CES 2015 – Preview

Our TECHdebriefs team will be on the floor at CES all week bringing you the latest product announcements! We attended the CES Unveiled show tonight (Sunday) that gave press a sneak peek at some of the products being demonstrated this year. Here’s a preview of the main areas of tech we think will be big and what to look out this week.


Wearable Tech- Last year’s CES saw the explosion of wearable technology and the Internet of things. This year we expect to see even more incredible wearable products that will revolutionize the accessory market and they way we quantify ourselves and the world around us. Stay tuned for Intel’s keynote on Tuesday where we expect to hear more about their entrance into the wearable market with their Fossil and Tag Heuer partnerships, as well as announcements from Samsung, Sony and many more wearable companies.
We also expect to see more products for all parts of the body like Lechal’s connected insoles, Healbe’s GoBe calorie tracker, and Cityzen Sciences’ heart rate monitoring T shirt.


New TVs
– Advancements in TV tech draw large crowds at CES every year with emphasis this year on 4Ks, LG’s quantum dot tech, Sony’s Triluminos, Samsung screens with Playstation Now, and Google’s entrance into the TV market with Android 5.0 Lollipop integrated screens.


Smart homes
– This year expect to see a plethora of products aimed at making your home experience connected and smart. Notably we will be looking at Sage Secure Home Automation systems by EchoStar which will fully integrate smart connected devices for the home and organize them in one console, along with products .

-The drone market is already exploding for uses such as real estate, home building, and photography. In August, someone flew a drone with a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition over Apple’s new campus construction site. Rumor has it, GoPro will be making their own drone with one of their awesome cameras built-in. We won’t know for sure until their live presentation from CES at 3:35 ET this Tuesday (go to their website if you’re not in Vegas) but if true – expect them to sell a ton of “GoDro’s!” The company went public and the stock (GPRO) finished up 4.6% with the drone rumors. We’ll also be stopping by th Parrot and Air Dog booths to check out their drones.

Stay tuned for more CES updates this week!

En route to CES 2015!

Good day, Debriefers! Our team is headed to Las Vegas for coverage of CES 2015. This is our 3rd year covering the massive event that attracts over 150,000 attendees from all over the world and more than 3,500 exhibitors. Stay tuned to techdebriefs for special coverage of sweet gadgets and news announced at CES this week!


Interested in coding? Apple is hosting workshops, Dec 8 – 14

Apple is hosting workshops and other special events at select retail stores across the globe in honor of Computer Science Education Week, December 8th – 14th. For the second consecutive year, the tech giant is collaborating with Code.org, a non-profit that aims to expand computer science in schools.

On December 11th, Apple retail stores will host the “Hour of Code,” an introduction to computer programming. You can reserve a spot and learn more about other events, by going here. Hurry, it’s filling up fast!

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iOS 8.1 is here! Time to update your iPhone.


As promised, Apple has launched an update for iDevice users with several bug fixes and enhancements. The big talk around town is Apple Pay launching today. If you’ve got an iPhone 6 or 6Plus, this update to 8.1 will add this feature to your iPhone. You’ll be able to store your credit card info and use your iPhone as a secure payment method at hundreds of thousands of stores across the US including Whole Foods, Panera, McDonalds, Subway, Chevron, Toys R Us, Petco, Walgreens, Duane Reed, Foot Locker, RadioShack, Staples, Sephora and MANY more . For a more detailed review on Apple Pay, read here.

Here’s a quick run down of the updates that 8.1 brings with it today.

“Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only)

Photos include new features, improvements, and fixes
-Adds iCloud Photo Library as a beta service
– Adds Camera Roll album in Photos app and My Photo Stream album when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled
– Provides alerts when running low on space before capturing Time Lapse videos

Messages includes new features, improvements and fixes
– Adds the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages on from their iPad and Mac
– Resolves an issue where search would sometimes not display results
– Fixes a bug that caused read messages not to be marked as read
– Fixes issues with group messaging

Resolves issues with Wi-Fi performance that could occur when connected to some base stations
Fixes an issue that could prevent connections to Bluetooth hands-free devices
Fixes bugs that could cause screen rotation to stop working
Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play
Adds an option to select between 2G, 3G, or LTE networks for cellular data
Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play
Adds AirDrop support for Passbook passes
Adds an option to enable Dictation in Settings for Keyboards, Separate from Siri
Enables HealthKit apps to access data in the background

Accessibility improvements and fixes
– Fixes an issue that prevented Guided Access from working properly
– Fixes a bug where VoiceOver would not work with 3rd party keyboards
– Improves stability and audio quality when using MFi Hearing Aids with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
– Fixes an issue with VoiceOver where tone dialing would get stuck on tone until dialing another number
– Improves reliability when using handwriting, Bluetooth keyboards, and Braille displays with VoiceOver

Fixes an issue that was preventing the use of OS X Caching Server for iOS updates”

Why are you still reading this? Go update your device.

