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“Do Not Disturb While Driving” Feature Helps Bad Habits

According to EverQuote’s Safe Driving Report, there are about 92% of US drivers that use their phone while driving, while about 88 seconds are spent on mobile devices during an average 21-minute ride.

To change this dangerous habit that almost every driver has, Apple created a new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature, which had launched with its iOS 11 update in September 2017. From September to October, about 80% of drivers used this feature, although 27% of users disabled it after the initial use. This feature works by blocking all notifications from appearing onscreen while the user is driving, until they reach their destination. This way, drivers are less inclined to look at their phones because they cannot see their notifications.

Due to users taking advantage of this feature, the phone usage while driving decreased about 8%. Although it wasn’t a significant decrease, the iPhone feature is helping drivers stop their bad habits of checking their texts, email and social media, which decreases the number accidents caused by phone usage while driving.

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Apple’s New (PRODUCT)RED Release

Beginning April 10th, customers will be able to pre-order the newest addition to the iPhone family, the red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus; the phone will be available in stores on April 13th. Aside from the new devices, Apple will also be releasing new accessories as part of the (PRODUCT)RED line, including a red iPhone X Leather Folio. Although not stated an exact amount, a portion of proceeds for all (PRODUCT)RED purchases will go directly to Global Fund HIV/AIDS grants that provide testing, counseling, treatment and prevention programs. According to Apple.com,  Apple has donated more than $160 million to the Global Fund since their initial partnering with (RED) in 2006. 

Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing Greg Joswiak commented on the new line, “This special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone features a stunning red and black color combination and also offers customers the opportunity to make an impact in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus improve on everything we love about iPhone, including Retina HD displays that are more beautiful than ever, the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone with the A11 Bionic and more advanced cameras for unbelievable photos and videos. We are proud to support (RED) with this bold new iPhone and hope customers think it is as special as we do.”

As far as pricing, the red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus range from $699 to $949, depending on model and storage; these are the same prices Apple charges for their iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in other colors.

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Apple Watch vs. Wear OS

Wear OS, originally known as Android Wear, may be winning the battle of the smartwatch over Apple. Here are some differences between the two that can help you decide on which smartwatch to purchase:

  1. Compatibility – With the Apple Watch, only iPhone users are able to sport this smartwatch. Comparing it to a Wear OS watch, such as a Fossil Q smartwatch, both Android and iPhone users are able to connect their phones. This means no having to switch to an iPhone if you love your Android and want a smartwatch!
  2. Design – The Apple Watch’s design is consistent through each of their models, with a choice of a 38 mm or 42 mm case and different interchangeable straps. The main criticism of the Apple Watch’s design is that it is square, although some people don’t mind it. As far as a Wear OS watch, you’ll have the option to choose if you prefer either a circular or square case, although a majority of them now are circular. For band options, Apple Watch straps are sometimes more difficult to find than Wear OS bands; many watches will fit with any band of a certain width.
  3. Screen and battery life – Because designers have learned not everyone has the same size wrist, there are more screen size options when it comes to the Wear OS smartwatches, even from the same watch company. The Apple Watch, however, as mentioned above, is only available in a 38 mm and a 42 mm case, which still may be too big or too small for some wrist sizes. As far as battery life, both will have an expected one or two days, depending on usage.
  4. Tracking – With features such as Medical ID and ResearchKit, GPS and waterproofing, the Apple Watch is heavily pitched as a fitness device. Aside from Apple’s own tracking apps, users have the option download third-party running apps, such as Strava and Runkeeper. As far as Wear OS devices, users are able to track their fitness and sleep, however, heart rate monitoring is still in the works for many companies who carry Wear OS watches.

These are just some of the comparisons for the Apple Watch and Wear OS devices, but always do your own research before jumping into buying your new smartwatch so you get the watch that suits you best!

If you or someone you know is not satisfied with their Apple Watch and is looking to sell it, call us at 212.840.0415 or visit http://www.sellmymac.com/sell.

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Apple’s “Field Trip” Event

In Apple’s first major event of 2018, it will take place at 10 a.m. Central time at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. Instead of focusing on iPhones and Apple Watches as per usual, this keynote will be all about education and creativity.

Considering the event is happening at a high school, the infrastructure to provide a solid livestream might not be available. However, there will still be a liveblog of everything that’s going down at the event.

