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Existing iPhone and iPad Lineups Updated with Better Storage and Pricing

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The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were announced on Wednesday, but they were not the only devices with updates. Apple also refreshed their iPhone and iPad lineup with new prices and better storage capacities.

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The new iPhone lineup has doubled the amount of storage and better pricing across most of the models, via Apple.

For last year’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple has retained all the color options but improved the price and storage capacity. The phones are now available for $100 less for retail price, or roughly $5 less per month with iPhone installments. The iPhone 6s can be purchased for $22/month and the iPhone 6s Plus for $27/month. Additionally, Apple has doubled the minimum storage capacity from 16GB to 32GB and removed the 64GB capacity. The iPhone 6s/6s Plus are still available in 128GB. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have also be removed.

Despite the newness of the iPhone SE, Apple has updated it too. The iPhone SE is still available in 16GB and 64GB, but the larger storage capacity is $50 less. The iPhone SE is now $399 and $449 for full retail price. 

Apple has also refreshed their iPad lineup by removing some storage capacities, doubling others, and offering better prices. The iPad mini 2 is now only available in 32GB and starts at the price of the previous 16GB model. The iPad mini 4 is only offered in 32GB and 128GB now and the prices are lowered to the previous 16GB and 64GB models, respectively. The iPad Air 2 has retained the same prices with twice the amount of storage.

Finally, the iPad Pro has had the greatest shakeup in the lineup with storage pricing remaining the same but lower prices. The 128GB model is now $50 less and the 256GB model is $100 less. The prices also show a more consistent lineup with each model progressing by $100 for increased storage. For example, the 9.7″ iPad Pro Wi-Fi only model starts at $599 for 32GB, $699 for 128GB, and $799 for 256GB. Previously there as a difference of $150 between each storage size.

The new storage sizes of the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2 currently have an estimate delivery window of September 16-17th.. Also the iPhone 6s with the new 32GB storage size is currently unavailable and will be able to pre-order alongside the iPhone 7 tonight.




 

What to expect for Apple’s September and October events

The invitation for the iPhone 6 event last year
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In the upcoming fall season, Apple is expected to hold two special media events to announce the new iPhones, iPads and Apple TV. Rumors have pointed to September for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6c, Apple TV and iPad mini 4, while the iPad Pro and other Mac products will be shown off in October. Based on all these rumors, here’s what we expect in the coming months.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event announcing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (United States - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS) - RTR45KU8

The first special media event date, which was leaked by Buzzfeed News as September 9th, we will see the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6c, Apple TV and iPad mini 4. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will have the same design as their predecessors, but they have the new pressure-sensitive Force Touch display, 12MP rear camera, A9 processor and other updated internal components.  As for the iPhone 6c, it will be an iPhone 5s/iPhone 6 encased in a plastic housing. The phone will have a 4″ display and be powered by the A8 processor, come with Touch ID and the dual-LED flash with 8MP camera. The fourth generation Apple TV will have a slimmer body with new touchpad remote. It will run a special version of iOS 9 with a full App Store and have support for Siri and HomeKit. Finally, the iPad mini 4 is uncharacteristically rumored to be announced at the September event. It will come with a fully laminated display like the iPad Air 2, be powered by the A8 processor and have an 8MP rear camera.

Typically the iPad mini is announced alongside the iPad Air in October, but the iPad Air 3 will be coming out in 2016 and the iPad mini only received an incremental update last year so it’s time for something more significant. The announcement date for the mini has been moved to September. Apple will still be holding a special event in October, but it will primarily be focused on the iPad Pro and Mac.

At Apple’s October event, the long-rumored iPad Pro, which is a hybrid device between Mac and iPad, and news Macs will be announced. The iPad Pro has a 12.9″ display and will likely be the star of Apple’s event. It will be powered by the A9 processor, come with Bluetooth and NFC, feature a Force Touch display and come with an optional stylus. It’s currently a “wildcard” for the September event, but more than likely, Apple will keep it until October when they have more time to tell everyone about their latest creation.

