iPhone Rumor Summary

Alright Everyone! It’s almost that exciting time of the year when Apple releases new products and lets all of us developers in on the new happenings for the next iOS release. As you may already know, This iOS release is rumored to be more exciting than ever. Jony Ivy took over for iOS design and we think that can only mean one thing: iOS design is going to change! Finally! Here’s what else were expecting this WWDC and from the future iPhone.

An Unveiling of a Lower Cost iPhone 5

Hey, It wouldn’t take too much for Apple to change the case of an iPhone and doing so might help them sell more units globally. With Android gaining ground in adoption, a cheaper phone may be in order to regain some of that ground. Plus, We’re already seeing leaks of the new cheaper iPhone case. I don’t expect an iPhone 5S to be released until fall, but it might be possible to see the new lower cost iPhone with the same specs as the 5.

iPhone case Leak taken from blog.tactus.com

iPhone case Leak taken from blog.tactus.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iOS 7 Partially Flat UI

With sharp screens fonts look absolutely gorgeous, consequently web design as well as mobile design has moved to a more flat design.  iOS 7 may take on a partially flat design as well. Given Jony Ivy’s less is more mantra, I expect the UI to be simplified as well.

Better Siri

Apple is continually increasing the capabilities of Siri, So this one is a no brainer. Siri will be able to do more. Whether or not Siri becomes useful enough that we’ll actually use it, I can’t say. I’ve said it before, Developers could find better uses for Siri. Apple needs to open up an API for developers to interface with Siri.

Better Maps

The maps app is still new, and you can bet there is something Apple can do to make the experience better. I don’t believe the search will be less buggy, but that takes years of data collection and complaints.

Movement Tracking

 The new Samsung phones have this feature and it can be done with the existing cameras using special algorithms. For this reason, I think there’s a good chance the Apple may implement some similar feature.  If not Eye tracking then maybe some type of motion gesture tracking.

 Quick Access To Modes

This issue has been griped about so long it would almost be surprising if this was not included.  Expect quick access for turning on and off airplane mode, WIFI, and other similar features.

 A New Weather App

Last revision of iOS focused on removing dependency on Google. Next on the chopping block will probably be the Yahoo dependent weather app.  Yahoo even released their own weather app recently. Forward thinking? maybe.

Linkedin Integration 

Now that the iPhone has integration for both Twitter and Facebook, there’s a good chance they’ll take on the largest business network as well.

Well that’s it for this months predictions. The Rumors we’ll start heating up as WWDC gets closer and so will our updates.

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iPhone Rumor Summary

Alright everybody, after a few week hiatus we’re back with a bit more rumors and news than usual. With the WWDC 2013 quickly approaching the rumors are starting to heat up. Everyone one is curious what Jony Ivy will do with his new position as all things design zen master.  Investors want to know what new tricks Apple has up their sleeves to make us all fall in love again. Unfortunately nothing is known about the future of Apple, but here’s the latest speculation.

iPhone 5S Won’t Be Ground Breaking

I am sorry to say that the new iPhone 5S probably won’t look and feel any different. With a locked-in two year contract on the iPhone 5, do we really want a jealously inspiring device?  Expect some performance upgrades and maybe an even better camera. The best rumor I’ve seen regarding looks is the possibility of colors.

A new “Cheaper” iPhone

There has been a lot of talk about Apple creating a new lower cost iPhone to compete better in the Chinese market. Expect this lower price model to have the same specs as the iPhone 5 but with a plastic case and a non-retina display. I also would not be surprised if this this new iPhone was not available for purchase in the US. Apple doesn’t have any problems selling the iPhone in the US, and their high end quality sets them apart from the offerings of Android.

 iOS 7 Will Have Flat UI…..In Part

iPhone users are desperately waiting for a much needed refresh on the design of iOS.  The wallstreet journal reports that Jony Ive is pushing for a Flat Design. While the changes are expected to be conservative, we may see some new styling. Hopefully the styling is less conservative than more.

New Product: iWatch

An interesting Rumor floating around is there may be a chance Apple will be releasing an iWatch. Given the recent popularity of the Pebble, A kickstarter bluetooth watch project,  we now know there is a market for it. Who better to make a watch that interfaces with the iPhone than the makers of the iPhone. I would be interested to see what kind of design Ivy could kick up here. Hopefully, if this rumor comes to fruition, it would have a better wrist strap than the Pebble does.

An iTV SDK

As an Amateur App Developer, I desperately want to be able to make apps for my TV.  Jonny Evans from computer world postulates that it might make sense for Apple to release an SDK for the Apple TV before releasing a full on iTV. This would maintain the secrecy as to whether or not Apple will actually release a TV.  What he didn’t mention is how this would be strategically good for an iTV release. By opening the Apple TV SDK to developers before hand , Apple can release the iTV and boast the thousands of Apps they already have. I still maintain that Apple will need a better way to interface with the TV if this is the case. I couldn’t imagine playing angry birds with that Apple TV remote.

Well that’s it for the latest rumors! Got anything you would like to add? let us know! We’re open for debate.

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Another Great Way To Interface With An Apple TV

In a previous article, I mentioned that an Apple TV sporting iOS and apps would need a good way for the operator to interface with the system.  Well! Apple needs to look no further! The technology exists now, and it’s pretty exciting.  Now by wearing an armband, we can interface with devices in ways that can open doors to a whole new level of interactivity. I just hope it works as well as the video demonstration.

 

An interesting thought occurred to me while watching this video. What if they could incorporate this technology into the wrist band of a watch? The only drawback I see with this device is people will most likely not want to wear it at all times. Which means, you are dependent on finding the wrist band and putting it on before you can interface with anything.  A watch could fix that. People are ok with wearing a watch at all times, which means interactivity with their devices is accessible at all times. At this point it looks like MYO is dependent on sensing the electrical pulses in the upper wrist, but I have to imaging they can refine the technique enough to move it down to something wearable and closer to the wrist.

Obviously this tech is so new that it probably won’t find it’s way into devices for at least another year, but what if Apple licenses it for inclusion into their rumored watch? Then their ecosystem would be bullet proof. A watch that interfaces with your phone, Your TV, and Mac? Can’t get any better than that! Pebble, if you’re listening, Go call up MYO and work together on this.

The fact that the new myo is Bluetooth low energy is also exciting from a developer standpoint. This means the iPhone can communicate with the device without the need for a MiFi developer program and developers will be able to create apps for it. This might be leveraged to control third party devices using MYO with the iOS device as a gateway. While MYO has not released a developer program yet, it appears as though it will happen sometime in the near future. Unfortunately this also means we probably won’t see this device on shelves for a long time.

 

 

 

 

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iPhone 5S Rumors Painfully Predictable

Over the lifetime of the iPhone there has been a very obvious pattern. First we get an awesome and completely new iPhone, then we get an iPhone that is the same phone with a bit more oomph. I guess I can’t complain about this pattern as my cell phone contract is for 2 years and I don’t miss out much when the “S” iteration comes out. Still, wouldn’t it be cool if Apple surprised us with some crazy hardware update that was completely out of the blue? Instead, we get the same thing: Better processor, better screen, and a better camera. How much more can we honestly expect them to add to the hardware though? Innovation was easy in the beginning, but now incremental changes are harder from an engineering standpoint. As awe inspiring hardware changes get more expensive to engineer, Apple will continue to rely on selling hardware with software features.

iOS Deadweight

I honestly believe that missed sales expectations has more to do with iOS then it does with the iPhone 5 hardware. The hardware is amazing: Twice as fast, way thinner, way lighter, a fantastic camera, a bigger screen, and it looks good too. The problem is, when you turn it on you are faced with nearly the same screen you saw on the first iPhone. It’s a new phone but it doesn’t feel new. iOS is not fresh anymore.  People like change from time to time and many are switching to the competition to get it. Now that the competition is actually creating competitive hardware, Apple needs to focus more on the most unique and enjoyable part of their devices: The Software. iOS needs some love. Jony Ivy to the rescue!

As mentioned previously on this blog, iOS 6 was more a benefit to Apple than it was a benefit to the customer. The goal of iOS 6 for Apple was to remove dependency on Google. Now that they are over this hump they can get back to pleasing the customers. With Jony Ivy is in charge of design, there is a good chance the styling of iOS could change substantially.  The question is whether or not they will put much effort into adding some more features such as widgets and better app integration. A newly designed iOS could also be a great addition to the rumored Apple television as well.

While the new hardware won’t surprise anyone,  iOS might. It has been 6 years since the first iPhone and a refresh has not happened yet. Now is the time to change things up a bit and the new strategy without Forstall suggest that Apple is on the same page.  I am alone when I say I will be severely disappointed with Apple if they don’t give us something worthwhile in iOS 7.

