lalit's blog

Latest iPhone 6 and iWatch Rumors

Submitted by lalit on September 5, 2014 - 12:06am.

With Apple’s September 9th press event approaching more and more rumors are flooding the blogosphere. Lets start with iPhone 6 rumors, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities revealed today that both sizes of the new iPhone will be revealed on 9th September and both will offer 128GB version. However, according to the analyst there will be no sapphire glass for both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model. The analyst also said that the new iPhone 6 will feature a barometric pressure sensor, which will be used for indoor navigation and health related functions like spirometry. The power button on the new iPhone will be programmable and offer launch of specific applications.

WSJ reported today, iPhone 6 as well as the new iWatch will feature NFC wireless payments. WSJ posted “NFC wireless is central to Apple’s Plans to incorporate so-called tap-to-pay into its mobile devices, allowing users to pay for goods and services using credit cards stored with iTunes”.

NY Times claimed today, the new bigger iPhones will have “one-handed mode” to make it easier to type and control the larger iPhones. The newspaper also claimed that the iWatch will have synthetic sapphire cover with flexible display panel. The circuit board of the iWatch is postage stamp sized even though it includes various sensors and chips. The iWatch will have wireless charging method and will rely heavily on new iOS 8 feature called Handoff, a feature that allows various Apple devices to push content to each other. The new HealthKit in iOS 8 will also play a major role storing various heath data gathered by iWatch.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed some of the hardware specifications of the new iWatch, which will come with 8GB of internal storage and 512MB RAM. There will be two display sizes, 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch offering both men’s and women’s variants. The iWatch will be available in two to four casing material options and multiple colors including the gold option matching the gold iPhone color. Ming-Chi Kuo also believes that iWatch won’t hit the shelves before 2105, but Apple will announce the new device on the 9th September.

Apple press event will start at 10 AM PST on 9th September at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. It will be interesting to see what Apple will announce on that day.

 

What Apple Shouldn't Do with iWatch

Submitted by lalit on September 3, 2014 - 10:07am.

Since the rumors started that Apple will soon launch a smartwatch early last year, every other electronic company has launched a smartwatch, while we are still waiting for the iWatch. However, every smartwatch that has been launched so far, shows why Apple takes its sweet time refining a product before launching it for the masses.

Each and every smartwatch that has come to the market in past year feels like a prototype, a beta product launched for people to test. These smartwatches show five things Apple shouldn't do with the iWatch:

Make it an iPhone Dependent Accessory: The Galaxy Gear smartwatch that Samsung launched last year were nothing more than an accessory for Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 handset. The best feature of Galaxy Gear was notifications and it isn't even in the top 5 features that I want in the iWatch.

Try to Make It Look Like Traditional Watch: iWatch will be much more than a traditional watch, so there is no need to make it look like one. Let me be clear, I am not saying people shouldn't have an option of putting watch faces as the home screen, but that shouldn't be Apple’s focus. The main problem with making it look like a traditional watch is that anyone who wears a good watch like Rolex or Tag Heuer will feel like the smartwatch is just a cheap imitation.

Make it a Smartphone on the Wrist: The biggest mistake Samsung did with their latest Gear S smartwatch is add a 3G antenna. I don't want to bring my wrist to my mouth to talk to a watch and typing texts on a small touchscreen is at a whole other level of geekiness. Also the less antennas the iWatch will have the more battery life it will give. In fact, I want the WiFi to only work when the watch is charging to sync data with the cloud or other iOS devices.

Not Just a Great Activity Monitor: If Apple makes the iWatch a great activity monitor it will be a very successful product, but imagine the potential if its more than just an activity monitor. The iWatch pushes you to be in your targeted heart rate zone while you are exercising. Or it reminds you to relax for five minutes when you are stressed at work. Or it reminds you to take your medications at the right time (I don't mean by using a set alarm, but by monitoring your activities). Then it will be a truly great product.

Ship a Beta Product: I don't mind being a beta tester, but the average public does and because of this smartwatch adoption has been slow. From past history, we have seen that Apple releases a very polished product like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. I hope Apple continues with that, even if we have to wait 3-4 more months.

 

Terabyte RRAM Storage For Future iPhones

Submitted by lalit on July 24, 2014 - 8:38am.

There have been lot of talk about how RRAM (resistive RAM) can bring more and faster storage to mobile devices, but production process and durability have put a big question mark on the technology. However, researchers at Rice University have developed a way to use silicon oxide rather than more exotic materials to make RRAM. The best part is that the method can use regular chip making equipment at room temperatures and make RRAM chips that are 100 times more durable and heat resistant.