How to score the best deals at Best Buy for Apple products

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How to Save Money at Best Buy

Best Buy has stood the test of time in the world of electronics and has outlasted many competitors, including Circuit City and Radio Shack. Today, Best Buy is known for having a huge selection of all kinds of electronics and gadgets. Although the prices tend to be reasonable, they are often not as low as they could be, which makes it even more important to know how to shop smartly and save money. Use the following techniques to get great electronics for great prices at Best Buy.

Join My Best Buy

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Best Buy recently revamped and renamed its rewards program to attract more customers. The “My Best Buy” program is free to join at the basic level and provides a number of money-saving benefits.

You can join My Best Buy in store or by registering online at BestBuy.com. All you need to create an account is your full name, email address, and phone number. If you join in store, you can easily enter your member ID when you create an online account. My Best Buy comes with a number of benefits, including these three:

  • Rewards certificates: As a My Best Buy member, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend at Best Buy or BestBuy.com (excluding taxes and fees). Once you hit 250 points, you’ll receive a $5 rewards certificate. Rewards certificates work similarly to coupons and can be used for nearly any purchase that is over the certificate amount, like an iPhone case or Apple TV. You can also choose to save your points until you hit 1,000 points and redeem them for a $20 rewards certificate. Although this is a better deal, it can take longer to reach and is the maximum amount you can reach before the points reset. Note that it can take 15 days after a purchase for the points to be applied to your account and the points expire after one year.
  • Member-only exclusives: My Best Buy customers are often the first to know about upcoming sales and are given early access to many promotions and store events. You will also sporadically receive exclusive special offers, which can vary from a coupon for 15% off a certain type of product or extra rewards points when you buy certain brands.
  • Free shipping on $35+: Many expensive items, like the iPad Air or MacBook Pro, come with expensive shipping costs, which makes this offer of free shipping on all order of $35 or more even more appealing. This offer excludes items with scheduled delivery, like refrigerators.

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Elite and Elite Plus Memberships

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Although the basic free membership has its share of perks, you can also opt for the Elite and Elite Plus versions of My Best Buy if you are a very loyal customer. You must spend at least $1,500 at Best Buy in one calendar year to become an Elite member, and you must spend $3,500 in a single calendar year to become an Elite Plus member. The elevated reward status comes with bonuses, including:

  • Extended exchanges and returns: Instead of the typical 15 days to return an item, Elite members have 30 days after making a purchase and Elite Plus members have 45 days to return or exchange.
  • Point banking: While basic My Best Buy members have a cap of $1,000 points for a $20 reward certificate, Elite and Elite Plus members can accrue points with no limits. Unlike basic membership, the points never expire so you can save for a huge reward. Note that you have to maintain the Elite or Elite Plus annual spending levels to keep your points active—if you fail to spend the right amount of money in a year, you will be demoted to basic status and lose your points.
  • Bonus points: Instead of the basic one point per dollar spent, Elite members get 1.1 points for every dollar spent and Elite Plus members get 1.25 points for every dollar spent. That means basic members get $5 back for every $250 they spend, Elite members get $5 for ever $227.27 they spend, and Elite Plus members get $5 back for every $200 they spend.

If you are a frequent Best Buy customer and take great advantage of the My Best Buy program, a My Best Buy credit card could be a good option. Cardholders get 5% back in points on every purchase compared to 2% for basic members or they can choose interest-free 12-month financing on purchases of $399 or more. You can also use the My Best Buy credit card to get to Elite or Elite Plus status more quickly, as the $1,500 and $3,500 spending requirements can be met with any purchases made on the credit card, not just those at Best Buy and BestBuy.com

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Shop Deal of the Day

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Aside from its regular clearance sales online and in store, Best Buy also runs a Deal of the Day section that is similar to Amazon’s Lightning Deals. The Deal of the Day section is easy to use. Best Buy releases a new deep discount on a specific item every day, but the deal only lasts for one day before it is replaced by a new product with a deep discount. Daily Deal discounts are almost always at least 25% off and frequently more than 50% off. There are also sporadically Bonus Deals of the Day with extra items with low prices for a single day.

