And there were plenty of prototypes along the way.
Apple design chief Jony Ive said his company’s new iPhone X took some time to get to store shelves.
Speaking in an interview at the New Yorker TechFest on Friday, Ive said that his team at Apple had been working on the concept for the last five years. He added that his company “had prototypes” of what a smartphone with a display that nearly entirely covers its front panel and a facial scanner might look like.
“For 99% of the time, it didn’t work for us,” Ive said of the iPhone X prototype processor, according to the India Times, which earlier reported on his comments. “For the vast majority of the development cycle, all we had were things that failed. By definition, if they didn’t fail halfway through, then we’d be done.”
Apple’s AAPL iPhone X, which was announced alongside the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, is what the company calls the “future” of smartphones. It has a 5.8-inch display with small bezels all around, leaving no room for a physical home button. There are two rear-facing cameras on the back and a glass finish allows for wireless charging support. Apple’s front-facing Face ID scanner is used to verify a person’s identity and allow him or her access to the software or to make a purchase via the company’s Apple Pay mobile-payments service.
Looking ahead, Ive didn’t discuss in detail what he might have planned for new iPhones. He did say, however, that new processor technologies that combine high power and small designs create “opportunities (that) are extraordinary” for future product designs.
The link takes you to a piece by Daniel Kahn Gillmor of the American Civil Liberties Union that thoroughly dismantles the FBI’s claim that it requires Apple’s assistance to bypass the “auto-erase” feature on San Bernadino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c.
Gillmor’s piece isn’t the only one. iOS security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski penned a piece last week detailing the FBI’s missteps in the San Bernadino case. Most notably, the changing of the iCloud password that prevented the FBI from retrieving an unencrypted iCloud backup directly from Apple’s servers.
In fact, security researchers have even proposed a handful of other ways the FBI could break into Farook’s encrypted iPhone.
These methods are expensive, time-consuming and some could ultimately lead to physically destroying the memory, but they’re possible. None were mentioned as alternative’s at last week’s congressional hearing when FBI director James Comey confidently proclaimed the FBI could not access this data without Apple’s assistance.
Aside from expensive and risky hacks, the CIA is another alternative, but it’s rarely been mentioned in this conversation. After all, this is the same agency that has been trying to break into Apple devices for nearly a decade.
The San Bernadino iPhone is fading from view as the big picture shifts to the policy discussion it created. It appears the backdoor the FBI wanted all along was actually into new legislation, not Farook’s iPhone.
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).
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Above: Waiting in line in NYC (Eli Blumenthal @eliblumenthal)
Above: Apple fans line up at the “Church of Apple” in New York to buy an iPhone 6s.
Image Credit: Eli Blumenthal @eliblumenthal
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.
Above: (Image: MacRumors)
Above: “Oh man wie arm ist das denn. Wegen einem Telefon?” (Daniel Knott @dnlkntt )
Above: Marcus Barsum waits outside the Apple store in central Sydney Thursday. (Reuters/David Gray)
Above: This buyer, a media exec in Australia, sent a robot proxy to wait in the line. (photo: Mashable)
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…
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
There’s already been a deluge of leaks surrounding the iPhone 6S, and now we might know a little more. The front-facing camera, long stuck at 1.2 megapixels, will get a big resolution bump to 5MP, according to reliable leaker KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and spotted by Macrumors
The upped resolution won’t be the only big upgrade aimed at strengthening your selfie game, according to the report. A software-based front-facing flash will supposedly make its way too. That means the screen will flash white when you hit the shutter button