Bigger than better?
The iPhone 6 Plus is a jumbo, comically huge smartphone. If Apple’s product portfolio were a clown outfit, the iPhone 6 Plus would be the bright red, obnoxious oversized shoes. It doesn’t fit in some front pockets, it sticks out of nearly everyone’s back pockets, and people will notice it and it will illicit reactions, at least while it’s still new and kind of foreign looking.
In fact, I would say that the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than I expected. I’m even one of those guys who went ahead and made scale paper cutouts of each size iPhone 6. It’s certainly a larger smartphone than I ever expected to own, and the size did come as a bit of a shock at first. But once you get past the sheer largeness of the 6 Plus, you can begin to evaluate it on better merits- ones not impeded by the initial “oh my God this is ridiculously large”. After a couple of weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I think I have enough familiarity to say some things with certainty. This is the official Haverzine iPhone 6 Plus review.
Read more to hear my take on Apple’s ginormous, huge iPhone 6 Plus.
Also, will it really be called the iPad Air 2?
We got a boat load of new details about Apple’s rumored next generation iPad tablet just a few days ago, but today we’re getting our first good look at the device. Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn has posted high resolution images of what appears to be a thinner, streamlined iPad Air with a recessed volume buttons, no mute switch, and Touch ID. Sound familiar?
While the device in question appears to be an unfinished prototype based on the condition of the aluminum in the back, it does seem to confirm that A.) Apple is indeed working on a new iPad Air with an updated design, and that B.) it’s fairly late in development, leading credibility to the rumor that such a device could appear as soon as next week.
Unfortunately we’ve still got no word on the status of an updated iPad mini model, nor anything concrete regarding that rumored 12-inch iPad Pro model. It would be highly unusual for Apple to launch a new iPad Air without at least taking the time to mention the iPad mini, which has been treated as a major product alongside the larger form factor iPad for the last two years. Apple did update the iPad mini to an A7 processor and outfitted it with a Retina display last year, so Apple could believe that product is already strong enough, potentially be leaving an iPad mini update for later time.
Apple’s next special event is rumored to be taking place on October 16th, so we’re sure to learn more shortly. It is currently expected that Apple will announce updates to their iPad lineup, officially launch OS X Yosemite free for all Mac users, and perhaps even announce a next-generation iMac with a Retina Display. You can view Tinhte.vn’s full set of iPad Air 2 photos at the source link below.
The iPad Air, only Air-ier
It’s been kind of a quiet year for the iPad, sales wise, but when it comes to actually product you’d be hard pressed to ask for much more than the iPad Air that Apple announced in 2014. Incredibly thin with a beautiful display; amazingly fast with a low price point – the iPad Air set the bar for tablet computers. Still, there’s always room for improvement, and in the tradition of that a new report from The Michael Report by Michael Andrew claims to have the scoop on the next generation iPad, commonly referred to as the iPad Air 2.
As you might perhaps expect, the iPad Air 2 will consist of many subtle refinements to the iPad Air rather than a whole new revolutionary device. Apple is said to have made its new full sized iPad even thinner than last year’s iPad Air, successfully doing so by minimizing the space between the touch digitizer and the LCD display. The volume buttons have also seen a redesign, with newer, more recessed buttons that also do away with the mute switch found in every iOS device since the original iPhone. Touch ID is also expected, as is the new A8 SoC introduced alongside the iPhone 6 last month.
Report also claims that Apple is working on refining the speaker grille on the iPad Air 2, removing the microphone grille while making the speaker grille holes a bit larger and more refined. The microphone, meanwhile, will be located to the top of the device near the camera. One thing we don’t know is whether or not the iPad Air will be getting a “Retina HD” display like the iPhone 6 series, consisting of a display with more accurate colors, higher contrast, better viewing angles, and a polarizer for better outdoor viewing. That’s completely ignoring the question of the new 3x resolution, introduced in the iPhone 6 Plus. That’s not even remotely mentioning the possibility of software improvements expected in iOS 8.1, including the new dual screen multitasking view that Apple has been developing for some time now.
Unfortunately, no word yet on Apple’s other tablet computer, the more adorably sized (but still just as powerful) iPad mini 3. While I’d hope that the iPad mini 3 also sees some love and gains an A8 processor and Touch ID at the very least, I’m not entirely sure that’ll be the same; the iPad mini 3 clearly seems to be getting a little less attention heading into iPad season, with virtually no rumors regarding an update; I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple hangs onto the 2013 iPad mini 2 with a price discount for just a little while longer… but if the original, A5 baring iPad mini doesn’t get the boot, I’ll be pretty shocked.
