Glass Stories May 2, 2016

Campus-2-May-2

In the latest drone flyover video of Apple’s under-construction Campus 2, this one sent in by Matthew Roberts, we get a close-up look at progress made in recent weeks on the new Apple headquarters set to open early next year.

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Glass Stories November 3, 2015

Boxwave-cleartouch-01

While iOS and Android have for the most part caught up to one another from a software feature perspective, lack of a handy back button is still one of the biggest sources of embarrassment for iOS devices. BoxWave’s new glass “ClearTouch SmartButtons” screen protector has built-in buttons that aim to solve some of the back button issue on iPhones, so I took it for a test drive… expand full story

Glass Stories July 13, 2015

fracture-canvasworld

Your digital photos were never intended to remain trapped on your computer’s hard drive. Apple’s original 2002 version of iPhoto proudly included physical book and photo printing services, adding new books and various types of cards every 2-3 years. Since early digital cameras took low-resolution photos, Apple’s services focused primarily on small prints. But over the past decade, cameras have really evolved: there are now 36-Megapixel Nikons42-Megapixel Sonys, and 50-Megapixel Canons. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t update iPhoto or its later Aperture and Photos apps with additional large-format printing options to keep up with the higher-resolution cameras many people are using.

Even if you don’t have a high-end DSLR, there are ways to turn more typical 20-Megapixel images into large pieces of wall art — if you’re willing to look outside Apple’s photo apps for printing services. And amazingly, even recent iPhones and iPads can create 43-Megapixel ultra-wide panoramas that will look stunning on one or more large canvases, as shown in the photo above.

What’s the best large format to choose for your photos? That depends on the type of images you have, and the results you’re looking for. To illustrate the options, I reached out to a number of popular photo printing services to see how digital photos would look on metal, glass, and canvas — large-format alternatives Apple doesn’t offer. Part 1 of this How-To guide looked at metal prints that apply dyes and gloss directly onto aluminum surfaces. Today, Part 2 looks at large-format canvas and glass prints. And the last part, coming next week, will look at several additional options that provide unique twists on these options. Inside, you’ll see how each process has its own unique appeal…

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Glass Stories June 29, 2015

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Apple Watch Sport’s Ion-X Glass display (left) vs Apple Watch w/ Sapphire display (right)

DisplayMate is out with a new report today, this time applying its usual detailed analysis to the different displays that come with the various models of Apple Watch. In case you didn’t know already, Apple is using a sapphire display on its pricier, mid-range collection of Apple Watch, as well as with the higher-end Apple Watch Edition. That’s opposed to the Ion-X glass display on the less expensive, entry-level Apple Watch Sport models. But the report shows a detailed analysis of what many users have already noticed: despite sapphire being more scratch resistant, in many cases the cheaper glass display performs better in terms of screen reflectance and visibility in outdoor lighting: expand full story

Glass Stories April 25, 2015

The Apple Watch Sport’s Ion X glass has been put through a torture scratch test and we’ve seen it survive 15 minutes under water but now that Apple Watches are being shipped en masse, we’re going to see many full-on torture tests.  The first such test is from Cnet which takes it through some (admittedly unlikely) kitchen destruction scenarios.

The Apple Watch and its white band survived admirably through the gauntlet but you could tell this video was going to end with a broken watch and it finally broke when smashed with a iron skillet. OK, sure. Broken-apple-watch-shattered-gass

I don’t know about you guys but this test gives me a lot of confidence in the Apple Watch, particularly the drops, band stain resistance and waterproofing. Even this broken glass might be easily repairable as shown by iFixit yesterday. 

Glass Stories January 15, 2015

Former iPodFather Tony Fadell now in charge of Google Glass

From 9to5Google.com:

It looks like Google may finally be preparing Glass for primetime as a number of changes around the company’s heads-up display product were revealed today. Most notably, the Glass project will be moving from the experimental Google X group to its own unit under the leadership of Tony Fadell, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Next of note, Google will end the current run of its Glass Explorers program on January 19th, removing the current version of Glass from sale to individuals; however, the WSJ includes that businesses and developers interested in purchasing Glass can still do so through an application process. The Glass at Work program, which has continued to grow, will live on beyond the Explorer Program’s imminent demise.

