Apple unveils new Apple Watch Series 3, AppleTV 4K, iPhone 8, and iPhone X Release Date and Price

iPhone 8 1As part of their annual event, Apple announced their new version of the iPhone. It was a little bit different this year as what should have been the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus has become the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Their was also a surprise with the iPhone X (X being a Roman numerial 10, which marks the tenth anniversary of Apple’s smartphone).

The Announcement at the Steve Jobs Theater

The announcement came from the brand new Steve Jobs Theater, which is located on Apple’s big spaceship campus of Apple Park that they have been working on for quite some time. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive took the stage after an audio file from Steve Jobs, Apple’s former and late CEO had words to say. The room was completely packed with reporters, and the entire two hour event can be watched here on the Apple site.

Before Tim Cook spoke about the new products, he said a brief word about hurricane Harvey and Irma. He talked about giving for relief, and then talked about the new Apple campus. The park is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and there is a visitors center inside with augmented reality and a brand new Apple store.

Apple Watch Series 3

It was strange that Tim started with the new Apple Watch, as he usually leads with the newest iPhone. The sales performance of this product has been shrouded with mystery as Apple doesn’t seem to give its numbers about how much it has actually sold. The smartwatch market never really “took off” like the smartphone one, but Apple was pleased to say that their Apple Watch is the number one smartwatch.

For what it is worth, the Apple Watch has built-in cellular, so you can talk with your watch without the phone. Apple music will also allow for “40 million songs on the wrist”. There is also a new dual-core processor, complete for Siri to talk to you.

Apple TV 4K

Next was the announcement of Apple TV 4K, which will “bring cinematic quality to whatever you watch”. They made a comparison of 4K and their new 4K HDR, for the highest picture quality ever. They took the time to show off a new video game for Sky from thatgamecompany, and it looks pretty spectacular.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

It took an hour before Apple finally got to the iPhone. The announcement of the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus was expected, but it looks like Apple is leaving the “S” thing behind (a pattern of a new number every two years, with an “S” model in the second year). The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is essentially the same size as its respective iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus predecessors, even though its bigger battery makes it slightly heavier.

This model will have glass on the front and back, which is the most durable of a smartphone. It is microscopically sealed for dust and water, and the Retina Display with 3D touch technology. It has a new chip with the A11 bionic.

They really went off on how the phone’s cameras are set up for augmented reality. Also, wireless charging is going to be happening. If you aren’t familiar with that, it is just putting that device on a Qi-enabled device, and this flat device just powers it up.

The iPhone 8 will have 64 GB and 256 GB options starting at $699, while the iPhone 8 Plus will have the same options for $799.

The All-New iPhone X

Tim Cook took the stage with his “one more thing” catchphrase, and it wants to re-create the experience of an iPhone. Of course, the big thing is the iPhone X, which is going to be the most expensive phone that Apple has ever put out at $999.

What makes this different is that the iPhone X comes with a huge Super Retina Display screen (5.8 inches), which is thinner, lighter, and brighter than the usual LCD screen. It is also an edge-to-edge display, and it has no home button.

It also has some advanced technology known as Face ID, which could become something that could easily be a standard on all phones. The odds of one person just using your phone with this FaceID is one in a million. By the way, you can use your Face ID to make Animoji to express yourself via face, and this was demonstrated with recorded messages.

New Apple Announcements Release Dates

The iPhone 8 can be pre-ordered on September 15th, and will be available on the 22nd. The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on October 27th, and will be available on November the 3rd. The Apple Watch, Series 3 will be available for order on September 15th, and available on the 22nd, which are the same dates for Apple TV 4K. The newest version of the operating systems will drop on September 19 with iOS 11 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod and watchOS 4 for the Apple Watch.

How Apple’s New iPhone X will Change Smartphone Technology in the Next Ten Years

iPhone XIt is hard to believe that it has been ten years since Apple unveiled the iPhone. Of course, none of us really thought ahead, but it was pretty clear the easy-to-use smartphone technology was the wave of the future and has yet to crest. Now almost every smartphone has a touchscreen that goes from edge-to-edge, with minimal buttons, as even Android has just a few.

Improvements over the last decade have made the original iPhone practically a dinosaur. The idea of an edge-to-edge phone that has no home button is probably going to be the new standard, as well as huge advancements to the display.

Unless someone comes up with some kind of easy-to-use holographic interface or some big new thing, I’m not certain how smartphone technology is going to change, really. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is the one who makes the tech possible for the typical consumer.

Henge Docks Clique for the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad

hengedocks-cliqueIt has been a while since I have reviewed a Henge Docks product, the last time was with the Gravitas and then the Vertical Docking Station. I decided to use this picture to illustrate what the Clique does.

