BeatsX headphones finally launch on Apple Store — Apple has finally launched the long-awaited BeatsX headphones for US$150 (in New Zealand, $229.95). The headphones were originally delayed in Fall 2016. Apple’s website listed shipping times of 4-5 business days for White and Black colours, and 8-11 days for Blue and Gray.
The BeatsX headphones are Bluetooth using Apple’s W1 chip, but in a different way than the AirPods. BeatsX are tethered together with a neck cable and come with a Lightning charging cable. The headphones also ship with four interchangeable ear tips in different sizes and removable wingtips if you decide to go running with them.The headphones work for up to eight hours of music playback on a full charge. You can get two hours of playing on only five minutes’ charge. You’ll also enjoy optimised noise isolation for an “immersive listening experience.”
Here’s how they compare to Apple AirPods.
Quickly adjust AirPods volume by percentage and check listening levels with Siri — Due to its distinct lack of physical controls, setting sound levels on Apple’s new AirPods requires the use of either Siri or the volume buttons on a paired iPhone, both of which operate on preset magnitudes. For greater control, use Siri to raise or lower the beats by percentage.
Apple objects to ‘free ride’ requests by Australian banks to open up NFC on iPhone — Apple has complained to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission over the resistance of major banks in the country using Apple Pay, with a recent filing claiming a request to open up access to the iPhone’s NFC controller would effectively allow banks to avoid using Apple Pay entirely.
In New Zealand only ANZ – an Australian bank – has implemented Apple Pay.
VR evangelist doubles down on rumor that Apple AR headset is inbound, moves date up to 2017 — Augmented and virtual reality herald Robert Scoble has amplified his predictions about an Apple partnership with Carl Zeiss on a pair of smart glasses, and is predicting an announcement of the technology possibly as early as the middle of 2017.
Scoble expects a very lightweight pair of glasses, with the electronics on other places on your body, such as in an iPhone or other wearable.
iOS 10.0.2 fixes headphone audio controls, more — Apple released iOS 10.0.2 over the weekend. The headline feature is a fix for an issue that kept some headphone audio controls from working. A Photos bug was also fixed, as well as a problem with app extensions. It’s available in settings>General>Software Update.
Branding Brand: Galaxy Note7 recall dents consumer confidence in Samsung — The Galaxy Note7 recall put a dent in Samsung consumer confidence, with 34% of current customers saying they won’t buy another smartphone from the brand, according to Branding Brand, a mobile e-commerce platform. Of these customers, 81% have always owned a Samsung or Android smartphone.
If you can’t remotely control your HomeKit devices, enable iCloud Two-Factor Authentication — If you upgraded to iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, and tvOS 10 on your fourth generation Apple TV and now can’t remotely access your HomeKit devices, there’s probably an easy fix. Odds are you haven’t enabled iCloud Two-Factor authentication, which HomeKit in iOS 10 and tvOS 10 requires. Read on to learn how to get set up.
Review: Apple Watch Series 2 is a great improvement, but watchOS 3 steals the show — Equipped with a noticeably faster dual-core S2 processor, its own standalone GPS radio, and now with a waterproof design, the Apple Watch Series 2 is a worthwhile and fantastic upgrade from the first-generation model. It’s also a great jumping on point for new buyers. But the biggest changes come with a software overhaul in watchOS 3, meaning early adopters will probably be happy with their existing Apple Watch for another year. And here’s how to put the Digital Crown to good use.
AirPods earbuds — Apple’s new wireless (ie, cord-free) AirPods are designed to connect to the iPhone and Apple Watch over Bluetooth, to let you quickly switch between which device where they’re streaming audio. They include built-in microphones for noise reduction and phone calls. The just-announced W1 chip is the heart of AirPods. This provides better audio while managing the AirPods’ built-in optical sensor, dual accelerometers, and microphone.
AirPods sport five hours battery life between charges, and the carrying case has a built-in battery you can use to recharge and extend that to 24 hours.
Unlike many wifi earbuds, they don’t even have a cord connecting one to the other – this is wireless too. NZ prices, availability — The new Apple-designed wireless AirPods including charging case will be available for RRP NZ$269 inc.GST from Apple.com beginning in late October. All iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models will include EarPods with Lightning Connector and a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter, also sold separately at Apple.com for RRP NZ$49 inc.GST and RRP NZ$15 inc.GST, respectively.
