iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Affinity Designer for Mac Review: The modern graphic design app Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:22:19 +0000 Read More]]> Affinity Designer for Mac is not just a regular vector drawing app, the developers of the application have set themselves on a journey to redefine the tools available for creative professionals. Whenever words like ‘vectors’ , ‘illustration’ or ‘creative professionals’ are used, Adobe’s creative suite of apps are probably one of the first set of tools one refers to. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are unquestionably the most popular applications used for creating web graphics, designing UI and much more. So, how does Affinity Designer stack-up against the most popular applications that have won the trust of so many users over last several years? Can Affinity Designer replace Adobe Illustrator? I will do my best to answer these questions in my review.

This review is not about Illustrator vs Affinity Designer. Neither will I mention every feature of the app. I will cover those features which stood out to me as I used the app over the last few weeks.

It’s not often that we get to see people challenge what has become a ‘norm’ or an ‘industry standard’. A quick search on YouTube or Google for tutorials on learning how to draw vectors, learn web design or UI design will lead you to professionals using Illustrator and Photoshop as their preferred choice of software. If Affinity Designer for Mac needs to make its presence felt in an area dominated by Adobe, it needs to prove to users that it is better at accomplishing tasks related to graphic design.

For any application its UI is crucial to its success or failure. However, if you take a look at Illustrator or Photoshop their user interface isn’t all that comforting for beginners, yet pro users seem to have got accustomed to it. Over the years Adobe’s  software suite has increased the number of features it has however, not much has changed in terms of its UI and UX (user experience).

Affinity Designer Review Pixel Persona

This is exactly where Affinity Designer makes its first big impression. The user interface of Affinity Designer for Mac is everything you’d expect from a modern app. While there is instant familiarity with the workspace from Illustrator, the user interface is more beginner friendly and is very intuitive. The software takes a more visual and gesture based approach rather than features being hidden deep inside menus.

The way we interact with software is increasingly changing. With the advent of touch based interactions on our smartphones and tablets, trackpads on notebooks and desktops, gestures have become a ubiquitous interaction mechanism. It’s great to see Affinity Designer embracing gesture based interactions. The software does this by creating active drop zones in the layer panel.

For example, you can create a clipping mask by simply dragging the object halfway under the main object. You can also mask a vector shape by dragging other vector next to its thumbnail in the layer panel. But, it doesn’t stop there as you drag the object in different drop zones the app shows you live preview of what a clipping mask or layer mask will look like. This feature is fantastic. If you never knew how these features work trying and testing with live previews makes experimenting a lot of fun.

Experimenting can only be fun if you can undo and get back to previous state in case you don’t like the changes. Affinity Designer features a modern take on undo function. You can slide through more than 8000 steps of history so there will never be a moment where you feel that you messed up your file.

Affinity Designer Reviews

It’s worth mentioning that Affinity Designers’ full compatibility with popular file formats such as .psd, .ai, and .pdf will play a critical role in its success. The developers spent almost four years in R&D while developing the software and compatibility with Adobe’s suite of apps is a great achievement.

Affinity Designer for Mac when under development carried a codename ‘Persona’. Although the app was named differently when released, Personas bring a new workflow to the mix. The app features three Personas, Draw, Pixel and Export.

Draw Persona is all about vector drawing however, you are greeted with a pleasant surprise when you click on Pixel Persona. The app geniously brings pixel brushes, selection and effects like smudging, blurring, erasing vector brushes, sharpening and more to a vector drawing app. Want to apply a grunge brush to your vector art? No need to switch the app you are using. Affinity Designer can handle both.

The developers didn’t just stop at adding pixel persona, they added an intelligent assistant to make your tasks easier and enable you to work in an intuitive manner.

If I switch from draw to pixel persona and add a pixel brush stroke to my artwork technically I would need to first add a ‘pixel layer’ however, with the assistant working in the background you don’t have to worry about it as it automatically does the needful. The assistant can also place mask layer inside the vector when erasing. It can rasterise vector layer and then apply other brushes, automatically add adjustment as child layer to selection and rasterise layer and then apply filters.

Even the layer blending modes have received some love and gained live previews. Scrolling through different blend modes such as overlay, multiply, soft-light etc. will show you a live preview of what your design will look like so that you can make better choice quickly. This feature again goes onto show that the developers have paid close attention to the details.

Affinity Designer features dedicated gradient and transparency tools. These allow you to apply multiple gradients in an intuitive manner without the need to open any dialogue boxes.

Once you’re done creating your graphic design you can use the export persona to export your design. You can choose to export your design as 1x, 2x and 3x which is important as you may be creating design for retina displays or even mobile devices.

Another feature I’ve really liked is continuous export, once selected it automatically updates the exported file in the specified format and setting even as you continue to make edits and make alternate design decisions. It’s great to know that your final artwork folder will always contain the latest file no matter how many times you choose to make changes. Since the exported file is always overwritten you won’t have to deal with any duplicates.

Affinity Designer Export Persona

Can Affinity Designer replace Illustrator? The answer to this question will depend on whether you are doing a feature by feature comparison or questioning its capabilities as a graphic design software.

There’s no doubt that Illustrator wins when it comes to the number of features. However, this doesn’t takeaway the fact that Affinity Designer is a very promising and extremely powerful graphic design software for the Mac. If you never knew Illustrator existed and used Affinity Designer for your project, you’d be able to accomplish nearly everything.

Affinity Designer is not fighting a feature vs feature battle rather it sets an example of how keeping usability in the forefront can result in a more productive and intuitive experience. The developers have said no to many features and yes to the ones that don’t sacrifice usability and provide reliable experience without adding any clutter.

If you are a beginner in vector drawing and graphic designing, I would recommend that you start right here with Affinity Designer. If you are a pro user who has been using Illustrator all this while, give Affinity Designer a try (trial available) and you won’t regret it.

