A gradual rollout means you shouldn't hold your breath for new Mac hardware, though.
Intel used this week IFA event in Berlin to unveiled its full line of Skylake processors. They're the sixth generation of Intel's Core processor technology, which powers the Mac and countless PC compatible computers. Hallmarks of the new Skylake processors include improved battery efficiency for laptops and performance improvements to computing and graphics processing. Now Mac users are waiting for the other shoe to drop: When will Skylake processors appear in the Mac?Evolution of Core technology
First, a look at Skylake: Intel made famous a "tick-tock" approach towards semiconductor manufacturing and design, alternating architectural improvements with die shrinks. The new processors are the second generation to sport a 14 nanometer (nm) transistor size - the "tock" to the "tick" introduced with the release of Intel's fifth-generation "Broadwell" processors.
Broadwell was famously delayed, as Intel hit unanticipated manufacturing delays with the 14 nm process. As a result, Macs sporting Broadwell processors didn't hit their stride until this year, when Apple refreshed the MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with the new chips. A Broadwell-based Intel Core M processor graces the 12-inch MacBook, too.
Other Macs, including the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, also refreshed this year, as well as the iMac and Mac mini, continue to use "Haswell" (fourth-generation Intel Core) processors. The Mac Pro uses a workstation-level Intel "Xeon" chip of even older design, built to more exacting tolerances than the processors found in Apple's other Macs.
Intel's marketing material for the Skylake processor touts remarkable performance claims. "30x better graphics, 3x battery life" litter the page. But that's comparing Skylake's performance to the processors found in five-year-old PCs.
Intel is hoping to strike a chord with PC users who are interested in upgrading to Windows 10 and are looking for better-performing systems. Intel seems anxious to strike the beleaguered Broadwell product release from the world's collective memory altogether. But that same five-year-old apples to new apples comparison scales to the Mac: We can't all buy a new Mac model every time Apple announces one. Many of us are working with systems that we bought during the first Obama administration (or earlier). Skylake's release does promise some good performance and efficiency boosts there.Refresh cycles
If you pay heed to Apple's refresh cycle and are familiar with current-generation Mac performance, expect more modest gains. On average, Intel says that Skylake will sport 10 percent overall better CPU performance, a robust 30 percent improvement in graphics performance, better memory performance and an additional hour of battery life compared to their Broadwell forebears. Broadwell represents the current state of the art on the Mac.
Expect to see USB 3.1 on more Macs, thanks to Skylake, along with Thunderbolt 3 where Intel's Alpine Ridge controller is present. Thunderbolt 3 doubles Thunderbolt 2's bandwidth to 40 GB per second. That's enough to drive a 5K display externally at 60 Hz, giving rise to hope that Apple will finally refresh its Thunderbolt display with something to match the detail present in the 5K iMac.
I've already mentioned Intel's introduction of Skylake-based Xeon chips for mobile. The idea of a Mac Pro-level MacBook Pro is certainly appealing to a certain segment of Mac users who depend on serious number-crunching abilities for graphics rendering and compute power. Lenovo was first out of the gate with a Xeon laptop announcement.A gradual rollout
Intel isn't releasing Skylake processors all at once. They'll be released gradually over the coming months. In total, Intel now has plans for more than four dozen different Skylake processor variants. Only a fraction of these will be suitable for Apple's use.
Intel's staggered Skylake rollout started with desktop chips in early August. The first laptops with Skylake will start to appear in the next month or so, and Intel expects that consumers will see plenty of Skylake-equipped computers on store shelves in time for the holiday buying season.
As a result, I don't anticipate a sudden glut of Skylake-equipped Macs hitting the shelves all at once.
The iMac seems ripe for the Skylake treatment, as it hasn't been significantly updated in nearly a year. Apple did come out with a lower-priced 5K iMac with detuned specs earlier this year, but that's it. Even though the iMac is desktop model, its thin size means Apple relies on lower-powered, cooler mobile components, so the desktop Skylake chips we've already seen are unlikely candidates.
Most of Apple's laptop models are still early or mid-way through their release cycle, which makes them unlikely candidates for new processors in the short term. One thing I'm particularly excited about, though: Intel is also touting significant improvements to the Core M architecture this time around.Boon for MacBook
Intel claims the Skylake Core M variants have 40 percent better graphics performance and more effective performance scaling under load. If you're interested in the extraordinarily portability and light weight of the MacBook but have been unimpressed with its forgettable performance, the promise of a Skylake-equipped MacBook should get your mouth watering. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one before 2016, though.
