Category Archives: iPhone

iPhone 6 Plus iSight Camera Replacement Program

iPhone 6 Plus Camera on Carpet

If you’re having issues, like I was, with your iPhone 6 Plus camera taking blurry pictures it’s not just that you’re too nervous and shaking the phone when snapping those pictures. It’s actually a known issue that Apple has acknowledged and is offering replacement of the iSight camera on eligible iPhone 6 Plus phones.

On this website, you can enter your serial number and it will instantly let you know if you qualify. After that it’s just a matter of setting up a genius appointment (or one of the other two options) to have your item repaired free of charge.

I managed to get mine replaced this past week. I was in and out in 1 hour and my selfies has never looked crisper.

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iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program Starts Today in Canada

defective-iphone-5-batteries-will-get-free-replacement-are-you-eligible

Heads up Canada, starting today, Apple has made the iPhone 5 battery replacement program available to iPhone users that have experienced less than normal battery life.

The only catch is that your phone has to be in working order and doesn’t have a cracked screen before you bring it in for replacement.

Check your serial number here to find out if your phone is eligible.

I’ve setup a genius bar reservation for this weekend, so I’m taking mine in for the replacement program. I’ll report back on how that goes.

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Highlights of iOS 6

iOS 6 Logo

Unveiled back in June at the WWDC, the 6th major update for iDevices around the world will be available for download tomorrow! With over 200 new features it’s expected to be the BEST iOS ever! (Well, until iOS 7 at least) … And before it’s out, I managed to get on the developer’s release and have highlighted the key changes to look forward to in tomorrow’s release.

Siri
Siri IconShe’s definitely growing up. Almost a year after initially being introduced in iPhones last year (with the release of the iPhone 4S) Siri has gained more abilities and powers. You’ll now be able to use voice command to launch apps on your phone. You know, if you’re too busy to launch the music player while texting your pal, Siri will take care of that for you – just say the word. Siri will also be able to tweet for you. In under 140 characters, let her know what you want your followers to know and she’ll write it out and confirm with you before sending.

In addition to that Siri will also be able to pull scores of your favourite sports, research movie times and ticket purchases, and even help to get you dinner reservations. She’s actually starting to feel like a real assistant now.

By the way, the iOS 6 update is also the first time you’ll see Siri on the iPad.

Facebook Integration
iOS device users will now be able to fire status updates at ease. Sharing photos and direct links will now be a piece of cake. Facebook integration also integrates with your contacts; and even more surprising is that events and birthdays will also be synced with iDevices’ calendar. Wow!

iOS 6 Facebook Status on iPad and iPhone

Passbook
Passbook IconA new feature that kind of came out of nowhere, is Passbook: the keep-all-your-tickets-in-one application that allows it’s users to keep movie tickets, boarding passes, airline itineraries and special event tickets on your phone. Complete with the ability to store QR codes and 2D Barcodes, you’ll be able to flash the phone, scan and go. This is one application I have yet to figure out exactly how it’s going to work, but the concept is great.

Eyes Free
A cool new term drummed up by Apple’s team of awesomeness actually does what it sounds like it does. Gives drivers the ability to access their iPhones (and Siri) without having to even touch their handsets.

Apple Maps
After a long debate on what to do with the maps application, Apple has finally decides to dump Google maps for their proprietary maps applications, called MAPS. According to Apple, maps will offer turn-by-turn navigation, Siri voice command, search points of interest and even allow you to submit anonymous traffic tips.

iOS 6 Maps Overview

At last week’s keynote event, they even demonstrated the 3D rendering of maps to allow users to feel like Superman as they fly over their favourite cities in a third dimension. While I’m not convinced that maps is going to be better than Google maps, I think it’s going to take some time for this to fully flourish and become accepted. While using the developer’s version I noticed that the 3D was great in the hugely populated cities, but once you got out to farmland all the beauty was gone and you’re looking at a simple map application.

3G for FaceTime
Long gone will be the days where you had to actually wait until you were home and/or connected to a wifi before you could use FaceTime, iOS 6 now allows you to use this feature on your cellular data whether that’s 3G or LTE. Sounds great, but I’d be concerned for those users with less than 1GB of data on their monthly plans. I could see FaceTime racking up serious usage, especially if you’re a heavy user.

iOS FaceTime Sample

Email Goes VIP
There are two big improvements for the iOS email app. First, users will now be able to designate a VIP email inbox which allows you to set ‘favourites’ so that you don’t miss any of their emails and instead will be presented right up front. No having to sift through hundreds of spam to see those messages.

It’s also going to get a lot easier to add attachments to your emails. Instead of having to always use your Photo app to attach an email or file, you’ll have the option to do it right from the mail app in iOS 6. Cool feature that’s taken way too long to make an appearance in iOS.

