On the universe of negativity Apple now lives in…

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2016

Stop me if you’ve already heard this one: Apple is doomed, doomed, DOOMED. Didn’t you get the memo? Investors have been displeased with Apple’s slowing growth since the dawn of time, saying iPhones and other Apple gadgets ought to be even more expensive than they already are.

Analysts think the company is embarked on a “decade-long malaise” because it supposedly “lacks the courage to lead the innovation”. And biased media with its collapsing ad revenues continue churning out click-friendly headlines which accuse Apple of anything you could think of, from falling behind Google in artificial intelligence to Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election.

I guess that’s one way of looking at things.

Here’s what Apple’s world looks like from my vantage point. Read More

 

Is watchOS 4 finally going to get the Home screen right?

By Steffen Reich on Nov 30, 2016

Much was made of Apple’s third major software overhaul for watchOS this year with Control Center and the Dock seeing the light of day, finally making for a much beefier experience on our wrists. The one other central interface of Apple Watch received no love though, meaning users are still embroiled in a love-hate relationship with their watch’s Home screen. It is easy to let patience wear thin with respect to Apple not pushing the Home screen on Watch forward, then again it took Apple more than a couple of years to refine the iPhone’s Home screen, just to put matters into perspective.

Regardless of the pace at which Apple is planning to shape up the screen accessed by pressing the crown, design and functionality changes are eventually going to take place. It’s a highly emotive topic and any watch owner will be able to raise one or two aspects they either dislike about the Home screen or wished to be fundamentally different. Personally, with the arrival of my snappier Series 2 watch, the Home screen is about the only qualm I still have with Apple’s youngest product line. So there, let me add my voice to what the Home screen in watchOS 4 needs to implement in order to catch up with the rest of the operating system.

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Ottm is a stunning hardwood wrist band for your Apple Watch

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 25, 2016

Back in March, a really sweet Indiegogo campaign for a trio of Apple Watch wrist bands made completely of wood dubbed Ottm was announced, and now the first units are making their way from the production line over to the hands of consumers.

We’ve finally got ours after months of waiting, and we’ve excited to show you what we think about them. Read More

 

Nomad’s new Lightning cables cross durability with function

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 23, 2016

When you decide to pick up another Lightning cable for your iPhone or iPad, you could choose to go chintzy with another OEM cable that’ll just wear out again in no time at all, or you can go with a beefier option that will have a much longer operating life.

Nomad offers an awesome lineup of MFi-certified heavy duty ballistic 1,000D nylon braided lightning cables that are reinforced with K-29 Kevlar. But what makes these different from the competition? Read More

 

Apple, routers, external displays, and spreadsheets

By Sébastien Page on Nov 22, 2016

For a while now I’ve had this sentiment that there is a growing lack of focus or care at Apple, which has led me to feel pretty concerned about some of the company’s decisions. Yet one thing is helping alleviate these concerns and it’s Apple’s recent decisions to discontinue two major product categories: its family of AirPort routers, and its Thunderbolt display business. Read More

 

Twelve South’s Fermata charging stand keeps your wireless headphones organized

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 17, 2016

With the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that many people will be moving to wireless Bluetooth headphones instead of wired ones.

Twelve South’s new Fermata charging stand for wireless headphones is a great accessory to have if you’re one of those people. It’ll keep your headphones out of your way on your desk while they charge, and it looks great too! Read More

 

How Apple can get users to connect with Apple Music’s Connect

By Steffen Reich on Nov 16, 2016

Apple’s Connect service, the company’s own aspiring social component to Apple Music, has visibly taken a back seat in iOS 10. In its original conception, Connect was resourceful and prominently placed in Music. Fast forward one year and you would be forgiven for thinking that Apple’s network for musicians and their followers had been as good as abandoned over night.

