Apple Patent Reveals the iWatch Function and Design

apple patent iwatch

A smartwatch patent by Apple has just been released, revealing that the company is indeed planning to release the iWatch.

In the patent filing,  Apple created a square smart watch design however sources speculate that this design may change.

In the patent, the device appears to have many of the same features as competitors including a touch screen, an accelerometer, a GPS receiver, Bluetooth and vibration alerts.

The iWatch will also be able to sync with your iPhone and displays notifications of phone calls and text messages. Users will also be able to receive notifications from social networks and relevant news alerts.

One of the most interesting features of the iWatch is that it can store music and video and play it back directly on the watch. You can even plug a set of headphones into the watch in the upper left corner.

It also seems that the iWatch will have the ability to respond to your movements. While its not clear exactly what this will be used for, it could be a way that users can decline or accept a call.

While no real details were released on what materials would be used, the patent does state that the band will be made of a non-metal material.

The iWatch is expected to be released in the next few months but Apple is yet to confirm anything.

Facebook Allows You to Save Posts to Revisit Later

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Our lives are often busy so, the thoughtful people at Facebook have introduced a new save feature which allows you to store posts and come back to them later.

Facebook has introduced a new function that will allow users to essentially create a library of content to read and re-visit at a later time.

“Every day, people find all sorts of interesting items on Facebook that they don’t have time to explore right away. Now you can save items that you find to check out later when you have more time,” stated software engineer at Facebook, Daniel Giambavlo.

The new save feature will appear in a drop down menu to the left of the post on desktop versions and on both iOS and Android devices.

Facebook will also send you a friendly notification, reminding you that you have content stored away in your saved folder.

The saved folder is set to appear as a tab on the top left corner of the website.

Facebook will begin rolling out the new save function in the next few days.

Verizon Increases Upload Speeds for FiOS Customers

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Verizon has announced that they are boosting FiOS upload speeds to match download speeds.

FiOS, which is the fastest internet service that Verizon provides is now on a mission to boost upload speeds.

The cheapest FiOS option will now deliver 15 megabits per second for upload speeds which is around 10 megabits faster.

On the most expensive FiOs option, upload speeds will be 500 megabits per second.

These changes will put the upload speed at exactly the same rate as the download speed.

“Faster upload speeds means better sharing experiences,” stated Mike Ritter, Verizon’s chief marketing officer for consumer and mass business. “All Internet sharing — whether videos, large photo files or gaming — starts with uploading.”

Current residential customers will be transitioned to these new speeds free of charge in the coming months with businesses to follow.

Verizon commented that uploads are becoming increasingly popular which is why they decided to increase their service.

While FiOS is one of the fastest internet services around, it wont be long before competition heats up as companies like Google work to install internet with speeds of 1 Gigabit per second.

Ritot Projects Notifications onto your Hand

ritot

Forget having your notifications pop up on a screen, why not your hand?

Ritot, a new wristband concept device projects your notifications, such as emails and incoming calls straight onto your hand.

Ritot is being marketed as the first projection watch and has already raised $375,000 on Indiegogo to bring the wearable device to consumers.

The device uses light from a pico projector that displays personalized content directly onto the top of the wearers hand. The projected display appears for about 10 seconds and can sync with your smartphone to get notifications.

The wrist band is available in as an aluminium style bracelet and also in rubber for more of a sportsband look.

Ritot is expected to retail for around $120 and will ship starting in early 2015.

Google Play Removes Freemium Apps from the Free List

google play

As increasing pressure builds over in-app purchases on children’s games, Google has decided to remove them from the “free” section of the Google Play store.

Companies like Google, Amazon and Apple have all come under fire from parents and government agencies over deceptive in-app purchases in children’s games which caused them to rack up huge bills.

Known as “freemium” apps, they are often free to download however, as you start playing or engaging with the app you need to pay in order to keep going. Purchases can also be made inside the app to collect tools needed for the game.

The argument has also been made that these in-app purchase options are deceiving, and that many children had no idea they were actually spending money by clicking on the option.

While companies like Apple, refunded customers who complained, Google is taking it one step further by agreeing to remove apps that offer in-app purchases from the “free” section.

The change by Google comes as the European Commission begins to crack down on app stores over in-app purchases which caused some parents to receive charges of over a thousand dollars.

Apple has also made changes to apps that are targeted towards children by making each in-app purchase protected by a user name and password.

Google is doing the same, which means that in order to make an in-app purchase, children will need to get their parents consent.

In app purchases are big business for both Apple and Google however, it seems that now they will have to be more transparent and responsible when it comes to how they are advertised.

What would Steve Jobs Say about Apple Teaming up with IBM?

ibm and apple

Apple has teamed up with their former competitor, IBM to help deliver iPads and iPhones to the corporate market.

Apple and IBM are teaming up to create over 100 different applications designed exclusively for corporate companies and government agencies.

