Hooray! New Apple iPads and Macs Announced

ipad air 2

Finally, the wait is over. Apple just released everything you wanted and need to know about the new iPad, iPad mini, and iMac.

 

apple truhtAll I’ve been hearing this whole time is iPad 6 this, and iPad Air 2014 that, but finally Apple has confirmed the name iPad Air 2, a 6.1mm thin tablet—the world’s thinnest tablet yet! Apple said it best, “You can stack two iPad Air 2’s, and it’s still thinner than the original iPad.” Now that’s ingenuity for ya! Not to brag or anything…ahem…all you Android users out there, but Apple has sold 225 million iPads around the world and is rated #1 in customer satisfaction, and has 675,000 apps in its iPad app store, which is a huge advantage over their competition. Not to mention Apple announced that its line-up of tablets have the lowest price point on the market, with a reduced price point of $100 across the board. Pre-orders begin today, with the 16GB model starting at $499.

 

1. iPad Air 2

ipad air 2 apple

Display

  • Single component with no air gaps.
  • Reduced internal reflection with anti-reflective coating, which reduces reflections by 56%. Lowest reflectivity of any tablet.
  • Improved retina display.

System

You wanted Indy 500 fast, well Apple delivered with 40% faster CPU performance, which is 12x faster than the original iPad! Apple also built-in an A8X chip specifically for iPad Air 2 with 3B transistors. Calling All Gamers, I repeat, Calling All Gamers, Apple didn’t forget about you, they upped the ante with 10 hours of battery life for non-stop marathon playing and 180x faster graphic performance, bringing engines from desktop gaming to iPad Air 2.

 

Camera

Everything looks sexier in slo-mo. Just imagine Betty White in a bikini running on the beach (there’s a nice visual for ya). Moments like these are made possible with Apple’s addition of slo-mo capabilities for capturing videos at 120 frames per second along with REPLAY a video editing app, which lets users add in motion graphics and music using their iPad. Available for free at the end of October.

  • Edit photos on the device.
  • 8MP camera with 1.12 pixels, ƒ/2.4 aperture.
  • Burst Mode photos to do time laps and high speed action photos.
  • Facetime camera on the front side lets in 80% more light for burst selfies,
  • Improved face detection.

Price & Availability

$499 16GB

$599 64GB

$699 128 GB

+$130 for WIFI + Cellular

 

Bonus: Touch ID

touch id

I am happy to report that one of the most requested features for the next generation of Apple iPad tablets—TouchID, is a go. TouchID on this device lets you to quickly unlock your iPad, it works with iOS 8 developer apps, and it lets you purchase using Apple Pay. Both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 will tout this feature.

 

2. iPad Mini 3

ipad mini 3

The Lowdown

It’s exactly the same as the iPad Mini 2.  Seriously. What. The only added feature is the Touch ID. Big disappointment. Move along Apple fan boys.

 

Price & Availability: iPad mini 3

16GB $399

$64 GB $499

128 GB $599

 

3. iMac Retina 5K

imac-retina-5k

Display

Apple’s iMac with Retina display is a force to be reckoned. You have two options to choose from a 21.5 inch or a 27 inch display, but our hearts are with the mammoth 27 incher. This work of art has a 27 in. 5120×2880 display with 14.7 million pixels, making it the world’s highest resolution 5k retina display. It has 7x more pixels than an HD TV, and it’s only 5mm thin! The iMac has 4x more bandwidth, it uses oxide TFT to charge pixels quicker and longer, organic passivation…say that 5x fast… to increase image quality, new backlight technology, and it uses 30% less energy.

 

System

3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon R9 chip M29OX, 8GB memory, 45% faster than previous version, 1TB Fusion Drive, Energy Star 6.1 ratings.

 

Price & Availability

Ships today!

21.5inch $1099

27 inch $1799

 

4. Mac Mini

mac mini Mac Mini has been updated with a faster processor 4th generation Intel Core Processors, graphics Intel Iris and HD Graphics 5000, storage, WIFI 802.11ac, 2 thunderbolt 2 ports. Starts at $499, and ships today!

