Monday, July 30, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
By Chris Ciaccia | TheStreet.com – Wed, Jul 25, 2012 11:58 AM EDT
NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Apple AAPL reported disappointing third-quarter earnings, but investor attention is shifting to the company's most important product, the iPhone 5.
Apple sold 35.1 million and 26 million smartphones, respectively, in its recent fiscal second and third-quarters, and many are predicting this release will be the biggest product launch Apple has ever had. CEO Tim Cook alluded to the coming "fall product transition," suggesting the iPhone 5 will be announced then.
The iPhone 5 will have a slew of new features, said Channing Smith, portfolio manager at Capital Advisors Growth Fund.
"We expect it to have Near Field Communications (NFC), a larger screen, and a better camera -- we expect it will be done without conceding battery life," he said in a recent phone interview. "Apple needs to continue to improve the competitive advantages it already has -- the way Apple has built its ecosystem is brilliant. They've locked so many users into their ecosystem -- I think that gives them an enormous advantage." Apple is Smith's largest holding in the fund.
There are tons of rumors about what the new iPhone will look like and what it will be called. Half of the fun of an Apple product launch is speculating what will go into the product as the rumor mill churns out report after report about the latest and greatest gadget from Cupertino, Calif.
It's not clear, though, what Apple will even call its new iPhone. The gadget maker has typically numbered its latest offerings, but ditched this nomenclature for the new iPad.
Nonetheless, here's a list of features that might be in the phone, which could be called the iPhone 5, and is expected to be released later this year.
What It Will Look Like
Apple's past two releases, the iPhone 4S and the new iPad, were more evolutionary than revolutionary. This could be Apple's big opportunity to push the envelope in terms of innovation.
Apple has kept the iPhone's design fairly stable, with a 3.5-inch screen size, tweaking it slightly, as it refines the five-year old product. Many now believe the next iPhone will have a 4-inch screen, as it competes with offerings like the Samsung S III Galaxy and other 4-inch phones.
The iPhone's screen size has not changed since inception, so this is a slight strategy change for Apple, perhaps a direct result of Tim Cook running the company now.
The next iPhone may also be slightly thinner than its predecessors, as Apple utilizes in-cell technology. This technology will allow Apple to integrate touch sensors into the LCD, eliminating one layer of the phone. It could also help cut costs and simplify Apple's supply chain even further, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The casing of Apple's next smartphone could be aluminum, as Apple looks to abandon the glass backing of the current form-factor. There have been problems with the glass backing scratching, so Apple may look to alleviate that.AAPL data by YCharts
It's almost a certainty at this point that the next iPhone will run on Long Term Evolution (LTE), or 4G high-speed networks from AT&T T and Verizon VZ . This will allow the next-gen phone to consume data at a faster speed and make the browsing and data consumption experience all that more enjoyable.
Usage of LTE has shown battery life to decrease. Apple acknowledged that in its new iPad, when it said the battery would last nine hours on LTE, as opposed to 10 otherwise. Apple could improve the battery life in the new iPhone, as Capital Advisors' Smith suggested.
Given Apple's long-standing relationship with Qualcomm QCOM , there is a strong possibility that a Qualcomm chip could be powering the 4G capabilities of the phone. Qualcomm chips feature predominantly throughout the previous versions of iPhones and iPads.
Another major feature which Apple could introduce is Near-Field Communications. Apple started to open up the possibility and potential for the iPhone becoming a "digital wallet" when itannounced Passbook, as part of iOS 6, its new mobile operating system.
Passbook is a location-aware app that lets users put their discount cards, gift cards, movie tickets and boarding passes into one app. Apple was recently awarded a patent for Passbook that could expand its uses, and move Apple towards the digital wallet.
Apple's mobile operating system will have more than 200 new features, including Passbook, enhanced support for Siri, as well as Apple Maps, as it removes Google GOOG Maps from the phone. There will also be heavy integration with Facebook FB , which the company announced at its recent Worldwide Developers Conference.
