Category Archives: iOS Devices

Just when you thought the failed LA schools iPad program couldn’t get any messier, it did …

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We learned yesterday that the Los Angeles Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” following the collapse of its plans to provide every student with an iPad. The mess eventually led to an FBI investigation and a federal review.

The latest development, as ever reported by the LA Times, says that the program is now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into whether funds were misused in the $1.3B project … 

The SEC is looking into whether school district officials complied with legal guidelines specifying how bond funds can be spent.

In particular, the agency was concerned with whether the L.A. Unified School District  properly disclosed to investors and others how the bonds would be used, according to documents provided to The Times.

LAUSD officials are apparently ‘optimistic’ that they were in compliance with the rules.

The first signs of trouble with the failed program came when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions intended to ensure the iPads could only be used for school work. It then wasn’t long before the the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the project, and it later decided to abandon iPads altogether.

Photo: Reuters


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: iPad, iPads in schools, LAUSD, Los Angeles Unified School District, schools, sec, Securities and Exchange Commission

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Just when you thought the failed LA schools iPad program couldn’t get any messier, it did …

sec

We learned yesterday that the Los Angeles Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” following the collapse of its plans to provide every student with an iPad. The mess eventually led to an FBI investigation and a federal review.

The latest development, as ever reported by the LA Times, says that the program is now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into whether funds were misused in the $1.3B project … 

The SEC is looking into whether school district officials complied with legal guidelines specifying how bond funds can be spent.

In particular, the agency was concerned with whether the L.A. Unified School District  properly disclosed to investors and others how the bonds would be used, according to documents provided to The Times.

LAUSD officials are apparently ‘optimistic’ that they were in compliance with the rules.

The first signs of trouble with the failed program came when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions intended to ensure the iPads could only be used for school work. It then wasn’t long before the the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the project, and it later decided to abandon iPads altogether.

Photo: Reuters


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: iPad, iPads in schools, LAUSD, Los Angeles Unified School District, schools, sec, Securities and Exchange Commission

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The best Apple Watch headphones and earphones

Up until now, Bluetooth wireless audio was purely optional for Apple’s devices: every iPad, iPhone, and iPod has shipped with a 3.5mm audio port to connect with wired earbuds and headphones. The Apple Watch is different: it’s Apple’s first fully wireless device, with no user-accessible ports to connect accessories, even though it can work as a standalone music player during workouts. The lack of a headphone port is actually a positive, since tethering your wrist to your head with a cable would look silly, and isn’t ergonomically ideal. Thankfully, Bluetooth headphones have come a long way over the past few years, shrinking from gangly and boxy earmuffs into earphones comfortable enough to exercise with.

Since one of the Apple Watch’s major selling points is fitness functionality, this quick guide to the best Apple Watch headphones and earphones focuses mostly on accessories that can work anywhere, rather than options you can’t wear while exercising. But I’ll include some larger options, too, just in case you’re picking a pair for non-athletic use, or to share with your iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Mac…

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How Do Bluetooth Headphones Work With Apple Watch?

Apple’s Guided Tour of the Apple Watch’s Music application shows two different “source” modes that the Watch can operate in: “Apple Watch” or “iPhone.” Once you sync music (a playlist, or up to 200 songs) from your iPhone directly onto the Apple Watch, you go into the Music app, Force Touch to select Source, then pick Apple Watch.

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If you haven’t already paired Bluetooth headphones with your Apple Watch, you’re then prompted to go into Settings and pair your devices. Of course, Apple spotlights its recently-acquired Beats headphones and speakers during the video.

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All you need to do is tap on the Bluetooth headphones you want to listen with, and music will play through them. Pretty simple.

Which Bluetooth Headphones Are Good Matches For Apple Watch?

 

One of Apple’s official options, Beats by Dr. Dre’s Powerbeats 2 Wireless ($200), is stylish and specifically designed for athletic use. IPX4 sweat- and water-resistant, it uses ear hooks to keep the dual-driver earphones close to your ear canals no matter what. You’ll get 6 hours of battery life from a full charge, with a quick charge feature to restore 1 hour of run time in only 15 minutes.

