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Rumors/News Round-Up: 8GB iPhone 5c, iPhone 6 Camera, Healthbook

9to5Mac mockup of Healthbook app
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Here are the top headlines that we saw this week in Apple news and rumors:

iPhone 5c 8GB and iPad 4 Released

This past week, Apple released an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c in countries were 4G LTE is still developing: Australia, China, Europe, etc.  Although this iPhone will likely not be available in the United States, it does come at a cheaper price that the 16GB in the countries where it is sold.  Apple also replaced the iPad 2 with the iPad 4.  This iPad was announced in October 2013 featuring the Lightning connector, Retina display, A6X processor and 5MP camera.  You can purchase the iPad 4 here for $399.

The iPad with Retina display.

The iPad with Retina display, credit: Apple Inc.


iPhone 6 to Keep 8MP Camera

AppleInsider released a report earlier this week, citing ‘people familiar with the matter’ as its sources, that the iPhone 6 will retain the 8MP sensor that was originally announced with the iPhone 4S.  Instead of competing with Android by increasing the camera’s megapixels, Apple will focus on improving the image quality and enhancing other components of the camera.  The iPhone 6 is also rumored to feature sensors that detect the weather.

iPhone 5 camera specs, credit: PetaPixel

iPhone 5 camera specs, credit: PetaPixel


 

 

Apple Considering Spotify Competitor for Android

Billboard released a report this week that Apple may be working on an on-demand streaming service, similar to Spotify, that would allow listeners to hear songs without purchasing them.  Apple might also create the app for Android users in addition to its iOS users. Although Steve Jobs said he would never bring iOS to Android, this is Tim Cook’s Apple and we may see it within the next couple of years.

iTunes Radio, credit: TUAW

iTunes Radio, credit: TUAW


Healthbook App Leaked

Earlier this week, a report by 9to5Mac revealed some leaked screenshots of the new Healthbook app on iOS 8.  It has a similar design to Passbook, with tabs for: blood work, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, activity, nutrition and more.  Apple is expected to reveal iOS 8 at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June and release it in September alongside the iPhone 6.

Healthbook app icon

Healthbook app icon, credit: 9to5Mac

Check out this week’s Kickstarter project of the week: MagBak and MagStick.  These handy devices allow you to stick your iPad to any surface: furniture, wall, cabinets, etc.  It is great for FaceTime, watching movies and reading recipes as you cook.  Back this project now to get the MagBak for your iPad Air or iPad mini for $34.

Kickstarter Project of the Week: MagBak and MagStick

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iPad stands are excellent for holding your iPad up against a flat surface when you’re making a recipe, watching a show on Hulu or FaceTiming with a friend, but stands are limited to tables and counters.  Have you ever wanted to mount your iPad onto the wall to watch your shows or maybe on your desk for Skype.  Well now you can with MagBak.  MagBak, brought to you by Alex Baca and 1Lss Inc., is the very creative iPad mount that allows you to put the iPad on virtually any surface (metal and non-metal).

The blue pieces made up the MagBack.

The blue pieces make up the MagBack.

MagBak is made of soft silicone and attaches your iPad to any metal surface (refrigerator door, whiteboard, filing cabinet).  For non-metal surfaces, there is MagStick.  Using double-sided tape supplied by 3M, MagStick works on any non-metal surface, like in your car, on cabinets and furniture.

With the use of the MagStick, you can attach your iPad to wood.

With the use of the MagStick, you can attach your iPad to wood.

MagBak not only allows you to mount your iPad anywhere, but it provides an excellent grip, protects the back and keeps the Smart Cover in place.  This product works specifically with the iPad mini and iPad Air.

The MagBak supports the iPad Air and iPad mini.

The MagBak supports the iPad Air and iPad mini.

I love my iPad, but my problem is that is does not stand up by itself.  I purchased the Smart Case, which works well, but if I am on an uneven surface (like my bed) I have to move pillows around to get the iPad in the perfect position.  The MagBack would allow me to attach my iPad to the wall and become like a mini HDTV.  I can see even more uses, then just watching TV.  This would be great for watching videos in the kitchen while making a recipe, getting directions in the car from Siri and doubling as picture frame on the wall.

Pledge now

Pledge now and get your MagBack in late April

The MagBack team has already received all its funding with 28 days to go.  If you are interested and would like to purchase one, a pledge of $34 gets you one MagBack and one MacStick (if you share with friends, you get a second MagStick free).  For more information, check out their Kickstarter page and be sure to pledge before April 17.

