All Things Apple Weekend Update – 25th January 2015

WeekendUpdate15_Revised

Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 25th January 2015

How To Quickly Switch Between Audio Outputs on your Mac

Bigger than Hollywood – Asymco

Apple Acquires Media Analytics Company Semetric Ahead of Beats Music Relaunch – MacRumors

This is the difference between Microsoft and Apple – Quartz

The End of Trickle-Down Technology – stratechery

Logic Pro X for Mac Gets Major Update With New Drummers, Tools for Electronic/Hip Hop Music Creation – MacRumors

Video promoting Apple’s opening of the West Lake store in Hangzhou, China – Loop Insight

Home Screens: John Siracusa – MacSparky

More

How To Quickly Switch Between Audio Outputs on your Mac

I recently purchased a pre-amp/soundcard called Focusrite 2i2. Based on a recommendation I read online, I ended up routing the audio output on my Mac through the 2i2. This arrangement works out fine most of the time, however there are times when I’d rather have the audio output for my Mac go through the internal speakers. Going into “System Preferences” each time to switch the output can be rather annoying. Luckily you can switch between audio sources directly from your menubar within seconds, here’s how –

Step 1

Ensure that you have the volume level manager running on your menubar. If you don’t, you can easily activate it by going into “System Preferences”, selecting “Sound”, and then clicking on the checkbox next to “Show volume in menu bar”

Step 2

Switch audio output mac

Once you have the volume manager running in your menubar, simply hold down the option button on the keyboard and then click on the sound icon in the menu bar – this will allow you to quickly switch between various input and output devices.

via iMore

More

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 18th Jan 2015

Weekend Update

Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 18th Jan 2015

CES 2015: Favorites

Thoughts on Apple’s Success in India During 2014

Taking CarPlay for a spin - Six Colors

The Compass Stand for iPad - Tools & Toys

How Your Favorite Apps Will Look On The Apple Watch - Fast Company Design

Apple Home Kit - MacSparky

Overcast’s 2014 sales numbers – Marco

PC Leaders Continue Growth And Share Gains As Market Remains Slow, According to IDC – Business Wire

Apple adds refurbished Retina 5K iMac to online store, prices start at $2,119 - 9to5 Mac

More

Thoughts on Apple’s Success in India During 2014

iphone-6s

The launch of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus has been a rather successful one for Apple, in its primary markets such as the US, Europe, China, and Australia among others. Owing to the exuberantly high prices of the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, I was a bit skeptical of how the new iPhone’s would perform in India.

A report published by CounterPoint Research, claims that Apple has sold over 5,00,000 iPhone’s during the 4th quarter of 2014. Personally, I’d take that number with a grain of salt, because I think that it is extremely difficult to estimate the number of iPhone’s Apple sells in a country like India (I work as a Research Analyst in my day job and as such am aware of the limitations).

What we can assume to be true is that there has definitely been an increase in the sales of iPhones in India, when you compare the shipments for 2013 with 2014. A major factor causing this increase can be attributed to the larger sized displays in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Consumers in India prefer smartphones with larger displays, and the fact that Apple finally has a product to cater to this need, has definitely played an important role for them in achieving this exponential increase in sales.

Beyond the new iPhone’s, with their larger displays, I think another factor behind the sales growth are the aggressively priced older iPhone’s that Apple sells in India. For a country whose per capita income is approximately $1,500, the iPhone 6 which retails for $861 in India, isn’t necessarily a viable option. The older iPhone’s (which start at $300) help Apple cater to consumers who want to use an Apple product, but aren’t looking to spend too much.

I foresee Apple’s share in the Indian smartphone market gradually increasing over the next few quarters, as their products strike an ideal balance with regards to price and form-factor.

More

CES 2015: Favorites

Apple doesn’t participate in the The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any exciting product launches/announcements related to the Apple eco-system. I’ve kept a close eye on this years show, and with the trade-show coming to an end last week, I thought I’d do quick rundown of my favorites, for those of you that didn’t have the time to keep up with the developments taking place at CES 2015. Here are my favorites from this years show –

DIRECT POWER STRIP by Incipio

wac-power-strip_r2_1

The Incipio “Direct Power Strip” can power up to three standard devices and create one smart device over WiFi. The strip integrates with Apple’s HomeKit solution which means you can remotely control devices. You can even use Siri, to power on or power off a device plugged into its “DIRECT Smart Port”. I can think of several use cases for this device, most of which are centered around charging. (For example, I could plug in my iPad or the batteries from my Magic Trackpad for charging while leaving for work and turn the Smart Port off in a couple of hours, instead of having it charge my devices all day).

Read more here

Blue Spark ‘TempTraq’ Wearable Thermometer

product-box

I don’t know if this would be of use to me personally, but I really liked this concept. Monitoring a sick child can be a gruesome ordeal for a parent, and this smart wearable thermometer aims at changing that. The thermometer (or the soft patch), needs to be simply applied under the arm like a band-aid, post-which it sends live readings to your registered smartphones using Bluetooth. This means you can constantly send readings not just to yourself, but also to your babysitter, or your even your doctor.

