Apple

Here’s the Right Way to Rescue a Soaking Wet Smartphone

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

 

It fell in the toilet. The clumsy waitress knocked a glass of water onto it. You forgot it was in your pocket when you jumped into the pool. That’s just a few of the hundreds of ways your phone could come into life-threatening contact with liquid. When it happens to you (and it will), as soon as you’re done freaking out, you’ll probably begin frantically tapping all the buttons, blowing on it, or blasting it with a hair dryer to quickly get rid of all that water.

While those are all well-meaning actions, guess what? Totally the wrong approach. Here’s what you should do.

First, retrieve it as quickly as possible. If your phone is still in the bottom of the jacuzzi or the toilet, get it out ASAP. The longer it’s in the liquid, the greater the likelihood damage will be.

Once the device is no longer submerged, if you can, take that battery out. Don’t even bother powering it off, don’t press any other buttons, just open up the phone and pull the battery out. If you can’t do that though — if you own an iPhone or another device that’s impossible to quickly pry apart — you’ll have to settle for just carefully powering the device off. You want to cut off power in the device as quickly as possible to prevent the possibility of a short circuit.

Now — Do not blow-dry it or stick it in the oven. The heat can damage the delicate electronics inside. What you should do is give it a quick wipe with a clean towel, making sure no water accidentally ends up draining into its ports or other openings. If there are traces of water trapped inside cracks or indentations in the case, try carefully and conservatively using compressed air to blow it out. Just be careful not to blow the water further inside the phone.

Next we have a few different options. Many folks swear by stuffing your phone in a bag of dry rice, and letting it sit for 24 to 36 hours or more. This is cheap, easy, and can be done in a pinch. But this method could have some negatives: If the rice absorbs the water well, you may be left with a mushy rice mess stuck in its creases and I/O ports. Those with skin in the game (as you’ll see below) also say that the starch from the surface of the rice can get inside your phone and muck it up, but I haven’t been able to find solid empirical evidence of this. To be safe, wrap the phone loosely in a paper towel before dropping it into the rice.

The smartest option is to keep synthetic desiccants on-hand. They are far less messy, and they work more quickly and efficiently than rice.

The $20 Bheestie Bag is one option you can order and keep on the shelf at home. You can drop your phone in the airtight plastic pouch periodically (like after your jeans get soaked in a rainstorm) to make sure no lingering moisture starts doing damage inside your handset, or just use it if your phone encounters a full-on liqui-mergency.

Dry-All is another product you can buy and keep with you just in case. Same deal as the Bheestie Bag: you just seal up your phone inside the pouch, which is filled with desiccant, and then wait the specified amount of time (24 to 48 hours) to let your phone dry out. You can grab a pouch for as cheap as $6 on Amazon.

Drybox is another option. You can use its website to find retailers in your city that have a Drybox you can use on-site. After you’ve powered down your phone post-plunge, you just head to one of these Drybox locations and within minutes, your gadget should be bone dry and restored. While San Francisco had many to choose from, other cities like Houston, TX, and Santa Barbara, CA did not have any Dryboxes nearby, so do your research.

Of course, the smartest thing you can do is begin hoarding the desiccant packets you’re already getting for free. Start now: Every time you see a loose desiccant packet in a box with a new pair of shoes, a hard drive, a shipment of spices, or whatever, pull it out and save it. Dump them all into a plastic or glass container you’re certain has an air-tight seal. After you’ve collected a bunch of them, you have an emergency phone-rescue pod ready to go. Just drop the dunked phone into the container, seal it up, and you’ll get the same results as any of those other commercial options.

The trick to all of these methods is that for the desiccant to do its magic, it needs to be in a sealed container so that it can absorb water only from your phone, and not from the outside air. Also, you need to have enough of the desiccant present to absorb all the water.

Following these tips, there’s a good chance your phone could survive its untimely spill. But if it takes an especially big plunge, you could be SOL. In which case, it’s time to buy a new handset

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Posted by plates55 - February 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm

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Apple’s iPad now available in Staples brick-and-mortar stores

Venerable office supply chain Staples has reportedly begun selling Apple’s iPad in its real-world outlets just four months after the retailer kicked off online sales of the tablet.

