Tag Archives: Samsung

Tuesday Talk ~ iPhone ate

Looks like September 12th will be the date Apple launches its ‘completely new’ iPhone. That means it won’t be new tech in an existing case, but an all-new case as well. And that’s not an official, Apple-announced date, either, it’s just the ‘widely tipped’ date. Apple may also usher in this new device in its new campus, Apple Park, the huge round facility it’s been building over the last couple of years in Cupertino.
As I’ve mentioned before, papers all over the world, including to its discredit the New Zealand Herald, have been publishing articles as if the iPhone 8 already exists and they already know what’s in it. Neither have been even remotely true. Along with lists of its guessed-at ‘features’ have been the usual naysayers predicting its failure. These commentators have been doing this for decades now, before every imminent Apple launch.
Clearly they haven’t been learning from their own failures.
Perhaps I’m being harsh on the Herald, which is essentially just a republisher these days anyway, with almost no journalists to draw on – how’s that working out for you? Anyway, some even otherwise reputable Apple commentary sites have been indulging in this stupidity, and presumably for the same reason: for web traffic and readership.

Meanwhile, Samsung has launched its Galaxy 8. Samsung has made some pretty hot phones for sure, and indeed its hereditary CEO has been in hot water himself and is now facing jail time. The Note 8 has a large ‘Infinity Display’ (edge-to-edge) along with Samsung’s first dual camera module [which Apple introduced with iPhone 7+), an improved S Pen, and features like iris scanning, facial recognition, and wireless charging. The Galaxy 8 uses a Snapdragon 835 CPU, currently the most powerful chip available to Android devices. It’s produced using 10-nanometer manufacturing, which means its tiny transistors are placed ever so slightly closer together. iPhone 7 uses 14-nanometre; iPhone 8 will most likely have 10-nanometer. But despite fewer cores and slower clock speeds, iPhones have been outpacing its fastest Android-powered rivals in benchmarks and speed tests for years thanks to Apple being able to refine and integrate every single component in its devices. Actually, when you think about it, Samsung should be able to do this too … Anyway, if you can handle the Android flurry of overlapping operating systems available, it looks like an advanced and excellent smartphone, although its getting towards tablet-size.

Where will Apple go with iPhone 8? We’ll soon see. In the near future, I don’t see the operating systems merging. iOS started as a mobile version of macOS and they have largely been developed separately, but increasingly they’re borrowing features from each other. Until the systems merge, you won’t be able to run an iPad app on a Mac and vice versa – you’ll still have to acquire companion versions of the same app for either platform. Apart from one interface using screen-touch and the other using input (trackpads, mice etc), the real barrier to all this is simply capacity: CPU power and storage.
Those barriers are being lowered almost daily.

Samsung, iPhone international, Outlook for iOS, Cloud Convert video files

iOS news on Mac NZ today:

Apple is now equalling Samsung ales in Samsung's home country.
Apple is now equalling Samsung sales in Samsung’s home country.

Apple hits Samsung at home — Apple is getting closer to matching Samsung Electronics on its home turf, as it has done with other East Asian rivals.
Apple had a record-high 20% of the South Korean smartphone market in the last quarter of 2014, up from 11% a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics. Samsung’s mobile profits plunged 64.2% after Apple’s iPhone 6 devastates premium Galaxy sales. Apple and Samsung are now tied for the title of world’s largest smartphone maker.

More Android-to-iPhone switchers coming from international markets — Apple revealed this week that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus attracted more Android users than ever before. But new data suggests that the rate of Android switchers in the US was steady last quarter, implying it’s international users who are making the jump to iPhone in record numbers. [Does this represent iPhone success or Android failure?]

Microsoft Outlook debuts as free download for iPhone, iPad — Microsoft on Thursday released its long-awaited Outlook client for iOS, giving both iPhone and iPad owners the ability to access a unified view of email calendar, contacts, and attachments.

CloudConvert easily converts file types on iPhone and iPad — Occasionally you’ll run into a need to convert a video file: CloudConvert can handle more than just video files.

