The iPhone X leaves a home-button-shaped hole in my heart

Posted on September 13, 2017 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

The first thing I do every morning is roll over, reach over to my nightstand and frantically grapple at my phone to stop the alarm from going off. To do so, I instinctively mash the home button several times, with my head still facedown on my pillow. Oh, sure, I know that I could just hit the Stop button on the touchscreen to turn the offending sound off, but I'm much too groggy at that time to do anything beyond what feels the most instinctual: pressing a physical button.

Google Assistant on the iPhone is better than Siri, but not much

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Google's Assistant is finally ready to take on Siri on Apple's own turf: the iPhone. Yes, you could already play around with the AI-powered chatbot if you downloaded Allo -- Google's mobile-only messenger app -- but its functionality was limited. Today, that changes thanks to a new standalone Google Assistant app available on Apple's App Store (though it's US-only for now). Eager to check it out, we downloaded it right away and spent some time commanding our Google-branded phone butler around. After a few hours, I'll say that while I find Google Assistant a lot friendlier and smarter than Siri, it doesn't quite replace it. At least, not yet.

Apple’s 4-inch iPhone is reportedly a 6 in a 5S case

Posted on January 22, 2016 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.
It's right around that time of year when iPhone rumors start heating up and 2016 is no exception. Earlier this week, there were rumors floating around that Apple could be working on a 4-inch iPhone 6c, theoretically for those who missed the smaller iPhone screens of old. Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, however, is debunking that tall tale. Instead, Gurman says that the rumored phone is actually just an upgrade of the existing iPhone 5s that was released way back in 2013 and is in no way an indication of what the iPhone 7 would look like (The 5se would still have its headphone jack, for example). Its launch name? Gurman, who usually has reliable sources, says it could very well be the "iPhone 5se."

Source: 9to5Mac

Facebook’s Instant Articles comes to all iPhones

Posted on October 20, 2015 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.
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In a blog post and at WSJD Live, Facebook has just announced that Instant Articles will now be available for all iPhone owners, with an Android beta rolling out starting today. That means that even more people will be able to read Instant Artlcles -- full news stories directly from the publisher -- right in their Newsfeed. An Instant Article link will have a lightning bolt icon at the top right corner. Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said on stage that you'll start to see thousands of Instant Articles everyday.

Source: Facebook

Facebook’s Instant Articles comes to all iPhones

Posted on by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In a blog post and at WSJD Live, Facebook has just announced that Instant Articles will now be available for all iPhone owners, with an Android beta rolling out starting today. That means that even more people will be able to read Instant Artlcles -- full news stories directly from the publisher -- right in their Newsfeed. An Instant Article link will have a lightning bolt icon at the top right corner. Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said on stage that you'll start to see thousands of Instant Articles everyday.

Source: Facebook

Apple unveils the iPhone 6s Plus

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Last year Apple bet big with the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus, finally giving Apple fans the phablet they never knew they wanted. While its size might not be everyone's cup of tea, it seems that Apple hasn't tired of the large screen, because it's decided to do another one: Say hello to the iPhone 6s Plus. Like with the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus will also come in a new rose gold aluminum finish, plus the usual gold, silver and space gray. The display is purportedly made out of a stronger kind of glass. But the most interesting feature here is a new kind of technology called 3D Touch, which adds pressure-sensitive Force Touch to the phone's display.Slideshow-318434

You can do things like press a little deeper to peek at items or open up shortcuts. For example, you can force touch on an email to get a preview, or force touch on the camera icon to quickly activate the front-facing camera for a selfie.

Developing...