Staples

Staples is said to offer only Apple’s latest models — the iPad Air and Retina display-equipped iPad mini — in its stores, rather than the entire iPad lineup, though the older versions remain available for purchase online. The change was first reported by CNET.
Bringing the iPad in-store marks another milestone in Framingham, Mass.-based Staples’s current alliance with Apple, which began last spring when the company started carrying smaller Apple products like the Apple TV and AirPort wireless networking lineup.
The relationship expanded in December with online iPad sales, and it was speculated at the time that Staples would be allowed to carry the tablets in stores if certain performance targets were met. Wednesday’s launch suggests that those targets, which are thought to have included weekly online sales referral quotas for each brick-and-mortar store, were reached.
One item that remains unclear is exactly how the iPad will be marketed in Staples outlets. The tablets are featured on dedicated Apple-designed kiosks in most third-party iPad retailers, and in some cases small “store-within-a-store” arrangements are struck when broader ranges of Apple products are on offer.

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Posted by plates55 - January 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

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Chances are you’re not reading this on a mobile device

Analytics startup Parse.ly has released its third bi-monthly “Authority Report” on Wednesday, and the big finding is that the majority of traffic for some top online publishers still comes via laptop and desktop computers.

The company analyzed the screen sizes of devices that its customers’ readers use to access their content, and found that about 60 percent of all traffic came from devices with screen ratios of 16:9 or 16:10, indicating it came mostly from laptops or desktops. Overall, traffic from mobile devices accounts for between 10 and 20 percent of traffic, peaking at nearly 20 percent in the evenings and with most of it — at least 13.8 percent — coming from Apple iPads or iPhones.

Source: Parse.ly

The 2,000 screen sizes driving 99.5 percent of traffic. Source: Parse.ly

This is the third time Parse.ly has released a report on traffic trends. A highlight of its first report was Feedly’s dominance as the reader app of choice in lieu of Google Reader, while its second highlighted the high percentage of traffic coming from so-called dark search. There’s an interactive version of the screen-size chart (and a couple others) available online

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Posted by plates55 - December 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

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Apple vs. Samsung: Who Will Win?

2 questions:

1. So who actually is the best company today?

2. Who is going to win going forward?

Let’s do a quick comparison on product innovation, CEOs and leadership, brand and design, ecosystem, giving customers what they want, and profits and growth. Have included my view at the bottom.

Innovation

Now neck-and-neck?

Historically this was a no-brainer as Apple leapfrogged everybody with its new product breakthroughs: iPod, iPhone and iPad. However, since Tim Cook took over as CEO in 2011, the charge is that Apple has become more of an iterator rather than an innovator.

For years, the Apple rumor mill has forecast (wrongly) the imminent arrival of the iWatch and the iTV, while Samsung has brought these products to market, with the Galaxy Gear and Smart TV. Google too is pushing ahead with new product categories, like the Google Glass smart-glasses.

Jong-Kyun Shin, the Samsung President/CEO who runs its mobile division, said: “Innovation is what will get consumers to buy new devices… The Galaxy S4 has features unique to Samsung like Air Gesture that detect hand gestures. In the process of developing and making the Galaxy S4, we have filed around 120 patents related to user interface and software. We’ve also hired a number of software engineers from India, Russia, China and Europe to develop unique features internally.”

Is this innovation strategy working? Reviews of the hand and eye gestures in the Galaxy S4 suggest that they are not “fully-baked”, actually slow the phone down and are more like gimmicks. Critics’ reviews of the Galaxy Gear smart-watch have also not been great, and it has only sold 800,000 units since its launch two months ago. However, Interbrand’s Moon Ji-hun argues that its more about positioning: “Probably Samsung knows better than anyone that Gear will not become a mainstream product. Still, they are trying to convey the message that ‘we are first with such technology,’ which they hope will help build their brand as an advanced technology firm.”

By contrast, the fingerprint sensor unique to the new iPhone 5s has been well-received and is thought to have been well-executed. In what Apple claims to be “the most forward-thinking iPhone ever”, the iPhone 5s is also the first smartphone to market with a 64-bit processor, the A7, which ironically is manufactured by Samsung.

An unlikely Samsung admirer is former Apple CEO John Sculley, who led the firm while Steve Jobs was pushed out in the 1980s. In a piece welcoming Oh-Hyun Kwon into the 2013 TIME 100, Sculley wrote:

“Product design, marketing and complex supply-chain management are the trifecta of success in consumer electronics. Excelling at all of them simultaneously is a rare feat, much like throwing a no-hitter in baseball. Akio Morita did it at Sony with the Walkman and Sony Trinitron. Steve Jobs did it with the iPhone and iPad. With the Samsung Galaxy, Oh-Hyun Kwon joins those business giants. Kwon’s first principles of leadership are remarkably simple and clear. Galaxy phones have a signature design feature: big, beautiful, highest-definition screens; an integrated supply chain allows for a family of products at more price points than competitors’; and their brand advertising is bold, tasteful and executed with a cheeky self-confidence equaled only by Apple’s.”