 

Ah, Yosemite OS, if it performs anything like the images suggest then we will all be in Apple heaven. Yosemite and OS8 work together better than ever. All of your documents are synced with iCloud photo library, taking full advantage of Wi-Fi to airdrop files. Apple stressed Continuity of their devices, which makes them aware of each other. It all starts with with a swipe across the screen to transfer files to another. There is also the ability to send and receive text message to any device. During the live cast Apple demo’d what they called “the world of continuity” when using Yosemite. The user can pick up where they left off on the other device by swiping up, and the system knows right where you were in the other document.

 

We were all on the edge of our seats when Apple mentioned the word iCloud, especially with all the flack it received after the incidents with Hollywood’s hottest stars nude picture reportedly being hacked from their iCloud accounts, but Apple put us at ease again flashing all its upgrades including:

  • Vibrant icons
  • Rich Typography
  • Spotlight-taps into sources on the internet, like Wikipedia, which provides answer to your questions without finishing typing
  • Safari is Fast-6x faster than other browsers [3+hours longer!]
  • Maildrop send to up to 5GB files, which are protected on iCloud
  • iWork- productivity suite, a new design, functional update to numbers ability to transpose tables, along with text effects. Available Monday and it’s free.
  • iOS 8.1 free, available Monday
  • iCloud Drive- Access to files across all devices.

 

Apple has officially made it even easier to become a couch potato. As if I need another reason to live a sedentary life. Their new Apple Watch, which is slated for release in early 2015, can be used as a remote. Yes people, a remote! But according to Apple’s “Chief of Secrecy”, Stephen Colbert, Apple needs to hurry up and release the iWatch. Colbert famously said, “You know what I see when I look at my wrist? My wrist! Get to Work!” Our sentiments exactly.

 

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The Scariest Road Trip Destinations in the US

haunted house

With Halloween approaching, haunted house tours are quite the draw during this time of year and the US is full of spooky locations that can have you running in the opposite direction. So if you enjoy creepy settings and the thrill of being scared, then these 5 scary road trip destinations are for you!

 

1. The Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, LA

myrtles plantation

Located in St. Francisville, LA, the Myrtles Plantation is marked as one of America’s most haunted homes. It claims to have witnessed 10 murders on its land and it supposedly houses 12 ghosts, if not more. The most well-known of its ghosts is Chloe. History tells us that Chloe was a slave owned by plantation owners Clark and Sara Woodruff. Throughout the years, different tales have surfaced. In one tale, Clark forced Chloe into being his mistress; in others, she was caught eavesdropping on Clark’s business manager and had an ear cut off as penance.

 

myrtles plantation ghost of chloe

No matter the tale, the event that lead to her death remains the same. One day, Chloe baked a birthday cake containing an extract of oleander leaves – that is, poison. Sara and her two daughters ate the cake and died, after which Chloe was hanged by the other slaves and thrown into the Mississippi River. So, if you’re feeling daring, why not spend a night there? It’s still a fully-functioning bed and breakfast.

 

2. Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Louisville, KY

waverly-hills-sanatorium

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium of Kentucky is so notorious that it’s been featured on at least seven different paranormal television shows. Originally a tuberculosis hospital, it opened in 1910, before the development of antibiotic streptomycin. Back then if you contracted tuberculosis, you were as good as dead and nobody would expect you to recover. As the urban legend goes, there were around 63,000 souls who died of the disease while at Waverly Hills—many of which are said to haunt the hospital still.

 

waverly hills wardThe legend that gets the most attention is connected to room 502. Legend has it that a nurse found out she was pregnant out of wedlock by the owner of the sanatorium. Furthermore, she had also contracted tuberculosis. An acute sense of hopelessness about her situation led her to hang herself in the room she was in at the time—room 502. Unfortunately, it looks like she never left that room. Would you stay in an old tuberculosis ward for an evening?

 

3. Lemp Mansion – St. Louis, MO

lemp mansion

This grand mansion may be a popular inn and restaurant in St. Louis, MO, but its past was not so pleasant. Visitors can experience the paranormal at this location as the mansion is marked by 60 years of tragedy for the wealthy Lemp family. At least 4 members of this doomed dynasty died in the house on DeMenil Place.

