Most popular cameras on Flickr in 2014

Up-to-date Flickr users camera usage statistic

Up-to-date Flickr users camera usage statistic

Flickr has released their 2014 findings on which cameras their users are taking photos with and the results probably send shivers down camera companies – smartphone camera usage is overtaking traditional cameras and the trend will remain in 2015.

The top camera brands used by Flickr users are Canon, Apple, Nikon, Samsung and Sony respectively while Apple’s iPhones took up top 3 of the individual cameras owned by Flickr users. iPhone 5 remains the device most Flickr users shoot their photographs with in 2014 – which isn’t a surprise as most iPhone 5 users wouldn’t have updated to iPhone 5s while iPhone 6 only came out at the tail end of 2014.

Comparing 2013 and 2014 camera usage - mobile phone usage increasing

Comparing 2013 and 2014 camera usage – mobile phone usage increasing

One main reason why camera usage are declining is the lack of connectivity to the internet where the current generation of users expect instant gratification from their photography – ie. posting and getting likes on social media (eg. Instagram) as soon as the photo was taken – hence the overtaking of the stats by smartphones. Took them years to react but we are starting to see more Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity on more cameras in the market.

If you don’t own a camera now, do you still plan to buy one or will you rely on your smartphone instead?

(via PetaPixel)

App Store Rings in 2015 with New Records

new_year_large2015 is looking to be another great year for Apple. Within days since New Year, they’ve already hit record billings from the App Store with customers worldwide spending nearly half a billion US dollars on apps and in-app purchases and New Year’s Day 2015 was the single biggest day ever in App Store history.

“This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over US $25 billion.”

Guess the fall launches of the new iPhones, followed by iPad Air a month later definitely help increase the numbers of customers heading to the App Store.

For developers, the introduction of iOS 8 and Swift, a new programming language that allows faster development of great apps and games also contributed to the growth of the App Store. To date, developers have earned more than US$25 billion in revenue from the sales of apps and games in the App Store – and that will definitely grow in 2015.

Read the full press release here.

Speaking of fakes gadgets – remember Goophone?

Speaking of fakes, remember Goophone? They are still at it and is out with their Goophone i6 Plus phones.

Silver, Gold and Space Grey too.

Silver, Gold and Space Grey too.

Goophone has always been forward thinking . With new design, this new Goophone i6 Plus you have never seen it. Goophone i6 Plus is super slim body, Because of the better processor and flash, so Goophone i6 Plus feels solid and smooth operating experience by your hand.

They even have a corporate video showing their dust-free workshop and “fully automatic production assembly line with modern equipment”. Definitely putting lots more effort in legitimising their work.

Who said Apple wasn’t at CES?

Anti-Lost ... to keep your wrist from wandering off?

Anti-Lost … to keep your wrist from wandering off?

Well not Apple but an Apple Watch look-alike that hailed from China. Karissa Bell from Mashable managed to get her hand on one for the princely price of US$27.

The watch’s screen only displays when it’s turned on, and many of its icons are blatant ripoffs of Apple designs. The pairing process took a few tries, but once connected to my iPhone 6, I was able to make phone calls and play music through the watch. It even vibrates when I get a call.

Say what you will about China’s fake-good industry, but these people are quick to produce these gadgets with aplomb. With China’s smartphone market to reach an estimated size of 422 million in 2014, it is not surprising that companies are quick to churn out look-alikes with much lower specs and prices. Even if they reach only just 1% of the market, that’s already more than 4 million of sales.

Bring in the copiers!

First Apple leak of 2015: new 12-inch MacBook Air?

9to5 Mac's exclusive rendering of the leaked 12-inch MacBook Air design

9to5 Mac’s exclusive rendering of the leaked 12-inch MacBook Air design

We are just seven days into 2015 when we see possibly the first product leak from Apple. According to Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac, they have reliable sources to share Apple’s upcoming redesign of the MacBook Air, including exclusive renderings that show the new designs.

Their sources revealed that for the 2015 MacBook Air, there will be a new 12-inch model with an even slimmer design that is even thinner, lighter and sports almost edge-to-edge keyboard but for it to shave off those extra centimetres, they had to omit full-size USB ports, MagSafe connectors and SD card slots that are prominent in all the current MacBook family. Replacing these is the use of the next generation USB port – USB Type-C that is able to power the laptop and external display – allowing Apple to replace two ports for one. If this is the only port available on the MacBook Air, for current iPhone owners, it might mean buying a new cable just to connect your iOS devices.

There will be a slightly bigger display and perhaps finally getting Retina display as well like the MacBook Pro. It is expected to run Intel’s new Broadwell chips and looking likely for a mid-2015 launch, possibly at WWDC.