Glass Stories December 11, 2014

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If your iPad isn’t inside a case, one accidental drop is enough to shatter its screen or dent its body. That’s why roughly 80% of iPhone users use cases, and one of two good reasons (besides adding a stand) that many iPad users do the same. But the iPad Air 2 is changing things — it’s so thin that even Apple’s own Smart Case feels overly bulky, making more minimalist protective solutions highly appealing. If you could shave millimeters off of your encased iPad’s thickness, would you pay $60 just for a screen protector? That’s the question presented by BodyGuardz’ ScreenGuardz Pure, which invisibly covers the iPad Air or iPad Air 2 screen with a thin but strong layer of glass. Carrying a $60 MSRP through BodyGuardz, it’s currently on sale for only $50 through Amazon. expand full story

Glass Stories November 20, 2014

iPhone-6-repair-guide

iFixit gave Apple’s iPhone 6 a repairability score of 7, the highest ever for Apple’s flagship and most popular device in their September teardown.  That bodes well for folks who want to take their iPhone repairs into their own hands, though perhaps it’s best to give the Geniuses at Apple a chance to gift you an out of warranty repair before getting your hands dirty.

In any case, today iFixit announced an updated library of 21 repair guides for the iPhone 6 (and 14 for the 6 Plus). The new guides cover everything from replacing the battery to speakers to the glass panel and everything in between. The tutorials walk you through the process and also conveniently provide links to purchase any necessary tools you might not have (hit up their Amazon store for some hefty discounts).

As with any iPhone take-apart, be very careful and be prepared to forfeit your warranty if you screw up. expand full story

Glass Stories September 17, 2014

Google Glass companion app MyGlass for iOS updated w/ photo syncing, bug fixes

Google’s companion app for Google Glass was updated this afternoon on iOS with a few minor changes. The update to MyGlass bumps the app to version 0.8.0 and brings it closer to the generally more capable and more powerful MyGlass Android app.

Glass Stories July 31, 2014

iPhone screen

Apple will finally begin offering iPhone 5s screen replacements in its official U.S. and Canada retail stores in the coming days, according to several sources. Apple Store Genius Bars are said to have begun taking delivery of large quantities of iPhone 5s screens for the repair program. The crucial service’s debut is currently scheduled for Monday, August 4th. This upcoming rollout will mark an official launch as a few stores in the U.S. have piloted iPhone 5s screen repairs over the past several months. Apple officially rolled out iPhone 5c screen repairs in January, and it began replacing other iPhone 5c and 5s parts late in 2013. The screen replacements will cost approximately $150 per repair, and this is more affordable than the $269 price of completely replacing a broken iPhone 5s.

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Glass Stories June 16, 2014

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Retro Apple Store <a href="http://www.aredesignawards.com/award_winner_detail.cfm?key=2009129">Back to School display</a>

Apple could be planning to launch its annual Back to School sales promotion within the next two weeks. Apple Stores, according to several employees, will be changing the front of store glass window displays overnight on June 30th. This is the usual timeframe in which Apple launches a promotion to boost Mac, iPad, and iPhone sales in anticipation of the new school year in the fall.

Last year, the Back to School promotion consisted of $100 App Store gift cards for Mac purchases and $50 cards for iPad and iPhone purchases by students with their Student IDs. Of course, this June 30th window change could be connected to another promotion or a new product, but based on the timing, the Back to School program being in the wings seems most likely.

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Glass Stories April 21, 2014

iPhone SMS notifications coming to Google Glass this week

Google announced today that it’s about to bring SMS for iPhone and a new Calendar Glassware to Google Glass users following an update to KitKat and the introduction of new features earlier this month. First up, iPhone users will now be able to receive text messages on Glass but, as Google points out, they “won’t be able to reply from Glass due to some limitations with iOS.

SMS for iPhone – iOS fans, by popular demand you can now get texts from your friends on Glass. Get started by going to your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings and turning on “Show Notifications” for your paired Glass. When you receive a new text message, it will appear as a notification on Glass. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to reply from Glass due to some limitations with iOS. (Android fans, don’t feel left out – you’ve got SMS on Glass already.)

The support for SMS is a feature that Glass users have long had access to when paired to an Android device. You’ll begin receiving notifications as long as the “Show Notifications” option for your paired Glass is selected from Bluetooth settings. 

Glass Stories February 6, 2014

Last year, Apple and GT Advanced struck a deal to open and operate a manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona related to sapphire crystal components.

Earlier this year, we learned that Apple is “aggressively” pushing to make the facility operational by February 2014 and that the building would produce a “critical” and “new” sub-component for future Apple devices. Due to the vagueness and secrecy surrounding Apple and GT Advanced’s plans, there has been little to no confirmation regarding what exactly the partnership will yield for future Apple products.

