Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor

9to5Mac / 9to5Google / 9to5Toys / Electrek.co

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac. He covers Google for 9to5Google.com, the best gadgets and deals on 9to5Toys.com, and delivers a weekly roundup of EV and solar news on Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series covering music making with Apple devices and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints:  

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September 10, 2013

9to5toys 

As we were expecting, Apple just officially announced its new iPhone 5S live on stage during its event taking place now on the company’s Cupertino campus. The new iPhone 5S largely retains the same glass and aluminum design as Apple’s previous generation iPhone, but it does include upgraded internals, and a new gold color option and fingerprint sensor that we previously reported. The new iPhone 5S comes alongside the announcement of Apple’s much rumored lower-cost, plastic iPhone 5C unveiled during the event earlier today.

The iPhone 5s includes a new A7 chip, which Apple notes is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone, something we reported previously that the company was testing. Apple says the new chip includes 2x general-purpose registers, 2x floating-point registers, and includes over 1 billion transistors on a 102mm2 die size. A7 makes the iPhone 5s over twice as fast in terms of speed, according to Apple, and also provides a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56X faster graphics. The new iPhone 5s hardware will also support Open GL/ES 3.0 and will still support 32 bit apps.

TouchID-iPhone5S-fingerprint-sensor-01Apple is also including a fingerprint sensor in the new iPhone 5s for a new security feature dubbed “Touch ID.” Embedded into the home button, the Touch ID capacitive sensor is 170 microns thin and will not only allow users to unlock their device, but also authenticate iTunes purchases.  Apple says that all fingerprints will be encrypted, stored securely and never uploaded to iCloud or its own servers. It also noted the fingerprint sensor will be able to support multiple fingerprints with the same device

The new iPhone 5s also include a new motion co-processor called the “M7” that Apple says works alongside the A7. It’s able to measure motion data continuously, as well as measure gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer data.

M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot. Since M7 can tell when you’re in a moving vehicle, iPhone 5s won’t ask you to join Wi-Fi networks you pass by. And if your phone hasn’t moved for a while, like when you’re asleep, M7 reduces network pinging to spare your battery.

The new chip will work with new CoreMotion APIs in iOS 7 that will allow developers to identify user movement. The first to take advantage of the technology is Nike with a new app called “Nike+ Move”.

Battery life: Apple says the new iPhone 5S will get 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing,a nd 10 hours of LTE and WiFi browsing. You’ll also get around 250 hours standby and 10 hours of video, according to Apple.

The iPhone 5s packs in a new camera system with a dual LED true tone flash, a new five-element lens designed by Apple, a F2.2 aperture, a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels. The camera also includes a new burst mode that will continuously take photos a rate of 10fps, and the 120fps slow mo mode that we reported about back in July. Head below for iPhone 5s pricing and availability: expand full story

Today at Apple’s iPhone event today in Cupertino, CEO Tim Cook kicked things off with the usual company updates since last checking in. After talking briefly about its iTunes festival and its latest expansion to the Stanford, CA retail store, Cook mentioned that Apple will hit 700 million iOS devices sold by next month. That’s up 100 million devices in just a few months since Apple announced back in June that it hit the 600 million device mark.

Cook also provided some numbers on the iTunes festival noting that the event is now in its seventh year and reaches 100+ countries  with live streams. He also said that around 20M people applied for tickets.

September 9, 2013

Samsung received the most attention this year at the IFA consumer technology show with its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Galaxy Note devices, but Apple products still dominated much of the show floor when it came to new accessories for tablets and smartphones. Below we’ve put together a huge collection of the new and upcoming accessories for Apple devices that we came across this year in Berlin.  expand full story

9to5google 

Updates out today for Photoshop CC (version 14.1) bring new features for Creative Cloud members including a brand new open source technology that Adobe is calling “Adobe Generator”. The new feature will allow users to automatically create image assets in real-time without the need “of copying, slicing and exporting each layer manually.” Here’s how it works:

Simply add a file extension to the name of your layer or layer group, and Photoshop will automatically create a JPG, PNG or GIF from the contents of that layer. If you make a change to that layer, the file is immediately updated. This means that you now have a folder of images that are always up-to-date with your Photoshop design. If you need larger dimension images for Retina displays, you can also quickly create those by adding a scaling factor.

In Photoshop, Adobe Generator can be turned on by navigating to  File -> Generate -> Image Assets and renaming layers with supported tags. Adobe notes some examples in its blog post. For example,  “200% logo-retina.png, logo.png” produces both a 2x and a 1x asset, while “heroImage.jpg10” produces a 1x asset with max quality.