Even though the application overall has highly impressed me there are a few concerns. If you’ve been using Illustrator you’ve got accustomed to certain keyboard shortcuts. In Affinity Designer you may need to learn different shortcuts. The software currently lacks any sort of symbols management. You can’t type text on a path. The only way to work is with layers, there’s no support for pages or art-boards.

It’s important to note that Affinity Designer was released on October 02, 2014. With the set of features already available in V 1.x it’s exciting to wait and see how the developers expand the current feature set.

Another point worth mentioning is that Serif Labs has opted to sell the software for a one-time price and not a subscription model. This alone is a very attractive investment for anyone from beginners to professionals.

Affinity Designer for Mac brings a fresh breath of air to the traditional vector drawing applications. Its focus on usability without sacrificing on advanced features is applaudable.

Watch Affinity Designer Features Overview Video

]]> 0 First details about iPhone 6s camera module emerge Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:43:10 +0000 Read More]]> Apple is expected to announce “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s plus” later this year as the company follows its annual iOS device upgrade cycle. According to a new report published by Taipei Times, Apple will retain the 8-megapixel rear camera sensor in the next iPhone.

The publication quotes Taipei-based analyst Jeff Pu who suggests that Largan Precision Co, a major smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc. will “face limited earnings” due to slow transition to higher-resolution lenses.

Pu said that the camera specifications of the next-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 6S, will stay the same as the current iPhone 6 at 8-megapixels, limiting potential catalysts to push Largan’s stock price higher in the second half of the year.

The report published by Taipei Times contradicts Daring Fireball’s John Gruber belief that Apple may be working on major camera improvements for the next iPhone.

Apple has been following a pattern when it comes to launching new iPhone each year. The company introduces an all-new design one year and then follows up with the same design but with new processor and camera enhancements.

Most companies have launched new phones with more megapixels each year whereas Apple has retained the 8 megapixel camera since the iPhone 4s but, improved the sensor and added new technologies to allow users to take better photos.

Apple leads the list of most popular cameras on Flickr and to retain that spot the company would need to continue making the iPhone camera better each year. It will be interesting to see if Apple features a higher megapixel camera in the new iPhone. The new iPhones are likely to be unveiled sometime near September this year.

]]> 0 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus India release date confirmed and pricing revealed Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:02:48 +0000 Read More]]> Apple’s latest smartphones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, will be available in the Indian market on October 17. Both phones launched in the US and 9 more countries on September 19; the first weekend sales were reported to be more than 10 million devices.

The company is rolling out the new phones aggressively in all the markets it sells the phone as it aims to make it available in 115 countries by the end of the year. After some regulatory delays the phones will also go on sale in China on the same day as the Indian launch.

Both phones will be available in silver, grey and gold and in three storage capacities. iPhone 6 16GB is priced at Rs 53,500, 64GB is priced at Rs 62,500 and the 128GB version will sell for Rs 71,500. iPhone 6 features 4.7 inch screen with a resolution of 1334×750 pixels.

iPhone 6 plus is the biggest phone Apple has ever introduced and features 5.5 inch screen with full 1080p resolution. iPhone 6 plus 16 GB will sell for Rs 62,500, 64 GB version is priced at Rs 71,500 and 128 GB will sell for Rs 80,500.

Online retailers like Flipkart and local authorised re-sellers have already begun taking pre-orders for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus in India.

The phones are expected to be available in limited quantity and there’s high possibility of these devices selling out on launch day. Apple is facing unprecedented demand and their supply chain is trying its best to cope up with the demand. iPhone 6 plus demand is more than what the company had expected and it is in the process of ramping up its production.

The bigger iPhone is expected to be more popular in the Indian market as Samsung has dominated this segment with its phablet devices.

Are you excited about the launch? Which iPhone will you be buying? Let us know in the comments below.

]]> 0 Starbucks App Stores Passwords in Plain Text Thu, 16 Jan 2014 18:05:06 +0000 Read More]]> starbucks app coffee

The App Store over the years has won customer trust for secure apps since each app goes through an approval process. However, in the recent past there have been many cases where users’ data has been compromised due to the app developers server being hacked or not using enough security measures.

It was recently revealed that the popular Starbucks app for iOS stores user names, email address and passwords in clear text. This valuable information could easily be accessed by connecting your smartphone with the app installed to a computer. While this is not the same as recent Snapchat security breach that happened last week. It does raise some concerns over app developers commitment to keep their users’ data secure.

Starbucks spokeswoman in a statement to PCMag said, “While we are aware of this report, there is no known impact to our customers,”. Customers who often buy from Starbucks enjoy the connivence of customising their order and paying online through the application.

According to a report, Starbucks mobile app is the most used mobile payment application in the U.S. While it does provide ease of use, customers have repeatedly complained about the app not remembering passwords and often losing all information of gift cards.

Apple has set a number of guidelines for app developer to follow to have their apps approved for sale on the App Store. The recent security breaches and inadequate measures for protecting users data may soon become a huge concern for Apple.

In coming months it won’t be surprising for Apple to start rejecting applications that don’t comply with strict security measures for apps that store sensitive user information. It will be interesting to see if Apple improves its guidelines for developers to develop more secure apps for its audience.


by Starbucks Coffee Company


The Starbucks® app for iPhone® is the quickest, easiest way to pay for your coffee—no wallet necessary. The app is completely redesigned with an improved interface, a more personal dashboard experience, digital tipping and other great features, including easy access to our loyalty program, My Starbucks Rewards®.

And you’ll get a free drink at participating stores (some restrictions apply) when you join My Starbucks Rewards® and sign up for email rewards.