Apple is rumored to be holding a special event for the media to focus on new iPads, OS X Yosemite, and updated Mac hardware on October 16th, just a little over a week away. This date has yet to be confirmed, however we wouldn’t be shocked considering Re/code, the source of that rumor, has been pretty spot on in the past.
Just say no!
Well, this isn’t good. Hopefully you caught our update to today’s iOS 8.0.1 announcement post, but if you haven’t, we’ll say it again to save you and your precious iDevice any pain and suffering. Reports are flooding in that iOS 8.0.1 basically destroys your iPhone, completely breaking cellular connectivity as well as Touch ID on compatible devices.
Apple has yet to pull the update on affected devices, so you’re still free to update if you so choose – but don’t. Seriously, you really shouldn’t. Apple will likely upload a fixed version shortly, and until then it’s better to sit this one out and wait. If it’s too late, you might want to look into downgrading to iOS 8.0.0 or iOS 7.1.2 while you still can.
Update 09/24/14 @ 2:10 PM EST: It appears that these issues are limited to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, however it would still be wise to hold out updating no matter what model you have until Apple clears this mess up.
Bug fixes ahoy!
Mere days after releasing the initial build of iOS 8.0 to the public, Apple has already released a minor update aimed squarely at squashing some pesky bugs. Dubbed iOS 8.0.1, the new version’s build number is 12A402 and is currently propagating through Apple’s servers and will shortly be available to all compatible devices.
iOS 8.0.1 features bug fixes for HealthKit, third party keyboards, the built in Photo application, Reachability, SMS/MMS messages, In-App purchases, iCloud, and Safari. It weighs in at under 100 MB for seemingly all devices. It is compatible with the iPhone 4s and up (including the newly release iPhone 6 series), the iPad 2 and up, the latest generation iPod touch, and the first generation iPad mini and up.
Update 09/24/14 @ 1:35 PM EST: You might want to hold off on pressing the “Update” button, iOS users, for it appears that a not small group of people are reporting some pretty serious issues with the update, including completely broken Touch ID functionality and an issue connecting to cellular networks. Abort! Abort!
Two iPhones, an iWatch, and a USB cable walk into a bar...
It’s almost here. Tomorrow, Apple is holding its first big special event of the year (excluding WWDC) – and we’re expecting it to be quite the doozy. Apple is certainly going to be using the event to launch its upcoming iPhone lineup, but what else could be in the pipeline? Last year around this time Apple announced not one, but two new iPhones alongside the announcement of the final build of iOS 7, and we’re expecting an equally – if not more – impressive showing this time around. So without further ado, this is what you can realistically expect at Apple’s special event tomorrow. No bullshit, just the good stuff.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming Apple events. We’ve got a pretty good track record here, with only one small miss with our iPhone 5s/5c event predictions. Read on to hear today’s expectations.
iCloud lacked brute force detection
By now, you probably know that a number of celebrities have been the target of a nude photo leak that has said to have lead to the leak of potentially hundreds of photos and videos. Of course, this vehement violation of human privacy is a despicable act in and of itself – the thought that there are individuals out there who would go to any length to obtain such photos and violate women (and men) is nauseating. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and unfortunately, Apple seems to be at the center of that way.
According to new reports, the leak stem from a security issue that was previously present in Apple’s iCloud cloud storage system. iCloud automatically backs up a user’s photos (among other data) into the cloud, which can then be downloaded to any authorized computer capable of logging into the iCloud account. Hackers claim that Apple had failed to implement any sort of brute force detection software into iCloud’s login authorization, a loophole that enterprising hackers worked around using software called iBrute, which “guessed” at password combinations at a dizzying speed.
Essentially, in layman’s terms, that means that anybody with the knowledge of a celebrity’s iCloud email address would be able to keep guessing at their password until they hit on the correct password by chance, forever. A simple loophole, which Apple has reportedly now implemented, stops users from trying passwords after a couple of incorrect guesses. The new protection is similar to how Apple’s iOS software locks users out of devices after a number of incorrect passcode guesses.