Apple’s recent ‘This Is Our Signature’ ad is very much a restatement of the core Jobs philosophy: its strapline states, “We simplify, we perfect, until everything we touch enhances life.”

So it seems we have a battle between perfection and getting it out new products fast and refining them later. If it continues on current product feature trajectories, then I would favor Samsung.

But what Apple fans and stock analysts alike are crying out for are bold, new product categories which could rest the game back in Apple’s favor.

CEO & Leadership

Samsung Gets The Medal: 3 CEOs vs Tim Cook

 

 

You may be surprised to learn that Samsung has not just one but three CEOs. In post since June 2012, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon is Vice Chairman & CEO. Then in March 2013, Samsung also promoted two of its presidents to CEO: most significantly for this discussion, Jong-Kyun Shin, who heads up Samsung’s mobile division, and also Boo-Keun Yoon, head of the appliances division. They do still both report to Oh-Hyun Kwon though, so he maybe the more dominant player. As is common in the culture of Korean companies, Samsung hasn’t provided anything more than minimal bios for these executives, so we don’t know a huge amount about them beyond a handful of interviews that they have given over the years.

We do know that before he become CEO, Kwon oversaw Samsung’s components business, which makes displays, chips, memory, processors, etc. Kwon helped lock down one of his division’s biggest customers, Apple. Apple uses a lot of Samsung components in its mobile devices. Under Kwon, Samsung became the second largest chip maker in the world.

Mobile chief Jong-Kyun Shin has been the most outspoken, telling analysts last month that Samsung’s tablet business is growing rapidly and the company aims to topple Apple as the biggest maker of tablet computers too. He is equally ambitious for the Samsung brand, saying, “Our product innovation and marketing strategy have made Samsung the world’s most preferred smartphone brand. Now we’ll move from the most preferred brand to become one of the world’s leading aspirational brands.”

At Business Insider’s IGNITION Conference, David Eun, executive vice president of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, shed some light on how the company has been able to see such great success despite such heavy devotion by Apple fans and customers: “Samsung is a very entrepreneurial story. The company set large goals for itself and has been bold in its execution.” He adds, “Seven years ago there was no iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone. It was all about Nokia and Motorola. It takes entrepreneurial ideas and execution. The leaders at Samsung are people who have risen and made their mark by being entrepreneurial.”

And it is still in the shadow of the visionary Jobs that Tim Cook is currently judged. Cook was a very competent logistics man and COO, but as Jobs himself expressed, “Tim is not a product person”. I see him as a ‘professional manager’ who risks managing processes rather than putting the next dent in the universe. He has done some good things, like improving internal collaboration and corporate governance, but he is not the great showman like Jobs and the jury is out on him.

It will be interesting to see the impact next year when Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts joins Apple as SVP Retail & Online Stores – will they create more of a fashion and customer focused Apple? Maybe Angela will be Apple CEO in the future?

Overall, currently Samsung’s leadership has more momentum, as they are executing at speed, picking up customers, gaining market share and widening product range. Yet there are still big challenges.

Last week, amid investor concern and lower than hoped-for sales of the flagship Galaxy S4, Samsung called a “crisis awareness meeting”. Samsung has invited 600 management staff members to attend a four-day “global strategizing meeting” in mid December, where the main topic is ‘Crisis Awareness’. According to a report by ZDNet Korea, “As people are foretelling that downfall of Samsung is coming, they are trying their best to prevent such crisis from happening.”

While “crisis” at Samsung doesn’t sound great, it is good that the co-CEOs are facing reality and involving the wider management team. It contrasts favorably with Steve Jobs’ famous “reality distortion field”, which helped move mountains in product development, but often meant that he was abrasive and slow to acknowledge problems and challenges (e.g. iPhone 4 ‘Antennagate’).

Wonder whether Apple has a ‘reality distortion field’ on its top team’s leadership performance?

 

Brand

Apple wins the medal but Samsung closing the gap by massive spending

The Apple brand and logo are currently more recognized around the Western world, and in London and New York, you cannot walk down the street without seeing a sea of white headphones and people playing with their iPhones. The Brand Finance Global 500 2013 puts Apple and Samsung right at the very top of the best brands in the world, ahead of Coca-Cola and Google.

Samsung smartphones are broadly comparable, feature-for-feature, with competitors like HTC, Sony, LG and now Nokia, so why has it become so dominant? A big part of the answer lies in its sheer marketing muscle – Samsung spends a bigger chunk of its annual revenue on advertising and promotion than any other of the world’s top-20 companies by sales – 5.4%, according to Thomson Reuters data. Apple spends just 0.6%, and General Motors 3.5%.