App features when you’re a member of My Starbucks Rewards®:
• Pay: Use your iPhone®/iPod® Touch to pay at 7,000 U.S. company-operated Starbucks® stores and 2,500 Target and Safeway Starbucks® locations. Check your Starbucks Card balance, reload your Card, view your transaction history and transfer balances between Cards.
• Tipping: Leave a digital tip on purchases made with your Starbucks Card at U.S. company-operated Starbucks® stores.
• Passbook: Add your Starbucks Card to Passbook.
• Rewards: Track your Stars and redeem your rewards in the My Starbucks Rewards® program.
• Gift: Send Starbucks Card eGifts to friends via email.

App features when you’re not a member of My Starbucks Rewards®:
• Inbox: Receive Starbucks notifications, special offers and the Pick of the Week.
• Store Locator: Find the stores nearest you, directions, hours and amenities.
For more information, please visit

The Starbucks application uses location services (user-enabled) to support store location and Order features, as well as to utilize iBeacon technology for guided experiences in our Starbucks Roastery.*

*Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

]]> 0 iPhone 6 Rumored to Feature Curved Touchscreen in 2014 Tue, 12 Nov 2013 21:20:43 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5s Touch ID

The iPhone 6 is rumoured to feature bigger, curved screen expected to be released in October 2014. According to a new report published by Bloomberg, Apple is preparing to launch two new iPhones next year.

Bigger iPhone models will feature 4.7 and 5.5 inch screens. Apple changed the screen size of iPhone with the introduction of iPhone 5 with a 4 inch screen. The company touted its size as perfect fit for one hand use. Samsung has been dominating the smartphone market worldwide with devices in every price point and different screen sizes.

This year with iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, Apple for the first time since the introduction of the original iPhone launched two new models in the same year. Competition in the smartphone market is heating up more than ever as Android continues to dominate the install base.

Two models planned for release in the second half of next year will feature larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges, said the person, declining to be identified as the details aren’t public. Sensors that can distinguish heavy or light touches on the screen may be incorporated into subsequent models, the person said.

Apple’s decision to introduce a bigger screen iPhone could certainly be seen as a response to its rival Samsung. With the iPad Air and iPad mini Apple does offer same category products in different screen sizes. So, it is possible that the the flagship model, the iPhone 6 could see an increase in screen size and also feature curved glass.

Gorilla Glass manufactured by Corning is used in all iOS devices. Earlier this year in January during CES, Corning showcased Willow Glass, which is bendable and only 0.1mm thick. Corning had announced that mass production will commence in the second half of 2013 and commercial products would be available in early 2014.

The report about curved glass in iPhone 6 and Corning’s estimated time for commercial availability of willow glass in 2014 clearly suggests that next year we could see bigger iPhone with curved touchscreen.

Apple is reportedly also working on enhanced touch sensors for models slated for 2015 release. The new sensors will include pressure sensitivity so the inputs could result in new gestures and features.

]]> 0 iPhone 5s Sales at the Top on All Major U.S. Carriers Mon, 07 Oct 2013 20:55:33 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5s iPhone 5c carrier performance

The new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have proved to be a huge success for Apple with more 9 million devices sold during the launch weekend. This is the highest sales for the opening weekend the company has ever recorded. Apple launched new two new iPhones this year with iPhone 5s boasting faster processor, new Touch ID and camera improvements while on the other hand iPhone 5c had the same internals as iPhone 5 but with an all-new look.

According to a new report published by Canaccord, iPhone 5s sales figures topped at all the major U.S. carriers. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 had taken the top spot on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile for a while however, in September Apple took over as the top smartphone company in terms of sales.

When Apple unveiled the sales figures it did not breakdown the figures for different models. However, this new report sheds some light on the performance of iPhone 5c. The new $100 cheaper iPhone with plastic body performed well on AT&T and Sprint at second position and came third on Verizon and T-Mobile.

Some analysts believe that out of the 9 million iPhone sales in the launch countries iPhone 5s figures could be around 7 million and the remaining could be of the iPhone 5c. With such impressive figures Apple’s strategy to grab more market share could certainly be seen as huge win.

In a market where cheap Android phones outsell the iPhone, Apple has become aggressive by selling two new iPhones this year. Instead of selling iPhone 5 for $100 cheaper the company created an all-new design which would appeal to the young and ‘colorful’. Those who were hoping to buy iPhone 5 at a cheaper price would now have to shell out more money to buy the flagship iPhone.

]]> 0 iPhone 5s Slo-Mo 120fps Video Showcase – Must Watch Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:01:55 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5s slow motion camera

The camera in iPhone 5s might not have received a major update in terms of megapixels but Apple certainly made some fantastic improvements to its camera system. iPhone 5s camera now has larger sensor, pixels and an aperture of f/2.2.

These enhancements coupled with dual-led flashlight allow the iPhone 5s to collect more light for better looking shots. In addition to these hardware improvements Apple introduced new software features too.

Probably the most exciting feature is slow-motion video that enables you to record video in 720p and then select part of the video to show the video at 120 frames. Some of the videos shot in the new slo-mo mode show how dramatic scenes can be created using just your iPhone camera.

Rishi Kaneria {via Daring Fireball} has posted a video on Vimeo that highlights iPhone 5s slo-mo camera capability by shooting it in different scenarios. The results are amazing and while viewing the video it is hard to imagine that such quality was possible on a smartphone.

Apple often takes a feature and simplifies it to an extent where the user can simply concentrate on creating content and technology becomes invisible. The user shoots the video just like normally they would and iPhone does all the rendering and stabilisation in the background. Apart from selecting which part of the video you want to slow down there is no other setting. This simple approach makes the new feature in iPhone 5s appealing and something that users would love to use again and again.

Check out the video below.

]]> 1 iPhone 5s China Launch Off to a Great Start as Stock Sells Out Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:50:09 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5S Availability China

The all-new iPhone 5s will go on sale on September 20th in ten countries and for the first time China will be one of them. This year Apple did not take any pre-orders for the iPhone 5S however, in China and Hong Kong the company started accepting reservations for iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s on September 17th.