Apple Watch 491 ~ There’s Smart, there’s Outsmarted – and there’s Smarting

And they’re different things. Once upon a time, Apple’s big bogeyman was Microsoft, and before that, long long before, it was IBM. Times have changed, but there’s seemingly always someone in the bogeyman position, and if anything, these days, there are two – and the two are about equal, as far as Apple is concerned: Google and Samsung. (Meanwhile, Microsoft and IBM are developing benevolent partnerships with Apple on various fronts.)

I’m not having a tilt at Samsung here — it’s just a good tech company that creates an often-excellent range of products as far as I’m concerned. The rivalry has much to do perception – as soon as Samsung started making slim smartphones running Google’s Android OS, the tech titans were going to clash. Is it personal? I don’t think so, as far as Samsung is concerned. Samsung hardly had the choice to make a phone to run iOS, after all. Although some of the Samsung smartphones and tablets have been embarrassingly (perhaps that word should be ‘expensively’) similar to Apple’s,
the Google rivalry is another matter.
That is personal. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, and Steve Jobs took it very personally when Google launched its copy I mean competitor to iOS (ie, Android). That personality thing seems to have permeated Apple’s culture, as Steve Jobs is no longer there. Generally speaking, Apple has fared well through the whole thing, going from record profit to profit record, although people who covet iPhones and iPads have clearly turned to cheaper devices running Android since the differences aren’t that powerful, once it comes down to the dollar, to them. Beggars can be choosers, with modern tech – and that’s a good thing.

One rather odd area that Google has kinda won is that of email: I meet droves of happy Apple users who, strangely, use Gmail email rather than Apple’s iCloud email accounts. Apple has failed somehow here – an iCloud account is ‘as free’ and internationally useful (independent of localised ISPs) as Gmail accounts, except iCloud works way better on Apple computers and devices, and it’s way more secure. Apple, unlike Google, doesn’t think privacy is some kind of joke.
I honestly think the difference between the two is the signup – many people miss the prompt to get a free iCloud account (__@icloud.com) when they first sign up to iCloud’s synching etc, and lots of PC users tell them ‘just get a gmail account’ so they go online and find it immediately, and sign up. I meet lots of Apple users with problematic, improperly working and bad-at-synching Gmail accounts when they could be using excellent, perfectly-synching iCloud accounts for the same cost (ie, for free).
I do realise people often simply don’t notice things. For example, there are TWO models of iPhone 6, yet almost invariably, if I show someone an iPhone 6 they say ‘I thought it was bigger.’ Er, yes, the big Plus model is even bigger. There are two distinct sizes of iPhone 6. You honestly haven’t seen the ads or even one website showing both models?

Anyway, I digress — the fallout from the Google-Apple rivalry seems to be affecting Samsung more than Google, even though they both have many irons in the tech fire, so to speak. The South Korean giant (which has supplied many components for Apple over the years) has suffered plummeting profitability due, according to some, to a major drop in its low-priced, high-volume phones and tablets. Samsung announced a frighteningly steep 73.9% drop in its mobile division profits for the third quarter. The problem seems to be a boom in buyers of its low-end smartphones – which is great, welcoming more people into the smartphone era, with all that’s offered by the pocket-tech – but the low and medium models are nowhere near as profitable as high-end smartphones … or iPhones.

Does that mean that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is beating Samsung down, despite its price? As I remarked a couple of weeks back, Samsung sold a third the number of its latest top model compared to iPhone 6 … in Korea. It’s been a race to the margins for Samsung, unfortunately. Apple doesn’t do ‘cheap’ – it sometimes does ‘slightly less’, is all.

And by the way, Samsung — you still haven’t paid Apple the US1 billion you owe for losing that patent infringement court case … and that was two years ago.

