What to Expect at Apple’s March Event 2016

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Apple is expected to hold a special event on Monday, March 21st, 2016 and we’re here to give you some expectations we have about what’s to come from the Cupertino company. Let’s break down the rumors and see if we can predict what Apple might showcase.

New iPhone SE

Apple is notorious for saying they will do one thing in their product strategy and then introducing a product completely contrary to those remarks, (I’m looking at you Apple Pencil). The rumored “iPhone SE” will be no different. This phone comes from the outcry of those who were not too keen on Apple’s decision to move from a 4″ iPhone to a 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone. This was a pretty significant change for Apple as they seemingly cut off any one handed usability with their handsets. The iPhone SE is rumored to return back to the 4″ form factor but with all the internals of the current generation iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Rumored for the device is Apple’s proprietary A9 chip which currently resides inside their newest flagships along with 2GB of RAM and an all metal enclosure. Most recently the rumors have suggested that Apple will return to the iPhone 5S design which makes sense given how popular a handset the iPhone 5S is.

Apple Watch

While there isn’t a whole lot to sing and dance about when it comes to the Apple Watch, recent reports have noted that it dominated the smartwatch market by 75% marketshare. That’s a pretty significant number when you consider how many Android counterparts are available. While many do not expect the Apple Watch 2 to make its debut at the March event, we do expect there to be new watch bands introduced which may offer even more variety to the Apple Watch than what is already available.

iPad Pro Mini / iPad Air 3

Apple is getting ridiculous when it comes to their naming schemes and quite frankly, no one really knows what this will be called officially. However, it is very likely that Apple will introduce a 9.7″ iPad Pro at its March event. The iPad Pro hasn’t been the hit Apple has intended for it to be so it makes sense for them to market a traditionally sized iPad with all of the guts of its older brother. The iPad Pro is said to feature 4GB of RAM, Apple’s A9X processor, and the same enclosure as the iPad Pro with the stereo speakers included. It is also rumored that Apple will make the new iPad Air 3…Pro Mini…whatever the hell they call it, able to be used with their Apple Pencil as well as a slimmed down keyboard case.

What do you think about all of our predictions? Please share this with your community and let us know if you think we’re right in our predictions. Only time will tell and we’ll bring you all of the coverage on Monday concerning Apple’s big event.

Apple’s WiFi Assist Feature Costs Family $2,000

6848823919_c3857ccdfc_oThis is why we need more transparency when new features are released people, THIS IS WHY! In a shocking news story surfacing today, Apple’s WiFi Assist feature originally introduced with iOS 9 has cost a family $2,000 on their monthly phone bill. You read that correctly, over $2K was spent on a single phone bill. How did this happen you might ask? To answer that we first need to go over briefly what WiFi Assist does.

WiFi Assist is a service on Apple’s iPhones running iOS 9 or above that “intelligently” chooses your phone’s connection path. When on WiFi, your phone uses your WiFi connection to transmit and receive all of it’s data. WiFi Assist will then determine if your WiFi signal is strong enough to maintain a connection. If WiFi Assist determines that it is not strong enough, it will automatically switch your device from WiFi to 4G LTE without warning or consent.

In theory this is a good thing because it keeps your device from being disconnected. However, for those customers with limited quantities of data per month, this is very, very bad! Mostly because, with most companies, you have what are called overage charges. Overage charges happen when a customer exceeds their allotted data amount as that customer is said to be going over their data limit. This results in, often times, large sums of charges added on to your account.

Situations like this are rare but can happen with services like WiFi Assist. So what is the moral of the story here? For now anyway, turn off WiFi Assist. You can turn off WiFi assist by going to Settings >> Cellular Data then scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the screen and un-toggle WiFi assist. Don’t let this happen to you folks.

Source:

T-Mobile’s Binge On Not a Net Neutrality Violation Says FCC

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Oh boy, here we go. Earlier this month T-Mobile announced its latest entry into their unprecedented “Uncarrier” movement, Binge On. Binge On is a service that allows customers to stream video from several popular apps like HBO Go, Showtime, Netflix, and more. This move sparked a million questions from both us and fellow tech enthusiasts about net neutrality and Binge On.

On the surface, this seems to completely violate net neutrality laws set by the FCC which stop companies from using paid services as exclusives on their platform. However, in an FCC meeting earlier today, FCC Chairmon Tom Wheeler weighed in on Binge On and has been quoted saying the service is,

pro competition and pro innovation [and] highly innovative and highly competitive.