Safari
A feature that was introduced as part of the OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) desktop version of Apple’s operating system introduces and iCloud tab syncing feature. That means that any device(s) using Mountain Lion (and Safari) that were left open, will now be able to be picked up on your iPhone, right where you left off. Basically making it easier for users to move from one Apple device to another. A seamless experience is a better experience.

iOS 6 Safari Sample

This is just scratching the surface of more than 200 new features for iOS 6. Let us know what your thoughts are on iOS 6 on my Facebook page.

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iPhone 5 Has Arrived!

iPhone 5 Hero
The iPhone 5 was officially announced earlier today in Yerba Buena, San Francisco by Apple CEO, Tim Cooke and a slew of Apple engineers. Each one took the stage to show off the 16:9 aspect ratio, 4-inch, smaller dock port, thinner, light, faster and LTE-enabled goodness officially named; iPhone 5!

iPhone 5 Measurement SpecsI purposely didn’t upgrade last year when the iPhone 4S was unveiled (I still use an iPhone 4) simply becuase I didn’t feel there was enough of an ‘update’ to get me to make the switch… but today’s news has me ready to line up next Friday to make sure I get my hands on one of the first ones to leave the Apple store. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 4S update was great, but it always felt like an incremental upgrade rather than a true step change, and although it sold wonderfully for Apple, there wasn’t enough for me to jump in and buy one.

If you’ve been following most of the leaked rumours over the past year on what to expect for the iPhone 5, today’s announcements were as expected. Things like a thinner design, the inclusion of the A6 processing chip, a smaller camera were great to see.

The forward facing camera has been beefed up to 720 p version, which means it’s 20% less fuzzy. The Wifi is ‘ultrafast’ (wait, did I just use an Apple buzzword?) and the 4G LTE had to be included to keep up with what the other phones are the market are doing.

Then there’s the all glass and aluminium chassis that claim to be the thinnest smartphone at 7.6 mm ‘thin’ and in order to make the phone more movie-friendly, they’ve increased the retina display to 4-inches. In the hand the iPhone 5 feels comfortable as it did with the 4S, so you see why Apple decided to keep the width the same. But fear not, the new phone certainly feels different – the aluminium manages to bring a premium feel in a notable lighter device.

iPhone 5 A6 ChipInside the phone, a beefier A6 chip definitely brings a snappier feel with less lag. Many with an iPhone 4, like me, will be all too used to the lagginess when tyring to do anything slightly complex with their phone. The iPhone 5 manages to make even the most demanding tasks seem like a walk in the park.

The added length could have made the phone unwieldy, but the loss of thickness ensures that it maintains its balance and premium feel. Those people who have got used to the iPhone 4 and 4S will certainly notice the difference that the design brings. It serves to make the device have a more modern feeling while utilizing the premium materials Apple has put so much stock in.

Thinner, lighter and more screen were always on Apple fan’s wish lists and I feel that this release has those wishes covered. The screen is brighter and splashes out a wider spectrum of rich colours. And compared to older iPhone, the camera now launches and captures pictures a lot quicker. One of the frustrating things I experience when trying to snap a quick picture.

iOS 6 App IconWhat’s even better is what iOS 6 plans to bring to the table. iOS 6 brings with it a wealth of new features that will certainly make a major difference to not only the way the iPhone 5 feels, but also its predecessors the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S when they get the updated software. Maps, for instance, is significantly altered after Apple ended its longstanding agreement to use Google Maps and pushed forward with its own offering, in conjunction with satellite navigational giant TomTom.

The new maps certainly look the part, with some beautiful 3D renders and snazzy looking new vector graphics, although we would like to really take some time to tell you just how well the new offering performs in the wild.

Early indications elsewhere are good, however, as the ‘Apple designed’ tag is pushed to the fore. The tilt and rotate view functionality looks gorgeous and the turn-by-turn navigation is likely to attract plaudits with a simple and intuitive interface.

iPhone 5 Maps Sample Screens

iPhone Siri App IconSiri has been given a major, and much-needed, overhaul with the voice ‘companion’ functionality extended into new languages and new territories in an attempt to turn the iPhone 4S’ overhyped and under-featured personal assistant up to a useful level.

Given the obsession with Facebook, the need for better integration was a key addition for Apple in its latest OS, and the iPhone 5 and its older brothers will benefit from a major overhaul of the way in which the social network links up with your handset.

The Facebook (and Twitter) functionality feels much more central to the experience this time around, and having the ability to post form the notifications screen feels like an obvious inclusion that works well.

If you want to compare specs of the iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 5, Apple has a nice chart to give you exactly what you need, side-by-side.