Office goes free, iPhone 6 Plus, most secure, Philips Hue, photos, Samsung, wirelurker, Apple Pay, games

Two Apple commentators love the bigger 6 Plus
Two Apple commentators love the bigger 6 Plus

Office goes free on phones and tablets: what you get, and what you don’t — With the news that Microsoft is making all of its mobile Office apps free — the iPad and upcoming Android tablet versions — with a few caveats: Phone and tablet users will be able to view, create and edit documents for free, and they’ll be able to sync those documents with Dropbox or OneDrive cloud storage. Certain advanced editing features, such as the ability to accept or reject Track Changes in Word, will require an Office 365 subscription. And for commercial use rights, you’ll need Office 365 for Business.
[I am loving Microsoft’s re-engagement with the Apple world – better for all of us.]

Dan Frommer still likes his iPhone 6 Plus, and Steven Sandes loves his — Dan Frommer, writing over at Quartz, published a 30-day review of the iPhone 6 Plus today. The verdict? “After more than a month of everyday use, it has become even more of the pocket computer I’ve always wanted.” Steven Sande loves his too.
[I still love my slimmer 6 – the Plus is just too big for me.]

EFF ranks Apple’s iMessage, FaceTime “best mass market options” for secure messaging, ahead of BlackBerry Messenger, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Microsoft Skype — In its ranking of electronic messaging systems for safety and security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said no mainstream products passed all of its criteria, but that Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime “stood out as the best of the mass-market options.”

Philips Hue iOS 8 Notification Center widget for connected lightbulbs now available — Users of Philips Hue connected LED lightbulbs can now quickly control their lighting and enable “scenes” with the new easy-access Hue widget, now available for iOS 8.

8 ways to take better photos with any camera — Now that ghosts and goblins have cleared the way for turkeys and reindeer, the prime holiday picture-taking season is upon us. To avoid getting disappointing photos that you can’t reshoot, you can follow these tips to increase your photographic prowess and take better pictures with any camera…including your iPhone.

Samsung Electronics’ heir apparent Lee Jae-yong profiled as silver spoon-fed product of corrupt nepotism with little real experience — When Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook came out as gay, jokes flew that Samsung might rush to announce it “was even more gay.” In reality however, Samsung Electronics is a step further behind Apple, having yet to officially name a successor to its ailing leader Lee Kun-hee, who at 72 remains hospitalised following a heart attack in May.

Jailbroken Chinese iOS devices fall prey to invasive WireLurker malware — Researchers at Palo Alto Networks said they’ve discovered an impressive malware attack against Apple devices, which for now appears to be limited to users of a Chinese application store. [Most people, don’t panic – your device is most likely not jailbroken, as that’s something you have to do specifically to your iDevice as a hack.]

Apple Pay dominates discussion at Money20/20 mobile payments industry conference — This week was the Money20/20 mobile payment conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and with over 7000 people in attendance, the hottest topic at the show was the recent launch of Apple Pay and what it means for the industry.

Leaf on the Wind is an engaging and very clever game — Mel Martin doesn’t do a lot of game reviews “because to me they usually are endless variations on a theme. Leaf on the Wind (NZ$3.79) is a clever exception, and a game I am really enjoying.”

Send your kid on a safari adventure with Trail the Tail — Trail the tail is an educational children’s app. It requires iOS 6.0 or later, is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and is optimised for iPhone 5. It’s a simple app with three short, fun, and educational games for young children in the main menu, a simple math game, and several other games involving various zoo animals on a side menu and costs NZ$3.79.

Google Maps app gets overhauled, adds Uber and Opentable — Google Maps, otherwise known as the mapping app that Apple Maps so desperately wishes it could be, got a little bit better today with an app refresh. The update brings with it a cleaner look and less clutter, which happens to match the post-iOS 7 aesthetic perfectly, along with support for third-party apps such as OpenTable and Uber.

Vine update, Star Wars Commander, iPhone veteran evaluates Amazon Fire Phone, Samsung, European football

Star Wars Commander is free and interactive, from Disney
Star Wars Commander is free and interactive, from Disney

Vine update for iOS adds the ability to import video clips — Vine’s six-second videos just got a whole lot easier to make – for iOS users, anyway. The Twitter-owned company is rolling out an update to let iPhone users create Vines using already-shot footage in their Camera Roll.

iPhone veteran evaluates an Amazon Fire Phone — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the Fire Phone on June 18 with several novel features and a 4.7-inch display. This review takes a close look at the Fire Phone from a technical perspective that steers away from politics and towards what the iPhone or any potential owner would want to know about this very good smartphone.