While Binge On is not in itself a service you pay for on top of your data and phone plans, it is an exclusive to T-Mobile and is offered only at higher value tier Simple Choice plans. While no further details have been released concerning the FCC’s investigation into Binge On, it seems a bit odd that Binge On is viewed as the exception to the rule. For now, we will have to wait and see what the official ruling of the FCC is for Binge On.

Source: FCC
via: Pocketnow

T-Mobile Announces Free Video Streaming on its Network

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T-Mobile launched their 10th “Uncarrier” announcement today and announced a pretty significant change for customers on their network. T-Mobile has announced BingeOn, a new service that will now allow consumers to stream content from several popular video-streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Now, Showtime, and others for free. The way it works is that T-Mobile will not count content viewed on these various apps on mobile devices against a customer’s data pool. Theoretically, a person can have a 2GB data pool and never touch the data if that person only ever uses these apps to view content from popular TV shows and movies.

CEO John Legere pointed out that as mobile devices continue to evolve and gain advanced technologies, a lot of the video-based content available to consumers eats up data at a very rapid pace. As Legere states, “a lot of data is wasted since video is not optimized for mobile devices”. Oddly enough, YouTube was absent from the list of the video streaming apps mentioned which is, arguably, the most used app for video streaming. T-Mobile says it is willing to allow any video-streaming platform to join the Binge On program so long as they are willing to comply with the technical standards set by T-Mobile.

Source: The Verge

Apple is already testing its next versions of iOS and OS X

ios10-1280x614New reports are surfacing that Apple is already testing the next versions of both iOS and OS X. Assuringly labeled iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, both updates have surfaced under Google Analytics that seem to indicate a rapid pace of inner workings towards Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms.

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The report suggests a rather large spike in the number of sessions that appear for these specific testing numbers which leads us to believe that Apple is readily hard at work getting these platforms ready for primetime. While Apple just unveiled iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, it is always exciting to look forward at the potential of these two platforms and knowing that Apple is as hard at work as it has ever been.

Source: 9to5mac
Via: TechnoBuffalo

Microsoft Surface Book – The Ultimate Laptop?

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Microsoft unveiled the first ever laptop made in-house by the company and it’s called Microsoft Surface Book. On paper the Surface Book looks amazing. A 13.5″ 3000×2000 resolution screen with 267 ppi, up to 16GB of RAM, the latest Intel Skylake 6th generation processors, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Not to mention the inclusion of NVIDIA GeForce discrete graphics, an offering only available on the 15″ line of Apple’s MacBook Pro products. It’s not cheap, however, with the Surface Book starting at $1,499 in the U.S. Microsoft says that the new Surface Book is 2x as powerful as Apple’s MacBook Pro, a pretty boastful claim.

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Microsoft is rather mum as to exactly which of NVIDIA’s graphics cards is housed inside the Surface Book, so it’s hard to know if their claims are valid at this point. We do know some things, however, about the odd design choices Microsoft has made in the Surface Book. Let’s begin with the hybrid-like nature of the Surface Book. With the push of a button, the screen detaches from the keyboard and becomes a full-fledged Windows 10 tablet. Coupled with Microsoft’s Surface Pen, the tablet is shaping up to be one of the best offerings in the mobile market. What’s even more interesting is not the hybrid-style Microsoft has went with, we’ve seen plenty of 2-in-1 devices from other OEM’s, but what Microsoft has done with the base is a vastly more interesting story.

We’re not sure how this works with the whole package, but Microsoft says they’ve built the GPU inside of the Surface Book’s base. The implication here being that when detached, the Surface Book is more powerful when docked with the base. This is different for a computer as it shifts from a “tablet first, laptop second” philosophy to a “laptop first, tablet second” philosophy.

This is a pretty big gamble for Microsoft to take as it has introduced a new idea into an already saturated market that, arguably, it began. Personally, I think this is a great shift in idea of a 2-in-1 for consumers because most people want the power of traditional laptops, but may like the idea of the portability that comes with a tablet. One could argue that this option has existed for several years now, but it really hasn’t. We’ve had a slew of products that were designed to be mobile from the ground up, with accessories added on to make it a more laptop-like experience. This has resulted in poorer performing devices due to mobile-optimized software and hardware. Microsoft hopes to change all of this with the Surface Book, and we hope others soon follow suit.

