Posts tagged iPhone
Microsoft’s Bing and Google are pursuing very similar strategies with their mobile apps. Google’s search app for iOS is essentially a browser and gateway to other Google apps and services. The same is true for Bing on iOS and Android. Earlier this week Bing refreshed its Android app to…
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Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote a rare and lengthy Google+ post by Schmidt over the weekend, giving the Apple community a comprehensive guide on to how to flee to his company’s products. Not that they’re likely regular Google+ users…
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Fitting rooms are not fun. Nope. Every movie or TV show that has ever portrayed a fitting room as a makeshift pageant or runway show has lied to you. In fact, I strongly believe there is a very special circle of Hell that strongly resembles Forever 21 fitting rooms—tweens, their moms and all.
So, you decide to remedy these woes by online shopping.
A few clicks and eager tracking-number check-ups later, and you are slicing open a cardboard box with the hope and voracity of Charlie Bucket with a Wonka Bar in his hand. Gingerly, you slip on the clothes you ordered—the ones you thought might just complete your winter wardrobe (and, by transitive property, you), but alas! Nothing fits. Not in the way you wanted it to, anyway.
Every online apparel shopper’s tribulation with fit is very real. It is an issue many sites like True Fit, Virtusize and Clothes Horse have been aiming to resolve through complex algorithms and user-submitted body measurements.
But the newest answer to the right fit might just be found in an iOS app and the power of selfies. Users of online lingerie retailer ThirdLove utilize the mobile application to snap two quick photos to achieve the perfect fit for intimates.
As an avid enthusiast of apparel, technology and selfies, I was immediately eager to give ThirdLove’s innovative blend of the three a try. ThirdLove’s app seeks to gain information about your body through analyzing each photo down to the pixel.
Sensors on the iPhone capture 3-D data through the two 2-D images of the user in what ThirdLove calls a “virtual measuring tape”. The iOS app, launched on November 7, opens up with an instructional video of how to accurately execute the photo procedure.
Users stand in front of a mirror dressed in a tank top or bra, with their iPhone camera in tow. The app instructs users to bring the phone down to their navel. Computer vision leveraging sensors in the app will audibly and visually alert if the phone is not completely parallel with the mirror.
Once the phone is perfectly aligned to the mirror, the picture is taken. A few measurements are then completed by the user—dragging a box over the size of the iPhone in the image, sizing a line to the bust’s widest length, and sizing a line underneath the bust.
This process is repeated for the second photo, but with the user’s left profile facing the mirror. The phone is once again brought down to the navel, and lengths are measured accordingly.
What is produced from these measurements is a ThirdLove-specific bra size, one that co-founder Heidi Zak and head of design Ra’el Cohen assert will be the right fit.
The usual A to D cup, four-sizes-to-fit-all mantra of many lingerie retailers often does not provide the perfect fit for the millions of variances in bodies. ThirdLove operates on a half-size system, and believes that this guarantees a better-fitting bra.
In what many might see as a terrifying future where your bust size shooting up into the cloud to be stored forever, ThirdLove’s collection of your personalized size and body measurements also means a quick one-stop-shopping experience. Users can return time and again to order from the app’s selection of garments, all in their perfect size.
ThirdLove captures the personalized mobile experience, nixing all need for another lingerie salesperson with a measuring tape to trail you into the dressing room ever again.
And as a longtime occupant of said lingerie dressing room myself, I approached my own ThirdLove trial with excitement and a healthy dose of skepticism. When the garment finally reached my front door, I was met with that familiar online shopping adrenaline rush, the gnawing hope mixed with preparations for the worst. But this time, with what may be argued as one of the most difficult garments to fit with accuracy—the piece fit like a glove. A comfy, lace glove.
If digital visualizations of the body are the next step in apparel fit, tools like the Kinect with 3-D body scanning technology may be on its way to disrupt the fashion industry. Soon, you could be playing dress-up doll with your very own miniature version of yourself.
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Motorola today announced the Moto G, a mid-market smartphone designed to give consumers a high quality experience for the fraction of the price. The Moto G is the global successor to Motorola’s well-received Moto X and sports better quality hardware than most cheaper smartphones sold around the world.
The Moto G has a 4.5-inch display with 329 pixels-per-inch and a quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. It comes with a removable back in a variety of colors—called Motorola Shells—and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The battery is 2070 mAh, which Motorola promises will run “all day,” and has a 5-megapixel back camera.
The real news though is the price. The 8 GB of internal storage version will retail at $179 without a carrier contract and an unlocked SIM card. The 16-GB version will cost $199. The Moto G is available today in Brazil and parts of Europe today and will be available in other parts of the world in the coming weeks. Motorola said that the Moto G will be available in the United States at the beginning of January 2014.
