• apple,  apple store,  apple watch

    Apple Store Weekend Continues…I Bought the Apple Leather Loop Band

    I was suppose to be going to the Apple Store Trumbull with my father to see about getting him an upgrade to an Apple iPhone 6s Plus.

    Before leaving the house, I said I wasn’t going to buy anything.  Everyone laughed.  I guess they were right, because while my dad was talking to the Apple Store employees, I ended up buying a fancy new blue leather band for my Apple Watch Sport.

    The Leather Loop band is made from quilted Venezia leather and, like the Milanese Loop band, closes the strap magnetically.  The leather is very comfortable and I liked the way if feels on my wrist.  It’s a very nice upgrade from the two sport edition bands that I have.

    Not wanting to wait until I got home to try on the new band, I had to unbox it right in the store.

    Apple Store Trumbull was packed on iPhone launch weekend
    Boy, that sure is a smart looking leather band
    The Apple Store app can be so dangerously easy to use

  • apple,  apple store,  iphone 6s,  iphone 6s plus,  stamford

    Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Launch Day

    On Friday, Apple release the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to the legions of Apple fans around the world.  Here is an account of my experience.

    Pre-Ordering my iPhone 6s Plus
    The story starts a little over a week ago with a pre-dawn 3:00am scramble to place my pre-order for the iPhone 6s Plus.  Just like last year’s iPhone 6 order and this past April’s Apple Watch pre-order, I chose to use the iOS Apple Store app.  It’s the best way to jump in and get your new hardware ordered on pre-order and launch day.

    As you can see, it was a few minutes after 3:00am before the Apple CDNs updated and the Apple Store app started serving pages.
    At 3:07am, I was able to begin the pre-order process.  Notice the lack of a link for in-store pre-order reservations.  We’ll get to that in a minute. At 3:08am, I was done.  Not too bad.  What I ended up doing was placing an order for delivery directly to my home.  What I wanted to be a part of the in store launch day hoopla that we’ve come to expect from launch day.  Then tweets started trickling in that other people where able to select a local store for pick up.  At 4:00am, things looked a little different.
    Now, the “Check reservation availability” link was showing up.  I wan’t able to change my order to a reservation, so after a nice chat with Apple customer support, they helped me fine an Apple Store in Connecticut that still had the iPhone 6s Plus that I was looking for and then, once my reservation was confirmed, they cancelled my order.
    iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Launch Day
    This year, reservations worked a little different than last year for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch.  Pre-order reservations were doled out with reservation times.  Since I had the fumble with the order vs reservation situation, my reservation was for 8:30am and not 8:00am.  Still not bad.  It didn’t really matter because I took the day off.  There was virtually no chance that work would get done with a new phone to play with.  (Ironically, I did end up getting called to handle an emergency, and why this post is going up on Sunday evening and on Friday afternoon.)
    I arrived at the Stamford Apple Store at about 6:30am.  I was a little surprised by the fact that I was the first reservation customer to show up.  There were already about 40 – 50 people standing in the stand-by line.  The lines were broken up into three groups: 8:00am reservations, 8:30am reservations, and stand-by.  Also new this year, the reservation customers would be taken into the store first and then the stand by customers.  I was talking with the store employees and they told me that since I was there so early, they would let me in with the 8:00am group.
    First in the pre-order reservations line
    As with previous Apple product launches, the Apple Store team reviewed how the morning would go, had a quick team meeting and even got in a few team building activities.
    Getting everything just right
    Reviewing how the morning will go
    An impromptu iPhone 6s demo session
    Group photos
    and my obligatory selfie with Apple Store employees
    Apple Store team meeting
    Team building activities

    At 7:57am, the team lines up and gets ready to open the store at 8:00am.  From down the hall you can hear clapping and cheering as Apple Store employees get the stand by crowd all worked up and head into the store.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okpQuFMt-xQ?rel=0]

    I was hoping for a 10…9…8… style count down, but why should the customers be the only ones having all the fun.

    At 8:01am, I was taking inside the store to purchase my new iPhone 6s Plus.

    Taking my seat inside the Apple Store Stamford
    Unfortunately, it was not by an iPhone get a new MacBook Pro day
    Checking out

    All told, I was in the store for about 10 minutes.  Since I was buying my new iPhone outright, there were no contracts to sign, purchase plans to pick out or having to wait for phone activations.  Before leaving, I took a minute to thank everyone who helped me for coming in early just so I could buy a new phone on launch day.