I'd be happy to be wrong on all this, of course: Only Apple knows for sure what its Mac release schedule is going to be.
One thing for sure: If you're working with a four or five year old Mac, the coming months are going to be a great opportunity for you to refresh your hardware with something new that's going to be faster, more efficient and better than what you can get today.
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The end of the week is upon us, which means it's time for another free app of the week on the App Store. This week you can sit back and practice your soccer skills with Flick Kick Football.
Flick Kick Football is a relatively simple game that tasks you with taking on a wall of defenders as you try to net a soccer ball as many times as you can. The game features multiple modes, along with a simple "flick" mechanic for kicking the ball into the net. You'll also be able to customize your team, the ball, and much more. Here's a breakdown of Flick Kick Football's main features:
- Intuitive Flick Kicking – Sweep your finger across the ball to drive, curve and power the ball past walls of defenders
- Unique 'Golden Era' of Football Presentation – Immerse yourself in graphics that will bring the nostalgia of the era back
- GameCenter Leaderboards and Achievements - so the world can see how much of a better player you are than your friend
- Online Multiplayer and classic pass and play!
- Practice Mode, to get your game up to par
- Bullseye Mode, can you smash the targets?
- Arcade Mode, to show what you can do when it really counts
- Time Attack for those that like to race the clock, or with limited time for greatness
Flick Kick Football will be free on the App Store through September 10, so hit up the link below to flick and kick your way to glory.
- Free - Download Now
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Runtastic has announced a new wearable that combines the look and feel of a traditional watch with the functionality of a fitness tracker. The Runtastic Moment is available in four styles, offering a combination of different sized watch faces, band types and colors. Synchronizing with the Runtastic Me app opens up a world of tracking functionality for those who require said features but would rather opt for a watch base.
The Moment can track steps and distance, active minutes, the number of calories burned, as well as sleep cycles and set goals. Essentially, all the features you'd expect from a fitness tracker in 2015. There's also the option for haptic feedback and you're able to dive down to depths of up to 300 feet. An interesting feature of the watch is how it's powered by a standard battery, which means that you don't have to regularly charge the product (Runtastic notes that each battery should hold out for 6 months).
To offer more in terms of customization, Runtastic has the following options:
- Runtastic Moment Fun - Features a stanless steel case, scratch-resistant glass and silicon strap. Available in four colors: rasberry, plum, sand, and indigo for $129.99.
- Runtastic Moment Basic - The next step up from Moment Fun. Features a larger display and is available in beige and black for $129.99.
- Runtastic Moment Elite - The Elite sports the same stainless steel case and scratch-resistant glass, but you're upgrading to top-quality black leather band. Priced at $179.99.
- Runtastic Moment Classic - The Classic offers the same options as the elite, but is available in silver, gold and rose gold for $179.99.
Not everyone wants a band, or smartwatch with a battery-drainging display, so the Moment is at least an interesting option. Those who reside in the US will be able to purchase Runtastic Moment wearable from the company's online store, as well as select retail outlets in the near future. The product also appears to be readily available for those in Europe too.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – September 4, 2015 – Today Runtastic announced the Runtastic Moment, a brand new wearable that combines the fashion of a traditional watch with the functionality of a modern fitness tracker. Designed to meet the needs of all types of users, the Runtastic Moment is available in four unique styles that offer different size watch faces, types of bands and colors. Simply sync it with the Runtastic Me app and what looks like a traditional watch seamlessly turns into one of the most comprehensive fitness trackers on the market. This news comes on the heels of Runtastic announcing it was acquired by adidas Group for $240 million.
"Over the past few years, we have seen the majority of players in the health and fitness space –Runtastic included – try to address the needs of users with a diverse array of tracking devices," said Florian Gschwandtner, CEO and co-founder of Runtastic. "Looking at the products currently available, we strongly felt there was a large gap between fashion and functionality. Therefore, we developed the Runtastic Moment to be an all-encompassing device that is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and habit-forming."Features & Functionalities
The Runtastic Moment is an analog watch that allows users to track Steps & Distance, Active Minutes, Calories Burned, Sleep Cycles and Goals. Users can also monitor daily progress directly on the watch face via the Progress Indicator and set vibration alerts to go off after periods of inactivity. Waterproof up to 300 feet, the Moment can be worn during any type of activity – including swimming, diving or even showering. It does not require any charging, as it is powered by a standard battery.A Design for Everyone
The Runtastic community is incredibly diverse, with users located around the world who speak different languages, are at different fitness levels and have a wide variety of goals. With this in mind, Runtastic recognizes that one size does not fit all. The company has therefore created the Runtastic Moment in ten unique designs, which are organized into four collections:
- Runtastic Moment Fun: Boasting a stainless steel case, scratch-resistant glass and a comfortable silicon strap, the Moment Fun was designed for the playful, active types. It is available in four colors - raspberry, plum, sand and indigo – for $129.99.
