All Things Apple Weekend Update – 19th October 2014

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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 – 19th October 2014

Olive: An Intelligent Bracelet That Helps You Manage Stress

Apple’s iPad Event 2014: Hopes & Expectations

Apple Releases OS X Yosemite

Key Numbers from Apple’s iPad Event

The Retina iMac versus the Mac Pro, on paper – Marco

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review – Ars Technica

Yes, Apple Rocks Design. Rocks Communication Even More! – Avinash Kaushik

iCloud Drive: What Is It, How It Works & Its Fundamental Problem – MacStories

First thoughts: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iMac with Retina – LoopInsight

How One Boy With Autism Became B.F.F.’s With Apple’s Siri – NYTimes

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Key Numbers from Apple’s iPad Event

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Apple events have now almost become as mainstream as The Grammy’s or the Oscars, and Apple has been live-streaming them for the past few occasions. As a result of this, we decided not to cover Apple events starting with WWDC 2014. The rationale behind this decision was that since most of our readers are now watching the event along with us, it doesn’t make sense covering it live. For a few of those who didn’t, we think that the best place to find out what was introduced, is through Apple’s very own website.

As part of our coverage, we will be sharing some after thoughts within a couple of days of the event, and we will also be sharing information that you won’t find on Apple’s website. To get us started, here is a collated list of key numbers from today’s keynote.

Key Numbers from Apple’s iPhone & Apple Watch event

  • Apple sold a record breaking number of iPhone’s during the first month
  • 500 new banks supporting Apple Pay
  • WatchKit SDK to be available in November
  • A million users signed up to be a part of the Beta Program for OS X

iPad 

  • 225 million iPads sold
  • Retina iPad Mini scored 100% in customer satisfaction
  • 675,000 iPad apps
  • The iPad Air is 18% thinner than the 1st generation iPad Air at 6.1mm
  • The iPad Air has 3 billion transistors
  • It is 40% faster than the 1st generation iPad Air and has 2.5x faster GPU
  • The iPad Air 2 is 12x faster than the original iPad
  • The graphics performance on the iPad Air 2 is 180x faster than the original iPad
  • The iPad Air delivers 2.8x faster WiFi performance
  • The iPad Air supports 20 LTE bands with speeds up to 150 Mbps (more than any other tablet)
  • iPad Air 2 to cost $499 for the 16GB, $599 for the 64GB, and $699 for the 128GB WiFi variants
  • The cellular versions will start at $629 for the 16GB, $729 for the 64GB, and $829 for the 128GB variant
  • Pre-orders for both the iPad Mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 begin tomorrow

Mac

  • Mac YoY growth was 18% in comparison to the (1%) growth shown by the PC industry
  • The new 27 inch Retina iMac will feature 14.7 million pixels. That is 5120 x 2880 pixels
  • There are 7 times more pixels on the Retina iMac than a normal HD screen
  • 67% more pixels than 4k
  • The new iMac uses 30% less energy
  • The new iMac is 45% faster than its predecessor
  • The 27 inch Retina iMac will start at $2499 and will ship starting today
  • The Mac Mini is now the World’s most energy efficient desktop
  • The Mac Mini will retail for $499 and will also start shipping today
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Apple Releases OS X Yosemite

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As expected, Apple has just announced that it will be releasing the final version of OS X Yosemite later today. Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi took the stage to demo some of the new features introduced in OS X Mavericks and iOS 8, including – the completely new UI in OS X Yosemite, iCloud Drive, and Continuity features such as HandOff, Instant Hotspot and more.

OS X Mavericks will be available for free via the Mac App Store.

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Apple’s iPad Event 2014: Hopes & Expectations

Apple’s annual iPad event is just around the corner and there is a fair bit of anxiety about whether the event will be just about the new iPads or if Apple will make other announcements as well. Here are my hopes and expectations for the event –

New iPads

I am expecting Apple to update both the models in its iPad lineup – including the ultra-thin iPad Air and the iPad Mini. The major new feature would have to be TouchID if you ask me. I am guessing that if Apple does add TouchID to the iPads, they might just bring NFC compatibility as well. I am also expecting the new iPads to be significantly faster than their predecessors. It is safe to assume that the new iPads will run on the A8 chip, and I am fairly confident that Apple will bump up the RAM to 2GB.

In terms of cosmetics, I am expecting the new iPads to have the same form-factor as their predecessors. That being said, expect a “gold” variant of the iPad Air.

OS X Yosemite & New Macs

Apple first demoed OS X Mavericks during WWDC, and had stated that they would be releasing it in October. I am guessing that they will do a quick recap of whats new in OS X Mavericks, and announce that they will release it the same day(23rd Oct).

I am also expecting Apple to partially revamp its Mac lineup by introducing updated models of the – Mac Mini and the iMac. According to multiple reports, the new iMacs are expected to ship with a high-resolution 4k Retina Display.

I am expecting Apple to update the Mac Mini –  their smallest and cheapest desktop computer. I am expecting the new models to be upgraded with more storage and the latest Intel processors.

Apple Pay

When Apple unveiled Apple Pay during the keynote last month, the company had promised that the platform would launch in the US in the month of October. I am expecting that Apple will announce Apple Pay going live at hundreds of stores around the country on Thursday.

What Not to Expect

I wouldn’t keep my hopes high for the iPad Pro, any sort of new product in the “television” segment, or a 12inch Retina Macbook Air just as yet.