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Tags: apple, iphone, iphone2015, iphone6splus

Ello’s ad-free social network comes to the iPhone

Posted on June 17, 2015 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

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When Ello came into the social networking scene late last year as an ad-free alternative to Facebook, it was pretty barebones in terms of features. That didn't stop it from gaining hundreds of thousands of users in a few short days and around a million new sign-ups in under a month. Ello's growth has slowed since the initial hype, but its feature set has blossomed -- search and notifications are much better, you can now post videos from YouTube and audio from SoundCloud and there are now ways to block bothersome users. You can also now "love" posts so you can revisit them later. A couple of weeks ago, Ello even removed its invitation-only restriction. Today, it's making an even bigger announcement. Before, its mobile presence was limited to your phone's browser. But now, at long last, it has an app.%Gallery-slideshow299140%

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Source: Ello

iPhones can be Google VR viewers, too

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

As we walked out of today's Google I/O keynote, we -- and all other keynote attendees -- were handed the second-generation version of Cardboard, Google's low-tech effort at a VR headset. As was announced at the keynote itself, the new Cardboard is designed to fit phones that are 6-inches or larger, which makes sense given the size of Google's own Nexus 6. It's also now much easier to set up; in just three easy steps. Another improvement is that it no longer has the magnetic ring trigger of the original, which apparently didn't work with all phones. Now it has a simple top button that when pressed, activates a lever coated in capacitive tape -- think of it as a cardboard finger touching the phone's screen. This, of course, makes the Cardboard viewer compatible with a lot more phones -- including, yes, the iPhone.%Gallery-slideshow292528%

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Source: Cardboard (iTunes)

Mophie’s Space Pack boosts both battery life and storage, requires a special iOS app (hands-on)

Posted on January 8, 2014 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

As a smartphone power-user, one of the devices that intrigued this editor the most at CES was not a huge TV or a sleek sportscar, but actually the Mophie Space Pack. It's an iPhone case that marries both a backup battery and additional storage -- a first of its kind, according to Mophie. The concept strikes us as an attractive one, especially to iPhone owners who are stuck with both a sealed-in battery and without the benefit of external memory. As it comes in both 16GB and 32GB versions, the Space Pack could also potentially double or triple your existing capacity. During a brief hands-on with the case, we can say that it looks very similar to the current Juice Pack Air -- indeed, it's almost indiscernible as far as look and feel goes. The only difference seems to be a silver brushed button on the back instead of a simple plastic one.

If you're expecting the Space Pack to merge seamlessly with your existing iPhone storage to become one giant hard drive, you're sadly mistaken. The Space Pack really acts more like an external USB stick that you offload your iPhone's storage. This is why Mophie requires you to use a special iOS app called Space, not only to manage that additional storage but to access it at all. Unfortunately, this means that iPhone apps like the Camera Roll and iTunes are not integrated with that extra capacity -- after you transfer over those files, they're only accessible through the Space app. As such, Mophie has recommended that most first-time users simply dump their entire Camera Roll or iTunes library into their Space Pack so that they can empty out their iPhone's capacity and start "fresh."%Gallery-slideshow160006%

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Source: Mophie

Apple patent filing adds trackpad functions to home button and turns entire display into fingerprint sensor

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Arguably the most notable characteristic of the iPhone 5s is the TouchID fingerprint sensor, which lets you unlock your phone and authorize app purchases simply by resting a pre-authenticated fingertip on the home button. It turns out, however, that Apple might've had plans for the technology that go far beyond just that. According to a patent application filed with the World International Property Organization, the Cupertino company may use TouchID's sensor technology to transform the Home button into a trackpad, similar to the ones on BlackBerry's older line of Curve handhelds. Indeed, the patent filing describes how users could navigate the phone by "revolving" or "twisting" their fingerprint on the button's sensor. Additionally, the sensor could measure the length of time and amount of pressure that is placed on it, which might lend to more interesting use-cases in apps or games.

What's even more intriguing, however, is that the document goes on to describe how the entire display can be used to read your fingerprints. This sounds like a crazy idea at first, but if implemented, the phone would then know exactly which finger of which hand is on the screen. This could lead to certain actions mapped to specific digits -- perhaps a long-press of your index finger could launch Maps, while a pinch of your pinky and thumb could open up Messages, for example. A few diagrams from the patent application show how screen-wide fingerprint recognition could be used for playing a piano or touch-typing on the virtual keyboard. If you're concerned that this could lead to serious battery drain, the patent even addresses that, stating that the phone would be smart enough to recognize when it's in moments of fingerprint recognition (i.e. "enhanced sensitivity") or when it's normal everyday use, otherwise known as "reduced sensitivity."