Surface-Book-Impressions-4All-in-all, the Surface Book is an indication of the new Microsoft and is proving to be a great competitor in the consumer market. Gone are the days where your only option for an end-all-be-all solution was to spend more and go with Apple. Now Microsoft has a valid option for consumers and a vastly better product than previous offerings. We’re impressed with what we’ve seen from Microsoft’s first laptop and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

Google Announces New Nexus Lineup for 2015

OGB-INSIDER-BLOGS-GoogleLogox2-Animated.0Yesterday was a big day for Android. Google CEO Sundar Pichai took the stage, rather nonchalantly, to announce a busy week for Google, and a big day for Android. This turned out to be three new pivotal devices for the Android platform. Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google, then took the floor to announce the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X. Let’s start with the Nexus 6P.

nexus-6p-1It is the successor to last year’s Nexus 6 and is made by Huawei, a first for the Nexus line. The 6P features a brand new, all-metal design with chamfered edges and no rounded corners and a camera that protrudes at the top. Personally, the black strip at the top housing the camera seems like an odd design choice, but it’s there. Speaking of the camera, Google has a new 12.3 megapixel camera with a 2.0 f-stop aperture, making for great photos indoors and outdoors according to the company.The rear camera is capable of 4K video recording at 30fps and features a Broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash, and a laser guided auto-focus to boot. There’s also an 8 megapixel camera on the front capable of 1080p video

Also on the back is a brand new fingerprint sensor, a first for the Nexus line. On the front is a massive 5.7″ WQHD AMOLED display, with a resolution of 2560×1440 coming in at 518ppi. Front firing stereo speakers are a welcomed addition to the device as well, with the headphone jack seated at the top. Also new in the 6P is USB Type-C for charging, which allows the device to charge quickly. Google touts up to 7 hours of usage with only 10 minutes of charging, pretty impressive. Powering this handset is a 3,450 mAh battery which, coupled with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, could deliver up to 30% better battery life than previous Nexus devices.

5x.0Next up is the Nexus 5X. Google could not deny the popularity of the 2013 Nexus 5, so they decided to give it some massive upgrades. Internally, everything inside of the Nexus 6P is inside the Nexus 5X, with a couple of changes. First off, the Nexus 5X is substantially smaller than the 6P, with a 5.2″ full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080. This, of course, means a smaller battery as well. The Nexus 5X has a 2,700mAh battery also coupled with USB Type-C, and promises the same quick charge as the 6P.

Also different than the 6P is the design. LG was the manufacturer responsible for the Nexus 5, and has returned to design the 5X. The 5X features a plastic, soft-touch, design as was the case with the original Nexus 5 and features many of the same external features as its bigger brother. The fingerprint sensor we mentioned earlier is found on the Nexus 5X as well as a 12 megapixel camera with 4K recording capability. It’s pretty obvious that Google’s focus was on customer choice without compromising either device for that choice.

All in all, it seemed like Google was playing a bit of catch-up with competitors with the Nexus line this year. Many of its Android counterparts and competitors have incorporated elements like a fingerprint scanner, 4K video recording, and slow-motion camera modes. While that may be the case, you can rest assured that the Nexus line will continue to be Google’s very best smartphones, with the cleanest versions of Android you will be able to find on the market.

via The Verge
via Droid Life

Nexus 6P Pricing Information Leaked Ahead of Launch

nexus2cee_nexus-6p-arak-priceToday the world will see Google unveil their new Nexus device, or devices, to the world. Undoubtedly Google will announce a release date for Android 6.0 Marshmallow along with the Nexus device(s), however, if you’re feeling impatient about the handsets themselves, the pricing and availability for the rumored Nexus 6P seem to have been leaked early.

According to the leak, the Nexus 6P will come in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants and will cost $499, $549, and $649 respectively. The 6P will be available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and South Korea according to the leak. What do you think about these pricing schemes? Let us know in the comments below or in our live chat.

via Android Police

How To Fix iOS 9 Woes

9204009256_795d783bd9iOS 9 is Apple’s latest version of its tablet and smartphone software which was released on September 16th to the general public. While mostly a performance and under-the-hood release, iOS 9 came with new features like a smarter Siri and split-view for the iPad line. However, Apple has been under fire since iOS 9’s release due to performance issues and overall sluggishness.

Tech pundits have codenamed events like this “iOSlop” referring to the less-than-polished release of a new iOS. If you’re having issues with iOS 9, try restoring to factory settings and restoring back from an iCloud or iTunes backup. If that doesn’t mitigate your problems, restore to factory settings and set your phone up as a new phone. In our testing we’ve not experienced many of the problems being reported, but it’s worth running through these steps if you find yourself frustrated with the new release.