Apple expands iPhone trade-in program to Canada

Canadian iPhone users looking to save some money on a new phone will now be able to take advantage of Apple’s handset recycling program, the company announced Monday.

Customers who trade in their working iPhones will be able to receive a store credit of up to $275 for the purchase of a new iPhone at Apple stores.

The value of the credit will be determined by staff in Apple’s retail stores. Both consumer and business users will be able to receive a credit for their old devices.

A similar program was made available to U.S. customers last summer.

In a statement, Apple also says the “Reuse and Recycling Program” will be good for the environment.

[via Apple]

Next iPhone to have bigger screen?

apple iphoneIf you were expecting a larger screen on the iPhone 5S, the next phone from Apple might make you a little happier.

Reports suggest the tech giant is working on new iPhones that feature larger – and curved – screens.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is reportedly working on an a 4.7-inch iPhone and a larger 5.5-inch iPhone.

Currently, the screen on the iPhone 5S measures in at 4 inches diagonally.

But by comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch screen.

It’s logical to see why Apple would want to slap a 4.7-inch screen on the next iPhone. But why 5.5 inches?

The trend lately with phones is that bigger is better. Just look at the Mega’s 6.3-inch display, one of the latest phablets (a mix between a phone and a hybrid) to hit the market. Sure, it’s ludicrously big – a far cry from the smaller-is-better phone commercials from yesteryear.

The curved screen will likely make the iPhone much more ergonomic and comfortable to hold.

Bloomerg’s source is apparently someone familiar with Apple’s plans and says the new phones with larger screens may be launched in the third quarter of next year.

But with phones featuring larger and larger screens, how big is too big? Or what’s too small? What’s the perfect phone screen size?

iPhone 5S gold: a 64-bit processor, better camera

Now that Apple has released the latest version of its flagship smartphone, many people might be wondering: What is the point of having a 64-bit processor in a phone?

That is likely the case, as long as people noticed that detail in what is otherwise a fairly incremental update to the lineup.

Sorry folks, but the iPhone 5S didn’t get a bigger screen. It’s still the same 4-inch display that we had with the base iPhone 5. Which, compared to the bigger screens we see on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and even the HTC One, it seems kinda small.

But Apple is going big on processing power with the introduction of the A7 processor. The 64-bit A7 processor.

With traditional desktops and laptops these days, almost all have 64-bit processors. It’s the norm.

The exact details of how 64-bit chips work compared to their 32-bit comrades is really technical and overwhelming.

Ultimately, however, the chip that runs the show in your iPhone 5S can direct more digital traffic, more quickly. And that, in theory, means your phone can do more at the same time. It should be faster.

But it won’t be, at least not right away.

Other than a small handful of apps currently out there, there aren’t many that can take advantage of the 64-bit processor.

That’s like having a Ferrari but only a school zone to drive it through.

Don’t worry – 64-bit apps will come sooner or later, and then the iPhone can really go at autobahn speeds.

The other reason there is a 64-bit processor is so that the phone can handle the improved camera functions (slow-mode, larger sensor) and the fingerprint scanner, ZDNet reports.


Several iOS apps free for App Store’s fifth birthday

Apple_App_Store_free_appsMany good apps and games for Apple’s iPhone and iPad are free for a limited time in the App Store.

The promotion is part of birthday celebrations for the App Store’s fifth anniversary, which takes place this week.

The selection of free apps is so good, I’m a little enraged because many of them I purchased at full price.

Among the highlights:

How to Cook Everything – if you don’t know how to cook, or if you can’t shop for all the ingredients you need to cook at once, this is your ultimate app for the kitchen.

You can search through hundreds of recipes to find something you like, and then get step-by-step directions to help you prepare the meal. There are even built-in timers to nudge you along the way.

How to Cook Everything (best used on the iPad) is also great because you can rate and share recipes with other users.

Another solid app is Traktor DJ, which lets you pretend to be Tiesto or DJ Hardwell behind the screen of your iPhone or Apple tablet.

Load up two tracks and then mix the tunes together with Traktor, applying loops, filters and other cool effects.

Traktor – in particular – is almost $20 in the App Store, so it’s one of the better deals out there this week.

For what it’s worth, the app developers aren’t getting reimbursed for giving this stuff away this week.

According to ABC. the CEO of the company behind Barefoot World Atlas said the loss of sales from one week is “far outweighed” by the gain in awareness of the app.


Apple’s new iOS 7 looks for inspiration to please

6a00e54f916452883401901d42c1af970b-320wiApple’s mobile operating system iOS has gone under the knife to get some major plastic surgery, giving it a fresh new look that’s drastically different from what we’re used to.

But some might say it’s not a whole lot different compared to the features and design basics that Android, BlackBerry 10 and even Windows Phone users have been enjoying.

Apple unveiled iOS 7 at its WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) Monday, the biggest change since the launch of the mobile operating system back in 2007.

What’s most noticeable is that all of the system graphics and menus are a lot more basic-looking.