So, how is it made? Researchers used porous silicon oxide and metals like gold or platinum to fill the pores, resulting in a silicon material that is familiar and easy to work with using current chip manufacturing equipment. However, by using metal with silicon researchers were able to make far denser and faster chip than earlier RRAM. The new RRAM chip stores nine bits per cell, which is three times higher than current flash storage. This approach will allow manufacturing of postage stamp size RRAM chips with 1TB of storage.

So, when will it come to the market? Research lead James Tour says that they are working on a deal with an unnamed manufacturer in next couple of weeks and as the technology uses current manufacturing equipments it shouldn't take long for the RRAM to come to the market or to your iPhone (our guess in about 2-3 years).

[Via Engadget]

 

Review Roundup: Amazon Fire Phone

Submitted by lalit on July 23, 2014 - 2:22pm.

Last month Amazon announced their highly anticipated first smartphone the Fire Phone, featuring Dynamic perspective and Firefly two new technologies. The phone comes with quad-core Snapdragon 2.2GHz processor, 2 GB RAM, 4.7-inch HD display, 13-megapixel camera, LTE and dual dolby speakers. The hype around the launch of the Fire Phone was so much that many analysts and tech journalists believed that it will be the biggest announcement since iPhone launch in 2007.

However, reviews are in and the adjective used most to describe the new phone is gimmicky. Wall Street Journal headline says, “ Full of gimmicks, lacking basics.” Engadget concluded their review by saying:

"The Fire's defining features are fun, but I can't help but feel as though they're merely gimmicks designed by Amazon to demonstrate the company's brilliance -- and at the expense of battery life, to boot.

Not only is the Fire lacking in useful new features, but its high price and exclusivity to AT&T guarantee its irrelevance. The company owes its success to millions of loyal online shoppers and bookworms who use Amazon for its convenience and aggressive pricing, so why come out with a smartphone that isn't particularly convenient, and isn't particularly cheap? By no means is the Fire a horrible phone, but it's a forgettable one."

The Fire Phone will ship on July 25 and is exclusive to AT&T for $199 with two year contract. Check out some well written reviews below.

Wall Street Journal - Review By: Geoffrey Fowler

Engadget - Review By: Brad Molen

The Verge - Review By: David Pierce

Ars Technica - Review By: Andrew Cunningham

Gizmodo - Review By: Eric Limer

SlashGear - Review By: Chris Davies

 

Google Signs Deal with Novartis to Commercialize Smart Contact Lens

Submitted by lalit on July 17, 2014 - 4:16am.

Google has been developing Smart Contact Lens in their Google X labs for past few years. The lenses are designed to analyze tear fluid in the eye to provide constant measurement of blood glucose levels for the wearer. The lens also includes a wireless antenna to send the data wirelessly to the person’s mobile device to help him manage his diabetics.

Even though Google has announced the Smart Contact Lens they haven't show a commercially viable product and for that they have partnered with Novartis. Google will now license the technology to Novartis and the company through its eye-care subsidiary Alcon, will develop a commercial product based on Google’s technology.

Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin said, “Very excited to work with Novartis the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life of millions of people.” However both Google and Novartis agreed that this is a long term project and it will take at least few years to bring a viable product to the market.

[Via Verge]

After Launching Galaxy S5 with Below Par Fingerprint Scanner, Samsung Plans to Bring Iris Scanner to Galaxy Note 4

Submitted by lalit on July 17, 2014 - 1:44am.

The fingerprint scanner on the new Samsung Galaxy S5 is erratic at best and errors out many times when you are unlocking the handset. After failing to provide its customers with a reliable alternative to Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner on iPhone 5s, Samsung is planning to bring Iris scanner to its next generation Galaxy Note 4.

A tweet from Samsung’s official account @SamsungExynos stated “Security can be improved using features unique to us. That's what we envision. What would you use?” The tweet was accompanied by the above image hinting at Iris scanner in next generation Samsung device.

It has been rumored that upcoming Samsung Exynos processor will include built in Iris scanning support like Apple’s A7 Processor has built in Touch ID support. However, Iris scanners are know to be very finicky and create lot of problems in low light conditions. Iris scanner also cases problems when the subject is moving or the distance between the eye and the camera is not right. Basically, even with advanced technology like Iris scanner the implementation won’t be as effortless and simple as Touch ID, where you just place your finger and the iPhone 5s unlocks.