“Most people in the world can’t afford a $500 or $600 smartphone,” Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said at the device’s launch announcement in Brazil. “We think the industry should provide more value for the consumer dollar.”
The price and specifications of the Moto G do what many people hoped Apple would do with its lower-end device, the iPhone 5C. It provides quality hardware while not breaking the bank. The iPhone 5C with 16 GB of internal storage retails off-contract at $549 (32 GB at $649). These are prices that disappointed many people in the world who were looking for a quality Apple smartphone that they could afford. If you put the hardware specifications of the Moto G against the iPhone 5C, Motorola’s budget smartphone compares favorably while being less than a third of the price.
The Moto G is not an exact iPhone 5C competitor and does suffer from some lack top end features. For instance, it does not have 4G LTE connectivity but rather 3G GSM and CDMA support. That makes it attractive to many consumers across the globe that do not have LTE but will make the device a much harder sell in the United States.
The Moto G does not sport some of the more intuitive features of its big sister Moto X. It does not have the Active Display that shows notifications from the lock screen or the gesture or voice control that make the Moto X one of the smarter phones on the market. It does run a “pure” version of Android (without a custom skin or launcher) and is heavily integrated with Google’s software services. Outside of the Motorola Shells, the Moto G will not have the consumer customization options that the Moto X has with Moto Maker in the U.S. where consumers can have their smartphone built in a variety of colors.
All in all, the Moto G is the type of device that should push other smartphone manufacturers to up their game. It provides good (though not cutting edge) hardware, one of the most recent versions of Android (with the promise to update to version 4.4 KitKat by January 2014) and a quality Android experience. The price immediately puts it at the head of the class for cheap and mid-market smartphones against the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia and Apple.
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At a company event in San Francisco Tuesday morning, Apple is expected to announce new models of the iPad and iPad mini, the new Mac Pro, and the release date and pricing for OS X Mavericks.
But CEO Tim Cook kicked off the highly anticipated event in traditional Apple fashion, by talking about the success Apple has seen this year.
Nine million iPhones sold last month made it Apple’s biggest iPhone launch to date. The company released two new designs, the iPhone 5S and 5c, which could be the reason for the historic sales.
Cook also talked about iOS 7, Apple’s controversial new operating system. Users have complained, especially about how it runs on older iPhones, but they don’t seem to have balked at installing the new software, as 64 percent of iOS devices now run iOS 7, Cook said. (That’s lower than some third-party estimates.)
The company also boasted the success of iTunes Radio, Apple’s alternative to music players like Spotify. Cook said over 20 million users listen to iTunes Radio, and pop megastar Justin Timberlake debuted his album on the service. Since its release last month, in the United States alone, users played one billion songs on the service.
The App Store has seen tremendous growth and scope as well, and now over one million apps are available for download, and users have downloaded over 60 billion times. Cook presented a fake check that demonstrated how much Apple developers have made off the App Store, totaling 13 billion dollars.
In anticipation of the new tablet updates, Cook talked about the popularity and accessibility of the iPad. The iPad is used four times more than any other tablet, and Cook said the company has sold 170 million devices.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published by our partners at PopSugar Tech.
Today, HTC supersized its flagship, all-aluminum smartphone. It’s called the HTC One Max, a name that reflects its mighty 5.9-inch display. In size alone, the new phone exceeds even the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a self-proclaimed smartphone/tablet hybrid with a 5.7-inch screen.
The HTC One Max is essentially a larger version of the HTC One, which launched in April—with one biometric addition. Like the iPhone 5S, HTC’s new Android phone includes a fingerprint scanner, which identifies the device owner’s finger to unlock the screen. The scanner is on the rear of the phone, beneath the camera, rather than built into the home button.
On the inside, HTC claims that the Max’s large 3300mAh battery provides long-lasting power, but the company hasn’t released details on how many hours we can expect to use the device without charge. As in the original HTC One, the Max runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quadcore processor at 1.2 Ghz, with 2GB RAM. The camera (2.1MP front and 4MP rear) is also the same in the flagship and its large-screen counterpart.
In terms of hardware, the One Max has a plastic frame surrounding its aluminum body. HTC makes some of the best-looking Android phones on the market, and the One Max’s hardware doesn’t stray from that. The phone will be available on Sprint and Verizon in the US, starting mid- to the end of October. We’ll get more details after the Oct. 15 HTC launch event tomorrow.
Curious about HTC’s king-size phone? See how the Max compares to another competitor with cutting-edge biometric technology — the iPhone 5S — after the break.