Pokémon GO Coming to Apple Watch — Pokémon GO is coming to the Apple Watch later this month, fixing a glaring omission in the game when it first launched on the iPhone. The Apple Watch version gives you notifications your wrist, lets you track in-game activities, and ties in with fitness tracking, too.
Nintendo’s Mario coming to the iPhone and iPad — Nintendo’s Mario character is coming to the iPhone and iPad in a new game called Mario Run. It’s coming in time for the holidays, but pricing hasn’t yet been announced. You can play the game one-handed and engage in a new battle mode called Toad Battle.
Apple has released two new products for iDevices — One is a faster USB 3.0 Lightning to SD card reader for iPad Pro, since the Pro has a faster USB 3.0 port hidden within in. This is its first official accessory: a new Lightning to SD card reader that takes advantage of the next-generation port exclusive to Apple’s jumbo-sized iPad.
The second is an Apple iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case. The US$99 iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case in charcoal or white costs NZ$189 in New Zealand. With it you can reportedly charge your iPhone and battery case simultaneously for increased talk time up to 25 hours, Internet use up to 18 hours on LTE, and even longer audio and video playback.
Apple Maps gets more than five billion map-related requests each week — Apple tells the Associated Press that its Maps app is now used more than three times as often as its next leading competitor (that would be Google Maps) on iPhones and iPads, with more than five billion map-related requests each week. comScore says Maps has a “modest lead” over Google on iPhones in the US, though the research group measures how many people use a service in a given month rather than how often. [I haven’t used Google Maps in years.]
1/ iPhones and iPads have search — Just like Spotlight on Macs, in fact, but to some this remains a hidden feature: to launch Spotlight on an iOS device, swipe down on its screen – not from the very top of the screen; that displays Notification Center.
Start in the middle of the screen and swipe downwards – your finger should be moving downwards before it actually contacts the screen.
2/ Results from all over — Start typing in the text input field at the top, , and your iOS device will start showing you results, just as on OS X. As you continue typing, you’ll see the results change, as Spotlight zeroes in on what you’re looking for, showing you a number of different types of results, including your apps, words in emails, Calendar and Contacts, websites, Map locations and more.
But, oddly perhaps, you cannot search for files on iCloud Drive.
3/ iOS Spotlight is a launcher — Tap an app to launch it; tap a song to play it; tap any other item, such as a contact, email message, or web page, to open it in the appropriate app. Spotlight is great for launching an app that’s hidden in a folder somewhere on your iDevice.
4/ Searching the web — Spotlight can search for content on the Internet. It suggests matches from search terms among Wikipedia articles, news, content on the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store, as well as nearby places. These searches fall under the Spotlight Suggestions category. (For nearby places to work, you need to have Location Services turned on in the Privacy settings.) Spotlight Suggestions are available in New Zealand, and only 14 other countries.
5/ Specify the results you want — Choose which categories Spotlight displays when you search. Go to Settings>General> Spotlight Search and check or uncheck any of the categories you see. You can also change the order in which they display. To do this, tap and hold one of the rows and drag it up or down in the list.
The standard iOS Messages app you use daily for text messages, including sometimes photos and even videos, can do even more than you think.
1/ Forward a message to someone else — To forward a message, tap and hold it, select More, then tap the forward arrow at bottom-right.
2/ Find out when a text message was sent or received — Tap and hold a message, then drag it from right to left to reveal its time stamp.This can be very handy.
3/ Silence an annoying group thread — Open the message thread, tap Details, then flip the Do Not Disturb switch.
4/ Delete old text and picture messages automatically — An individual text message takes up a miniscule amount of data on your phone, but eventually, they all add up — particularly if there are pictures or video clips attached. Or you might be one of those people who constantly wipes messages and emails …
Luckily, Messages has a handy setting that deletes older text and picture messages automatically, perfect for keeping your phone’s storage from getting junked up with ancient threads.
Open Settings, choose Messages, scroll down and tap Keep Messages (under the Message History heading). Then just decide how long you’d like to keep old text messages before they’re deleted: for 30 days, a whole year, or (keep) forever.
5/ See all the photos and videos in a message thread — Messages for iOS 8 lets you view all the photos and video clips in a given message thread all at once.
Open a thread, tap the Details button in the top right corner of the screen, then scroll down to the Attachments section. Here you’ll find every picture, video clip, sound file or any other attachment you’ve traded with a fellow texter ready to be saved, forwarded, printed, or simply opened.