Adverts mocking Apple fans, and heavy investment in product placement and in distribution channels have strengthened its Galaxy mobile brand. Samsung now sells one in every three smartphones and has more than double Apple’s market share. Is this enough to make Samsung loved?

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch in New York came under fire for being sexist, showing giggling women chatting about jewelry and nail polish while the men discussed the new phone. Oh Jung-Suk, associate professor at Seoul National University business school cautions: “Samsung’s marketing is too much focused on projecting an image they aspire to: being innovative and ahead of the pack. They are failing to efficiently bridge the gap between the aspiration and how consumers actually respond to the campaign. It’s got to be more aligned.”

Moon Ji-hun, head of brand consultant Interbrand’s Korean operation, adds: “When your brand doesn’t have a clear identity, as is the case with Samsung, to keep spending is probably the best strategy. But maintaining marketing spend at that level in the longer term wouldn’t bring much more benefit. No one can beat Samsung in terms of ad presence, and I doubt whether keeping investing at this level is effective.”

Samsung has told Reuters that it will “continue to leverage our brand power to maintain growth momentum, while focusing on optimizing the efficiency of our marketing activities.”

Apple may sit in top position now, but has lost its mojo over the last couple of years through lackluster product releases and perceived lack of innovation. Samsung is catching up and is already no. 2. The Samsung brand can be improved and it isn’t loved by some like Apple, but I am impressed with the leadership team for seizing the opportunity to leapfrog all its other competitors, through investment and execution with conviction.

Design

Apple wins the medal, but do simplicity and beauty still trump a bigger screen?

Apple has long placed design at the heart of its product development policy. Steve Jobs famously used to obsess about details that nobody would ever see, such as the look of Apple’s factories and the internals of products… this trend was taken to its logical extreme with the launch of the translucent plastic iMac in 1998.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007, its all-touchscreen and single-button front was distinctive and simple. Apple has honed the design over the years with glass casing and then unibody aluminum, but fundamentally it remains unchanged. The iPad takes the same design cues and it gets ever lighter and thinner. Apple’s aluminum MacBooks and iMacs are widely considered to be the most beautiful, slick and minimal.

Sir Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Design, keeps the Jobs design obsession alive at Apple. His biographer Leander Kahney recently called him the “soul” of Apple, adding, “Ive has a mad, total, one-hundred-and-ten-percent commitment to making the best products humanly possible.” Sir Jony once flew to Japan to watch a sword-maker forge a katana, in his quest to make the MacBook Air even thinner. His remit has now been expanded to software as well as hardware, leading to the flatter, cartoon-like and generally well-received iOS 7 iPhone software update rolled out in September.

However, now that nearly all smartphones have an all-touchscreen front, the differences between them are less striking. Samsung’s current flagship the Galaxy S4 in some aspects has a less polished look than the iPhone 5s, with a polycarbonate plastic backing. However, it has a singular design feature: big, beautiful, highest-definition screens, that dwarf the iPhone and its “Retina” display. The design is “good enough” for consumers who are more focused on features, price and a bigger screen canvas.

Overall it feels that Apple still has the design edge.

Ecosystem & User Experience

Apple wins the medal with its “walled garden”.

This is where Apple still excels. Tim Cook likes to claim that, “Apple has unique strengths in products, software and services”. I think it’s a bit simpler than that. Apple products still broadly have the reputation that they “just work”, and indeed they have made technology more accessible and made us more connected. Add to that the 1,000,000 apps available to download in the App Store and you have a very powerful platform that is seamless across multiple devices. People (willingly) get locked in to Apple’s “walled garden” and it is difficult to persuade them to make the move outside it.

Samsung on the other hand is highly reliant on Google’s Android mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets, and on Microsoft for Windows PCs. While the apps on the Google Play store have caught up in number with the Apple app store, they have historically been slower to come to market and less reliable due to the large fragmentation of Android devices. The Android tablet apps were thought to be just blown-up smartphone apps rather than iPad-style apps fully reimagined for a larger screen, although this is changing. Where Samsung adds onto its devices its own user interface, this is sometimes considered to be “bloatware” that gets in the way of the user experience and duplicates or slows down the core Android or Windows operating system. So here Apple’s obsession with control does pay a dividend for ordinary users wanting stable and intuitive devices.

Principal CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon has publicly acknowledged that this is a weakness and important area of development for Samsung: “A particular focus must be given to serving new customer experience and value by strengthening soft capabilities in software, user experience, design, and solutions.” He also believes that to secure an “an absolute lead” the company, “must have dominance over new technology and global markets”.