While there’s yet to be any confirmation from either Apple or the supposed hacker that this method was the one used to illegally obtain the celebrity’s passwords, Apple has confirmed that they are investigating their role in the issue, if any. Still, the fact that this loophole existed and had been easily exploitable up until just today indirectly implies it could have been the root cause.
iPhone 6, iWatch, oh my
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and there sure is a lot of smoke to wade through while talking about Apple’s still-yet-to-be-confirmed September 9th Special Event. Re/code was the first to peg that date as the long awaited iPhone 6 reveal event, but as the days have gotten shorter and the calendar has gotten closer, we’ve been learning more and more about what it is Apple will actually be announcing. Yes, of course the iPhone 6 is still happening, but that’s just the beginning of the story.
For one, Re/code today has another breaking exclusive claiming that Apple will use their September 9th event not only as the iPhone 6’s coming out party, but also as the long awaited “iWatch” reveal. According to Re/code, Apple had originally planned to announce the device – which is not expected to hit stores until early 2015, narrowly missing the holiday rush – during the company’s rumored October Special Event, however decided to bump up the schedule for reasons uncited. Apple is reportedly still planning on holding a Special Event in October, where the company may reveal the sixth generation iPad, the third generation iPad mini, and a new 12″ MacBook with a Retina Display.
According to today’s new iWatch report – which, while unconfirmed, come from some rock solid sources – Apple’s wearable will be all about health and automation. The iWatch will act as a fitness tracker, syncing information about today’s activity and general health data with your iPhone and iPad using iOS 8’s new built in HealthKit framework. HomeKit, Apple’s automation functionality, will also be put to good use. Early reports indicate that the iWatch could be used to – say – automatically unlock your frontdoor when you step within a couple of feet of it while wearing your iWatch, or automatically turn on the lights when you enter a room.
Separately, we expect the iPhone 6 to be revealed in two sizes – one with a 4.7″ screen, and another larger model with a 5.5″. We expect both iPhone 6 sizes to be available simultaneously, however with the 4.7″ model available in much larger quantities in initial shipments. The game plan could be set up similarly to how Apple dealt with the rollout of the 5s and 5c models last year; the 4.7″ iPhone, like the 5c, will be available for pre-order immediately while the 5.5″ iPhone, like the 5s did, will launch on a first come, first serve basis without a reservation program in place. Apple did this last year to give everyone a fair shot at nabbing an iPhone 5s on launch day, which was similarly restrained.
As far as pricing, a good guess is that the base configuration 4.7″ iPhone 6 to sell for $199 with 16GB of included storage. The 5.5″ iPhone 6, meanwhile, could launch with 16GB of storage for $299. Apple will continue to offer both the iPhone 5s as well as the iPhone 5c, with the iPhone 5s selling for $99 with 16GB of storage and the iPhone 5c selling for free with 8GB of storage. However, it is important to note that these plans are far from confirmed at this time.
And yes, I think it exists
I’m going to make a fairly bold statement here – the upcoming 5.5″ iPhone (we’ll call it the iPhone 6, for posterity’s sake) is real. And it’s coming. In fact, it’s probably coming this year – the timeline isn’t clear quite yet, but it’s getting there. And this is your first look at it, courtesy of Evasi0nJailbreak.com. What you’re looking at in the photo above is in fact a 5.5″ iPhone 6 enclosure sitting next to and compared to the equally real and coming 4.7″ iPhone 6 enclosure.
EvasionJailbreak says that they managed to obtain this “deep within Apple’s supply chain in China,” and it is indeed consistent with some earlier rumblings about the iPhone 6. For one thing, we’ve seen this design practically a million times before – enough that at this point, there really isn’t any doubt that it’s real. Another thing is the screw holes in this iPhone 6 dummy is consistent with earlier, unverified leaks of the 5.5″ iPhone 6’s logic board.
The iPhone 6 is expected to be announced at a press event on September 9th, 2014. Whatever Apple decides to announce, we’ll be here reporting on the latest and greatest from Apple and Mr. Jony Ive. And whether you believe the 5.5″ iPhone 6 is coming or not, one thing is clear – Apple is finally ditching that 4.0″ screen form factor. Hallelujah?
That would be the Note 4, of course
Samsung has announced the Galaxy Alpha. I mean, I guess that’s news – the device was only rumored up until this point, and it marks the first smartphone to feature Samsung’s new all-aluminum design that the company says will trickle down and up to other products in the company’s portfolio – including, more than likely, next year’s flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S6. It’s an okay, decidedly midrange phone – just like we reported the other day – with a modest dual-core (or quad-core, if you’re in very certain markets) processor, 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel camera, and a 720p 4.7″ display. It comes in Black, White, Gold, and Blue. All fine.