Kow-towing … Chinese internet regulator gets private look at Apple Watch — Want a private, behind-closed-doors glimpse at Apple’s new smartwatch, complete with a guided tour by Tim Cook himself?
You just have to be China’s Cyberspace Administration minister. That’s the treatment Lu Wei, China’s Internet Minister, received during his recent visit to California.
Leading Android fansite recommends … Apple Inc iPad Air 2 as best tablet in holiday gift guide — Android Police named Apple’s iPad Air 2 as its top tablet pick among “Android devices” for the 2014 holiday season, calling it “reliable, predictable, and very fast.” [How ‘leading’ is an Android fan site that refers to an iPad an Android device?]
Typo avoids BlackBerry lawsuit by releasing a new iPhone 6 keyboard — The original Typo keyboard case was a dream come true for many BlackBerry users who had converted to iPhone: a case which brought the tactile keyboard of your beloved old device to the best cell phone on the market. Then BlackBerry sued, and the Typo had to sit on the shelf… until now. (The new case is pictured above.)
Transmit for iOS restricted from using iCloud Drive, forced to delete all share sheet options — In its latest puzzling App Store policy assertion, Apple has reportedly blocked Panic from adding the standard iOS Share Sheet to its Transmit file transfer app due to an unwritten policy that “forbids apps from uploading content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself.”
Fit Brains Trainer keeps your grey matter in shape — While a lot of us are at least making the attempt to keep our bodies in shape, not so many people think about keeping their brains fit. That’s the idea behind a recent app from Rosetta Stone Canada called Fit Brains Trainer (free, with in-app purchases).
Apple has updated GarageBand for iOS with exclusive RED Loop Pack for limited time — Apple on Monday (NZ time) released an update to its GarageBand music authoring app that activates an option to purchase the (GarageBand)RED Loop Pack, an exclusive collections of hundreds of new instrument loop — and all proceeds go to the RED anti-AIDS charity. An in-app purchase branded in typical RED fashion, the (GarageBand)RED Loop Pack features 300 guitar, bass, synth and drum loops spread over a number of musical genres. To mark the occasion, Apple changed GarageBand’s app icon background from a sunset gradient to red. It’s only NZ$1.29, so do yourself a favour but you only have a few days to do so.
iPhone 6 launch broke app download records — The launch of a new iPhone always creates a bump in App Store downloads, but this year’s iPhone 6/6 Plus debut was a special kind of crazy. According to a new report by analytics firm Fiksu, October saw a massive surge in iOS app downloads that shattered previous records and led to a daily download volume of over 7.8 million downloads for the top 200 apps on the marketplace. The App Store’s performance in October represented a 42% increase from September and 39% year-over-year growth.
Take your foosball skills global with Foosball Cup World — Battle numerous other countries in Foosball Cup World, a game that puts your virtual foosball skills to the test. Play quick matches or choose challenges and put in some more effort to achieve special goals within the game. The game by default pairs you up with a computer, but soon after improving your skill Foosball Cup World unlocks additional modes for two players, tournaments and the world league. The game is free with in-app purchases for iPhone and iPad.
All the RED deals Monday 24th November to Sunday 7th December — The App Store’s Apps for (RED) campaign will feature 24 fan-favourite apps with exclusive new content. Every time a customer purchases a participating (PRODUCT)RED app or an exclusive In-App Purchase, all proceeds will go to the Global Fund.
• On Monday, 1 December – World AIDS Day – Apple will donate a portion of every sale at Apple’s online stores to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
Apps for (RED) marks the first-ever global App Store initiative in support of (RED). Participating developers have created (RED)-inspired content and experiences for their fans to enjoy, including:
• Angry Birds players can perfect their bird-flinging with (RED)’s Mighty Feathers and challenge themselves to a bonus golden egg level.
• Bubble Witch 2 Saga offers new (PRODUCT)RED levels across all 17 episodes of the game. Gold bar currency purchases will be donated to (RED).
• CSR Racing delivers new in-game thrills with the highly anticipated Mercedes Benz-AMG GT.
• Clash of Clans warriors can prepare for battle with special edition (PRODUCT)RED gems and display a (RED) badge of honour on the village’s town hall.
• Clear’s users can perfect their organisational skills with a new (PRODUCT)RED theme which appears automatically with all new downloads.
• Cut the Rope 2 unveils a wide selection of (PRODUCT)RED items including a new red hat, red touch print, red balloons and a red ginger cookie.
