring harmony to your family’s digital life. Up to six people in your family can share purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store without sharing accounts. Pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. Easily share photos, a family calendar, and more to help keep everyone connected.”

Basically, someone in the family sends out invites to other members of the family to set up sharing. You can then set parameters of  what certain family members can have access to. Once you have that set up, all of your purchases can come from one credit card and kids can ask for permission to download items.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.06.31 PM

Courtesy of Apple.com

Another great feature of Family Sharing is that you can download each others apps, music, movies, and more. That eliminates any need to double purchase anything for your iPhone and your spouses iPhone, or your kids.

Family Sharing also gives seamless access to both Find My Friends and Find My iPhone. Here’s how Apple best describes it with Find My Friends:

Family Sharing can automatically share your location with your family members and show you where they are, too. Now it’s easier than ever to meet up at the park, see if Dad’s on his way home, or keep tabs on your kids throughout the day. Out shopping for a surprise birthday gift? Just hide your location with a tap.

It’s the same story with Find My iPhone. If a member of your family has lost or had their iPhone stolen, you can easily see and lock down anybody’s phone that is in your family.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 2.04.11 PM

Courtesy of Apple.com

Family members will also be able to share other items like pictures in a unified photo album and have a joint family calendar as well.

Family Sharing is a great feature, and could clean up a lot of confusion for people that like to share info and purchases.

Family Sharing will be available this fall when the free update to iOS 8 launches.

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