Shortly after the iPhone 5s reservations went live, the stock for most models were sold out. It was reported that gold color was one of the quick sell outs. The reason behind Apple not taking pre-orders this year is because of limited supplies. We previously reported that Apple was facing issues with the fingerprint sensor and even though the smartphone will launch on schedule the supplies will be limited.

Stock selling out in China is a clear indication that the availability of the new iPhone 5s will be constrained worldwide. Customers in the U.S can either order the iPhone 5s online on September 20th or visit an Apple Store to buy it. However, due to limited stock it might be difficult to buy it on launch day.

Apple’s new iPhone 5s features Touch ID fingerprint technology, enhanced camera and 64bit A7 chip. The design is same as the iPhone 5 with minor changes to the overall look. iPhone 5s also features dual-tone LED flash for natural looking photos even in low light conditions.

iPhone 5s is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64 GB memory variations in white, gold and space gray colors. Are you excited about getting an iPhone 5s? Will you visiting the Apple Store or ordering it online? Let us know in the comments below.

]]> 0 iPhone 5C Pre-Orders Go Live in 10 Countries Fri, 13 Sep 2013 23:54:24 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone5C

Apple unveiled the all-new iPhone 5C during a keynote presentation on September 10th, the phone is now available for pre-order in 10 countries. The company began taking preorders for iPhone 5C at 12:01 am PT on September 13 on

iPhone 5C is also available for pre-order at major carrier partners. The phone is available in 5 colours: green, blue, pink, white and yellow. 5C is available in 16GB and 32GB models and is priced at $99 and $199 respectively with a two year contract. List of countries where the pre-orders have gone live include: U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom

Technical specifications of iPhone 5C are similar to last years iPhone 5. It features a dual-core A6 chip, 8 megapixel rear camera, 4 inch retina display however, the shell of the phone is now polycarbonate. Apple has improved the front facing camera by featuring a 1.2 megapixel camera and the battery has been slightly improved.

Many believed that iPhone 5C will be a budget phone but, the phone will retail at $549 without a contract which is still very expensive. Apple’s strategy continues to remain the same. The company doesn’t want to cut down its margin and will offer its smartphone at premium price.

Mid-priced smartphones running Android have become increasingly popular in Asia for Samsung. Apple feels confident to compete in the $500-$700 range even for a phone with specifications same as last years and a polycarbonate body.

Third party retailers are offering discounts on the iPhone 5C even before it launches. Walmart is offering 5C at $79 with a two year contract. Even T-Mobile has a deal for no money down and 24 monthly payments of $22.

Will you buying the new iPhone 5C? What is the best feature according to you? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

]]> 1 iPhone 5C: Colorful Polycarbonate Design Meets Apple’s Precision Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:57:47 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5C

During the special media event held on September 10th, Apple announced two new iPhones, colorful iPhone 5C and the ‘forward thinking’ iPhone 5S. While many believed that 5C would stand for “cheap” or low priced model, the reality is far from it.

The all-new iPhone 5C is a drastic departure from the design language Apple has been promoting since iPhone 4. Apple sold the original iPhone encased in a metal finish body and then the next two generations were made out of plastic. iPhone 3GS was the last plastic model we saw from Apple until now.

iPhone 5C takes us back to the iPhone 3GS design with some groundbreaking refinements to match up todays technological and engineering advancements. iPhone 5C is other words is like the modern day iPhone 3GS.

5C comes in 5 colorful flavors: green, blue, yellow, pink and white. The body of the iPhone is made out of polycarbonate and in its introductory video Jony Ive says they used plastic “unapologetically”. The company claims that even though the body is plastic it has a firm structure as a metal structure houses the sides of the body and also act as the antennas of the phone.

The colors of the phone are identical to the color palette of iOS 7. It’s no surprise that the marketing, software and hardware teams worked collaboratively at each stage in the making of iPhone 5C. The display is the same as iPhone 5, a retina display with 326 ppi resolution. Dimensions and weight of the device have been slightly altered as 5C stands 4.90 inches tall, 2.33 inches wide, 0.35 inch deep and weighs at 132 grams. When compared with the iPhone 5, the new 5C is heavier and fatter.

The smartphone uses the same dual-core A6 chip that was introduced in iPhone 5. Camera also remains the same with 8 megapixels, single LED flash however, the front facing camera has been improved to 1.2 MP.

iPhone 5C will ship with iOS 7 and feature color coordinated wallpapers. Many analysts believed that this will be a budget phone from Apple however the pricing hasn’t changed much. Just like in previous years when Apple announced a new iPhone the previous gen model would get a price reduction, iPhone 5C receives the same treatment.

It will be available in 16GB / 32GB variations priced at $99 / $199 respectively with two year contract. In contrast, iPhone 5S 16GB model also starts at $199. 5C isn’t the budget phone everyone was expecting from Apple. Without a contract the phone would cost around $700 which is still highly priced for the Asian market.

It’s interesting to note that Apple will continue to sell iPhone 4S for free with a two year contract.

Are you excited about the new iPhone 5C? Will you be pre-ordering the device on September 13th? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

]]> 3 iPhone 5S Keynote Event Live Coverage Tue, 10 Sep 2013 17:12:50 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5S media event iOS 7

iPhone 5S keynote event is now live at the Town Hall Apple Campus. We’re expecting Apple to announce all-new iPhone 5S and a low cost iPhone 5C. The company will also share release date of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

Apple has in the past streamed live video stream of the WWDC keynote event, however this year the company has not shared a live stream of the iPhone event. Last year Apple TV was updated with “Apple Events” channel for the streaming. Even though a live stream is not available many tech bloggers will be at the iPhone event to cover the event. Links to live coverage of the iPhone 5S keynote event can be found here: EngadgetArs TechnicaThe VergeMacworldAllThingsDCNETSlashGear.