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Plantronics’ BackBeat Go 2 ($60) is an ultra-affordable pair of Bluetooth earphones with some limitations. Put aside the wonderfully appealing price point, and you’re looking at very lightweight, comfortable, sweatproof in-ear headphones that can be left around your neck and used anywhere. On their own, they promise 4.5 hours of battery life — a little optimistic — but a charging case (sold in a premium bundle) can keep them going for 14.5 hours. While they have an integrated microphone, it doesn’t work well outdoors, and the ear stabilization isn’t as resilient as in some rivals.

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JayBird’s BlueBuds X ($126-$156) effectively redefined the Bluetooth earphone category, as the first pair of wireless in-ears to look and feel virtually identical to wired in-ears — like the BackBeat Go 2, they squeeze their wireless transmitters and an 8-hour battery into relatively small housings. BlueBuds X has the edge on optional ear stabilization, though, as well as microphone performance, and has a lifetime warranty against sweat damage. The prices vary based on the color you pick.

 

mdr-ex31

If ear stabilization isn’t critically important to you, but you want to filter out ambient gym noise, Sony’s new MDR-EX31BN ($90-$92) uses a clip-on capsule to offer active noise cancellation and extended run time. The noise-canceler promises 98% reduction of nearby sound, with a nearly 10-hour rechargeable battery. White, red, and black versions are available, all with very good audio quality for the price point.

 

bosesoundlink

Bose hasn’t yet released a pair of in-ear wireless headphones, but its SoundLink Around-Ear ($250, left) and SoundLink On-Ear ($250, center and right) are very highly-rated larger headphones, obviously not designed for athletic use. Both have built-in microphones for phone calling, though they notably don’t have the active noise-cancellation circuitry found in Bose’s QuietComfort wired headphones. The On-Ears offer 15 hours of play time, versus 7 hours of play time for the larger Around-Ears.

 

Apple’s over-ear Beats Studio Wireless models ($335-$360, left and center) are some of the most expensive Bluetooth headphones on the market, but they’re also amongst the best-looking. Like the Bose SoundLinks, they’re not designed for athletic use, but have plenty of other assets, including active noise cancellation, a collection of great colors/textures, and a 20-hour run time between recharges. They’re also ultra-comfortable. The smaller Beats Solo 2 Wireless ($236, right) preserves much of the same styling in an on-ear footprint, delivering 12-hour battery life without active noise cancellation.

Check out our other Apple Watch roundups:


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, Buying Guides, General, iOS Devices, Reviews Tagged: Apple watch, Backbeat Go 2, Beats, bluetooth headphones, Bose, earphones, Jaybird, MDR-EX31BN, Plantronics, Powerbeats 2 Wireless, Solo 2 HD, Sony, SoundLink, Studio Wireless

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Purported 12-inch ‘iPad Pro’ cases show stereo speakers, iPhone rumored to use same 7000 Series aluminum as Apple Watch Sport

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Sonny Dickson has today posted images of an iPad Pro case that reiterates previous manufacturing renders and reports. Like a render seen in January, the case has holes for stereo speakers situated on top and bottom of the device.

The ‘iPad Pro’ has been widely reported to be in development for some time, featuring a larger 12.3 – 12.9 inch display. It is unknown if the new case images offer any new information — they could have been conjured up based on the previously leaked renders. Chinese case manufacturers have offered mixed indications of future Apple product plans. The iPhone 6 design was widely leaked through cases appearing online, but other instances have not been as fruitful.

Today, there has also been a rumor around the next iPhone’s materials …

According to Economic Daily News, which has a sketchy history regarding Apple rumors, the next iPhone will use the same aluminum material, ‘7000 Series’, as the Apple Watch Sport.

Apple describes the material on the Apple Watch Sport microsite:

“For Apple Watch, we created a new alloy of 7000 Series aluminum that’s 60 percent stronger than standard alloys. Yet it’s very light.”

Current iPhones use aluminum extensively, but the difference for the ‘iPhone 6s‘, according to the report, is that Apple would use a higher-quality version of the same metal. The 7000 Series aluminum is up to 60% stronger than the normal material according to Apple. It may make the CNC milling process more complicated, but Apple has shown it is possible through the existence of the Apple Watch Sport.

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Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, cases, iPad, iPad Pro, renders, rumors, rumours

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L.A. Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” over failed iPad project

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The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however … 

The FBI was called in to investigate the possibility of corruption, and a federal review declared that the whole project had been doomed from the start.