Further, it seems that enhanced sensitivity could just be restricted to small screen areas so that only certain apps -- like banking or email perhaps -- would be cloaked in that extra layer of protection. Of course, just because such functionality is filed away in a patent application doesn't mean we'll see this in real life. However, taken with the promise of Apple's recent acquisition, we'll admit we're very interested to see how the iPhone 6 will turn out. Those interested in patent minutiae can go ahead and peruse the rather lengthy 612-page document in the link below.

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Via: Unwired View

Source: WIPO

Apple addresses battery life defect affecting some iPhone 5S models

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Apple has released a statement to the New York Times acknowledging that select iPhone 5S handsets have a manufacturing issue that results in their battery draining much faster than it should. It goes as follows: "We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of ...

Maxthon updates iOS browser with ’shake-and-send’ cloud push and more

Posted on September 26, 2013 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

DNP Maxthon updates iOS browser with 'shakeandsend' cloud push and more

It's been a long while since Maxthon updated its iOS app, and hot on the heels of iOS 7, it finally has. Not only does it offer the usual speed and performance enhancements, the latest update to the mobile browser also reveals easier access to social media, a unique "shake-and-send" feature that lets you send content to the cloud by shaking the phone, localization in 15 more languages and a new "Push Away Menu" that supposedly helps you navigate the web one-handed. Seeing as Safari didn't get a ton of updates with iOS 7, it might prove useful to hit the source and seek out a possible alternative.

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Source: Maxthon (App Store)

IFTTT’s new iPhone app taps into Contacts, Photos and Reminders (hands-on)

Posted on July 10, 2013 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

IFTTT hooks into iPhone's Contacts, Photos and Reminders in new mobile app handson

IFTTT has been around for a couple of years now as an internet service that lets users customize connections between different apps and devices. The name stands for If This Then That, which encapsulates the idea behind it -- users can create automation Recipes that combine a Trigger (the "This") that'll result in an Action (the "That"). A popular example is to to have all your Instagram photos (the Trigger) automatically saved to your Dropbox folder (the Action). Services like Instagram and Dropbox are known as "Channels," and there are different Triggers and Actions associated with each. While it's a pretty neat concept, the only way to access IFTTT has been via the browser, and even then, Channels are limited to mostly web services.

IFTTT hopes to end all that today with its first-ever mobile app headed for iOS, aptly called IFTTT for iPhone. Not only does it provide a much more streamlined interface for Recipe creation -- only five taps required -- it also signifies an all-important next step in IFTTT's evolution: the ability to hook into a device's native Channels, namely Photos, Contacts and Reminders. Just like with the web services mentioned earlier, you can use them to create Recipes that take advantage of the phone's capabilities. For example, you can have it so that all the photos you take with the front-facing camera will be sent to Flickr with the "selfie" tag, or you can automatically send new contacts an introductory "Nice to meet you" email. Join us after the break for more of the app's features along with our hands-on impressions and some thoughts from IFTTT's CEO and co-founder, Linden Tibbets.

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Source: IFTTT for iPhone (App Store), IFTTT Blog

Automatic Link connects phone and car for better driving, we go hands-on (video)

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Automatic Link handson and test drive

Scanners that can read data from your car's OBD-II port (which is in every car built since 1996) aren't exactly new; they're on-hand at every mechanic's workshop and curious car enthusiasts can buy them from most hardware stores. But few port readers are consumer-friendly enough for the everyday driver to grok.

Enter the newly announced Automatic Link, which uses Bluetooth 4.0 and a paired smartphone to deliver diagnostic info with a decidedly novel twist. Instead of just hard facts, it offers an innovative array of features that range from monitoring driving habits, dialing 911 in case of an accident and even letting you clear a check engine light if you can fix the problem yourself. Join us after the break where we give the Link a bit of a test drive, speak to Automatic's lead product guy and find out a bit more about the potential of this tiny plastic nub.