We will be posting tech specs, release date, photos, videos, pre-order dates and everything you need to know from today’s event as it concludes later this morning. According to various rumors and reports iPhone 5S will feature Touch ID sensor (fingerprint), faster A7 processor, dual-led flashlight and updated camera software.

Apple will also announce iPhone 5C, a low cost iPhone to make the smartphone more affordable for everyone. This could lead to significant increase in market share for Apple in a market where Android dominates with mid-priced smartphones.

iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks golden master seeds could be released today to the developers and could be made available to general public on September 17th just before the release of iPhone 5S.

]]> 4 New Report Confirms iPhone 5S Fingerprint Sensor Tue, 10 Sep 2013 16:32:15 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5S Box Package

We’ve been reporting about the rumors and various leaks surrounding the fingerprint sensor in iPhone 5S. Photos of the home button flex cable that leaked last week was a strong indicator about the inclusion of the new sensor in iPhone 5S. Additionally, packaging of the upcoming iPhone was also leaked that showed silver button on the home button.

All the recent leaks and rumors have provided significant proof that we will indeed see Apple announce the new iPhone 5S with a fingerprint sensor. Analysts have repeatedly predicted Apple’s purchase of Authentec to be closely tied in with the fingerprint sensor making it to the iPhone. Now, The Wall Street Journal has also confirmed the rumor based on sources close to the matter.

Placing a finger on a computer or smartphone has long been proposed as a way to avoid the need for passwords to authenticate users of computers and other devices. People familiar with the matter said last week that Apple will include a fingerprint scanner on the more expensive of two iPhones it is expected to unveil Tuesday at an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

Even though Apple’s iPhone may not not be the first smartphone to feature a fingerprint scanner, it is believed that Apple’s implementation of the feature is the easiest and seamless. Using fingerprint data to unlock devices or use as a replacement for passwords has been available on computers and phones however, the accuracy and reliability has always been a concern.

iPhone 5S will be unveiled at a media event being held today at the Town Hall Campus in Cupertino, Calif. It will be interesting to see how Apple uses the fingerprint scanning technology to make iPhone even more secure and easy to use.

]]> 3 iPhone 5S Release Date to be Announced on September 10th? Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:38:50 +0000 Read More]]> Cheap iPhone Plastic

According to a new report, Apple is expected to announce iPhone 5S release date on September 10th during a special keynote event.

AllThingsD published a report about Apple holding a “Big iPhone” media event according to sources familiar with the matter. The next-gen iPhone is rumored to feature internal hardware change and would most likely retain the same design as iPhone 5.

iPhone 5S is expected to feature a finger-print sensor beneath the home button to allow easy phone unlocking experience and could possibly be used to authenticate password log-ins. Among other changes the new hardware could get a higher resolution camera with dual-flash and more RAM.

There hasn’t been much speculation about the next gen chip for the iPhone so it isn’t clear if Apple will use a new chip for the seventh-gen iPhone. Every new release the company loves to brag about speed and battery improvements so its possible that the company has quietly made some enhancements to the next-gen SoC.

Probably the bigger news for some of the customers is a cheaper iPhone widely referred to as “iPhone 5C” that could also be unveiled during the media event. According to analysts the need to compete in the mid-priced smartphone market is an important factor to grow for the Cupertino, Calif. based company. Apple’s major competitor Samsung offers smartphones is various price and size categories and continues to lead in the smartphone market share worldwide.

Apple revolutionised the smartphone category in 2007 when the first iPhone was released and since then its competitors have caught up by offering a lot of choice to customers. It would be interesting to see if Apple decides to sell a low-cost iPhone to capture market share.

{Image credit: MacRumors}

]]> 11 Sponsored Feature: Cubetto The Ultimate Mindmap and Business Process Modelling App for iPhone and iPad Fri, 19 Jul 2013 06:00:02 +0000 Read More]]> Cubetto for iPhone and ipad

Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being adopted by businesses to be a part of the employees workflow. Major corporations are already deploying custom apps to increase the productivity of its employees. The App Store has seen a rise in the kind of business and productivity apps that make complex tasks easier with the use of the intuitive multitouch screen and iOS.

When we think about organising or developing a process for an activity or creating an event driven process the tool we all think of is mind maps and flowchart. These allow us to visually comprehend complex structures and the relation one activity has with the other. Even though there are many advantages of creating mindmaps and flowcharts often the complex nature of software required could possibly impact our productivity negatively instead of enhancing it.

Cubetto for iPhone and ipad

Cubetto for iPhone and iPad developed by semture GmbH aims to offer an easy to use interface with a new approach that enables even an amateur to create complex flowcharts. Cubetto is a full featured app for creating business process, collaboration diagrams, event driven process charts, flowcharts and much more.

Instead of offering drawing tools for you to figure out which diagram or arrow or icons to use the app offers an intuitive template and wizard format which enables you to create your flowchart easily. Just like any flowchart or business process has a structure, the wizard and template format in Cubetto structures your diagram and automatically does the layout for you. The app is smart to set the size of the canvas and connects the different flowchart elements automatically. Even as most of the layout is handled automatically the app still gives you a lot of control over the look and feel of your chart or process.


You start a new project by tapping the ‘plus’ sign and then choosing whether you want to create BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation), Mindmap, EPC (Event-driven Process Chain), Flowchart, Notes & Edges or UML (Use Case, Class and Activity Diagram. After selecting the type of diagram that best meets your project need you start simply by tapping on the screen and a menu pop-up will appear which acts as a wizard to help you choose the type of content you want to use in your diagram. For example in a BPMN diagram the wizard offers content such as Activity, Data Object, Data Storage, Event, Gateway, Group, Message, Pool, Swimlane. As you select the content you further get options to fine tune the details and then choose the successor of the previous activity.