    Now it was time to head home, take some unboxing photos and setup my new iPhone 6s Plus.

    Thanks Apple!  I know I’m going to love my new iPhone 6s Plus!

  • apple,  apple watch,  iphone,  watchos 2

    Apple Releases watchOS 2.0

    Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Apple-mainia continued with the release of watchOS 2.0, the first major software update for Apple Watch.

    With watchOS 2.0, Apple adds a number of software enhancements for customers and developers alike with new features like improvement to Siri for making FaceTime audio calls and replying to email, new watch faces, Time Travel, third-party complications, and apps that run natively on the watch.

    The new Apple filmed time lapse watch faces look fantastic. (Spoiler: New York is my favorite!)  The Music app now supports Apple Music and Beats 1 radio.  Passbook has been upgraded to Wallet with Apple Pay and you can now use a single photo or all of the photos from a selected photo album as the artwork for your watch face.

    The real magic of watchOS will shine through as developers begin releasing watch native applications that don’t require an iPhone to be within Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range to run.  And with third-party watch face complications, developers will be able to surface more options for providing you with personalized information at a glance.

    watchOS 2 is available now for all versions of Apple Watch.  To install it, you must first download the 512MB update with your iPhone, connect your Apple Watch to it’s charger, charge it up to at least 50% and keep your iPhone and Apple Watch within Wi-Fi range on the same wireless network.

    The watchOS 2 update should take less than 30 minutes to install.

    iOS 9.0 was release last week and watchOS 2.0 was suppose to launch along side it.  Apple chose to pull the watchOS 2 update after Apple confirmed they needed some extra time to correct a software bug, which has since been resolved.

  • apple,  ipad,  iphone,  ipod touch

    Apple Releases iOS 9.0.1 [Updated]

    Yesterday, Apple released iOS 9 for all devices that are capable of running iOS 8.


    Apple has released iOS 9.0.1, a minor update that fixes issues with the iOS 9 setup assistant, alarms and timers don’t alarm and a distorted image issue with Safari and Photos when playing video.  iOS 9.0.1 has been released for all devices running iOS 9.0.

    iOS 9 can largely be thought of as a ‘tock’ release – in other words, iOS 9 is iOS 8’s “Snow Leopard.”  With iOS 9, Apple chose to go back and shore up all of the new features that have been released in iOS 7 (2013) and iOS 8 (2014).

    Even with the focus of iOS 9 being on performance, stability, and setting the stage for what will come in the future, Apple did manage to add new features to iOS 9, including the all new News app, enhancements to Passbook, now called Wallet, Siri Suggestions, iCloud and Safari content blocker (read: ads and ad tracking blockers).  Here’s the full list of what’s in iOS 9, directly from Apple:

    With this update your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch become more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features. New multitasking features for iPad allow you to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature. And, built-in apps become more powerful with detailed transit information in Maps, a redesigned Notes app, and an all-new News app. And improvements at the foundation of the operating system enhance performance, improve security and give you up to an hour of extra battery life.

        •    Proactive assistance
        •    Presents relevant information even before you start typing
        •    Notifies you when you need to leave for appointments using traffic conditions
        •    Learns what you listen to in a certain location or at a particular time of day and can automatically display playback controls for your preferred music and audio apps
        •    Suggested events and contact details are added to apps based on information found in Mail
        •    Siri improvements
        •    Search your personal photos and videos based on dates, locations and album names
        •    Ask Siri to remind you about things you’re looking at in your apps, including Safari, Mail, Notes and Messages
        •    Request directions via public transit
        •    Spotlight search improvements
        •    Get sports scores, weather conditions and stock prices
        •    Simple math calculations and conversions
        •    Initiate messages, phone calls and FaceTime calls from contact search results

    New iPad Features
        •    Slide Over
        •    Quickly use a second app without leaving the one you’re in
        •    Easily switch between Slide Over apps
        •    Support for Apple apps and enabled third party apps
        •    Split View
        •    View and interact with two apps at once
        •    Ability to resize your view to give equal attention to both apps or prioritize one app over another
        •    Support for Apple apps and enabled third party apps
        •    Picture in picture
        •    Continue watching a video while using your favorite apps
        •    Support for Safari video, FaceTime, Videos and Podcasts and enabled third party apps
        •    QuickType improvements
        •    Multi-Touch gestures for easier text selection on iPad
        •    Quick access to text editing tools with Shortcut Bar on iPad
        •    Support for hardware keyboard shortcuts
        •    Support for all Unicode emoji flags

