Beats Solo3 Wireless Designed for the iPhone 7

With the iPhone 7 missing a 3.5mm jack, wireless audio is the key to the future. And the numbers speak for themselves. Bluetooth headphones have been flying off the shelf, but for the audiophiles, the transmission format does result in a noticeable loss of quality. Together with Apple, the Beats Solo3 Wireless hopes to address that.

The Beats Solo3 Wireless is designed as the perfect everyday headphone. There’s the usual Beats sound, which most likely won’t appeal to the audiophiles, but sound quality is a matter of personal preference. The bassy, boomy sound and the unmistakable Beats logo are all present. In a way, it delivers what it promises. Heavy bass across the low and midrange, like you are at a party next to the subwoofer cranked way up. It is fun – for the right kind of music. Read More

Android Alternatives to Apple Pay in Singapore

Apple Pay is now in full swing operation mode in Singapore. Supporting major VISA/MASTER/AMEX cards and you can pay with your iPhone at any contactless NFC terminal. But what about Android users? Officially, there’s Android Pay, Google’s mobile equivalent to Apple Pay. That is coming, but no specific news on time yet. There are other options available, and already working in Singapore but just have not really taken off in term of traction.
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Apple 9 Sep Event – 30 Sec Summary

Here’s a quick 30-sec summary of last night Apple’s event iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4, AppleTV, iOS9 and WatchOS2 (whew!). All you need to know!

New iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

  • Available in Singapore Friday, Sep 25
  • Price in US same as iPhone 6
  • SG prices might adjust due to stronger US Forex
  • Rose Gold Color
  • Same sizes
  • Improved build quality (harder aluminium frame + ion-strengthened glass)
  • 3D Touch
  • 12 MP rear camera with 4K video recording
  • 5MP front camera with screen retina flash

New iPad Pro

  • Surface clone (oops)
  • 12.9 inch retina display (5.6 million pixels)
  • A9X 64-bit chip
  • Apple Pencil accessory (US$99)
  • Apple Pencil is an active stylus, with tilt sensors, looks amazing
  • Smart Keyboard cover accessory (US$169)
  • Price from US$799 for 32 GB WiFi

New iPad Mini 4

  • Upgraded to A8 processor (same as Apple iPad Air 2)

New AppleTV

  • Siri Remote & tvOS are Coming to Your Living Room
  • Siri remote has built in accelerometer, gyroscope and touch / voice support
  • tvOS is the new operating system for Apple TV
  • Price from US$149 for 32GB model and US$199 for a 64GB model

New iOS 9

  • From Sep 16
  • Available to iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation and later, iPad 2 and later and iPad mini
  • Improved Siri intelligence
  • Multitasking features, Slide Over, Split View and Picture-in-Picture

New WatchOS 2

  • From Sep 16
  • new watch faces
  • third party app can now display information on watch face
  • see future and past events with Time Travel

Why You Should Skip This Year's New Macbook

Apple latest Macbook is thinner and lighter than any current Macbook Air (even the smaller 11.6″ screen counterpart). In addition, the new Macbook sports many “first” innovations from Apple:

1) Single USB-C connector handling all input / output functions (video, accessories, power)
2) Fanless laptop – silent operation
3) First gold colour laptop – similar colour options as that of the iPhone and iPad alongside “Silver” and “Space Gray”
4) Force Touch trackpad – offering pressure detection, for new set of gestures and control
5) Weight of only 900g!

Despite all that, I would suggest avoiding this current generation of the new Macbook. It runs on the latest Intel Core M architecture, similar to the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and Asus Transformer Book Chi. The Core M is not known as a performance workhorse, and is generally slower than the i3, i5s on last generation laptops. Intel 14nm architecture is still new and for the price Apple is charging, it doesn’t justify the performance or lack thereof in the new Macbook. Give Intel some time to mature the 14nm manufacturing process and the next generation chips will see significant performance improvement as they transit to the smaller die.

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SteelSeries Stratus XL Comes to Singapore

The SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS gaming controller would be made available for purchase from the Singapore Apple Store next week. The Stratus XL might be the perfect pairing for gaming on your iPad or other iOS devices.

The controller is full-sized, with the same button layout as the traditional console controllers so seasoned gamers would have no problems adapting to it. Overall, looks like improvements all around from the original SteelSeries Stratus. Furthermore, it is US$10 cheaper than the original SteelSeries Stratus (US$79.95).
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Why Buying Refurbished iPads is a Great Idea

The second hand market saw a flurry of activity for iPads recently, with people getting rid of the iPads and possibly upgrading. However, do take note of the second hand prices and Rachelp from Hardwarezone was kind enough to share the latest prices for refurbished iPads, as a guide to buyers and sellers. Unfortunately, the user received some flak from possible disgruntled sellers, who felt that it encouraged people to offer lower prices. There were some funny comments such as “Wat u are trying to do is mind playing game with ppl selling so u can get a cheap set” and the whole thing sort of exploded. Hilarious thread with the full summary here at Hardwarezone.
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iPhone 6 Pre-Order Singapore from 12 Sep

Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus earlier today and not much surprises all around. The iPhone is now available in bigger screen dimensions with 4.7″ and 5.5″ respectively.

In addition, the iPhone 6 Plus has a higher density screen at 1080p resolution. The other difference is that the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilisation (OIS) while the iPhone makes do with a software implementation.

Good news for those clamoring for the latest iPhone are in for a treat with Singapore being one of the nine countries that will be able to buy the iPhone at the official launch date of 19 September 2014. The other eight countries are United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

This also means that there is going to be a hot demand for iPhone from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China. I thought Apple would be making big plans for the China market but that have not materialised yet. iPhone 6 will see significant demand from resellers looking to profit a quick one from Apple fans in these countries. Hence, expect pre-orders to disappear fast.

Pre-Order Links for iPhone 6

Apple Store: http://store.apple.com/sg/buy-iphone/iphone6 – Pre-Order started 3pm 12 Sep 2014.
Singtel iPhone 6: iPhone 6 PreOrder with SingTel РSubmit Pre-Registration Details
M1 iPhone 6: Pre-Order Link is live – iPhone info from M1 here – currently indicates 19 Sep availability
Starhub iPhone 6: Starhub Registration of Interest for Pre-order booking notification

 

Update – 12 Sept 2014: Advanced pre-orders for the new iPhone through Apple Store will be a global worldwide launch event at the same time. Apple has slated it to be 12 AM Pacific Time, as per Cupertino. This means Singapore 12 September at 15:00 (GMT+8). The iPhone 6 is looking to be Apple’s biggest launch event ever. Apple has reportedly asked manufacturing partners to produce about 70 million to 80 million units of its larger screen iPhones by December 30, which is about 30 percent to 40 percent more iPhones than last year initial orders for the iPhone 5s and 5C. Initial countries receiving the iPhone are still limited, which would see demand from big countries e.g. Indonesia and China.

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