When you choose a successor you will get options to select the type of connection you want to establish which could either be an Annotation, Association, Message flow, Sequence Flow and much more. Each connector or activity box can be customised with text, description, colour and type of edges and nodes.


As you build your diagram and define the rules of each connection and relation with each activity Cubetto will intelligently do the layout of your chart or diagram. The app allows you to focus on creating the flow and handles the layout itself. This feature is very powerful and proves to be a great help when users are creating complex processes. It can be a bit of a daunting task to arrange the diagram when there are many boxes and arrows connecting so Cubetto handles this task very efficiently so that your diagram always follows the structure and flow that you intended.


There are infinite possibilities with this app and you can get very creative with the kind of diagram you want to create. The template feature in this app allows you to automate the creation of similar activities without the need to manually enter the settings again.


The powerful nature of the auto-layout is evident when with the tap of just one button you change the layout of your diagram from horizontal to vertical without the need to worry about the connections, text or any other setting. It’s very  simple and highly intuitive. You can even create multiple models or diagrams and store them in a folder within one project. So, you can begin with creating a Mindmap for the Organization and then create an event driven process chain and even have nested folders.

Once you’ve created your diagram Cubetto allows you to export your project as a PDF, JPG, PNG and email it. It even allows you to export as XHTML, BPMN XML, Cubetto XML, iTunes folder, iCloud and Dropbox.


The app does not feature any in-app purchases so when you buy Cubetto you get a full-featured powerful app for your iPhone and iPad to create any type of flowchart, diagram or process that you want to.

Cubetto is available on the App Store as a universal download. The auto-layout, wizard and template features easily make it the most comprehensive solution for  business process modeling and the illustration of organizational structures.

]]> 0 New Photos of Cheap Plastic iPhone Leaked Sat, 13 Jul 2013 14:47:29 +0000 Read More]]> Cheap iPhone Plastic

Apple has been long rumored to be working on a cheap iPhone model which would reportedly feature a plastic body. The company has put its recent efforts to make the iPhone available on all-major carriers in the U.S and worldwide. Its next efforts seem to be to introduce a lower-priced “cheap” iPhone to dominate the mid-priced smartphone range.

Samsung is a major competitor to Apple and the Korean giant offers smartphones at all price-tiers from low to expensive. Apple’s iPhone is also available at different price points with the iPhone 4 being free and iPhone 4S at $99 with a two-year contract. However, these models often do not run the latest software or all the features due to hardware limitations.

Apple’s aim to introduce a new cheap iPhone model could be to make sure the hardware is capable of running the latest innovations in the iOS but reduce the cost with the use of cheap materials or using lower-resolution cameras.

The web has been abuzz with reports of leaked images of the prototypes of cheap plastic iPhone model. Macrumors and Coccarese Design have gathered mock-up  images of the rumored iPhone which show the plastic iPhone in different color casing. These images are purely based on speculation and reports published by the media.

Apple is expected to unveil iPhone 5S later this fall and the company is also rumored to announce the cheap iPhone during the same event. Apple’s executives have on record mentioned that the company would never produce a “cheap” phone. The company has a history of denying certain products publicly but then later introducing the product as a surprise move to shock and confuse competitors.

]]> 2 Apple Products Coming to US Cellular This Year Fri, 03 May 2013 20:11:11 +0000 Read More]]> Apple products will be coming to US Cellular later this year, as the carrier announced its future plans during its quarterly earnings release. Apple has been steady attempts to bring its product line up to as many carriers as possible to increase the adoption and availability of iOS devices.

We have a number of strategies in progress to increase loyalty and attract more customers, including our announcement today that we will begin offering Apple products later this year. By further strengthening our device portfolio, we’ll give consumers another great reason to switch to U.S. Cellular, and enable our existing customers to choose from an even wider variety of iconic smartphones, and enjoy the outstanding U.S. Cellular customer experiences they deserve.

The carrier announced that its smartphone penetration is at “43 percent of core market customers and growing quickly”. It is in Apple’s best interest to make its smartphones and tablets to more local carriers in the US and globally. The Cupertino, Calif., based company has been facing intense competition from Samsung. Increasing the availability of Apple’s devices on more carriers would help in gaining more market share and customer satisfaction.

US Cellular

Apple is known to ask carriers to commit purchase of certain number of iPhones and most carriers have been happy to strike deal with the iPhone maker. Major carriers like AT&T and Verizon have been reporting iPhone as a popular smartphone and accounts for a large portion of their activations.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple’s Cheaper iPhone Could Potentially Claim 11% Share of Low-end Device Market in 2014 Fri, 19 Apr 2013 07:38:07 +0000 Read More]]> Apple Lower cost iPhone Retina Display

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, if Apple were to introduce a $300 contract-free iPhone, they could capture up to 11% of the low-end device market. Munster believes that this is possible for Apple to accomplish and also notes that the lower cost iPhone may be introduced this year, in September.

There are reports and rumors that support the possibility of a lower end iPhone for emerging markets, with Apple currently holding up to 42 percent of the high end smartphone market. Currently, Apple’s iPhone has a gross margin of 55%, which can be reduced to 30% if Apple were to introduce a lower cost iPhone. This means that the price would be cut in half, which would likely draw the attention of more potential customers.

It is possible that a lower cost iPhone would cannibalize sales of the current iPhone, meaning that the gross margin would drop by about 2%. Piper Jaffray has been most accurate in estimating Apple’s price target, lowering it from $767 to $688. Munster also noted that Apple will perform below the Wall Street estimate of $39.6 billion with about $35 billion. Apple is scheduled to report Q2 2013 earnings on April 23rd.