• Despicable Me: Minion Rush reveals a new Lifeguard minion that helps players boost their banana collection skills by 200%.
• DJay 2’s spin tables turn (RED) and offer DJs a special sound pack.
• FarmVille 2: Country Escape players can “Roll out the RED Carpet” and purchase limited-time items such as the Cozy Cow, St. Bernard and more.
• FIFA 15 Ultimate Team players can compete in a (RED) Tournament and Team of the Week event. All winners will be awarded football superstar and (RED) Ambassador Rafa Marquez.
• Frozen Free Fall unveils a magical new (RED) Challenge in the Kingdom of Arendelle, and offers an exclusive combined offer of 1 power-up, 1 snowball and 3 lives.
• Kim Kardashian:Hollywood’s aspiring celebrity players can treat themselves to (PRODUCT)RED items including (BEATS)RED Solo2 headphones. Kris Jenner, the first family member to join Kim’s in-app world, will make her in-game debut on 1 December.
• Heads Up! competition heats up with an exclusive new deck featuring (RED) words.
• The Human Body debuts the Immune System feature, educating users on how the body fights pathogens. The accompanying handbook features a new section on HIV/AIDS.
• Kitchen Stories Cookbook will offer a special-edition holiday recipe pack, featuring dishes from renowned chefs Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Luke Holden and Michael Lomonaco.
• Monument Valley offers a whole new chapter of Ida’s Journey, marking the final new feature of the game.
• Over customers have access to a wide selection of (PRODUCT)RED fonts and inspiring artwork, specially created by six artists. Users can share photos with the (RED) brackets overlay to help spread awareness.
• Paper by FiftyThree enthusiasts can enjoy a new (PRODUCT)RED Essentials Pack including Sketch, Outline, Write, Colour and Mixer tools.
• Rayman Fiesta Run introduces a new (RED) edition to their wacky Fiesta world, and players can purchase a pack of three new costumes for Rayman, Globox and Teensy characters.
• Star Walk 2 users can learn more about Mars with the comprehensive new RED Planet feature.
• Sims FreePlay features a special community challenge that unlocks various rewards, and players can purchase limited-edition (PRODUCT)RED items such as a swimming pool, party plane and piñata.
• Threes! turns (RED) with a limited-edition (PRODUCT)RED theme.
• Toca Boca paints Toca Town (RED)! Kids can discover new (RED) diamonds, sample (RED) ice cream in the app and look for other surprises throughout the game.
Apple’s own iBook reveals iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3, both with Touch ID — With less than 24 hours to go before Apple is set to present its latest products, preview images for the company’s iOS 8.1 user guide in the iBookstore reveal the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, both featuring Touch ID fingerprint-sensing home buttons.
The devices aren’t featured in the iBook download itself, but can be found within the screenshots for the digital book, entitled “iPad User Guide for iOS 8.” The very first screenshot displayed on the download page plainly names and shows both an iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2, both featuring Touch ID fingerprint sensors. [Woops! That’s not like Apple.]
Alpine Electronics launches headphones that literally rock your head — Alpine Electronics, best known for its line of audio products in cars, just launched a set of headphones that utilise ‘haptic feedback‘ (vibrations, basically) to deliver physical sensations to your skull, synchronised to the beat of the music you’re listening to.
Drafts 4 brings a new hope to a favorite iOS utility —TJ Luoma writes “Drafts lives in my dock on both my iPad and iPhone. Any time I start to write anything on my iOS device, I start writing it in Drafts, because I know that I can leave it, switch to another app, or several other apps, and when I come back to Drafts, what I wrote will still be there, always. When I’m done, I can easily send what I’ve written to another app, or just copy it to the clipboard.”
Five apps for tuning guitar — If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can use an app to tune rather than bothering with a standalone electronic tuner. There are lots of apps that can help you tune your guitar, or other instruments; here are five of them. [I use Guitar Toolkit.]
German builds a “working” iPhone in Minecraft — Convincing someone to watch a 13-minute video in a language they don’t speak is normally a hard sell, but we urge our non German-speaking readers to give this a spin regardless. A German has built a charming “working” iPhone in the game Minecraft that features its own mini apps and working buttons. Marvel at the calendar feature, check the weather, and enjoy the subtle charms of its built -n “painting” app. Heck it even has a “camera” app. [‘Mein MinePhone’?]