The gaming industry is going to enter the eighth generation of consoles this month, but it may be better to wait before wasting your hard-earned money on a product that will probably be defective.
Like all new technology, the first models will suffer from software glitches because the development team was under pressure to release them on the market around the same time as the competition.
With its latest wristband activity tracker, Fitbit is leaving no feature behind.
The Fitbit Force ($130) packs in all of the features from the company's first wristband, the Fitbit Flex, but it adds in an altimeter to track the stairs you've climbed and a tiny display that displays the time and other information. Fitbit is edging close to smartwatch territory, though the company tells me it classifies the Force more as an activity tracker that also tells time.
Apple's latest iPhones may be selling well, but that's not because they're particularly innovative.
So argues ABI Research. The analyst says that Google's Moto X is a more innovative device than Apple's new iPhones, which it maintains "show only minor improvements over last year's iPhone 5."
ABI Research is a big fan of the Moto X features, including the device's always-on voice commands, ergonomic design and its display, which ABI says is greatly "underrated."
You're not going to find the most popular Silicon Valley startups on this list. In fact, you're not going to find any Silicon Valley startups.
Turnstone, a company that helps you design your workspace, took a survey of soliciting nominations for the best young startups to work for. Startups qualified as "young" if they were less than 10 years old and had fewer than 100 employees.
Love may just be a few clicks away, Taco Bell has a "happier" hour, and you -- yes you! -- have one brand-new Apple iPad unclaimed at this very moment.
This week Google finalized a change that will clear spammy, ridiculous ads like those that pretend to be software updates or important notifications on your phone, and at least 20,000 apps will have to change their ways and stop abusing their users -- or risk being kicked off Google Play.
Apple iPhone 5s
The Right Touch
Rating: 8/10 Excellent, with room to kvetch
- $200 and up with a 2-year contract. $400 as tested (64GB)
- · More info from Apple
- Reviewed by
I pull my iPhone out of my pocket, tap the home button, and let my thumb linger an extra second longer than I normally would have. The lock screen fades away and the iOS 7 home screen zooms into view, each icon landing neatly on the display. It’s an instinctive gesture iPhone owners have been doing for the better part of six years, and yet it still feels like magic: I just unlocked my phone with my thumb.
While Apple’s iPhone 5s brings a number of improvements and new features to the table, its Touch ID, the company’s fingerprint-based identity sensor, catches your attention first.
Yes, fingerprint sensors are nothing new — I had one on a Toshiba Satellite X205 purchased back in 2007 — but the implementation on the 5s feels like the technology is finally taking a step into the future. And it’s not the only thing in the phone that feels that way.
But first, the present. The iPhone 5s looks almost exactly like the now discontinued iPhone 5. It has the same 4-inch Retina display and brushed aluminum backside, and the same chamfered bezel that gives the otherwise rounded rectangular device a gem-like appearance. Unless the gold version is in your hand, the metal-ringed home button and an elongated dual LED flash on the rear are really the only subtle physical differentiators from its predecessor.
Use the phone for even a few seconds though, and the difference is immediately apparent. The 64-bit A7 processor inside makes every action on the device blazingly fast. I thought I wouldn’t be able to notice the upgrade — after all, the iPhone 5’s A6 processor was no slouch. But apps on the 5s load instantaneously, whether from a click on the icon or tap from iOS 7’s new multitasking bar. Games like Infinity Blade III render with extraordinarily detailed graphics, with nary a stutter in the fast-paced, sword-swinging gameplay, and with good reason: The iPhone 5s is twice as fast as the iPhone 5 according to both Apple and third-party benchmark tests. Every tap, swipe, and animation in iOS 7 just feels amazingly snappy.
The new A7 chip is also home to a secure partition used to store Touch ID data. It’s here that your fingerprint information is stored where no software, security agencies, servers, or even iCloud can access it, according to Apple. Still, some may not be comfortable using their fingerprint to unlock and make iTunes or App Store purchases on the device. It can, after all, be hacked using traditional fingerprint hacking methods. While that hack would require (among other improbable things) someone to take a high-resolution scan of your fingerprint, you’re still under no obligation to use Touch ID. The 5s also has a traditional passcode for unlocking the device and making iTunes purchases.
Along with the A7, the 5s also includes a new separate helper chip, the M7 coprocessor. It’s designed to efficiently monitor data gathered from the phone’s accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope without bogging down the CPU and draining the device’s battery. Argus and Strava Run were among the first apps updated to take advantage of this feature.