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Olive: An Intelligent Bracelet That Helps You Manage Stress

A couple of days back I came across an interesting campaign on Indiegogo called Olive, which is an intelligent bracelet that aims at helping you monitor and manage stress. The bracelet uses several sensors and technologies to do this including an optical pulse sensor, a skin conductance sensor, skin temperature sensor, ambient light sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, haptic feedback, a Li-Po battery, and Bluetooth 4.0.

It monitors your stress by –

  • Tracking physical indicators of stress based on changes in heart rate, reactions in your skin, and trends in skin temperature
  • Analyzing habits that contribute to stress like your physical activity, sleep, and exposure to light
  • Talking with your smartphone to understand your lifestyle through your calendar, your location, and other available data

Once the bracelet senses an increase in stress levels, it will notify you by giving a nudge (using haptic feedback) or by illuminating LED lights on the bracelet. If you are feeling fine, you can simply swipe to ignore it. If you need help to calm down, you can swipe the other way to launch an exercise.

I have personally struggled to deal with stress during the past couple of years, and I am extremely intrigued by this product.

Read more about Olive and back the campaign by going here.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 12th October 2014

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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 – 12th October 2014

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to Launch in India on October 17

Apple Named World’s Most Valuable Brand in Latest Interbrand Rankings

Young technologists love lock-in? – Scripting News

Apple’s Jony Ive on the Lessons He Learned From Steve Jobs – Vanity Fair

Editor’s Note – The Magazine

iPhone Encryption and the Return of the Crypto Wars – Schneier on Security

Apple sends out invites for Oct. 16 special event –  The Loop

iOS 8 Apps I’m Trying This Week – MacStories

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Apple Named World’s Most Valuable Brand in Latest Interbrand Rankings

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Each year, Interbrand prepares a list of the worlds top brands, ranking them on the basis of their brand value, which is calculated by taking into consideration three key aspects: the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process, and the strength of the brand.

Apple has retained its top spot as the world’s most valuable company in the latest rankings. Apple had topped the ranking last year, overtaking Coca-Cola as the most valuable brand in the world after the beverage corporation spent 13 years in the top spot. The Apple brand has been valued at $118.9 billion in 2014, up $20.6 billion (21%) from its $98.3 billion valuation in 2013.

On September 9, 2014, Tim Cook held up a wallet and said, “Our ambition is to replace this.” A bold statement to be sure–but we’d expect nothing less from Apple, #1 on the Best Global Brands list for the second year in a row. Referring to Apple Pay, a new mobile payments platform that enables consumers to pay for items with Apple devices, Cook signaled that Steve Jobs’s 2001 vision of Apple becoming the “digital hub” of its consumers’ lives (Macworld Expo 2001) has finally been fulfilled.

In what CNNMoney.com called “one of the most ambitious product launches in its history,” Apple unveiled not only Apple Pay, but also the long-anticipated Apple Watch, a wearable device that combines health and fitness monitoring with mobile computer capabilities, and launched two new iPhones that are faster and smarter than previous versions and feature larger screens. The iPhone 6 Plus, which embraces the larger-form factors, could pose a serious challenge to Samsung’s GALAXY Note. Though iPhone sales were up prior to the new product launch, particularly in China where China Mobile is now signed as a carrier, the iPhone 6 Plus may further assist penetration in Asian markets where larger-screened devices are preferred.

A major chunk of the top 100 includes tech companies (as a matter of fact 4 out of the top 5 brands are tech companies). As part of its methodology, Interbrand weighs up three key aspects in deciding a brand’s value — the financial performance of the company’s products and services, the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice, and the ability the brand has to command a premium price or lock down earnings for the company. Apple clearly shines in all those areas, specially the last one.

An interesting observation – Apple partners with all of the non-tech brands within the top 10.

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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to Launch in India on October 17

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Apple has finally confirmed that they will be launching the new iPhone’s in India on the 17th of this month. Apple’s retail partners (Ingram Micro, Redington, Rashi Peripherals and Reliance) have even begun taking pre-orders and have also revealed the new prices for the iPhone’s. Several online retailers in India (including Amazon, Flipkart, and Grabmore) are also taking pre-orders for t

The Apple iPhone 6 16GB is priced Rs 53,500, the 64Gb at Rs 62,500 and 128GB at Rs 71,500. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus will be priced Rs 62,500, 64GB at Rs 71,500 and 128GB at Rs 80,500.

This will be the first year since 2007 that I won’t be updating my iPhone. I am not completely sold on the larger screen sizes, and have decided to post-pone my inevitable shift to a larger smartphone for at-least another year. Expect a detailed article about that later this weekk

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 5th October 2014

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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 – 5th October 2014

The iPhone 6 Plus: Tradeoffs

Thoughts on the Apple Watch

Tim Cook Emails Apple Employees Ahead of the Third Anniversary of Steve Jobs’ Death – iClarified

Chinese media reports 4 million iPhone 6 reservations, even split between iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – 9to5Mac

Apple Pay: An in-depth look at what’s behind the secure payment system – TUAW

My coworkers made me use Mac OS 9 for their (and your) amusement – Ars Technica

A Rare Look at Design Genius Jony Ive: The Man Behind the Apple Watch – Vogue

Our favorite Markdown writing app for the Mac: Byword – The Sweet Setup

The Untold Story of How the Apple Store Cube Landed in Midtown – New York Magazine

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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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