- Runtastic Moment Basic: Similar to the Moment Fun, the Moment Basic has a larger display and is available in beige and black for $129.99.
- Runtastic Moment Elite: Designed for a more sophisticated look, the Moment Elite offers a stainless steel case, scratch-resistant glass and a top-quality black leather band for $179.99.
- Runtastic Moment Classic: With clean lines and a simplistic style, the Moment Classic offers a stainless steel case, scratch-resistant glass and a leather band - available in silver, gold and rose gold – for $179.99.
"We're eager to connect with individuals who prioritize ease of use with convenience and style," continued Gschwandtner. "A watch is the most common piece of jewelry for men and women, and we're excited to provide our community with a top-quality product that allows them to simultaneously look great and collect interesting – potentially life-changing – data."Runtastic Me App
Last year, Runtastic launched the Runtastic Me app to serve as the dashboard for the Runtastic Orbit wearable. The app has now been further expanded to also work in correlation with the Runtastic Moment.
Data from the Runtastic Moment syncs wirelessly to the Runtastic Me app so users can effortlessly view their statistics and daily progress, and engage in gamification features such as Streaks, where they can set and break personal records. The app also provides detailed information about sleep cycles, including duration, and both light and deep sleep phases.Where to Purchase Runtastic Moment
Customers located in the U.S. can purchase Runtastic hardware from the Runtastic Online Shop and in select retail stores in the near future.
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Philips has combined a flexible design with advanced lighting technology to launch the new Hue Lightstrip Plus. This new lighting fixture can be shaped, bent, even cut, and extended by up to 10 meters to introduce ambience to spaces throughout the home. If you're tired of relying on standard bulbs, and have places throughout the home where said lighting could be installed, the new Philips tech could be the ideal option for you.
The lighting itself is touted as being self-adhesive and easy to install, enabling you to place them along the bottom of a room, coving of a ceiling, or even along shelving. Since we're talking about Philips Hue here, you'll be able to configure the lighting from compatible apps and even have them change color depending on what's currently displayed on the big screen.
The only potential issue is the pricing, which may deter potential buyers. The two meter strip will set you back €79.95/$89.95, while the one meter extension strips will cost you €24.95/$29.95 each. Philips will launch the new lighting in Europe and the US come October.
Enhance your home with flexible connected light that can instantly switch a relaxing environment into an energizing one
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, combines flexible design with cutting-edge connected lighting technology to deliver a whole new way of using light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus. A hidden source of light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus can be shaped, bent, cut and extended up to 10 meters to add atmosphere to any space in the home. With every shade of beautiful white light from cool blue white to warm yellow white as well as atmospheric colored light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a high quality, high output light that is bright enough to completely transform the character of a space. So whether it's entertaining friends or cooking a meal for the family, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus lets you 'paint with light' to create the perfect moment.
"With Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus we're encouraging people to get creative with light and really interact with it," explains Leonardo Avezzano, Product Marketing Director of Philips Hue. "Its extendible design along with its connectivity and high lumen output, means that it's even easier for people to use light to create the experience they want across their home."
As an indirect source of light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus can be placed anywhere in the home to complement and enrich existing Philips Hue lights, delivering a uniformed color. Self-adhesive and easy to install, place along the bottom of a hallway choosing a beautiful shade of white light to create a sense of spaciousness; run along coving high up the walls of a room to wash the entire space with light instantly transforming its look and feel; or line along shelves and cabinets to add a stylish touch of ambience to match a mood or moment.
Taking flexible connected lighting to a whole new level, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a part of the Philips Hue ecosystem, so it benefits from all the unique features of Philips Hue including interaction with more than 300 third-party apps. Check out apps that sync Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus to the TV and enjoy a completely new viewing experience where the lights change the atmosphere to enhance what's on screen. With Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus you can instantly change the ambience of any space in your home at the swipe of a finger, giving you unlimited flexibility and freedom to experience light as you want it.
Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus two meter strip including the power adaptor is €79.95/ $89.95; one meter extension strips are €24.95 / $29.95 each. Available in Europe and North America from October 2015.
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After Facebook announcing earlier this month that it witnessed one billion daily active users, it is now WhatsApp's turn to share some usage figures. According to co-founder Jan Koum, the service now has 900 million active users, up from 800 million in the month of April.
Acquired by Facebook last year for $19 billion, WhatsApp has seen its user base double over the course of the year, with India and Brazil representing key regions for the service. Other messaging services popular in emerging markets — such as Line, WeChat and Kakao — have leveraged some form of in-app purchases for monetization, offering stickers, emoticons and themes. WhatsApp, meanwhile, charges users an annual fee of $1, with customers in developing markets able to access the service for free.
It is possible that we'll see the service gaining integration with other services, becoming a platform for connecting brands with consumers. We're already starting to see this in India, with several mainstream brands offering exclusive deals and discounts through WhatsApp.
Source: Facebook (Jan Koum)
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Apple is reportedly preparing to introduce a new high-resolution iMac into its lineup. The company is said to readying a new model of its 21.5-inch all-in-one desktop with a 4K display. The new model could arrive by the end of October, coinciding with the release of OS X El Capitan.
Apple is indeed planning to release a new version of its 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display this fall, according to reliable sources. The current plan is to announce the refreshed version of the smaller iMac by the end of October alongside OS X El Capitan and begin shipping the product by the beginning of November.
To see a 4K version of Apple's smaller iMac seems like a natural step from last year's introduction of the 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display. Additionally, if last year is any indication, expect the non-Retina versions of the 21.5-inch iMac to stick around at their lower price point, as a 4K version would likely have a noticeably higher starting price.
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Apple's head of iTunes International, Oliver Schusser, gave an interview recently in which he spoke about Apple's continual efforts to improve its Apple Music streaming service. The company is constantly gathering feedback from users around the world, and planning improvements to the overall product. Right now, the company is focused on playlists and editorial content, but Schusser also noted that there is work to do with the Connect social platform, though he noted that it is growing in popularity.
From The Guardian :
"Apple Music Connect is growing big-time with more and more artists connecting to their fans, but we still have a bit of homework to be done for the rest of the year."
Apple Music initially launched back in late June, and is currently available in 110 countries. In early August, Apple noted that 11 million people had signed up for the three-month free trial, and later that month noted that 79% of those who signed up for a trial had stuck with the service. With the first trials ending on September 30, Apple is hoping that they can offer a compelling enough product to turn people into subscribers to the tune of $9.99 per month.
Source: The Guardian
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Mozilla has announced that the first public preview of its Firefox browser for iPhone and iPad is now available — so long as you call New Zealand home. Mozilla will initially collect feedback from users in New Zealand before rolling the public preview out to more countries ahead of a full launch:
Our goal is to create a great browsing experience for iOS with Firefox. With this first public preview we will be collecting feedback in one country, before we extend availability to get feedback in a few more countries prior to a full public launch. Feedback from this preview release will help us build new features and bring Firefox for iOS to the App Store in rest of the world later this year.
For right now, Mozilla is hoping to gather feedback on two main features. The first is Intelligent Search, which provides suggested search results with a tab above the keyboard allowing you to quickly change search engines. The second feature is Visual Tabs, which lets you keep track of open Firefox tabs on all of your devices.
Mozilla didn't give an indication of its expected launch date for Firefox on iOS other than sometime "later this year." However, if you're interested in knowing when the public preview hits your country, you can sign up for updates on Firefox's website.
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The upcoming and highly anticipated Steve Jobs biopic will be shown for the first time to the public as part of the 42nd annual Telluride Film Festival. The movie, which centers on Apple's late co-founder, played by Michael Fassbender, will be shown at the festival in Telluride, Colorado on Saturday, September 5, with an encore on Sunday, September 6.
If you are wondering why you are just hearing about this event two days before it happens, it's because the organizers of the Telluride Film Festival always reveal its schedule at the last minute. The show will also host a special tribute to the director of "Steve Jobs", Danny Boyle, just before the movie's premiere.
The movie was written by Aaron Sorkin, and is based on the biography of Apple's co-founder by Walter Isaacson. Along with Fassbender, "Steve Jobs" also features Seth Rogen as Apple's other co-founder Steve Wozniak, along with Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley. The Universal movie will open in theaters nationwide on October 9.
Source: Telluride Film Festival
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