    Built-in Apps
        •    Map improvements
        •    Support for public transit lines, station details with exits and entrances, schedules and directions in select major cities
        •    Browse for places around you by category, including Food, Drinks, Shopping, Fun and more
        •    Apple Pay support is indicated on place cards at participating retail locations
        •    Place cards include Wikipedia information for landmarks and cities
        •    Redesigned Notes app
        •    Add photos to your notes with the built-in camera or from your Photo Library
        •    Create useful checklists and check off completed items with a tap
        •    Sketch a quick thought using just your finger
        •    Save interesting items directly from other apps using the Share menu
        •    All-new News app
        •    Read your favorite newspapers, magazines, and blogs, or choose from over a million topics
        •    Beautiful typography and layouts, photo galleries, videos, animations, and more
        •    Browse articles that are chosen based on your interests in For You. Find channel and topic recommendations in Explore. News gets more personalized the more you read
        •    Easily share articles with friends or save them to read later — even when you’re offline
        •    Mail improvements
        •    Search improvements help you quickly find what you’re looking for by filtering results based on sender, recipient, subject or a combination of options
        •    Support for Markup lets you annotate an image or PDF attachment with text, shapes and even your signature, then send it back — without leaving Mail
        •    Easily save the attachments you receive or add files from iCloud Drive or other document providers while composing a new message
        •    Apple Pay and Wallet improvements
        •    Support for Discover cards
        •    Support for rewards cards and store credit and debit cards
        •    To check out even faster, you can prepare an upcoming payment by double-clicking the Home button from the Lock Screen and keeping your finger on Touch ID
        •    New iCloud Drive app
        •    Easily search for a file or browse in the new iCloud Drive app by date, name, or tags you added on your Mac
        •    Open files in any compatible app or share with those you choose
        •    Organize folders and files
        •    Get the iCloud Drive app in Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive and select Show on Home Screen
        •    CarPlay improvements
        •    Plays back audio messages, letting you hear from people in their own voices
        •    Full support for car knob controls, so you can tilt and spin to scroll through lists or pan around in Maps
        •    Support for CarPlay apps from auto manufacturers

        •    Longer battery life
        •    Up to one hour of additional time before you need to charge your battery
        •    Facedown detection for turning display off when not in use
        •    Low power mode optimizes device performance to extend battery by up to an additional three hours
        •    Software updates require less space to download and offer an option to install later
        •    iOS apps and user interface now use Metal to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation, and better overall performance
        •    Improved security with two-factor authentication support and a default 6 digit passcode support for Touch ID devices

    Other improvements
        •    New San Francisco system font
        •    Leave a message option if recipient isn’t available for a FaceTime call
        •    Share voicemails from the Phone app using the share sheet
        •    Flight and package tracking for data detectors
        •    Health app adds support for reproductive health, UV exposure, water intake and sedentary state data types
        •    HomeKit adds support for motorized windows and shades, motion sensors and home security system accessories
        •    Podcasts has an all-new design, makes it easy to find the latest episodes of your favorite shows and notifies you when new episodes become available for you
        •    Support for Wi-Fi calling on iPad, iPod touch and Mac, without iPhone in proximity on participating carriers
        •    Wi-Fi Assist to automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor
        •    Transfer content from an Android device with the Move to iOS app, visit http://www.apple.com/move-to-ios for more details

    Expanded language support
        •    New PingFang Chinese system font
        •    Improved predictions, learning and autocorrection for Chinese in QuickType
        •    Redesigned punctuation input on 10-key Chinese keyboard
        •    Redesigned User Interface for right-to-left languages
        •    Added Siri support for Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), and Norway
        •    Added Spotlight search support for Mexico
        •    New keyboards for French (Belgium), German (Austria), Gujarati, Hindi (Transliteration), Hinglish, Punjabi, Spanish (Mexico), and Telugu
        •    Predictive input for French (Belgium), German (Austria), Korean, Russian, Spanish (Mexico), and Turkish
        •    Dictation support for Dutch (Belgium), English (Ireland, Philippines, South Africa), French (Belgium), German (Austria), and Spanish (Chile, Colombia)
        •    Spell check for Finnish and Korean
        •    Definition dictionary for Hindi, Norwegian and Swedish
        •    Bilingual dictionary for French-English and German-English
        •    New Japanese autocorrection and improved predictions and learning in QuickType
        •    Option to switch between number systems for Arabic and Hindi

