Archives For Apple

While Philips Hue HomeKit-compatible gear isn’t officially expected until October 6, the A19 Starter Kit has begun appearing at various retail locations. Indeed, I literally got my hands on the v2 hub bridge. It’s smaller and squarer than the existing model, with a nicer matte finish and generally more tasteful presentation… that is entirely irrelevant since you’ll be plugging it into your router somewhere out of sight. There are three indicators, plus a glowing ring that surrounds the much larger pairing button.

As Philips moves the line to HomeKit, pricing of Hue bundles looks to remain unchanged (in the US, anyway). What’s not yet clear, but should be revealed within the next 48 hours, is the cost of a standalone HomeKit bridge to retrofit the bazillions of Hue homes that sport iOS (like mine). Also unclear, as I’m pretty sure an App Store update is required, is the extent of Siri voice control. For example, will it best Amazon Echo’s existing but limited (tho useful) Hue interaction?

UPDATE: The HomeKit replacement hub has popped up on Amazon for $60… But I’m waiting to learn more about Siri’s capabilities before making my purchase.

Plex Confirmed For New Apple TV. No Timeline, Probably No Universal Search.


Unboxing the new Apple TV

Dave Zatz —  September 13, 2015 — 8 Comments

You getting the NEW Apple TV?

Dave Zatz —  September 10, 2015 — 78 Comments

As expected, a NEW Apple TV has been unveiled … clocking in at a comparatively hefty $149-199. Yet, with brand recognition and that shiny, shimmery interface, they’ll surely move many when they go on sale next month.


Apple TV highlights include the redesigned remote, featuring a glass covered gesture area and Siri voice control, along with what appears to be a full-fledged App Store.

Neither of these features are unique to aTV, but Apple has more reach than most and the Siri interactions go well beyond Roku and Fire TV’s universal voice search in terms of opening apps, pulling up the weather, and natural language interaction (more akin to Xfinity, believe it or not). As to the newly introduced finger tip control, having directed my Fire TV, Xbox One, and even existing Apple TV via their respective gesture-based smart phone apps … I don’t particularly care for it, finding increased utility via discrete actions and tactile feedback. But Siri does look strong. Real strong. Continue Reading…

By Julia Love

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – With its highly profitable iPhone due for an upgrade, Apple is expected to unveil a pair of new handsets at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, analysts say, in addition to an updated Apple TV and possibly showing off a larger iPad.

Apple is widely expected to keep the size of the phones the same but upgrade it with an improved camera and Force Touch, a display technology that responds differently depending on how hard users press their screens.

Customers enter the Apple store on 5th Avenue beneath an Apple logo in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

Customers enter the Apple store on 5th Avenue beneath an Apple logo in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

Continue Reading…

With announcement of the iPhone 6s just days away, it’s time for many of us to secure offers for our existing iDevices. And Gazelle is guaranteeing they will beat all-comers, including your existing carrier. My wife and I aren’t yet certain if we’ll be upgrading our smartphones (and/or replacing T-Mobile with Verizon), but we went ahead and locked in offers for my iPhone 5s ($171) and her iPhone 6 ($362), should we choose to ultimately pull the trigger.


Continue Reading…

Word on the street is that Apple TV will gain Siri-powered “universal” search with a rumored new $149 model being unveiled next week. Which would be quite curious if they also deliver a more open app platform as, suddenly, Apple iTunes video could compete directly against the likes of Amazon and Vudu. Presumably, should both come to pass, Apple would be content to take a cut of app sales (as seen on mobile) to offset the video losses.


Of course, others like Roku and Fire TV, have long featured universal search, with TiVo leading the pack — as both live and upcoming television programming are indexed, along with the ability to create a OnePass playlist from disparate sources. Apple’s search functionality would gain additional utility should their rumored streaming TV service launch… with live programming and hopefully an on demand library.

As the story goes, Apple is supposedly working on a streaming television service – perhaps something akin to DISH’s Sling TV or more likely Sony’s Playstation Vue, given rumors of local affiliates. Yet, the rumored service is now rumored to be delayed,

Without enough content deals in place, Apple has scrapped plans to announce the service at a Sept. 9 event in San Francisco, which would have coincided with the beginning of the new network TV season, the people said. The main stumbling block is the price of content. Just as Apple once convinced music labels to sell songs for a lowly 99 cents, it wants to offer a package of popular channels for $40 a month, the people said.


The primary sticking point (rumored) appears to be securing favorable terms in regards into retransmission of the local affiliates like CBS and NBC. While it wouldn’t work for all households, given location or construction, the idea of an Apple TV with ATSC tuner and antenna to pull down those locals and commingle the content alongside a Sling-esque library could be an effective solution for many. Which, of course, wouldn’t have the elegance and simplicity of an online-only service. If anyone can pull this off, it’s Apple (or incumbent Comcast, but probably not Verizon). Continue Reading…