The deal signed with Apple included bundled Pearson software for use in English and math lessons. A three-year license for the software added $200 to the cost of each iPad. The school district later complained that the interactive content was subject to constant interruptions and did not meet the needs of many students.

The school district’s general counsel David Holmquist has written to Apple telling the company that it “will not accept or compensate Apple for new deliveries of [Pearson] curriculum.” Holmquist said he wanted to put both Apple and Pearson on notice that it was dissatisfied with the product, and that “millions of dollars” could be at stake.

 


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, Board of education, Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, iPad, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, Pearson Education, Student

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KGI estimates over 2.3M Apple Watch pre-orders, 85% Sport, <1% Edition. Run rate pegged at 2-3M/month

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In a new report from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the very analyst with an impressive track record estimates that global pre-orders for the Apple Watch will top 2.3 million units through May. A report earlier this week claimed that Apple Watch first day pre-orders were at almost 1 million units…

Further breaking it down by specific model, Kuo estimates that the Sport model of the Apple Watch accounted for 85 percent of pre-orders, while the Apple Watch accounted for 15 percent, and the Edition less than 1 percent. That doesn’t jibe much with our poll/survey which leaned heavier toward more expensive models but y’all are ballers.

Kuo goes on to say that the production issues surrounding the Apple Watch center around the vibration unit of the device that provides haptic feedback and the display. The AMOLED display is provided by LG’s display unit which had been reported previously to be experiencing color performance and life span technical challenges, thereby limiting supply.

Kuo claims that Apple appears to be aiming at producing 2-3 million Watches per month – at least until a possible holiday ramp.

We estimate production could reach 2.5mn units in June, absent supply chain bottlenecks; thus global preorders are less than the 4.8mn units of combined production in March-June as most of those preordering can get Apple Watch in June. At present, iPhone shipments stand at 50-60mn units per quarter, suggesting less than one-tenth of iPhone users have preordered Apple Watch.

While 2.3 million pre-orders tops all other smartwatches, Kuo says it’s still too soon to tell if the Apple Watch will be a success. Early sales were to hardcore Apple fans in the US and abroad and aren’t necessarily indicative of long term success.

Furthermore Kuo discusses production of the next iPhone and iPad’s A9 processor in his most recent report. The analyst claims that TSMC will obtain 30 percent of chip orders for the next generation iPhone because of failures of GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries’ yield rate unstable. GlobalFoundries’ A9 chip yield rate is currently only about 30%, significantly below the basic requirement of 50% for mass production. Recruiting TSMC reduces supply uncertainties for Apple.

While it has been reported previously that Samsung will manufacture the majority of the chips, Kuo says that Apple is concerned about insufficient 14nm capacity at Samsung. Samsung has reportedly had better-than-expected market feedback to its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge flagships and has decided to dedicate resources to those devices at this time.


Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS Devices Tagged: a9, Apple watch, KGI, Pre-order, sales, Samsung, TSMC

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Apple adds new Apple Watch video guided tours for Phone, Siri, Maps & Music

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Apple has now updated its Apple Watch Guided Tour page with four more videos, featuring Phone Calls, Siri interactions, Maps navigation and the Music app. Apple began this series earlier in the month.

The videos demonstrate different Apple Watch features, such as taking a phone call, asking Siri for directions, getting navigation turn-by-turn directions in Maps or controlling music playback in the Music app.

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What is interesting is that Apple offers users the option to intermingle features in the different videos. For instance, Apple demonstrates using Siri to make a phone call as part of the Phone Calls guided tour video. Reflecting the many different input mechanisms, Apple clearly expects users to interact with Apple Watch in a variety of ways.

Regarding the Music app, the video shows that users can choose a synced playlist in the Apple Watch companion app on the iPhone. The iPhone will then send those songs over to the watch, when it is charging, so they can be stored independently of the phone. As we previously reported, Apple Watch has 2 GB of onboard storage available for songs.

The company is still teasing that guided tour videos for Apple Pay, the Activity app and Workout app are still ‘coming soon’. As the Apple Watch is available to customers from April 24th, in about two weeks time, they are assumedly imminent. Apple should upload these to its YouTube channel shortly. For now, check the videos out on Apple.com. The videos are also featured inside the Apple Watch app on the iPhone itself.

 

 


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple watch, guided tours, maps, Music, phone, video

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