But, thanks to new documents and information that we have uncovered with help of analyst Matt Margolis, we have a clearer picture of Apple’s plans…

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Glass Stories January 6, 2014

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In an effort to combat spreading germs and bacteria through sharing smart phones and touch screen devices, Corning announced today plans to produce a Gorilla Glass variant with an antimicrobial surface for inhibiting bacterial growth. This version of Corning Gorilla Glass is made up of an antibacterial agent and contains levels of ionic silver that sustains the germ fighting capabilities through the life of the surface, according to the company. expand full story

Glass Stories June 25, 2013

Spy shot claims to show iPhone 5S front panel on assembly line

Following the latest round of images yesterday claiming to show a redesigned next-generation iPhone, today gforgames.com points us to a new image that apparently shows the front panel of the device. The report speculates the image, originally posted to Chinese blogging service Sina Weibo, shows the device on an assembly line, which could point to the device entering production. There appears to be slightly redesigned flex connectors that we’ve seen in other images, but from this angle these could very easily have been faked.

Below is another alleged shot of the device’s front glass that we’ve received:

Glass Stories May 31, 2013

Alleged iPad 5 front panel surfaces online with iPad mini like design (Update: False)

Update: Nope: It looks like this is just an iPad Mini digitizer as pointed out by nowhereelse.fr.  

We’ve already seen more than a few alleged iPad 5 parts pop up online. Most rumors, including images of the device’s front glass from April, and the shots of the device’s back cover we posted in January, would seem to indicate that Apple is heading for the obvious– a redesigned full-sized iPad that borrows many of the characteristics of the slimmer, smaller bezel iPad mini. Today, the image above has made its way to Apple.pro showing what is claimed to be the front-glass panel for the yet to be released fifth-gen iPad 5.

While we have no way of verifying the legitimacy of the image, the original source is one that has posted accurate information about unreleased Apple products in the past. The image does seem to line up with previous rumors showing a full-sized panel that has a narrower bezel and home button in the same position as the iPad mini’s bezel. 

Glass Stories May 22, 2013

An iMessage sent to Glass

An iMessage notification sent to Glass

Adam Bell (@b3ll), a well-known developer for many software platforms, has figured out a way to route all notifications from an iOS device through Google Glass. The implementation, even in its early stage, seems to work quite well. Bell notes that all notifications, such as iMessages and Tweets automatically are shown via the Google Glass interface. Video and more details below:

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Glass Stories May 17, 2013

Corning launches Lotus XT Glass for high performance mobile displays, prime candidate for future iOS devices

Corning, the company that currently supplies glass for Apple’s iOS devices, yesterday introduced its second generation glass substrate with the commercial launch of Corning Lotus XT Glass. While we initially expected Corning’s recently announced Gorilla Glass 3 might end up in an iOS device, the second generation Lotus XT Glass could be a prime candidate for LCD and OLED displays on future Apple devices.

The end result for consumers, according to Corning, is an easier method of manufacturing “faster, thinner, brighter, and higher resolution” displays.

The Corning Lotus Glass platform enables organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and liquid crystal displays (LCD) that use either low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) or oxide thin-film transistor (TFT) backplanes. The result is an energy-efficient, immersive display device that features high resolution, fast response times, and bright picture quality.

Corning Lotus XT Glass also offers the advantages of Corning’s proprietary fusion process while meeting the stringent cost requirements of the mobile device and IT display market. Its superb surface quality supports the backplane characteristics required for the vibrant colors and clarity OLED and LCD transmissions are known for.

Apple is widely believed to use Corning’s Gorilla Glass in its iOS devices, although the company has never specifically confirmed as much.

Corning will be showing off its next-gen Lotus XT Glass in Vancouver from May 21 to May 23 at the Society for Information Display’s (SID) Display Week event.

Glass Stories May 3, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 4.08.55 PM.

In a conversation with a Google employee who is working on the Glass project, Frederic Lardinois was informed that they are adding more-complete iPhone compatibility to Glass “very soon”:

 Glass, the Google employee told me, will soon be able to handle these features independent of the device the user has paired it to (and maybe even independent of the Glass companion app).

While Glass will happily work with any iPhone over Bluetooth or use any Wi-Fi connection to get online, iPhone users are currently unable to get turn-by-turn directions through Glass – one of its killer features. Those direction are pretty useful while you are navigating a new city and they do show off the power of location-based apps on Glass, but the software will currently balk if you ask it to give you directions while it’s connected to an iPhone.