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 2 Verizon Increases iPhone Subsidy Wait Time to 24 Months Thu, 18 Apr 2013 18:06:26 +0000 Read More]]> Verizon iPhone

With Apple’s iPhone 5S expected later this year, carriers are beginning to shift around their plans and smartphone upgrade structure to match the upcoming refresh. On Friday, Verizon reported that they will now be extending the wait time for an upgrade to 24 months, up from the current 20 months that was required. The company released details about the extension in a report from The Verge, saying, “In alignment with the terms of the contract, customers on a two-year agreement will be eligible for an upgrade at 24 months vs. today’s early upgrade eligibility at 20 months.”

It is unclear why Verizon has decided to make this change as they did not give a reason for doing so. With this extension,the company will now require all customers with expiring contracts to wait the full 24 months. Customers with contracts expiring in January 2014 will reportedly be the first to get affected by the change. The new 24 month rule will also change a number of other things, including credits through the company’s New Every Two program, which will no longer be honored.

Customers will still be allowed to share upgrades but will be restricted by device category meaning that smartphone upgrades can be used on updating to a new smartphone. The same is also applicable to tablets, stopping the upgrades from being interchangeable. Verizon appears to be the only carrier that is adopting this new 24 month waiting period, with Sprint and AT&T keeping the same 20 month structure as before. Verizon had briefly mentioned in the past several weeks that it could easily transition to contract free plans if it wanted to, similar to T-Mobile’s new “Uncarrier” plans.

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 0 Facebook Updates News Feed with Synchronized Experience Across Devices Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:23:01 +0000 Read More]]> facebook timeline

Facebook recently unveiled a new version of its News Feed, with an emphasis on larger photos, reduced clutter and a synchronized experience across devices. This means that the design of the news feed would appear the same whether the user was browsing through it on an smartphone, tablet, or a desktop. Apple’s iOS devices will receive the update first, which Facebook noted would be released in the “coming weeks”.

Normally, with major updates to Facebook’s timeline and news feed, the company slowly rolls out features by region. Android users will be getting the new News Feed soon after iOS users. The new news feed will now be separated into four different categories, listed below, and helps to streamline and organize the current mess of links, images, music, and status updates.

All Friends — a feed that shows everything friends are sharing
Photos — a feed with nothing but photos from friends and liked pages
Music — a feed with posts about the music a user listens to
Following — a feed with the latest news from the pages a user likes and the people they follow

Although many Facebook features are normally protested during their release, this appears to be a feature that is intended for a user experience rather than for Facebook’s ad purposes. Facebook is offering users the chance to sign up for a pre-release look at the updated News Feed. The sign up for the waiting list is available at

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 1 iPhone 5S to feature Wireless Charging Claims New Report Sun, 10 Mar 2013 18:08:19 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5S Wireless charging

According to a report from Digitimes, Apple is looking into bringing wireless charging to the iPhone 5S as early as this year. Samsung and Apple are both reportedly exploring the option as a standard in their devices, following other companies such as LG, HTC, and Nokia which are all part of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). The sources note that Samsung, which is expected to introduce their Galaxy S IV, will include the Qi wireless charging technology, operated by Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

The Qi wireless technology works via electromagnetic induction, with WPC hoping that they can make this a standard across the market with all types of devices. Despite the technology making charging easier for users, the Samsung Galaxy S IV and perhaps even the iPhone may not build in the technology, forcing users to buy compatible back covers which will induct the charge. It still remains unclear as to whether Apple will even include the feature.

Samsung’s adoption of the Qi standards may drive the technology to become mainstream for smartphones, outperforming those promoted by the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA).

It is quite possible that with advancements in technology progressing further each year, Apple would be able to build-in wireless charging into all of its devices in the next few years. Including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and even the rumored iWatch. When looking at the progression of mobile devices as a whole, the smartphone industry was practically nonexistent 5-6 years ago. There is no reason why Apple or even Samsung shouldn’t be able to create the next big tech revolution.

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) #1 on Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Company’ For 6 Straight Years Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:48:17 +0000 Read More]]> Apple Inc. (AAPL) continues to experience success, despite all of the negative press surrounding the company lately. AAPL has once again been listed as #1 on Fortune’s ‘Most Admired Company’, making this the sixth consecutive time that the company has held the title.

Fortune bases the ranking on nine key categories: Innovation, People management, Use of corporate assets, Social responsibility, Quality of management, Financial soundness, Long-term investment, Quality of products/services and Global competitiveness.

Fortune Most Admired Company Apple

These come from a large poll from executives, analysts and directors in the field. It is not surprising that Apple scored #1 on all of the fields, and it is also not surprising that Google is trailing the Cupertino, California company at #2.

Apple has had a rough time lately with its stock price in a free fall and the widely publicized failure of its Maps feature. However, it remains a financial juggernaut, posting $13 billion in net income last quarter, making it the most profitable company in the world during that period. The company has its fanatical customer base, and it still refuses to compete on price, making the iconic iPhone and iPad products that are still widely seen as prestige devices. Competition may be stiff, but so far it remains behind: In Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 was the world’s best selling smartphone, followed in second place by the iPhone 4S.

Apple has been consistent over the past few years, making sure to set records with its quarterly earnings each year. The company has had issues with its stock lately, with analysts, consumers, and shareholders concerned about the future of the company. However, recent rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a number of projects, including a redesign of the iPad, a new iPhone, an Apple television set, and even a Apple smart watch.