A side-to-side comparison of how the leaked 12-inch design and the current 13-inch MacBook Air

A side-to-side comparison of how the leaked 12-inch design and the current 13-inch MacBook Air

I’ve put the rendering of the 12-inch against the current 13-inch MacBook Air and you can see the difference in the bezel, keyboard and position of the speakers and touchpad.

Although the details can still change from now till the launch of the product, it is clear to see how Apple’s constantly willing to sacrifice the norm (full-size USB port, SD card etc) and go for newer technology (USB Type-C specification) just to keep device smaller, lighter and yet doesn’t sacrifice performance.

Do check out 9to5 Mac’s post to see more renderings and more details on what can be found and what was sacrificed to get this new design. This might also be a good time to update your New Year resolution to save for the new MacBook Air Retina…

Apple Japan – Fukubukuro Lucky Bag 2015

Photo from Macotakara

Photo from Macotakara

This is one retail tradition that I’d be overjoyed if we have it here – Fukubukuro Lucky Bag – is a Japanese New Year tradition where retailers will fill bags with random goodies and sell them at a substantial discount.

Apple Japan has been running this tradition ever since their retail stores are opened and this year isn’t any different. Selling at 36,000 yen (about S$400), these Lucky Bags contains products with a total value ranging from S$850 to S$1,700.

Photo from Twitter user @rudoga3

Photo from Twitter user @rudoga3

Each bag comes with an Apple TV, a pair of Beats PowerBeats2 wireless in-ear headphones, a special New Year’s edition Mophie power station and a 1,000 yen iTunes Card. For the surprise item, it varies between these four options:

  • an 11-inch MacBook Air with 128GB SDD, a limited edition Power Support Air Jacket and a Twelve South’s PlugBug World power adaptor
  • a 16GB iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi
  • a 16GB iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi
  • a 16GB iPod touch

Watch the action at the Apple Store Nagoya Sakae below:

I would definitely queue up early just to have a chance to get one of the goodie bags.

Photos from Macotakara and twitter.com/rudoga3

The Song

Apple’s ad for this year’s holiday season is called The Song – a follow-up to last year’s video Misunderstood. A simple, heartfelt video where the focus is on the people, the music and not the products.

Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch

A month back Tim Cook and his team introduced the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch to the world which was streamed all across the world. Besides having to struggle through streaming problems, the whole keynote felt rushed and detached.

Jong-Moon Kim wrote in his blog – Jiggity’s Essay – about how he felt there were obvious weaknesses in how that keynote was presented, especially when it was a momentous event when Apple gets involved in a new product category. He analysed the major sections of the keynote and most of his observations were spot on. What came after was even better – he imagined how Steve Jobs might have done this keynote.

stevejobs-iphone

This stage holds a special place in my heart. Did you know this is the exact stage I introduced the original Macintosh? (Cheers)

Jobs: Jeez, look at that head of hair. (Laughter)

Fifteen years later, it was where Apple was reborn with the iMac. (Cheers)

Jobs: Each time we presented on this stage, it marked the start of a new, remarkable era for Apple.

It’s no coincidence we’re here today. (Cheers) There’s a reason why we paid a little extra and booked this place. (Laughter)

Jobs: Apple started as a personal computer company. We brought you the Macintosh, the iMac, and the MacBook Pro. We mastered computers and realized we could do more. (Cheers)

We realized we could use our design to build great devices.

Apple then became a personal device company. We brought you the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. We mastered devices and realized we could do more. (Louder cheers)

We realized we could use our design to build great experiences. (Crescendo in cheers)

Today marks the day Apple becomes the personal universe company. (Auditorium is deafening)

Starting today, Apple will bring its magic to other important parts of your life. The world-class design you’ve come to expect you can look forward to during more parts of your day. (Cheers)

We are introducing three, three new products today to kick off Apple Universal. (Crowd roars)

Read more here and see how Steve might have done it.

We know Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs but Cook has his own style and mannerisms. But what Kim managed to capture – is what made Steve Jobs special.

iOS 8.0.1 bricks phone – heads to roll?

Apple rolled out iOS 8.0.1 last night and which made iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which were updated to lose cellular service and TouchID functionality. They then pulled the update from circulation and according to a statement from Apple to Jim Dalrymple from The Loop – they are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can.

Thankfully, there is a way to downgrade back to iOS 8.0 as long you are with your Mac or PC that has iTunes installed.

iOS 8.0.1 was supposed to fix bugs that prevented HealthKit apps from working correctly and problems with custom keyboards working properly. It also improves the reliability of Reachability on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and a few other bugs.

How it managed to pass through different levels of checks and reviews to be released and then introducing more critical bugs baffles many.

Between the iPhone design team facing #bendgate and iOS team with this – who is feeling worse?