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How A MakerBot Can Accessorize Your iPhone

Looking at the rumor mill for the past month has been disappointing to say the least. Now the guesses are that Apple will release three versions of the iPhone: A budget plastic version, the normal version, and a larger screen version.  Still a bunch of rumors until we see it. The only exciting thing here is we might get an iPhone with a bit larger screen. Since the rumor mill is so boring right now I thought I would take a bit of time to make everyone aware of the fabulous new things going on in the 3D printer realm. This stuff is awesome!

3D Printers

Now days you can get yourself a kit to build yourself a 3D printer for around $600 bucks or you can buy one outright from anywhere between $1200 to $2500 for the consumer level versions. If you haven’t already heard about them listen up! It’s the way of the future! Soon you’ll be able to just print plastic goods that are needed. As of now, there is already a huge open source library of plastic parts that you can download and print at will. So Here’s some good 3D printer options:

MakerBot: Easy at a bit more cost

This Bot is pretty much the industry standard right now. It costs around $2200 at the time of this writing. The metal construction makes it rigid. This helps with quicker more accurate printing due to stability.

 

MakerBot Replicator 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afinia H-Series: A bit cheaper but less build space too

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, here is another viable option. A bit cheaper but you’ll have to sacrifice build size as well.

Afinia H-Series 3D printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Printerbot: Cheap but not for the faint of heart

The last and my favorite option right now is the Printerbot. This option is a DIY kit that you purchase and assemble yourself. You Also have the option of buying on assembled for a bit more cost. There are several Printerbot models too choose from with varying pricing and build sizes.

PrinterBot Plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stuff You Can Make!

Well, the sky is limit here. but head over to thingiverse and check out the thousands of stuff that people designed. I’ll highlight a few things created for the iPhone here.

Acoustic iPhone speaker stand

Thingiverse: Acoustic iPhone Speaker Stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone Tripod 

iPhone Tripod Mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone Dash Mount

iPhone dashmount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think at this point you get the idea! The 3D printing revolution is upon us and it’s awesome! I can only imagine how this may someday jump start a new industry and bolster an age of creativity. It’s becoming easier than ever to transform thoughts into reality and 3D printers give us one more efficient and easy way of doing it. Learn some 3D CAD software now, it will be essential someday.

What do you think? Like the bot? Have a better one than mentioned here? Let us know about it!

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Move Over iPhone, It’s Time For The Future

Over the past few years the smartphone industry has exploded into a very competitive market. When Apple first introduced the iPhone back in 2007 it completely demolished all expectations of what a smartphone should be. Apple re-wrote the rules and it took a while for the competitors to catch up. Now, the playing field is a completely different place. Apple is no longer competing in a market without competition. In addition, the iPhone has kind of lost it’s momentum. There’s nothing wrong with the iPhone, just like there isn’t anything wrong with a new iPod.  Unfortunately, both items are considered nice to have but don’t spark much in the burning desire department.  So what next? Apple will need to start focusing on another market with less competition. Enter Smart TV.

Through various interviews Tim Cook has mentioned that Apple was “Intensely interested in TV”. There is a whole new market for TV’s that support an Apps based platform. Some Android devices have messed around with this realm, but all attempts seem sorta halfhearted. The first company to execute a TV system with a great OS platform that can handle Apps stands to make some serious dough. A few problems exist here though: User Interface , network  megalomaniacs, and the cable box.

All of the current attempts at creating a media TV capable of internet and other neat media features seem to have issues with the User Interface. Put simply, It is not easy or enjoyable to control these interfaces using a scrolling wheel, keyboard, and any other standard solution used for computing. The key to a great OS powered TV is creating an interfacing method just as revolutionary as capacitive touch was to the smartphone. Fortunately , a technology exists that could potentially fix this issue. Motion Control like that created by Leap Motion. For those that haven’t been reading along past postings (How Dare you!), this video should get you up to speed:

The first thing that came to mind when I saw this technology was “This would work great for the living room.” It makes sense though, technology like this would make operating UI interfaces on the television just as simple as the touch interface on a tablet or phone. The only challenge here is having the sensor a bit further away. I think it can be done.

The big problem here is Network megalomaniacs. We’ve all seen the battle between the networks and the providers. Direct TV recently had a highly publicized standoff with AMC. The problem is people are addicted to television and this empowers the networks to make the rules. This antiquated business model is something that needs to change with the rest of the world. Why are we paying for hundreds of channels we don’t want to watch in order to watch one show we like one day a week? Imagine going back to paying for one crap album for a single good song. This is a world of on demand. Why should the focus be on the DVR when the technology exists to watch everything instantly. I’ll commend Netflix for pioneering into this realm, but it’s obvious that networks are quite stingy with good content if you’ve ever tried searching Netflix for movies made in this decade. It’s obvious that a new model needs to emerge. A model similar to the 99 cent song.