Argus is an iPhone-based fitness tracker that can count your daily steps. Sitting active in the background all day, I still had no problems with battery life. Strava Run is able to use the M7 to more accurately measure your pace while using less battery, auto-pausing whenever you have to stop during your run. Apple also uses the M7 in its Maps app, handily switching from driving directions to walking directions when you’re not going, you know, 40 MPH anymore.
Used together, the A7 and M7 mean future apps will run faster and more efficiently, while also using less battery than before. Even when I ramped up my video watching, music streaming, Instagramming, activity monitoring, and the hundred other things I use my iPhone for each day, the iPhone 5s achieved similar battery life as the iPhone 5.
Apple also made significant improvements to the 5s camera. The company adjusted the aperture in the rear-facing 8 megapixel shooter from f/2.0 to f/2.2, and increased the size of the sensor and pixels to improve light sensitivity by over 30 percent.
Indeed, shots taken on a dark, street lamp-illuminated road were brighter, less noisy, and more detailed compared to what you’d get using an iPhone 5 or an HTC One. Dim lighting situations that would normally necessitate a flash are now fine without one. But if you do decide to use it, Apple has incorporated one “cool” and one “warm” LED to produce over 1,000 variations in flash color optimized to the ambient lighting in the scene. Results from the flash were miles better than using other camera flashes, producing a more natural (and, joy to pasty people everywhere, less ghostly) look. The 1.2-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera is also improved, so your selfies are brighter and more detailed.
The rear-facing camera comes with some fun new photo features too, most notably a burst and slow-motion video modes. The former, something we’ve seen in Android devices for years and in standalone apps like Camera+, snaps 10 stills per second — making it ideal for action shots. The photos are aggregated in a folder inside your camera roll, with the “best” shots determined by iOS 7 and denoted by a dot underneath. You can choose to save these, or any image taken in the cluster of burst shots, as an individual photo in your Photo Stream or Camera Roll.
Slo-mo is even better. When Apple announced the option, my gimmick alarm immediately went off. But after trying the feature out, I was almost embarrassed by how much fun it was — not to mention surprised by the overall quality of the resulting 120 fps videos. Even without an explosion in the background, slo-mo turned a jumping high-five video of a coworker and I into an epic and hilarious clip. At a bike race, I was able to capture footage of the field sprint, allowing me to see exactly who crossed the line before the next racer — something that can be hotly debated when using today’s tech in amateur races, particularly with large pelotons. The only awkward thing with slo-mo is the occasionally creepy (non-mutable) slowed down audio that accompanies videos.
The feature also highlights the camera’s improved image stabilization, a result of the A7’s new ISP chip. Apple does some really fancy handiwork here on the stills front, basically taking four photos for every one click you make and combining the sharpest portions of each shot into the resulting photo you end up with.
For some, the 5s’ 4-inch display which will seem conspicuously small compared to most flagship Android handsets, and shared design with the iPhone 5 will be considered negatives. But for my hand size and smartphone needs, 4-inches is more than enough for videos and gaming, while still being comfortably pocketable.
Like its predecessor, the iPhone 5s is one of the best handsets you can buy. But more importantly (and unlike much of its competition), the handset is laying the groundwork for the smartphones of tomorrow. The 64-bit A7 chip and M7 coprocessor together mark a profound jump in device performance and efficiency. This all but guarantees new and exciting software innovation. Touch ID, despite being hacked within a matter of days, streamlines your iOS experience and holds a lot of promise for future applications. The most disappointing thing about the iPhone 5s is that the features I’m most excited about aren’t available yet.
WIRED Blazing fast A7 processor. Call quality is excellent, especially using FaceTime Audio. Touch ID feels like the future, and works flawlessly. Vastly improved camera, particularly the slo-mo feature, is enough to warrant an upgrade.
TIRED Apple and iOS developers have yet to dream up truly innovative features. Still waiting for Siri to reach her full potential.
Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Worms 3 ($4.99 Universal) is a turn based combat game where players command a small team of worms and wage war with one another online.
Rumors of a smartwatch from Apple(s aapl) are nothing new, but a new report just made them seem a lot more tangible. Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has just hired Nike(s nke) design director Ben Shaffer. Under Shaffer’s lead Nike built wearable devices like the popular Nike Fuel Band. This begs the question: can the iWatch be far behind?
Apple(s aapl) and AT&T(s t) are set to resolve a long-running class action suit over the companies' decision in June, 2010 to end unlimited data plans for the iPad 3G tablet.