Basically, this is essentially a stand made to hold Apple’s Wireless Keyboard with the Magic Trackpad (1st Generation). This is an issue for people who have this, and it is nice that these important controls are all in one place.

This is another way to use this, which is on your lap. Fortunately, there are external power buttons that enable the keyboard and trackpad to be powered on or off without the need to remove these devices from the dock.

This is something that Mac users can really get their heads behind, and in front of. It is available on the Henge Docks site for just $25 USD.

What Apple is Doing

iPhone SESo, yesterday was a pretty big event, so what exactly happened? The answer is everything except one thing, and I will get to that.

After some announcements about Apple in general, the first thing that was brought up was the new watch bands as well as a price drop for the Apple Watch at $299.

Then there was talk about “a smaller iPhone”, which is called the iPhone SE. It has a 64-bit A9 chip with M9 motion co-processor. It also has a 12 Megapixel camera with focus pixels, and it can shoot 4K video. The 16 GB iPhone SE starts at $399 and the 64 GB model will be $499.

ipad stuffThen came the announcement of the new iPad, with a new iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch Retina display. It has the A9X chip like its big brother, and there is a keyboard case for it as well. There are also other new accessories like a Lightning SD card reader and USB camera adapter. The camera is also the same at 12-Megapixel sensor. The price is 32 GB model for $599, the 128 GB model for $749, and the 256 GB for $899.

Other announcements is the availability of iOS 9.3. However, what wasn’t announced is the new MacBooks. It is possible that they won’t be announced until WWDC 2016 in June.

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Hands on with the Innergie 45-Watt USB-C Laptop Adaptor

Innergie 1It’s been a while since we reviewed an Innergie product, and they are very good at making some power supplies. In the case of the PowerGear USB-C 45, it is a 45-Wat USB-C Laptop Adapter.

This guy has a USB-C reversable plug, allowing it to be inserted both ways, so you don’t have to check if you’re doing it right. All I have to say to that is: “Thank you”.

You will also note that it has a small size, and it has four power levels that include 20V/2.25 A, 15V/3A, 12V/3A, and 5V/3A. It means that it is a very flexible USB-C laptop adapter, in fact, the most flexible adapter. It is compatible with the latest Apple MacBook, but I’m not certain how well it will do with the next type of MacBook.

Innergie 2Another thing to note is how the 1.5 meter cord wraps up, very tight against the housing itself, as you can see in the illustrations. It also comes with built-in InnerShield Protection Technology, protecting all devices from over-current, over-power, over-voltage, over-temperature, and short-circuiting. By the way, it also comes with a 3 Year Limited Warranty.

If this sounds like something that you want, you should be able to get it for about $65.30 on sites like Amazon, or maybe somewhere else cheaper. You can also find out more information about the product on the Innergie site here.

Apple Watch can work with a GoPro, will Apple buy GoPro?

GoPro HeroThere is a new Apple Watch compatibility application that allows the watch to control GoPros. That’s right, imagine controlling one of those cool cameras that everyone has to have.

This application will allow GoPro users to record videos, preview shots, and adding “HiLight” bookmarks. This has allows a lot of videos to show up on YouTube done with Apple Watches.

You want to hear some more interesting news? As it turns out, it is rumored that Apple is going to acquire GoPro. Now, Apple hasn’t made any formal announcement of this, and this could be a rumor just to get GoPro’s stock price to go up.

Hello rumors! I’ve never heard of Apple buying something like this, but whatever. So, this might not have any bearing, but hey, you realize that I report on news that could happen, not necessarily about what will happen or has happened.

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iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia

iRig Mic FieldI’ve reviewed products form IK Multimedia products before, and they usually have something to do with sound on mobile devices. This particular iRig Mic Field, which is a pocket-sized stereo microphone for Apple products, provided it comes with that Lightning port.

I’ve actually seen something like this before with Blue Microphones called the Mikey. It plugs right in the bottom and it backs a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate, 115 dB maximum SPL rating and a low-noise/high-definition pre-amp. Okay, here are the sepcs, so let’s talk about some other features.

First of all, it has a companion application for free, appropriately called the iRig Recorder Free app. Not only is it a good way to record, but it is possible to edit and process stereo audio in the field. It is also compatible with all Core iOS Audio and Video apps including the Voice Memo and Camera, not to mention GarageBand and iMovie.

As for the device itself, it has a lightweight design and has this cool ability to rotate ninety degrees for “optimal audio/video positioning and locks in place with comfortable to use controls”. That control is a “thumbwheel” gain control.