Read more

Lover.ly app helps you get inspiration and plan for weddings

loverlyMy app pick this week is Loverly.

Lately, Loverly is the app I’ve lost my fiancé to.

Loverly is like Pinterest, but just for weddings.

With big, gorgeous images, this app offers a way to find and save wedding ideas.

Unlike Pinterest which is a free-for-all of all things pretty, the boards on Lover.ly are editor-curated.

Browse categories, from bridesmaids dresses to centrepieces. Then ‘love’ items you’d like to see later.

Users can also add items to bundles – or take pictures of things you see in real life and save them to your collection.

There’s even a guys section for things us fellas might like.

Watch Episode 3 Season 4 of App Central

Tiles app splits up photos into multiple frames on iPhone

TilesWhen you want to share a plethora of photos to your followers on social networks, don’t upload a barrage of images to Instagram. Use Tiles Photo Framer to squeeze a whole bunch of images into one multi-frame photo.

Split the canvas into different boxes just by flicking your fingers apart from each other on the screen. Then tap each frame to add a photo.

At the bottom, you can adjust the border, apply colours to the border and even add text titles and captions.

Once you’re all done, save the photo to your collection or upload it straight to Instagram to share with your friends.

Google steps inside Apple’s home with updated Google Search app

GoogleNowIt’s no secret that Apple doesn’t really love Google.

The launch of Apple’s own Maps app was an effort to get people to use a new native iOS mapping app rather than the Google-based map tool.

That project didn’t work out so well, and it even forced Apple to make a public apology online.

Now, Google is rolling out a new feature – Google Now – to iPhones and iPads with the latest update to the Google Search app.

With this move, Google is making itself comfy inside everyone’s iOS device.

Heck – the app is so convenient and it’ll feel so comfortable that Google could even be putting up its feet on the coffee table in Apple’s mobile homes.

For starters, Google Search is nothing new. It’s just an extension of the search everyone is used to on laptops and desktops…on your smartphone.

One new feature in the app is voice-activated search, a feature similar to Apple’s Siri digital assistant.

While the Google Search app can’t send a text message for you because it’s not deeply integrated with iOS, the voice dictated search is quick and responsive to most commands.

But then, there’s Google Now. This feature presents ‘cards’ of relevant information, before you even ask for it.

What’s the weather like? It’ll show you a card with local weather as you get ready in the morning. How long will it take you to get home? It’ll show you a card with traffic and travel information before you leave work – and the creepy thing is that you don’t need to actually tell the app where you live or where you work (or how you get there). It just figures that out like a creepy ex-girlfriend trying to stalk you.

Whether you think the app is creepy or convenient is up to you. But most of the time, it seems convenient.

Did you get the updated Google Search app? Do you think Google Now is creepy or convenient?


Voice-to-text apps don’t make driving safer: study

Siri_imageDictating a text message or email to your phone with Siri or Vlingo isn’t really safe at all, a new study has found.

Research by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute has found that there’s actually no “real” safety advantage to using voice-to-text apps versus traditional thumb-intensive texting.

The study put 43 people in cars and asked them to send messages while driving on a closed course.

Several provinces in Canada have banned motorists from using handheld devices such as cellphones behind the wheel.

But as drivers use an iPhone’s Siri or Vlingo on Android to dictate commands and messages, they’re putting themselves and others on the road at just as much risk of getting into a crash.

Regardless of how they were using their phone, drivers sending a message using their thumbs or their voices took twice as long to react to road hazards, such as impending crashes and roadside objects, versus those not using their phones at all. The distracted drivers also spent less time looking at the road.

The study also found that drivers felt safer using voice-to-text apps compared to those manually typing out messages, but both were just as bad for their safety.

The dangers of physically texting while driving are well documented. Recently, the family of a Colorado teen released a picture of his phone – which shows he was sending a text before fatally crashing his car.

Do you find it hard to resist the urge to respond to a text message or email while driving?

Picture of new, cheap iPhone possibly leaked

Photo via Tactus.com

Photo via Tactus.com

A rumour that Apple could release a cheaper, more inexpensive iPhone seem to have more truth to it after photos of such a device were leaked online.

If you’ll recall, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working on producing a cheaper iPhone. The current iPhone 5 is nice, but it’s also expensive compared to cheaper Android-powered alternatives that litter the market.

So, it’s quite possible that Apple is sell an iPhone at a lower price point. And that’s not just to sell more phones in North America, but to sell more iPhones in emerging markets such as China and India.

Tactus.com posted the leaked photo, which shows a glossy white plastic shell with iPhone written on the back.

The blog says it’s a polycarbonate shell, which is different from the gorgeous industrial design of the current iPhone 5.

But that plastic body could also mean it would be likely that Apple could sell coloured iPhones, from blue to red to white.

Tactus is also reporting that the inexpensive version of the iPhone is rumoured to have a 3.5-inch Retina display and a 5 megapixel camera, keeping costs down but still letting people get into the iPhone family.

Would you get an inexpensive iPhone?

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