Those that use an Apple TV may have come across the option to buy TV shows for 2.99 a piece. This means you would be paying $24 bucks a year to watch a single season Dexter. So we’ll make the assumption that it costs 2.99 for most television for an hour of viewing.  The average american spends a whopping 32 hours a week watching television. Given this cost model, Americans would spend $5000 bucks consuming the same amount of content as they get from networks. we’ll be conservative and assume that they may watch reruns half of the time. So maybe they might spend $2500 or a bit over $200 monthly. This is the problem. In order for content on demand to be viable this cost model has to be reduced substantially. Which means a company with big muscle needs to have a talk with the networks to work something reasonable out. In other words, A new kind of subscription service needs to come to fruition. Subscription has to be reworked in order to give Apple the freedom to create good things. This starts with eliminating the set top box and providing the content at a reasonable price. Giving Apple a direct line to the content gives them the freedom to manage the content and open it up for interfacing with apps. Once this happens, very cool things will start to blossom.

So there you have it! My long term prediction, Apple will work out it’s own subscription service that will replace the need for cable TV and open up content on demand. This content will be open to an iOS SDK and developers will be able to create apps for anything from scheduling to interactive viewing.  The Apple TV will become the new Apple staple product. The iPhone will be another necessity.

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Comic: iPhone 5S To Get Colors

Any body that has been watching the rumor mill on iPhones will tell you that nobody really knows anything at this point. The biggest rumor that any one can come up with is that the iPhone 5s will release sometime this year with the same look and a little better performance. Yippie! This rumor sounds a little familiar doesn’t it? At this point consumers don’t need a rumor site to tell them that. They get it. First a new design, then small improvements on it the following year. There’s a pattern here! The only rumor that is of interest lately is whether or not the next iPhone will have colors. OK, I’m a little interested, but is it enough to make me want to upgrade? I say heck no!

iPhone 5S color comic

Unless the new iPhone 5S has a great performance upgrade, I don’t think colors would persuade me to drop the extra cash needed to get one mid contract.  Even with a fresh contract, I would probably just wait around until the newly designed iPhone 6.  As I mentioned before however, changing the color wouldn’t cost too much. A small cost to change the color and boost sales might be worth it for Apple. This is of course is if they also add the usual updates of boosting the performance. Then again, I’m sure it was a shock to automobile manufacturers to find people would buy cars based on cup holders and colors rather than horsepower.

An interesting thought that’s been going through my head has been this: What if Apple uses colors to sell the lower cost plastic iPhone? Then consumers may think “Yeah it’s plastic, but I can get it in my favorite color!” This is going back to the horsepower analogy I mentioned earlier. Maybe, if the phone is available in colors, a lot of people won’t care if it is of lower quality build. With Android offerings being relatively limited in terms of color, this may just be the edge Apple would need to compete in the lower priced smartphone realm and more importantly Chinese markets.

 

 

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iPhone 6 Could be Polycarbonate

Lately the rumors mill has been churning up rumors that Apple will release a lower end iPhone alongside the standard iPhone. This new iPhone is rumored to have a polycarbonate casing and possibly have cheaper components. The idea is to produce an iPhone that compete with the lower cost phones. This could be good or bad.

The Good

The ideal solution is that Apple keeps putting out the products we know and love and just creates the a new lower cost iPhone to sell to those people who don’t want to pay the 200 dollars for a subsidized iPhone. Then the Apple fanatics can keep the good stuff and Apple benefits from more people buying and getting hooked on iOS.

Another interesting proposition is that these phones would only be sold in places where people are less willing to pay the price for the better phone. In other words, This phone could be made solely available for residents in china. If this is the case, nothing changes for existing iOS users.

The Bad

This whole thing could start a chain reaction which would lead Apple down a road that is not desirable. First Apple could release both models and due to the lower price of the cheaper iPhone it may outsell the better iPhone by a large margin. Then Apple may decide that it would be more profitable to produce only the iPhone made of cheaper components. This would simplify the supply chain and Apple could get back to the comfortable one product mantra.

A thought that adds to the concern is once the cheaper phone model is in place, Apple could turn to all of their hardware and create products that are all around cheaper.