 

lemp mansion inside

William Lemp committed suicide in his home 1904. When the family brewing business went bad during the 1920s, his son Billy took his own life as well. In 1949 it was Billy’s brother Charles who committed the third suicide in the home. The fourth death in the family was a 13-year-old boy who was physically and mentally disabled. The boy lived his life hidden away in the attic, gazing out the window at the life outside until he died in that same room. Once can expect to encounter at least one of these spirits during the weekly ghost tour of the mansion.

 

4. Helltown, Ohio – Summit County, OH

helltown ohio

No, it isn’t really called Helltown, it also goes by the name, ‘Boston Village.’ But the legend has long ago associated the town with satanic activity that it earned the Helltown name. Founded in 1806, the town flourished until 1974, when Gerald Ford passed a bill allowing National Park service to create a park in the county. The Part Service bought several houses, intending to demolish them; but the homes were simply boarded up, and remained as such for years.

 

helltown ohio roadThese days, the buildings are all gone and the village no longer exists but the stories continue to this day. Stanford Road, for example, leads to a drop-off called “the End of the World.” The cemetery features a ghostly man, a moving tree, and grave robbers. The Presbyterian Church off of Boston Mills Road is said to have played host to satanic rituals and animal sacrifices. The Boston Mills Road Bridge is believed to be a crybaby bridge – legend tells us the tale that a baby was thrown from the bridge into the river below, hence any traveler on that bridge can hear the crying of a baby. It’s probably not a good choice to be prowling on this bridge late at night. You might not like what you see – or hear.

 

5. Clinton Road – West Milford, NJ

clinton rd

Found in West Milford, NJ, Clinton Road is just about 10 miles long, but it’ll be the longest 10 miles you’ve ever come across. The drive is rumored to feel never-ending when you’re racing to keep ahead of the evil ghosts that haunt the road. This unwelcoming stretch of road has all of the makings for the classic urban legend – alleged paranormal activity, satanic rituals, and phantom trucks that send drivers on a wild ride. A more recent tale tells us that it was a dumping ground for a mob hit man known as the Iceman. No haunted thoroughfare is complete without a dead man’s curve, located about 3 miles into the hair-raising drive. But the worst part is that there are no exits on this lonesome highway.

 

These road trip destinations in the US are deemed as some of the scariest places to be traveling to. Will you charge forward or turn the other way around?


 

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The First Voyage of Christopher Columbus: Why He Could Have Used Travel Insurance

columbus voyage

Columbus Day is approaching and you’re ready to enjoy the extended weekend. Find out how Columbus could have used insurance protection for his travels as I drop some historical knowledge on you. La Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción (Spanish for The Holy Mary of the Immaculate Conception), or La Santa María, was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage. The Santa Maria was no longer than 70 feet and history portrays it as an ugly and slow-moving ship, yet she has come to symbolize the spirit of adventure as she carried Christopher Columbus and his crew to the new world.

columbus first voyage

As history narrates, after engaging in festivities and drinking, Columbus ordered the crew to continue sailing to Cuba late into the night. One by one the crew members fell asleep until only a cabin boy was steering the ship, causing it to run aground off the present-day site of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, on 24 December 1492, sinking the next day.

columbus shipwreck

Although travel insurance was nonexistent during the Columbus voyage, we couldn’t help but wonder “what if travel insurance was available back then?” Would it be just as valuable back then as it is in today’s generation? Here are 4 reasons on how the Columbus voyage on the Santa Maria could have used travel and rental car insurance:

 

Lost & Damaged Property

columbus natives

As in any shipwreck, there’s likely to be a lot of lost and damaged property. Columbus lost almost everything on the Santa Maria during that fateful Christmas – food, clothing, weapons, and most importantly rum. Luckily he still had his other 2 ships intact. With travel insurance, passengers can file claims for their missing possessions. Any valuables that weren’t recovered after the sinking would have been covered by Columbus’ travel insurance.