Adobe noted that the new generator feature also provides “a real-time connection between Photoshop and Edge Reflow,” allowing users to bring in assets from Photoshop with a single click. Generator is an open source project, which will allow users who know JavaScript to modify or write their own plug-ins using the technology. The company posted the video below that shows developers who are using Generator to write a custom plug-in for a mobile game that allows them to “change the UI of a game in Photoshop while the game is being played.” expand full story

electrek 

September 6, 2013

Philips announced this week at its IFA press conference in Berlin that it’s teaming up with DJ and music producer Armin van Buuren for a brand new DJ controller designed specifically for the iPad and iPhone. It certainly isn’t the first controller on the market designed for iOS devices, and Philips isn’t exactly a company that comes to mind when we think DJ controllers, but its new M1X-DJ does have a few unique features apart from the celebrity endorsement. It’s also another win for Algoriddim’s djay app that Philips makes a point of noting is fully supported.

Rather than trying to mimic professional DJ controllers like the recently announced DDJ-WEGO2 controller from Pioneer (which we also got hands on time with this week at IFA), the M1X-DJ is aiming to reinvent the ghetto blaster by building in an 80-Watt speaker system underneath the controller. It’s clearly aimed at beginners with much more simplified controls compared to your standard controller (no quick looping functions and FX built-in like Pioneer’s), while Pioneer’s new model takes the other route by essentially shrinking down its higher-end professional products for the iPad. They are aimed at slightly different audiences: the Philips M1X-DJ has obvious upsides for casual, social settings, and the EUR 399.95 price tag might be a little easier to swallow when it also comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker that packs in some serious punch. The much more capable DDJ-WEGO2 controller will sell for $429 when it goes on sale in October.

The M1X from Philips is set to launch in November.

We went hands on with the DDJ-WEGO2 at IFA today: expand full story

September 5, 2013

Aiptek, the company behind a number of mobile projector products that we’ve seen in the past, is about to release a brand new pico projector for iPhone 5 and we just got our first look at the product during the ShowStoppers IFA event in Berlin. Texas Instruments, who provides the DLP technology powering the product’s projection experience, was on hand tonight at ShowStoppers showing off the new “MobileCinema i55.” It’s similar to other pico projector cases Aiptek has launched in the past, but this time provides a couple new features on top of built-in Lightning connector support for the iPhone 5. We went hands-on and have a video of the product in action below the fold.  expand full story

Companies like Logitech, Zagg and others have been making their iPad keyboard cases thinner and thinner with each generation, but a year from now we might be seeing accessory makers take advantage of a new technology from CSR— The world’s thinnest wireless touch surface that could make your iPad keyboard case paper-thin. The company develops a number of silicon, software, and wireless solutions for OEMs in the consumer electronics space, and tonight it showed off its new printable, flexible 0.5 mm thick touch surface for the first time during ShowStoppers, the official media showcase for the IFA consumer electronics show taking place here in Berlin.

CSR partnered with Atmel and Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) to develop the ultra-thin wireless touch surface. The device uses Atmel’s touch silicon to sense multiple contact points on a surface, and can offer a full touch surface or power optimised key detection. The flexible membrane is enabled by CIT printed conductors. CIT’s reel-to-reel printing process enables copper and other conductors to be applied to the surface of the ultra-thin and flexible membrane, and can be printed to fit a range of tablet shapes and sizes.

Not only is it the thinnest touch surface ever made, it’s also wireless thanks to built-in Bluetooth 4.0, which CSR tells us helped the prototype achieve “market leading battery life” in the thin form factor. It also has touch latency of about 12mS, which means no noticeable lag while typing, but also possibilities for gaming and other applications. It’s not just for iPad keyboards, however. Tablet keyboard cases might be the ideal form factor– and CSR agrees– but it can also create table-sized touch surfaces and even customizable layouts that can be easily and inexpensively added to the keyboard.  The tech is capable of picking up handwriting and stylus input as well, so typing and keyboards are certainly not the only implementation that we could see in the near future.

While it’s still a prototype, the company tells us its in discussions with many OEMs that are interested in the technology and that we could see consumer products implementing the paper thin touch surfaces as early as the holiday season next year. Head past the break for our first look at the prototype from tonight’s ShowStoppers show at IFA in Berlin. expand full story

September 4, 2013

9to5toys 

telus-iphone-5-disc

A new leaked doc from Canadian carrier Telus (via MobileSyrup) shows that the carrier has plans to discontinue the iPhone 5 on September 28 just days after the next-generation iPhones are rumored to launch. Although it would lend weight to the theory that Apple could get rid of the iPhone 5 since the rumored iPhone 5S and especially the lower cost iPhone 5C are so close internally to the current device, the doc only shows that the 32GB and 64GB models will be discontinued, which might be a clue the 16GB iPhone 5 will stick around as an entry level model.