More stories from PopSugar Tech:
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Save the Date! Apple’s iPad Event Is Set — What to Expect
Wonder Woman: Superhero and Feminist Icon
Start Here: Time-Saving Windows 8.1 Tips and Tricks
Who Is Angela Ahrendts? Meet Apple’s New High-Fashion, Hi-Tech Exec
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According to users Web-wide, the latest iOS 7 seems to have made legacy Apple smartphones a bit dumber. Reports continue to pour in describing crashes, slowness and erratic behavior overtaking iPhone 4s and 4Ses that have upgraded to the newest version of iOS.
Unfortunately for these users, there’s no going back. They can’t downgrade back to iOS 6—Apple saw to that—which means they’re effectively held hostage now. Sure, the captivity is of their own making, but if they ever want to see decent iPhone performance again, the fact remains that they’ll have to pay up for a new handset.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise; iOS 7 was designed with the more powerful iPhone 5S and 5C in mind. Yet many users are surprised, to say nothing of annoyed and frustrated. And, mostly, disappointed—especially the longtime users who believed Apple when it said they too could enjoy the strange, new technicolor world.
Ultimately, “enjoy” turned out to be an oversell. The older handsets buckle under the weight of the new software. And while there’s nothing users can do to make older iPhones with iOS 7 run like their newest counterparts, there are a few tweaks that can help ease the strain and crank up the performance a few notches.
Old iPhone, Meet New iOS—Now Take Cover
iOS 7 needs a powerful processor—the “brains” of the device responsible for carrying out what the software commands. Apple designed the operating system for its most powerful chip to date, the 64-bit A7, which includes both a CPU and an upgraded graphic processor. The OS simply won’t work on chips that predate the A4, the earlier and weaker chip powering the iPhone 4. (Some users, of course, complain that it barely works on the A4.)
It also doesn’t help that the iPhones 4 and 4S—the earliest devices eligible for this software update—have half the onboard memory, or RAM, of the newest iPhones. RAM holds recent data for easy access, so the more you have, the more data you can access quickly, and the faster the experience feels. The iPhone 5S and 5C boast 1GB RAM. The 4 and 4S each have a mere 512MB.
Apple’s attempt at extending iOS 7 compatibility to the 4 and 4S involved stripping down or eliminating incidental features, such as translucency effects and Maps Flyover. That’s understandable—and for some, it’s an acceptable compromise.
What’s not acceptable are problems such as crashing apps (even Apple’s own), hit-or-miss swiping for the control and notification centers, ragged home screen navigation, keyboard sluggishness, and really really slow app launching, closing and switching.
Since there’s nothing owners can do about insufficient hardware—short of buying a new device—the only alternative is to reduce the demands iOS 7 is placing on inadequate hardware. That means adjusting a few settings to eliminate any feature that isn’t absolutely necessary.
Giving The iPhone 4 And 4S A Boost
The operative phrase here: Less is more. For a noticeable difference in speed and stability, users should look to a few targeted areas—such as freeing up space on the device, limiting processes that attempt to work simultaneously and killing unnecessary features. Or at least, that’s what common sense seems to dictate. But do such tactics really make a difference?
I put that to the test by borrowing my friend’s iPhone 4 and my co-worker’s iPhone 4S and trying out a variety of different suggestions. The following tactics yielded the best and most consistent results:
1: Ditch Unused Apps, Unwieldy Files, Other Detritus
Reducing the amount of data stashed on your device can yield noticeable gains in performance. To see how much space you have left and which apps are hogging the most room, launch your Settings app, tap General, then Usage and check out the section near the top, under Storage. You’ll also see a list followed by your list of apps in order from largest to smallest. If you’re running low on space, go through the list and see if you can do without any of the larger apps. If so, uninstall them. Ultimately, you want to keep at least 15% of your storage space free, but ideally more.
Note: Sometimes, the app itself isn’t the offender, but its associated files. For instance, some e-magazines download as inexplicably files, so if you read lots of them, consider deleting old issues. Same goes for songs, videos, podcasts, photos, documents and other files.
2: Kill Automatic Background Processes
Automatic anything in the background is just a convenience feature. But it’s not very convenient when the extra processing burden keeps your iPhone from working well. The three biggest offenders:
- Background App Store updates: To stop automatic App Store updates and make them manual, just head into iTunes & App Store, scroll to Automatic Downloads and toggle off the Updates option.
- Background syncing: While you’re in Automatic Downloads (see above), you can also stop music, apps and books from auto-syncing across all of your Apple devices. Under Automatic Downloads, hit one or all of the toggles. (The more you switch off, the better.) Yes, you’ll have to manually sync them now, but it’s one fewer thing your poor phone will have to contend with.