[Via BGR]

LG Shows Super Flexible OLED Display, Promises 60-inch Rollable TV by 2017

Submitted by lalit on July 15, 2014 - 5:09am.

We have seen many small flexible OLED display till now, but LG is for the first time showing an 18-inch flexible OLED display that can be rolled in a 3 cm across tube. LG is using a new polyamide film in place of plastic film typically used as back panel for the OLED display. This not only makes the display substantially more flexible, but thinner also.

LG’s head of R&D, In-Byung Kang is confident that the company will be able to successfully develop an ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED of more than 60 inches by 2017. Yes, LG we are waiting for a window shade that when rolled down can work as a TV also.

[Via Engadget]

 

Apple To Bring More Robust Touch ID Sensor to Next Generation iOS Devices

Submitted by lalit on June 24, 2014 - 2:21pm.

iPhone 5s’ Touch ID sensor is one of the most reliable and accurate finger print sensor on the market today (you will know what I am talking about if you have used Galaxy S5’s finger print sensor), but that isn't stopping Apple and the company will be using an improved Touch ID sensor on next generation iOS devices according to a report from China Times.

Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple and its Touch ID manufacturing partner TSMC will be using Tin for manufacturing of the fingerprint sensor to increase its durability. With China Times also corroborating this news it looks like we will get a more robust Touch ID sensor in next generation iPhone 6.

China Times also reported that TSMC is doubling its Touch ID sensor production to 120 million units for second half of 2014, which would indicate that not only next generation iPhone, but also iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will also get Touch ID sensor. TSMC will start delivering the new sensor in July for production of next generation of iOS devices in third quarter. 

 

Apple Announces iPhone Finally Coming to China Mobile on January 17th

Submitted by lalit on December 23, 2013 - 2:48am.

Apple and China Mobile today announced they have entered into a multi-year agreement to bring iPhone to the world's largest mobile network. As part of the agreement, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available from China Mobile's expansive network of retail stores as well as Apple retail stores across mainland China beginning on Friday, January 17, 2014. Customers will be able to pre-register for the new phones on China Mobile’s official website (www.10086.cn) and on customer service hotline “10086” beginning on Wednesday, December 25, 2013.

“Apple’s iPhone is very much loved by millions of customers around the world. We know there are many China Mobile customers and potential new customers who are anxiously awaiting the incredible combination of iPhone on China Mobile’s leading network. We are delighted that iPhone on China Mobile will support our 4G/TD-LTE and 3G/TD-SCDMA networks, providing customers with high-speed mobile service,” said Xi Guohua, China Mobile Chairman.

“Apple has enormous respect for China Mobile and we are excited to begin working together. China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world's largest network,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can’t think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one.”

China Mobile now has over 1.2 million 2G/GSM, 3G/TD-SCDMA, 4G/TD-LTE base stations and over 4.2 million Wi-Fi access points, providing broad coverage to quality networks for iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c customers. China Mobile is rolling out the world’s largest 4G network. By the end of 2013, China Mobile’s 4G services will be available in 16 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. By the end of 2014, China Mobile plans to complete the rollout of more than 500,000 4G base stations, which will cover more than 340 cities with 4G service. The collaboration between Apple and China Mobile will give a big boost to the development of China's homegrown 4G/TD-LTE technology. iPhone on China Mobile supports major cellular network standards, making a global phone a reality for China Mobile customers.

Details of pricing and availability of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c for China Mobile will be available at a later date.

 

 

MDN Reports 4K Thunderbolt Display Coming on December 19th With The New Mac Pro

Submitted by lalit on December 18, 2013 - 7:42pm.

Few hours back Apple announced that they will start taking orders for the new Mac Pro and now MacDailyNews is reporting that Apple might even launch new 4K Thunderbolt Display alongside the Mac Pro. MDN posted:

We have been hearing a growing smattering of chatter from disparate sources, none of which can be confirmed to our satisfaction to report this as anything other than a rumor, that Apple is planning to surprise professional users with a 4K UltraHD Thunderbolt Display alongside the release of the Mac Pro tomorrow, December 19th.

MDN has also heard from one source that some other peripherals will also be announced tomorrow for the new Mac Pro.

The new Mac Pro can support up to three 4K displays via Thunderbolt 2 ports. And as there are very few 4K displays available on the market today. It would be a good idea for Apple to release their own, giving customers an option of spending their cash on Apple’s 4K display rather than some third party 4K display. Most customers buying the shiny new Mac Pro would want a 4K display to see the new desktop in its full glory.

[Image Via SlashGear]