If you have a Kickstarter campaign and you would like it to be featured on the blog, send me an email at: info@idevicegeekblog.com. All photos are credit of the company creating the project on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter Project of the Week: COBURN Jr.

credit: FineGrain
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In November, FineGrain launched a Kickstarter campaign for their simple and beautiful wood iPad stand.  The COBURN was very popular and they quickly received full funding because it was gorgeous like the iPad and locally made.  You can purchase the COBURN here for $25. FineGrain received many requests for an iPhone version, so the COBURN Jr. was born this past year.  This stand looks similar to the original one, but it is made for the iPhone 5/5s with or without a case.

The COBURN Jr. holding an iPhone 5s for a FaceTime call.

The COBURN Jr. holding an iPhone 5s for a FaceTime call.

The COBURN Jr. is made out either light cherry wood or a dark walnut wood and manufactured in the Rocky Mountains.  The wood is cut to size and chamfered by machine and finalized by hand.  The stand comes in two different sizes for either a naked iPhone (no case) or dressed up iPhone (case).

The lighter cherry wood next to a black iPhone 5s and darker walnut wood.

The lighter cherry wood next to a black iPhone 5s and darker walnut wood.

This iPhone stand looks excellent next to the iPhone and adds beauty to an already gorgeous product.  The COBURN Jr. allows you to stand your iPhone in virtually any direction, whether it be for FaceTime, playing a game, watching a movie or watching YouTube videos.  If beauty is not enough, it is also made from locally sourced wood and your pledge helps to support local businesses.

coburn jr 1

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the COBURN Jr., check out FineGrain’s Kickstarter page.  In order for the COBURN Jr. to become an actual product, FineGrain must receive all of their funding.  They are seeking $2,000 by April 9th and at the current rate, they should have no problem reaching their goal.  There are 28 days left of their project and 40 backers have already pledged a sum of $708.  The iPhone stand can be purchased with a pledge of $15 here.

 

If you have a Kickstarter campaign and you would like it to be featured on the blog, send me an email at: info@idevicegeekblog.com.

iPhone 6 Rumors

This design is beautiful and I think the iPhone 6 will look just like this.
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Every year Apple announces a new iPhone, whether it be an upgraded model (#S) or a re-designed model (#), and this year is a re-designed iPhone year.  The iPhone 6 is not only wanted, but it is expected.  There are many rumors about it, ranging from realistic (larger display) to unrealistic (curved glass).  This guide will give you the most up-to-date information about the iPhone 6, updated 02/12/2014.

The iPhone 6

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Display

iphone-6

Two models will be available: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch.

Tech Specs

 

Here are some recently leaked images of the proposed iPhone 6:

iPhone 6 - LEAK

Credit: MacRumors

This image shows a probable prototype for the iPhone 6. The back of the device (top) has an Apple logo, FCC information, cut out for dual-LED flash (found on iPhone 5s) and camera. The front shows a larger display (around 5.25 inches diagonally), Touch ID on the Home button and thin bezels.

Credit: MacRumors

Here’s another close up of the iPhone 6. This device prominently shows Touch ID on the Home button, the lightning port, the cut outs for the speakers, microphone and headphone jack.  Also, the design is very similar to the iPad air and iPad mini.

iOS 8

  • health and fitness tracking integration
  • Healthbook (new app made by Apple)
  • integration with iWatch
Credit: MacRumors

Credit: MacRumors

Release Date

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Credit: MacRumors

Other Rumors

For the latest iPhone 6 rumors, check out our iPhone 6 Rumors page and see Rumors for everything else.

iOS 8: Latest Rumors

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Rumors for the next generation operating system has been increasingly recently.  Likely called iOS 8, based on Apple’s history, it will have a health and fitness focus.  Here is a quick sum up of the rumors (and expectations) of this OS.

