SiriBnnr

How iOS 7 can save you battery life

Most smartphones today all have the necessary features. So battery life has become a big deciding factor for many people. After all what good are all these new features if the device is dead? Well now that iOS 7 has been out for almost 2 weeks. What does Apple’s new iOS have that might help save user’s valuable battery life.

Apple has made some enhancements to Siri in iOS 7. The digital assistant can now do a lot more than in previous iOS versions. Siri can now turn things on and off including Bluetooth, Wifi and Cellular Data. It might not seem like a big deal to have your Wifi, Cellular Data and Bluetooth on all the time but the radios do use battery power. So why have them on consuming power especially at times when they are not in use. Now it would be a pretty daunting task to turn them on and off manually whenever you leave the house, office, or wherever else you have or don’t have wifi, need or don’t need bluetooth. But now with Siri, iOS 7 makes it easy and this is one way iOS 7 can save you battery life.

The only thing to keep in mind is that Siri needs a connection to the internet in order to work. So before you turn off the Cellular Data or Wifi connection you must always turn on the corresponding one to keep you connected to the internet. Just remember on first before turning off. Let’s say you are leaving your house and with it your Wifi connection. The drill goes something like this, enable Siri and say “turn on cellular data”. This will turn on cellular data, your 3G or LTE internet connection. The next step is to say “turn off wifi”, yes it’s as easy as that. You will now save yourself some battery life by not having your wifi radio on even though it is not being used. The same goes for bluetooth so if you’re not using a headset or some other device that is connected by bluetooth turn it off for a little extra savings.

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iOS 7 also introduced Control Center. You can get to it by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. The control center is accessible from the lock screen and home screen. It also allows the user to manually toggle wifi and bluetooth among other things on and off. There is no cellular data so that one will still remain accessible only through the Settings menu or by using Siri like we did above. However now telling someone to turn off their wifi or bluetooth is not a long string of menu options. It ican be done by simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen and then turning them off from within Control Center (highlighted in a box in the image below).

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It might seem simple but give it a try and see if the battery life savings are worth it to you.

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Event

iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 what did we get

On Tuesday of this week, Sept. 10th, Apple held their event. We speculated on what we would get and talked about the other questions that still remained to be answered. Well now we have our answers. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 were shown off so what did we get? Well we’re going to cover some of the details and also talk about some of the questions that are now created about where do they go form here. The video of the keynote is now available on the Apple site, go watch it.

So to go through what we got to see at the keynote, there was the

iPhone 5c (Android Free)

The iPhone everyone thought was going to be cheap turned out to be “less expensive” instead. No one should have been surprised since Apple doesn’t do cheap and yet they were. When netbooks proliferated the computer landscape Apple did the MacBook Air. It was far from cheap but “less expensive” than a MacBook Pro. The iPhone 5c is the same. It is far from cheap but at $99 for a 16GB model on a 2 Year contract(US) it’s cheap enough that it becomes a throwaway phone. It’s something parents can buy their teen as an emergency phone. It’s a phone people less interested with the latest and greatest technology as well as people coming from a feature phone can buy without sticker shock.

So the iPhone 5c comes in five colors, white, pink, yellow, blue and green. Yes pink, not red or fuchsia they proudly proclaimed it pink on stage.

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The phone internals are the same as what is in last years model, the iPhone 5, with the exception of a slightly bigger battery and a slightly better FaceTime camera. This is impressive because I own an iPhone 5 and it is one hell of a smartphone. The wallpaper that comes on the iPhone 5c will match the color of the phone plus with iOS 7′s transparencies the OS will play even more on the color aspect. The pricing on contract is 16GB at $99, 32GB at $199 and $549 off contract. The pre-orders for the iPhone 5c will be available tonight and the phones will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th.

iPhone 5s (Forward Thinking)

The iPhone 5s is the flagship model and brought a lot of things that were already rumored but became reality. The iPhone 5s comes in three colors, Silver, Gold and Space Grey. The silver and gold models have a white face and white accents while the space grey is the only model with a black face and black accents.

i5s

So they have added one more color, the gold but for me it sucks because I don’t like the white face. I wonder why they didn’t have the gold with both a white and black face? Perhpas this is just my personal color bias but I would have loved a black and gold model. It’s a trivial thing I will just get the Sky Grey model but I’m just a little sad at the lost oppurtunity :_(