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Next iPhone May Have a Smaller Dock Connector (Rumour)

Smaller Dock Comparison

Recent reports suggest that Apple has developed a smaller dock connector that will be used on the next generation iPhone (set for announcement and release this fall). If those rumours are true, the dock connector could become a 19 pin connect as opposed to the 30 pin connector we’re used to with all iDevices to date.

Some of my other sources report that aftermarket car audio manufacturers, such as Kenwood and Alpine have started developing a new line of connecting cables that will be compatible with a smaller dock connector.

While none of this has been confirmed by Apple, theres plenty of proof to suggest that this is the next step, including claims that Apple wants the next generation iPhone to be thinner and have a larger screen… and in order to make that possible something’s gotta give. A smaller connector would allow the earphone to be moved to the bottom of the device, allowing more room in the top region for possible NFC technology, larger screen or something else?

Does this spell great news or terrible news for users that already own docking system that support the old 30 pin design? Well, if this slimmer dock connection is true, you won’t be able to use the new phone on those older devices – at least not without an adapter.

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Apple Orders Larger iPhone Screens For Next Generation (Rumour)

Larger Screen iPhone Mock UpA mocked up image of a larger screen iPhone! According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered screens from a supply chain in Asia that are the biggest yet seen on any previous iPhone device since launching in 2007. Reports suggest that manufacturing of the 4-inch diagonal screens is set to begin next month.

The current iPhone 4S has a physical screen size of 3.5 inches. The source reports that the larger screen is Apple’s way of keeping up with increased competition, from devices like the Samsung Galaxy, which has the largest smartphone screen on the market – 4.8 inches.

Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed nor denied these claims, but experts love to speculate. I think a larger screen should be in order for the next generation iPhone, but they should (and likely will) consider that making the screen too large could jeopardize comfort of use. If the screen goes too large, we may not be able to use one hand when using the on screen keyboard. I can still comfortably use one hand, and one thumb to navigate the entire screen surface area as it stands, and would be bummed out if that wasn’t possible once the screen get larger.

The benefits could be things like 5 icons wide on the home screen, and less scrolling when you’re using your phone to view websites and/or using apps. There’s some food for thought.

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iPhone 4N May Be Next (Rumour)

iPhone 4 Side Hero Shot
If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next generation iPhone (most have called it “iPhone 5”) you may have to wait a little longer. On a recent domain name registration that has leaked online, it seems as though Apple just revealed the name of the next Apple iPhone, the iPhone 4N; Based on whois record below:

Apple iPhone 4N Domain Registration

What is interesting (and perhaps suspect) is that this domain name, iPhone4n.com, was registered through Godaddy, and not MarkMonitor. A review of the Apple iPhone.com domain name shows that the registrar is MarkMonitor and not Godaddy. This might just be a formality, as once you purchase a domain name it can be transferred to another registrar in the future.

The timing of this new registration is interesting, with this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June, it would make sense to secure this domain ahead of any formal announcement.

And because the latest iPad went from the iPad 2 to the New iPad, not the iPad 3, The iPhone 4N name would be inline with what we saw in March with the New iPad.

While it’s all just speculation, I believe we can confidently say that if the next generation iPhone keep the “4” in the same somewhere, that we won’t see a complete redesign of the phone itself, rather we’ll get the same physical device with more upgrades – maybe even NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Making it possible to pay for everyday purchases from your iPhone. No need for physical credit or debit cards cards.

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“iPhone 5” LM Concept (Mock Up)

Before anyone yells “fraud” – I should preface this post by saying that the following pictures are not official and are just renderings by Antoine Brieux’s and his perception of the next-gen iPhone.

iPhone 5 Mock Up Rendering

I had to share, because his view is so enthusiastic and definitely included elements I hope (and wish) for in the next generation iPhone, set for announcement this summer – if we’re lucky at the WWDC in June. The neatest idea is that of a virtual ‘Home Button’ that would replace the physical one we’ve gotten used to. It’s always good to dream – and dream big.

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Steve Jobs’ Last Major Project: The iPhone 5?

iPhone 5 Mock Up

A mock up of the next generation iPhone.

The iPhone 4S is not the last major project that Steve Jobs worked on, according to one analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, Ashok Kumar. That would be the next generation iPhone – let’s call it the iPhone 5.

[The next-generation iPhone] was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design. For that reason…this product will establish the high water mark for iPhone volumes…

If this speculation is true, the iPhone 5 is expected to be the next cult classic because of Jobs’ involvement in the redesign. Speculations suggests that the phone will have a slimmer profile and larger screen size but with the same dimensions as the iPhone 4S. Also expected to have LTE, or Long Term Evolution – what’s sometimes referred to as 4G.

