Light-emitting diode Stories November 7, 2015

JBL-Pulse-2

If you are looking for some differentiation in your Bluetooth speakers, the JBL Pulse 2 ($199) and the Marsboy Orb ($30 after SPDJVX3R code) offer varying degrees of light show to accompany your music. While the JBL Pulse 2 is essentially a very good Charge 2+ with a light show wrapped around the outside, the Marsboy brings a base model Chinese brand speaker with a LED array strapped on. Is there any middle ground here?

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories September 6, 2014

Nova wireless flash for iPhone

We first told you about the Nova wireless flash for iPhone last fall when it was merely an idea on Kickstarter having just collected enough funding to ship. The campaign successfully raised over $85,000 and the wireless flash for iPhone is now available for purchase with an iOS app available on the App Store. I recently had the chance to test out the Nova wireless flash for iPhone, and below I’ll share a few insights from my experience.

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories August 17, 2014

From 9to5Toys.com:

9to5-image 2014-08-17 at 7.28.11 AM

Confirming our report from earlier this month, Target has revived its $199 iPad mini sale (Direct Link) this morning. At the time of posting it’s available both online at Target.com and at Target retail locations. That’s even $30 less than the retail price of top Android tablets Nexus 7 or Kindle HDX.

We’ve been told by a Target rep that quantities are limited and as such we highly recommend picking one up today. This deal is $100 better than retail and $20 less than Apple charges for a refurbished model. The non-Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch LED-backlit display, 10-hour battery life, and dual-core A5 chip.

Seperately, Staples is offering all WiFi-enabled iPad Airs (Space Gray or Silver) for $30 off (Direct link). Coupon code 79449 drops them another $100 yielding $369/$469/$569 on 16/32/64GB Wifi models.

As we’ve said before, these deals often sell out quick so if you are going to make a move, do so quickly.

Also, Apple is widely expected to update its iPads again in October but these prices are at or below what we expect current models to drop to so you are getting Apple’s holiday prices today. expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories June 14, 2014

559to5

This fall, Apple is expected to unwrap two next-generation iPhones with larger displays: a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch higher-end “phablet” variant. While the 4.7-inch model has had physical mockups floating around the web for the past few months, parts or shells for a 5.5-inch model have not been seen until now. Sonny Dickson has sent us photos of a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 physical “dummy” mockup in the Space Gray color (above and below), and he has posted photos of a white and gold model on Twitter:

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories December 19, 2013

Miss Teen USA spied on via MacBook camera while indicator light was off

The Washington Post reports that when a high school classmate of Cassidy Wolf (aka Miss Teen USA) spied on her via the iSight camera in her MacBook, he did so using software that allowed him to keep the green indicator light off while viewing.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University were able to replicate the exploit, demonstrated in the above video, but only on MacBook and iMac models released before 2008.

Stephen Checkoway, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins and a co-author of the study. “Apple went to some amount of effort to make sure that the LED would turn on whenever the camera was taking images,” Checkoway says. The 2008-era Apple products they studied had a “hardware interlock” between the camera and the light to ensure that the camera couldn’t turn on without alerting its owner […]

In a paper called “iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED,” Brocker and Checkoway describe how to reprogram the iSight camera’s micro-controller to allow the camera and light to be activated independently. That allows the camera to be turned on while the light stays off.

While this particular exploit appears limited to older Macbooks, it was recently revealed through court papers that the FBI has the ability to do the same thing with a variety of current laptops including Apple products.

Light-emitting diode Stories December 6, 2013

Trackpads and keyboards are great for many things, but there are some tasks where there’s no substitute for a physical dial, slider or button. In video editing, for example, there’s a reason that professional kit uses a rotary dial to move forward or backward through the video clip. Photo editing and audio work are also far easier with physical dials and sliders.

While there’s a whole world of dedicated hardware controllers out there, the Palette project on Kickstarter takes a particularly neat approach: a modular system that you can design to your own requirements. There’s a power block, button, rotary dial and slider, and you can mix-and-match them in any layout you like, and they can be made to work with any software …  expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories November 18, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 11-1.54.54 AM

For this upcoming holiday season, Apple will be celebrating with a front Apple Store window display that several Apple Retail employees have described as spectacular. A photo of the display, sent in by a source, is above. The display highlights both the iPad Air and iPhone 5c and is made up of several LED lights shaped into snow flakes. The design is simple, but unique and impressive…

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories September 23, 2013

iPhone 5s camera w/ True Tone flash vs Nokia Lumia 1020 & Sony’s Xperia Z1

(Click for full size images)

Apple has made it clear that it isn’t going to get into the megapixel race with the likes of Nokia and Sony when it comes to the camera system used in its iPhones. The new iPhone 5s has the same 8-megapixel shooter as previous generations, but Apple is touting a brand new camera system for the device that includes 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. However, the big new standout feature for the camera is a dual LED “True Tone” flash that should vastly improve shooting in poor lighting conditions. The real question is, how does Apple’s new camera system in the 5s stack up against some of the best smartphone cameras in the game: That’s the 41 megapixel PureView camera in the Nokia Lumia 1020, and the 20.7 megapixel camera with Sony Exmor RS mobile image sensor packed into the Sony Xperia Z1.

