Recently in Apple Category
From an enterprise perspective Apple appears to be tightening up security and at the same time loosening it in iOS 7.
From an enterprise perspective iOS 7 includes a per application VPN and managed applications that have authorisation to open email attachments. In a recent blog post Srinivas Krishnamurti, a VMware senior director on the Horizon Mobile programme says the email lock-down feature in iOS 7 will enable IT to prevent data leakage from and negates the need for a separate email application for corporate use.
the built-in fingerprint scanner has the potential to boost enterprise security - through two-factor authentication using a biometric fingerprint. But the scanner will only authorise iTunes transactions. Potentially, it could be opened up to third party developers such as to secure internet banking, but, as one of my colleagues mentioned, Apple appears to be playing its cards close to its chest. What it probably wants to avoid is another fiasco like what happened when it ditched Google Maps last year.
Now the bad news...Well, AirDrop is one of of the shiny new features in iOS 7, to enable people to share content with friends easily over a peer-to-peer wireless connection. There is clearly a big risk of data leakage here, and there is a very real risk that your wireless network could be spoofed
Last night, with the pomp and ceremony we've come to know from big technology launches, Apple announced the latest additions to the iPhone family.
But sadly, yet again, the company has failed to wow me in terms of innovation.
The iPhone 5S
Now available in 'space gray' (black, with a bit of grey), 'silver' (white with a silver back panel), and now 'gold' (I think you mean champagne - and no, just no!), this is the first time the iPhones have defiantly stepped away from tradition.
The aluminium backplate was a small step away from the typical black and white, which was first seen on the iPhone 5, but these say to me that Apple wants to appeal to its user's character.
But at the same time I feel it has also cheapened the brand by introducing a champagne colour to its flagship model the 5S, and an array of pastel shades for its 5C.
The colour is not the main focus of the iPhone 5S, this device has come with fingerprint technology which will allow users to unlock their phones with a touch of their finger.
But while the technology debuted on the iPhone 5S could revolutionise smartphone security, Apple has no plans to allow the Touch ID sensor to be used for more than unlocking phones or verifying iTunes purchases, say US reports.
The technology is built into the home button and is made from laser-cut sapphire crystal which directs the image of your fingerprint to a capacitive touch sensor, which reads beneath the outer layers of your skin to get a detailed print.
While this seems like a futuristic piece of innovation from the technology giant, in fact the Motorola Atrix launched a phone with a fingerprint sensor two years ago - c'mon Apple, pull your socks up. I want to see real innovation, not copycat skills that will be sent stratospheric due to your brand name.
While staying the same weight and size as its predecessor, the iPhone 5S sees a new A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, as well as an M7 motion coprocessor, which Apple claims makes it twice as fast than the previous generation models, while preserving more battery.
More expensive than the iPhone 5, the handsets will cost £549 for 16GB, £629 for 32GB and £709 for 64GB.
The iPhone 5C
Well, the 'C' in iPhone 5C certainly does not stand for cheap.
It was a first for Apple to launch two iPhones at the same time, Tim Cook announced the 5S and 5C would allow the company to serve even more customers.
"Apple's never had an offering for the mid-range smartphone market, leaving Samsung - with a phone for every budget - to clean up. The 5C could well be the trump card needed to trounce Android's hand," said Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com.
But at £469 for 16GB and £549 for the 32GB model, I don't consider that mid-range.
The iPhone 5C is "for the colourful" with five pastel shades of green, blue, yellow, pink (or red depending on your eyesight) and white. Coloured handsets and cases has been popularised by the mid-market smartphone, with Apple staying clear away from novelty. But the phone might catch the eye of the Chinese market.
Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum said: "The cheaper iPhone is critical for expanding the addressable market, because many people in China and elsewhere simply can't afford to buy a current generation iPhone, especially when it's not subsidized. However, the key risk for Apple in launching a cheaper iPhone is that it may cannibalize sales of the high-end phone."
Both devices will be running out-of-the-box the new operating system iOS7, and will be available from the 20 September.
Keep reading the Inspect-a-Gadget blog for a hands-on review coming soon.
Relying on your name, brand and reputation is a dangerous tactic, one that Nokia and Blackberry know all too well.
Some of the absolute garbage and speculation I read regarding next generation products makes me want to walk across a field of lego pieces while setting mouse traps off on my fingers, all so the pain can help me forget what I've just consumed with my eyeballs.
However, when a company does actually make a significant change, like Apple when it revealed the redesigned "EarPods", can it bring old customers back, as well as tempt new users?