 

Travel Plans

 

Travel problems are unpredictable, whether you think it will or not. Despite your best-laid plans and preventative measures. Sure, Columbus and his crew were expert travelers, but they were no exception to a dire situation. Columbus ran his ship aground with no option but to salvage his ship for materials. When the unfortunate happens, without insurance you’re basically screwed. With travel insurance, you are protected from unexpected travel predicaments.

christopher columbus

Medical Emergenciesscurvy

 

Travel medical and health insurance plans today would have been of great use back in 1492. With this type of insurance, instant medical intelligence at your fingertips that can help with most medical conditions is extremely valuable.  Columbus and his crew suffered all sorts of common ailments during that time – scurvy, gangrene, and dysentery! It would have been ideal to have a 24/7 emergency medical assistance for frequent travelers such as Columbus.

 

Rental Car

 

More like rental boat! Columbus convinced Juan de la Cosa, the owner of the Santa Maria, to let him use the ship.  Columbus was effectively renting the ship from Cosa.  And of course, Columbus shipwrecked the Santa Maria – how inconvenient.  With rental car insurance (or rental boat in this case), Columbus would have been covered for severely damaging the Santa Maria.  Instead, he was at the mercy of Cosa and forever indebted.

 

These days, travelers can resort to travel insurance especially when casualty arises from unforeseeable events where there is a risk of financial loss. If there’s anyone that could benefit from travel and rental car insurance, then it would be the travelers of the Columbus Voyage.

 


 

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Infographic: The Fate of Protected Apple Devices

Ever wonder what happens to your PYB protected Apple devices?  We sifted through our data created this infographic for your pleasure.  As you can see, the iPhone 5s and 5c account for 58% of Apple phone claims.  The iPad 4 represents 52% of damaged iPads.  Geographically, California knows how damage their iPhones as they are a highly populated state.  Not surprisingly, cracked screens are the biggest problem consumers have with their iPhones.  Dang clumsy hands!

 

Apple infographic iphone ipad

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What We Like Most About The New iPhone 6

One of the great things about Apple is that they have continued to develop their proprietary technology. Consumers should be grateful that Samsung is a competent competitor to Apple, allowing for both companies to continually push the envelope with each new iteration of their flagship smartphones.

 

On September 19th, Apple made available to the market its newest addition to the iPhone family, the much anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Everything you love about iPhones is still found in the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus, only everything is just better, so much better. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus over the weekend. Here are the top 3 things we like most about the new iPhone 6:

 

1. The Huge Screen

 

The iPhone 6 comes with Retina HD display – which can only be described as bigger and more enhanced.  The regular iPhone 6 comes with a 326ppi (pixels-per-inch) screen resolution while the Plus unit packs up to 440ppi. Both units show a marked improvement in terms of contrast ratio and viewing angle.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-in display. This is great news for users who prefer bigger screens for their mobile phone. The iPhone 6 Plus ‘phablet’ essentially replaces the need for an iPad Mini – that’s how big it is! Although at times it seems like a struggle to grasp the phone in one hand, watching Vine videos have become more enjoyable on the large vibrant screen. That is an acceptable trade-off in our book.

 

2. The Sharp Camera

 

If you’ve managed to snag the latest iPhone, you’ll notice that your camera photos are significantly less blurry. This is because Apple is using a combination of the A8 SoC and the M8 motion coprocessor. The lens itself offer optical image stabilization, even in low light, you can still produce much sharper photos. The much improved camera features hold a respectable 8MP sensor, with ‘focus pixels’ which allows for a quicker auto-focus – a feature you’d normally expect to find on high end cameras.

It also allows you to do 43 megapixel panorama shots too. But what makes the camera feature stand out as compared to its predecessors is the slow motion function, taking more frames-per-second. The slo-mode supports upwards of 240 fps, this is definitely something worth bragging about to your family and friends. Props to Apple for allowing us to capture slo-mo reactions of our friends’ horrified faces when we prank them.

 

3. VoLTE and WiFi Calling

 

With every release of the iPhone, Apple significantly improves the wireless radio capabilities and the iPhone 6 generation is no exception to such improvement. VoLTE (Voice over LTE) support is now available. In addition, iOS 8 adds the ability to make calls over WiFi when cell coverage isn’t available. In addition to dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n that it offered in previous generations, it now also offers WiFi 802.11ac. For smartphone users with poor coverage, this feature is possibly one of the top reasons why purchasing the iPhone 6 is worth every dollar spent. All too often we find ourselves losing cell coverage in the lobby of tall buildings. No longer is this an issue and business travelers can now breathe a sigh of relief at those massive conferences.