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Source: Automatic

Apple files patent application for fingerprint sensor that can be transparent or opaque

Posted on October 12, 2012 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Apple files patent application for fingerprint sensor that can be transparent or opaque

While Apple has flirted with biometric-based patents before, we've yet to see them implemented in real-world technology. That hasn't stopped it from filing yet another one though, as the latest application reveals a fingerprint sensor apparently embedded into the iPhone itself. The patent describes a hardware "window" that can become selectively "transparent or opaque." When transparent, it would reveal a component comprised of an "image capture device, a strobe flash, a biometric sensor, a light sensor, a proximity sensor, or a solar panel, or a combination thereof" as a method of unlocking the phone. According to the filing, the biometric sensor in question might indeed be a fingerprint reader. The document goes on to describe an alternative method using face or eye recognition technology that can be used not just for security purposes, but for possible e-commerce solutions like completing an online transaction. Of course, take any of these patent applications with a generous pinch of salt -- we haven't seen an Apple stylus yet, for example -- but perhaps this is the reason Apple bought fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec back in July.

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Apple files patent application for fingerprint sensor that can be transparent or opaque originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 04:51:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iControlPad 2 gets funded, adds QWERTY keypad and smartphone mount

Posted on October 10, 2012 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

DNP iControlPad 2 gets funded, adds QWERTY keypad and smartphone dock

Product 3 LLC, the company behind the original iControlPad, has successfully funded a successor: folks, meet the iControlPad 2. While there isn't much to its name, the sequel boasts a handy QWERTY keypad along with an optional swivel-mount that you can attach to any smartphone. It works over either microUSB or Bluetooth, and true to its open-source roots, is said to support the Ouya, the Raspberry Pi and pretty much any other device you can throw at it. What's more, it can be programmed to control almost any app via its support for touchscreen mapping. There's still room for additional backers, so you could try to get a raw version for $69 or a boxed edition for $75 if you manage to pre-order in time. Let's just hope the sequel doesn't experience the same delays as its older sibling, especially given the $150,000-plus the company earned in its Kickstarter campaign.

[Thanks, Craig]

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iControlPad 2 gets funded, adds QWERTY keypad and smartphone mount originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 11 Oct 2012 02:49:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zipcar CEO talks mobile app improvements, predicts connected vehicle future

Posted on by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

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We wondered why Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith was slated as a keynote presenter at CTIA's MobileCon -- after all, what does renting cars have to do with mobile? Apparently, quite a lot. Griffith stated in his keynote that Zipcar's app and mobile services have taken a much more central role in the organization. The company is developing its own in-car device holder so that customers can hook up their phones for hands-free functions, and more importantly, the Zipcar smartphone app is due for a major update. The current version can be used to schedule rentals and remote unlock vehicles, but future iterations will transform it into more of an "in-car assistant." It'll let you know more information about the car, help you around town with a personal recommendation service, stream your iTunes playlist, and detailed trip feedback like fuel-levels and car conditions will be far easier to report. Zipcar hopes to add new members through the app as well -- just take a photo of your driver's license and get an approval "in minutes." According to Griffith, the connected car will change our urban landscape, especially with the combination of services like Lyft, Uber, bike sharing, and public transit. It's not quite the flying car, but the nerd in us is sufficiently pleased.

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Zipcar CEO talks mobile app improvements, predicts connected vehicle future originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 10 Oct 2012 03:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Foursquare rolls out iPhone 5 / iOS 6 update, Explore gains more personalization options

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Nicole Lee.
Categories: Uncategorized.

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Foursquare is on an update tear. Aside from the "Always On" feature it introduced recently, the company just rolled out a new iPhone update that lets users create more personalized maps. Compatible with iOS 6, the update improves upon the existing Explore map with a more tailored search experience -- you can map out places you haven't been, top destinations, favorite spots, or where your friends have checked in. The app also promises to be faster and to have an improved design that takes advantage of the iPhone 5's larger screen. The new update certainly goes along with the company's philosophy that Foursquare is a discovery and recommendations engine rather than just another social service. Let's just hope the new Apple Maps doesn't hamper that experience.

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Foursquare rolls out iPhone 5 / iOS 6 update, Explore gains more personalization options originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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