    Enterprise & Education
        •    Assign apps directly to iOS devices without needing to have an iTunes Store account configured
        •    Improved calendar reliability for customers using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync v16
        •    Expanded Per App VPN support for the built-in IPSec and IKEv2 VPN clients
        •    New networking controls for managed apps to help limit international data roaming costs
        •    New restrictions to prevent changes to passcodes, device names and wallpapers, or to disable AirDrop on managed devices
        •    Third party app extension support for VPN, advanced content filtering, and captive Wi-Fi networks

        •    Touch Accommodations provides additional touch control for those with physical motor limitations
        •    Switch Control Recipes to customize features or create your own
        •    Support for Siri Voices for VoiceOver users
        •    Additional customization of AssistiveTouch
        •    Hardware keyboard support for Key Repeat, Slow Keys and Sticky Keys
        •    Improved MFi hearing aid audio routing to choose where audio is played

    Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: http://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability and http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new

    For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

  • apple,  apple watch,  appletv,  ios 9,  ipad mini,  iphone 6s,  iphone 6s plus,  pencil,  smart keyboard,  tvos,  watchos

    Apple “Hey, Siri” Special Event Wrap Up

    Apple has unleashed new Apple Watches, iPads, an all new Apple TV and, yes, even the new iPhones 6s and iPhone 6s Plus on the world.

    If you haven’t had time to sit through the two and a half hour presentation, here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s newest gear.

    Welcome and Opening Remarks from Tim Cook

    Tim started off by saying that we have “monster updates across multiple product lines” and he wasn’t kidding.  As with the last keynote, the usual “How are we doing?” state-of-the-state slides were cut.

    Apple Watch

    After stating that Apple Watch customer satisfaction was at 97%, Tim turned over the Apple Watch section to Jeff Williams, Apple’s SVP Operations.  I don’t recall seeing Jeff up on stage so I’m glad they are giving him time in the spotlight.

    • Time Transit and 3rd-part complications in watchOS 2.0
    • Transit information is coming to Apple Maps to help you find public transit
    • 10,000 watchOS apps in the App Store today
    • New gold and rose gold color options for Apple Watch Sport (available now)
    • New Apple Watch stainless with new band options
    • 16 fluoroelastomer Sport bands, including a new (Product) RED band 
    • Hermes bands and new signature watch faces, available at select stores

    I like the new watch bands, but was not blown away with the new colors.  I’ll likely buy one ore two more fluoroelastomer bands before I upgrade my Sport edition watch in the future.

    The AirStrip third-party demo seems like an amazing convergence of medical and digital technology. Apple is really showcasing their work with partners in the health and fitness fields.

    watchOS 2.0, a free upgrade, arrives Wednesday, September 16.

    iPad Pro

    Turns out the rumors about a larger iPad were true and that device is called the iPad Pro.  The iPad Pro is clearly targeted at business professionals and not the typical iPad owner.  According to Tim Cook, “iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of personal computing.”  “We’re partnering with the world’s leading enterprise companies, IBM and Cisco, to redefine and transform the way people work in the enterprise.”

    To introduce the new iPad Pro, Apple played a video with the solar system and the sun. Let’s just
    get to it already.  I don’t want to see a simulated product showing a simulated solar system.  My first impression of the iPad Pro (during the video): “It’s nice.  I don’t need it.”

    Then then video ended and Tim Cook came out holding the deice and things turned around quickly for me.  My second impression of the iPad Pro (while Cook was holding it): “I bet it’s close in size to a standard format US magazine – I read a lot of content on my iPad Air today.  EW, Time and others, please for the love of God…please…please use retina assets.”