In a ruling issued this week in San Jose, California, US District Judge Ronald Whyte signed off on a plan that will see Apple pay $40 to everyone in the US who bought or ordered an iPad 3G before June 7, 2010.
At its Build developer conference earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it planned to increase the roaming limits for apps purchased in its Windows Store. As the company announced today, that limit is going to be 81 (and yes, that's Microsoft trying to be funny). Starting October 9, users will be able to install all Windows Store apps on this many devices – provided they are all associated with a single Microsoft account.
Fireman Cory Kalanick rescues an unconscious kitten from a burning house filled with smoke. You have to watch it! It's so beautiful...
VMware VP of Engineering Mark Lucovsky is leaving the virtualization giant for a 'new chapter' he's referring to as '#nine' on Twitter. Lucovsky has been with VMware for around four years and before that held positions at Google and Microsoft.
VMware told GigaOm that "during his more than four years at VMware, Mark Lucovsky has been an important contributor to the company’s developer efforts as a Vice President of Engineering, including his work to help establish VMware’s Cloud Foundry which is now part of Pivotal.
Beyond words! Amazing inspiration & a great motivation for those days you don't feel like working your muscles out. Enjoy!
Microsoft wants to take your Apple product off your hands, today expanding its trade-in programs to allow owners of dated iPhone hardware to cash in their now-passé electronics.
If you own an iPhone 4S or 5 that is "gently used" and not much worse, Microsoft will offer you no less than $200 for it. The kicker? The funds come in the form of Microsoft Store credit, so you are trading in your Apple hardware for the chance to buy Microsoft goods.
Will Valve’s Crazy ‘Steam Controller’ Reinvent the Gamepad?
- BY CHRIS KOHLER
Valve has unveiled the Steam Controller, a complete re-imagining of the traditional gamepad designed to bring any and all keyboard-and-mouse PC games to the living room. Image: Valve
As part of its quest to bring PC gaming into the living room, Valve now wants to totally reinvent the gamepad.
The company behind Half-Life, Portal and the Steam digital gaming service announced the Steam Controller on Friday morning, but it’s not just a traditional controller with a few tweaks. In an attempt to make PC games designed around a mouse and keyboard interface fully playable in a living-room situation, Valve has rethought the handheld gamepad experience. Steam Controllers won’t have a D-pad or an analog joystick, the two constant features of nearly every standard game controller since 1983. Instead, it will feature two trackpads.
“The trackpads allow far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers,” Valve wrote on the announcement page. “Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse. Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa.”
While the dual trackpads are certainly the most visually striking and fundamentally transformative elements of the new controller, Valve did not stop there. It added a touchscreen in the middle of the controller. There’s advanced force feedback, which it calls a “higher-bandwidth haptic information channel than exists in any other consumer product that we know of.” It’s symmetrical, so that left-handed and right-handed players will never find themselves at a disadvantage.
An example of how the Steam controller might work with Valve’s Portal 2. Image: Valve
And there are buttons, buttons everywhere. Each trackpad can be clicked like a button. The touchscreen can be clicked like a button. Valve says that there are 16 buttons total, and eight of them can be accessed without moving one’s thumbs off of the trackpads.
Is this genius or insanity? Sure, it looks weird, but didn’t we all think that the first time we saw theridiculous three-pronged Nintendo 64 controller? It’s tough to imagine how one might use it, but didn’t we think the same thing about the Wiimote before we tried it for ourselves? And weren’t we all sure that a phone without buttons would be horrible?
On the other hand, the most successful innovations in game controllers tend to simplify the experience, not complicate it. If you thought standard game controllers had a sharp learning curve, take a look at Steam Controller with its 16 buttons and dual trackpads. WIRED contributor John Mix Meyer messaged me a few moments ago to call this “the Homer of controllers,” everything people say they want but might not actually want in practice.
Sure, it makes all PC games playable from the couch, but is that really something people will want to do? Will the war over the couch be won by making games suitable for the couch — or making the couch suitable for the games?
With Steam Controller, Valve’s position is laid bare. Let’s see if it turns out to be the right move.
Everyday we get up, eat breakfast, pray, kiss our wives and go to work but the real question is this: Is this the way of life that I want for my children and family ? Or should I try to modify the one thing that I can really do ?
I will contine this article tommorow !
Best of Lucks !!!
When Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage at the company’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters on Tuesday, he’ll likely do something Apple has never done before: release two iPhones at once. The introduction of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C is widely rumored and eagerly anticipated at this week’s big Apple event, although it’s unlikely they’ll be the only new devices at the company’s first major product launch in almost a year.
