The new Apple iPhones announced last week have been analysed to the nth degree. They’re all very understandable and credible additions to the evolutionary tree of species iPhone. However what I can’t understand is how anyone thought that the new names were worthy of these otherwise excellent devices.
Much as Apple would like everyone to pronounce the Roman numeral X as a number, iPhone 10, plenty of people call their own phone the iPhone Ex. No doubt the Applerati will condescendingly sneer at this social faux pas, but that’s the reality. You’d think that Apple would have known from OS X but apparently not.
And now we have the iPhone XS – “excess” – and the iPhone Excess Max which slaps on the irony with a $1000+ price tag. It’s like a riff on Harry Enfield‘s “Loadsamoney” character from the 1980’s- “Hey, look at me, I’ve got an iPhone Excess Max and I’ve got loadsa money!”
To be fair, it is very hard to come up with product branding that combines track record with improvement and excitement: you only have to look at Windows 3, NT, 98, ME, XP, 95, 7, 8, 10 to see how difficult it is. But this is Apple. They embody excellence and we all expect better.
The automotive industry has been at this a long time and they’ve learnt a thing or two. Mostly they stick with the brand, product and model, and then simply iterate the year. Ford Mustang GT 2018.
Apple iPhone Plus 2018. That’s what I expect – taste, style and refinement.
Most people are probably familiar with the term jailbreaking when used in conjunction with Apple’s iPhone. If not then it is essentially where you exploit bugs in Apple’s software to remove the restrictions imposed on your device by the operating system itself.
It can be a scary prospect for users who don’t know precisely what they are doing. But what if you could spend a few dollars more to get one that has already been jailbroken for you? That’s precisely what an enterprising Japanese man thought.
A recent report from Toyama, a city in the central part of Japan, says that a 24-year-old man named Daisuke Ikeda was recently arrested for selling five pre-jailbroken iPhones online. These apparently also included a copy of game called Monster Strike which is popular in the nation.
According to the Japan Times, Ikeda had sold 200 iPhones before his arrest, “raking in an estimated ¥5,000,000 [about $50k] in sales”.
This has mostly been a grey area, and many people jailbreak their own phones, though probably not for selling them. It’s going to raise some interesting legal questions.
Been locked out of your iPhone? There’s a way to bypass that lock screen, but it will cost you a bit of money. It’s still going to be a lot cheaper than buying a new phone or taking the queue of the FBI, who paid $1.3 to have the phone of the San Bernardino shooter unblocked. That should renew the long standing debate over government spending that has raged for years.
Why? Because this tool will cost $100, or about the same as The Pentagon paid for a hammer. Report from BBC News states “The BBC News report is based upon a newly-published paper by Dr Sergei Skorobogatov, who describes how the iPhone 5c’s NAND flash chip could be removed, and its data cloned onto another chip to bypass the limit on passcode retries…with no risk of the original data being wiped.
The method requires NAND mirroring which can be accomplished with some cheap hardware. According to security researcher Graham Cluley “Zdziarksi found that he was able to enter multiple passcodes, without any risk that the device would wipe itself automatically or introduce any additional time delays between unlocking attempts
The FBI actually threatened Apple to unlock that phone when there were already rumors that this method could b used and now it’s been proven in a new video of the researcher doing it. You can view the video below.
Although we are only a few hours away from official announcements on the iPhone 7, some aftermarket suppliers are letting slip details on the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Accessories supplier Cygnett has all but confirmed that the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus designs will have no headphone jack but there’s good chance of two speakers for improved sound quality. Further, their new cases also show a larger hole slightly higher up on the iPhone 7 Plus, perhaps for a more protruded camera area suggesting an improved lens or dual lens. Early iPhone 7 rumours thought that the iPhone 7 might have a dual camera configuration, though this seems to have reverted to a single lens.
Cygnett’s Tim Swann also mentioned that while he thought there would be new colour options over the iPhone 6, the actual dimensions of the phone will be similar to that of the 6s and 6s Plus. This fits with what’s been mentioned elsewhere.
There’s been some discussion too as to whether the special connector on the iPad Pro will come to the 7 Plus but Cygnett’s founder didn’t think that was likely as the connector hadn’t appeared on any of the design drawings.
I guess we’ll just have to see what comes out of Apple in a little while….
For some months now, persistent rumors have been flying that the next iPhone will do away with the 3.5mm wired headset port. There have been plenty of people arguing both against and for this idea. Some people say that the demise of the wired headset port is inevitable.
As an over-the-road truck driver, I’ve been using Bluetooth devices for years. To be perfectly honest, the majority of Bluetooth headsets suck, regardless of price. They typically suffer from poor audio quality, especially those intended for phone calls.
I have yet to find a Bluetooth microphone that produces anything approaching acceptable quality for anything other than phone calls.
Bluetooth stereo is great for certain uses, such as in the car or for use with certain Bluetooth speakers intended for casual listening.
With this in mind, let’s examine how a smartphone would work without a 3.5mm wired jack for the way people use these devices today.
I see plenty of people using wired headsets, day in and day out. That tells me that, unlike the floppy drive, which was dropped because most software was being shipped on CD-ROM’s, the wired 3.5mm headphone jack is NOT obsolete. The 3.5mm headphone jack is NOT falling into disuse. There are still millions and millions of people using wired headsets with their smartphones on a constant basis. Wired headset use is NOT dropping off.