Apple has not seen many changes, particularly in its product lines, since late CEO Steve Jobs stepped down and handed the reins over to current CEO Tim Cook. However, Cook has shown promise and assures that Apple is heading in the right direction. Fortune’s #1 ranking as ‘Most Admired Company’ is most definitely a good start in that direction.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 1 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Looking to Increase iPhone Sales in India Mon, 04 Mar 2013 14:29:11 +0000 Read More]]> Indian iTunes Store Apple

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple Inc. (AAPL) is looking to increase sales of its products in India, which is quickly becoming one of the larger markets in the world. The report notes that AAPL is ‘making moves’ to increase sales, meaning that the company is starting to build a larger presence by increasing the number of employees and is going around wireless carriers to control majority of its marketing efforts. Recently, Apple launched the iTunes Store in India, followed by the Apple TV earlier this month.

Apple is sidestepping wireless carriers to seize greater control over marketing in India and offering no-interest loans to lure lower-income consumers. The company has also boosted staff in India by 30% to 170 employees in the past six months. And it is ramping up the introduction of other products, with the Apple TV video-streaming gadget expected to reach stores in coming weeks, people familiar with the matter say.

The result is that Apple shipped more than 252,000 iPhones to India in the quarter through December, more than triple the number in the previous three months, according to research firm Canalys.

Many reports have even suggested that Apple is looking into bringing its retail stores to the subcontinent, and is likely laying the groundwork to do so. India is ideal for Apple’s entrance into emerging markets, with recent reports suggesting that Apple is looking into building a cheaper iPhone. Samsung, which has become a major competitor for Apple has seen success with its line of Galaxy S devices, as well as cheaper Android devices that sell for around $100.

If Apple were to introduce a cheaper iPhone, it would make sense to introduce it in India, where demand for the company’s products is increasing and where smartphones are not subsidized and operate on prepaid plans. With retail stores in India coupled with the online store, Apple would be able to sell more units of its products and as a result, increase its revenue in the region. China has become one of Apple’s largest sources of revenue, so it is not surprising that India is also beginning to see a demand for Apple products.

]]> 0 U.S User Satisfaction Report Rates iPhone 5 5th in position Mon, 11 Feb 2013 19:16:26 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 5 user satisfaction poll results
According to a web poll iPhone 5 ranks 5th in user satisfaction in the U.S while Apple remains at the top in overall smartphone satisfaction. The poll was conducted by mobile device research firm, OnDevice Research.

The mobile research firm revealed that 320,000 smartphone and tablet users in six countries participated in the poll. In the U.S Motorola Atrix HD came in at first followed by Motorola Droid Razr, HTC Rezound 4G, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and then iPhone 5.

Sarah Quinn, marketing manager for OnDevice Research commented on the report and said, “although Apple created one of the most revolutionary devices of the past decade, other manufactures have caught up, with some Android powered devices now commanding higher levels of user satisfaction,”.

In the UK Apple comparatively did better where HTC One X came first, iPhone 5 second followed by Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini and Samsung Galaxy S3.

Perhaps the most interesting result of the poll was that among the rankings for overall mobile device satisfaction Apple came in first followed by Google, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and then Samsung. The survey reached out to mobile users in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, and Indonesia and was conducted via the mobile Web.

The report does give an interesting perspective of users satisfaction however, it’s unclear how a device can rank low while the company selling the device rank higher in overall satisfaction.

{via CNET}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Surpasses Samsung in Q4 to become Largest Mobile Phone Vendor in the U.S Mon, 04 Feb 2013 15:22:10 +0000 Read More]]> Largest Mobile Phone Vendor

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple Inc. (AAPL) is the largest mobile phone vendor in the United States in Q4 2012. The Cupertino, California based company beat out Samsung to claim the new title and is the first time that the company is holding this spot. What makes this most interesting is the fact that AAPL only sells one smartphone, as opposed to the variety of mobile phones that Samsung currently has in the market.

The top 3 mobile phone vendors in the United States, which includes Apple, Samsung and LG shipped a total of 52 million phones in 2012. Of the 52 million, Apple alone shipped 17.7 Million, 17.7 million of them, Samsung shipped 16.8 million and LG, a weak 4.7 Million.

According to the Executive Director of Strategy Analytics reiterated some of the stats presented, noting Apple’s success is due to its integrated ecosystem, carrier subsidies, and the marketing surrounding the iPhone 5.

We estimate Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent share of the United States market in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in Q4 2011. Apple has become the number one mobile phone vendor by volume in the United States for the first time ever. Apple’s success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model.

Apple is expected to once again drop to number two, with rumors about Samsung releasing the Galaxy S4 surfacing on the web. Even so, Apple has also been rumored to be preparing a cheaper iPhone for launch, as well as an updated “iPhone 5S”, both of which will likely be released in 2013.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 AT&T Announces ‘Best-Ever’ Sales of iPhone in Q4 of 2012 Thu, 10 Jan 2013 19:44:42 +0000 Read More]]> ATT Best ever iPhone sales

Although AT&T has not yet officially announced its its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012, it did announce its “best ever” sales of the iPhone and Android. The carrier mentioned that it sold over 10 million smartphones in the quarter, one of its most successful. AT&T Mobility’s president and CEO also confirmed the successful quarter, noting that the company had over 110,000 smartphone sales a day.

We had another incredible quarter of smartphone sales as the mobile Internet continues to drive strong growth in wireless. These are the industry’s most valuable postpaid subscribers with average revenues twice that of non-smartphone subscribers.

During the quarter, we averaged more than 110,000 smartphone sales a day as customers flocked to our leading portfolio of the latest Android, Apple and Windows devices.

This isn’t the first time that AT&T has had a record fourth quarter, with the company posting 7.6 million iPhone sales, and total smartphone sales of 9.4 million units in the 4th quarter of 2011. AT&T will announce its earnings around the same time that Apple will announce theirs, on January 23rd.

Apple is also expected to have a record quarter and a record year, with the release of the iPhone 5, redesigned iPod lineup, the iPad mini, and 4th generation iPad. AT&T’s success is very much dependent on the success of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, as majority of the carriers smartphone and tablet activations are iPhones and iPads.

{Via MacRumors}

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