The iPhone 6 Plus: Tradeoffs

“Phablets” are hybrid devices. In order to be successful, they must blend the essential elements of both phones and tablets while providing acceptable tradeoffs. Those tradeoffs from the phone and tablet categories are less portability and less utility, respectably. In exchange for these tradeoffs, users get one device that blends these essential elements. For people for who prefer or can only afford one iOS device, this is an attractive option. Thus, many have predicted that the iPhone 6 Plus could easily cannibalize the iPad Mini, for example. While this is certainly not the case for all users (me, for example), the iPhone 6 Plus will attract users who value the idea of having a single iOS device that can bridge the gap between their phone and tablet.

A good article written by my friend and All Things Apple contributor J.D. Lace on trade-offs and the iPhone 6 Plus. In India, the hybrid factor is what is driving the sales of “phablets”. Most Indian’s cannot afford to or don’t see the point of owning a smartphone as well as a tablet. I have a feeling that the iPhone 6 Plus will do better in India than the iPhone 6.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 28th September 2014

ATAWU28

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 – 28th September 2014

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Sales Top Ten Million During Launch Weekend

Apple Airs New iPhone Ads Titled ‘Huge’ and ‘Cameras’

Apple Posts Guide on How to Revert to iOS 8.0

Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 with Support for HealthKit Apps

Inside the building where Apple tortures the iPhone 6 – The Verge

Digging Digg – MacStories

Why Europe will likely say ‘meh’ to Apple Pay – MacWorld

iPhone 6 Is the Most Durable iPhone Yet, Says Insurer – WSJ

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Preliminary Results – Anand Tech

Camera test: The iPhone 6 won’t beat a DSLR, but it’s still an excellent device – MacWorld

iPod Mastermind Tony Fadell On The Death Of The iPod: “You Can’t Get Too Nostalgic” – CoDesign

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Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 with Support for HealthKit Apps

iOS 8 Released

After facing a QC nightmare earlier this week, Apple has released iOS 8.0.2, which finally brings support for HealthKit apps apart from fixing bugs that were introduced in iOS 8.0.1.

Here’s the complete change-log –

  • Fixes an issue in iOS 8.0.1 that impacted cellular network connectivity and Touch ID on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
  • Fixes a bug so HealthKit apps can now be made available on the App Store
  • Addresses an issue with 3rd party keyboards could become deselected when a user enters their passcode
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from accessing photos from the Photo Library
  • Improves the reliability of the Reachability feature on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • Fixes an issue that could cause unexpected cellular data usage when receiving SMS/MMS messages
  • Better support of Ask To Buy for Family Sharing for In-app Purchases
  • Fixes an issue where ringtones were sometimes not restored from iCloud backups
  • Fixes a bug that prevented uploading photos and videos from Safari

Download Links

iOS 8.0.2 Download Links:

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Apple Posts Guide on How to Revert to iOS 8.0

iOS 8 Released

Yesterday, after returning from work I discovered that Apple had released iOS 8.0.1 and I was about to update my phone and post about it on All Things Apple, when I read comments stating that the update resulted in loss of cellular network and inability to use Touch ID. For those of you that weren’t as lucky, Apple has posted the following guide on how to downgrade to iOS 8 –

  • Make sure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  • Connect your iPhone to iTunes.
  • Back up your iPhone in iTunes on your Mac or PC. iCloud backups won’t restore to earlier versions, including iOS 8.0.
  • Download the file below that corresponds to your device:
  • Select the file you just downloaded by doing one of these in iTunes:
    • Mac: Press the Option key and click Check for Update.
    • Windows: Press the Shift key and click Check for Update. 
  • Press Update to install iOS 8 on your iPhone

From a QC perspective (I work in the QC department of a research firm), I strongly feel that the notion of 100% QC is not realistic. Even the most robust QC/QA processes are susceptible to defects (or major blunders), and I don’t think Apple is an exception. I’ve been using iOS devices since 2007 and I have never seen such an embarrassing goof-up from Apple in all those years. I guess there’s always a first time, but I am really hoping that Apple learns a lesson from this mistake and makes sure that they never repeat this.

Apple has promised to release iOS 8.0.2 in a few days, which will fix the Health app as well.

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Apple Airs New iPhone Ads Titled ‘Huge’ and ‘Cameras’

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.26.37 PM

I’m a big of Jimmy Fallon and so when I read that Apple has debuted two new ads featuring Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, I simply had to check them out.

I really liked the style of the ads – they are quirky, short, simple, and hilarious. Both the ads are focused around the two new larger iPhone’s that Apple introduced and launched earlier this month. The first one talks about why the new iPhone’s are so huge and the second ad focuses on the cameras.

 

 

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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Sales Top Ten Million During Launch Weekend

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.22.27 PM

Earlier today, Apple officially announced that they have sold 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (including the 4 million units that were pre-ordered) during the first three days of sales. The new iPhone’s went on sale last Friday, in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Apple has managed to sell more iPhone’s than what it did the year before. As a matter of fact, Apple has managed to beat its opening weekend iPhone sales figure each year since the iPhone launched.