Modern smartphones are also extremely good high-definition video cameras. While they have built-in microphones, because of the 3.5mm headphone jack it is also possible to plug in a wired microphone. Wired microphones on traditional consumer camcorders have either been absent or an option for costlier prosumer models. Take the 3.5mm wired headphone jack away and the option of plugging in a superior wired microphone goes away with it.
If Apple takes the 3.5mm wired headphone jack away, it doesn’t matter to me, because I don’t have an iPhone and don’t want one. There will be plenty of remaining Android models to choose from that keep their senses.
In fact, there have already been Android smartphones available on the market that leave out the 3.5mm wired headphone jacks. The Chinese company LeEco released three jack-less phones in April of this year. Ever heard of them? Me neither, until I did a search. I don’t get the impression they are burning down the barn with popularity.
I make extensive use of Bluetooth as well as the 3.5mm jack on my phone. I will never buy a phone that doesn’t offer a 3.5mm jack any more than I would buy a phone that doesn’t offer Bluetooth or WiFi.
After interviewing Azoi at Gadget Show Live, the team there sent me a Kito+ to review. I’ve been using it to check my vital signs over the past few weeks. If you didn’t read or listen to the original interview, the Kito+ is a credit-card sized health tracker that measures heart rate (pulse), respiration rate (breathing), blood oxygen, skin temperature and ECG.
The Kito+ sends all the data via Bluetooth to a nearby smartphone or tablet which displays the readings in real-time. It’s even more impressive when you consider the Kito+ costs GB£100 (around US$140). The Kito+ can work as a standalone device with both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, or it can be embedded into a case for the iPhone 6 series of phones from Apple. Let’s take a look.
The box opens up to show the Kito+ on the left with the iPhone cases and charging adapter on the right. Beneath the lids are instructions and a USB cable. There are two sizes of iPhone 6 case included, one for the standard iPhone 6 and one for the Plus versions. The magnetic charging adapter snaps into place and the micro-USB cable powers it up. Fully charged, the Kito+ is good for a whole month of tests.
Turning to the Kito+ itself, it’s flat on one side with the sensors and buttons on the other. There are four sensors, an “on” button and two contacts for the charging adapter. The Kito+ is easy to use – simply hold in two hands with thumbs on the flat side, forefingers on the big shiny metal sensors and index fingers on the lower two smaller sensors.
As mentioned earlier, the Kito+ sends data to an app for processing, display and recording. It’s a straightforward app without too many bells and whistles, but it does have some good touches, such as being able to email your data to a doctor or physician.
When starting the app, you can either login to track your stats over time or you can go without a login, which is handy if you want a friend to try the Kito+. Once in, the next step is to press a small button on the Kito+ to prep the link between it and the smartphone. I found that occasionally this step didn’t always work but turning Bluetooth off and on again usually resolved it.
When successfully connected up, the smartphone shows how to hold the Kito+ and then moves into the measuring mode. This shows a real-time ECG graph and other figures as they are acquired over around 30 seconds. When the measuring phase is done, you can review your vital statistics.
I can’t comment on the accuracy of the figures or the ECG but they seemed to be in the ballpark when I tried to measure my own heart and respiration rate. The blood oxygen measurement didn’t always succeed and it seemed very dependent on correct positioning of fingers and no movement during the test period. However, all the other measurements recorded correctly every time and I never had any figures that were so outlandish as to be unbelievable.
If you are logged into the app as an individual , the data is saved against the date and you can review your historical measurements if desired.
Overall, I think the Azoi Kito+is a great little device, especially considering the price (GB£100). I can see a number of potential users, from athletes and sportsman, or people who have a heart condition that can use the Kito+ under the guidance of a physician. I’m not medically trained so any docs who read GNC should chip in with comments on their view of the Kito+ and its potential.
For a full unboxing and demo run, there’s a video below. Thanks to Azoi for supplying the Kito+ for review.
Only a slightly bigger than a credit card, the Azoi Kito+ is a personal health tracking device that measures ECG, heart rate (pulse), blood oxygen, skin temperature and respiration rate. I’ve seen the Kito tracker a couple of times now and every time I see it, I’m impressed that such a small device can gather so much data for so little money (GB£99). Miran from Azoi tells me more at Gadget Show Live.
The Kito+ works in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet to measure the five stats mentioned earlier. The user holds the Kito+ with both hands and two fingers from each hand rest on four measurement points for about 20 seconds, during which the time the Kito+ records the data and passes it on to the Kito app. In real-time the app shows the ECG graph trace and other figures are shown once they’ve stabilised.
As can be seen from the picture, the Kito+ can be embedded into phone cases for the Apple iPhone 6-series of smartphone cases. It’s not essential and the Kito+ works fine outside of a case with Android or other Apple devices. The Kito+ isn’t tied to one person, so a whole family can share the unit.
The Kito+ is available now from Azoi’s webstore for GB£99, which I think is great value when you think of the technology and potential value of the data. I’ll be bringing a full review of the Azoi Kito+ to GNC in the next few weeks.