Recombu put together the comparison above which shows how the three cameras perform under the same nighttime lighting conditions for a portrait. We’ll let you decide, but, as the site points out, the iPhone 5s seems to do a much better job of producing accurate colors:

Admitedly, the dual-LEDs can’t rival the illuminating clout of the Nokia Lumia 1020’s Xenon flash, but with its combi warm and cool LEDs, the 5S clearly delivers a significantly more accurate shot – just look at the white canopies!

With the camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 one of the device’s big selling points, it’s not surprising Nokia has gone after Apple in the past with attack ads claiming the iPhone 5 takes subpar photos.

Light-emitting diode Stories September 8, 2013

lordofthering_12-640x480

We haven’t seen any LEDs behind the fingerprint-reading home button in parts leaks but that hasn’t stopped Martin Hajek from mocking up a ‘Lord of the Rings’ version (Gallery below) of the iPhone 5S based on the recent packaging leaksexpand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories August 29, 2013

Pioneer announces next-gen DDJ-WEGO2 DJ Controller for iPhone & iPad

Pioneer announced today that it’s soon releasing a next generation DDJ-WeGO2 DJ controller for iOS devices. The new version will feature the same multicolour LEDs, pulse control on a set of quality platters, USB power, built-in in and out audio ports, and optimizations and layouts ideal for Virtual DJ software on Mac, and Djay and other apps on iOS. Pioneer is now including a Lightning cable for easily connecting iPhones and iPads, and the DDJ-WeGO2 also features a handle that makes it truly ultra portable.

It’s also made the red, black, and white color schemes on offer cover the entire body of the controller this time around:

The DDJ-WeGO2 will be available in white, black and red to complement the user’s taste, with each color option now covering the entire controller body. The DDJ-WeGO2 colors also match the popular line of HDJ-500 DJ headphones. The controller features multi-color LED backlighting for the Jog wheel and a color-customizable user interface for the included software.

It’s current DDJ-WEGO2 sells for as low as $260, but the next-generation will sell for $429 when it goes on sale in October.

Light-emitting diode Stories August 21, 2013

A new video has made its way online today showing what is allegedly the rear casing of the much rumored plastic-backed, lower-cost iPhone 5C that many expect Apple to officially unveil early next month. The report from Taiwan’s Apple Daily claims to provide some precise measurements for the lower-cost iPhone. Coming in at 24.55mm x 59.13mm x 8.98mm, the iPhone 5C appears to be slightly larger than the iPhone 5 due to the plastic back. The site also put the back shells through a number of scratch resistant tests in the video above and noted that its sources claim the device will include a reinforced material that will protect from everyday wear and tear. The roughly translated report also seems to claim that the iPhone 5S, in addition to the new dual LED flash and gold color option that we previously reported, will come in 3 colors. However, it isn’t clear if it’s referring to just the White/Black and Gold, or additional colors. We’re assuming the shot of the blue iPhone 5S in the video above is for illustration purposes only. Probably. expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories July 17, 2013

Rumored iPhone 5S production shots & specs: IGZO display, fingerprint reader, NFC, 12MP cam

Some unverified news out of China this morning points to new iPhone 5S production shots and specs which don’t seem out of the realm of possibility. The production shots above claim to be of the iPhone 5S, but with the case expected to be identical to the 5, it is hard to tell the difference.

Specs for the iPhone 5S from this same leak include NFC reader (which was taken out of the iPhone 5 late in production we’ve heard), a Fingerprint Reader (which may or may not be causing production delays), Sharp 4-inch 1136×640 (and maybe LG) IGZO display for power savings and better image quality and new 12 megapixel backside camera with dual LED flash.

Other purported improvements include 2GB of RAM, same A6 CPU at a higher clock with improved quad-core SGX 554MP4 (upgrade from the 3-core PowerVR SGX543MP3 in the iPhone 5) and improved LTE. Perhaps the power savings in display will offset the higher power usage needed for this improved hardware. That and a slightly bigger battery.

None of these seem outside of the realm of possibility (which is suspicious), but taken together seem to paint a picture of a dramatically improved iPhone 5S with some pretty incredible sensor improvements.

