Saturday, September 07, 2013

Apple iPhone 5S and 5C Rumoured for September 10th Launch

So its official, Apple will be holding a press event in the Town Hall on their campus in Cupertino on September 10 2013 - 10:00 local time, which is 19:00 ZA time.

Actual Event Invite.

The tech press are pretty sure that Apple will unveil the next iPhone at the event with speculation that they will call it the Apple iPhone 5S. So what can we expect from this rumoured new iPhone?

Well, it will most probably be launched alongside the update to iOS, that being version 7. This operating system update is definitely going ahead as they have already announced it at their WWDC event, and developers have been testing beta versions of the software for a while already.

iOS 7 is a big update for Apple, with the first real "look and feel" change since it was first launched. For most people that will be a very noticeable change, not only to new iPhone 5S owners, but also to existing users, as iOS 7 is to be released for older iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch's too.

Because Apple controls the whole device eco system from Hardware to Software and Services, they are able to build their hardware to suit their software, so this is where we expect iPhone 5S to see the most improvement over its predecessor. Being that Apple does what has been coined a "tic toc" cycle with their iPhone releases, the 5S is going to be an all internal upgrade with the outer part of the phone looking very much the same as the iPhone 5. That is not a bad thing, as the iPhone 5 is still a beautiful piece of industrial design.

So what can we expect from these internal upgrades? Well rumours suggest an all new A7 processor, more RAM, with some new bits and pieces to improve graphics performance and camera performance. iOS 7 will have specific updates to bring the best out of the new hardware, which really just equates to things working faster and smoother for us users.

Lets just pause for second on the rumoured upgrades to the camera hardware. Apple are said to have added some bits inside to improve the already brilliant camera to allow for slow motion video. Developers analysing code within iOS 7 say that the new camera could potentially capture video at 120 frames per second. This code will only run on new hardware as all existing hardware is listed as "unsupported". This would give iPhone 5S a unique selling feature.

Another rumour related to the camera is a dual LED flash, this may not seem like a big thing at first glance, but may be used to improve colour in low light shots, as well as be used in the slow motion video capture.

Together with redesigned internals, Apple is rumoured to have been able to squeeze a bigger battery into the existing space, due to making the actual motherboard smaller, and using improvements in battery technology.

So what about the outside of the new iPhone 5S? Well the biggest rumour must be the possible inclusion of a fingerprint scanner on the home button. This type of move is out of character for Apple, as they are hardly ever the company to introduce a new feature on their devices first. What the sensor will be used for exactly is anyones guess, maybe just a way to unlock your phone, or a whole new way to purchase goods and services, by turning your iPhone into a virtual credit card.

Also rumoured for a change to the outside is a gold iPhone 5S. Not real gold, just gold colour plating, rumoured to be called Champagne. Apparently plating the iPhone in this colour is relatively easy compared to black, so it shouldn't be too costly. There is also a rumoured new graphite colour too, a more silver colour compared to the existing black iPhone 5. So that will be 'white and silver', 'white and gold', 'black and slate' and 'black and graphite'. I feel adding the new colours is a good move on Apple's part to distinguish the 5 from the 5S, for those people who need you to know they are carrying the new iPhone. Plus the gold one will appeal to a big group of buyers hear in South Africa.

Now onto the rumoured iPhone 5C, a less expensive version made using a cheaper plastic housing. Apple have in the past always offered older models of their range alongside their flagship model at a discount. A way of getting buyers into the Apple eco system who can't afford the top model. The problem is those phones are currently the iPhone 4 and 4S, which still use the old Apple 30 pin connector, something Apple got a lot of heat for when dropping in their new devices recently. Seeing as they need to finally drop all "new" devices that have a 30pin connector it made sense to develop a less expensive iPhone. In addition, the older iPhones have a smaller screen, so making a new cheaper version with the same screen size as the 5S also makes sense.

We will need to see if Apple then offers a range of iPhones from high to low cost being the 5S, 5 and 5C in that order. These costs can also be kept "down" by offering the cheaper iPhones with lower storage capacities only. Speaking of which, the 5S is rumoured to be getting a 128GB model in the range.

The 5C is likely being called C for "colour" with a range of colours expected.

This version should do well, and should gain some market share for Apple with buyers that are just not up to spending the amounts being asked for on the top end.

What also may happen is that Apple manages to shake the image they have with younger buyers that their parents are the ones with iPhones and they often seek out a different brand just to differentiate themselves from the old folks.

Apple may also introduce a refreshed line of their iPods, with higher storage capacities. They are however unlikely to introduce new iPads as that is rumoured for an event in October.

There has been some speculation that Apple will introduce their rumoured iWatch, but people with inside knowledge say that is still a few months away.