Fitness-1

photo credits: 9to5Mac

iOS 8

  • health and fitness tracking integration (9to5Mac)
  • “Healthbook” (a new app, like Passbook, from Apple that can monitor and store steps taken, calories burned, miles walked and other fitness statistics in addition to monitor a person’s blood-related data points like glucose levels and heart rate)
  • integration with iWatch
  • new features for Siri, including voices (Macworld UK)
  • no major interface or graphics changes (unlike iOS 7)
  • minor enhancements and bug fixes, like battery bugs
  • will be announced at WWDC in June and then in the Fall with the new iPhones
  • release date (ibtimes): September 17

2013: Year in Review

October 22 Event
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2013 has been an excellent year for iDevices.  We started out the year with the newly released iPad with Retina (iPad 4) and iPad mini, iPhone 5, redesigned iPod touch and iPod nano, iOS 6 and more.  This year, Apple, planned to show they are still innovating by releasing improved products and a new one too.  Here is the summary of what Apple has released for iDevices over this past year.

May, June:
Until Autumn, Apple had a small presence in iDevices over the year.  In May, they released the fifth generation iPod touch with 16GB of storage.  This iPod is a less expensive version of the colorful iPod touch that lacks the back iSight camera, iPod touch loop and back flash.  It would only be available in silver, but has the same size screen as the larger storage iPods (32GB and 64GB models).  At WWDC, Apple introduced the new operating system for iDevices.  The redesigned OS came straight from the mind of Jonathan Ive, SVP of Design.  iOS 7 eliminated the felt and leather we were used to since the start of iPhone.  It added new colors, redesigned apps, many features, more multitouch/gesture control and increased accessibility to allow more people to use it.

5th generation iPod touch 16GB with iOS 7

5th generation iPod touch 16GB with iOS 7

 

September:
In September, Apple announced the iPhones.  The iPhone 4S was still a major competitor for $0 with a new two-year contract and 8GB of storage.  The iPhone 5 was being replaced by the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.  This iPhone 5s was expected to be announced this year.  It came with a fingerprint scanner, 64-bit A7 processor, motion-tracking M7 co-processor, dual-LED flash and a slow-motion HD camera.  The iPhone 5s is available in space gray/black, silver/white and gold/white, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models and starting at $199 with a new two-year contract.  The iPhone 5c, a mid-range less expensive iPhone, comes in multiple colors with similar specifications to the iPhone 5s. In addition, iOS 7 was released.  We also saw a new case for the iPhone 5s and 5c.

iPhone line-up at Apple's September Media Event

iPhone line-up at Apple’s September Media Event

October:
Apple announced the next generation to the iPad line-up.  The fifth generation iPad, as expected, was announced, but it came as “iPad Air” instead of “iPad 5” or the “new iPad”.  This iPad came with a redesigned form factor, with less weight and similar bezels to the iPad mini, new 64-bit A7 chip with the M7 co-processor, advanced wireless and dual microphones.  Apple retained the iPad 2 and replaced the iPad 3/4 with the new iPad air.  The iPad mini was debated all year to either include a Retina display or to not include one.  In the end, Apple went with the Retina display at 326ppi, 64-bit A7 chip and advanced wireless.  Apple retained the iPad 2 and iPad mini (1st generation) to sell alongside the iPad air and iPad mini with Retina.  We also saw new smart covers and smart cases. 

iPad line-up at Apple's October event

iPad line-up at Apple’s October event

 

Expectations for 2014

iPhone 6 Concept
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2013 was an excellent year for Apple products.  We saw many next generation products and a couple new, unexpected products.  As expected, we saw a second generation iPad mini (although it was unsure whether it would have a Retina display or not), the fifth generation iPad with the redesign, the iPhone 5s (with a similar design to the iPhone 5) and iOS 7 with an announcement at WWDC and release in Autumn.  We saw (and were not expecting) the iPhone 5c and fifth generation iPod touch 16GB.

Tim Cook has reflected on 2013 to Apple’s employees in a memo recently and has cited “big plans” for 2014.  Each year seems to improve for Apple and we are mostly beyond what Steve Jobs has helped develop before his death.  Here are the expectations for iDevices in 2014 (many are a given):

1. iPhone 6 (or iPhone air)

The iPhone 6 will feature a redesign with better internal components then the iPhone 5s, a larger display (possibly 4.8 to 5 inches) and may be released in May.

2. iPhone 6c

Apple may release the next generation device to the iPhone 5c or they may stick with an update every other year.  They have never released a less expensive iPhone so this one is up in the air.  I am anticipating a similarly designed iPhone 6c with updated colors.  The iPhone 5c will likely become free with a new two-year contract.

