By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015
Handset vendors stubbornly insist on making their gadgets thinner at a time when consumers have largely been craving for better battery life.
Apple, like no other company, is a poster child for the industry’s obsession with thinness. Whenever a new iPhone comes out, its slim profile gets prominently featured and communicated in ads.
This point was especially brought home for me in a recent Wall Street Journal article which argues that “survey after survey reveals there is one thing consumers wish manufacturers would change about their gadgets” and it’s better battery life.
Our poll today deals with this issue as we seek to learn whether you, our loyal readers, would rather have a millimeter or two thicker device with a stronger battery or as thins a phone as possible with a good enough battery. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2015
Aside from the starting price of $349 for the Sport model, the Cupertino firm has yet to reveal pricing of its higher-end Watch and Edition models.
There are two schools of thought here. One says that Apple Watch Edition should sell for $10,000 a pop or more, not just due to its casing being made form 18-karat gold but because Apple will pitch it as a piece of fashionable jewelry rather than a technology product.
The opposite argument says the Edition model should sell for far less as it’s not an actual mechanical precision watch from Swiss watchmakers, so it would be crazy to price it as one.
Which camp do you belong to and how much should the Apple Watch Edition realistically cost, do you think? Cast your vote after the jump and meet us in comments. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 9, 2015
The future of digital music is anything but certain, even less so given that fewer and fewer people nowadays choose to buy MP3s and physical CDs amid the proliferation of streaming services spearheaded by Spotify, the popular music-streaming service hailing from Sweden.
Of course, Spotify is but one in the sea of local and global music sources vying for your attention.
On top of Spotify and the likes of Pandora and Rdio are incumbents such as Apple, Amazon and Google that offer both à la carte song downloads and all-you-can-eat subscriptions. We’re interested to learn about our readership’s favorite music sources and are kindly inviting you to jump past the fold and cast your vote. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2015
If the rumors pan out, we could see both an iPad Pro and a Retina upgrade to the MacBook Air some time in the following months, possibly as soon as April.
Both are thought to include an ultra high-resolution screen measuring about twelve inches diagonally, run quietly thanks to fanless design and the latest power-savvy chips and redefine portability with an even lighter and thinner appearance. True, you’d be hard-pressed to call a twelve-inch tablet ultra portable.
But given Apple’s obsession with thinness and lightness, I suspect a larger iPad could be easier to carry around than you’d think. And assuming that rumored creative stylus accessory is indeed in the works, Apple would be wise to create a vastly improved iOS version with true multitasking, side-by-side apps and other productivity features.
With a proper OS, powerful chips, a screen to die for and an optional accessory, the iPad Pro could be the ultimate productivity tablet you’ve been waiting for.
On the other hand, the twelve-inch Air is said to be almost as light and thin as the iPad. It’s poised to blur the line between the notebook and the tablet even further. Therefore, why bother struggling with an oversized tablet if the new Air will be just as light and thin, while offering a built-in keyboard and OS X? Read More
By Sébastien Page on Jan 28, 2015
We review tons of apps here on iDB, covering the vast majority of categories available in the App Store. But are these apps interesting to you? For instance, I don’t care much about gaming, and I’m much more interested in learning about new productivity apps. You, on the other hand, might have no interest in productivity apps but would like to see more News-related apps covered on iDB.
To make sure we publish reviews you actually care about, we thought that asking you directly what you want to see on iDB would be the best way to go at it, which is why we have created this simple poll. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015
Yesterday, I stumbled upon an intriguing post over at The Loop which I felt raised a valid point about multi-user access in iOS, or the lack of.
It’s especially relevant in light of the fact that Android Lollipop enables multi-user support on phones.
Tablets, of course, have had this for nearly three years with Jelly Bean and up. Now, adding the ability to share your iPhone or iPad with someone else isn’t as trivial as it may appear at first sight as there are many technical hurdles to overcome.
On the other hand, can anyone imagine Apple not working on solving this pain point for its users? I mean, OS X supports multiple user accounts by design and iOS is basically a slimmed down version of OS X.
Anyways, is multi-user access one of those features the company should prioritize for the next major refresh of iOS, do you think? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2015
If you believe recent reporting by Tech News Taiwan and UDN, Force Touch, one of the technologies behind the Apple Watch, could make its way into this year’s refresh of the iPhone 6, likely to be referred to as an ‘iPhone 6s’.
To get you quickly up to speed on Force Touch, it’s a handy feature that relies on a bunch of tiny electrodes around the Watch’s display that recognize the difference between a tap and a press, thereby providing the user with quick access to contextually specific controls.
But would Force Touch make sense on the iPhone, do you think? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2015
Earlier in the month, Instapaper creator and Tumblr co-founder Marco Arment offered a scathing critique of Apple’s declining software quality. I generally disagree with Marco on most topics he blogs about, but this time he got me thinking that Apple’s “it just works” mantra no longer applies. And as software woes continue to persist, the problem clearly is much larger than the relatively benign Maps debacle.
From that botched iOS 8.0.1 update, delayed improvements and an over-the-air iOS 8 installer requiring a whopping 4.6 gigabytes of free space to a bunch of issues plaguing OS X 10.10 Yosemite such as performance bottlenecks, its insatiable resource requirements, ridiculous Apple Mail hiccups, intermittent Wi-Fi issues and more – the firm appears to have “lost the functional high ground,” as Arment put it.
And with plenty of far-reaching technologies being introduced simultaneously — Handoff, iCloud Drive, custom keyboards, photo and storage extensions, new ways to share content, HealthKit, HomeKit, WatchKit and CloudKit, to mention but a few — small wonder Apple is finding itself in the middle of a pretty rocky transition, to say the least.
Throw in things like iCloud and CarPlay and suddenly diminishing software quality exhibited in the latest releases of iOS and Mac OS X becomes a major customer pain point. Apple is an aspirational brand so winning back user trust is paramount.
So, what should Tim Cook & Co. do? Do they continue to stick to the annual OS release schedule? Or should they give engineers enough time to smooth out the rough edges and ship software when it’s ready rather than for their marketing benefits, even if it means making us wait longer for latest and greatest software innovations? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2015
A well-sourced report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has ignited a heated debate on social media about the practicability of a brand new twelve-inch MacBook Air model as it’s said to ditch standard USB ports, the SD Card slot and even its Thunderbolt I/O and MagSafe power connector in favor of a single, fully reversible USB Type-C port.
Critics who call it a step back usability-wise, not forward, mention the original MacBook Air which released in January 2008 with just one USB port on it. On the other hand, they forget that USB Type-C does a lot more than standard USB. For starters, it can safely replace Thunderbolt for video and data I/O and MagSafe for charging.
That being said, there are still some fundamental questions like how am I supposed to connect an iPhone to the machine if the only USB port is used for charging? I’ll ellaborate on the viability of a one-port MacBook Air further below, but first tell us, if you will, your initial reactions to the purported design of the forthcoming notebook. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 2, 2015
The Apple Watch, the iPhone maker’s foray into wearables, is arriving this Spring starting at $349.
And while we know quite a bit about the anticipated wrist-worn computer, Apple’s left a few important questions hanging in the air.
Among them are important details concerning the Watch’s specific launch date, battery life, a possible killer feature and price points for higher-end models.
Assuming the vast majority of folks who are in the market for an Apple smartwatch opt for the entry-level device, we’re curious to learn whether you’ll be buying one when it comes out. Or maybe you’ve decided to wait for a second-generation model, or pass on the Watch altogether? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014
Two-step verification protects your Apple ID from unauthorized access when accessing iCloud.com and the Apple ID web interface or when when making an App Store or iTunes purchase from a new device. It’s an additional layer of security which combines something you know (your Apple ID password) with something you have (an iOS device).
Once enabled, it requires that you enter a four-digit code after providing your Apple ID credentials, with the code being pushed to a trusted iOS device.
You will also get a 14-character Recovery Key to regain control of your account should you ever lose access to your trusted devices or forget your password.
So, is your Apple ID protected with two-factor verification or do you still trust your digital life with the good ol’ password in conjunction with security questions? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2014
Apple’s (RED) campaign to help raise funds to fight AIDS in recognition of the World AIDS Day 2014 is over now and we wanted to ask if you had taken an opportunity to donate to the charity.
You donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS if you purchased one or more (RED) apps in the App Store or made In-App Purchases in (RED) apps from Monday, November 24 through Sunday, December 7; bought PRODUCT(RED) merchandize at Apple’s retail and online stores on Monday, December 1; bought select Apple products in the U.S. retail stores on Friday, November 28 and received a special edition (RED) iTunes gift card; made a donation through a special page on App Store/iTunes; or donated directly through RED.org. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2014
I myself am a heavy tablet user who’s picking up his iPad at least a dozen times a day. I especially find the tablet indispensable for catching up on morning news and before nap time, when I would typically consume interesting stories I was saving for later throughout the day.
A month into my new iPhone 6 Plus and already I’ve found myself using my iPad Air less often.
And if a sketchy report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News is to be trusted, Apple itself is mulling winding down iPad mini development and devote resources to developing a 12.2 or 12.9-inch iPad model.