But really, can we stop pretending that this is Samsung’s answer to the next iPhone? I know it’s not, and – yes, I’m talking to you, mainstream media outlets – you know it’s not. The next iPhone will be a high end device with Apple’s fastest A8 processor, their best camera; it’ll be the model with the most RAM, the highest quality displays. It’ll be Apple’s flagship. And the Galaxy Alpha? This isn’t Samsung’s flagship. Not even close.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not wrong to say Samsung’s got a competitor up their sleeves slate for release soon. They totally do – it’s called the Galaxy Note 4, and it’s rumored to be coming soon; probably next month. It’ll have Samsung’s fastest processor, their best (and biggest) display, and all the RAM and storage and processing power you could want.
But let’s not compare Apples to Alphas, okay?
Its got a bigger screen and it's coming
Good news, smartphone fans – the iPhone 6 is coming. I mean you knew that, of course, but it’s really coming really soon. According to industry insiders with Grade A, spotless records, Apple will be announcing the iPhone 6 in a special event on September 9th, with a release date tentatively scheduled for a little over a week later, on September 19th.
That means that yes, around September 9th, you’ll be able to get your hands on one of Apple’s smartphones with a screen larger than 4″ for the first time. Apple famously bumped up the size of the iPhone’s screen with the launch of the iPhone 5 just two years ago, but in that time large screen “phablet” Android devices have taken over, pushed by the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note and the LG Nexus 5. Apple is rumored to be preparing two new iPhone 6 models for release, a 4.8″ iPhone 6 and a 5.5″ model for those with a preference towards said phablet devices. While many assumed that both devices would ship with Apple’s next generation A8 processor, 2GB of RAM, and an upgraded 13MP camera with digital image stabilization, a recent rumor coming out of AppleInsider suggests that the 5.5″ model iPhone 6 may ship with more powerful internals.
That said, there’s no telling whether Apple is planning on releasing both iPhone 6 models at the same time, though to do otherwise would drastically differ than how Apple has upgraded its iPhone lineup in the past. Each and every year since 2007, Apple has upgraded the entire line of iPhone models all at once, famously bringing the iPhone 5c into the fray to replace the iPhone 5 last September. With the 4.8″ iPhone 6 slated to be perhaps the middle of the road model, the fate of the iPhone 5c – which is the second best selling smartphone model in the world – remains unclear.
But promises it'll try to find them new jobs
Apple now owns Beats. I mean, I guess it has for a little while now, given that the acquisition was formally announced May, but now Apple has made it officially official by launching a new page on their company website welcoming Beats “to the family.” Saving you a click (which has apparently become quite a thing on the internet), here’s what that page reads:
Today we are excited to officially welcome Beats Music and Beats Electronics to the Apple family. Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we’re thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do. Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have created beautiful products that have helped millions of people deepen their connection to music. We’re delighted to be working with the team to elevate that experience even further.
And we can’t wait to hear what’s next.
And with that, Beats as we knew it is dead; long live Beats? Apple has even gone so far as to shut down Beats’ online store, instead redirecting any would be customers to Apple’s own online store, which is now fully stocked with Beats headphones on the Headphones section. Apple seems to have carried over all the products, but I’ll fully admit that I was no Beats headphones aficionado.
So now that the celebration phase is over, it’s time for the dirty work – Apple has officially announced that they will be laying off 200 out of Beats’ just over 700 employees now that the transition is complete. Apple confirmed the layoffs to 9to5Mac, however was quick to point out that they plan on taking good care of these displaced employees:
We’re excited to have the Beats team join Apple, and we have extended job offers to every Beats employee,” the statement read. “Because of some overlap in our operations, some offers are for a limited period and we’ll work hard during this time to find as many of these Beats employees as we can another permanent job within Apple.
Of course, business is business, but given that that’s just about 1/4 of Beats’ workforce, it’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow – especially in an economy like this.
But of course, Apple doesn’t want you to pay attention to that, so instead the company has shared a new 30-second ad spot celebrating the completed acquisition – which, I should warn you, is incredibly strange. If you’re interested in checking out Siri bouncing a couple of anthropomorphic Beats speaker systems, we’ve embedded that video after the break.