Another mild concern is if Apple releases a cheap phone and a more premium phone, carriers may push back and try not to sell the more expensive phone as it may cut into their margins.

The Probable

There have been numerous interviews with Tim Cook that he has mentioned he is most concerned with making the best products. If the Tim is concerned with making the best products then the “Bad” road doesn’t align well with his goals.

So the prediction is, Yes, A cheaper iPhone will be made to compete with the cheaper offerings from Android. This will be a separate product and it will remain inferior in both build materials and specifications. The premium iPhone would keep the same naming convention and the cheaper iPhone will have some other character or series. So expect and iPhone 6 and iPhone 6C (C for Cheap, this is just a guess).

What do you think? Would you invite a cheaper iPhone for lesser quality? Do you think Samsung would sue Apple for now using polycarbonate casing? Let me know.

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How Android Could Beat iOS

The smartphone and tablet market are dominated by Android and iOS devices. No doubt, these will be big parts of the tech inudstry for a long time to come. I can’t help wonder how this will play out long term. Will one OS become the reigning champion as Windows once did or will they remain split? While it pains me to say this, If a champion does emerge in the long term, it looks like Android may be the winner.

The Samsung Booth

I personally believe that for the tablet and smartphone world iOS is where it’s at currently. This is mainly because the software is designed around the hardware. This makes the OS less buggy and toutes a better user experience. Not to say that Android doesn’t have it’s benefits, but that’s just my opinion. I’m not going to get into this conversation because this horse has been beatin to death. So where will android pull ahead? It might be an area we’re not expecting: Embedded Products.

The reason Android may proliferate in years to come has more to do with non mobile devices. Due to the fact that android is open source, third party vendors can buy cheap open source hardware and load it up with android. This provides a fantastic prototyping platform to create a large number of devices. Some companies are already leveraging Android on products that range from microwaves to car stereos. Like it or not, Android is going to be all around us unless Apple does something about it. Just think about it, Google will know the temperature of our beer fridge someday. With our homes and cars running on Android, we’ll all be very familiar with the user interface. This would be something Apple doesn’t want. For the sake of simplicity we may all just switch to Android so everything is consistant. You can see how this may be a realm that Apple may not want to ignore.

Pioneer SPH-DA01 iPhone AppRadio im 2DIN Moniceiver

So what can Apple do about it? I say open up their OS for use with approved third party devices in non-competing markets. This kind of solves everything right? Now a consumer could go out and buy a Microwave with either Android or iOS. The playing field would be even and Apple wouldn’t have to invest too much to make it happen. Unless Apple decides they would like to make hundreds of household appliances and other knick-knacks this model could work. Apple would only need to implement some sort of quality control. For the record though, I think a microwave with an OS on it is rediculous.

Another technology that may be Apple’s saving grace is low energy bluetooth. Apple sees a world where we can communicate and control all of our devices using our mobile device. This tech is promising and already being used in heart monitors and Nike shoes but the tech is a bit limited. This limitation could hurt it’s practicality.

As a self proclaimed “Apple fan boy”, I sure hope Apple figures this out. It would be sad to see Apple fall into obscurity as they once have. Viva La Apple!

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New iPhone Stuff at CES!

Well it’s about that time a year when gaggles of techies gather in a single location to check out the hottest new tech. As a tech nerd, I’ve been following all the sweet iPhone gadgets and I though I would pass along some of what I’ve found.

Otterbox Armour Series Case

We’ve talked about this case before on this site and I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to come to fruition. while this case doesn’t look quite as snazzy as the previous prototypes it is still an impressive case none-the-less. Otterbox claimes this case is waterproof, dustproof, drop resistant, and can withstand two tons of crushing force.

armor-gs3-neon-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lego Case!

This case brings out the inner child nerd in all of us. who wouldn’t want to build a Lego empire on the back of their phone? The only problem I see with this is that it’s probably not a good idea to smash your creations when done.

e78a_brick_iphone_case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZAGG Caliber Advantage GamePad Case

Alright, I’m not a huge gamer on my phone, but this thing is pretty cool. This case turns your iPhone into a handheld game console that would make the PSP blush. Definitely one of the best functional cases I have seen.


For now that’s All. But CES is still rolling and I’m sure there will be more to come. Check back to see the latest updates.

Lego Mindstorms now Available for iOS

More Lego stuff! Now you have the ability to use mind storms with and iPad or an iPhone. There is a special place in my heart for the mind storm family.

 

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