About the only information here that I couldn’t find is how much it drains the battery. You should be able to get it on the IK Multimedia site for about $79.99.

BlueFlame Power Station good for charging four devices

blueflame power stationIt seems that our lifestyle these days is to put our mobile devices on charging stations so we can do our things we want to do when we get home. Most homes have several mobile devices, so why not charge them all at once? This is purpose of the Power Station from BlueFlame.

I have reviewed BlueFlame’s products before, and they really make some quality stuff such as the Wireless Music Receiver. I suppose that I could describe the Power Station as a “Nice Rack”, as that is what it is.

This rack has two spots with Lightning connectors that are good for charging an iPhone or iPad. Then are also two USB ports on the side, which means you can be charging four devices total.

There are other bonuses to this rack, such as the rack on the front can steady a iPhone or iPad for a Facetime chat. all that, and it is quite a space saver.

You should be able to purchase the Power Station on the BlueFlame site for about $119.99. It’s a pretty good deal, and I will recommend it.

Apple will have WWDC 2015 on June 8th

WWDC 2015Apple is planning to have their annual Worldwide Developers Convention (WWDC), and they are planning it on June 8-12 in the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

According to Apple, the WWDC will be a time where Apple’s developer community “will come together to learn about the future of iOS and OS X”, and there will be “more sessions than ever before streamed to developers”.

Of course, that is not much news unless you are a developer for Apple, but what might interest the casual reader is that something might be announced. WWDC has often been used by Apple to announce certain new products. Perhaps the newest iPhone or iPad could be announced.

It could be the iPad Pro/Plus. Tech Times reports that a popular analyst has stated that Apple is planning a release date for the iPad Pro/Plus later this year. A 12.9 inch display would match the display of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which are available in 13-inch display versions. The presence of a 12-inch tablet would change the playing field for Apple’s applications, as a larger screen would allow users more freedom.

In addition to the rumors of a larger screen, there have also been rumors that the iPad Pro/Plus would come with a stylus as well. This seems odd as Steve Jobs was not very pro-stylus, but the former CEO did not have any input on the Apple Watch, so it is up to Apple to come up with new designs for its products like its flagship tablet.

I believe that iOS 9 will be making an appearance, so then it will show up later. In the meantime, iOS 8.4 is planned for release soon.

The Apple “Spring Forward” Event Finalizes Apple Watch Details

Apple WatchThe Apple Watch was announced back in September, as we have reported before. Since then, there still haven been some things not revealed about it, like the release date, the price, battery life, and other features. Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage in San Francisco at a “Spring Forward” to shed some light on the mystery.

There was much time devoted to the many features of the Apple Watch. Tim stated that developers have been working on thousands of applications since the company released tools last November. Apple Watch users will need iOS 8.2 in order to get the Apple Watch to work. In fact, iOS 8.2 adds the Apple Watch to your iPhone so it can pair with the Apple Watch. Fortunately, it is available now.

Another big question of the Apple Watch is how long the battery life will be. Tim Cook wanted to let Apple users know that it will be good for 18 hours. By the way, it will have a charger cradle that will charge it magnetically as it clicks into place on the back of the watch.

Then there is one feature that Tim Cook has wanted since he was five years old: it can take phone calls. I don’t remember whether or not Tim announced that at the original Apple Watch unveiling.

The 38 mm model of the Apple Watch will be $349, and then there will be another 42 mm version (an Apple Watch Plus?) for about $399. There will be mid-level models for about $549 to $1,099. There will also be a luxury 18 karat gold edition for $10,000. The Apple Watch can be pre-ordered on April 10th, and it will be available worldwide at Apple Stores on April 24th.

The iGrill Mini from iDevices

iGrill miniI’ve reviewed iDevice products before, and I am referring to a company known as iDevices Inc, not the generic term used for devices compatible with Apple products. The last product I reviewed was the iShower, and it was quite a cool Bluetooth speaker. Today, I’m going to talk about the iGrill mini, a Bluetooth thermometer.

It is designed for grilling, which will let you know when your food is ready. Now, if you work at a restaurant, this is very, very important. If you get yourself a food-handler’s permit, then it is required that you cook your food at certain temperatures. I know that because I took the food handler’s permit test ten years ago, and I don’t remember the temperatures that I was tested with.

The iGrill mini allows you to connect a probe to your meat, and then link that probe via Bluetooth via smartphone. You can just magnetically mount the iGrill mini near the grill, and then monitor it on your smartphone. This way, you will know when to flip it. There is an LED to show progresses through four different stages. By the way, it has a battery life of over 150 hours.

If you are wanting to get in on this, head on over to the iDevices site for about $39.99.