    • 12.9″ diagonal screen more than enough for holding a “printed” magazine page
    • 2732 x 2048 (horizontal), 2x the resolution as the iPad Air/Air 2 standing tall
    • 5.6M pixels being pushed around the display
    • More pixels than a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    • Variable refresh rate display (dynamic power savings)
    • iPad Pro is powered by the third generation 64-bit A9X chip
    • 1.8x faster than the iPad Air 2 A8X chip, 2x flash storage performance
    • 2.0x fater GPU performance (great for games and pro media apps)
    • Still maintains the iPad’s 10-hour battery life target
    • 4x speaker audio system (one speaker at each corner of the device)
    • iPad Pro is 6.9mm thick compared to iPad Air 2 6.1mm
    • Smart Keyboard case with woven fabric key caps (no screen scratching)
    • Smart Connector carries power and data with a magnetic connection
    • Smart Connector does not rely on Bluetooth or peripheral batteries
    • iPad Pro will be available is white/sliver, white/gold, black/space grey
    • 32GB Wi-Fi $799, 128GB Wi-Fi $949, and 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular $1,079
    • iPad Pro begins shipping this November

    I also really like the full size soft keyboard, especially with iOS 9 upper and lower case key caps.

    So, how do you get a thinner MacBook or MacBook Air? Ditch the entire bottom half of the notebook.  That’s the iPad Pro.  I think “Road Warriors” (is that still a ‘thing’?) should really
    like this for it’s extreme portability.  There was no discussion about an Apple Smart Cover or Smart Case.  I would think that with a full size soft keyboard, you could get by without buying a keyboard accessory to save money.

    Can the iPad Pro be a compelling alternative to MacBook, MacBook Air?  Assuming you purchase the mid-tier iPad Pro, a Smart Keyboard and a Pencil, your out the door cost is $1,200 for the 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Pro.

    Apple Pencil

    Apple Pencil is the stylus that God did’t give you and is a much more refined writing experience over today’s stylus.  I’m guessing that the people at 53, who make that cool Paper app, are really pissed about the new stylus and it’s name.

    • When using Pencil, iPad Pro digitizer is scanning 2x as fast to collect more data
    • Can use both touch and Pencil input at the same time (ruler and pencil example
    • Tracks position, force and tilt of Pencil as you use it
    • Promises low latency to better replicate the feel of writing/drawing on paper.  This is a big one for me since I take notes on iPad Air with Jot stylus
    • Pencil charges off of iPad Pro Lighting port (first Holy $#!+ moment)
    • Pencil working with built in apps looks like Microsoft Surface stylus done right
    • Into video showed hand firmly resting on the display and not interfering with Pencil input.

    Improving the experience of note taking on the iPad looks to be greatly enhanced with the new iPad Pro only Pencil stylus.  Overall, it looks like a better experience of using my iPad Air and Bluetooth Jot stylus.

    Professional Productivity on iPad Pro

    Playing word association with the term “Professional Productivity” does not conjure up images of “Microsoft”.  Adobe is the first word that comes to mind.

    Admit it, Microsoft Office on iPad Pro with Pencil and Split Screen is incredibly cool!

    Adobe’s up next with their Com page layout software and Photoshop Fix apps.  Photoshop Fix offers real-time dynamic photo re-touching on an iPad.  This took forever on my 1992 Macintosh IIci desktop.  Now I can do that work from a tablet in real-time.

    I was glad to see Irene Walsh from 3D4Medical on stage to show off her company’s anatomy app.  That demo looked pretty impressive.

    iPad mini 4

    • iPad Air 2 hardware reconfigured into the mini’s format
    • Like iPad Air and iPad mini 3 both have A7
    • iPad mini 4 starts at $399

    The iPad mini 4 only received a passing mention during the event.  Aside from putting the iPad Air 2 guts into the iPad mini 3 case, there’t not much new there.

    I wonder what this means for iPad Air 9.7-inch line.  Seems like many people are opting for the iPad mini.  iPad Pro is clearly aimed at professionals. Is this a way to boost margins on iPad line? Is Apple just keeping the iPad Air around because people still buy it?  This feels a lot like the MacBook (One) being out, yet Apple still continues to sell the MacBook Air.

    Apple TV, Forth Generation, and tvOS

    Tim Cook started off the Apple TV potion of the keynote by stating that “The future of TV is apps,” and with the new Apple TV, there will be plenty of apps to go around.  The new Apple TV, as Apple likes to say, will be instantly familiar, but new.   The new Apple TV looks very similar to the second and third generation Apple TVs we have now.  With the new Apple TV, the box will be slightly taller than before.

    The software that drives Apple TV has been updated too.  tvOS, a variation on iOS – just like watchOS is also a variant of iOS – has gotten a new flat, clean ascetic.  With the integration of Siri, you are now able to use the new Siri remote for Apple TV to speak commands such has “So me movies with Robert Downey, jr”, “What was the score from last night’s Yankees game”, or “What is the weather forecast for later today?”.  That’s a pretty cool feature…if it works reliably.

