Archive for March 2017 - Page 1


    A Smattering of Apple Updates


    Earlier this week Apple released a few products. None of the released hardware products are new, however they all have some upgraded internals. Let us start with two upgraded iPhones.

    iPhone SE

    The first upgrade was to the iPhone SE. The iPhone SE was released about a year ago in March of 2016. The iPhone SE has the same internals as the iPhone 6s. This includes Touch ID, an A9 processor, M9 motion co-processor, and 4K video recording at 30fps. All of this in a 4-inch Retina screen. When the iPhone SE was released, it came in two sizes, 16GB And 64GB models.

    The upgrade increases the two model sizes. They are now 32GB and 128GB models are the same price, $399 and $499 respectively.

    This upgrade indicates two things. The first that the iPhone SE is not a one-off, and is likely to be continued in the future. It will likely be a phone where the internals are upgraded every two years. The second item is that the 16GB Model of iPhone is officially retired; except for maybe refurbished phones. The updated iPhone SE is not the only iPhone with a new model.


    PRODUCT(RED) is a program that raises awareness for, and provides funds, to help eliminate HIV/AIDS. Apple has been supporting (PRODUCT)RED since October 2006 when they unveiled an iPod Nano. Since then, Apple has added many other PRODUCT(RED) items over the last 11 years. The latest release is a particularly important one for Apple.

    Apple has released an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that is Red and White. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the same exact specifications as the Black, Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver models; except for one aspect. The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone does not come in 32GB, just like the Jet Black model. It does come in 128GB and 256GB models.

    The 128GB iPhone 7 model is $749, the 256GB is $849. The 128GB iPhone 7 Plus is $869 and the 256GB is $969. This is the same as the Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

    The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available for order on Friday, March 24th, at 8:01 AM Pacific Time.


    One of the most anticipated products is a new iPad Pro, in particular the 12.9-inch model. Unfortunately, there was not a new version of the iPad Pro being released. There is a new 9.7-inch iPad.

    The new iPad replaces the iPad Air 2 and is a slight upgrade. The new internals of the iPad include an A9 Processor, this is the same processor that is in the iPhone 6s. There is also the same Motion co-processor, the M9. This is the same as the iPhone 6s.

    Besides the internals, the iPad is slightly heavier than its predecessor. The updated iPad is 1.05 pounds, versus 0.96 pounds. There are a couple of things that are no longer on the iPad. The fully laminated display and antireflective coating are no longer on the iPad. This is not the only thing has been dropped from the iPad.

    The price has been dropped. The 32GB Wi-Fi Model is now $329, while the 128GB model is $429. This is down from $399 and $499 respectively. The Wi-Fi + Cellular models are $459 and $559 for the 32GB and 128GB models. This is down from $529 and $629 for the 32GB and 128GB Models.

    The iPad will be available for order on March 24th, at 8:01 AM Pacific Time.


    Apple considers itself a fashion company. One of the ways that Apple keeps ups with fashion is by adding colors to some of its accessories. There are a few areas where this is the case. The first is with new iPhone Cases. There are a few new cases.


    For the various iPhone models here are the new colors:


    iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus

    • Berry
    • Sapphire
    • Taupe

    iPhone SE

    • Saddle Brown


    iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus

    • Azure
    • Camellia
    • Pebble

    Watch Bands

    While iPhone Cases provide some fashion, the Apple Watch bands do allow individual expression.


    • Azure
    • Camellia
    • Pebble

    Nike Bands

    When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 2, one of the models that were not immediately available; the Nike+ Model. There are two distinct aspects to the Nike+ models. The first aspect is a custom watch face that is only available on the Nike+ models. This is still the case. However, the second distinct aspect is the watch band options for the Nike+ Watches. These watch bands are now available on their own.

    The watch band options are:

    • Black/Volt
    • Anthracite/Black
    • Pure Platinum/White

    These bands are available for $49.

    Woven Nylon

    When Apple introduced the Woven Nylon bands, many of them are two colors. The majority of the band is one color, while a second color is an accent color. The Spring 2017 colors are below.