Starting down bottom you will notice that the home button no longer has the little rounded rectangle on it. It also now has a stainless stell ring around it with the introduction of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. The Touch ID will be used to unlock the device as well as authenticate a user for app store purchases. It can be trained to know up to 5 different finger prints and has 360 degree readability. The all new A7 chip inside is a 64 bit processor, the first in mobile and although it may not make sense on the iPhone it’s forward thinking for other iOS devices and future iPhone models. The new iOS 7 operating system (OS) is also 64 bit taking users along for the 64 bit transition of iOS devices. Now 64 bit typically means the ability to address more memory but it also means instead of doing things faster it does more things at the same speed. So you still end up accomplishing more but in a different way. Just imagine two people trying to eat as many hot dogs as they can. One guy takes normal sized bites but eats as fast as possible. While the other guy eats at the same speed but he takes bites twice as big. Even though he’s eating at the same speed as the first guy the bigger bites means he’ll finish faster. The ability to address more memory might not make sense now but in the iPads or in future generations of the iPhone and iPads that ability to address more than 3GB or RAM will make sense.

Continuing with the upgrades inside was the introduction of a new chip the M7. The new chip measures motion by taking readins from the accelorometer, gyroscope and compass. A task that would have be done by the A7, so that frees up some computing cycles on the A7 chip itself. The M7 chip allows for a new breed of apps while adding to the existing functions of the phone. The chip knows if you’re driving, running, walking, or sleeping. So for example if you switch from driving to walking the Maps app will switch from driving directions to walking directions automatically.

The cameras on the iPhone 5s got some upgrades too ofcourse. It now has a dual LED flash which is able to combine depending on the lighting of the scene being photographed to create better colors and skintones. The back camera now has a larger sensor, larger pixels and a larger aperture which all combine to let in more light for better pictures. This combines with the camera app in iOS 7 for new features like. Burst mode which snaps multiple shots at 10 images a second, great for action shots. Slow motion video, the camera shoots video at 120 frames per second allowing the user to play back the video at 1/4 of the speed for interesting effects. The front camera also has larger pixels along with better backside illumination. Better backside illumination allows more light to the sensor resulting in better pictures and video for great FaceTime calls and world renowned “selfies”.

The iPhone 5s will be sold at the same prices previous models of iPhones have sold at. On a 2 year contract (US) 16GB at $199, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 while off contract the 16GB iPhone 5s starts at $649 (US). There will be no pre-order available for the iPhone 5s and they will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th. You can get them at your local Apple store or by going to a carrier store. Although carrier stores usually don’t get as much stock on launch day as the Apple store.

iOS 7

The new OS has undergone some drastic changes to the look and feel while still doing most things the same way it always has. The new OS will be released to everyone next Wednesday Sept. 18th. It will support iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPad Mini. Beyond the new look and colors there are many refinements as well as new features that enable a user to get things done faster and easier. The notification center is now available from the lock screen to enable glancable information. There is a new Control Center that gives the user quick access to some of the typical phone controls like Wifi, Airplane mode, Bluetooth, etc. The Control Center is also available from the lock screen. Some users will not like the new colors and look of the interface and icons. Some will not like system changes like swiping down from anywhere on the home screen to open Finder instead of swiping the home screen right. You can’t please everyone but I have a feeling that this iOS will please almost everyone and that is Apple’s aim with it.

iOS 7

iWork (Free)

The next big announcement was that iWork for mobile which they listed as consisting of Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto was going free. It will be going free for new iOS devices and as I have been told devices running iOS 7. This is awesome news for me since I already own two of the five software and would love to have the others. It will be a great bundle and should be yet another plus for users looking at upgrading their iOS device. It will also be a great addition to users upgrading to iOS 7. When users install iOS 7 there should be a prompt like there is now for downloading iBooks and the Podcasts app. It will now also include the five apps listed above.

