This week: Mark your calendars for Sept. 9th, friends, because iWatch is nigh! Plus: an insanely accurate iPhone 6 leak hits Youtube; the apps we use to send our friends and family money; why everyone’s buzzing about Hyperlapse; rumors of a 12.9-inch iPad resurface; and privileged apps that live in our menu bars.
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Every nerd loves a good Apple rumor, and late night show host Jimmy Kimmel is no exception. Jimmy has a history of pranking street walkers with fake Apple products with some hilarious results, but in his latest sketch tackling rumors of a 12.9-inch iPad, Jimmy takes to the streets again to show just how ridiculous you’re going to look when Apple’s gigantic tablet is released next year.
The iPhone 6 invites are out, but which rumors are true…
Apple made its iPhone 6 announcement official this week by sending invitations to an event on September 9th, but that's not going to stop the rumor mill from churning out new juicy tidbits of Apple gossip.
This week we’re back behind our crystal ball trying to divine the true meaning of the Apple universe and its endless rumors. Will NFC really land on the iPhone 6? Is a gigantic 13-inch iPad coming soon? And is the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 really just a ghost toying with our appetite for more pixels?
Step up to the crystal ball and see past the rumors and into the future…
The Verdict: This rumor is so accurate, you could set your watch to it. Recode’s John Paczkowski, who reported the iWatch’s inclusion in iPhone event, has phenomenal Apple sources. He nailed the September 9th event months in advance, so you can trust that Apple’s first wearable will at least get some time in the spotlight at the Flint Center, even if the wide release doesn’t happen until a few months later.
The Verdict: This is starting to sound believable. Apple could use a tablet aimed specifically an enterprise and people who think more inches would allow them to get work done. My only problem with the 12.9-inch iPad is that it’s just not big enough. 12inches? Jony, let’s stretch that thing out to 32-inches and toss a TV antenna inside so I can throw some double sided tape on the back and mount it to my living room wall.
The Verdict: Looks promising. Apple is redesigning its USB cables to be reversible, so why not throw some design love at its tiny charger. The leaked images we’ve seen look just like the charger Apple uses in the Australia, only with US prongs.
The Rumor: The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro will retire at the end of 2014 to make way for thinner MacBooks.
The Verdict: Too early to tell. We’ve heard rumblings of new MacBooks designs on the way, and Apple still has an October event where they could introduce them, but it’s hard to believe Apple’s doing away with the 13-inched entirely, unless that 12-inch Retina MacBook Air is finally ready for primetime.
The Rumor: A barometric pressure sensor called “Phosphorus” will land on the iPhone 6.
The Verdict: Seems likely. The info comes courtesy of GeekBar which leaked a couple of wiring schematics last week. Android smartphones have used barometers since 2011, so it seems like something Apple would eventually start using too.
The Rumor: The iPhone 6 will use NFC as the key piece of its mobile payments platform.
The Verdict: 2014 will the year the iPhone gets NFC. Apple prefers the battery performance of Bluetooth LE, but we’ve heard whispers that Apple needs NFC because it has better security when two devices shake hands. The NFC rumor has come and gone too many times for fans to get their hopes but, but even Gruber thinks NFC is coming to the iPhone, and also the iWatch.
The Verdict: Possibly not. There have been almost zero hardware leaks that hint at production ramping up. Countless rumors have claimed production issues have set the device back. The device will be like the iPhone and iPad’s incestuous cousin, so maybe it’d make more sense to announce it at the iPad event anyway, if the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is even a real device at all.
A new update to Photoshop Mix has just helped polish some of the app’s rough edges. The new version adds support for a much-needed Undo/Redo function, as well as local saving, Dropbox support, swapping images, and more.
Steve Jobs wasn’t a fan of news leaking out about future products.
Is it any wonder that Steve Jobs — who transformed Apple from an incredibly leak-heavy company during the 1990s, into one of the most secretive tech companies in existence — hated word getting out about his future products?
While bloggers and other reporters could get harsh treatment from Apple, however, it was loose lips on the part of actual Apple partners that really threw Jobs into a rage.
An anecdote from a new story about Time Inc. in this week’s New York magazine illustrates this, by relating how Jobs responded to Time Inc. releasing a YouTube video showing how its publications might survive the digital age, by harnessing the possibilities offered by the iPad.
The problem? Apple hadn’t yet announced the iPad’s existence.
Tim Cook onstage at the 2014 WWDC. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
The state of the tablet industry has not been promising lately. Over the last few months Apple reported slumping iPad sales, Best Buy’s CEO declared that tablet sales are “crashing,” and many analysts and pundits have eagerly declared the tablet fab is coming to an end, but Recode’s Walt Mossberg has a few points to make in defense of the tablet.