John Sculley adds, “As Samsung builds a campus in Silicon Valley, all eyes will be on Kwon to see if the CEO with a Ph.D. from Stanford can be as successful with software as he has been with hardware.”

Looking at buyers of new smartphones, the above chart shows that not many users switch from Apple to Samsung, at only 11%. This is critical to Apple’s long-term survival since Apple users are sticking with iOS and not defecting to Samsung. Apple is having about one-third of its users coming from Android. It is interesting to note that similar to all buyers first-time smartphone buyers favor Samsung by about a three to one margin, approximately 6% vs. 2%, over Apple.

Apple still ahead.

Giving Customers What They Want

Samsung wins the medal.

Customers within Apple’s walled garden broadly get what they want in terms of a seamless user experience across iPhones, iPads and Macs, but they have a much more restricted choice when it comes to variations of new devices. There is only one top-end iPhone (the 5s), and only a big or a small iPad (the iPad Air or the iPad Mini). Steve Jobs famously liked to make these kinds of decisions for customers rather than bother them with a confusing array of options.

By contrast, Samsung makes a much wider range of devices in all shapes and sizes, at a range of price points. They can even go bigger than the Galaxy S4, with a Galaxy Note smartphone known as a “phablet” that blurs the distinction between phone and tablet. Samsung also makes a range of hybrid PCs that fuse tablet and laptop, as well as TVs, kitchen appliances and the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The bigger screen in particular seems to be the biggest draw over Apple, although it is something that Apple is likely to correct with the launch of a bigger iPhone 6 in 2014.

Profits & Growth

Growth now with Samsung so wins the medal, but Xmas showdown ahead

The most recent Fortune 500 Global rankings of worldwide companies (based on revenue in their fiscal years ended on or before March 31st, 2013) shows that Samsung topped Apple with revenue totaling $178.6 billion, compared to $156.5 bn. However, with $41.7bn in profit, Apple was beaten only by ExxonMobil. This was more than double Samsung’s $20.6 billion annual profit.

This might be changing – this graph from Business Insider shows that, for the last two quarters, Samsung’s profits were actually higher than Apple’s. Having settled into a pattern of releasing new iPhones and iPads in September/October, Apple is now highly reliant on the holiday quarter in Q4 – although Tim Cook may have a point when he said, “I think it’s going to be an iPad Christmas.”

For now, Apple’s iPhone business is holding up well – it sold 150 million iPhones in its last fiscal year ending in September, as well as 71 million iPads. Indeed, Apple can still claim 70% of the profits in the smartphone sector. The gloss has come off slightly off Samsung’s sales machine – it fell far short of initial estimates that it would sell 100 million Galaxy S4 units, and it is instead now predicting of 100 million total Galaxy S and Note series phones, phablets and tablet devices up until the end of the year.

Apple’s share price has had a tough fall from its all-time highs of $700, although it has since recovered a lot of the ground as stands at year highs of over $560. This is partially fueled by rumors that it is finally about to do a deal to get carrier coverage for the iPhone with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier and potentially a big source of growth. But for me, this is again an example of a deal that should have happened years ago and which has been hampered by poor execution. Another question mark is the recent launch of the iPhone 5c, with the ‘c’ being variously said to stand for “color”, “cheap” and “China”. It had been hoped that a lower end model would help Apple to gain share in emerging markets, although is it only $80 cheaper that the iPhone 5s and Tim Cook has said that it is a mid-tier rather than low-tier model. This does however give Apple pricing flexibility for the future and, in a market subject to increasing commoditization, I quite admire Apple for standing firm on its high profit margins.

Overall: Neck-And-Neck

So overall today they seem to be neck and neck but I do see the growth of Samsung to be steadier and more sustained. We’re all fascinated by Apple, but so much of what we hear turns out just to be rumors. Right now it remains a profit generating machine, but long-term that will change if it fails to recapture the public imagination and innovate into new product categories. Samsung has weathered years of legal action, and having initially copied parts of the Apple playbook, it is now starting to innovate into new areas.

In the future I am torn: my head currently says the 3 mystery CEOs of Samsung will prevail, but my heart really wants Apple to come back and leapfrog them, with innovation that changes our lives again. Maybe in future both will remain big beasts, and we will have an Apple and Samsung duopoly

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Posted by plates55 - December 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

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How to Tweak iOS to Improve the Battery Life of Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

These are some tips on how to improve the battery life of your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS.  Some of these tips apply to just iOS 7 but many can be applied to older versions of iOS as well.

Let us know how much your battery life improves in the comments!

