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.
Taking the time to get it right
You may have heard of these cool new things called smartwatches, with them being all the rage these days and everything. It seems like everybody and their mom is trying to get a smartwatch out in the market these days, a task that has been made monumentally easier now that Google is supplying the software to every hardware manufacturer with their still fairly new Android Wear platform. But one company has remained relatively quiet on the smartwatch front; HTC, the folks behind the upcoming Nexus 9 and the excellent HTC One M8, has still yet to release any sort of wearable device at all. There were some rumors that HTC had been working on a wearable that should have shipped by now, but we’ve not heard much on that front in a long while.
This has lead to rampant speculation that, in another blow to the struggling company, HTC has abandoned plans to release a smartwatch at all – but HTC says not so fast. In a statement provided to Re/code, an HTC spokesperson has confirmed that the company is indeed actively working on a device, which is nearing completing but has been internally delated so as to give it a bit more time in the oven.
There’s still very little we know for sure on the state of HTC’s new wearable, but the company hasn’t had a good track record with anything but smartphones in the past. Just as tablet mania began in earnest in 2011, HTC launched their first – and to date, only – tablet, the Flyer, to just awful reviews and abysmal sales. Consumer reaction to the Flyer was so bad that the company actually scrapped all plans for future tablets at the time, which is part of what makes their now confirmed upcoming smartwatch all the more exciting.
It's like the new Moto X, only bigger-er
Google’s Nexus ship sure has been leaky lately, and today we got what’ll probably end up being the closest thing to a confirmation that the Nexus 6 by Motorola is a real thing until it, you know, is actually announced. The FCC just revealed a new six-inch smartphone made by Motorola with compatibility for both AT&T’s LTE network as well as T-Mobile’s. That fits perfectly with what we know about the Nexus 6, which a massive leak revealed in comprehensive detail just a little while ago.
If you aren’t up to date on your Nexus rumors, the Nexus 6 is basically a 2014 Moto X with a 6-inch display – and you thought the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was big. No word yet on whether or not the upcoming Nexus 6 will make its way to Verizon and Sprint (though I don’t see why it wouldn’t), nor if it’ll come in a slightly smaller version for those with slightly less gargantuan hands, nor when it’ll be making an official appearance.
That Galaxy doesn't look as promising
Samsung, once the poster child for Android smartphones in the United States, is not doing well. Leagues away from the record breaking third quarter revenues of 2013, Samsung is warning that when they reveal their quarterly results for Q3 2014, things are going to be looking a little grim. In fact, the company has just announced that profits are down over 60 percent from that magical quarter last year, and most of the blame seems to be squarely on the company’s smartphone division; just yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Samsung Galaxy’s sales have seen a massive drop-off as of late, with some of the bleeding being attributed to a rise of popularity in the Apple iPhone.
But profits aren’t everything – surely Samsung is fairing better in some areas? Looking at the ever important marketshare figure, you’d be hard pressed to find good news. According to Seoul-based analyst Song Myung Sup, marketshare of Samsung Galaxy smartphones are “fast-falling”, particularly in the company’s homeland of South Korea. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the IDC reports that Samsung has lost nearly 10% of its American marketshare in the last year as of Q2 2014, falling from 32% to 24.9%.
Samsung is no stranger to adversity, but things are looking especially dire for the South Korean company given this troubling news. The real question now is whether or not the company’s just announced Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy Alpha smartphones can help turn the tides, all of which are coming to the United States-based carriers before the end of 2014.
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.
It kinda looks like a stretched Nexus 5
With Android L, the Motorola Nexus 6, and the HTC Nexus 9 all on the way things sure are getting interesting for those who couldn’t really care less about any phone that begins with a lowercase “i”. We originally reported on a new Nexus tablet offering by HTC, unofficially dubbed the Nexus 9, a couple of weeks ago – and today thanks to infamous leaker @upleaks (a spiritual successor the @evleaks, goodness rest its leaking soul), we’ve got our first purported look at the device, which you can see in the image above.
