Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘Apple News’ Category

Oct 201416

Apple Special Event Live Blog – 10.16.14 – “It’s been way too long.”

by Shane Roberts


Unable to watch the live stream from Apple for their Special Event? We’ll have you covered here with our live blog. We’ll be posting all the news and updates as they are announced from Apple. So come hang out, or drop in from time-to-time through the event to see all things that are new in the Apple universe.


Sep 201417

2 Days until iPhone 6 launch!

by Shane Roberts

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.56.16 PM

We are now only two days away from the launch of the largest iPhone’s in history, literally and figuratively. Over the past couple of days we’ve been highlighting some of the best features in the new iPhone. Yesterday, we highlighted what is under the hood of the new iPhone 6, and the day prior it was all about the display’s. Today, we are going to touch on some other updated technology coming in the phones…

The cellular and wireless

Obviously, with iPhone, or any wireless device, it’s all about speed and efficiency when you use the device. Apple has helped your internet viewing pleasure by speeding up the iPhone 6’s internet speed capabilities. First, Apple updated the LTE chip in iPhone 6. Now, iPhone 6 can get speeds up to 150 Mbps, when the iPhone 5s would get upwards of about 100 Mbps. With this faster LTE chip, Apple has also added VoLTE – Voice over LTE. VoLTE is a very cool technology, and it has to be supported by your cellular provider before it works. VoLTE is a higher quality voice call that allows the calls to go out over the LTE signal. Some providers call it HD Voice Calling. With VoLTE voice calls are much clearer, very similar to FaceTime Audio calls, if you’ve ever experience one of those. Check your local provider for more on VoLTE availability.

Apple has also added a better WiFi chip to iPhone 6 with an 802.11ac wireless chip. 802.11ac is up to 3x faster than the WiFi on iPhone 5s. Early reviews of iPhone 6 have confirmed that wireless speed has improved, even if your wireless router isn’t 802.11ac. Apple has also added WiFi calling as well, again depending on if your provider participates. Here’s how Apple describes WiFi calling:

iPhone 6 lets you initiate calls over Wi‑Fi using your own phone number. Which helps when you don’t have a good cellular signal. And once you go out of range of your Wi‑Fi connection, your call can seamlessly transition to VoLTE. So when you’re going from your house to your car to your office, your call switches over without any interruption. 

Once again, check with your provider on availability.

Increased reliability and speed is crucial when it comes to these new devices, and these new wireless capabilities will help make the new iPhone the fastest most efficient phone available – if not already.

Sep 201416

Devices iOS 8 will be available for

by Shane Roberts


iOS 8 launches tomorrow, September 17th, as a free update to iOS devices. If you’re not sure if you have a device that can update, chances are that you probably do. But to clear up any confusion, here is a list of all the devices that can update, for free, to iOS 8.


iPhone 4s
iPhone 5
iPhone 5c
iPhone 5s


iPad 2
iPad 3rd generation
iPad 4th generation
iPad Air
iPad mini
iPad mini with Retina display


iPod touch 5th generation

Certain features aren’t available on all devices. Namely Continuity, which requires iPhone 5 or later, iPad 4th gen, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini with Retina display, as well as iPod touch 5th generation.

Keep your eyes on the ‘Software Update’ section of your settings tomorrow for the update. To get there go to Settings -> General -> Software Update.

The following new features are available in iOS 8:

Improved Messages – Add instant voice and photos with a simple swipe to any message.

Health – Keep track of all your health progress from all of your health and fitness apps in this one, easy to use app.

QuickType – Make typing easier with a smart keyboard that suggests words to speed up your typing.

Family Sharing – Up to six family members can now shares iTunes and App Store purchases, as well as location data, photos, and much more.

Improved Notifications – See more from apps, texts, emails, and more right from your Notification Center.

These are just a handful of the many new features in iOS 8. Drop into your local Simply Mac or MacAuthority to learn more about these great new features to iOS!

Sep 201412

Get more iCloud storage for a much lower price

by Shane Roberts

iCloud is one of the most useful services that Apple offers. Keeping everything in sync as well as backing up your iOS devices, all automatically. With the release of iOS 8 and Yosemite, Apple is going to add a new service to iCloud called iCloud Drive. iCloud Drive falls in the same category as Dropbox, a place to store files and more online. Apple supplies 5GB of iCloud storage free for every iCloud user, and they are now offering upgraded storage plans for a really good price.

iCloud Pricing

This is great news for so many people, especially for people who are backing up multiple iOS devices to iCloud with large camera rolls. By upgrading to one of these better plans, users can avoid this annoying message…

Full iCloud storage

If you’d like to upgrade your storage, it’s really easy. If you’re on an iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad, go to your Settings app.

photo 1

Then scroll down just a little bit and tap on iCloud, like in the image above.

photo 2

When in the iCloud settings, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on Storage & Backup.

photo 3

When you are in there, you’ll see the total storage that you are using, how much more is available, and an area where you can manage how much storage is being taken. Below all that you should see Change Storage Plan, tap on that.

photo 4

In this area you can now change your storage plan. Just tap on the one you want and then tap on Buy. You can also downgrade later if you’d like to.  You see in the image above I already have selected the 200GB plan, so it will look just a little different than what you may see on your device. And that’s it! You have now upgraded your iCloud storage! If you’d like to do it on your Mac, just go into your System Preferences and the iCloud Settings, and the steps are similar from there!