Disable Background Application Refresh
iOS 7 brings the ability for apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or cellular and even use location services. To preserve battery life, we recommend disabling Background App Refresh completely.  Note that doing this will kill location services for your applications, so you won’t be able to use Navigation in the background – therefore you may want to fine-tune this setting based on your preferences. In addition, you may want to close applications you aren’t using via the Multitasking Switcher (Double press the Home button and swipe an app preview up and out of the list).
● Settings > General > Background App Refresh

Turn Off AirDrop when you’re not using it
You should turn off AirDrop when you do not need it. This prevents you from using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use when the device is in “discoverable” mode. Simply swipe up on control center to turn it off.
● Control Center

Turn Off Automatic Downloads and Updates
iOS 7 brings the ability to automatically update apps, however that works in the background and can take a toll on your battery life.  Tap the settings icon, scroll down to iTunes & App Store and turn off all automatic downloads. If you still want automatic app updates, try enabling them while turning off cellular data.
● Settings > iTunes & App Store

Brightness
Brightness is the most obvious battery-draining cause on the iPhone. Obviously, try to limit and reduce your brightness at all times. Going a step further, you can disable automatic brightness to improve battery life since the phone will no longer check the ambient light and determine the “best” brightness.
● Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness

Control your Push Notifications
Apple’s iOS is designed to in a way preserve battery life when using push notification. That is, the number of push notifications you receive have a minimal effect on battery life.  However, when receiving notifications that cause your screen to light up and phone to vibrate, your battery life will be affected. We recommending setting some notifications to not show any alerts. You can set alerts to ‘None’ on a per app basis.
● Settings > Notification Center

Disable Email Push
Push emails immediately send an email or ‘push’ from a server to your phone, rather than requiring you to manually refresh the mail app. You can set the mail application to fetch instead of push, or even better, set to manual for best battery life. You can fine tune this setting for each email account, but for best battery life performance, set all accounts to “Fetch Manually.”
● Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data > Push

Frequent Locations
iOS 7 brings a new “Frequent Locations” feature. While this new addition can be great for your “Today” tab in Notification Center by giving you an estimated time of arrival to your most visited locations , it can affect battery life. To turn this off, visit
● Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, then toggle the Frequent Locations to the off position.

Location Services
iOS has many system location services that check your location to improve compass calibration, cell network search, and more. We recommend turning off most of these system services to improve battery. However, if you use the compass often, or travel often, some settings should be left on such as “Compass Calibration” or “Setting Time Zone.”  We leave “Cell Network Search” on as well.

Apps must request approval from you as well. If you really need location services for an app, obviously leave them on.  However, you might not want some applications to fetch your locations, so feel free to toggle them off here as well. For instance, if you don’t care for Twitter tweeting your location, turn it off!

Disable Wi-Fi & Bluetooth when not in range, Turn on Wi-Fi when in range
Be sure to always turn off Wi-Fi when you’re out of range of a known network. This prevents the iOS device from constantly checking for known networks in range. Whenever you can use Wi-Fi, use it! Wi-Fi is much more efficient than cellular data so you can save battery this way. Be sure to set Ask to Join Networks off to stay connected to that network. Similarly, be sure to turn off Bluetooth at all times that you can.
● Settings > Wi-Fi
● Settings > Bluetooth

Disable Cellular Data
If you don’t care for using cellular data for some apps and services, turn them off.  iOS has many different toggles for cellular data use and some are hidden, so be sure to check all of them listed below!

● Settings > Cellular
● Settings > Safari > Reading List
● Settings > iTunes & App Store

Reduce Motion
iOS 7 brings a nice parallax effect on icons and alerts, but this constantly tracks your motion to provide the effect. Reduce motion to prevent this and improve battery life.
● Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion

Don’t use Dynamic Moving Wallpapers
iOS 7 comes with dynamic wallpapers that move around based on the movement of your device. These moving backgrounds consume much more battery power than regular wallpapers so we recommend that you stay away from them and use Still wallpapers.
● Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness > Choose Wallpaper

Disable Siri Raise to Speak
Disable Siri’s raise to speak function to prevent the iPhone from constantly checking the proximity sensor to see if the device has been raised to your ear.
● Settings > General > Siri

Turn Off Spotlight Search to prevent file indexing
Spotlight indexes your entire device’s filesystem to provide instant search results of your most used contacts, apps and more. Indexing can cause a strain on the battery life, so try to turn OFF any items on the list that you don’t use to prevent the OS from indexing that type of data.
● Settings > General > Spotlight Search

Vibrations
Having your phone constantly vibrate can affect battery life as well, but having a vibrate feature is extremely useful. Try to disable vibrate for some contacts/notifications/text messages.
● Settings > Sounds

Cellular Data
If you’re in a 4G Area only, we recommend turning off LTE connectivity.  Leaving LTE on actually drains the battery by constantly checking for an LTE signal (and if your carrier does not have LTE in your area, this is a waste). Similarly, if you’re in a 2G area only, disable 4G/LTE connectivity as well.

