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Burberry Gives iPhone 5S a Chance to Show Off

Published on September 17, 2013 by in Apple, iPhone, News

iPhone 5S and BurberryThe iPhone 5S saw a lot of changes from its predecessor, the iPhone 5.  Some of those changes were pertaining to the built-in camera on the device.  Ahead of its September 20th availability date, the iPhone 5S and its camera got a little attention from the fashion world.

Pictures from a Fashion Show

When Apple introduced the iPhone 5S on September 10th, the company made several claims regarding the new camera capabilities.  Fashion company Burberry decided to employ the iPhone 5S to take still shots of their fashion show; it was also used for capturing celebrity photos and videos of the Spring/Summer Fashion Show in London on Monday.  The show represented the first opportunity to see the new flagship handset device outside of Apple’s introduction at its media event.

Pictures and video from the event are now available on Burberry’s site, showing some of the capabilities of the new camera in greater detail.  There’s a video stream that is reported to have been shot in the device’s native video app; TurtleHead Pro and FiLMiC Pro were also used.

Some criticism has been made of a series of images taken with the 5S prior to the show that were modified through application of gel filters because it is perceived as diminishing to the technology, but iOS 7 comes with built-in software that includes image filters.  This makes the addition of gels a lesser sin than it might have otherwise been.  Some of the highlights of the videos posted from the iPhone 5S include the slow-motion feature that was switched on at the end of the show, providing slow-motion capture of the flower petals that were raining from above the runway and a Vine that showcases the sketching of one of the creations for the show.

Fashion and Technology Meet…Again

This isn’t the first time that a fashion company has made use of new technology.  Samsung and Dana Lopez formed a partnership around its Galaxy Gear, wherein Lopez designed jewelry to compliment the smart watch.  This latest pairing also follows Diane Von Furstenberg’s association with Google Glass; the designer wanted Google Glass, a wearable computer, to capture footage behind the scenes at her event.  While these devices were parts of the show, the iPhone 5S stayed a spectator, reporting images and video from the audience perspective, rather than from the runway.

iPhone 5S Burberry fashion show




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Apple’s iPhone 5C Offers Individual Flair

Published on September 16, 2013 by in Apple, iPhone

Apple released two new versions of its flagship handset, the iPhone, at a media event held on September 10th at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.  One of them, the iPhone 5S, was discussed in great detail on this page recently.  The other, the iPhone 5C, deserves a deeper look, too, so here’s the rundown.

Apple’s iPhone 5C Pops

When you visit Apple’s website these days, you’re going to see how much the company expects from the lower-cost, plastic-cased iPhone 5C.  It’s the first thing you see when the iPhone section of the site loads and its colors fairly jump off the screen.  Its placement is set above even the iPhone 5S with its cool, new biometric security option.

The iPhone 5C is offered in an array of five stunning and eye-catching colors.  Its price is just about half that of the iPhone 5S when purchased with a service agreement.  The two new guys in the iPhone neighborhood have persuaded Apple to drop the iPhone 5, even though the 5C is basically just a repackaged iPhone 5, with many of the same features and parts.

The colors offered include red, yellow, green, blue and white and are already being marketed as the iPhone for anyone who values their individuality (and let’s face it, that’s smart, because who doesn’t value their individuality?).  The new handsets are “for the colorful,” according to the company, meaning that the iPhone 5C is more hip and less conformist than its brethren.

Color, Color Everywhere!

The iOS system plays into the whole color concept, too.  The pre-installed, default wallpapers available on the iPhone 5C feature the same color as the case, giving the whole thing a monochromatic, cohesive color style.  While you don’t have to use the default wallpaper, it might appeal to those users who have a soft spot for their favorite color.

The cases that are being offered by Apple for the iPhone 5C also have a neat little difference: they feature cutout circles on the back of the case that allow the base color of the phone to shine through.  This opens up an entirely new way to make your iPhone 5C reflect your personal style and taste.  The cutout cases are offered in six different colors; combined with the five colors available on the iPhone 5C, this provides a total of thirty different color combinations.  While the plastic case of the iPhone 5C is sturdier than that of the other iPhone handsets, they could still use some protection against sudden shocks and falls.  With the nifty colors and cutouts, Apple’s case offerings protect your iPhone while giving it a fun flair.

Color is Nothing New for Apple Products

Bright colors and fun designs are a hallmark of Apple products.  Steve Jobs, upon introducing iMac computers in 1998, called the current crop of personal computers “ugly.”   When the iMac G3 came out, it was offered in a transparent, curvy design in the very colorful “Bondi Blue.”  The G3 was touted as a chic machine, not a geek machine.  And the strategy worked.  Sales of the G3 soared and in January 1999, Apple was offering the G3 in colors like Strawberry, Tangerine, Grape, Lime and Blueberry.  Subsequently, the G3 was offered in shades like Graphite, Snow, Indigo and Ruby, as well as a more hip “Flower Power” tie-dye design and the fun and funky “Blue Dalmatian” options.  Thirteen “flavors” were eventually offered for the iMac G3.