If you’ve read my thoughts on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, then you know that I am not exactly a fan of them. That being said, the success Apple has seen with them is absolutely phenomenal. The 10 million figure sounds even more impressive to me when I think about the supply constraints Apple is facing globally, and the fact that unlike last year the new iPhone’s Apple launched this year have not officially gone on sale in China.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 21st September 2014

ATAWU21

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 – 21st September 2014

Apple Announces Record-Breaking 4M iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Pre-Orders In 24 Hours

Apple Releases iOS 8

Thoughts on the Apple Watch

iPhone 6 Slow Motion Wine Pour 240fps

Mac Setup: The Beautiful Home Desk of a Police Officer – OSXDaily

iOS 8 Extensions and Widgets I’m Trying This Weekend – MacStories

Swatch inventor: Swiss watch industry missed the smart watch boat – Swiss Info

Tim Cook Interview: The iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and Remaking a Company’s Culture – BusinessWeek

iOS 8 Review – iMore

iPhone 6 Plus: It’s not an iPad nano – Six Colors

iOS 8, thoroughly reviewed – Ars Technica

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iPhone 6 Slow Motion Wine Pour 240fps

 

I think it is safe to say that the iPhone is the best smartphone in the market when it comes to photography. I’m blown away by the fact that this video was shot on an iPhone 6. Slightly tempted to pick one up now.

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Thoughts on the Apple Watch

AppleWatch

So it finally happened, Apple’s product line now includes a wearable, more specifically “a watch”. I have been waiting on this to happen for almost two years now, going to the extent of avoiding buying a watch, simply because I feared that Apple’s watch would make it obsolete when it launched.

I still remember the enormity of Apple’s 2007 Macworld keynote, during which Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Part of the reason why it is often looked back upon as the most significant moment in Apple’s history is because it was a game-changer. People present at the keynote and those watching from home were blown away because the iPhone was unlike anything we’d ever seen before. It was by leaps and bounds the most advanced phone in the market.

The “Digital Crown” and Why it Sets Apple Apart

Digital-Crown

In some ways Tuesday’s keynote was a lot like the iPhone introduction keynote back in 2007. Just like the touch-screen on the iPhone was a unique yet intuitive way to operate the phone, the “digital crown” on the Apple Watch serves the same function. As Cook pointed out during the keynote, the digital crown smartly uses infra-red LEDs and photodiodes that translate rotary movement into digital data. Reminiscent of its functionality on mechanical watches, the “digital crown” on the Apple Watch lets users navigate through content in a simple and intuitive manner. It can be used to scroll through lists, to zoom in and out of content. Pressing the digital button also takes you to the home-screen and thus acting like a “home button” for your watch.

I can’t say much about it without having used it and I don’t know if it really is as intuitive as it looks, but at the very least it sets Apple apart from the other players in the market. Every smart watch in the market uses the touch interface as its primary interface to control and operate the watch. Apple in that sense has taken a completely different approach. The incorporation of the “digital crown” makes a lot of sense, since using it as a navigation tool does not block the 38/42mm screen of the Apple Watch. It also adds a certain element of emotion to the watch if you ask me, and this reminiscence to time-pieces throughout history also makes it seem very respectful to the horology industry.

Design

1410315438003-Watch_1

The design of the Apple Watch is another area where I think it is unmatched (as you’d expect from Apple). I was desperately hoping that the Apple Watch would be circular but after seeing the Apple Watch and giving it a little thought, it is clear to me that a rectangular design for the Apple Watch makes more sense. For starters, a rectangular screen offers more real estate than a circular one. This additional screen real estate is crucial when you consider the already small form-factor of the Apple Watch. Based on conversations I have had with a couple of designers, it is also way easier to design for a rectangular interface than it is for a circular interface.

I think that the key to its beautiful design are the rich materials that Apple is using to manufacture the watches. The watches themselves are created with custom alloys of stainless steel, aluminium, and 18k gold. The display on the Apple Watch is made out of Sapphire, which is second hardest transparent material after diamond.

The leather straps are sourced from some of the best tannery’s in the world. The Classic Buckle uses leather made in the ECCO tannery in the Netherlands. The leather used in the Modern Buckle is sourced from a small French tannery established in 1803 that produces the supple Granada leather. The Leather Loop is made out of Venezia leather that is handcrafted in Naples with artisan heritage spanning five generations.

The Apple Watch is available in both 38 mm and 42 mm. I tried them both on, and they both worked perfectly on my wrist. They didn’t exaggerate the options and make one decidedly male oriented at 44 mm and a girly equivalent at 35 mm or the like. Any man, woman, or child could pull off either size with ease. This may not seem like much, but remember this is Apple’s first watch, and it would be a very easy mistake to make it too big or too small. – Benjamin Clymer (Hodinkee)

I’ve gone through about a dozen photos of men & women wearing the Apple Watch, and I must say that in every one of those shots, the Apple Watch looks stunning.