    With the Siri Remote, better remote control navigation, Bluetooth communication, apps, a redesigned UI and Universal Search the new Apple TV is a worth while upgrade for existing Apple TV owners and people looking to add “smart” features to their TV.  My initial reaction to Apple TV was that Apple has caught up to where everyone else is.  But the story does quite end there. If you squint when you look at Apple TV, you can see where Apple plans to go in the future, so I’m holding out hope that Apple TV and tvOS will have a more compelling reason to buy one over it’s competitors in the future.

    To introduce the new Apple TV, Tim brought out Jen Folse from the Apple TV engineering team to demonstrate some of the new features.

    The new Apple TV, forth generation features:

    • Redesigned hardware, including the new Siri Remote
    • Redesigned UI/UX: GUI, glass touch interface on remote, Siri voice controls
    • Siri Universal Search for content across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime
    • HD video screen savers that look so amazing that I want to have them running all the time
    • Apple TV now includes Apps, App Store, and full integration with Apple Music and Beats 1
    • A8, Bluetooth 4, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
    • 10mm taller than Apple TV 3rd gen
    • Siri Remote charges via Lightning Cable and is good for 3 mo on a single charge
    • TV volume control, on off TV/receiver control
    • Available in two models: 32GB $149, 64GB $199
    • Apple TV 3 lives on at the existing $69 price point
    • Apple TV 4 ships in late October


     Apple TV’s operating system received an official name this year, and it is “tvOS”.

    • New software that drives Apple TV and is based on iOS
    • Think of tvOS in the same way that watchOS is a “derivative” of iOS
    • tvOS uses all of the same foundations as iOS, easy to move iOS apps to tvOS
    • Multiplayer game support, mixing Apple TV remote and iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as extra controllers.
    • Apple TV remote also can interact with apps like a Wii Remote does
    • Support for three additional iOS controllers for a total of four players
    • Universal apps now span iOS for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and tvOS
    • Support for game progress saves, continue playing where you last left off
    • Developers have access to tvOS now – developer.apple.com/tvos

    iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus

    At about 83 minutes, gets to the part of the presentation we have all been waiting for: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

    With so much packed into this presentation, you will recall that Apple chose to cut out all of the status updates.  Still, Tim Cook still found the time to take a jab at all of the Apple naysayers by pointing out the iPhone has grown 35% year-over-year.  Boom!

    The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will have bodies constructed with Apple’s 7000 series aluminum and come in a new rose gold color in addition to silver, gold and space grey.  Being an “s: year, Apple has chosen to keep the same display sizes: 6s 4.7-inches and the 6s at 5.5-inches.  The bodies are slightly larger than the previous year, however, Apple’s website still shows that iPhone 6-series and iPhone 6s-series phone will be able to fit into existing cases.

    So of the new features about the new iPhone that I really like are:

    • iPhone 6S/Plus includes to Multi-Touch interface called 3D Touch
    • Peek and Pop Force Touch gestures for navigating and controlling iPhone
    • Tactile feedback is provided to the display via a Taptic engine
    • New 3D Force gestures for Peek and email are going to be a big time saver for me
    • iPhone 6S/Plus is powered by the new A9 processor
    • Desktop and console grade graphics – games look great on Metal for iOS
    • M9 motion coprocessor has now been moved directly into the A9 CPU
    • Apple gets points for a 12MP iSight camera; 5MP FaceTime camera (screen as flash!)
    • New Live Photos feature works across OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 on iPhone iPad and watchOS 2

    In addition to the specs, Apple has made some changes to the hardware line up.

    • iPhone 6S/Plus will keep the same price configurations
    • iPhone 5S is free on contract
    • iPhone 5C is out (say goodbye to the last non-TouchID device)
    • You can now purchase your iPhone directly from Apple on a payment plan called iPhone Upgrade Program, which includes AppleCare+

    The iPhone 6S/Plus go on sale Sept 25.  Pre-orders, the only humane way to order on iPhone, will be available with free shipping to your home or in store reservations.

    There’s a lot to digest with the Hey, Siri event and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the new hardware and software as soon as possible.

  • amazon,  apple,  kindle

    Higher E-Book Prices Turn Out to Not Be Popular with Consumers

    Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg writing for the Wall Street Journal:

    “When the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Amazon.com Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies.”