For those looking at upgrading to the lower cost plastic iPhone, the site also includes shells for those compared to iPhone 5, below (originally from Sonny Dickson):

Light-emitting diode Stories June 25, 2013

Review: NewTrent Travelpak Dual USB Port 5V/2A travel charger

The New Trent Travelpak 4000mAh plug in adapter makes a handy replacement to your iOS device AC USB adapter. I’ve been using the Travelpak 4000mAhfor about 3 months now and find it to be the perfect travelling companion for my phones, tablets and other USB-charged devices. At 4000mAh, you’ll get about 2 full iPhone charges. At 5V/2A, you’ll also get a speedy charge on your iPad, though not as fast as possible. For those focusing on iPad charging, there are bigger versions that come in the 7000mAh and 11200mAh sizes. In fact, the bigger 6000mAh has more ports, a more convenient form factor, and costs less ($39.99). Need more than that? Time for some Hyperjuice.

What’s nice here is that the portable Travelpak can charge two USB devices at the same time while plugged in. It has a nice bright 5 bar light system telling you if it is charging or how much charge it has left (making it a night-light as well). What’s even nicer and contrasts from other plug/batteries is that it turns off when unplugged and only starts charging again when you hit the power button on the side.  Where typical generic AC USB batteries will drain unless they are powered down, these will automatically turn off.

On the down side, when the plug is extended, the 4000mAh version can cover up the other plugs in a wall outlet or surge protector making this aspect of the design puzzling. Still, the other plusses far outweigh this technical oversight. It appears that the new high end 6000mAh and 11200mAh form factor fixes this issue and at a cheaper price, it is hard not to recommend this version.

The Travelpak  is currently $41.54 at Amazon off the List Price of $79.95 for the 4000mAh version that I tried, but it would appear that the larger 6000mAh version at $39.99 might be the better deal, especially since it adds a MicroUSB port and doesn’t cover up an additional plug.

Light-emitting diode Stories May 7, 2012

With the new iPad’s “resolutionary” 2048-by-1536-pixel Retina display, which is arguably the flagship feature of the device, it might be somewhat surprising to hear that Apple originally planned on using lighter, thinner display tech. This is according to display expert and President of DisplayMate Technologies Raymond Soneira who told CNET, “There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B.”

He claimed Apple would have used Sharp’s IGZO tech for a thinner display assembly, but instead was forced to go with older, amorphous silicon that required a larger battery. The move could have accounted for some of the increased weight to 1.46 pounds and depth of .037 inch. Soneira explained:

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories December 28, 2011

A report this evening from DigiTimes said the next iPad will have a monster battery that will more than double the current  6579 mAH to a whopping 14,000mAH.  Apple currently uses battery suppliers Simplo Technology and Dynapack who both denied to comment on the report.

Furthermore, Apple is set to unveil two versions of its next-iPad, “One for the high-end segment and one for the mid-range segment” according to another DigiTimes report.  Strangely, the report said the new iPads will be released at Macworld/iWorld in late January, a show that Apple has no plans to attend right now and bowed out of completely two years ago.

Apple is set to unveil its next-generation iPad – which will come in two versions – at the iWorld scheduled for January 26, 2012, according to sources at its supply chain partners

This is extremely unlikely; however, perhaps, a same-time but separate release could happen.  More details that are interesting were reported, as well….

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories November 28, 2011

When author of the official ‘Steve Jobs’ bio, Walter Isaacson, sat down for an interview with Fortune earlier this month, we learned that Steve Jobs had three key industries he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks, and photography. We’ve certainly heard a lot of rumors about an iTV in the works, and Apple has arguably already done a lot for the textbook business, despite Jobs having loftier goals for the industry as a whole. While the iPhone 4S’s redesigned camera might be good enough to get an endorsement from photographer Annie Leibovitz, the guys at ADR Studios have created this new ‘iCam’ concept imagining a separate accessory that would turn the iPhone 5 into a full-fledged point-and-shoot.

Keeping rumored iPhone 5 specs in mind, ADR’s concept would include a 10.1 megapixel sensor and provide an “ISO range from 100 to 3200 (extendable up to 6400 equivalent)” for full HD at 60fps. Imagined specs for the accessory include an aluminum unibody, interchangeable lenses, a small touch-screen on the front, LED flash, pico-projector, SD UHS-i slot, motion sensor, and bluetooth. We’re guessing a few companies are already at work on a similar accessory after seeing these gorgeous mock ups.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories November 21, 2011

Business Insider says they have a friend who knows some Apple employees who say that the iPad 3 will have a 3D display.

We’re definitely not convinced.

What we have heard however is that Apple is working on 3G gestures which they’ve patented and could be used in iOS devices – though those would be more for an Apple TV type device.

There was an app that used the iPad 2 camera to figure out where your head was and made 3D objects appear on the screen.

Perhaps the person making up the rumor got those confused.

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories September 7, 2011

PocketNow shows what it thinks to be an image taken with an iPhone 5.