Customizability

iWatch_Customizations

Even before Apple unveiled the Apple Watch, I was hoping that it would be customizable. Unlike the iPhone, the Apple Watch is not just a tech gadget, it is also a fashion accessory. Generally, very few people want to be seen wearing the exact same product as hundreds or millions of others. When it comes to fashion, individuality reigns.

The Apple Watch will come in two sizes, 3 styles, that are spread across 6 different strap styles, which are then further segmented into various colors and finishes. That is just the hardware though, and when these options are combined with the possibilities of the software, there are literally a million different ways users can wear this watch.

The Little Things

As always, Apple manages to stand out when it comes to attention to detail and the tiny details. I love how the Apple Watch senses that you’re raising your wrist and only then activates the display. Personally I think that this is one of the coolest features of the Apple Watch. If ten years back, you would have told me that I’d be wearing a watch that activates automatically when you raise your wrist, I would have been blown away (I kinda still am).

Apple also designed a brand new typeface specifically for the Apple Watch. This makes sense considering the fact that a typeface used in a device like the Apple Watch needs to be designed differently than a typeface that was meant to be used on larger devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or a laptop. A font designed for the Apple Watch needs to take into account the significantly smaller size of the device and the fact that users will mostly be just glancing at the device. I think Apple’s proprietary typeface has taken these constraints into consideration and although I won’t be able to comment on how legible the font is until I actually use the Apple Watch, it definitely looks like it was well implemented.

I am also a big fan of some of the apps that Apple has made for the Apple Watch such as the Digital Touch, the Walkie-talkie, Tap, and Heartbeat.

Lack of Simplicity & Battery Life

These are the only two things about the Apple Watch that have been really bothering me. Battery life is easily the bigger concern out of the two for me. Apple didn’t really talk about it much during the keynote, but the general consensous is that the Apple Watch will need to be charged every day.

“I don’t think we skipped over it. I addressed it in the presentation myself. We think that based on our experience of wearing these that the usage of them will be really significant throughout the day. So we think you’ll want to charge them every night, similar to what a lot of people do with their phone.” – Tim Cook

Considering that I already charge my iPhone, iPad, and my Macbook Pro, I am not extremely enthusiastic about adding another device to that list. I am not sure if there is any getting around this problem, but I am hoping that the final number is at-least 2 days.

Simplicity is another area where I think Apple messed up. Instead of trying to do a handful things really well, the Apple Watch aims at doing everything. When I go through some of the functionality that Apple demoed during the keynote, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t really want to browse through photos on my watch, and I really don’t think I am the only one who feels that Apple could have practiced some restraint when it comes to the software capabilities of the Apple Watch.

Not as Unique as the iPhone

In terms of the tiny details, the Apple Watch is unlike anything that is currently in the market. That being said, when you look at the Apple Watch from a macro perspective, it seems a lot like the other products in the market. Competitors have for quite some time been selling rectangular touch-screen watches. In terms of functionality, they all act as an extension to the smartphone, providing notifications, collecting and displaying data (health related and otherwise), and they all come with interesting custom apps built specially for the watch.

Many people won’t see the Apple Watch as a category defying, unique product. The way they saw the iPhone and the iPad.

Conclusion

Will 2014 prove to be as pivotal to Apple as 1984 or even 2007? The answer to that question as far as I am concerned is a resonating yes. I feel exactly the same way about the Apple Watch as I did about the iPhone. I think that the Apple Watch redefines what we can do with our watches, and I simply cannot wait to get my hands on one.

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Apple Releases iOS 8

iOS 8 Released

As promised during the iPhone event held on the 9th, Apple has released iOS 8 to the public. The most obvious and striking feature of iOS 8, is the new Health app that Apple has launched. The app acts as a dashboard that shows users data related to their health and fitness activities.

Besides the Health app, iOS 8 gets a lot of other new features such as – Continuity, iCloud Drive, a redesigned keyboard, and a feature called Family Sharing that lets users share content they buy with up to 6 people.

iOS 8 also drastically improves upon the design changes introduced in iOS 8 with several design tweaks made across the board. It also features improvements to existing apps such as Photos, Messages, Safari, and more.

iOS 8 Compatibility

  • Phone 4s
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPod touch 5th generation 16GB
  • iPod touch 5th generation 32GB/64GB
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini Retina Display
  • iPad Air

iOS 8 is available as an Over the Air (OTA) update, and through iTunes. You can also manually download the update, using the links below (will be added as soon as they become available).

We won’t be publishing a review of iOS 8 considering the fact that several websites (who have probably had access to it since WWDC) will probably do a better job than us (no-one in the ATA team has had access to the Betas). In the past we’ve loved the reviews published by Daring Fireball, Pixel Envy, and MacStories.

We will however publish a few iOS 8 related articles in the coming weeks.

Download Links

*Download links via – evad3rs.net

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