3. iPad air (2nd generation)

The next generation iPad air should feature a similar design with updated internal components (A8 chip, M8 chip, etc.)  It will likely come with Touch ID, a higher resolution display (Retina HD?) and be released in Autumn.

4. iPad mini with Retina (3rd generation)

This new iPad mini would theoretically be redesigned (based on Apple’s past history).  It will also likely feature Touch ID and also be released in Autumn.

5. iPad pro

A larger iPad has been rumored for the education market with a screen display around 12.9 inches.  It would be a hybrid device between the iPad air and MacBook Air.  The iPad pro could be considered a substitute to the MacBook air.

6. iWatch

The iWatch may be seen in 2014, since Samsung released their Galaxy gear this past year.  Apple has interest in the wearable technology market, but may be holding out for the right moment.  If they are going to release a wearable device, they want to do it right.

7. iOS 8

The next generation operating system is a given and will likely be announced at WWDC and released in the Fall (unless the iPhone 6 is released in May like rumored to be).  It should feature more gesture/multitouch controls, the same design with many bugs fixed and a lot of new features.  I am still hoping for widgets.

8. iPods

Apple released new iPods in 2012 and we should see updated models this year.  The iPods should roughly stay the same, but include better internal components.  I doubt Apple would kill off the iPod classic (unless they updated it) because there still is a market for 160GB of music.

9. Innovative Technology

Although not completely rumored, Tim Cook did hint at something in 2013.  I expect we will see a new product, unforeseen.  You may argue I expect this every year, and that is true.  The past year, the unexpected product was the iPhone 5c.

Wishlist for 2014:

  • iCar- the next generation of cars featuring smarter technology
  • more integration between iDevices and Mac (i.e. wireless charging for iPhone within 1 foot of iMac or something)

The featured image of the iPhone 6 is from TechFaster and created by Jared DiPane.

12 Days of Gifts

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Christmas is my favorite time of year because of the smells, the sights, people coming together, being able to spend time with family and friends and receiving gifts.  I love spending the entire month deciding which gifts to get each of my loved ones in order to have a great Christmas (and they do the same so I have a great Christmas too.)  However, as soon as Christmas comes, the season ends and everything goes back to the way it was.  To keep the Christmas ball rolling, Apple has created an app called 12 Days of Gifts.  This app has been around for many years in other parts of the world, like the UK and Japan, but this is the first year it is available in the United States.

12 Days of Gifts, created by Apple, gives you a new gift (free song, movie, app, book and more) each day from December 26 to January 6.  The gifts are only available for 24 hours and they are not available in all countries.  Apple gives you Lorde’s new single to get you started once you download the app.

12 Days of Gifts app

12 Days of Gifts from Apple, credit: Apple

12 Days of Gifts from Apple, credit: Apple

Cyber Week Deals

Cyber Week 2013 Walmart deals
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Black Friday was almost a week ago already and we are on our way to Christmas.  For the rest of the month, my blog posts will be about iDevice deals, potential rumors for next year’s iDevices, this year’s roundup and expectations for next year.  While we wait, let’s look back on the expectations I had for this year.  It is still cyber week, at least for a little while, so here are some great deals you can score on this week:

Walmart:

  • iPhone 5c: $45 (with free $75 Walmart gift card) until December 7th
  • iPhone 5s: $189 (with free $75 Walmart gift card) until December 7th

There are new deals every day of this week.  Click on each retailer below to be directed right to their deals page.

Cyber Monday Week:

Regular Deals:

Not enough time to go through all the deals? That’s fine.  Like on Facebook for amazing deals every day through Christmas.

Tweet or Share this post with #idevicegeekblog for a change to win an iPod shuffle or iTunes gift card of equal value (your choice).  Invite your friends to check out the blog and if we get 2,000 total views by December 31, 11:59pm, I’ll select another person to win an iPod shuffle. 

The prizes for sharing my blog may discontinue in January.  I need your input in the poll below.  Want the prizes to continue? Hate the prizes? Want better, more expensive prizes? Vote below! Thank you.

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Map Out Your Black Friday

Black Friday
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Black Friday shopping has officially started, thanks to Kmart.  For all others, Black Friday shopping starts tonight at 6pm or 12am depending on local laws.  Below you will find store hours, the links to the store maps and the best deals at each store. For all store hours in your local area, check out the International Business Times and for every Apple deal on Black Friday, check out my Black Friday Survival Guide.
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