Here’s what to expect on Tuesday:
The iPhone 5S will be an upgrade, and not an entirely new phone. It’s expected to come in a variety of new metallic finishes, and include a faster processor.
One of wilder rumors about the 5S is that it may feature a fingerprint scanner. If rumor becomes reality, this significant security upgrade could live next to, or under, the home button. Biometric security of this kind typically works best when it’s coupled with a CPU-level security platform. On PCs, that’s known as Trusted Platform Management, which cryptographically stores keys associated with features such as fingerprint scanners.
The 5S is also expected to feature photography-related upgrades. In addition to a bigger sensor (13 megapixels is a possibility), it’ll likely have a new dual-LED flash. If the phone uses two different colors for the flash, as some reports have suggested, photo color accuracy will greatly improve.
The rumored iPhone 5C (which stands for “China” or “Color,” as some reports claim) — if it debuts at Tuesday’s event — will be Apple’s first-ever budget iPhone. The 5C is expected to come in many colors, and include a plastic body, although its internal components will likely be the same as what’s found in the current iPhone 5 (chances are, Apple won’t shrink the 5C back to 4S dimensions). As for pricing, reports suggest that it would cost $99 if subsidized, and around $350 if purchased off contract.
Specs aside, a big question on people’s minds is why Apple would launch a budget phone in the first place. Most consider the 5C a product designed specifically for the Chinese market, as developing countries present a huge opportunity for mobile companies. But without carrier subsidies and strong policies against piracy and knockoffs, Apple may have difficulty breaking through and maintaining momentum in markets like China.
However, a more affordable iPhone and reported deal with China Mobile, the country’s largest carrier, could revitalize Apple in this vast market. And in case you don’t think this phone is about China, Apple has made its intentions clear by holding a special launch event there for the first time, several hours after the U.S. event concludes.
Mashable‘s senior tech analyst Christina Warren has been studying the iOS 7 update for weeks, and noticed that it includes some features for an updated version of Apple TV. No, not the long-rumored Apple HDTV set — we’re talking about the little black box that has become a huge success, with millions of units sold.
Among the anticipated Apple TV updates: Warren says we should expect interface differences that will pull Apple TV in line with iOS 7’s new, more austere look. The hardware design hasn’t changed much in two years, so we may also see an update there. Perhaps they’ll follow Google Chromecast‘s lead, and make it dongle-sized, although that is unlikely.
iOS 7 and iTunes Radio
Thanks to WWDC and multiple interim betas, we already know plenty about iOS 7, except for the exact delivery date. Since the mobile OS ships with all of Apple’s new phones, the company will likely announce update availability at Tuesday’s event.
It’s also expected that Apple will shed light on its new music-streaming service, iTunes Radio, which will ship as a part of iOS 7. To demonstrate the music industry’s support for Apple’s new service, the company may even present advertising partners and a musical act or two.
Apple updated its Airport Extreme base station to include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which supposedly works three times faster than Wireless N, and many industry observers expect it to do the same with the AirPort Express (the iPhone 5S will likely support the new standard as well).
Drawl, Charm and Schiller
While Tim Cook will no doubt open Tuesday’s event with his trademark drawl, Apple marketing chiefPhil Schiller will likely command the most stage time to show off Apple’s new hardware. Design headJony Ive will be in attendance, but won’t likely appear on stage. Ive generally prefers being on the big screen, and it’s expected that he’ll explain Apple’s design and engineering magic in at least one highly produced video.
Apple could also reveal a MacBook Pro update, although that would be out of place at Tuesday’s mostly mobile event. It’s more likely that Cook will officially bury the iPod classic, and just maybe reveal a hardware update to the overlooked iPod nano.
Wild cards include the possible debuts of an Apple smart watch and a real Apple HD television set (perhaps with a 4K display!). Although industry watchers are itching for Apple to enter a new product category with one of these devices (or something completely different), it’s very unlikely either will make an appearance.
As always, many unanswered questions remain (although not as many as there were before Apple’s vaunted secrecy sprung as many leaks as an Edward Snowden NSA memo). The good news is there are only a few days before we know why Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer promised us a very busy fall.
Image: AFP/Getty Images
Yahoo! earlier today revealed the fruits of its month-long logo labor: a new, still-purple Yahoo! with an animated exclamation mark (H/T Tumblr), no more serifs (H/T Optima), jaunty curves (H/T humans), and some nice Y-fronted 3-D relief worked in for good measure (H/T skeuomorphism). Big work, and they are all proud of it.
Problem is, those pesky consumers. They're not happy.