This (very attractive) photo claims to have been taken by an iPhone 4, but the rest of its EXIF data tells a different story: although the image has been cropped to 2235×2291 (5.12 megapixels), the original picture was a much larger 3264×2448 — or just shy of eight megapixels. What’s more, the lens was recorded as a 4.3mm f/2.4, which is closer to that of a point-and-shoot than the iPhone 4’s actual 3.85mm f/2.8.

We’ve remarked on a number of occasions that the camera holes in the purported iPhone 5 cases seem significantly bigger than the current iPhone 4 cases.  Could this be an indication of some serious glass?

Interestingly the EXIF Data (comparisons below the fold) points to a GPS location here.

This one was “supposedly shot by an Apple engineer eating his lunch at work.”

YUM.

Update: Here is the original image on Flickr

Update 2: Taken down.  That’s obviously a good sign.

expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories June 6, 2011

It wasn’t talked about much but it is an often requested feature (and might have made it into a few jailbreak apps if I am not mistaken): The iPhone’s LED flash will now light up on incoming calls and alerts.  Obviously, only if you choose.

It is good to see Apple working their way through these often requested and jailbroken type features.

Thanks Mime454! expand full story

Light-emitting diode Stories December 16, 2010

From the Toys section:

Starting December 18, Walmart retail stores will offer the Apple iPhone 4 16GB Smartphone for AT&T Wireless bundled with a $50 Walmart Gift Card for $197 with activation of a new 2-year plan. (This offer will not be available online.) Provided you use the credit, it’s the best price we’ve seen on this phone, outside of promotion from RadioShack two weeks ago. (RadioShack stores offered this model for as low as $24 upon trading in an older iPhone, since expired.) Sales tax is added where applicable. It features an Apple A4 processor, 326-ppi (pixel per inch) Retina 3.5″ display running at 960×640, gyroscope, front- and rear-facing cameras, 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, 720p video capture at 30 fps, 802.11n wireless networking, dual microphones, and more.

Light-emitting diode Stories November 10, 2008

Apple’s product naming is easy to love.

Apple’s recent success in the technology market is, of course, the result of several factors. The solid hardware, the meticulously maintained and simplified software, and a fantastic retail show from the store floor to the unboxing of its products. They have a total user experience that no one has yet been able to touch.

Something that isn’t talked about much, however, is quite basic: Apple’s product naming strategy. No other company puts as much effort into distilling and simplifying their product naming.

You’ll even notice that when referring to their gadgets, Steve Jobs and other Apple employees refer to them as “iPod” or “iPhone”, not “the iPod” or “the iPhone”. Taking out the definite article anthropomorphizes these products, likening them to a friend or pet.

Because of this, it’s easy to get your head around Apple’s array of products. Just four basic product lines – Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and AppleTV – and not much else besides a few accessories, software and services that Apple sells.

For iPhone and AppleTV, that’s all you need to know. The only other classification information for these two product lines is the memory space. iPhone 8GB, 16GB. AppleTV 40/160GB. Easy.

For iPods and Macs, there are a few more variables. But nowhere will you find confusing model numbers in the product lines.

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, he slashed everything that wasn’t profitable and moving forward, simplified the Apple lineup. Gone were the many different clones, the Power Macintosh 8500/180s, the Newton MessagePad 2100/Emate 300 and the Powerbook 1400, 2400 and 3400.

In came the PowerMac G3, the iMac, the Powerbook G3 and then later the iBook, MacPros, MacBooks and MacMini. iPods are no different: Shuffle, Nano, Classic, Touch; no numbers, just names.

Contrast this with Nokia, which sells its solid N-series phone lineup from N70 to N96. Ask all but the most hardened geek what differentiates each one and you’ll get little more than a confused expression. How about the Toshiba G900 or the Samsung F700? – both great phones with forgettable names. It’s hard to have a relationship with an anonymous number.

How about a network product from Linksys or Dlink? My NAS is a Dlink DNS-323 but it doesn’t do domain naming. I love the Linksys WRT54G router line for its hacktasticness, but it’s hard to even identify. The software I use to run it is called DD-WRT. Is that, wert?

Apple calls its wireless product Airport. It has for years. When it adds more features like a Gigabit Ethernet hub and USB hard drive support, it becomes Airport Extreme (I know “extreme” is oh so tired – but stick with me here). The smaller, portable model? Airport Express. Non-techies can get this.

Or how about PC Manufacturers like Dell, HP and Sony, which offer models like the VGN-PR2 or the XPS 420. It’s hard to endear yourself to an XPS-420 unless your name is R2-D2 or C3PO.

Certain other tech companies have had success with real names. The LG Chocolate. The Samsung Blackjack. Motorola’s RAZR, KRZR, etc. But these are the exception rather than the rule.

With the success that Apple has had with its simplified naming strategy, it is a wonder that more technology companies aren’t copying such an obvious success and persist in confusing and alienating their customers.

Powered by WordPress VIP