While we know that such is not the case just yet, Connect has undergone cosmetic changes with iOS 10 that have arguably ousted the service to a place now pretty much neighbouring on irrelevance. It’s the consequence of a succession of ill-advised calls. Name-giving aside, Apple should have also known better when it comes to launching a barren product offer centre stage inside an app as meaningful as Music. Connect was not engaging or relevant in 2015, and as a result it went unsung in 2016. Is it too late or could an Apple still turn the ship around? Read More

 

With the Touch Bar, Apple gives us a glimpse into a future keyboardless MacBook

By Steffen Reich on Nov 10, 2016

Apple have a proven track record of ardently pursuing their vision, no matter the cost. The latest MacBook Pro serves as another reminder that the company is wholly unimpressionable by outside opinions, keeping up the dream of more simplistic products with every iteration, all the while taking away your beloved USB ports or SD card slots.

The ends might be justifiable, but the means can regardless lead to frustration with the most patient customers and complete alienation of the more short-fused ones. This cycle repeats every other year, when Apple decides to roll out hardware that is often just a little ahead of the curve.

Much has been made of the MacBook Pro’s latest changing of guard in the USB department. For now, the story goes, Apple has simply done their homework and found USB-C to be the technology fit for the immediate future. But the days of all ports are numbered if rumours are to be believed, as Apple generally contends that less is more and wireless the ultimate endgame. It does not take a giant leap to draw that conclusion and granted its validity, focus on the port situation has drowned out another discussion we clearly need to have at this point: Apple plans to get rid of the physical keyboard, and with the launch of Touch Bar on MacBook Pro the process is well under way.

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Review: PDF Viewer does not stand out from the pack, but delivers on its promise

By Steffen Reich on Nov 4, 2016

When iOS 8 and its slew of extensibility features arrived, facilitating a much simpler experience importing or exporting your files, third-party productivity apps finally became well-rounded products and viable alternatives to Apple’s in-house range. Since then, more file storage and document editor apps than ever inhabit the depths of the App Store and chances are you have settled on your day-to-day favorite for the handling of PDFs a while back.

Enter PDF Viewer, a new and free app available for iPhone and iPad, which sets out to make you question your previous app choices. As the name suggests, PDF Viewer aims to deliver you an all-encompassing assistant for PDF file management including document edits, file dissection and the creation of new files from scratch. PDF Viewer gets a lot right at the first go but will also have to slowly grow its offering in depth and breadth. Find out if its an application fitting your life style below.

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Speck’s Presidio Grip iPhone 7 cases handle everyday clumsiness with ease

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 1, 2016

Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m a huge fan of Speck’s cases because they keep a slim form factor, and yet they pack a lot of drop protection and a superior anti-slip feel in your hand into that compact package.

Starting with the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus, Speck has re-worked their case lineup into what’s being dubbed the Presidio series, which features an all new drop protection technology they’re calling Impactium. Read More

 

No company is perfect, but did Apple stop trying to be?

By Steffen Reich on Nov 1, 2016

About a week ago, Apple did something not entirely unprecedented yet rare enough to make big waves across the tech world. Without warning and seemingly off-the-cuff, they backtracked on the AirPod release date, postponing indefinitely a product they had massively built up themselves in September.

It is by no means the first time Apple is somewhat behind schedule in rolling out a product (take the Mac Pro, the iMac Retina 27”, or watchOS 2 in 2015), but it is for the first time pertaining to the product accounting for Apple’s biggest following and largest share of revenue: the iPhone.

While this might help explain the sheer scope of reactions to the announcement this time around, one cannot help but wonder if an increasingly unfavourable public perception of Apple’s standards also plays into the response. To be clear: in a world where billion dollar companies ship spontaneously combusting devices it’s a hiccup that must not be dramatised. With that said, Apple have once again given ammunition to critics who like to point at an expanding trail of imperfections. Could Apple be slacking off? Read More

 

Apple did not say a lot about the MacBook Air, but it spoke volumes

By Steffen Reich on Oct 28, 2016

Going into Apple’s “Hello Again” keynote on Thursday, speculation was rife with regard to how many new machines and product lines Apple would lift the veil on. The MacBook Pro seemed the safest bet, rightly so as it would turn out, but talk of a MacBook Air refresh or MacBook larger than 12-inch persisted until the very moment Tim Cook took the stage.