However, if you are in an LTE area, we recommend leaving LTE on since Apple actually cites better browsing (in hours) on LTE versus 4G connectivity.

● Settings > Cellular > Enable LTE

Auto-Lock
Set Auto-Lock to 1 Minute to reduce the amount of time it takes for the iPhone’s display to shut off. Better yet, always lock the device immediately after use to prevent the ~1 minute your display would be on.
● Settings > General > Auto-Lock

Use Airplane Mode when in an area without cellular service
If you’re in a known dead zone that has no cellular service, turn on Airplane mode until your reach an area with cellular service. This prevents the phone from constantly checking for a signal, and can be a main cause of battery drain.

Turn off iTunes Wi-Fi Sync in iTunes
If you don’t use Wi-Fi Sync, and often leave your iTunes open on the same network as your iPhone, turn off Wi-Fi sync.

Turn off Home Sharing
Streaming a movie or song from a computer to your iOS device can cause a huge battery drain. We recommend not using home sharing at all unless it is a feature you really like.
● Settings > Music
● Settings > Video

Set up as new iPhone
If you previously had a jailbreak, and no longer have one, try setting up an iPhone as new instead of restoring form backup. This way you don’t restore unnecessary files.

Equalizer
Some users claim that turning off iPod equalizer will improve battery life, but in our tests (and others across the web) this does not seem to be the case. But if you really want to, turn off equalizer.
● Settings > Music > EQ

Limit Ad Tracking
There are some reports that limiting ad tracking might improve your battery life.  You may want to experiment with this setting to determine if it makes a difference on your device.
● Settings > Privacy > Advertising > Limit Ad Tracking

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Posted by plates55 - November 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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Apple is Working on a 1.7-Inch iWatch for Men, 1.3-Inch iWatch for Women?

Apple is working on two versions of a smartwatch, a 1.7-inch model for men and a 1.3-inch model for women, according to David Hsieh of DisplaySearch.
The device will reportedly feature an OLED display; however, at this point it’s unclear if it will be flexible.
DisplaySearch also says that Apple has delayed its development of a television to focus on wearable devices.
Paul Gagnon, director of North American TV research at DisplaySearch, said Monday that, “It appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices.”
The iWatch will likely be lighter and more energy-efficient than its rivals and could contain biometric sensors to collect health information, says DisplaySearch.
[via KoreaHerald] [via BGR]

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Posted by plates55 - November 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

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This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

Each week, there are dozens of Apple rumors, reports, and patent filings that hint at what’s coming out of Cupertino next. Some are legit, but most are totally bogus. We’ve parsed the week’s rumors, ranking them in order from “utterly ridiculous” to “duh, of course.” First up…

ASK AGAIN LATER: Apple Inventing Solar Charging Accessory Apple’s been dabbling in the solar power game for a while — at least according to its intellectual property filings. The company’s latest invention to come out of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a solar panel accessory that doesn’t need a power converter and would work with a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via USB or a power connector. They key part of the patent is the power management circuitry, which could be embedded in the device itself. Could we start seeing partially solar powered devices or accessories from Apple in the not too distant future? It’s definitely possible.

ASK AGAIN LATER: Retina iPad Mini Could Launch November 21 Target.com let slip in a product listing that the iPad mini with Retina display would be released November 21, a week before Thanksgiving. This particular release date is interesting — Apple usually releases products on a Friday (like the iPad Air, which just went on sale today). However, with holiday travel, Black Friday, and all that jazz, it could make sense for Apple to give iPad mini admirers some extra time before the weekend officially lands to get their hands on the new tablet. Or maybe the 21st isn’t the real date after all.

SIGNS POINT TO YES: Job Listing Indicates Apple Working on Maps’ Transit Directions It’s about time: Two job listing seem to show that Apple is working on adding transit directions to Apple Maps. The positions are “Maps Public Transit Engineering Manager” and “Public Transit Software Engineer,” and both would (logically) work on the Maps team to improve its “Transit Routing” platform. If it wants to be competitive with mapping app leaders like Google, transit directions are a must. It makes complete sense that Apple would want to beef up its team on this front.

