Hardware Stories May 9, 2016

Shure MV5 Review

As someone keen on recording voiceovers and podcasts from an iPad, I needed a Lightning-enabled microphone that could handle such a task. While it’s true that Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter allows iOS to interface with a variety of microphones that it wasn’t able to before, I like the idea of keeping my setup as minimal and as dongle-free as possible.

Enter the Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone. This is a MFi-certified Lightning-enabled microphone that works with the iPad or iPhone using a single microUSB to Lightning cable. By switching out the Lightning cable for a traditional USB cable, you can use the same microphone with your Mac or PC.

This microphone is a digital condenser that can be powered via Lightning or USB. It doesn’t require any special adapters or power supplies to work, just plug it in, launch an app, and start recording.

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Hardware Stories January 28, 2016

Tesla hires the guy who pioneered Apple A-series processor line

From Electrek:

We’ve learned that Tesla this month quietly hired high-profile microprocessor engineer Jim Keller as Vice President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering. Tesla today confirmed the news and sent us the following statement:

Hardware Stories January 25, 2016

iPad Pro speaker system

Even the source Nowhereelse is unsure about this one, but it’s certainly interesting to imagine. A purported blueprint illustration of the upcoming iPad Air 3 tablet claims to show four speakers, not two, planned for the updated 9.7-inch tablet, as well as a possible camera flash for the first time. Apple focused on the larger iPad Pro and upgraded iPad mini 4 last year, and an upgraded iPad Air 3 is expected sometime this year.

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Hardware Stories August 27, 2015

motionios9awx

Apple is preparing to bring some motion from the Apple Watch to the iPhone 6S. One of the new device’s differentiators over its predecessor will likely be a spiced up set of animated wallpapers, according to three sources who have used internal iPhone 6S prototypes within Apple. The new animated wallpapers come from the same family as the set of “Motion” watch faces that dominate the main screen of the Apple Watch, where the user can choose from jellyfish, multi-colored butterflies, or brightly colored flowers.

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Hardware Stories August 13, 2015

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As regular readers will know, it took a little while for the Apple Watch to really grow on me. But even back when I wasn’t convinced I needed a smartwatch, I still had to admire the design. And the Digital Crown was a large part of how Apple got the smartwatch right when others hadn’t yet cracked it. A fundamental problem with a small touchscreen is that touching it covers up much of the content. The Digital Crown overcomes that, allowing us to scroll content without our thumb getting in the way.

But while today’s iPhone screens may be larger than they used to be, they are still pretty small in the scheme of things. Scrolling with a thumb still covers up a chunk of the content. Worse, it’s easy to accidentally tap on targets accidentally including ads. There have been numerous occasions since using Apple Watch when my thumb started absent-mindedly reaching for the non-existent Digital Crown on my iPhone …  expand full story

Hardware Stories July 21, 2015

applecare

A disgruntled Apple customer is attempting to bring a new class-action suit against the company, claiming that replacement devices received under the AppleCare+ protection plan were not “like new,” despite being presented as such as part of the policy. Buyers involved claim that by providing refurbished devices as replacements, Apple breached the AppleCare contract… expand full story

Hardware Stories June 17, 2015

Following the Nest Cam outed by Best Buy earlier this morning, Nest did in fact take the stage today to announce its new lineup of products. Besides the Nest Cam, Tony Fadell and company showed off the 2nd generation Nest Protect smoke detector, a new mobile app for iOS and Android that brings all of the company’s new products together, and more. Unfortunately, the company’s flagship Nest Thermostat didn’t get any hardware upgrades today, but here’s what’s new… expand full story

Hardware Stories June 14, 2015

Novation 64-Button Ableton Controller-Logic ProsThe Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

In this week’s edition of The Logic Pros, we will be looking at how to map all those fun looking sliders, switches, buttons and encoders on our controllers to various functions inside of Logic Pro X. In many case, we get home with our MIDI controller, plug it in, and it just works. The keys/pads function just as they should, but the plethora of other dials and faders available generally won’t do much, unless you tell them to.