As always, Apple aims to please. Indeed, it is very clear that Apple has more than delivered and has made history yet again the demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been overwhelming!

 


 

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iPhone 6 Launch: It’s Here!

iphone 6

The craziness of the Apple phenomenon had everyone show up at Broadway Shopping Centre in Sydney – all sharing a common passion – to buy the newest, latest and best Apple gadget. Since the recent iPhone 6 announcement, there has been a noticeable commotion from retailers and carriers as they try to position themselves ahead of the market share. It can be safe to declare that this year’s iPhone launch is vastly different as compared to the previous years because this time around, the market has matured, all 4 carriers will now offer the latest smartphone.

 

iphone 6 launch Broadway Centre

Those that are hoping to snag the latest iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are encouraged to call their local stores for specific information on opening times and potential stock.  We’ve gathered up a list of US locations that will be selling the iPhone 6 and 6 plus, listed below:

 

  • Apple retail stores – 8AM local time
  • Verizon Wireless – 8AM local time (Not all stores are accepting walk-up purchases, and opening times will vary)
  • AT&T – 8AM local time
  • T-Mobile – 9AM – 10AM local time, but opening times vary
  • Sprint – 8AM local time
  • RadioShack – 9AM – 10AM local time, but opening times vary
  • Best Buy – 8AM local time
  • Sam’s Club – 8AM local time
  • Target – Availability will vary
  • Walmart – Availability will vary
  • Staples – Availability will vary

At Apple Store locations, procedure will be slightly different than it has in past years as Apple will also be handing out iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units to customers who opted for Personal Pickup when pre-ordering online last week. All buyers will be directed to wait in one line until approximately 5AM, at which point they will be split into two lines: one for Personal Pickup and one for customers hoping to purchase a device on launch day.

 

iphone line

As they do every year, Apple will hand out refreshments like coffee and water, and ahead of the store’s opening, customers in the walk-in line (who did not pre-order) will be given a digital Reservation Pass (sent via email or SMS) to guarantee them an iPhone. This year’s Reservation Passes replace the paper cards that have been handed out in past years.

 

iphone water

If you’re a walk-in customer planning to wait in line, ideally you want to arrive as early as possible. Customers that want to get their hands on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are already waiting in line across the US stores, and will wait through the night. According to multiple sources, supplies of the iPhone are expected to be low, with the iPhone 6 Plus being in extremely short supply. While a significant number of devices will be delivered to customers beginning September 19th and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October.

 

iphone sales

Some analysts believe with the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple is poised to begin another “super cycle.” Brian White, managing director and global head of technology hardware, software and equity research at Cantor Fitzgerald, releases the following statement: “We believe Apple is in the midst of another ‘super cycle’ that begins with the rapidly growing ‘phablet’ market via the iPhone 6 Plus and extends into the wearable category in early 2015 with Apple Watch.”

 

With every iPhone announced and released, Apple enthusiasts around the world proved their unflinching loyalty yet again during the global launch of the iPhone 6 on this day.

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3 Innovative iPhone 6 Features That Didn’t Make The Cut

iMind

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were just revealed a few days ago with a slew of cool new features like Apple Pay and Focus Pixels.  What you don’t know is that Apple’s technology scientists at the secretive Apple iLab developed some other unique features that ultimately didn’t end up in the final product.  Lucky for you, Protect Your Bubble was able to gain exclusive access to these radical technologies by befriending Tim Cook’s landscaper.

 

1. DNA ID Sensoriphone dna sensor

If you thought the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that debuted with the iPhone 5s was awesome, wait until you see the DNA ID sensor that Apple initially planned for the iPhone 6.  The Touch ID sensor was supposed to be a secure way to access your phone, but hackers found a way to bypass it with wood glue and other methods.  The DNA ID sensor was developed to be the ultimate unbreakable security measure for your iPhone 6.  Instead of using your fingerprint, the iPhone 6 would require a sample of your blood or saliva every time you wanted to unlock the screen.  Simple, convenient, and super effective!

 

 

2. iMindimind 2

Along with the microwave and Shake Weight, the technology was originally developed by the U.S. military at Area 51.  iMind reads your thoughts and interprets the appropriate actions to be taken.  The goal of the iMind was to make finger and screen interactions obsolete.  Hate the 5 o’clock meeting you’re stuck in?  iMind will automatically populate job searches and apply for them on LinkedIn while you daydream.  Dislike your inconsiderate neighbor who mows the lawn at 7am on a Saturday morning?  Sensing your distress, iMind will purchase and overnight ship a hunting rifle to your doorstep.  As you can imagine, iMind could have detrimental consequences and was phased out of the final iPhone 6 product for safety concerns.

 

3. Invisible Force Field

That’s right nerds.  This isn’t Star Wars.  THIS IS APPLE!

this is apple

Apple developed force field technology 2 years ago, but felt the world wasn’t ready for it.  They tested it out on the iPhone 6 with the objective of preventing falling iPhones from getting damaged.  No more cracked screens and broken devices?  Sounds like a utopia!  As you can see from the test video below, Apple’s aural sensors will trigger a force field when it detects the programmed instruction of a synched clap and a vocal command.

 

 


 

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Revealed! Here’s Everything You Need To Know

iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 PlusApple has just released all the deets on the new iPhone.  Here’s what you need to know.

 

Display

That’s right folks.  Apple will be releasing two versions of their new iPhone – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  The regular iPhone 6 will have a 4.7 inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus will have a 5.5 inch screen, making both versions bigger than the current iPhone 5s.  It is clear that Apple is trying to target a new demographic with their monstrous iPhone 6 Plus – sumo wrestlers, sasquatch, and Transformers.

iphone 6 sizes

In terms of picture clarity, the iPhone 6 display will contain 1 million pixels and the Plus will contain 2 million pixels.  According to Apple, their ultra-HD displays will be officially dubbed as Retina HD.  Based on their naming convention, I will assume the pixel overload will blind your retinas from the immaculate picture quality.  Apple also introduced an ion-strengthened screen cover for the display.  Let’s hope it’s not too durable or I might be out of a job.

 

Body

Apple should’ve gotten the Real Slim Shady to stand up for this event because the new iPhone 6 is quite slim!  The iPhone 6 will be 6.9mm thin while the Plus will be 7.1mm thin.  If it was any thinner, I would be scared of getting a paper cut from holding the new iPhone.  The iPhone 6 is so thin that a thin mint cookie is actually bigger.  I’ve attached a picture below so you can have your mind blown visually.

iphone 6 thin

System

The latest iOS 8 is confirmed to appear on the iPhone 6.  Moreover, the A8 chip is the new 64-bit cpu processor that will power this beastly phone.  Apple claims the iPhone 6 will run 50x faster than the original iPhone, which means you can theoretically text 50x faster!

iphone 50x faster

Furthermore, Apple will be upgrading their new M8 motion processor that can track your every movement whether if you’re cycling, running, swimming, etc.  It can even detect elevation.  The NSA will be thanking Apple for this new feature.

nsa apple

Camera

There will be an 8 MP camera with a new iSight sensor that will “focus pixels” twice as fast as the iPhone 5s.  Overall, image stabilization will be better resulting in less blurry photos and better low-lighting captures.  There will be a new selfie burst mode that will allow you to take 10 photos in a second.  Thanks Apple, now my grandma will be posting 10 selfies of herself playing Mahjong on Instagram!

iphone 6 camera

Pricing & Availability

The iPhone 6 will cost $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, and $399 for 128 GB with a two-year contract.  iPhone 6 Plus will be $100 more at $299 for 16GB with a two-year contract.  Pre-orders begin Friday, Sept. 12 and ships Friday, Sept. 19.  It will be available in 115 countries by end of 2014.

iphone 6 pricing

Apple Pay

Apple introduced their new mobile payment system called Apple Pay.  It will utilize NFC technology and basically transform your iPhone into a digital credit card and make one-touch payments possible. Because that’s what we need – to make impulse buying more convenient.  “It is so cool!” exclaimed Tim Cook during the live event.  Yeah I am not so sure he will be that enthusiastic when he gets ihacked and has all his credit card information stolen.

