Tag Archives: Keynote

Google announces TONS of new features for Hangouts, Google Plus, Photo & Video sharing!

morning with google plusA whole suite of new features for the folks using Google Plus!

In the Hangouts app, users will now be able to share location with a simple button press. I’ve been in situations where people have asked “where are you” and now a simple tap can share a Google Map location with them.

hangouts where are you location sharingWhat most people have been itching for though is SMS integration, and now the Hangouts app is including the ability to add text messaging to chat.

For people broadcasting with Hangouts on Air, you’ll now have the ability to plan a Hangout ahead of time, and this will create an event page you can use to promote the Hangout. It’s a nice one-piece solution as we’ve been doing this manually to share our Hangouts with people online.

hangout spotlight background blurNew broadcast tools allow hosts to control the microphone volume of HOA participants. Increase or decrease their chat volume, and now we can finally remove someone from a Hangout. This is welcome control for those of us trying to create professional videos during live broadcasts.

For standard Hangouts video calls, users now have more creative tools to play with, like blurring the background behind themselves. Also we’ll be able to see animated gifs, for all our stop motion photo animation needs.

Moving to Google Plus, over 1.5 BILLION photos are uploaded every week. Google will be unleashing new organization and editing tools to help back up and share your experiences.

auto awesome google plus photo editing 3Photo scanning will allow for searching the content of a picture without tags. If there are pics of your dog un-tagged, searching for “dog” on G+ will bring up your pet pics. New photo editing tools can help improve the look of your pics. Either via “Auto-Awesome” or Snapseed integration, you’ll be able to touch up your pics before sending them out. Snapseed is introducing a new HDR filter to help improve pics which might be a bit under or over exposed.

auto awesome google plus photo editing 4Auto-Awesome will now track through multiple exposures to create animated gifs, composite images, or use the new Eraser tool to eliminate moving objects from your photos. Say you have a series of shots from a vacation, and someone walks in front of your frame, Eraser can scrub that distraction out of your shot. This’ll pretty much encourage people to take series of photos for every set up instead of just one pic and done.

auto awesome google plus movie editingLastly a new auto movie feature is being added. Collecting all of your pics and vids from a time or place, Google will auto-magically combine them all and add background music to present you a share-able highlights reel of your latest adventure. Users can manually edit elements, or select themes which will change up the music, editing, and effects.

If you’ve been jamming on G+, there are going to be a bunch of new features to play with. You can catch the whole announcement video below!

Apple’s Crisis of Confidence: Consumer Perception and Stock Market Response

tim cook apple logoBefore I dive into this, I need to make it clear that I don’t hate Apple. I used to be an Apple product specialist working a JIT contract for DOE facilities in New Mexico. This was during the dual socket days of the PowerMac G5. It was a glorious machine, and I used to adore Apple. As Apple walked away from markets and product lines that I cared about, that adoration became a loving competition. The recent glory days of the company provided me a terrific nemesis as I moved over to Windows 7 computers and Android Phones.

Following Tuesday’s unveiling of the iPhone 5C & 5S, I came to an unsettling realization: I’m worried about Apple.

See, my world as a tech enthusiast and writer just doesn’t make sense without a powerful Apple, and the company which was on display during this last keynote was anything but powerful.  Continue reading Apple’s Crisis of Confidence: Consumer Perception and Stock Market Response

Apple Officially unveils iPhone 5S & 5C. Available September 20th.

iPhone5c_34L_AllColors_PRINT“In the past, when we’ve launched a new iPhone, we lowered the cost of the old iPhone, making it more accessible to new people. But this year, we’re not going to do that.” – Tim Cook

Yes, they’re officially official! The iPhone 5S will reign as the new premier handset and the iPhone 5C will replace the iPhone 5 as a mid range offering. The iPhone 4S will remain as a “free on contract” option for frugal buyers.

The iPhone 5C is largely an iPhone 5 in a candy colored polycarb plastic shell. Inspired by phones like the Nokia Lumia, Apple is releasing the iPhone 5C in green, white, blue, pink, and yellow. Pricing will be very reasonable, coming in at $99 for a 16GB version and $199 for the 32GB model. This is a smart play by Apple, as it provides a much needed mid-range which wont be as expensive as the uni-body aluminum iPhone to produce. This should also help open up some Asian and African developing markets where consumers might not be interested in paying the Apple premium for the 5S.