Because Deal of the Day products come with such great discounts, many items sell out quickly. Stay on top of the best discounts by signing up for the Deal of the Day email newsletter so you can score a product as soon as it is released.

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Shop Best Buy Outlet

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Best Buy was one of the first stores to create an online outlet shop, which is a great place for bargain hunters to get a great deal.

The outlet section of BestBuy.com features clearance, open-box, refurbishes, and pre-owned items. This is a great place to pick up Apple products for less. Search by category, brand, or savings level to find the perfect item. Outlet items can be picked up for free at Best Buy stores and can even be returned or exchanged, which is rare for online outlets. Products fall into the following categories:

  • Clearance: Items that are discounted by the manufacturer or that are no longer in stock
  • Open box: Practically new items that have been returned
  • Refurbished: Items that have been repaired so they are as good as new
  • Pre-owned: Restored used items that have passed tests to make sure they are in like-new condition

Clearance and open-box items from the outlet still qualify for manufacturer warranties, but pre-owned and refurbished items may not have an applicable warranty, so be sure to ask customer service before making your purchase.

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Use the Best Buy Price Match Guarantee

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Best Buy rewards loyal customers with an extensive price match guarantee that allows them to shop for everything at Best Buy while knowing they are getting the best possible price. Best Buy will match any local competitor’s in-store or online price and the price of identical items sold at online-exclusive stores like Amazon.com, bhphotovideo.com, crutchfield.com, HP.com, newegg.om, and tigerdirect.com, as well as BestBuy.com

The price match guarantee applies to identical products from other retailers, but it doesn’t apply to third-party marketplace sellers on BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, or other similar sites. Clearance items, coupon offers, flash sales, mail-in rebates, open-box items, and refurbished and pre-owned outlet items are also disqualified from the price match guarantee. Best Buy doesn’t match any sale prices from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, so don’t plan on price matching during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

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Buy Discounted Gift Cards at CardPool.com

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Save even more money at Best Buy by purchasing a discounted gift card from CardPool.com, a site that also sells discounted gift cards for many other stores. CardPool.com sells Best Buy gift cards at a great 5.5% discount, which can add up to great savings online or in store. Best Buy allows up to 10 gift cards to be used in a single transaction, which means you can buy two Best Buy gift cards from CardPool for $181.50 and save $11.59 instantly on a $200 purchase. In addition to selling the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV, Best Buy now sells the Apple Watch (*hint* *hint*). When used with sale or clearance items, the savings can be even greater. The smallest amount for an electronic gift card is $20, but physical gift cards can be mailed with free shipping and come in amounts as small as $10.

This great Best Buy Store Guide was brought to you by ZipfWorks, which seeks to revolutionize the way you shop by making you a smarter and more empowered shopper. Check out their other great services, like StyleSpotter, which helps you find the lowest price on more than 12,000 clothing brands, and DealSpotr, which shows great deals with coupon codes for national companies.

Leaked CAD images reveal iPad mini 4 have same design as iPad Air 2

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On Monday, CAD images of the 4th generation iPad mini were leaked online revealing that it will (as the rumors suggested) have the same form factor as the iPad Air 2.

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The iPad mini 4, like the iPad Air 2, will see changes in its external design to accommodate the slimmer body. The thickness will drop from 7.1mm to 6.5mm. The mute switch will be replaced with a second microphone, the speaker holes on the bottom will change from a double line to a single line and the volume buttons will be recessed. The new display will also be full laminated with an anti-glare coating. The iPad mini will, in every aspect, be a miniature version of the iPad Air 2.