Apple may bring FaceTime, its video chat software, to wireless networks. Currently, FaceTime on iPhones can only be done on Wi-Fi networks, but with LTE networks the capability for increased use of FaceTime has expanded. Apple announced this as part of iOS 6 for the iPad, and it's a safe bet that the same will happen for the new iPhone.
Many are wondering whether Apple will introduce a new processor with the latest iPhone. Apple announced the A5X chip when it unveiled the iPad, and given its propensity to release the chip, which is designed from ARM Holdings ARMH property, in the iPad first, this is an uncertainty.
There is no doubt that the new iPhone will have some of these features, and others that we haven't thought of. There's always "one more thing" to shock, surprise and amaze the Apple audience. We'll find out soon enough.
Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
By Marc Saltzman | Digital Crave – Wed, Apr 11, 2012 1:56 PM EDT
Whether you're a seasoned user or brand new to the iPhone world, chances are you're probably not using your smartphone to its fullest.
Don't worry, you're not alone, as these pocket-sized computers boast many hundreds of features buried in the operating system.
And so here we share a number of our favoriteiPhone tips and tricks, some of which you may know already. Hopefully there's a good number of ones you aren't aware of yet. Most of these following 25 suggestions will work with all versions of the iPhone, but be sure to have the latest software installed (iOS 5.1).
OK, here we go:
Take a photo with your headphone cord: Now that you can use the volume up or down buttons to snap a photo, steady your hand while framing up the photo and when you're ready to take the picture, press the button on the cord so it won't shake the iPhone. Voila!
Dry out a wet iPhone: You're not the first one to drop an iPhone in a toilet or sink. If this happens, don't turn it on as you can damage the smartphone by short-circuiting it. Lightly towel dry the phone. Don't use a hairdryer on the phone as it can further push moisture into areas that aren't wet. Submerge the iPhone in a bowl or Ziploc bag of uncooked white rice and leave it overnight. If you have it, try using a desiccant packet you might find with a new pair of shoes or leather purse.
Dismiss suggested words: If you're typing an email or note and the virtual keyboard is suggesting the correct spelling of the word — and you don't want to accept it — you don't need to tap the tiny "X" at the end of the word in question. Simply tap anywhere on the screen to close the suggestion box.
Take photos faster: Even if your iPhone is locked you can double-tap on the Home button and you'll see a camera icon you can tap to open the camera immediately. Now you can use the volume up button to snap the photo, too. You can also use the volume up on the headphone cord to take a photo (if you want to) and pinch the screen to zoom instead of using the slider bar.
Use location-based reminders: You probably know Siri can be used to set a reminder, like saying "Siri, remind me to call mom at 4pm today." But did you know you can set location-based reminders on your iPhone 4S? Say "Remind me to call mom when I leave here" or "Remind me to call mom when I get home" and you'll be notified accordingly.
Get word definitions: Apple has recently added a built-in dictionary and you can access it in most apps that let you select a word. Simply press and hold on a word — such as in an email, reminder, iBooks, and so on — and you'll see a pop-up option for "Define."
Revive a frozen iPhone: If your smartphone freezes on you and pressing the Sleep/Wake button on top of the device doesn't do anything, don't panic. Instead, press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time. You'll be prompted to swipe the "Slide to Power Off" tab. This so-called "hard reset" resuscitates the frozen iPhone. You'll first need to wait through a full shut down and restart.
Get more done in less time: You can create shortcuts to words and phrases you use a lot, such as Northern California Association for Employment in Education. In Settings, go to General, then Keyboard, and select Add New Shortcut. Now you can add new words or phrases and assign shortcuts to them (such as "NCAEE," in the above example, and it'll type out the full word each time.
See a 6-day weather forecast: If you're one of the many weather junkies out there, you probably know you can swipe down the iOS device's screen and you'll see the Notifications center. Weather will be at the top, but did you know you can swipe to the left or right and you'll toggle between current conditions and a 6-day forecast? Plus, jump to the Weather app by tapping anywhere on the weather bar inside Notifications screen.