For Android phone users, Glass owners have to run a companion app on their connected phone to enable all of Glass’ functionality. However, it is unclear how complete feature parity is going to be achieved on the more-restricted iOS.

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Glass Stories June 4, 2012

Corning announces slim, flexible ‘Willow Glass’ [Video]

Corning Inc., the manufacturer behind Gorilla Glass, Gorilla Glass 2, and other display products, just announced a new ultra-slim, flexible glass called “Willow Glass“.

The Corning, N.Y.-based Company introduced its technology at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week tradeshow in Boston this morning. The main highlight is its ability to “wrap” around a device or structure. Willow Glass is specifically formulated to couple with touch sensors, and Corning is exploring further use in “lighting and flexible solar cells.” The company’s fusion process helps to make the product just 100 microns thick, which is akin to a sheet of printer paper. Willow Glass samples are shipping to customers now, but The Verge expects full production to begin later this year.

Apple released a report in March on U.S. jobs that revealed Corning employees in Kentucky and New York create “the majority of the glass for iPhone.”

Gorilla Glass 2 video: 

Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 is a much stronger, resilient version of the Gorilla Glass featured on Apple’s current iPhones. It’s possible that the next-generation iPhone will sport this new glass, so take a look at the video above.

The full press release is below.

This article is cross-posted at 9to5Google. 

Glass Stories March 2, 2012

Apple’s relationship with Corning has always remained shrouded in mystery. The relationship started famously when Steve Jobs visited Corning Headquarters in 2006 and told CEO Wendell Weeks not to be afraid to make the stuff.  Corning however never made it into Apple marketing material after that and even isn’t included in Apple’s supplier lists (PDF).

That and Apple’s reliance on Asian parts materials makers had led some to believe that Apple had gone to Asian glass manufacturers for their iPhone production.

In the New York Times’ iEconomy series, Corning is said to have shifted its glass manufacturing to China.

“Our customers are in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China,” said James B. Flaws, Corning’s vice chairman and chief financial officer. “We could make the glass here, and then ship it by boat, but that takes 35 days. Or, we could ship it by air, but that’s 10 times as expensive. So we build our glass factories next door to assembly factories, and those are overseas.”

However, today, Apple released its US Jobs report which included the following info:

Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone,..

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Glass Stories January 5, 2012

ADR Studio’s Antonio De Rosa, the designer behind many unofficial Apple concept products in the past, just published his latest design— the iPhone SJ. According to ADR, the concept would include a “Totally glass capacitive screen on a polycarbonate lightweight body” and a moniker inspired by Steve Jobs.

Other specifications imagined by De Rosa as part of the concept include a new 10-megapixel camera and an A6 dual core processor; although, those specifications are obviously just a wish list at this point. As you can see from the mockups, the concept has a much slimmer design and a slightly rounded edge from the back and front panels to the bezel. Otherwise, the concept borrows much of its design from the current iPhone 4 and 4S.

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Glass Stories November 17, 2011

In January we told you about a class action lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles man who describes the iPhone 4’s glass back panel as a “design flaw” and claims Apple “refuses to warn consumers” about its susceptibility to cracked glass under normal usage . We already know the iPhone 4S hasn’t made many improvements in terms of the durability of its glass casing, but a new patent application shows exactly what Apple has been working on to better implement a drop-resistant all glass design.

Our friends over at PatentlyApple detail the patent which describes different embodiments of including a shock mount made of polymer, foam, gel, or similar material in a future iPhone or iPad’s cover glass (as usual Apple also mentions the majority of their other products including iMacs, MacBooks, iPods, displays, and televisions). In one solution, Apple describes a “mechanically actuated retractable”, which would essnetially allow the cover glass to withdraw “at least partially into the housing in response to sensing the drop event, thereby protecting for the cover glass.”  The report explains: expand full story

Glass Stories August 9, 2011

Macrumors notes that the boarded up Fifth Avenue Apple Store now reveals plans to improve the appearance of the cube by using “bigger, seamless” panes of glass.  The number of panes will drop from 90 to just 15 (3 per side).

We’re simplifying the Fifth Avenue cube. By using larger, seamless pieces of glass, we’re using just 15 panes instead of 90.

The upgrade reportedly costs $6 million. We’d be very surprised if the renovation isn’t complete for the October iPhone 5 launch.

Apple is also expected to have its Grand Central location, just 15 or so blocks south, open for the holidays and is also doing an upgrade to its Soho Store.

Update: The Gothamist posts a rendering:

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