Sep 201411

Digging more into the iPhone 6

by Shane Roberts

iPhone 6

The most anticipated iPhone announcement in history, and one of the most anticipated announcements in the history of Apple happened on Tuesday, when Apple announced the two new models of iPhone 6. There has been rumor and speculation for quite a long time about this new phone, and we got all the details Tuesday.


The first thing that everybody talks about is the new screen size. The iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s are all 4″ displays. The new iPhone 6 starts at 4.7″, which is a sizable step up.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

With these larger displays, Apple had to up the resolution of the screens to make sure they are ‘Retina’ quality. With the 4.7″ model, the resolution of the screen is 1334-by-750. In other geek specs, the contrast radio increases to 1400:1 from 800:1, giving better color,  and Apple has adding something called ‘Dual-domain pixels’ to give the phone wider viewing angles.

Want a good idea of how much bigger the 4.7″ model of the iPhone 6 is than the iPhone 5s’ 4″ display? Here is a picture of an iPhone 5s inside of a case made for the iPhone 6.


Apple did take into consideration one-handed use, which can be difficult with a bigger screen. So they’ve built into the phone a ‘Reachability’ mode. Essentially, if you’re using the phone with one hand and you can’t reach something on the other corner of the display, just tap the Home Button twice and the content on the screen will move down for an easier reach.


Enough about the display on the iPhone 6, let’s go under the hood a little bit. The iPhone 6 comes with a brand new Apple A8 processor, which is 25% faster than the A7 chip that comes in the iPhone 5s. The A8 also increases the graphics power on the phone, which leads for better looking games. The games that Apple demoed on the iPhone 6 are getting closer and closer to console level quality games. Of course, this faster chip also means the speed and responsiveness of the phone will improve. Multitasking, jumping from app-to-app, and general navigation will be faster.

The phone is also loaded with the M8 motion co-processor, which measures movement. This version of the co-processor is much better at measuring what movement you’re making, like if you’re on stairs or a bike. Apple has incorporated a barometer to help measure altitude, to really help with the accuracy of the data it captures. The M8 will also communicate with the Apple Watch (more on that later) to share fitness data.


The camera in the iPhone 6 did see some improvement, namely with some of the sensors. It remains an 8-megapixel camera, but Apple added something called Focus Pixels. The Focus Pixels provide more information to image sensor for a faster and cleaner autofocus. Video wise, the camera has improved as well. It can now shoot at full 1080p at 60 frames-per-second, and it can capture super slo-mo video at 240 frames-per-second. Other camera additions include time-lapse video, and continuous autofocus. Continuous autofocus is handy so now you don’t have to constantly tap the screen to focus the camera while you’re shooting a video.

The FaceTime HD camera has been improved the most, between the two cameras. They’ve included a bigger aperture (2.2) to allow for more light to make for a better picture. Apple also has improved the face detection with the FaceTime camera, and have added HDR video to get a better looking video call. Burst mode was introduced last year with the regular camera, Apple has added that to the FaceTime HD camera as well. So you can now hold down the button to take a picture, and it will take a burst of photos while you hold the button.


Apple has added some new wireless hardware into the iPhone 6. The LTE is more robust, and can allow up to 150MB/s download speed. The iPhone also comes with 802.11ac wireless capabilities, which is about three times faster than the wireless in iPhone 5s.

With the addition of these new wireless technologies in the iPhone 6, Apple has added some new calling capabilities as well. First, VoLTE (voice over LTE) is a new feature to iPhone 6.  VoLTE is basically HD voice calling, but it is only in limited markets right now, depending on the cellular provider. Also, Apple has added the ability to do WiFi calling as well. Again, this is limited by provider at this time, but if you can use WiFi calling, as long as you have good WiFi, cell strength will no longer affect call quality. For these features, check with your provider for availability.

Touch ID

The big innovation Apple unveiled with iPhone 5s a year ago, was Touch ID. Touch ID is back in iPhone 6 and it’s better than ever. You use it like before to log into your phone and iTunes purchases, but they’ve added some more to Touch ID this go around. First, Touch ID is going to be opened up to 3rd party apps, such as banking apps that can utilize Touch ID to help you log on. The biggest addition to Touch ID is the ability to use a new Apple technology called Apple Pay, which I’ll dig more into in a dedicated write up. Combine Touch ID with Apple Wallet and NFC (near field communication) in the iPhone 6, and you can pay both on your phone easily with just your thumb, and in supporting retail stores.

iPhone 6 Plus

The second iPhone Apple announced was the iPhone 6 Plus. This version of the iPhone has a large 5.5″ display. The iPhone 6 Plus does have some additional differences other than the larger screen size. The bigger screen also comes with a higher resolution, 1920×1080, giving the 6 Plus an even higher pixel density. Camera wise the iPhone 6 Plus also has an optical image stabilizer, which uses the sensors within the phone to move and stabilize any photos/videos you are taking.

The iPhone 6 Plus also functions a little bit different, software wise, to take advantage of the larger screen.


In a lot of ways it actually functions like an iPad. When you rotate it, you’ll see more information on the screen, like in the Messages or Mail app. Or like you can see in the picture above, you can use the Home Screen horizontally.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both come out on September 19th, and we’ll be carrying them at your local Simply Mac store on AT&T!

See you the 19th!

Sep 201409

Apple Unveils iPhone 6 and Watch

by Shane Roberts

Written by: Ashely 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!


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.

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