The iPad mini is also rumored to be powered by the A8 processor and come with an 8MP rear camera.

iPad mini 4 coming with new thin design, 8MP camera

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As we anticipated last year, the iPad mini 4 will be receiving the major updates that its previous generation should have received when it was released in 2014. The third generation only saw minor updates, like an additional storage capacity, a gold color option and Touch ID. The iPad Air 2, which was released at the same time, had fresh internal specifications and a much thinner design. Japanese blog, Macotakara, is reporting that the iPad mini 4 will be receiving major updates to be like the iPad Air 2.

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Citing reliable sources, Macotakara says that the iPad mini 4 will be adopting several of the iPad Air 2’s hardware like it’s decreased thickness and higher-MP iSight camera. The current generation iPad mini is 7.5mm, but the report says that Apple will be changing the display on the new iPad mini to be fully laminated which will decrease the thickness to 6.5mm (matching the iPad Air 2). In addition, we should see the 5MP rear camera increase up to the iPad Air 2’s 8MP camera. We will probably also see internal specs updates to match the iPad Air 2’s hardware, like the A8X processor and faster Wi-Fi connectivity.

Despite rumors about the iPad Air 3 being delayed until 2016, we expect to see it alongside the iPad mini 4 and the iPad Pro in the fall. It has also been rumored that the iPad mini 4 will be the final generation before its discontinued.

Two reports claim iPad Pro coming in October alongside iPad mini 4

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This past week, two new reports came out about the iPad lineup with details for the release date of each model. The iPad Pro, which has been rumored for years, will finally be announced alongside the iPad mini 4 in October. The iPad Air 3 will apparently be put off until 2016. The first report comes to us from Economic Daily News and cites their source as an analyst so it’s based on someone’s thoughts versus someone actually working within the company. The second one, which is from DigiTimes, cites inside sources so it’s more likely to be correct.

A concept by Martin Hajek for the iPad Pro vs the iPad Air

Economic Daily News reports that Apple will be launching the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4 in October, as anticipated, but will hold off on the iPad Air 3 to focus their efforts on the larger tablet. The iPad Air 3 will wait until 2016 to get updated. It also says the fourth generation of the iPad mini will be final generation as Apple plans to discontinue it in favor of other similar products, like the iPhone 6 Plus with 5.5″ display. Apple may be seeing cannibalization in sales with their iPhone lineup versus the iPad lineup. The iPad mini used to be thought of as a smaller iPad, but now it’s more of a larger iPhone 6 Plus. I have both the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad mini 2, but I don’t use my tablet as much as I did when I had the 4″ iPhone 5. The 6 Plus could replace the iPad mini or the mini could be used in conjunction with a smaller iPhone. If Apple comes out with the rumored 4″ iPhone 6c then perhaps the iPad mini would continue to have a place. Currently, I highly doubt Apple will discontinuing any iPad model any time soon and I doubt they would skip updating the iPad Air.

For the second report, DigiTimes writes that the iPad Pro will be announced in October and then released in mid-November. Apple is apparently “cautious” about placing orders so they are waiting until September for suppliers to start producing parts. Current rumors suggest the iPad Pro will have a 12.9″ Force Touch display with A9 processor and 2GB of RAM. It is also rumored to come with Apple’s first stylus, a USB-C port and NFC connectivity.

iPad Pro Mockup: Martin Hajek

Sources: Economic Daily News and DigiTimes

Leaked pictures show rear shell of iPad mini 4

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On Tuesday, Nowhereelse.fr posted a few pictures of the alleged rear shell for the iPad mini 4. The third generation iPad mini, which was released in October, only came with modest updates like Touch ID. The fourth generation device is rumored to have a design similar to the iPad Air 2.

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Citing one of the site’s “most loyal moles”, the pictures and video show the rear shell for the cellular model of the iPad mini 4. Like the iPad Air 2 design, the volume/mute switch was removed and there’s a microphone hole in its place. The top has a space for the plastic cellular antenna and the bottom has ten holes on each side of the Lightning port for the speakers (versus the two rows of fourteen that previous generations of iPad mini have). On the back, the microphone has been moved from the center to next to the camera.