As you can probably tell, the Nexus 9 we’re looking at above essentially looks like a scaled up, weirdly stretched Nexus 5. That is to say it seems to have the same rubbery, plastic back that is featured and so highly thought of on the black Nexus 5 (seriously, it feels great – nice and grippy, and not at all low quality). It’s got a camera on the top left corner, pretty much where Apple puts the cameras on the iPad line. It’s also got that expected micro-USB port on the bottom alongside that expected HTC logo.
So now we’ve got our first good looks at both the Nexus 6 as well as the Nexus 9, that should theoretically conclude Google’s entire 2014 (and perhaps final?) Nexus lineup, barring any surprise updates to the Nexus 7 or the Nexus 10. What do you think? Will Google’s 2014 lineup be the one to beat, or will you be sticking with Samsung’s offerings?
Unveiling at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern
Windows 9 is coming. Sure, Microsoft may not call it that – not today, and perhaps not ever – but whatever Microsoft announces at their “future of Windows” event today, it is the next major release of Windows, one that will stand just as tall as the Windows 8’s, 7’s, Vista’s, and XP’s before it. Despite remaining relatively secretive about the future of Windows beyond what little of a next generation Start Menu that was revealed at BUILD 2014, we know a surprising number of details about what the future of Windows will look like and how it’ll work. Let’s get started.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming industry events. All entries thus far have focused on Apple events, however a big new version of Windows doesn’t come along every day, so we think it’s important to take an in-depth look.
The 9 isn't the only new kid on the block
The Nexus 5, Google’s flagship Android device, is coming up on a year old – almost an eternity in the mobile space. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Google is already hard at work figuring out its successor, and today thanks to 9to5Google we got our first real look at both the design and the technical specifications of Google’s upcoming Nexus 6, designed and manufactured by – wait for it – not LG (like the Nexus 5), not Samsung (like the Nexus 10), not even HTC (like the rumored Nexus 9)… but by Motorola.
As you can see in the leaked shots above, the Nexus 6 (which isn’t yet an official name, by the way) bares more than just a passing resemblance to Motorola’s latest lineup of smartphones, the Moto X and Moto G series. In fact, it looks almost exactly like a stretched out second generation Moto X, complete with the top / bottom speaker grille on the front, and the aluminum chassis around the sides.
What has changed, however, is the size – the Nexus 6 is simply massive with its whopping 5.92-inch display. Featuring a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the Nexus 6’s display evens out at a cool 498 PPI, making it higher resolution than Apple’s big screen device, the iPhone 6 Plus (401 PPI) but lower resolution than Samsung’s next generation phablet, the Note 4 (550 DPI).
Driving this big screen is said to be a Snapdragon 805 processor, one of the fastest out there, a huge 3,200 mAh battery, and 3GB of RAM (compared to a measly 1GB on the iPhone 6 series). Though that sounds impressive, all that extra oomph will presumably be needed to power the Nexus 6’s ginormous high resolution display at acceptable levels of performance for this tier of device, meaning you shouldn’t necessarily expect next generation graphics or 48 hour battery life.
No word yet on pricing and availability, though 9to5Mac speculates on a late October launch, but with both the Nexus 9 and Android 5.0 “L” seemingly just around the corner, I wouldn’t really be surprised to see this thing hit stores sooner rather than later. And given Motorola’s excellent track record at developing and manufacturing beautiful, high powered devices at an amazingly low cost, it sounds like it’s going to be worth the wait – as long as you think you can stomach that extra huge screen.
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!
The rumors are true... probably
We’ve been speculating about a HTC-made Nexus tablet for sometime now, but it looks like the rumors are about to come to fruition. According to sources available to the Wall Street Journal, HTC and Google are hard at work on a next-generation large screen Android tablet to be part of the Nexus series. Speculated to be dubbed the “Nexus 9”, the companies’ new tablet would be the successor for the much ignored Samsung made Nexus 10, which hasn’t seen an update for nearly two years now.
The Nexus 9 is expected to launch with Nvidia’s next generation Tegra K1 SoC, which will offer performance significantly greater than that found in either the Nexus 10 or the most up to date Nexus 7. The Nexus 9 will also have the distinction of being the first tablet made by HTC since the launch (and failure) of the HTC Flyer, the first Nexus device made by HTC since the launch of the original Nexus One, and potentially even the last Nexus branded device before the launch of Google’s much rumored Android Silver initiative.
Source: The Wall Street Journal