Software will be the main focus of Apple’s education event, ClassKit being the biggest star. The new Apple framework will help developers create better educational apps; for example, students will be able to answer quizzes remotely and have the answers transmitted to a teacher via iCloud. A “kiosk mode” that locks a student into one app was also discovered. Dozens of other features that haven’t leaked out yet will also be included in the ClassKit release.

In order to run ClassKit apps, iPhone and iPad users will need iOS 11.3. Therefore, it is likely that Apple will release the final version of the iOS update after the keynote. iOS 11.3 comes with many new features, including battery health metrics, new Animoji for iPhone X, business chat on iMessage, and others.

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Apple’s Self-Driving Market

In April 2017, Apple received its first permit to test self-driving cars on California roads, now having 45 permits almost  a year later. Apple is now second behind General Motors’ Cruise company, which has 110 self-driving car permits in California, claims the California Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Apple is now testing more vehicles than its top rivals, including Tesla with 39 permits, Uber with 29 permits, and Alphabet’s Waymo with only 24; they had more than 100 in June 2017. Self-driving car technology has become popular over the past few years among major technology companies, with many of them betting that autonomous cars requiring little to no human interaction is the way of the future. These companies are also hoping their technology will keep passengers safer than human-driven vehicles.

Yet, self-driving cars likely won’t be available to consumers for at least a couple of years. For now, testing is critical for all of those companies to get their technologies ready for the “way of the future.”

 

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Toys R Us Stores Slashing Prices on Apple Products

As the toy giant prepares to close all of its 735 US locations after 70 years of business, customers can now find Apple products at a steal. According to one Reddit user, a local Toys R Us store was selling  an Apple TV 4s for $75, compared to its $149 retail price. The same user additionally said that the store was selling iPod Nanos for $54, which typically costs around $145. 

Customers can expect to see blowout clearance sales across the country in the coming weeks; Toys R Us recently started clearance sales at about 170 stores that it plans to permanently close in April. The company had been struggling with a large amount of debt following a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005. The popular toy giant has struggled to compete with rivals such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon in recent years.

Business Insider’s Dennis Green reported the following: “These high payments prevented the chain from making the changes necessary to compete, like improving the in-store experience and beefing up e-commerce in the age of Amazon, the company said in the filing. The debt also prevented the chain from keeping up the appearance of its stores and ensuring its employees were well-paid.”

The company hopes to remain alive outside the United States. It said many of its stores in Canada, Europe and Asia “remain strong, viable businesses,” and may be saved or sold. In the mean time, if you’re looking to stock up on some Christmas gifts or save on some Apple products, head to your local Toys R Us before it’s all gone!

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How Hackers are Making a Profit from Your Apple ID

According to latest research, VPN comparison service Top10VPN.com revealed that after banking and financial service IDs, a hacked Apple account is the most valuable single account traded on the dark web, which hackers can sell for around  $15. Aside from Apple, PayPal credentials are more valuable than online bank accounts. While online bank details trade at an average $160, PayPal logins start at around $250. Here is a list of what your different login details are worth:

  • Apple ID: $15+
  • Amazon: around $10
  • eBay account details: $12
  • Skype: <$10
  • Uber login: $7
  • Facebook login: $5.19
  • Match.com account details: 0.3
  • Travel logins (booking.com, AirBnb, TripAdvisor, Expedia): < $5
  • Passport details: $60
  • PayPal: $250+
  • Skrill: $50
  • Your entire identity? $1,100 only!

So exactly how do these hackers manage to steal your credentials? Often times, believe it or not, we fall for their tricks and give away our information without knowing so. Ever received an email from “Apple” saying that your account has been compromised? These hackers try to make these emails as authentic as possible, with Apple’s logos, fonts and styles that you normally receive. “Click this link to recover your account” is something you might see; this would then take you to a fake page that is unsecured, leading you to input your information just for it to get stolen and sold without your knowledge.

Another good tip, aside from being aware of a phishing email, is to set up two-step verification (aka two-factor authentication, or 2FA). With this authentication, it will be much harder for someone to make changes to your account, such as changing your password so you no longer have access. Now, the hacker cannot do anything without providing a verification code, which is delivered to a device in your possession, usually your phone.

 

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Apple’s New Approach to Future iPhones

It has been widely rumored that Apple will be launching three new iPhone models later this year; the first device is expected to be a relatively cost-sensitive model that will include the same core features as the higher-end models, but will use less advanced display technology as well as a cheaper aluminum construction; the middle device is rumored to be a direct successor to the current iPhone X, with a similar appearance and display size but with upgraded internal specifications; the third and highest-end model is thought to be a bigger version of the successor to the iPhone X, with a larger 6.46-inch display.