WITHOUT A DOUBT: Apple Experimenting With Curved Glass Wrist-Worn Devices According to The New York Times, Apple is exploring a wristwatch-like device made of curved glass. Between the company’s recent wearables-related hires, other whispers from employees and suppliers, and CEO Tim Cook’s frequent teases, it’s almost a given that Apple is working on some sort of wearable device. Apple has also patented a means for bending glass, providing evidence the company is taking some time to explore the curved glass space. (Corning has been working on curved Gorilla Glass for a while now too). As for when we’ll see these devices and what they’ll look like, that’s still anyone’s guess

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Posted by plates55 - November 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

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Apple is Hiring Maps UI Designer for ‘A New Secret Project’

Apple has posted a job opening for a ‘Web UI Designer – Maps’ that will be working on ‘a new secret project’.

At Apple, we’re lucky to be working on projects that have the potential to change the world. We’re working on an exciting new system and need your help. You would be joining a small team working on an advanced web platform upon which many of Apple’s future services will be based. We are looking for an extremely capable front-end engineer who has a strong background in web services development, and who has built high-performance, scalable and extensible systems. In this highly visible position, the successful candidate will collaborate with cross-functional engineering teams to define and implement some of the web pages for the system that will power next generation Apple products.

Description:
Design, develop, and maintain complex front-end code for a new secret project
● Document and build unit tests for your code. Work with operations, QA, and product management to maximize product effectiveness

It’s unclear what this new secret project might entail; however, Apple has acquired a string of location and mapping based companies and may be looking to create a new service using those acquired technologies.

If you are interested in the job, the listing is linked below…

Read More [via TUAW]

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Posted by plates55 - September 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

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The Best Smartphone Apps for Serious Readers

Digg Browse your own RSS subscriptions and read popular stories from the revamped social news outlet. Links can be shared or saved for later. Digg syncs your read items across devices too. Free

Instapaper Tap a bookmarklet on any web page and Instapaper removes the ads and other cruft for a zero-distraction reading experience. App syncs saved items for reading offline. $4

Wattpad eBook Reader The Kindle app is great for ebooks from big-name authors. But Wattpad, which hosts millions of works by unknown scribes, is the best place to find the next Pynchon. Free

Quick Scan Pro Shopping for paper books? This barcode scanner lists the prices at online retailers like Amazon and eBay, as well as local stores. Works for all commercial barcodes. $1

Android

Feedly Stories from your favorite online news sources show up in quick-to-load cards that can be organized by category. The app’s powerful search tool conjures up specific topics in a snap. Free

Pocket When you find a web page you want to save for later, Pocket grabs the text, video, and images and reformats it all for mobiles. The visual grid interface makes browsing your picks easy. Free

Moon+ Reader Pro Few ebook apps are this versatile: more than 10 reading themes, superb font and layout customization, and support for just about every file type you throw at it. $5

Audible Lie back while a voice actor reads a book to you. Choose from 150,000-plus titles. Audible can track your purchases to suggest your next must- listen. App is Free, Book Prices Vary

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Posted by plates55 - September 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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Apple Announces iOS 7 Tech Talks in San Francisco, New York, Toyko, Shanghai, Berlin,

Apple has just announced iOS 7 Tech Talks in San Francisco, New York, Toyko, Shanghai, Berlin, and London.

Get in-depth guidance about developing for iOS 7, learn practical coding tips and tricks, and obtain valuable one-on-one programming and design assistance in our lab. Choose which day is best for you — app developer day or game developer day. Apply now.

App Developer Day:
Reimagine your apps on iOS 7 and take advantage of the new multitasking APIs, dynamic motion, iBeacon, and much more.

● San Francisco: Tuesday Oct 8
● New York: Tuesday Oct 15
● Tokyo: Wednesday Nov 6
● Shanghai: Tuesday Nov 12
● Berlin: Thursday Dec 12
● London: Tuesday Dec 17

Game Developer Day:
● San Francisco: Wednesday Oct 9
● New York: Wednesday Oct 16
● Tokyo: Thursday Nov 7
● Shanghai: Wednesday Nov 13
● Berlin: Friday Dec 13
● London: Wednesday Dec 18

To apply, you must be an iOS Developer Program member or iOS Developer Enterprise Program member, 13 years of age or older, as of the announcement of the iOS 7 Tech Talks (10 AM PDT, September 25, 2013). Attendees will be randomly selected from qualified applicants.  There will be two events per city, one devoted to app developers and the other focusing on game developers. You’ll choose to attend either the app developer day or the game developer day. You may only apply for one day at the iOS 7 Tech Talks.

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Posted by plates55 - September 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

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