In comparison to the old earphones, the EarPods supersede them in every aspect, ascetics, build quality, sound quality and even name stupidity! For me, the old earphones were one of the worst things about the previous generation of iPhones and other iDevices.
I mean, there are other options out there on the market. Like with any product there are alternatives, varying in features and price point.
Immediately you can see that Thinksound are an eco-friendly company, with the packaging made solely from 100% recycled materials. Even the earphone casings, which look very striking, are made of renewable wood.
The second noteworthy thing about these audio offerings from Thinksound is the weight, up there with the lightest earphones I've ever slipped into my lugs at 12g.
The ts02's earphones also come with a mic, but unlike the EarPods, it doesn't have a volume control. Another noticeable difference is that the mic didn't pick up the sound as well as it should. The ts02's are a world apart from the Apple equivalent costing substantially more at around £75 but bringing a much more wholesome and well-rounded sound to the table.
The Sony product sits in the middle price bracket at around £39 but they come without a mic. They come off as mildly futuristic with a hollow ear loop to hold them securely in place. To look at you'd think they were uncomfortable but that was only the case when worn for extensive periods.
The XBA-C10s blow the EarPods out of the water in terms of noise cancellation and actual in-ear comfort but they did leave me a little disappointed, they look like they deliver more of a punch than they do.
The balanced armature driver tucked away inside the earpiece does however mean they come out on top of the Apple EarPods in terms of overall sound quality. Mainly thanks to the 100dB/mW sensitivity which ensures minimum distortion as you crank up the volume.
The EarPods suit many people down to the ground, those who want adequate and functional performance, with the ts02's matching up best with the environmentally conscious looking for something a little different, and finally, the Sony earphones are ideally built for use in hectic workplaces or the gym.
So back to using Apple as the example for the original question, I was very surprised that (back in September) they redesigned and substantially improved their earphones in the first place and it did restore a little faith. Ultimately though, the improvements were only such that there are still more appropriate options out there catering to specific tastes, many of which merit the increased costs. And you've just been introduced to two examples above.
We are all scarily dependent on our smartphones. When my phone gets down to 5% battery life as I leave the office, I get that panicky feeling rise up in my chest. What would I do if it went completely flat? Would I even be able to complete my journey without the tube map and what about level 38 of Candy Crush? What if I've left my keys in the office, how would I phone anyone to let me into my flat? Oh it's ok, I'll just tweet my marooned state. No I won't - my phone has gone dead.
In the business world, where more and more companies are moving to either kitting out their staff with the latest smartphone or allowing BYOD programmes, we are finding ourselves extremely limited by our phone battery lives. Even the BlackBerry Z10 only just stretches into the second day's charge, but really when you're hammering its shiny new OS, you have to charge it every day.
From the moment I leave my flat to travel to work in the morning, I feel constrained by my battery life, I have a USB lead in my work computer, so I can easily charge my iPhone at my desk, but if I'm out for a full day, I know I have to ration my usage.
At the last big even I went to, I spent a few hours on the train in the morning and by 2pm I had 15% battery left. As a reporter, I needed my phone, not only to keep on top of emails and phone calls, but also to take photographs and record videos from the event. I would need the National Rail app to work out when my return train was going to depart, google maps to get around, not to mention emails to keep me entertained on the train home.
My saviour was the Energenie ChargeSleeve for iPhone 4 and 4S. I was at an event where Energenie were showing off its products, and to be completely honest I had been given a ChargeSleeve to review a few months back, but never got around to doing it. Boy, did I wish I had it in my bag that day as my battery dropped like a stone in water. Instead I wandered up to the stand red faced and sheepish and asked if I could borrow one for a quick fix. Luckily Energenie had one going spare.
Your phone fits within the sleeve and the 1, 8 00mAh battery allows for a full recharge of your device. It does make your phone a little longer and thicker, but I preferred that it still felt like my iPhone after a couple of weeks on the ice cream, rather than messing about with wires, USB ports, and a rectangular box in order to get an emergency charger working. I could even make phone calls without worrying about the wires getting trapped or pulled out of the device. The only issue is that carrying around the ChargeSleeve when you don't need it, is like having another phone in your bag.
The product comes with a USB to MicroUSB cable to recharge your ChargeSleeve. I've most certainly learnt my lesson, and until they start making operating systems that aren't such a drain on your smartphone, portable emergency chargers are certainly the way forward.
Energenie ChargeSleeve for iPhone 4/4S £29.99
Image via CrunchBase