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Questions

Naming
Now that this has all been revealed there are a few questions that come out of these new introductions. With the release of the iPhone 5c the iPhone 5 model is gone. So going forward what is Apple going to name their iPhones? Next year will be the iPhone 6 and most likely the iPhone 6c with the iPhone 5s internals. However if there is an iPhone 6s there would be an iPhone 7c. Apple can call these devices whatever they want and it will sell but having the c model with a higher number than the flagship iPhone just does not seem feasible to me. They could also just kep the iPhone 6c name for release with both the iPhone 6 and 6s by upgrading the internals inside based on the previous year’s model. However even though the device is different having the same name just doesn’t seem sexy enough in my opinion. What I think is that they will drop the “s” model and just stick with full number releases from now on with the “c” model alongside. So there will be an iPhone 6 and 6c, 7 and 7c, 8 and 8c, etc. There would also be the possibility of them dropping the number altogether and having just the iPhone and iPhone c like they did with the iPad. However that also has it’s own advertising downsides.

Screen
Now that the iPhone 5s is out the rumors of the iPhone 6 are already starting to swirl. The biggest thing is that Apple will release an iPhone with a bigger screen. We are one year away so there is plenty of time for this rumor to pick up steam. I’m still not sure how I would feel about a bigger screen and it would depend how big of a screen. I love the screen size right now and the ease of using the phone with one hand. However if there was a 5″ iPhone I would definitely buy it. Any bigger than 5″ and for me personally that is too big. I would have to pass on that model and that will be the question Apple will contemplate if they are thinking of doing a bigger screen iPhone. Users all have different sized hands along with different opinions on what size is comfortable and what size is too big. As with Apple’s devices they make decisions based on what benefits the majority of their users. So if they do go to a bigger sized screen I’m sure it will be at a size that will please existing users and entice some users. But it wont please everyone so we’ll see if it happens at all.

64 bit
The A7 chip and iOS 7 are both now 64 bit. The upcoming iPads will have the new chip so does the 64bit come into play on those devices which would make much more use of more than 3GB of RAM? Or is this a future play for 7 or 8th generation iPhones/iPads that will eventually use RAM capacities north of 3GBs?

Well one thing is for sure it was an interesting event with some great devices launched. So are you getting a new iPhone 5s or 5c?

Pictures: The Verge, Apple

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i5c

Apple Event today!

I know it’s been awhile since there has been any activity here on T3kd. Matt put up a very eloquent farewell speech but the Apple event today has brought me out of hiding. Matt is still just as busy as he was before so it will probably be mainly me for the next little while discussing everything tech. However I’m sure when time allows Matt will pop in and bless us with a few articles. Anyway lets get down to business here, today is the day, it is Apple’s September 10th event. So let’s talk a little about this event, what to expect and where you can get coverage.

We haven’t been invited to the event so we wont be covering it live. However many sites in the blogosphere will have live coverage. You can find a few at the following places:
iMore
Engadget
Ars Technica
AllthingsD
MacWorld

So tune in to any one of those places to get live, or as close to it as possible, coverage of the event. Now what’s going to be announced? You know it’s funny I’ve been talking to a few of my friends about the iPhone 5s and 5c leaks that have happened over the last little while. All my frineds are telling me how much they hate it that it spoils the surprise at the Apple event. I have a different outlook on the topic though. I’m more impressed that Apple is able to still have so much secrecy even though these high resolution pictures have emerged. These aren’t grainy spyshots either they are full resolution, well lit, gorgeous shots of the casings. Yet we still wonder what the price points of the models will be, what storage options will be revealed, will there be a 128GB model iPhone 5s or c, will there actually be a fingerprint scanner, will the iPhones actually look like the leaked pictures?

Really the pictures haven’t spoiled anything but in fact has just whet everyoone’s appetite and increased the fervor before the event. So what are we looking forward to seeing at the event today? The iPhone 5s ofcourse, it will be exciting when whichever Apple exec presents it on stage to have all of our questions answered and to see just how we will be wowed, again. The iPhone 5c, the long rumored budget iPhone, it is pretty much expected at this point but when we actually see it up on stage and hear it’s specs and prices this will be a new chapter in the iPhone saga. So it should be a very exciting event for the Apple customers, lovers and everyone watching to see what is up their sleeves. They will obviously talk about iOS 7 and more than likely the Gold Master (GM) will be released to developers. Something I’m excited about as a dev myself I have been running the iOS 7 betas so I’m ready to see the final product of all the hard work over in Cupertino.

Well with only 20 minutes until show time pull up a chair to whichever live blog you choose and enjoy. We will have the after coverage of what was announced for those who missed the event.

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T3KD Retina

The End of T3KD as We Know it

You may have noticed that we haven’t been posting very much here at T3KD. We’ve discovered that we are busy people who don’t have much time to blog the way we would like.