Select URL domains faster: When typing a website address in Safari, you don't have to type the ".com." For example, you can type "yahoo" in the URL box to get to yahoo.com. On a related note, you can press and hold down the .com button and you'll see a list of alternatives to choose, such as .net, .org and .edu.
Make your own ringtone: Don't settle with the ringtones provided by Apple and you need not pay your carrier for more of them. As the name suggests, the free Ringtone Maker app lets you take a clip from your favorite songs and make ringtones out of them in seconds.
Feel and see when people call: Apple has added a number of accessibility features to iOS 5, specifically designed to assist those with hearing, vision, mobility and other disabilities. For example, those who are hearing impaired might opt to have the LED flash when a call comes in. If you're seeing impaired, you could set a unique vibration pattern for different people in your Contacts, so you know who's calling.
Find your lost iPhone: As long as you sign up in advance, the free Find My iPhone app will help you locate your device on a map (on your computer or other iOS device). You can display a message or initiate a loud ring (in case it's under the cushions), or remotely lock or wipe its data.
Save photos in Safari: You're surfing the web in Safari and stumble upon a photo you'd like to save. Simply press and hold on a photo when on a website and you'll be prompted with a menu asked if you'd like to "Save Image." Once the photo is saved, you can view it offline, email it or set it as wallpaper.
Take an iPhone screen grab: On a related note, if you want to take a screenshot of a website or application, press down on the Home button and tap the Sleep button. You'll hear the camera click, see a white flash and the screenshot will be saved to your Camera Roll.
Get new sounds: It's been a long time coming, but Apple has added the ability to select custom tones for incoming text messages, new emails, voicemails, tweets, calendar alerts, reminders and more. You can select something you like from within the Sounds menu. You'll also notice you can scroll to the top of this list of sounds and you'll see a "Buy More Tones" option, which takes you to iTunes.
Zip to the top of the page: In Mail, Safari, Contacts and other apps, simply tap the status bar at the top of the screen — the area that displays time, battery and cell bars — to jump back to the top quickly.
Prolong your battery: Speaking of the battery, here's how to squeeze more life out of your iPhonebetween charges. Turn down the brightness of your screen, turn off wireless radios you don't use (such as GPS, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and reduce the number of apps with info you have "pushed" to your phone. Also, make sure you lock it before putting in your pocket, purse or backpack or else it could turn on and drain the battery.
Spread out the keyboard for easier typing: Here's a tip for iPad users: If you like typing while holding the tablet, rather than stretch your fingers or thumbs for those middle letters like G, H, Y or B, you can drag the keyboard to each side of the screen to separate it into two, allowing you to easily type while holding it.
Learn some gestures: Close any app ridiculously fast by putting your four fingers and thumb stretched on the screen and pinch inwards. Sweet! You can also magnify what's on your iPhone screen with a three-finger tap. You'll first need to go to Settings, General, Accessibility, and select the various gestures options here.
Create an "app" out of a website you visit often: To add a website to your Home screen, just visit the webpage in Safari and at the top of the screen, tap the Go To icon and select "Add to Home Screen."
Create a music playlist on the fly: You no longer need a computer to create a playlist. In the Music app, tap Playlists, then select Add Playlist and give it a name ("Marc's Workout Mix"). Now, tap any song (or video) to add it to the playlist. You can add individual songs, entire albums, or all songs by a particular artist.
Don't waste your day deleting messages individually: You can delete unwanted emails en masse rather than deleting one at a time. In your Inbox, simply click the Edit button and check off the emails you want to delete with your finger and then choose Delete.
Keep track of your texting limits: If you don't have the best texting plan and don't want to unnecessarily pay to send more texts than you need, here's a tip to turn on the character count in the Messages app. Enable this in the Settings>Message option to keep an eye on your word count. Usually, your one text becomes two after 160 characters.
Mirror your iPhone with your TV: If you own an Apple TV, you can instantly and wirelessly share exactly what's on your iPhone 4S or second- and third-generation iPad with your HDTV, connected to an Apple TV — such as games, apps or videos. Simply double-tap the Home button, swipe all the way to the right and select AirPlay Mirroring.