    The world’s largest publishers were forced to turn to Amazon after the US government successfully sued Apple for conspiring to inflate e-book prices by establishing “agency model” pricing for the iBook Store.  Amazon, got by without at second glance.

    Let’s see how things are going:

    “The new business model for e-books is having a significant impact on what [the big] publishers report,” said one publishing executive. “There’s no question that publishers’ net receipts have gone down.” 

    On Thursday morning, there wasn’t a single title priced at $9.99 among the top 20 titles on the company’s Kindle best-seller list. Last summer, Amazon offered the digital edition of James Patterson’s thriller “Invisible” for the bargain price of $8.99. Mr. Patterson’s newest tale of suspense, “Alert,” went on sale Aug. 3 on Amazon for $14.99, a price set by Hachette, Mr. Patterson’s publisher. The unit sales for Mr. Patterson’s e-books weren’t available.

    Sounds like there’s trouble in paradise.

    [Via The Wall Street Journal…]

  • blackberry,  good technology,  rim

    Backberry to Acquire Good Technology

    Blackberry, makers of the same named smartphones, is acquiring mobile device management mainstay Good Technology.

    Waterloo, Ontario and Sunnyvale, Calif. – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in secure mobile communications, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Good Technology for $425 million in cash.
    The acquisition of Good is aligned with BlackBerry’s strategy to offer customers the most complete, end-to-end solution that secures the entire mobile enterprise, across all platforms. Enhanced by Good, BlackBerry will expand its ability to offer a unified, secure mobility platform with applications for any mobile device on any operating system – supported with security that has been certified by governments around the world embedded in every component of the mobility infrastructure.

    Good will bring complementary capabilities and technologies to BlackBerry, including secure applications and containerization that protects end user privacy. With Good, BlackBerry will expand its ability to offer cross-platform EMM solutions that are critical in a world with varying deployment models such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD); corporate owned, personally enabled (COPE); as well as environments with multiple user interfaces and operating systems. Good has expertise in multi-OS management with 64 percent of activations from iOS devices, followed by a broad Android and Windows customer base. 

    “By acquiring Good, BlackBerry will better solve one of the biggest struggles for CIOs today, especially those in regulated industries: securely managing devices across any platform. By providing even stronger cross-platform capabilities our customers will not have to compromise on their choice of operating systems, deployment models or any level of privacy and security,” said John Chen, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO. “Like BlackBerry, Good has a very strong presence in enterprises and governments around the world and, with this transaction, BlackBerry will enhance its sales and distribution capabilities and further grow its enterprise software revenue stream.”

    With this acquisition, CEO John Chen is shoring up his company by safe guarding it from a future where Blackberry devices may no longer exist and has to focus on security and backend device management software.  Good Technology has been around for a very long time.  I recall attending webcasts  demonstrating their secure email technology for Palm OS devices like the Palm Tungsten C.

    In an article for the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) Ben Hummett writes:

    “BlackBerry last November introduced the latest version of its mobile device management software, which works across mobile operating systems, including Google Inc.’s Android operating and Apple Inc.’s iOS. But analysts have questioned demand for the software, dubbed BES12, after the company surprised the market in its fiscal first quarter ended May 30 by including revenue from technology licensing as part of total software sales. That move raised concerns about overall sales of BES12.”

    “BES”, is short for the Blackberry Enterprise Server, the software that has long driven the secure backend communications of Blackberry smartphones.  As demand of Blackberry smartphones has declined, so has sales of BES.  With BES12, Blackberry tried to make the software more attractive to companies who have Blackberry smartphones deployed by also adding support for Apple’s iOS and Googles Android devices.  With the Good acquisition, Blackberry has legitimized their leadership position at the mobile device management (MDM) for fleets of mobile devices.

    Many have written Blackberry off after a cataclysmic sales implosion following many failed attempts to out do the iPhone.  Untimely, Blackberry faltered by misunderstanding the powerful allure of the “prosumer” market who gobbled up iPhones and Android devices by the millions.

    John Chen was appointed Executive Chairmen and CEO after his major turn around of Sybase, a once popular enterprise database software company.  Sybase was sold to SAP for 12bn.

    While readers of this blog know that I’m a fan of Apple.  With the fate of Palm OS/webOS unknown, I have to keep rooting for Blackberry to make some sort of comeback.  Mobile needs to be more than a two horse (iOS and Android) race.

    You can read the full press release on the Blackberry website.