We will be covering the basics of how to get our MIDI keyboard/controller mapped to just about any parameter in our session, along with a few creative ways to bring some of Logic Pro X’s more powerful features into the real world: expand full story

Hardware Stories April 8, 2015

steelwatch

Apple has just lifted the embargo on the Apple Watch for reviewers, allowing the technology press the to give their verdict on the device ahead of Watch preorders on the 10th. The device will actually be available to the public on the 24th. The Apple Watch is a huge release for Apple, its first new product category under Tim Cook. The anticipation for Apple Watch has been simply immense. The pricing model alone is a huge step for the company, entering ‘high-end’ luxury for the first time with the Apple Watch Edition … and a price tag in the $10,000 range. These reviews are our first glance at whether Apple succeeded in making the next hit product.

Reviewers got a demo of the entire Apple Watch buying process, from the initial Apple Store try-on experience right through to handling the device for a few days. Reviewers got to choose their watch-band combination, although the Edition was not available for reviewers (although you can see what Pharell thinks about it of course)

Read below for our roundup of the reviews from a handful of publications:

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Hardware Stories March 30, 2015

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Image via Future Supplier

Some new photos posted by Future Supplier claim to show the leaked rear casing to the rumored “iPhone 6C.” Recent reports have said that the device will sport a 4-inch screen like that of the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S, allowing it to appeal to those who prefer smaller displays over the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

While the veracity of these shots has not been confirmed, there are some interesting details to note that could give us some more clues about the design of the rumored device.

Keep reading for photos and analysis…

Hardware Stories March 16, 2015

Apple-Watch-packaging

Apple appears to have just provided a first glimpse at the retail packaging for Apple Watch or the device’s straps via the photo above posted to a newly updated jobs page on its websiteThe white box lines up with the little information Apple has provided about the packaging for the entry-level Sport Edition and the stainless steel Watch Edition models.

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Hardware Stories January 22, 2015

WWDC-Homekit-01

Apple will allow its upcoming Siri-controlled HomeKit platform to work with certain existing, non-HomeKit home automation products, including ones using competing protocols such as ZigBee or Z-Wave, but there are many limitations. According to sources briefed on the new specs, the latest Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program specifications detail the types of home automation products other than HomeKit that Apple will permit to interact with its platform.

During the 2014 WWDC, Apple briefly mentioned the possibility of connecting rival home automation products to HomeKit using a hardware “bridge,” but only in recent weeks has clarified the types of accessories that will and will not be allowed. expand full story

Hardware Stories December 2, 2014

Digione-iPhone-01

Chinese smartphone maker Digione is claiming Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus copy the design of its own smartphone line.

Macworld reports that the company published a letter online yesterday that was originally sent to Apple back in September in order to make them aware that the latest iPhones might infringe on a patent it was granted in July by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. expand full story

Hardware Stories September 29, 2014

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Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

8.2 9to5iOS 8.2 visits to 9to5Mac

We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

8.3 9to5iOS 8.3 visits to 9to5Mac

While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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Hardware Stories June 18, 2014

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As rumored last week, Apple has today released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac SKU was priced at $1299 (which is now the mid-range model).

The cheaper iMac features a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, which represents a significant worsening in performance over the previous base model of iMac, which featured a processor clocked at 2.7 GHz.  The CPU does Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz however, which does make up some of the difference.

Aside from the CPU, the hard drive has also been cut to 500 GB. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip. All other iMac models continue to use either Iris Pro integrated graphics or dedicated Nvidia cards. Otherwise, the internals of the new machine are unchanged.

Apple’s Press release below…

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Hardware Stories April 18, 2014

Nike + FuelBand

Nike has decided to get out of the wearable technology market entirely, according to a brand-new report from CNET. The company is said to have come to the conclusion that fitness software has a more stable future at the company, leading to the discontinuation of the FuelBand and other wearable fitness products and the firing of most of the 70 employees currently working in that division.

The move is interesting timing. Just a week ago, Nike launched Nike+Fuel Lab in San Francisco, a “new program to develop partnerships and products with NikeFuel” hundreds of miles south of its current location at its Oregon HQ.

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This announcement comes only weeks before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company is expected to show off its upcoming Healthbook application as part of the next generation of iPhone software in anticipation of iWatch hardware coming later this year. Nike’s new strategy will put it more in line to compete with Healthbook as an application rather than the actual iWatch device.

