Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a rather upgraded MacBook Pro 17, a MacBook Air 11, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and Thunderbolt Display 27 – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Ben Lovejoy's Recommended Gear

February 5

AAPL: 94.02

-2.58
Stock Chart

February 4

AAPL: 96.60

0.25
Stock Chart

Apple has been talking about the post-PC era ever since the original iPad launch in 2010, with Steve Jobs suggesting that PCs would be the ‘trucks’ of the computing world while most people would be happy with ‘cars’ aka iPads.

Tim Cook picked up the post-PC baton the following year, and has more recently presented himself as proof of the idea and argued the point more aggressively following the launch of the iPad Pro.

I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one? Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.

It’s a stance I agree with … to some extent …

expand full story

An intriguing Apple patent application published today describes how the Touch ID home button could gain additional functionality, allowing it to perform different actions in response to different fingerprints, as well as adding pressure sensors to provide it with 3D Touch type functionality.

The patent goes into a great deal of detail about the technology, with little information as to what it might be used for, but Apple does give a couple of clues. One use of different fingerprints described is to allow someone else to use your iPhone or iPad, but restrict their access to particular apps and for a limited time. The obvious application here would be allowing a child to use only specific apps and/or limit the time they are allowed to use a device …

expand full story

9to5toys 

February 3

AAPL: 96.35

1.87
Stock Chart

An amateur astronomer friend has a motorized telescope that allows you to tap in the name of the object you want to see – a constellation, a planet, a deep-sky object – and it automatically locates them in the sky. Universe2go offers an equally hi-tech but more casual approach to stargazing suitable for beginners – including kids.

Universe2go is an augmented reality system that uses your iPhone to do the clever stuff. In essence, it’s a more sophisticated version of Google Cardboard. You open the companion app on your iPhone, snap your phone into the plastic enclosure and then look through the goggles at the night sky. An angled mirror overlays your actual view of the sky with labels from the app.

Pause with the green pointer over a planet or constellation, and the app provides visual data and an audio commentary. Alternatively, choose an object in advance and the app uses the display to direct you to the correct part of the sky before using the augmented reality system to highlight it …

expand full story

9to5google 

February 2

AAPL: 94.48

-1.95
Stock Chart

When Apple first made the move into larger-screen phones with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, there was only tiny difference between them in terms of features: the larger-screened model included optical image stabilization while the smaller one didn’t. This was likely driven simply by the practicality of fitting the technology into the larger device rather than any real intention to differentiate the two devices feature-wise.

But the rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 Plus may offer a dual-camera system, offering optical zoom, while the smaller iPhone 7 won’t. A fresh report today suggests that a number of camera lens makers have sent dual-lens samples to Apple for testing with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Assuming the optical image stabilization also remains exclusive to the Plus, the combination of the two features means that – for the first time – some of those who might have opted for the smaller model now have reason to consider the larger one instead. Could this suggested second step by Apple indicate that it intends to increasingly differentiate the two flagship iPhone models as time goes on … ?

expand full story

Apple was today granted a patent for detecting touch-free gestures at close range, the patent language suggesting that the approach could build on the capabilities of multi-touch and 3D touch to respond to fingers hovering close to an iPhone or iPad display, as well as use on keyboards and trackpads.

The patent describes using sensors similar to the proximity detectors used to disable accidental touch input on the iPhone screen when you’re holding the phone to your face during a call. Unlike longer-range gesture technologies like Kinect, the system would detect ‘hover events’ just above the surface of the screen …

expand full story

electrek 

February 1

AAPL: 96.43

-0.91
Stock Chart

BlackBerry phones were once the default choice for enterprise, the combination of physical keyboard and secure messaging facility the two key selling-points. Those days are long gone.

The company dismissed the iPhone when it was launched in 2007, claiming that touchscreen phones could never compete with physical keyboards – before doing a U-turn by launching its own touchscreen phone less than a year later. A series of major service outages and a failure to deliver the promised BlackBerry 10 in 2011 sealed the company’s fate as a major player, and it today appears set to completely cede the secure messaging space to Apple.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen effectively admitted in December that the company had a ‘backdoor’ into its supposedly secure messaging system, and the company has now stated that it will this year make only Android phones – a platform not noted for its security credentials. This shortly after Microsoft’s Windows Phone looked even more irrelevant, the company reporting that revenues had halved year-on-year …

expand full story

9to5toys 

After the success of last year’s Shot on iPhone 6 ad campaign, taking one of the top prizes at the Cannes Grand Prix festival, Apple is relaunching the campaign to highlight photos taken with the iPhone 6s/Plus, reports Time.

The new ad campaign features 53 images from 41 amateurs and professional photographers from around the world. While the previous campaign included a variety of photographic subjects – from landscapes to extreme close-ups – this time, Apple has put the focus on portraits, most of them photographed in subtle, everyday moments.

Apple first launched the Shot on iPhone 6 campaign on its homepage last March, alongside a new App Store page highlighting photography apps. The company then used the photos in worldwide billboard ads – which Apple will be doing again this time around …

expand full story

January 29

AAPL: 97.34

3.25
Stock Chart

Naim Audio isn’t a household name outside of audiophile circles, but this British company has for many years made some of the most respected amplifiers in the business. Naim long had an informal partnership with Linn, and if the standard audio system fitted to Bentley’s ultra-expensive cars isn’t good enough for you, the optional audio upgrade is to a Naim system. You’ll also find it available through the Apple Store.

The company is notoriously conservative when it comes to new technology, refusing to even consider making a CD player for most of the 1980s, relenting only in 1989, when it felt the technology had developed sufficiently to allow it to deliver the quality it sought. It’s therefore no surprise that Naim has waited so long to launch its first wireless speaker system, the mu-so – nor that it has done the job properly when it finally did so.

The price is also no great surprise …

expand full story

9to5google 

January 28

AAPL: 94.09

0.67
Stock Chart

Anyone who has ever accidentally left behind their iPhone or iPad in a public place like a coffee shop will know the sinking feeling in your stomach the moment you realize you’ve done it. Even if you rush back just one or two minutes later, you know there’s a high chance that the device will be gone.

If the worst happens, and you have another device with you, Find My iPhone lets you track the stolen device – except thieves tend to know this, and all they have to do to prevent it is to power-down their ill-gotten gains. This can be done while the device is locked, with no Touch ID or passcode access needed …

expand full story

The iPad Pro quietly gained a new capability in iOS 9.3 beta 2: German developer Stefan Wolfrum tweeted that the device can now update the firmware in devices attached to the Smart Connector. He was offered, and able to complete, a firmware update to his Logitech Create keyboard.

Firmware updates of accessories usually need you to connect them to a Mac, but as the Smart Connector is unique to the iPad Pro, it’s likely this fact that prompted the new capability …

expand full story

electrek 

After our report yesterday, the not overly reliable Digitimes is claiming that the iPad Air 3 will come equipped with a 4K screen, as well as 4GB RAM and improved battery life. As usual, it cites unnamed supply chain sources for the claims.

Aside from the source of the latest rumor, a 4K display would give the iPad Air 3 a higher-resolution screen than the iPad Pro, which would seem unlikely. It’s also more Apple-like to opt for a slimmer device matching the battery life of existing iPads rather than increase the already great battery life. Perhaps the extra battery that they are seeing on the supply side is needed to get all the extra features to the standard 10-hour life…

expand full story

Submit a Tip

cancel

Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP