It’s only been a few months since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ were released and folks have already started talking about the next iteration in the series, the iPhone 7. The rumour mills have already started predicting what the new iPhone will look like and what new paradigm shifting technology apple will come up with this time. So during this age and era where its rumours are in plentiful, iPhone 7 goes to own identical fate as many of the other products.
One can definitely not know for sure what the new iPhone 7 features, but one can sure take an educated guess and make a calculated prediction on what it will be like based on the current market trends. But since apple has been known to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation and setting a market standard, we can be sure that the new iPhone 7 will follow the same trend.
Let’s take a look at some of the areas where we think apple will look to improve and innovate:
The thing that made the most fuss during the release of the last iteration of iPhone’s was the screen size. So now Apple finally decided to give in and chose to go with a 4.7″ and 5.5″ screen. But the new iPhone 7 will feature the same screen size and design or maybe an upgraded screen size of at most 5″.
The main changes will be under the hood where apple will come up with a much better and improved display technology which will make it more power efficient without any trade-offs on the quality and boost the resolution to something that is close to 1080p or even as high as 2K and give it a retina branding to match the pixel bar set by other companies.
Features and Functionality:
When it comes to features and functionality Apple had really raised the bar in terms of phone security with the introduction of their touch ID fingerprint scanner system with the iPhone 5s and now the iPhone 7 will feature an even more advanced and secure version of the touch ID sensor and may even possess a new Sense button which can interpret the user’s gestures and movements like a track pad for added functionality. Apple always believes in adding a feature that is utmost necessary.
When it comes to design Apple doesn’t prefer much change and it is certain that the iPhone 7 is going to follow the same design philosophy as the iPhone 6 and 6+ which is already perfect.
The only design change that Apple will make is the addition of the circular crown which will be passed on from their apple watches into the iPhone. The crown could replace the power button which when pressed could lock the screen and the crown could be turned to perform variety of functions like switch profiles, zoom in and out or even turn pages without having to touch the screen or adjust brightness maybe or even make it user configurable. The newer iPhone 7 will also come in a variety of different colour schemes to add to its luxurious gold scheme.
Wireless charging remains one of the most frustrating technologies around, because while it’s here, it works and it feels like living in the future, it isn’t as widely supported as we’d like.
It’s rather like Google Wallet’s NFC payments in that respect: the idea’s sound but maybe it needs a fruit-themed firm from Cupertino to get on board before it’ll really take off. An iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 with wireless charging would be great, especially if the same charger worked for next year’s Apple Watch too
In terms of hardware, Apple always provides a good powerful hardware with enough power for their phones to run completely lag free and the new iPhone 7 will be the same. The iPhone 7 will feature a new and more efficient and powerful combo of apple’s A9 chip and the top of the line M9 motion chip with their 64-bit architecture chips which can handle any task that is assigned to it with ease. The new hardware will not only be powerful but also energy efficient which is known to boost the battery life by around 10%. It may also have a new and updated network chip for faster and reliable network connections.
The iPhone 7 also features the latest camera technology and hardware. In terms of cell phone camera technology, apple has always been market leaders in terms of image quality and speed. The iPhone 7 features an approximate 13MP camera with a f/2.2 sensor and also features the dual-tone flash for better performance in low light settings. It also features the usual features like super-fast burst mode, optical image stabilization and phase detection auto focus. The iPhone 7 will also be able to shoot videos in 4K resolution at 30fps and also take ‘slo-mo’ videos in [email protected] Many even consider an iPhone as a professional camera.
When it comes to software, apple has always kept a closed environment unlike android which has kept their software ecosystem open source. But with the introduction of iOS 8, apple has started to open its doors a little towards making their software a little more open and letting the users customize their software experience a lot more than their previous versions.
With the iPhone 7 Apple will introduce the new iOS 9 which will continue the trend started by iOS 8 in making things more customizable for the users, all the while making it more secure and efficient. It will also let the users change themes among other things.
In terms of build quality, apple devices have been always been very sturdy and this sturdiness is due to the use of metal over plastic by Apple, with the exception being the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 6 had come under a lot of scrutiny for being lack luster and weak in terms of build quality and being very susceptible to bending which led to the infamous “Bend gate” controversy.
So with the new iPhone 7 Apple will look to improve on those flaws and try making their new device tougher than ever before and will feature their new ion-strengthened glass and add more elements which are made of the super strong sapphire crystal on their phone which can already be seen on the Apple watches and the iPhone 7 will look to get rid of all the weak points which caused the previous phone to bend.
Apple believe in a particular set of principles in terms of screen and phone sizes but with the changing market trends they are changing too. Hence, the iPhone 7 features a very compact size and dimensions. The iPhone 6 was 6.9mm thin and the iPhone 7 may be even thinner. Apple has taken into consideration the fact that the device doesn’t become thin to the point that it becomes difficult for the users to hold it or to the point which affects its build quality. A version may also feature the dimensions of its previous iterations.
Ports and Speakers:
The iPhone 7 will possess the newly introduced USB-C connector which is not only universal and soon to become the market standard in the coming year but also is fast and can charge the phone faster than its previous versions and can even transfer data at lightning speeds and provide high level of connectivity. The iPhone truly pushes towards the new single port which can do it all. It will also feature the usual 3.5 mm audio jack for audio connectivity.
Also having recently acquired the Audio giant Beats, the iPhone 7 features a newer improved audio driver which can not only output loud but also crystal clear sound that both apple and beats are famous for. It is also highly unlikely that it will feature front facing speakers in the next iteration. There’s also a rumor that Apple’s underground research on ‘wireless charging’ will be introduced on upcoming iPhone 7. So in conclusion, the iPhone 7 is going to be a successful device like all apple devices are and a lot of people all over the world are going to buy it. It is not only because through the years owning an iPhone has become a style statement but also because every year apple comes with a device that is truly worth buying and the iPhone 7 is going to be no different.
A week on the wrist with the Alpina Startimer
It’s refreshing to wear a mechanical watch. The soft sweep of the seconds hand reminds us of the fleeting nature of time while the endless ticking in a dark room is a comfort and a spur to action. Add in a little limited edition provenance with big face and crown and you’ve got a stew going.
This particular stew is called the Alpina Startimer. It is a pilot’s watch, a watch with a large face and huge numerals used by old-timey fighter pilots during World War II. Designed with a huge crown which, as William Gibson wrote, “is rather more than usually prominent, so that you can do it without removing your whacking great RAF pilot’s gloves,” the pilot’s watch is the ultimate in utilitarian wrist-wear. You don’t admire a pilot’s watch, you address it for a split second while preparing to take Gs in a barrel roll.
This particular model is made by Alpina, a smaller Swiss manufacturer that has long specialized in a larger, bolder watch. The $1,150 piece runs a AL-525 movement which is based on the Sellita SW200. This is a Swiss movement that is, to a degree, mass-produced and is considered a workhorse in the watch world. It is part of their Startimer line but features special design cues and a limited edition engraving.
This piece is a commemorates Michael Goulian Aerosports, a stunt aerosports team that, we learn, straps these things to their wrists and whizzes around obstacles. The watch “is presented in a special edition box alongside a miniature model of Michael Goulian’s Red Bull Air Race World Championship competition airplane” and is aimed at fans of little planes that go really fast.
What’s special about this watch? Well, it’s a nicely made automatic watch at a price point that is on par with other entry-level pieces in the space. It has great lume – the numerals and hands glow in the dark making it very readable – and the band is a little thin but well-made. If you particularly like this mix of red, black, and titanium it’s a definite keeper.
I, for one, prefer either a steel or dark PVD pilot’s watch. All the bright metal on this piece is a bit distracting and takes away from the utilitarian nature of the original pilot’s watches. The traditional pilots watch also has broadarrow hands – IWC makes one that is a good example of the standard design – and the decision to add thinner hands to this piece is a bit incongruous.
I wore it off and on for a week and found it to be very readable and very precise. Watches slow down over time but this one managed to keep solid time over seven days with an average loss of a few minutes by the time my test was over. Again, you don’t buy these sorts of things to maintain atomic accuracy, you buy them to be reminded of a simpler time in aviation history.
Ultimately when it comes to a piece like this you’re buying quality and then design. The quality is there as Alpina has been making solid, dependable watches for decades. The design is subjective and if you’re into a “rather more than usually prominent” crown with a bold, handsome face then you could do worse for yourself. Now all you have to do is buy yourself some whacking great RAF pilot’s gloves and you’ll be set to take to the skies.
Google Assistant is coming to older Android phones and tablets
The Google Assistant, Google’s take on Siri, Cortana and Alexa without the approachable name, has long been available on most modern phones and tablets. But given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, many older devices will never get the newer versions of Android that actually feature built-in support for the Assistant. Now, however, Google is bringing support for its voice-activated helper to phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and tablets running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow.
Lollipop launched back in 2014, so we’re talking about a rather old phone operating system here (Android 8.1 is now standard on Google’s own Pixel phones), but according to Google, more than 26 percent of all Android devices still run some version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. Just over 30 percent run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Still, with an update to the Google Play Services, even these older devices will now get access to all the goodies that the Google Assistant promises — and often delivers.
If you still own one of these older Lollipop phones, you should see an update relatively soon. It’ll only be available to users who set their language to English in the U.S., U.K., India, Australia, Canada and Singapore, as well as to those who have set their default language to Spanish in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. Google says it will also roll out to users in Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Korea.
Because the Assistant on these older devices isn’t baked right into the launcher, though, you’ll have to launch the Google Assistant app before you can ask your phone for directions, the weather, recipes or jokes (in case you are feeling sad).
As for Marshmallow and Nougat tablet users, they’ll get the update over the course of the coming week, as long as they are in the U.S. and have set their language to English.
Mario Bear has come to save 2017
It’s been a long year – it feels like it actually spanned about 50, in fact. But now, at the end, some relief: Mario Bear.
Yes, it’s just a bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop. And a ‘brand collaboration,’ that horrific thing that usually just means some executives get a larger Christmas bonus and more people are convinced to part with their hard-earned money for something they don’t need. But this is a Mario Bear.
There’s also a Yoshi. And a Bowser. And a Toad. And a Luigi costume in case you want your bear to represent one of Nintendo’s slightly less appreciated protagonists. And a Princess Peach costume so you can prep your bear for far-flung adventuring (play Super Mario Odyssey if you don’t get this reference).
Nintendo also licensed BAB (do people call it that?) to create a 3-pack of “Super Mario Wrist Accessories,” a Super Mario branded hoodie for bears, and sounds including the Mario theme song. I assume these all mean something to people who understand what Build-A-Bear is and how it works.
All I know is that this is not the Mario Bear we deserve, but it’s definitely the one we need right now.
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