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Hardware Stories January 24, 2014

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In addition to interviews with the press, Apple is celebrating 30 years of Mac with a full-bleed graphic on its homepage, which links to a minisite that plots how the Mac evolved over the years. The message says that Apple made the Macintosh with a promise to get “the power of technology .. in the hand of everyone”. “This promise has been kept.”, it reads. The dedicated minisite depicts a (scrollable) timeline of the major models of Mac since 1984, spanning the PowerBook, the iMac and ending with the Retina MacBook Pro and the brand new Mac Pro.

See the accompanying video after the break.

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Hardware Stories January 20, 2014

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Shipping estimates for the Mac Pro have slipped from February to March in many countries, suggesting that Apple has made no progress in reducing lead times from around six weeks. U.S. shipping estimates so far remain in February.

Launched last month to rave reviews, the all-new design has been praised for its upgradability, in sharp contrast to the MacBook range. However, it appears that Apple’s desire to keep its promise of a late 2013 launch date, made at WWDC, led to a repetition of the previous year’s iMac shortages …  expand full story

Hardware Stories January 12, 2014

Apple now shipping the Mac Pro to Europe once again, after EU ban of old model

Since March, the old Mac Pro has not been available to buy in Europe as changes in regulations meant that the old Mac Pro no longer complied with EU law. In particular, the large exposed fans of the Mac Pro were the main reason behind the ban — the amendment required fan guards and minor changes to electrical ports.

With the design of the new Mac Pro, Apple once again complies with regulatory requirements. Via MacGeneration, customers in Europe are now receiving shipment notifications with delivery as early as January 14. According to Apple’s online store, customers ordering today should receive their Mac Pro in February.

Hardware Stories January 9, 2014

The $50 smartwatch will be here by the summer, says Archos

When a whole new category of technology arrives, you can usually rely on tech-heads to get excited about them even if the mass-market doesn’t. So far, though, smartwatches don’t seem to have made as much headway as many expected. When a confirmed gadget addict like me is left wondering why I’d want one, something somewhere is wrong.

But where functionality hasn’t persuaded many of us, perhaps price will. Archos is planning to launch a basic smartwatch in the summer for just $50, a price it may be hoping will lead people to stop asking ‘Why?’ and instead ask ‘Why not?’.

Don’t expect too much tech for your fifty bucks: what it will buy you is more of a dumbwatch than a smart one. All it will do is relay notifications from your phone and allow you to control music playback. Oh yes, and tell the time. The display, too, is low-tech: a 1.55-inch non-capacitive e-ink screen.

The styling also looks pretty crude. But for $50, it’s almost cheap enough to try one out just to see whether the idea of a smartwatch grabs you.

Archos also plans a color model with 1.8-inch capacitive screen for $100 and an aluminum-cased version for $130, but these won’t be available until later in the year.

Hardware Stories January 6, 2014

Apogee announces JAM 96k guitar interface and MiC 96k microphone for iOS devices and Mac

Apogee has announced the new MiC 96k microphone and the JAM 96k guitar interface for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The full press releases can be found below.

Hardware Stories December 19, 2013

Apple starts selling black Thunderbolt Cables alongside new Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro is not Apple’s only new blacked-out product: to go with the new pro machine, Apple has released black versions of its 0.5 meter and 2 meter Thunderbolt cables. These cords have Thunderbolt ports on either side, and they work well for transferring data between Macs, connecting to hard drives, and connecting to various other Thunderbolt 1.0 or 2.0 peripherals. Apple is still selling the white cords, and the longer version is $39 per cable and the shorter is $29 (try Amazon for some less expensive options).

Update: Continuing the black theme, the Apple stickers that come with the Mac Pro are black (see above):

Apple releases software update for new Mac Pro to fix reliability and graphics issues

Only hours after the new Mac Pro became available for order (and months before you’ll be able to get your hands on one), Apple has released an EFI software update for the machine. The update is said to resolve multiple hardware-related issues:

This update is recommended for all Mac Pro (Late 2013) models. This update improves system reliability during reboot, resolves an issue with memory self-test, and improves graphics power management when using Boot Camp.

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On Apple’s website, only a few hours since it went on sale, delivery estimates for the Mac Pro have slipped to February next year.

This morning, the store opened with delivery estimates of December 30th with some variants quoting a January timeframe. Now, it appears the initial allocation has sold out as Apple’s website now reports February shipment for all models.

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