It has never been a secret that Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs had a distain for IBM. In fact, at one point Apple stated that the company was a “soulless company devoid of new ideas.”

Back in the 1980′s, the two companies were the biggest rivals in the personal computer space however, now it seems that they have put their differences aside and are working together.

The iOS  apps are expected to be released in the next few months and will feature IBM’s exclusive data-crunching and analytical tools, as well as bonus security features and encryption services.

CEO of Apple, Tim Cook said the reason they had turned to IBM is because they have a strong understanding of the needs of corporate customers.

CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty also stated that the alliance with Apple will help the company widen its demographic and provide bigger returns.

“This is about two powerhouses unleashing the power of mobility for businesses. This is going to remake professions and industries,” stated Rometty.

So, the question remains- would the late Jobs be turning in his grave over the decision to team up with his former enemy?

Apple analyst of Creative Strategies, Tim Bajarin stated, “Steve would have loved this, it shows that the post-PC era is in full swing now.”

GoTenna The Modern Day Walkie Talkie

gotenna

Off the grid connectivity is now possible thanks to GoTenna, which gives people the ability to communicate with no data, network  or signal connection.

GoTenna has been designed to connect your phone over Bluetooth and use a longer-range, low frequency radio to communicate to other GoTenna’s up to several miles away.

The lower frequency, which is used on devices such as walkie-talkies, can travel long distances and does not interfere with Wi-Fi and 4G signals.

GoTenna is specifically designed to be used when your phone is offline and out of cellular range and as long as the person you need to communicate with also has a GoTenna, you will be able to get through.

Currently, the GoTenna only supports text based chat however, unlike other off-the grid communication devices it does not use satellites or require a monthly fee to remain activated.

GoTenna is completely free to use and each network is self contained. “It has no infrastructure whatsoever, your network can just be you and one other person,” stated CEO, Daniela Perdomo.

GoTenna’s are also waterproof and the battery can last up to a few days. All the data sent through the GoTenna is also encrypted and the texts do not pass through any data center.

GoTenna can currently be pre-ordered for $150 for two devices.

Amazon Launches eBook Library Subscription Service

amazon

Love to read? Amazon is launching a subscription service that includes unlimited access to a library of electronic and audio books for $9.99 per month. 

Amazon, who is one of the largest e-commerce giants in the US stated that the new Kindle Unlimited service would allow users to have access to over 600,000 electronic books and 2,000 audiobooks.

Anyone who has a kindle or the kindle app will be able to subscribe to the service and as a special promotion, users can sign up for a free 30 day trial.

E-books are becoming more and more popular and it is currently estimated that their popularity is growing by about 9 percent per year.

In the last few months, Amazon has come under scrutiny from publishers over book prices and even pulled some popular titles down from their site.

It is not yet clear what kind of negotiations Amazon made with publishers over this new subscription service however, some major publishers are not involved including HaperCollins and Hachette.

The move is definitely a good one for Amazon however, as more people prefer, and are more likely to stay on a subscription service.

Amazon is not the first e-book subscription service, however, they may very quickly take market share due to their overwhelming popularity.

 

Samsungs Level Competes with Beats

samsung level

Samsung has just announced the release of their new headphone range called Level.

In an effort to compete with Beats, which Apple recently acquired, Samsung has launched their own headphones called Level.

The style is much similar to Beats and has an over-the ear design with soft cushion pads.

The headphones are wireless and bluetooth compatible and start at $349.99, a price point that is significantly lower than Beats’ $379.95 price tag.

Samsung are also offering a cheaper alternative for just $179.99 which are bud like ear phones that compare to Beats Solo, which retail for $199.95.

While there is not much difference in the technology of the headphones, Level definitely has a more neutral look and may appear more desirable to a wider demographic.

Price is also another key difference, but it may not be a significant enough price drop to sway those who are considering purchasing Beats.

Samsung and Apple often go head to head, so it really comes as no surprise that Samsung has now released their own headphones just months after Beats was acquired.

Samsung is expected to launch their headphones on July 20th.

Now You Can Shop on Facebook

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Got something to sell? Facebook is now testing a ‘buy button’, making it easier for businesses to sell products directly to customers. 

In an effort to help businesses boost sales and make advertising on Facebook more enticing, the social media giant has begun testing a “buy button” that allows consumers to purchase products straight from their feeds.

The new buy button will be featured at the bottom of sponsored ads and will allow users to make a purchase without having to even leave Facebook.

This is the latest move for Facebook, who has been expanding their advertising business by offering boosted posts, apps and now, a buy feature.

In the past, Facebook was viewed as a platform for businesses just to promote, but with this new ad feature, the social media site is set to become a major e-commerce company as well.

In 2013, Facebook accounted for 5.8% of the global digital ad spending and this year is expected to be even stronger with 7.8%.

While the buy button is still in testing stages, it won’t be long before Facebook becomes a shopping hub.