I’m going to guess that the “iPhone 5” or “iPhone HD” (as some have rumoured would be the next likely candidate for an iPhone renaming) will have a complete redesign. Since Jobs’ time was limited, he couldn’t dedicate much of his time to the iPhone 4S and undertook a much larger project – the iPhone 5.

That sounds about right. From the outside, the iPhone 4S is identical to the iPhone 4. And though the 4S has been revamped on the inside it carries over technology and features already seen in the iPad 2: the dual-core processor, same memory capacity, same accelerometer, same gyroscope, etc.

One thing is for sure, you can expect a complete redesign of the next generation iPhone. Likely a newer operating system as well.. iOS 6? or even a revamped Siri?

An iPhone 5 could debut as soon as the time of Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer’s Conference) in the summer of 2012. But for now, you can enjoy all the great things the iPhone 4S has to offer.

*iPhone 5 mock up courtesy of TechZek.com

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iPhone 4S’ New Features

iPhone 4S Title Hero

On Friday, October 14, 2011, the iPhone 4S was publicly released, and if you were one of the lucky ones to get your hands on one – you’re already aheads most of us. For anyone that still has the original iPhone 4, I put together a list of differences between what you currently have and what you could have if you upgrade the the “S”.

Design
If you’re into cosmetics, then the iPhone 4S won’t make you happy. The phone has the exact dimensions, design and casing as the original. (Think back to the 3G and then 3GS), the phone stayed exactly the same. It’s what’s inside that has been revamped.

iPhone 4S Hero

Inside
A5 Chip IconUnlike the exterior, there are major improvements inside (where it really matters) in the form of an upgraded processor. A dual-core A5 chip (same as the iPad 2) clocked in at 800mhz. The 4S has 512 MB of onboard RAM. It is available in 3 sizes – 16 GB, 32 GB, and new to the 4S, a 64 GB model size.

As for signals, the 4S has a dual-mode CDMA/GSM chipset, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. A digital compass, GPS chip, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and three axis gyroscope all come included in this generation iPhone.

HD Video IconThe rear camera has been replaced from the 5MP in the iPhone 4 to an 8 Mexgapixel in the 4S with improved optics which now delivers point and shoot quality photos. Comparable to actually carrying a dedicated digital camera. Video can now be shot in 1080 p (HD) with the upgraded camera. The inner camera remains unchanged and shoots in measly VGA resolution (same as the original).

Battery
In keynote address by Apple, just two weeks ago, there is an extra hour (talk time) given to the 4S while on 3G. In early tests, I’ve found that a full 16 hours of making calls, browsing the net, downloading apps, there was still battery left before plugging it in before bed. Business users will find this helpful while light users will rarely have to be worried about running out of juice on the road.

Software
The iPhone 4S comes pre-loaded with the first public release of iOS 5, and can be setup without ever connecting to a PC. The first retail iPhone that is completely untethered. Setup your phone but following the on-screen guide.

Read about all of iOS 5 features in a recent blog post that also covers iMessage, Newsstand, Reminders, Notifications, plus more which are all new to the recent iOS update.

Siri App IconAs for what’s specifically been created to work with the iPhone 4S, that can’t be had with any previous generation, is the intelligent assistant – know as Siri. Siri uses a combination of voice recognition, logic processing, and text-to-speech to interpret requests and follow conversations. Using Siri, you can use natural language to get directions, send text messages, schedule reminders or appointments, suggestions for dinner, plus tonnes more. Not only does Siri understand what you’re saying to it, it understands the context in which you’re saying it — so for instance, if you try and schedule a meeting on top of another meeting, Siri will warn you and ask if you’d like to change the time of your new appointment, and it’ll listen as you tell it a new time.

Siri Screen CaptureSiri can also process and answer basic and not-so-basic questions utilizing the WolframAlpha engine (like, “how many cups are in a gallon”), and the software pulls in Yelp data to help you find things like restaurants or movie theaters. When in doubt, Siri will do a web search based on your questions.
Siri also learns things about you and the people around you. You can tell Siri who your wife or brother is. You can tell Siri where you work and live. The software will read or write text messages using voice commands, and can also take dictation in any field where you can use a keyboard. If you ask it things like “do I need a raincoat today,” it understands and responds as a human being would. You can tell it to wake you up at a certain time and it knows to set an alarm, and if you ask Siri how to get home from somewhere, it’ll give you directions in the Maps application

iCloud
iCloud IconPart of the iOS 5 release, it’s not specific to the iPhone 4S but offers ‘magical’ syncing capabilities between all your iDevices and MacBook Pro, iMac, etc. If you had the opportunity to experience MobileMe, you’ll already have a taste of what iCloud has in store for you now. I recently covered all of iCloud’s features in this blog post.

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