    • Berry
    • Tahoe Blue
    • Orange
    • Red
    • Pollen
    • Midnight Blue

    All of the colors, excluding the Midnight Blue, are tai-colored. Each of these bands are $49.


    One of the more chic materials for watch bands is Leather. There is a new Classic Buckle design for Spring. There are some new colors as well. These are the colors that are available:

    • Berry
    • Black
    • Midnight Blue
    • Red
    • Saddle Brown
    • Sapphire
    • Taupe

    These bands are available now and cost $149.

    Hermès Bands

    When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch, one of the companies that they partnered with is Hermès.

    There are a few new Hermès bands available.

    38 mm versions

    • Fauve Barenia Leather Single Tour
    • Fauve Barenia Leather Double Tour
    • Bleu Zéphyr Epsom Leather Double Tour

    42 mm versions

    • Lime Epsom Leather Single Tour
    • Colvert Swift Leather Single Tour
    • Fauve Barenia Leather Single Tour

    These bands are available for $489 each.


    Beyond the the hardware updates and accessories, there were some software updates released as well. The first is everyone's favorite software product, iTunes.

    The new version, 12.6, has one new feature, 'Rent Once, Watch Anywhere'. This new feature will allow you to rent a movie on your iPhone you can watch it on your Apple TV.

    While in theory this should have been the way it worked before, but it was almost never the case. This requires iOS 10.3 or tvOS 10.2 in order to work.


    One of the more modern change to the Internet, in the last 13 years, is the rise of social media. There have quite a number of social networks that have gone bust in the last 15 years. Some of these include Plurk, Friender, Peach, Orkut, and Pownce.

    Apple has attempted to create a social network, with Ping. Apple eventually realized that their attempt at a social network was not going to work, so they ended Ping. Instead of attempting to build another social network, Apple has done what they are good at, building applications. Apple has created a new application called Clips.

    Clips is an application that allows iOS users to create videos that have special effects. The application is very like other applications that are available. The key to Clips is that you can share the clips that you make with individuals through Messages, or by posting to Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or even YouTube.

    If in one of your clips, a face from your Photo library is recognized, Clips will automatically suggest that you send the clip to the subject of the video.

    Clips will be available in early April on iOS. It will be a free application.

    Swift Playgrounds

    The last update, which is a minor one, but one that is much appreciated for some developers. Swift Playgrounds is now available in five more languages. These languages are:

    • Simplified Chinese
    • Japanese
    • French
    • German
    • Latin American Spanish

    The Swift Playgrounds update is available now.

    Final Thoughts

    These updates, while minor, are great updates for each of the product. This may just be a prelude to more announcements that may come in a few weeks.


    WWDC 2017 Scholarship Information Available


    When Apple announced their World Wide Developer Conference they announced that information about their scholarships would be announced later. Apple has now announced the Scholarship information.

    Apple's WWDC Scholarship program is designed for those that are 13 years old, as a registered developer and enrolled in a course of study, or an alumni of STEM organization.

    There are a few requirements for applying. They are as follows:

    • Personal Information
    • School Information
    • Create a Swift Playground

    The Personal Information must include your Apple ID, and a PDF, PNG, or JPG, that includes your membership information.

    If you are a student, you will need to provide a current copy of your schedule in PDF, PNG, or JPG. If you are a member or alumni of a STEM organization, you will need to provide a PDF, PNG, or JPG of your membership information as well as your local leader's information.

    The biggest requirement is that you will need to create a visually interactive scene in a Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes. This could be just about anything, but it is a requirement to be awarded a scholarship.

    The requirements for the Swift Playground are:

    • The Swift playground you submit should be created entirely by you as an individual. Group work will not be considered.
    • The Swift playground should be built using Swift Playgrounds on iPad or Xcode on macOS.
    • The Swift playground should function properly and run on the latest releases of Swift Playgrounds and iOS or Xcode and macOS.
    • All content should be in English.
    • The .zip file size should not be more than 25 MB.
    • Any resources in the project should be included locally in the zip file that you provide, as your Swift playground will be judged offline.

    Scholarship recipients will receive a free ticket to Apple's WWDC 2017 conference as well as free lodging. Applying for a WWDC Scholarship will be available on March 27th, the same day that entry into the WWDC lottery will begin.