Archives For Apple

72 Hours with iPhone 6

Dave Zatz —  November 15, 2014 — 22 Comments

While I’m the CTO of the Zatz household, my wife Melissa is also capable of making tech purchasing decisions… and living with the consequences.

After years with Blackberry, I’ve truly become an Apple fan girl. For the less tech savvy, such as myself, I find Apple products quite intuitive, making for a fun and effective user friendly experience. When I gave up an iPad and iPad Mini to try the more economical Kindle Fire HDX, I was ultimately frustrated with its quirky operating system and lack of software polish. From what I can tell, these issues continue and I’m betting Dave will imminently return his recently purchased Fire. (Dave disputes this but he hates it when I’m right!). Like many others, my motto is “why fix what isn’t broke”? Apple has figured out a way to make technology easy, enjoyable, and super sexy looking.

iphone-6

As soon as the 4.7″ iPhone 6 was released Dave encouraged me to upgrade from my 4″ 5s. I use my smartphone for the majority of my web surfing and Internet needs. I actually use it more than my laptop — thanks to apps like Scanner Pro and eFax, I can even handle many work-related tasks on my phone. Dave and I also travel frequently and I’d rather not tote multiple devices. I want one gadget that will serve as my phone, my Kindle, and my web browser. As such, Dave believed I would enjoy the larger screen from my “all in one” device. I wasn’t easily convinced that we needed to spend $750 on a new phone when my 5s, although lacking in storage space, was seemingly meeting all my needs. Dave prefers I sport the newest product because it usually means a better or more efficient experience. I eventually gave in to his encouragement and I’ve been using he iPhone 6 for a few days now. I cannot say I’m in love just yet but I’m definitely interested.

I will leave the more credible tech reviews to Dave and other experts, but here are a few of my initial thoughts. Continue Reading…

ipad-air2-vs-galaxy-tab-s

When it rains, it pours. And I had the opportunity to enjoy a few days with the iPad Air 2 alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. Both are fantabulous ultrathin 10ish inch tablets… that go about things in different ways. The Samsung does more, way more. But what Apple does, it mostly does better. Continue Reading…

apple-sim

Along with Apple’s introduction of the iPad Air 2 comes a new take on the lowly SIM card. Not only does the tablet ship with just about every LTE band and frequency one could want, the hardware is delivered preloaded with an agnostic SIM for network authentication. As T-Mobile’s CEO tweets:

So the Apple SIM theoretically saves Apple some packaging expenses and provides us, the end users, with amazing flexibility – buy the iPad and choose whichever carrier we want at any point after we get it home. And, down the road, we’d be free to flip carriers as coverage or pricing changes. It’s a grand, consumer friendly vision. However, the future hasn’t quite arrived. Due, once again, to short-sighted carrier protectionism (and technical glitches). Continue Reading…

The A&E Streaming Infographic

Dave Zatz —  September 22, 2014 — 4 Comments

aande-infographic

In conjunction with the A&E, History, and Lifetime Channel apps launching on Fire TV, A+E Networks hit us with an interesting infographic. And, while it’s far too large to run in its entirely, we’ve chopped up a portion above. Beyond the numbers, and without knowing how exactly they measure an Apple TV “download,” A+E elaborates:

On average, XBOX 360 users watch 292% more videos per user than Apple TV and 21% more than Roku. Roku users watch 224% more than Apple TV users.

Further, reinforcing data previously provided in regards to the Verizon FiOS Xbox app, A+E Networks report viewing peaks each evening about 10-11PM. And 88% of connections by those running “mobile” apps occur over WiFi versus cellular.

After a several year hiatus, Apple once again brings supplemental movie content to Apple TV in the form of iTunes Extras. It’s the sort of DVD and Blu-ray goodies you’d expect in cut scenes, featurettes, and the like. Whereas initial Apple TV models sported hard drives, over the last few years this downloadable content was only available to desktop iTunes clients given Apple TV’s small form factor. But the new implementation is cloud-based (and high def) – so content can now be streamed down to aTV, you’re not eating up local storage, in the case of computers, and studios are able to update their offerings. Come this fall, Extras will also be streamed to iOS 8 devices.

While I ebayed my Apple TV, in favor of Amazon’s Fire and assuming an upcoming hardware refresh, our pal Tim loves his… and buys lots of movies from Apple (and the UltraViolet consortium). He shot the brief video above to demo iTunes Extra and show some funky launch bugs, in relation to previously purchased content (which, fortunately, cleared overnight without intervention).

This week’s Fitbit iOS app update brings with it a welcome feature, in live tracking. Along with tracking steps throughout the day via one of their many trackers, new live tracking functionality relies on the iPhone’s GPS to monitor and provide real-time feedback on your exercise.

Fitbit has always been one of the fastest companies to allow 3rd party apps to update your stats. You have been able to import exercises through Runkeeper or MapMyRun for quite some time, but this is the first time that Fitbit it tackling this feature head on.

How Live Tracking Works

When you want to begin a new exercise, you simply open the Fitbit app and scroll down to the exercise entry. Continue Reading…

wink-hub-side

By way of the New York Times, we learn GE and Quirky have expanded their collaboration on “Wink” – the brand under which they’ll tie together their existing (and downright bizarre) product line and tap into other home automation solutions via the FCC-revealed Wink Hub. The $79 Hub bridges networks, like Z-Wave, and will be displayed at nearly 2,000 Home Depot retail outposts when it launches July 7th. (Take that Lowe’s Iris?) Of course, these guys aren’t the only players in town with the very fine Staples Connect and SmartThings out to early leads with the Apple behemoth now taking interest via HomeKit and healthy Apple TV hub speculation. Not to mention, after like a decade of stagnation, Harmony finally woke up ready to fulfill their home control destiny. The next 12-18 months are going to be huge in this space as the tech expands beyond the affluent digerati and into the mainstream. As for me, my needs are simple… Continue Reading…