After the third generation iPad mini came out last year, it was rumored that we would see the fourth generation in spring 2015. We incorrectly guessed it would be announced at the Apple Watch event in early March, but there’s still an opportunity for it to come out at WWDC in early June (which is technically still spring).  It would be an out-of-cycle refresh, but it might be what Apple is planning to do in order to differentiate it from the iPad Air. With two tablets featuring the same design and specs, price will most likely be the deciding factor for consumers and they will likely go with the less expensive (iPad mini) model. So by separating their releases by 6 months or so, this will allow consumers to think differently of the tablets.

The iPad mini 4 is expected to have its processor upgraded to the A8 processor and faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Expectations for Monday's Spring Forward Event: Apple Watch, Apple TV, MacBook Air

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The first special media event of the year, which starts at 10am Pacific time on March 9th, will most certainly be focused on the Apple Watch. Rumors have also suggested we may see a 12-inch MacBook Air, 4th generation Apple TV, iPad Pro, iOS 8.2 and more. Here we go through all the rumored products and tell you how likely/not likely they will be at the event.

Apple Watch

42mm case, 18-karat yellow gold, sapphire crystal, Retina display with midnight blue leather 18-karat yellow gold buckle, credit: Apple.com

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The Apple Watch, without a doubt, will be the focus of the event. The event occurs after Daylight Savings Time in the United States where our clocks “spring forward”, Tim Cook said the Apple Watch would be shipping in April and tons of reports have come out this past week about the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has three main collections: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. The Sport model will start at $349, the mid-level watch should be about $499 and the Edition should start at $4,999.  Apple will also have various bands and other accessories for sale too. We predict the official launch of the Apple Watch should be within the first full week of April (perhaps on Friday, April 10).

A report on 9to5Mac recently detailed a few more unannounced features for the Apple Watch: Power Save mode, full Notification Center, Voice Control (not Siri) and a battery that lasts all day with up to five hours of heavy usage.

We expect Apple to spend the first first minutes of the event talking about updates, showing off a few new products and definitely mentioning the huge success that Apple Pay has been. They will then spend a good amount of time answering many of our questions about the Apple Watch including battery life, features, how it will work with the iPhone, etc. and then spend the second half of the event with developers demoing their apps. After the event, Apple will likely invite media into the special white building to test everything out.

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iOS 8.2

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The next major update to iOS 8 is expected to be shown off at Monday’s event and released immediately following it. We talked about Apple’s release notes recently for the final beta sent to carriers and employees, but we believe that there are a few features that have been left out. The update also will allow the iPhone to connect to Apple Watch, the iPhone 5/5s/5c to use Apple Pay (with Apple Watch) and it will come with two new apps. One app, called Companion, will manage settings on the Apple Watch, while the other one, called Fitness, will provide an overview of fitness activities with the watch.

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MacBook Air

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We primarily focus on iOS devices on this blog, but several other blogs have been persistent with rumors about an updated MacBook Air lineup. Whether Apple will reveal the 12-inch MacBook Air or just refreshed MacBook Airs, we are not sure, but we expect that the MacBook Air will make some sort of presence at the event.

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iPad mini 4

iPad mini 3 concept - Martin Hajek

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The 4th generation iPad mini was predicted back in late November to have an early 2015 release. It was believed that Apple purposefully made the iPad mini 3 underwhelming in order to differentiate it from the iPad Air 2. The larger tablet saw many external and internal updates, while the mini only saw new colors, higher storage capacities and Touch ID. SVP Phil Schiller literally spent thirty seconds about the iPad at the event and then moved on to the next topic. The iPad mini 4 will get the A8 processor, faster Wi-Fi and all the updates it should have received in October 2014.

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Apple TV

Apple TV Concept - July 2014

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The 4th generation Apple TV is rumored to have a complete redesign in terms of hardware and software. The unit will become slimmer and the remote will be more tactile and capable. Recent reports have suggested a fall release for this new device so we do not expect it at Monday’s event.