This obsession with color only became more apparent as the company released more products.  From iPods to laptops, and now iPhones, Apple loves color, and so do the customers.



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Inside Apple Touch ID

Published on September 14, 2013 by in Apple, iPhone, News


The new Home button biometric scanner was creating buzz long before it was introduced.  When Apple purchased AuthenTec last year (for over $350 million), rumors began to race through the online grapevine regarding what the tech giant might be up to.  When the iPhone 5S was still just a rumor itself, many avid Apple followers were proclaiming the existence of a fingerprint scanner embedded in the device’s Home button.

The buzz around the iPhone 5S hasn’t grown quieter since its introduction.  Users are raving about the new Touch ID biometric sensor that has been incorporated into the Home button of the newest generation of iPhone.  Here’s a look inside the newest Apple craze.

Touch ID Increases Security

After the introduction of the new generation of iPhones, the rumors were proven to be based in fact.  Apple’s new device does indeed have biometric security, which is, quite possibly, one of its best selling points.  Right now, Touch ID doesn’t do anything other than provide security, as well as allowing the verification of purchases in iTunes and the App Store; however, it is almost certain that app developers will find some use for it.  Apple is also planning to add additional functions to the new feature, according to the latest scuttlebutt.

Apple has increased the inherent security of a fingerprint scanning device by refusing to store fingerprint data either on iCloud or within the sensor.  The encrypted data is instead stored on the new A7 processer chip.  The data is erased when a device undergoes a reboot or has not been used within the last 48 hours.  If the data is discarded, it’s not too much trouble to fix; you just have to enter your passcode again and all is well.

The Technology

The Touch ID sensor can read your sub-dermal layers to identify your unique fingerprint.  This is accomplished with a 500-pixel-per-inch scanning sensor that can read from many angles.  We all know that fingerprints, much like voice prints, are different for each individual.  The security provided by requiring a fingerprint is far greater than that provided by a simple passcode.

Versatility with Additional Users

Inside Apple SmartIDThe Touch ID can recognize up to five individual users.  This allows for settings to be user-specific, which is especially useful if you have children who play games or use the phone for other activities.  Setting up each user requires that user to press their finger (any finger, you’re not limited to a thumb or index print) to the sensor from several angles, allowing the sensor to read and save each individual loop and whorl in your fingerprint.  The sensor puts all the angles together to form a 3D picture of the fingerprint to use as a reference.


The Home button on the iPhone 5S has been upgraded to an extremely scratch-resistant material composed of sapphire crystal.  The steel detection ring that encircles the Home button is required so that the scanner will work when a finger is pressed against it, rather than having to swipe your finger across the sensor as is common in most fingerprint scanners.

Apple admits to the Touch ID having a few drawbacks, mostly related to moisture or other debris that might result in a false reading.  There may also be some problems if you have scars disrupting your fingerprint, but unless all ten of your fingertips are scarred, you could just choose one of your unmarked fingerprints to serve as your identification.


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iPhone 5S breakdown

Published on September 10, 2013 by in Apple, iPhone, News

The big day has finally arrived!  Apple’s media event today went off without a hitch and the company did indeed announce two new next-generation iPhones.  Most of the rumors that have been circulating recently have been proven out.  The iPhone 5S release today saw the advent of biometric security for the device, as well as the A7 64-bit CPU and the new champagne (gold) color option.  This new paragon of smartphones is scheduled to hit stores on September 20th.

iPhone 5s breakdown

Touch ID

The iPhone 5S is the first smartphone to offer biometric security with a Touch ID sensor that allows the phone to be unlocked with just the touch of your fingertip.  This is one of the most noticeable changes to the new generation of iPhones.  The sensor is built into the Home button.  It measures just 170 microns thick and can sense 500 pixels per inch in order to scan the sub-epidermal layers of the user’s skin.  The sensor is capable of reading fingerprints from any orientation in 360°.  The Home button has been upgraded to be composed of sapphire crystal in order to prevent scratches and damage that could impair the sensor.

The sensor has the ability to recognize multiple fingerprints, meaning that specific device parameter may be able to be attached to individual prints, giving parents and others a better way to control access on the device.  The data collected during use of the Touch ID sensor is not exposed to other software nor backed up on Apple’s internal servers.  These precautions give the device a very reliable security feature that cannot be stolen unless the device itself is somehow accessed (unlikely with biometric security).

A7 Processor

The new top-of-the-line iPhone 5S is outfitted with a 64-bit chip that has been used in the past as an exclusive desktop-class chip.  The A7 makes the iPhone 5S the first-ever smartphone to have such capabilities.    The processor contains over one billion transistors, double the amount available in the A6.  The next generation of the operating system, iOS 7, has been designed to take advantage of the new, faster processor with 64-bit capability on libraries, drivers and other aspects of operation.