TempTraq is currently being reviewed by the FDA.

Read more here

Connected Cycle’s “Pedal”

Connected-cycle-anti-theft-pedal_dezeen_468_1

For those of you who read my post on Cobi, a smart biking system, my enthusiasm for smart technologies related to cycling is probably very evident. One of my favorite announcements from CES 2015 is from a French startup called Connected Cycle who have introduced a new smart bike pedal, which can record the speed, route, incline, and calories burned on each bike trip. Besides this, the Pedal also provides a simple solution against bike theft.

Read more here

Philips Lightning-Based Fidelio NC1L Headphones

Philips-Fidelio-NC1L-2

At work, noise-canceling headphones go a long way, helping you detach from all the chaos around you and simply focus on your work. The Fidelio NC1L headphones plug directly into iOS devices via the Lightning connector and use their own integrated 24-bit digital-to-analog converter instead of the one built into Apple’s devices.

The headphones will retail for $299 when the release.

More

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 11th Jan 2015

WeekendUpdate15_Revised

Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 11th Jan 2015

Apple Begins Selling Unlocked iPhone 6 & 6 Plus in The U.S.

How HoursTracker earns five figures a month on the App Store – Medium

Watch This: The first iPhone keynote was eight years ago today – The Verge

Two Scenarios for the Smart Watch Market – Creative Strategies

The 2014 Panic Report – Panic Blog

The Most Popular Cameras on Flickr in 2014 – Peta Pixel

Apple and Eras of Flux – Daring Fireball

The Software and Services Apple Needs to Fix – Glenn Fleishman

Confessions of a smartphone thief – CNET

A Teenager’s View on Social Media – Medium

More

Apple Begins Selling Unlocked iPhone 6 & 6 Plus in The U.S.

iphone-6s

As was reported yesterday by 9to5Mac, Apple has begun selling SIM-free, unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus through its online store and at its retail locations. The 16/64/128 GB versions of the iPhone 6 selling for $649/$749/$849 respectively, while the 16/64/128GB versions of the iPhone 6 Plus will be available for $749/$849/$949.

Prior to this, Apple was selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the U.S. either via a carrier contract or unlocked on T-Mobile. Now American consumers can buy the latest iPhone models with no SIM-card, allowing them to use the purchased phone with any supported carrier in the world.

I’ve always preferred buying contract-free, unlocked iPhone’s and although a significant number of people people prefer to buy a subsidized (40%) iPhone, the majority (60%) still prefer unlocked variants, if you go by this poll taken by iDownload blog.

More

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 4th Jan 2015

 

WeekendUpdate15_Revised

Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 4th Jan 2015

Brief Thoughts on Xiaomi Copying Apple
Meet Cobi: A Smart Connected System for Your Cycle

Technology resolutions for 2015 – The Sweet Setup

My Answer To The Question: Why is your tech writing focused on Apple? – Alpha Efficiency

The Death of Cocoa – NSHipster

A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Steve Jobs about Business – 25iq

My Must-Have iPhone Apps, 2014 Edition – MacStories

Quitting Family Sharing – MacSparky

More

Meet Cobi: A Smart Connected System for Your Cycle

Cobi_ATA

Since the past couple of months, I’ve been cycling to work, which is a 10 mile commute back and forth. I do this because ironically it is quicker to cycle to work than to drive, and this also allows me to combine my daily cardio with my commute.

I recently came across Cobi, which is a smart connected system for your cycle. Installing the system on your bike can add over 100 intelligent features to it. The system includes a mount (which holds your smartphone), a headlight, a one-finger joystick, and a rear light with automatic brake and turn signals. It even includes a built-in battery that can be used to charge your phone.

Once installed on the bike, the system communicates with the COBI app, which lets you check the weather, get directions, control music, and more.

COBI can be pre-ordered through Kickstarter and starts at $159. I highly recommend getting it, and honestly, I am envious of all the people who have ordered it already, because I cannot, since they won’t ship to India.

More

Brief Thoughts on Xiaomi Copying Apple

xiaomilaptop

 

This doesn’t surprise me because there have been many before Xiaomi, who have copied the Macbook Air design. In an interview back in October, Hugo Barra (who is an ex Google executive, currently serving as a VP with Xiaomi) argued that all products in the market today are inspired from products in the past in some way or the other, and Apple’s own iPhone 6 isn’t an exception. Although I agree with his claim, its important that we clearly distinguish between inspired and copied products.

Apple’s iPhone 6 looks like it was inspired by the HTC One, but it is a completely new adaptation of that design language. Xiaomi’s products on the other hand are blatant copies, to the tiniest details, with close to no unique attributes.

This is true for the automotive industry as well, where all “pick-up trucks” look similar, but aren’t identical. If you look at Ford’s F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, they look very similar to each other at first glance, but when you take a deeper look you see the differences in the details. The grills are different, the lights are different, if you look inside, the design language is dramatically different.

More