Since 2014 when Apple began offering standard and Plus-size versions of its iPhone models, they have been revealing latter versions with unique features and improved specifications compared to the standard-sized models. For example, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Features of the Plus include a sharper display, dual rear-facing camera, plus-specific software features (e.g., landscape home screen, split-screen view in several common apps), and more RAM (2GB in iPhone 8, 3GB in iPhone 8 Plus). 

However, based on a set of credible leaks from both KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg, Apple has no intention of differentiating the updated iPhone X from the iPhone X Plus with any big changes.

As far as the positives for this strategy, Apple’s supply chain management becomes easier and loyal Apple customers who are willing to pay top dollar for new iPhones don’t feel that they are buying an inferior device by picking the smaller of the two iPhone X models. Additionally, by using the same basic components, Apple minimizes the bill of materials increase from the standard iPhone X to the iPhone X Plus.  A con to this strategy is that Apple misses out on the opportunity to improve the competitiveness of its larger-screen model, as there are features that are easier to implement in larger devices with bigger batteries than they are in smaller devices with commensurately smaller batteries.

 

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Apple Creating New ‘AC Wellness’ Clinics for Employees

The launch of AC Wellness is almost here.

According to Christina Farr (2018), a reporter of CNBC, Apple will be launching new health care clinics collectively under the name AC Wellness starting this spring. At least upon its start, the system will only assist employees where the Apple headquarters are located, the Santa Clara County area.

Under the About Me’ section of the AC Wellness website, this is stated in big font: AC Wellness Network believes that having trusting, accessible relationships with our patients, enabled by technology, promotes high-quality care and a unique patient experience.” On the website’s front page there is also a tab for Careers’ that upon clicking goes to a page that lists jobs that can be applied for such as health partner, nurse coordinator, acute care physician, etc., and a Contact Us’ tab that leads to a page that lets you write your name, email, and a message to the company.

The CNBC article also stated that Apple was interested in hiring designers” whose job it would be to help implement a program focused on preventing disease and promoting healthy behavior.” These designers” will be a population health designer and clinical program design lead. 

The AC Wellness clinics will also be used to assess its expanding array of health services and products (Farr, 2018). Campbell (2018) wrote on the Apple Insider website that last month Apple announced its iOS 11.3 update, and through this update, the Health app would be able to have healthcare providers upload health records. For more information on this Health app update, check out our Take Your Medical Records With You Everywhere” blog post.

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Apple’s Newest Rumored Releases

There have been multiple rumors from various sources about Apple’s newest products, including the  AirPower, next-generation AirPods, Apple Watch Series 4, a low-cost iPad, and three new iPhone models, just to name a few!

If you’re unfamiliar with the AirPower, it is a charging mat that will be able to charge up to three devices that use Qi charging at once, such as the iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. The next-generation rumored AirPods are expected to release alongside the charging mat, which will feature wireless charging as opposed to the charging case, better Bluetooth connectivity, and possibly new colors. However, nothing is yet confirmed.

As the Apple Watch has not seen a redesign since it was first introduced in 2015,  2018 could be the year that Apple introduces a new look for the wrist-worn device, Mac Rumors suggest. Apple will perhaps use micro-LED displays for the 2018 Apple Watch, which would allow for a thinner, lighter display with improved color gamut and brightness. New sensors could also be in store, as Apple has been testing EKG functionality for the Apple Watch. The feature would require users to place two fingers on either side of the Apple Watch to record the electrical activity of the heart to better detect irregularities, however it is not known if this functionality will be ready to debut in 2018.

With the rumor that Apple could introduce an even lower-cost iPad in 2018 than 2017 (its 5th-generation 9.7-inch iPad for $329 for the 32GB model) with a price tag that starts at $259, it would allow them to better compete in the lower cost tablet market.

Finally, three new iPhone models are rumored to be releasing later this year. The first iPhone expected is a followup to the iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, which will be accompanied by a second OLED iPhone measuring in at 6.5 inches; it can be thought of as an “iPhone X Plus.” Alongside these two OLED iPhones, Apple is also said to be planning to introduce a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, positioned as a more affordable device targeting the low-end and midrange markets with a starting price of $649 to $749 in the United States. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three of these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, Face ID, and TrueDepth camera systems, which means the end of both the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in new iPhone models for the time being.

Although many of these products are still in the works or rumored, we are all hoping to see what Apple has in store for 2018!