Disney expands ‘Star Wars’ iOS franchise with ‘Commander’ real-time strategy game — After soft-launching in the Australian iOS App Store nearly two months ago, Disney Interactive’s Star Wars: Commander saw wide release on Thursday, bringing real-time strategy Rebellion vs. Empire gameplay to Apple’s mobile devices. It’s free.

What the deceptive Samsung wall-hugger ad doesn’t tell you — See all you can do with a Galaxy S5 when the battery is low? Steve Sande has to admit that of all of Samsung’s TV ads, he kinda likes the wall-hugger ad (the story and the ad are at this link).
“It’s funny, and quite realistic if you’ve ever walked through an airport and seen people desperately seeking a charge before they get on their flights. While watching the ad the other day, I noticed that the phone of the young woman showing that she has a full day of usage available on 10 percent of a charge also notes that the phone is in Galaxy S5 Ultra Power Saving Mode. Being an all-out Apple fanboi, I smelled that something was rotten in Samsung-land, so I googled “Galaxy S5 Ultra Power Saving Mode” to see exactly what that entailed.”

Premier Live: Football European style — American interest in soccer, or football as it is known in the rest of the world, reached an all time high during the recent World Cup in Brazil. More and more Americans are following the top European leagues. Rifra has five apps that will allow you to follow all of the top European leagues. You can choose among the English Premier Live 2014-2015, La Liga Live 2014-2015 for Spanish football, Serie A Live 2014-2015 covers Italy’s top division, Ligue 1 Live 2014-2015 handles the top league in France, and for Germany’s best Bundesliga Live 2014-2015. All of the apps are free, run on all iOS devices with iOS 5.1.1 or later. The apps offer one in-app purchase. For US$2.99 you can upgrade to an ad free experience.

Apple iPhone event, HealthKit, new Pebble smartwatch, Samsung, App store, iOS video monitoring

New Pebble smart watches in fashion colours (so, for NZ fashion, where's black?!)New Pebble smart watches in fashion colours (so, for NZ fashion, where’s black?!)

Apple iPhone event scheduled for September 9 — Apple has announced a special event for September 9, 2014,  exactly 364 days since the iPhone 5s and 5c were revealed. The inevitable iPhone 6 (or iPhone 6es, depending on which rumour you buy into) is thought to be significantly larger than the current model.

Apple files for ‘HealthKit’ trademarks in the US, Europe — Nearly three months after first protecting the HealthKit moniker in the small island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Apple has officially filed paperwork to expand that protection to the U. and the European Union.

Pebble unveils new limited-edition iOS-compatible pink, green & blue smart watches — With competition in the smartwatch space heating up, arguable market leader Pebble on Tuesday took the covers off of a new fashion-focused push that will see a limited run of US$150 Fly Blue, Fresh Green, and Hot Pink versions (above) of its original plastic-framed device made available to the public. [Please not, this is NOT an Apple smartwatch.]

Samsung’s chipmaking business posts weak outlook as rumours of Apple shift persist — To date, Samsung has been the sole supplier of custom A-series processors for Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad, but industry watchers again expect that to change after the South Korean company signalled that its microprocessor business has a bleak outlook.

App Store revenue, number of customers both reached new records for Apple in July — Apple on Tuesday revealed that the month of July was the best ever for its digital software downloads, as the App Store generated more revenue and had more customers make purchases than ever before.

Manything turns any iOS device into a home video monitoring system — Video security for your home or small business just got a lot easier and a lot less expensive thanks to Manything.
Manything is an all-in-one home video monitoring system for iOS that allows you to stream, record, and view video remotely from any iOS device using iOS 5 or later. That means your old iPhone 3GS just became a WiFI video camera instead of gathering dust.