Unfortunately that means that the awesome content that you’ve become used to is no longer being produced. We are sorry for that.

Things come to an end. T3KD started in January 2010, and was variably successful over the next three years. We had many downtimes, a complete loss of content, and a stint as a full functioning multi-author blog. It has been one hell of a journey. But, that journey is over.

The site itself will live on, but this will be the last major post published. The 3 Cast, our weekly podcast is still alive and thriving, and can be found on its own website: The3cast.com. We are now doing two episodes a week. You can still watch live, but the URL is now live.the3cast.com.

We have loved this time with you. We have had so much fun, and maybe we’ll do it again one day. But until then, we hope that your quest for technology dominance has been helped by our blog and that you continue on that quest.

Goodbye.

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Red Eye

iPhone 5s dual flash or red eye reduction?

iOS 7 is coming out this fall and along with it most likely the launch of the iPhone 5s. In recent days different blogs have shown some hardware leaks of the purported iPhone 5s. One in particular caught my eye, MacRumors post had pictures of the iPhone 5s prototype, one picture in particular shows what they claim is dual flash.

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The iPhone is a very popular camera. On photo site Flickr it bested the Nikon D90 DSLR in popularity. Low light pictures however has always been one of it’s weaknesses and we can obviously see the dual LED in this prototype. My question, “Is it dual flash?” or is it something else. One of the things my friends hate is the zombie like pictures created by the red eye in pictures taken with the flash on iPhones. Unlike the top LED in the flash unit on the prototype the bottom LED is more red looking. I think there is more of a chance that the bottom LED is for “red eye reduction” a feature that is standard on run of the mill point and shoot cameras. Cameras whose lunches the iPhone has been eating for a long time now. So the question is iPhone 5s, dual flash or red eye reduction?

So along with a rumored 12MP camera perhaps the iPhone 5s is going to push photography even further by harnessing the refinements in iOS 7, better hardware and a new feature, red eye reduction! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Picture: MacRumors

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cyber-attack

Are Cyber Attacks something to worry about?

There have been several high-profile cyber attacks in the last few of weeks. Chinese hackers attacked the New York Times and Wall Street Journal; Facebook and Apple were also the targets of malicious software attacks in the past. The question is whether or not this is something that regular consumers should be worried about.

For the most part, cyber attack coverage is FUD

If you aren’t aware FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. For the most part the media blows most of these cyber attack stories way out of proportion. In other words, the media perpetuates FUD. Nothing sells newspapers more than fear.

If companies do their updates and protect their data with backups, cyber attacks are hardly ever as bad as the media makes them out to be. The Apple and Facebook hacks for instance, were the result of employees of the two companies visiting a site with malicious code on it. The code took advantage of a known flaw in Java, and some employee’s computers were infected. No consumer data was affected in either case, but the media went crazy with headlines like “Apple admits to being hacked!!!!!!!!!!” or “Facebook’s data put in jeopardy by hackers!!!!!!!!!!!” Neither one of those headlines is actually helpful nor informative on what actually happened.

The problem is that, like in the old newspaper days, websites have to get clicks in order to make money. So they come up with sensationalist headlines to get people to view their content. If you read a headline about Apple’s data being hacked, you would probably click on it to find out if your data was compromised. What these headlines fail to do is tell the truth. A proper headline for this hack would be “Apple suffers from malware attack, no data lost”. This of course wouldn’t get the attention that a more sensationalistic headline would.

There are problems, however

Just because the media blows these minor hacks out of proportion, doesn’t mean cyber attacks aren’t something we shouldn’t worry about. The United States does need to be on guard for a terrorist or foreign cyber attack. This will be the next type of warfare, and it could actually result in an actual war. Countries, like China, are always trying to gain intelligence on the US, just as the US is always trying to get information on other countries.

Cyber attacks are more dangerous to the entire country than they ever will be to individuals. China doesn’t care about getting US customer information or Facebook data, they want trade secrets and information on their own citizens.

What the average customer has to worry about is the average everyday hacker who is actually trying to steal their data. Whether the hackers are trying to do this by hacking a company or by installing malicious code on users’ computers, they actually want credit card info and other identifying data. Customers need to be on guard for this sort of thing by making sure their computers are up to date, and by turning off Java and Flash when they aren’t absolutely needed.

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