Fast forward the 80-minute short event and some of the MacBook Air hopeful watching, especially those on older machines clamouring for an overdue upgrade, will have found themselves slumped down in frustration on their sofa. Phil Schiller had just performed the precarious (and telling) balancing act of dismantling the MacBook Air’s right to exist live on stage, but bizarrely enough not without praising its virtues at the same time and throwing a lifeline to its large user base.

Irrespective of the kind words spoken and regardless of the promise to keep around the model Apple once used to proudly parade with the aid of an envelope, what really mattered was what Schiller didn’t directly say: the future of the MacBook Air looks bleak. Could there be a reason to buy one now anyway?

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Nomad’s Silicone Strap for Apple Watch is both durable and comfortable

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 26, 2016

If you’ve been tuning into iDB lately, then you probably know we’re big fans of Nomad’s Apple Watch wrist straps here. My colleague Sebastien recently shared his own opinion on the leather strap they offer, but the company also has a rugged silicone option as well.

Coupled with a custom lug design that gives the Apple Watch a more masculine appearance and quality materials that feel like they’re going to last a long time, it’s hard to go wrong with any Nomad-branded Apple Watch wrist strap. That said, the vulcanized LSR silicone strap is just another quality piece we’d like to take the time to show you in this review. Read More

 

It’s official: I’m a 1Password user

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 21, 2016

For the last several years, I’ve battled with a password problem. It seemed like every new service I used wanted me to create an account, which involved making a new username and a strong password. Making matters worse, some services want you to make difficult passwords you can’t even remember, containing capital letters, numbers, and special characters.

The problem reveals itself the most whenever I get a new phone, like the iPhone 7 Plus I recently purchased. When I go to set it up, I download all the apps I typically use on my device. Afterwards comes the hard part: trying to remember the credentials to log into all of them. Read More

 

I challenge you to try this iOS puzzle game

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 17, 2016

I recently downloaded a puzzle game called Blackbox on my iPhone because I was bored one night, and I never thought I would get so enthralled in a mobile game.

This is probably one of the more unique games you’re ever going to play because it’s not like most of the games you play on your iOS devices. In fact, it’s not even close.  Read More

 

Why I’m excited for AirPods

By Andrew O'Hara on Oct 15, 2016

There has been a lot of takes on Apple’s new wireless headphones, the AirPods. Some people brush them off as just expensive and unnecessary. Others insist you’re going to lose them instantly. However, after Apple’s keynote, the AirPods may be what I am looking forward to most. Read More

 

Review: The Kanex GoPower Watch with integrated charger for juicing up your Apple Watch

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 5, 2016

A range of portable battery packs exist for juicing up your Apple Watch when you can’t get near a power outlet for a long-enough time, but not all of them have an integrated charging puck like the GoPower by Kanex does. Read More

 

Twelve South’s HiRise 2 Deluxe dock looks great with the new iPhone 7

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 29, 2016

Twelve South is at it again, making great accessories for Apple products. The company’s release of the HiRise 2 and HiRise 2 Deluxe charging docks earlier this month brought forth a redesign with new color options and improved stability for larger devices.

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the HiRise 2 Deluxe in black, a color made to match Apple’s new black iPhone 7 & 7 Plus finish. Read More

 

The perfect jailbroken iPhone: iOS 9 edition

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 28, 2016

Following a ritualistic bloodline of popular posts we’ve shared in the past, we’ll be showing you what jailbreak tweaks we think make a perfect jailbroken iPhone on iOS 9.

Personally, I believe less is more; keeping a jailbroken device as stock as possible without compromising on your most wanted features helps keep it both stable and functional. Overloading it with jailbreak tweaks for the sake of aesthetics can lead to instability, and that’s something I tend to avoid.

As a result, I focus mainly on tweaks that serve a functional purpose more so than tweaks intended to make your device look cooler. These tweaks will all work with the Pangu jailbreak for iOS 9.3.3. Read More

 

Poll: Did you update to iOS 10?

By Anthony Bouchard on Sep 14, 2016

Apple officially launched iOS 10 to the hands of the public this week with more than 100 new features for iPhone and iPad users.

It looks like an exciting update, but we know some people are still wary of updating this early in the game. So to find out where you stand, we’ve launched another poll you can participate in. Read More

 
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