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iPad Pro

iPad Pro concept, credit: Martin Hajek

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According to Bloomberg and Digitimes, production for the iPad Pro has been pushed back to September due to supply issues with the display panel. This means that the iPad Pro will definitely not be at Monday’s event and more likely come out in the Fall.

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Other devices

The fifth generation iPod touch was rumored to come out early this year. There has been little to no evidence suggesting that Apple will launch this device at the event on Monday. Sometime this year we will probably see an update in the iPod lineup, but we don’t expect to see it this month.

Come back here Monday night to see an in-depth report of what Apple announced.

Please note that, with the exception of the Apple Watch picture (credit: Apple.com) and the iOS 8.2 picture (credit: iPhonehack.com), all pictures are concepts provided by Martin Hajek.

Apple releases second beta of iOS 8.3 to developers

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On Monday, Apple released the second beta version of iOS 8.3 to developers.  This version comes about two weeks after the first beta was made available to developers. The first beta brought some new features, like Wireless CarPlay and Password Settings, while this new update primarily focuses on more diverse Emoji.

While playing around with the new beta version on my iPad mini, I took some pictures of the new Emoji and other new content I found.

The Emoji has a more yellow/orange color to them.

The Emoji has a more yellow/orange color to them.

Emoji 2

In addition to same sex couples, Apple has added same sex families with children.

Emoji 3

You’ll see the iPhone icons have been updated to the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch and iMac display have been added.

When I restored my iPad mini to the second beta version of iOS 8.3, a few new windows popped up when opening up a few apps for the first time. The Photos app told me a little more about iCloud Photo Library (Beta) and Messages gave me a chance to sign into iMessage.

iCloud Photo Library

This window popped up when I opened the Photos app for the first time.

iMessage iOS 8.3 beta 2 can be downloaded from the developer portal.

Excited to Learn What 2015 Holds

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Apple_logo_blackWith the beginning of each New Year it brings excitement of what lies ahead. Here at DGB, we had an amazing year of growth in 2014 and we’ve enjoyed reporting everything to you. With that in mind, there were a lot of great things to come out of 2014, the perfected iPad Air 2, the larger iPhone 6 and the even bigger iPhone 6 Plus, and iOS 8. Now with 2015 finally here, I’m starting to get all giddy and a little down about a couple things all at the same time.

First off, the Watch. I can’t even put into words how excited I am to finally get this device in my hands and on my wrist. Yes, I know it’s just a feature watch and I know it’s been done before. What I find most exciting about this device is discovering how well it will integrate into the iOS ecosystem and what third party apps will do to enhance the overall user experience.

There are a few things I’ve thought about involving the Watch but one I seem to continually revisit concerns its capabilities. I really want the Watch to further tap into my VIP list. If you’ve setup favorites and VIP contacts for emails, the Watch needs to be capable of recognizing these settings and allow you to customize how you receive notifications from other iOS devices.

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If you’ve taken the time to identify specific priority settings for certain contacts, I feel the Watch should recognize this and allow you to setup notifications accordingly. There are countless times I’ve received texts messages or phone calls from contacts I really didn’t need to dig into my coat, pants pocket or bag to retrieve my iPhone for. The same applies for most of the emails I receive these days. If I’m able to setup the Watch to notify me when specific people are trying to get in contact with me, that’d be excellent.

Pay is amazing and I never get tired of using it. One aspect of Pay I don’t like, more of a minor inconvenience, is digging my enormous iPhone 6 Plus out from its resting place to pay (#firstworldproblem). The Watch will make it even more convenient at the point of sale, which I never thought I’d hear myself say after using Pay the very first time.

I listen to iTunes radio quite a bit and I’m looking forward to discovering how well the Watch functions with iTunes. Will I be able to select or add different radio stations from it or will I be limited to skipping and pausing songs from the Watch?

App Store for Apple TV

App Store for Apple TV

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