Even thought the iPhone 6s was released less than two months ago, there are already rumors about Apple’s next entry into the mobile phone market. The iPhone 7 figures to be the name of the next iPhone, and along with a slightly upgraded look, Apple plans to make this phone the slimmest smartphone of all time. I am all in favor for making phones more compact, but in order to achieve this slender profile, Apple is rumored to be doing away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is the universal standard for smartphones and multimedia devices, and while Apple has plans to replace it with their lightning connector, ridding their phones of the standard headphone jack will almost certainly alienate costumers who are looking to try an iPhone. Apple is used to introducing new iterations of old products in an effort to shake up the phone industry, but this change may be a huge mistake. I don’t think Apple will lose customers with a drastic change in the phones facade, but they will definitely annoy many, by turning their expensive headphones into obsolete peripherals of the past. I hope this rumor isn’t true, and as with all rumors it should be taken with a grain of salt, but Apple has shown in the past that they would be willing to make big changes to fit their style. I guess we will all just have to wait until the release of this phone before we start assuming the worst from its potential design.
Many people consider gaming to be a dead hobby these days, but with millions of dollars coming into companies such as EA and Ubisoft, the gaming market is ripe for the plucking. We are decades past the days of Frogger and Pong yet Microsoft, a relatively young player in the gaming world, has managed to make this old hobby seem new again. While companies like Nintendo and Sony have kept true to their decade long sales model, Microsoft is in the midst of doing what former CEO Bill Gates never wanted done. The company has now begun blurring the lines between the PC and the video game console. With game streaming additions to Window 10, and web browsing available on gaming consoles, it looks as though Microsoft is tuning their gaming console into a home PC. Bill Gates feared the possibility that the gaming console would replace the home PC, but with the decline of new adoption for both gaming consoles and Windows PCs, this blurring of the lines seems to be the most viable option for the financial future of the company. The Xbox One is actually making me, a heavy Apple user, consider going back to a Windows PC, at least for my home desktop in order to partake in the integration. If Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, they must continue to embrace the change that is cross platform functionality, and dive fully into it. I don’t think PCs will ever lose popularity in the corporate sector, but when it comes to personal use, the Xbox One may be the PC world’s final stand against the impending threat of Android and iOS devices.
Today marks the launch day for the new iPhone 6s, and along with it has come a new revision of iOS. iOS 9 has been out for a week, and today Apple decided to release fixes for the issues users have been having while using the software with update 9.0.1. The most interesting feature Apple has introduced for the new iOS is the ability to block content on the Safari browser. With the content blockers, users are able to block ads, media, and pictures while surfing the web. These content blockers lead to a faster, less cluttered, and less intrusive use of the browser. I have been using content blockers on my computer for years, so I am extremely welcoming of their addition to my mobile platform, however I fear the effect it can have on the Internet and ad revenue for companies that rely on it. I have to admit, web ads are extremely annoying, and mobile ads have become incredibly intrusive, but now that we can block them, companies will have to find new ways to make the money they will be losing. I don’t want to sound like I am the baron of bad news, but mobile content blockers could signal the end of the Internet as we know it. Many websites are no longer offering a mobile version, as they would rather push their free, yet ad supported app onto consumers. With these apps, companies can continue to get their precious ad revenue, while bringing their content directly to the consumer with constant and somewhat annoying notifications. I am not exactly a fan of loading my phone up with apps that I would only use twice a week, and I detest the idea of an app overload my phone with notifications, so if this is going to be the trend for mobile web, I will likely be spending much less time on the Internet in the near future.
Today, Apple had their yearly keynote speech, and unlike years past, they decided to load this one up with new additions. Whenever Apple wants to unveil a new product they often have a special event in which they focus on only one new product or iteration of a former product, but this year Apple decided to announce upgrades to two of their most popular products, the iPhone and the iPad, as well as a long overdue update to the Apple TV. As I watched this keynote and saw the new 12.9 inch iPad pro I wondered, “who would ever want an iPad that big?” I never actually looked at an iPad as a device that needs a larger model, but Apple seems to know how to release an item that meets a niche need, without losing its appeal to the larger public. The major news from this keynote was the introduction of Apple’s “new” iPhone. When I first saw the unveiling, it seemed like Apple was just trying to sell a slightly updated iPhone 6 with a new color variation, a strategy Apple seems to use time and time again, but upon watching the event I saw that they added quite a few interesting features. Apple knows that people think they just keep releasing the same device, with a shiny new coat of paint, so they decided to attack that exact notion. The tag line Apple used for today’s iPhone event was “the only thing that’s changed is everything,” a line that harkens to what is commonly said by critics of Apple products, “the only thing that’s changed is…” While I wouldn’t say that everything about the iPhone has changed, I will say the new 3d touch feature and camera features have made this phone seem like more of an upgrade than some of the past versions of the phone. Apple seems to be on a war path to steal complete market share from all of their competitors, and while these new products are definitely more advanced, I think I will be sticking with last year’s models until the next update. The future is definitely looking bright for technology, hopefully these newly announced products by Apple will bring forth greater improvements from all of their competition, and a golden age for technology.