Apply Pay

BONUS: Apple Watch aka iWatch

The Apple Watch has been revealed.  It utilizes a digital crown that controls the watch, much like rotary dials on an old school land-line phone.  The Apple Watch will be built from only the finest materials including stainless steel, aluminum, and 18-karat gold alloys.  There will be a plethora of apps available on the Apple Watch like the clock app, which conveniently tells time. One touted feature is the ability to share your heart beat with other people through the Apple Watch.  In unrelated news, pre-orders of Apple Watches have been sold out due to immense demand from nursing homes.

iWatch Digital Crown

Fitness is an area Apple is really focusing on with the Apple Watch.  With the prevalence of FuelBand and FitBit wristbands, there is a big opportunity here as Apple Watch is being pushed as an all-day fitness tracker and sports watch in a single device.  The Apple Watch will include 2 critical fitness apps – Activity app and Workout app.  With these apps you can track all physical feats you have done throughout the day from walking, running, cycling, etc.  Important: the Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5 or above to operate.

iwatch fitness

Want to talk nerdy with me about the iPhone 6?  Hit me up on my Google + page and subscribe to the blog!


 

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Pre-iPhone 6 Reveal: 4 Things You Should Be Aware Of

iphone 6

Apple will be revealing their heavily anticipated iPhone 6 on Tuesday, September 9.  Here are some things you should be aware of before the event of the year!

 

1. State of the Global Smartphone Market

The 2 giant smartphone makers, Samsung and Apple, have previously dominated the market with their products.  Most recently however, new Chinese companies have started to churn out some great new phones, taking away market share from the 2 heavy players.  Chinese vendors now account for 1/3 of all Android handsets.

 

Xiaomi Chinese Phone

The well-received Chinese smartphone: Xiaomi

In terms of software, the Android OS continues to expand its lead over Apple’s iOS.  According to BI Intelligence, Android has 84% market share over iOS’s 11% share.  This continues to be a problem for Apple as it has historically had trouble establishing its foothold in countries across the globe.  Will the new iPhone 6 and iOS 8 be able to reverse this trend?  Only time will tell.

 

iOS market share

Apple's iOS has had stagnant growth

 

2. iCloud Hacking Scandal

With the recent events of celebrity photos being obtained and leaked by hackers, analysts and consumers alike have questioned the vulnerability of the iCloud.  The iPhone 6 will undoubtedly utilize the iCloud platform more heavily than previous iPhones.  With that in mind, smartphone users are becoming more reluctant to trust personal, sensitive data to cloud platforms that clearly have security issues.  Some users have already responded to the events by beefing up their mobile security with specialized smartphone data protection apps.

 

icloud

The iCloud has been iHacked

3. Sapphire Glass vs Gorilla Glass

Apple is rumored to be installing a new Sapphire Glass that is more durable, resistant, and bendable than the Gorilla Glass they use on their current iPhones.  This may sound like an automatic win, but some researchers like Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies have their doubts.  Soneria is concerned that Sapphire may be more brittle than glass.  Soneira states, “Breakage is a complicated process.  It depends on the stresses that are involved when something falls and that’s really hard to predict without doing testing.  And I would think Sapphire might be more prone to breakage than Gorilla Glass.”

 

Sapphire Glass Preview

 

4. iWatch

Not to steal iPhone 6’s thunder, but the iWatch is expected to debut during Apple’s big event on September 9.  Early media reports have claimed that the iWatch will come in 2 sizes – 1.3in screen and a 1.5in display version.  Memory space will be limited to 8GB of internal storage, which is a large amount for a watch.  The Samsung Galaxy Gear Watch has only 4 GB of storage in comparison.  The aim for the iWatch is for it to be more than just a wrist-worn controller for your smartphone.  Apple wants it to be a standalone product that can operate independently.

iWatch

The iWatch for your iWrist

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Top 10 Safety Tips When Renting a Rental Car

rental car

Part of your travels may involve renting a car which can certainly be enjoyable as it allows you to get around just like you would at home. However, driving a rental car comes with its own complications as this is generally not the typical vehicle that you drive. Even if the car is the same make and model as the one you own, there are still differences in the way it is going to handle.