I know where I will be on September 10.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rumoured Apple iWatch

So the Apple rumour mill is a buzz with talk of the Apple iWatch (or whatever they decide to call it). Information has surfaced recently that Apple has a patent for what can best be described as a "slap bracelet".

"In a first equilibrium position they can be flat. The second equilibrium is typically reached by slapping the flat embodiment across the wrist, at which point the bracelet curls around the wrist and stays relatively secure in a roughly circular position."


Read more at IGN

This is quite intriguing, imagine being able to take your iWatch off and straighten it out and use it differently to when it's wrapped around your wrist. Maybe for playing a game, or even a game controller for your iPad or Apple TV. Perhaps a camera for stills, video or even scanning.

Use Case

I try to not be that guy that just buys anything Apple sells, but this iWatch idea does appeal to me. I agree with what many people are saying, this will reduce the number of times you need to remove your iPhone from your pocket, if it displays all the notifications you get on your iPhone. But for me personally, I never hear my iPhone in my pocket, or feel it vibrate. I really do miss a lot of important messages or calls when my phone is in my pocket. So what I do now is constantly look at my iPhone substantially increasing the risk of dropping it.

I have not worn a wrist watch for many years, so wearing an iWatch will take some adjustment, but if it does what people are suggesting, it will be worth it.

What do the rumours say it will do?

So from what I can gather is as mentioned above, all sorts of notifications. The possibility to reply to messages via the device and/or voice (Siri). Video calls via Facetime. Reminders and calendar events. Plus some kind of health tracking, such as a pedometer or even more sophisticated body measurements like pulse rate. It will be an iOS device, so provided it is not locked out by Apple, we could see a number of apps built specifically for it.

What will it look like?

For an artists mock-up I found this image on iDownloadBlog

iWatch graphic

Looks like it could be quite an interesting product, in typical Apple fashion we almost don't see a need for something like this, but once we get one we will probably wonder how we ever lived without it.

Please post your comments below, let me know if this would be something you would consider purchasing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Women and their digital lives in 2013

Being the go to person in my group of friends and family for tech help, I have started to notice more women taking a greater interest in technology. I decided to test my theory and ran a rather informal poll on my Facebook page. I wanted to gauge how many of my lady friends had taken to using a smart device like a tablet or smartphone and how they get what ever they want working. Do they do it themselves or get some other geek in the family to do it for them.

All the respondents said they love using their smart device and load the necessary apps themselves. Most girls load apps based on recommendations from others, some actively discover new apps themselves and one girl said she is a total geek and finds this stuff child's play.

I must say I was a little surprised, I thought girls relied more on other people for help, but this is what I am seeing now as a trend, women are taking control of their digital life and making their smart devices work for them.

What are women actually using their smart devices for?

Well unlike men who tend to have quite a few apps loaded on their smart devices just to show off, with some kind of "wow your friends" factor. Women tend to demand that all their apps have some use in their day to day lives.

Social Media

I know quite a few girls who say if Facebook was not loaded on their smartphone they would never find as much time to interact. Just think of having to make time to site down in front of your PC and log into Facebook. Checking in with your friends for a round of strawberry daiquiris would never have been possible without a smartphone and Foursquare.


Moms are always snapping those precious moments when on the run with their smartphone. No more is a 2 megapixel camera ok, girls are demanding good images, they understand that the vast majority of pictures of their kids are going to be from their camera phone. Also, women are getting into using some kind of picture processing before posting their pictures to social media sites, whether it be filters or collages, girls like their shared pictures to be pretty.


Women are also using their smart devices to gather news. I have had a few of my lady friends say they actively watch Twitter or some kind of news feed for their update on the world around them. It also seems as more apps are built for specific news channels they follow, these are loaded and checked throughout the day.

Instant Messaging

By far the most popular app must be WhatsApp. I have heard some rather nasty mutterings from girls about other people when they do not use WhatsApp, it's almost like sending an SMS is shameful in this day and age.

Not a really big focus on email I found, seems email is becoming less popular these days, it seems to be used to get invoices and statements.

Why the noticeable change?

I think it comes down to portability. Smart phones have always been portable, but since the iPhone all smart phones have become better. Ease of use is important, girls just want things to work, none of this tweaking and fiddling. Also the introduction of tablets, these portable devices have become invaluable for women on the run, you can really get quite a bit done in your life on a tablet, sitting at a coffee shop at the kitchen table or even in bed.

Whats next?

I see that Moms would be especially happy if schools created some kind of app to keep them informed.

I think friction free banking would be a win for women who run the family finances. SA banks have come a long way recently with their mobile banking apps, so lets see how many moms are doing some quick payments in the car while waiting for the kids to finish soccer practice.

I think it is great that women are taking control of their smart device experience like this. No more do they rely on their brother, boyfriend or husband to set up their phone for them. Gone are they days of wives saying I just want a phone that makes and receives calls.

Let me know what you think, I welcome your comments below.