- Background app processing: Apps constantly running in the background can slow your device to a crawl, and sometimes trigger force-quits without notice. To stop apps from running in the background, go into General, then Background App Refresh. You can shut it off for all apps, or decide on a case by case basis by going through the list.
3: Reject Parallax And Reduce Motion
Even if iOS 7′s moving graphics don’t make you queasy, your phone might not be so lucky. Those apps floating above the home screen are cool, sure, but is the effect worth the extra processing power? You can put an end to that in the General area. Select Accessibility and then Reduce Motion. Turn off the switch to “reduce the motion of the user interface, including the parallax effect of icons and alerts.”
4: Turn Off The Blur/Transparency
Still in Accessibility? Good. Before you leave, you’ll want to hit the setting that shuts off the cool, blurry background behind your notifications area and control center. Truth is, you’re not really getting the intended effect anyway. Your device is showing a stripped-down version that’s more like a dimmed transparency. Even so, it still uses the older iPhones’ limited graphics processor to display that.
Give your phone a break and shut off the visual effect. Look for Increase Contrast (in Accessibility, above Reduce Motion). Turn it on. Essentially what you’ll get is a flat background in a dark (notifications) or light (control center) hue. No blur or transparency necessary.
5: Fix Keyboard Lag
Does your keyboard take a pregnant pause before gracing your screen with the intended character? Such lag can make texting and tweeting aggravating. Here’s a fix.
In Settings, go to iCloud and turn Documents & Data off and back on again. (Even better, leave it off if you don’t care about storing docs and data in your iCloud account.) Next, back out into the main Settings page, tap on General and enter the Reset settings. Select Reset All Settings. If you had any keyboard shortcuts saved, you’ll have to re-enter them, but at least this should help speed up slow keys.
6: Reboot Your Phone
In the famous words of The IT Crowd‘s Roy (Chris O’Dowd), “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” iPhone users tend to keep their devices on for long stretches. In fact, most of the iPhone users I know never, ever manually turn their devices off. (And no, sleep mode doesn’t count.)
Advanced computer users know that restarting their desktops or laptops clears out temporary files and frees up memory, and the same may hold true for smartphones. That’s a compelling argument for iPhone users to power down periodically. Another is battery life. In fact, periodically letting an iPhone battery run down completely before recharging—which forces a shutdown—may actually be good for its longevity. Bonus.
7: In Case Of Emergency: Do A Clean Reinstall
If your device is unusable and none of these tweaks help, there’s one more last-ditch option—erase the device and start again. Similar to the way some people wipe and reinstall the operating system on their computers, doing a “clean install” could make a difference for your iPhone. The idea is that, by going back to a clean slate and adding things back one by one, you can eliminate any stray files, apps, settings and other random bits that could have accumulated over time.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to resort to this on either of the test devices that were so graciously loaned to me. But if you’re ready to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch, heed this warning: Back up your device first—either through iCloud or iTunes. If something goes wrong or you change your mind, at least your data’s not lost.
Next, open Settings, then General and tap Reset. Here, you can reset various aspects of your device, or erase all of your content and settings. Some users restore from their backup, but that could bring back some pesky settings or other issues along with it. For that reason, others reinstall apps manually by downloading from the App Store.
See also: Mysteries of Apple’s iOS 7 … Revealed!
The side benefit to many of these fixes is that they can also make a difference to battery life (though if the situation’s extreme, you may want to drill down on a few other settings).
There might be yet another reason to cut down the workload for older models: Some iPhone 4S owners report problems with the WiFi option “greying out,” rendering it unavailable. This is possibly due to the antenna or other WiFi hardware overheating as it tries to handle background processes, like syncing and downloading. My test devices didn’t have this problem, but some people report success—at least temporarily—by stashing the phone in the refrigerator or freezer for a few moments (presumably to cool anything that’s overheated).
Of course, if you explore iOS 7 bugs even further, the rabbit hole goes fairly deep, and not just for older handsets—from security issues that may block remote wiping to errors triggering “Blue Screens of Death.”
iMessage also seems to fail for many users of both old and new devices. Again, neither of the phones I used had this issue, in which texts fail to send (or go out late). But if it affects you, just know that Apple is expected to issue a software patch to fix it. Restarting the phone sometimes works, at least temporarily. Others have some success shutting off iMessage in Settings, erasing the network settings (under Settings, General and then Reset), and then re-enabling iMessage again.
While nothing can bring that older handset fully up to par with the latest model, hopefully these tips can help restore some of the performance you need, so you can continue relying on your once-trusty iPhone for a bit longer. That way, when you’re good and ready to make a switch, you can do so at your leisure—and not out of desperation.
