It’s Time for Apple to Revamp the Preorder Process

Let me rephrase that- it’s PAST time for Apple to revamp their arcane preorder system. Apple asking people to wake up between midnight and 3 AM (depending on where they live) and fight their way into the queue to get the latest gear within a month or two of launch has just gotten more and more ridiculous as time has gone by. When the iPhone went on sale over ten years ago, people went and camped out and stood in long lines at Apple Stores, carrier locations, and other retailers to get their hands on one early. However, Apple gradually did away with the mass lineups using the preorder process. Now we have ample evidence that this system, at least as it is currently implemented, has also reached its logical limits.

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The iPhone 7 Surprisingly Topped All Smartphones in the First Half of 2017

According to a report from market research firm IHS Markit, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus not only sold better at home in the US, but also outsold all comers worldwide in the first half of 2017. To be honest, I found this report to be a big surprise. Apple has always been able to hold serve in North America, but worldwide sales of current gen iPhones has been an issue for them in the past due to pricing. In fact, Apple continues to struggle to gain a stronger foothold in China, and is still trying to get off the ground in India. Add to this the fact that the rumor mill for the iPhone X was absolutely insane, keeping many from upgrading last year, and you have surprising sellers in the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus.

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Deals: Paww WaveSound 3 Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Anyone who works in a noisy environment or flies a lot can tell you that, when it comes to headphones, nothing beats active noise cancellation. I have a set of IFROGZ Impulse Wireless that have “passive noise isolation,” which is just a fancy term for padded cups that seal off low-level noise. They do a good job, but nothing beats combatting noise pollution with software and circuitry.

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Not so Uncool After All- iPhone is Incredibly Popular Among Teens

A few years ago, when Samsung started their big advertising push in support of the Galaxy S line of phones, one of the focuses of those commercials was that the iPhone was old and passé. The Galaxy S was billed as the “Next Big Thing,” while the iPhone was set up as the phone for your parents. We all know what that means by association- the iPhone isn’t cool anymore.

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Benjamin Mayo’s Critique of WatchKit Deserves Apple’s Attention

As much as I have been a fan of the Apple Watch right from the beginning, I have also been critical of Apple’s handling of Apps on watchOS from the start. Apple overplayed their hand with apps on the original Apple Watch, and when WatchKit and the setup with watchOS 1 and the OG Watch couldn’t deliver on that promise, users lost interest in the concept very quickly.

Between user dissatisfaction and the frustration of getting apps developed and working properly on a new platform, many devs quickly abandoned their efforts. Still, I keep holding out hope that the Watch will fulfill its promise as a robust platform for the right kinds of apps that are properly geared toward the small screen.

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iPad Pro Rumored to be Getting Face ID Next

Our favorite Apple analyst (and probably the most accurate one, as well) is at it again. In his latest report, Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the iPad Pro will be the next device to get Apple’s new TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology. This move would make perfect sense, bringing one of the latest and greatest features from one new Apple flagship device to another. TouchID similarly started with the iPhone 5S and then appeared later on the iPad Air 2, so Face ID coming to the Pro seems like the natural next step for Apple.

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Futuremark Debunks the Myth that Apple Slows Down Older iPhones With Updates

Image Source: Futuremark

The belief that Apple purposely slows down older iPhones with iOS updates is one of the oldest tropes thrown around by Apple critics. They almost universally believe that this is done to bait less sophisticated users into upgrading to newer iPhone models more often than they might otherwise. Considering that Apple typically offers three or four years of iOS updates for any given device, this is about the only straw the haters can grasp at when it comes to Apple and upgrades, especially in comparison to the inconsistent availability of Android updates for many devices.

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Apple is Expanding its AI Efforts with Acquisitions

Apple acquired a small AI-focused messaging startup Init.ai earlier this week. This is just the latest in a string of recent acquisitions for Apple that have all been related to AI or machine learning. Last week saw Apple purchase the French computer vision company Regaind. Earlier in the year Apple also purchased SensoMotoric Instruments and Lattice.

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The iPhone 8 Plus Battery Swelling Issue Will Be Interesting to Watch

I’ll be clear right out of the gate- right now the reports of iPhone 8 Plus batteries expanding and cracking phones are statistically insignificant. Whatever anyone thinks of the early sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, there are enough of them in the field that five to ten reports of this occurring doesn’t indicate a wide-ranging problem. This is only a brewing story at this point because it’s Apple, and it would be similarly the case if it was Samsung or Google. If this was happening with LG or Huawei phones, would we know right now? Probably not. Continue reading

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Deals: 3-in-1 USB-C, Lightning, MicroUSB Cables

If you go on the road a lot like me, versatility is key. Everything you carry has to have a reason to be there, so any accessory that can pull double-duty is a big help in keeping your load manageable. A charge cable that can handle triple-duty is even better.

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What Constitutes Success for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus?

There has been no end of discussion about the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and how boring most of us “tech-types” find them. There are early conjured “sales figures” and anecdotal evidence for and against good sales numbers. There have also been the typical disaster predictions and the hand-wringing over how Apple has apparently lost its way. Just listen to this week’s This Week in Tech podcast for a perfect example.

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