Apple announced a new product today, so that means it’s time for everybody to run out and wait in line to spend their money. Apple Watch, the companies take on the smartwatch, was finally unveiled this afternoon. There has been speculation for years that Apple would be joining the smartwatch game, and today in their press conference they not only joined the fray, but also set themselves apart from, and well beyond the competition. I obviously have not yet had a chance to play with an Apple Watch, but Apple’s price point alone sets it up as a premium luxury product. There are many smartwatches already on the market, all with some fantastic features, but there are no smartwatches currently available that have the audacity to be priced at 17 thousand dollars. The fact that the highest end Apple Watch is more expensive than the starting price of several new cars, leads me to believe Apple is ready to completely rid the market of the competition. I would never buy a watch that is as expensive as the high end “watch edition” Apple Watch, but Apple seems to be confident that enough people will be interested in purchasing this pricey model. Apple’s pricing strategy seems absurd, but I can see how it can pay off in the long run. Most people who are into superfluous spending would never look to buy a budget or discount product, with apple making such a high end high priced product, they have effectively and possibly permanently cornered the market of spenders who want the absolute top of the line smartwatch. Apple has always been a company to draw immense levels of hype for their products, and seeing as this is their first smartwatch, I’m sure the levels are higher than ever. I wouldn’t rate the Apple Watch as the best smart watch of all time just yet, but I will most likely head out to the apple store to pick one up when it’s available. While I, like most people, will have to wait until late April to get my hands on one of these watches, I am sure it is already the public’s favorite smartwatch.
GMOs or genetically modified organisms are completely overused in this country. They are being used for feeding livestock, growing the size of crops, and even getting more desirable shade of color in crops. I am not one who is wary of the side effects of ingesting GMOs, but I am concerned that they may be irreparably harming the Ecosystem. There are people who would rather not pay for GMOs so they try to shop in only organic supermarkets, but the fact that these crops are being grown in fields instead of just labs increase the chance that they can pollinate non modified plants. The FDA recently approved the sale of a genetically modified apple that does not turn brown, it is absurd that the vast advancements humanity has made in genetics, is now being used to make a fruit that will soon be eaten more aesthetically pleasing. Genetically modified organisms need more testing, or need to be more clearly labeled. While I would still eat these crops, the public needs to have the right to refuse to eat them if they so choose. I would love to see more government regulation on GMOs and their growth before they become the norm, and while side effects due to GMO consumption have not been found, there should be a thorough process of testing these crops before they are approved for sale and consumption.
My year and a half old iPad Air died, it just stopped working, so instead of paying an arm and a leg for a replacement I upgraded to an iPad Air 2. The first thing I noticed about the iPad Air 2 is the lack of the mute/orientation lock switch, and while software additions have made the feature obsolete it is something that takes time getting used to when you realize it’s gone. The next difference is the weight, the iPad Air was extremely light, but Apple has somehow figured out how to trim it down even more. The chassis of the Air 2 is just slim enough that it no longer fits inside of the protective cases for the original, but I guess that’s all the more reason to buy new ones. Internally, the iPad Air 2 has an upgraded processor and a larger midrange storage size. The boost in processing power allows the iPad to run more applications and to work a bit more smoothly. The Air 2 is the first iPad to feature Apple’s Touch ID and Apple Pay. While the new features are welcomed additions, they seem somewhat useless on the platform. It is just as convenient to unlock an iPad with a code as it is to use your fingerprint. It also seems as though these features could have been part of the previous iPad release without adding to the cost, but I guess Apple has bigger plans for the future of the touch sensor. Overall I would say the iPad Air 2 is a great device if you are working with a 4th generation iPad or earlier, it is not much of a jump from the previous iPad Air, so wait for the Air 3 in October if you want an upgrade. The inexplicable hardware failure of my iPad Air has taught me one thing about Apple, and that is to wait on their first generation products, but as for the iPad Air 2 I am thoroughly pleased and happy with the purchase.