Tell me if you’ve heard this rumor before: the iPhone is getting NFC this year.
Well NFC fever is back again for 2014’s iPhone rumor season, only instead oozing from the mouths of misinformed analysts, a new rumor based on alleged iPhone 6 logic board claims that both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s will be the first Apple devices to finally support near field communications.
The Brother P-Touch P750W label printer works like a charm. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
When I was a kid, we used to label everything: toys, boxes, file folders. My parents used one of those manual rotary label dispensers, the kind you had to squeeze hard enough to make each individual letter poke up through the hard plastic label tape. It was a good day when my brother and I got to use the label maker to title our shelves, toys and books (“Rob’s Stuff” was a common theme).
These days, printing labels is a lot easier thanks to computers and label printers like the ones from Dymo and Brother. Typically, you’ve got to connect these to a Mac or PC, and then use special software to send labels to the label printer.
The Brother P-Touch P750W (printer makers really need to work on their model names) is a label printer that can connect to your computer via USB, sure, but also connect either to your existing Wi-Fi network or create its own Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n network to print labels from any device, including iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows PCs and Macs.
Yeah, I’ve already labeled some shelves around the house. Old habits, it appears, die hard.
Having a day out or a night in with friends who all want to DJ a song or two? The magnificent new Nyne Bass pairs with mobile devices faster than you can say NFC-Bluetooth and lets everyone share their songs instantly — and clear. And loud.
The Bass is aptly named, with tons of low end balanced by rich overall sound. And you don’t need to have company, of course — the Nyne Bass makes an excellent home audio system to have in the kitchen, bedroom or living room. Or garden. Paired to your device using Bluetooth and with an impressive 10-hour battery, you can pick it up by its clever carrying handle and port it around anywhere.
The Verdict: The panels don't offer new clues about design changes coming to the iPhone 6, but they do match the structure and design of the iPhone 5s/5c back light panels. Considering all the other recent leaks coming out of Weibo, it's very possible this the real deal.
The Verdict: The shift from computers to wearables is the perfect time for the ex-Burberry CEO to shake things up at Apple's glass and aluminum shrines, I just hope she gets rid of the annoying musical chairs-style support at the Genius Bar while she's at it.
The Rumor: Chase Morgan analyst Craig Hettenbach says NFC is finally coming to the iPhone 6 because Apple needs a backbone for its rumored mobile payments service.
The Verdict: Craig obviously didn't read my inaugural Crystal Baller post or he'd know the "possible licensing deals" and "patent filings" he cited in his report as evidence are about as worthless at predicting Apple's future as consulting a flea market gypsy with a magical third nipple. It's all about the iBeacons.
The Rumor: Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson says the Apple-Beats deal is all about video, with Tim Cook planning to tap Iovine to run Apple's content empire and secure deals for a new Apple TV.
The Verdict: Isaacson has pounding the "Jobs cracked the TV" drum for the past three years without a single wisp of an update coming from Cupertino. Apple doesn't need Iovine for hardware, but with talks of negotiations with studios dragging back to 2012, Iovine's connections could be just what it needs to finally take off, if they don't cancel the deal entirely.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the themes were – as we expected – waterproof phones, smart-watches and NFC (again). Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 was a high-profile example of the waterproof trend, and the company also showed its new Galaxy Gear watch, which looks pretty neat for a giant wrist-screen. And NFC is in every Android handset these days.
But how do these themes relate to the iPhone and iPad? Let’s think about that.
In Germany, bank cards come with NFC chips that let you make small payments just by tapping your wallet onto the POS machine. You pre-load the chip with money from your bank account (only small amounts are allowed, because if you lose the card you lose the money) and spend it as cash.
So I finally see the point of NFC in a phone. And now I can have NFC in my iPhone, thanks to Incipio’s Cashwrap case.
Apple isn’t the only consumer electronics giant hosting a major press event tomorrow. Nokia is also gearing up to make a number of big announcements at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, and they won’t all be new Lumia smartphones.
The Finnish firm is also expected to unveil a Windows-powered iPad competitor with a 10.1-inch 1080p display — pictured above and below — and a new music player called the “Nokia Guru” that hopes to take on the iPod shuffle.
Samsung has today unveiled Shape M7, a $400 wireless speaker that hopes to compete with the Sonos. It connects to your smartphone, tablet, or computer via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or NFC, and there’s a handy companion app that makes setup easy on Android and iOS devices.
Mini Boom by Ultimate Ears Category: Portable Bluetooth Speakers Works With: iOS, Mac, Any sound source Price: $99.99 per speaker
Imagine my utter joy when I received Ultimate Ears’ latest entry into the portable speaker market, the UE MiniBoom, and found them to be even tinier and equally rugged and easy to use. Oh, and they sound fantastic, too.
Good news, Google Wallet users — you can now access your account on your iOS device with an official Google Wallet app. You can use it to make payments to friends, track your loyalty cards, and access nearby offers. One feature you won’t find, however, is tap-to-pay, which relies on NFC connectivity.