The new A7 processing powerhouse is roughly twice as fast as that found in the A6.  Graphics performance is also much better, about twice as fast as was available with the A6.  Some Apple higher-ups have boasted about the faster speed of the iPhone 5S, saying that it is about 40x faster than was possible in the original iPhone.

M7 Motion Processor

The iPhone 5S also got a whole new piece of hardware, the M7 motion co-processing chip.  The chip carries out measurements of motion data on a constant basis, meaning that a whole new world of health and fitness apps have opened up for the device.  Some companies, like Nike, have already signed up to take advantage of these new capabilities.  Its app, Nike+Move will utilize both the M7 chip and the internal GPS to track user activity.

Camera Upgrades

The iPhone 5S sees upgrades to its camera, too.  The new design offers an f/2.2 aperture and an Apple-designed 5-element lens.  The sensor area is about 15% larger, allowing larger pixels and higher-quality photos.  With iOS 7, the camera offers automatic white balancing, exposure levels, stabilization and autofocus matrix metering.  It will also automatically choose the photo with the sharpest focus out of a series.

The flash also got an upgrade and has been dubbed as a “True Tone” flash by the company.  The new flash sports dual LEDs and will address issues with color temperatures that have clashed in the past.  The new flash helps improve the quality of low-light photos.

The camera has also been upgraded to offer both a “Burst Mode” that can capture ten FPS (frames per second) and a slow-motion video capture capability that functions at 120 FPS in 720p high definition.  Both new features are easy to access and use, as they are integrated parts of the camera software.

Overall Design

The design of the iPhone 5S is not much different from that of the previous incarnation, the iPhone 5.  The 5S still employs a high-grade aluminum back and cut, chamfered edging.  The new iPhone 5S doesn’t look much different, but it has very different capabilities.  It is also going to be offered in different colors than previous versions, including “space gray,” white with silver accents and the all-new gold option with white accents.

Talk Time and Battery Life

Apple insists that the increased processing power won’t be a huge drain on your battery.  The company claims that the iPhone 5S will be capable of up to ten hours of talk time on 3G and about 250 hours of standby time.  You’ll be able to listen to 40 hours of music in playback and have around ten hours of LTE browse time.

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C (also unveiled Tuesday) are expected to be available in stores in the US, Canada, France, the UK, China, Australia and others as of September 20th.  Even with the new capabilities, the iPhone 5S will stick with the price point of its predecessor at $199 when purchased with a two-year service agreement.  This applies only to the entry-level 16-gig model.  If you want to get the 32-gig model, it’ll run you $299 and the 64-gig model will be $399 if purchased with a two-year service agreement.



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Anticipation of iOS7

Published on September 8, 2013 by in Apple, iPad, iPhone, News

It looks like Apple’s newest version of its popular mobile operating system is ready to face the public, possibly being unveiled at the media event planned for September 10th.  Currently, almost all iPhones and iPads are operating on iOS 6, the last version to be offered from the tech giant.  Users are looking forward to the release of the new system because it means faster processing and new features to play with.

Usage Varies by Device Type

Chitika, an ad network, has recently posted its findings regarding iOS distribution among current iPhone and iPad devices.  They found that iOS 6 is currently installed on approximately 92% of iPhones, with iPads lagging slightly behind at 82%.  The older version of the system, iOS 5, barely accounts for any usage.  It is currently being used on about 13% of iPads, but a paltry 5% for iPhones.  The differential could be due to iOS 6 being a bit more “mobile friendly” than iOS 5 and therefore better for iPhones but not so much better for iPads.

Chitika analyzed data collected on iOS-based ad impressions during the period of August 15 through August 21.  The company states that it analyzed data from “tens of millions” of these impressions in order to have a solid basis for its numbers.  These numbers are pretty much what was expected by Apple ahead of its iOS 7 debut but slightly lower than the numbers found in and identical study carried out in June.  The drop is generally thought to be due to iOS 7 Beta making an impact with developers.

Anticipation Runs High for iOS 7

The next generation of iPhones, being unveiled September 10th, will be pre-loaded with the new iOS 7.  Apple followers also expect the new operating system to be released for use on iPhone 4, 4S and 5 devices at the same time that iOS 7 is unveiled on the next-gen handsets.  This will cause major changes in the distribution of operating systems on the company’s devices as occurred last year when iOS 6 was released.

As previously reported here, iOS 7 is looking at some small changes that make a big difference.  Many users are anticipating the release just so they can get their hands on the new updated features.  Folders, Safari, lock screen accessibility updates and other small tweaks in the system promise to deliver a more user-friendly iOS.  While some fans are disappointed that Siri doesn’t get an update, they are more than happy to explore the differences offered by the new iOS version.



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