Keeping the 16GB iPhone 5 seems to line up with what we’ve been hearing at Verizon and adds even more weight to the theory that Apple will keep the iPhone 5 around as a lower cost option perhaps in between the 5S and the 5C in much the same way that the last-gen iPhone 4S currently occupies the $99/plan spot in Apple’s lineup.

On the other hand, often-accurate KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo said earlier this month that he thinks Apple will stop selling the iPhone 5 at the end of Q3 2013 and continuing selling the iPhone 4S until the end of the year.

Apple yesterday sent out invites to the September 10th event and is expected to start selling the iPhone 5S and 5C starting around the 20th of September.

vodafone_inventory

Update: Similar chatter is coming out of Vodafone Germany, indicating that the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 and 16GB iPhone 4S will soon be discontinued. expand full story

September 3, 2013

One day after sending out invites to press in the US for its iPhone event scheduled for September 10 in Cupertino, Apple has just sent invites to Chinese media outlets inviting press to a special event in Beijing on September 11. Attached to the invite (above) is the same image and tagline hinting at iPhones in various colors that Apple included on the invites for its US event. Not only will it be the first time Apple hosts such an event in China, it is also a good indication that China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom, could soon finally announce a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to its approximately 700M subscribers.

Last month China Mobile’s chairman said the company was still working out “commercial and technical issues” with Apple but that “good progress was made in preparing for the commercialization of TD-LTE.” Following that report, the often reliable KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo said that Apple was ramping up TDD-LTE supported iPhone models earlier than expected. The new low-cost iPhone, alongside a higher-end next-gen iPhone on China Mobile could help Apple add some significant numbers to its shipments heading into the new year. Kuo said the new devices on China Mobile could possibly account for penetration of 25% and 35% in iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C shipments with around 1.5-2.5M units. That prediction is for Q3 alone, as Kuo expects  even more units to ship as we move into China’s October Golden Holiday and Q4.

On September 10, Apple is expected to launch a new ‘iPhone 5S’ as a full-fledged upgrade to its current iPhone 5 that we reported will include a fingerprint reader, 128GB storage option, and a new gold color option. While that gold color option could help Apple move units to the high-end market in China and India where the color is popular, it’s also expected to debut a brand-new lower-cost iPhone (5C?) that analysts expect will sell for somewhere between $300 – $500. We’ll have to wait for official word from Apple to find out what will happen to its current lineup of iPhones, but it’s likely the company will keep the current iPhone 5, or possibly the iPhone 4S, around as a entry level model largely aimed at the enterprise market like the iPad 2.

Apple’s event in Beijing, China is set to kick off on Sept 11 at 10:00 AM local time (CST), but with the time difference the US and Beijing events will be only hours apart.  expand full story

August 30, 2013

Cook at Palo Alto Apple Store (Getty Images)

Cook at Palo Alto Apple Store (Getty Images)

Following our reports detailing the new service, Apple today officially kicked off its new Apple Store iPhone trade-in program that will see customers trading in old iPhones in exchange for credit towards an upgrade to a newer model. The initiative is part of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new iPhone sales strategy and meant to be “competitive” with other trade-in services, but is it really the best option for getting the most out of your old iPhone before new devices get announced?

The new in-store program will fall under the same Reuse and Recycling marketing Apple uses for its online trade-in system, but for in-store trade-ins it has switched from partner PowerOn to Brightstar to determine the value of iPhones and handle the trade-ins. Apple employees are even encouraging customers to take advantage of the new trade-in offer when bringing in a damaged device to their local Apple Store, but we’ve found other services are currently offering much more for your used iPhone in good condition.  expand full story

9to5google 

August 29, 2013

electrek 

A couple of big new games are landing today for Mac users. We told you about BioShock Infinite earlier this month, the third instalment in the popular 2K/Irrational Games series that originally launched in March to rave reviews on consoles. Mac gaming heavyweights Aspyr have been working on porting the game to Mac since its initial release, and today the game is finally going on sale through Aspyr’s GameAgent store and other retailers. Aspyr sent over a beta of the title last week, and we’ve had nothing but positive first impressions from our time with the game since. The other big Mac title launching today, SimCity, might have had some major issues in its beta, but we’re happy to report you won’t run into similar performance problems with BioShock Infinite.

As usual, the title will support SteamPlay, allowing users to purchase the game once and play on both PC and Mac through Steam. It’s also available on the Mac App Store. However, Aspyr’s own distribution service, GameAgent, is offering some pretty enticing pre-order bonuses if you pick up the title through themexpand full story

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