While mini tablets may not be dead yet, there’s no question that today’s smartphone consumer is gravitating toward smartphone-tablet hybrids (phablets) like the iPhone 6 Plus. Which brings me to our question of the day: have you noticed using your iPad less often due to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2014
In less than 48 hours, journalists blessed with Apple’s “It’s been way too long” invitation will gather on the Town Hall Campus grounds in Cupertino, California for another dose of technology news.
With new iPads and OS X Yosemite on everyone’s mind, it’s time to step back and asses exactly what other goodies Apple may or may not deliver at its media conference. And what better way to make such a roundup entertaining than a listicle augmented by a poll?
Here’s a dozen predictions of our own so please kindly vote for your favorite one. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014
So I’ve finally managed to snag an iPhone 6 Plus this past weekend and boy does that 5.5-inch form factor take some getting used to.
Just ahead of the official announcement I, along with many other bloggers, was wondering whether a bigger iPhone might force Apple to rather unceremoniously abandon its unwavering principle of one-handed use.
Fortunately, Apple’s smart engineers soothed our collective fears by creating a smart software feature dubbed Reachability, which lets you double tap the Touch ID button to slide the top half of the screen to the bottom half so you can reach touch targets in iOS positioned at the top, like Safari’s address bar.
I’ve been loving Reachability a lot and using it on a daily basis. How about you? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2014
Are you concerned over Bendgate following this YouTube video? Responding to the controversy that blew up on social media before taking the world by storm, Apple said it’d received complaints from nine customers over the supposed iPhone 6 Plus bending.
The company even took select members of the press on a tour of its facility just a a few blocks away from the Cupertino campus, where it torture-tested 15,000 iPhone 6 and 15,000 iPhone 6 Plus handsets.
I think Bendgate is a non-issue, but I could be wrong. One thing is certain: the meme won’t go away if I choose to ignore it. That said, it doesn’t surprise me at all that some fans are now questioning Apple’s “just works” mantra, especially in light of other snafus in the form of the iOS 8.0.1 update gone terrible wrong, Apple’s U2 “gift”, Celebgate and iCloud security.
After reading about these PR disasters, some folks may be thinking twice about buying the iPhone 6 Plus. Are you among that group or did you brush off Bendgate as a non-issue? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2014
If you have just updated your trusty iPhone to the just-released iOS 8.0.1, chances are you may have ended up with a device that can’t connect to the cellular network (shows No Service in the status bar) or read fingerprint data through the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As you could imagine, social media is awash with complaints from disgruntled users who are venting their frustration over the cellular and Touch ID issues.
At any rate, your best bet is to steer away from this update until Apple address the situation and releases a fix. Not everyone is affected, of course, but keep in mind we have no real indication as to how widespread those issues are because Apple, at the moment, isn’t talking much.
That’s why we’re asking you, our readers, to tell us whether iOS 8.0.1 has broken cellular connectivity and Touch ID for you. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2014
iOS 8 released today and with it came not only plenty new features, but also the usual assortment of teething issues which — as is the norm in the software industry — happen to plague other vendors’ software, too.
For example, a last-minute bug discovered in the HealthKit framework has prompted Apple to pull all HealthKit apps from the App Store this morning until the issue is fixed via a software update due by the end of this month.
Aside from this inconvenience, iOS 8 has also been found to slow down older devices such as the three-year-old iPhone 4s.
I’m sure readers will discover their favorite issues with iOS 8 just by scanning their RSS feed and keeping a close eye on conversations on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels.
But here’s the thing: it’s all part of the Apple folklore. Early adopters certainly don’t mind being part of it, even if it means coping with unforeseen issues, unexpected crashes, broken apps and other problems.
The question is, are you an iOS 8 holdout or an early adopter?. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2014
Apple last midnight started accepting pre-orders for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico and Singapore.
The handset is scheduled to start shipping to customers next Friday, a week from today, September 19.
Already reports are coming in that the 5.5-inch model is in short supply (as expected), with all iPhone 6 models said to be selling out across Germany and United Kingdom. Elsewhere, the sought-after device remains in high demand.
Unfortunately, accessibility and transactional issues with the Online Apple Store are persisting and spoiling the fun for some people: chances are you, too, had to jump through hoops before reserving yours. With that in mind, we’d want to learn which iPhone model, colorway and storage SKU ended up in your shopping basket.
So, which iPhone 6 did you buy? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 11, 2014
Apple will start accepting pre-orders for the newly-introduced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus tomorrow, September 12, a full week before the device is scheduled to land on store shelves the next Friday, September 19.
Busy folks may opt to have their phones delivered to their doorsteps while others may prefer the excitement of launch day festivities and mingling with like-minded fans at one of Apple’s brick and mortar stores.
Are you going to pre-order your iPhone 6 from the comfort or your home or will you waltz inside your nearest carrier or Apple Store on September 19 at 8am? Read More