 

Plus, getting involved in an accident or worse can not only cost you a great deal of money, it can put you in a serious bind being so far from home. First things first, when you rent a vehicle, be sure to protect yourself with rental car insurance. It adds that extra layer of protection that you will need in case the unexpected should happen while you are far away from home.

 

Once you have taken care of the insurance, here are the 10 best safety tips to help keep you safe when driving a rental vehicle. You cannot eliminate the chance that an accident will occur, but you can reduce the odds significantly which may make all the difference.

 

1. Rent a Vehicle with which You are Familiar Withcar rental

If you’ve never driven a large van before, this is not the time to learn. You’ll want to rent the basic type of vehicle that you have driven before. It is much easier to go from driving a large vehicle to a smaller one than the other way around. Large vehicles are more cumbersome and do not respond as quickly as smaller cars.

 

Also, while it may be tempting to rent a high performance sports car, if you’ve never driven anything fancier than a standard mid-size vehicle, you should leave the racing to someone else.

 

2. Check the Outside of the Vehicle

Before you get in, take a minute to check the outside of the vehicle first and pay particular attention to the tires. Even a tire that is just a few pounds under the recommended level can cause your vehicle to turn in unexpected ways, so have it taken care of before you leave the rental car agency.

 

car scratches3. Report any Scratches, Dents or Other Significant Imperfections Before you Leave

In many cases, the rental agency will send a representative with you to the vehicle so that both of you can check it out to report any dents, dings, scratches and the like before you leave so that it is fully reported. The failure to do so means that you might be charged for a ding or dent that you did not cause. So take the time to go over the vehicle so that everything gets reported.

 

4. Check the Inside of the Vehicle

Before you start the vehicle, you will want to locate the following;

-       Speedometer

-       Lights

-       Windshield Wipers

-       Indicators like the Temperature Gauge, Check Engine Light and so forth

-       Gas Gauge

-       Radio and other features that you will use

Basically, you’ll want to get familiar with the car before you even move it from its parking space. Turn on the vehicle and check to see that all the lights and windshield wipers work properly. A sudden rain storm can greatly reduce your visibility quickly and you don’t want to fumble around looking for the windshield wipers.

 

5. Check the Trunkspare-tire-trunk

There should be a fully inflated spare tire or a smaller, solid rubber tire and jack so that you can change your own flat if needed. Plus, the rental agency should have an emergency service vehicle in case of mechanical difficulties, so have that number handy when driving.

 

6. If you have a GPS, Program your Destination

This can save you a great deal of time and effort in trying to find your location. So before you leave the parking area, be sure to program your first destination which can save you from becoming distracted while driving. This is especially true if you are traveling in densely packed urban areas where accidents are more likely to happen.

 

7. Test the Vehicle as You Drive

If the rental agency has a large parking area, take the vehicle around a couple of time to get the feel of it. You’ll want to test the brakes and steering as well so that way you can know what to expect. You only need a minute or two, but if you notice something really odd or even wrong with how the vehicle operates, immediately take it back to the rental agency.

 

8. Limit Distractions

This is arguably the toughest piece of advice to follow since it is very easy to become distracted when driving in a place that you have never visited. However, distractions are one of the leading causes of accidents so if you should see something so interesting that you must keep looking, pull the vehicle over to a safe place so you can view it without putting you and any of your passengers in danger.

 

9. Stay at a Safe Speed

Driving the speed limit will help you keep out of trouble with law enforcement and also allow you more reaction time if something should occur which requires you to apply the brakes or change lanes. It can be easy on long stretches of the highway to let the speed creep up. Just keep in mind that the faster you go, the less likely you are to avoid a potential accident.

75-mph-speed-limit-sign

10. Read the Map when the Car is Stopped

While reading a map has been the source of high comedy in television series and films, it is no laughing matter to get distracted by a map or anything else while driving your rental car. If you need to find a location, talk or text on your phone, or have to take your eyes off the road for something else it is best if you pull over the vehicle first.

 

By following these simple tips, you can significantly decrease the odds of having an accident while driving a rental vehicle and keep you and your passengers safer which makes for a much more enjoyable trip.

 


 

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