By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2015
Last week saw the release of Apple’s first software update for the Apple Watch.
Among other changes, the flurry of enhancements in Watch OS 1.0.1 include performance improvements related to both Apple’s stock apps and third-party applications you download from the App Store.
Unlike stock apps that run directly on the device, third-party ones run as WatchKit extensions on your iPhone and are then streamed off the phone to your wrist. That’s why opening Twitter, Instagram, CalcBot, or any other third-party app for that matter, takes a frustratingly long time to load vs. native apps.
In that regard, Watch OS 1.0.1 should have changed things for the better, but has it? If you own an Apple Watch, and have updated to Watch OS 1.0.1, do your favorite apps now load faster than before? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2015
With less than six hours until Apple Watch pre-orders open, we’re curious if you’ll be reserving one for yourself. Our January poll asked if you planned on getting the device and nearly half of the respondents said ‘yes’. But that was more than three months ago, at a time when details about the gizmo were still scarce.
Since then, Apple’s held a second media conference and released more details in the form of videos and various other tidbits. And now that you’ve read the reviews and watched hands-on videos of the wearable device in action, some of you may have changed your mind while others may still be on the fence about putting a Watch for your wrist. With that in mind, is your wrist ready for the Watch and will you be pre-ordering it come Friday 12:01am PT? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 20, 2015
We recently asked you about your preferred Apple Watch case and now we want to learn which Apple-provided band Apple Watch Sport buyers will be picking up for their device.
We’re asking you to restrict your votes to the preferred band color for your Apple Watch Sport because that device has emerged as the de facto top choice for the vast majority of consumers.
The Apple Watch Sport has an entry-level asking price of $349 for the smaller 38mm edition, or an extra $50 for its 42mm counterpart. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2015
Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook has left watchers scratching their head over its one-port design.
By replacing Thunderbolt I/O, standard USB, MagSafe and SD card ports with a single, much slimmer USB-C port (also known as USB Type-C), the company was able to create “the future of notebook.”
At the same time, the new notebook does inconvenience users, at least over the short term, by requiring various adapters to connect the machine to their existing accessories. Thankfully, there’re signs that the industry is going all in on USB-C.
Google’s recently refreshed Pixel notebook has two USB-C ports, for example. In addition, upcoming accessories, like Nomad’s versatile Apple Watch charging dock incorporate USB-C as the new charging standard.
It may be a safe bet to wager that USB-C will eventually take the gadget industry by storm, but this begs the question of Lightning I/O on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Is what we’re seeing here Apple’s next iPhone connector, do you think, or should the company stick with Lightning I/O for the next ten years? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 16, 2015
If someone told me Apple would release a notebook in faux gold, I’d call them crazy and out of touch with reality, but that’s exactly what the company has done with the new 12-inch MacBook adopting the same Space Gray, Silver and Gold color scheme popularized by iOS devices.
Say you were in the market for that machine, which finish would you go with: the unassuming Silver, the subdued Space Gray or “a stunning gold,” as Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing honcho, put it unveiling the machine at the “Spring Forward“? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2015
Now that Apple has divulged fresh details concerning its first wrist-worn device, watchful bloggers (sorry about the pun) are now chewing on Watch news.
Disregarding for a moment the dizzying array of bands at one’s disposal, the Apple Watch lineup is comprised of three different cases, provided in two sizes each. This makes choosing one which will fit your lifestyle not as straightforward as buying a new iPhone.
Now that the most crucial piece of information has been publicized — the full Watch pricing lineup — we’re eager to learn which model you, our loyal readers, might opt for. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2015
Soon after Apple thoroughly revamped its mobile operating system back in September 2013, power users started to complain about iOS’s sleek visual effects standing in the way of usability. The main point of contention for many people seemed to be whether or not iOS ignores user input while the animation is running, resulting in the seemingly slower navigation.
Another common complaint was that those dizzying slam-cuts affected people with motion sickness. Addressing both complaints, Apple’s made it possible to disable motion by flipping the Reduce Motion switch to ON in Settings > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.
Today’s poll seeks to determine whether you navigate your iOS devices with full UI animations, as enabled by default, or with reduced motion effects in order to make the operating system seem more responsive. Read More
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