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The iPhone 5S will retain the aluminium shell of its predecessor, meaning in the wild it will be difficult to see whether someone is carrying the latest and greatest. In part to address that, the color options for the 5S have changed. Silver remains, but instead of Black, the 5S  will come in “Space Grey”. This may also be a response to complaints that the black iPhone was easily scratched. Also, for those wanting a bit more bling, a Gold version will also be available. I would expect this to be the top seller for this generation of iPhone, as even I can be guilty of wanting other people around me to know I have a bleeding edge phone. And yes. I did just say “bling”.

iphone 5s camera rear goldWhile the 5S wont be visually much different than the iPhone 5, it is packing new equipment under the hood to improve the iOS experience. A new camera is on board, marking the first improvement in two generations of iPhone. The resolution remains the same at 8 megapixels, but the new sensor is larger allowing more light to hit individual photo sites. When paired with a new f2.2 aperture lens, this should improve low light capabilities. The new camera app will also be capable of shooting continuous 10 frame per second stills. A new slow-motion video mode is also included which can shoot at 120 frames per second to catch all those great sports and pet moments in delicious slow motion detail.

A new processor is on board. The Apple claims the A7 is up to twice as powerful as the A6, though details regarding actual performance are thin. Interestingly enough, the new A7 is a 64-bit chip. I can’t really understand why Apple made this jump now, as the move to 64-bit on desktops was to facilitate more than 4GB of RAM (which the iPhone does not have). This could perhaps be a preemptive move towards unifying OSX on the desktop and iOS on mobile devices? We’ll just have to wait and see…

The new chipset does feature improved graphics processing thanks to OpenGL ES 3.0. Apple showed off a preview of Infinity Blade 3 which demonstrated dynamic lighting, improved texture mapping, and larger playable areas.

For those active smartphone users, the 5S packs a new sensor co-processor dubbed the M7. It’s a small mini-brain responsible for driving and collecting all of the data from the various sensors, gyros, accelerometers, and the compass. This is a cool piece of tech, as all that info can be collected and sorted by apps without the new A7 processor turning on. This should help battery life, and open new doors for tracking and location apps with the new M7 API.

Speaking of power, Apple claims 10 hours of LTE browsing, 40 hours of music listening, and 250 hours of standby time. No word yet on whether the battery can sustain real world use through dinner time…

iphone 5s touch id home button fingerprint sensor somegadgetguyLastly, for those a bit more security conscious, Touch ID was introduced, which builds a capacitive fingerprint scanner into the Home button on the 5S. Apple demo’ed the feature, which should make unlocking an iPhone near invisible to the person who owns the iPhone, just by tapping the Home Button. This should be of interest to corporate and government IT departments which have to force smartphone users into using alphanumeric passwords which can sometimes be difficult to enter on a touchscreen display.

iPhone 5s will follow in the footsteps of previous iPhones launching at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for a 64GB version. The iOS7 update goes live September 18, and iPhone pre-orders start September 13. The phones will be available for purchase September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and China. That last is very important for Cupertino, as this will be the first time an iPhone will include the Chinese market at launch, and offering that mid-range iPhone 5C could help open up Asian markets which haven’t warmed to Apple’s mobile offerings in the past.

Watch the keynote at Apple.com. Full Press Releases after the jump! Continue reading Apple Officially unveils iPhone 5S & 5C. Available September 20th.

Reactions to Apple’s Keynote. Enobong Etteh from BooredAtWork joins us to talk iPhone 5C and 5S

enobong etteh booredatworkEnobong Etteh from Boored At Work joins me to talk about the Apple September 2013 Keynote which introduced the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C and iTunes Radio. We’ll also take a stab as to why the stock market wasn’t very excited by the news, with Apple stock falling 12 points after the unveiling.

Boored At Work on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/booredatwork/

Live-Tweeting Apple’s Announcement today: @SomeGadgetGuy

8da6092d74e03c349d0da576ef22f54cJust a quick heads up folks.

If you’re going to be following along with the Apple keynote today, and would like some up to the second commentary, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Twitter as @SomeGadgetGuy. I’m hoping to be impressed with some new Apple gear, but it’s also just as likely that I might bring a little snark to my commentary.

Who knows? Anything could happen. Join me on Twitter to talk it out!