While IDC expects tablet sales to flatline by the end of 2014, Tim Cook indicated to Mossberg that the future of tablets is still bright, calling the current lull in sales a mere “speed bump.”
Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl has called for an investigation into Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy’s relationship with Apple, which led to the announcement that the school system had blown its entire $1 billion tech budget on giving an iPad to every student last year.
Although the iPad deal was later put on hold, the L.A. Board of Education is being pressured by Caputo-Pearl to investigate why Deasy and his then-chief deputy, Jaime Aquino, were apparently discussing the deal with Apple and education publisher Pearson up to two years before the official bidding process was finished and contracts were approved.
Almost three years ago to the day, I enthused about Legend of Grimrock, a throwback to the first-person dungeon crawlers from the 80s (Dungeon Master, The Bard’s Tale and even the first Phantasy Star game for the Sega Master System) that was coming to iPad “by the end of the year.”
What a joke. While Legend of Grimrock did eventually come to the Mac, it’s iPad version most definitely come out by the end of 2011. But good news! A new update at the official Legend of Grimrock blog says the wait is almost finally over.
Bags, bags, bags. Literally – there are three hot bags in this week’s gadget roundup, and if you buy them all, you’ll be out by around a grand. Or you could buy the ultra-expensive Leica M-P, a new camera so minimal it doesn’t even have the trademark red dot on the front, yet still costs $8,000. Or you can go to the other end of the price range and pick up LensBaby’s new iPhone optic for just $70. And that’s just the beginning…
H.O.T. Those are the three letters that best describe Pad & Quill’s new Attaché bag, a beautiful leather satchel with unbreakable, high-copper-content hardware and parachute-grade stitching on the outside. Inside, you'll find padded MacBook and iPad pockets, plus orange suede pocket linings.
As a bonus, the marketing copy for the Attaché seems to have been written by Hannibal Lecter, containing this line: “Your taste buds and your liver deserve top shelf [and to be] savored in a glass.” (some words added for comedic effect). How much? $420
You can’t get much simpler than the Dragon device holder – it’s a pair of aluminum clips that snap onto the cylinder at the back of your Apple wireless keyboard and slide up and down, letting you space them to fit anything from an iPad to an iPod nano. The clips have a tail at the back to provide stability, and a little lip at the front to hook the bottom edge of your gadget. If you use a full-size keyboard with your iPad, this little gadget should be in your bag. $25
This bag comes from Brooks, the English bike saddle maker. Weighing in at a hefty 1.6 kilos (well over 3 pounds), it has a roll-top enclosure and adjustable clips that can attach the bag to the rear rack of your bike. The body is “water resistant cotton” and the straps are leather. The price? Around $400.
There’s little to say about KERO’s micro-suction portable battery other than, “What a frikkin’ great idea.” It’s a regular, modest-capacity backup battery (1800mAh, which will get your iPhone back to 75 percent) with a USB port and status-indicator LEDs, but on one side it has a micro-suction layer so you can stick it to the back of your iPhone, over and over. This is so much smarter than having to use a special case to clip the battery on, or just using a case with a built-in battery pack. Or you could do what I do, which is use a regular backup battery and a rubber band. $19
The Pyle PSBCG90 Smart Bicycling Computer tracks your rides with GPS and displays them on Google Maps back at your computer. You can also hook up any ANT+ accessories wirelessly (heart rate and cadence sensors, power meters and so on), and even challenge yourself, Mario Kart-style, using the ghost-route feature. It looks like a decent alternative to something like the Garmin EDGE 500, and it costs only $130.
Lensbaby now makes a sweet-spot lens for the iPhone. It sticks on with magnets (you need to stick the included ring over the iPhone’s lens) and blurs everything in your photos except a sharp sweet spot in the center. It's just like the regular Lensbabys, only less adjustable and made for the iPhone. There’s another neat feature – the front has a metal ring on it, too, so you can attach any other iPhone lenses you have onto the Lensbaby for some really freaky FX. $70
The Magnus Air updates the minimalistical Magnus that originally shipped for the iPad 2, way back in the mists of 2012. Typical of TenOne’s design, it is so simple it almost doesn’t exist, sticking to the Air with magnets and adding an almost invisible stand that holds your iPad at 22 degrees from the vertical, and at 22 degrees from the horizontal if you lay it down to type. And that’s it – an aluminum bracket that looks kinda like a taco shell, for $40.
Fact: Cobra Brief is the name I gave to my favorite pair of underwear. And now, it is also the name of a “business laptop” bag from Booq. It has all the compartments and pockets you’d expect, with a space for almost literally everything, plus an outer quick-access pocket for your iPhone and iPad. You can even hook it onto the top of your carry-on trolley, allowing you to be one of those morons who sneaks too many bags into the plane and takes up all the overhead bin space. $295