Do you have other bugs to report with your older iPhone, or any fixes to share? Let us know in the comments below.
The IT Crowd image screen capped from YouTube video by johnnyricoMC
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The mobile market is about to get interesting. For years, Apple has dominated both market and profit share, with Google’s Android more recently having severely cut into Apple’s market share while also taking a bite out of profits.
Meanwhile, almost completely forgotten in the mix is Firefox OS, Mozilla’s browser-centric mobile OS, which has been making gains of its own lately. Given Apple’s unwillingness to compete in low-margin markets, we’re about to see a serious scuffle between Firefox and Android for the future of mobile computing.
Apple Locking Itself Out Of The Future Of Mobile?
Smartphones have reshaped mobile, but really only in the rich Western world. Throughout much of the planet, old-school feature phones still dominate, though this is changing, as research from NPD illustrates:
The growth in smartphone adoption over the next few years won’t come from North America and Western Europe, however. Not most of it, anyway. That growth will be from emerging markets as they replace feature phones with smartphones.
In these markets, Apple is a non-entity. By choice. As Apple CEO Tim Cook told Businessweek, “There’s always a large junk part of the market. We’re not in the junk business.” Instead Cook believes Apple can dominate the richer half of the market while Android and others scrap it out for supremacy in the low-end smartphone world.
It may not be that simple. And Apple may not have much of a choice, anyway.
The closest Apple gets to “low end” is its “beautifully, unapologetically plastic” iPhone 5c. Emerging market consumers can’t afford it and more affluent Western consumers don’t want it, as recent data from Mixpanel suggests:
In other words, the iPhone 5s may be outselling the iPhone 5c 3-to-1. That doesn’t bode well for Apple to be able to compete anywhere except in the premium tier of the market. Very profitable, but ultimately not very big. And perhaps not sustainable, as low-end devices have already crimped Apple’s profits, forcing it to release lower-margin products to respond to competition from the so-called “junk market.”
Emerging Markets Matter
Dubbing such markets “junk” is not productive. As Fidelity Investments points out, roughly 85% of the world’s population can be found in emerging markets and they contribute almost three quarters of global GDP growth. Starting from a much smaller base, emerging economies are growing much faster than established markets, as the International Monetary Fund captures.
Meanwhile, according to analyst firm Ovum, mobile service revenues are expected to rise from $968 million in 2012 to $1.1 trillion by 2018. However, global service revenues will contract in 2018 for the first time in the history of the mobile industry, declining from 2017 levels by 1% or $7.8 billion. That has mobile telecoms scattering to find ways to drive innovation in services, tariffs, business models, network operations and partnerships.
Nowhere is this more true than in emerging markets. As the telecoms figure out new ways to wring cash out of emerging markets, such innovations will find their way to more established markets where competition for wallets remains fierce.
Will Firefox OS Progress Be Enough?
Many of the new markets Firefox OS is expanding into offer significant volume potential, and all contribute Web ecosystem benefits. This growth underscores operators’ strategic commitment to the platform and their satisfaction with consumer adoption to date. It is striking that the Firefox OS is entering its second phase of expansion at a time when other aspiring third smartphone platforms continue to struggle for position, scale, and sustainability in the competitive market.
The platform continues to add new features that are appropriate for its target markets, striking a balance between value to consumers and affordability. Perhaps more importantly, Firefox OS continues to attract new apps and content partnerships. These are like lifeblood for a platform and should further help drive consumer adoption and spur innovation in developer communities around the Web.
Or, as ReadWrite’s Brian Proffitt posits, “Firefox OS isn’t making a dent in the global market share numbers yet, but the continued investment by Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom means that there is definitely some success happening with the mobile platform.”
How much success remains to be seen, as Firefox OS is far from assured success no matter how good it may be. But it’s good to see Android get some competition in the markets that may end up mattering most to the future of mobile technology.
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Tumblr Even those leaked documents from the German magazine Der Spiegel, which claims that the National Security Agency dubbed Apple co-founder Steve Jobs “Big Brother” and iPhone users as “zombies,” couldn’t put a damper on the highly buzzed iPhone Event on September 10. After all the rumors and speculation, Apple unveiled its next-generation smartphone, the […]
The post Recapping The Huge iPhone September 10, 2013 Event by @albertcostill appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Foursquare announced three new upgrades today. The location sharing app has extended its ‘Real-Time Recommendations‘ to iPhone users, and added two new search features: a ‘Nearby’ button and the ‘Friends at a Glance’ feature that displays most recent check-ins by…
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