Apple: new iPads! And… iMacs – ooo la la!

Apple returned to the stage for the second month in row to reveal new products. This time to showcase the new iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, and the 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display. We will get to that big beautiful all-in-one beast after we give you the deets on Apple’s new tablets.

ipad air 2 techdebriefsiPad Air 2

  • Screen – same resolution (2048 x 1536) as the iPad Air but they added a “custom-designed antireflective coating that reduces glare by 56%” We can’t wait to see this in person! Less reflection means the Retina display will look even more awesome!
  • Dimensions – No change in the width or height but it’s 18% thinner at just 6.1 mm thin and only 0.96 lbs for the WiFi model and 0.98 lbs for the WiFi + Cellular model.
  • Finish – no surprise here… Available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.  Apple has always been a leader in design but with several hires from top fashion brands – every Apple product will be revamped with high-fashion style in mind.
  • Chip – This baby is super fast! The all new A8X chip boasts 40% faster CPU performance and 2.5 times the graphics performance when compared to the A7 chip in the iPad Air. The new M8 motion coprocessor gives the new iPad a barometer as well!
  • Wireless – The WiFi speeds are more than twice as fast, clocking in a max of 866 Mbps. This is possible with the advanced 802.11ac WiFi technology with MIMO support. Apple also packed in 20 LTE bands, giving you cellular reception for almost anywhere you go. Cellular connection speeds were tested to be 50% faster at a max of 150 Mbps. A big game changer not mentioned at the event but on their site says “The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments.” This is a game-changer for traveling when you know one carriers is better than the others!
  • Camera & Mics – The iSight camera got upgraded to 8MP and can now shoot burst mode with up to 10 photos per second! Like the iPhone 6, you can take a 43MP panorama! The Facetime HD camera still has 1.2MP but lets in 81% more light with its larger aperture of f/2.2. Also, the iPad Air 2 now has dual microphones to improve noise reduction and will automatically switch between the two mics depending which camera you’re using!
  • Touch ID – Boom! More secure and faster access without having to enter your passcode. Also makes shopping on the iPad Air 2 a breeze because you can use Apple Pay, but online only! There is no NFC so you won’t can’t use it as an in-store NFC point of sale system. We’re guessing this will be on the next iPad refresh.

Pricing for the iPad Air 2 is $499, $599 and $699 for 16 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB respectively. Tack on another $130 if you want cellular connectivity.

The iPad Mini 3 got left behind with most of the upgrades. The only upgrades it received are the Touch ID and the Finish options of Space Gray, Silver, and Gold. Pricing for the iPad Mini 3 is $399, $499 and $599 for the 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB respectively. As always, it’ll cost $130 more for the Cellular model.

imac yosemite retina 5k techdebriefsApple is celebrating 30 years of Mac and they are doing it with a bang! Editors, photographers, artists and nerds alike are salivating over the new iMac with Retina 5K display. The 27″ all-in-one computer uses an Oxide TFT display panel with highly efficient LEDs which give it 14.7 million pixels and 5120 x 2880 resolution. The massive display gives video editors the ability to view 4K video at 100% while still having screen space for editing bars and tools.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 4.57.49 PMThe big sexy 5K beast comes standard with 3.5Ghz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost takes it ups to 3.9 Ghz, 8GB (two 4GB) of memory, 1TB Fusion Drive and an AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics card with 2GB of video memory…. all for just $2499. If you wanna play with different hardware configurations – go here. But be careful… you might end up buying one!

Steve Jobs…


Today marks the 3rd anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing. As you read this on your Macbook or iDevice, take a moment to reflect on what great accomplishments humankind is able to achieve when driven by an unstoppable passion. Steve Jobs was a rare breed, not in the sense that he had dreams or vision, but that he had the fortitude and ambition to make them a reality, no matter the cost or the obstacles.

Current CEO, Tim Cook, sent an email to Apple employees – we’ve copied it here for you. We think it does a great job summing up the “dent” left in the universe by Steve Jobs.  Thanks, Steve.


Sunday will mark the third anniversary of Steve’s passing. I’m sure that many of you will be thinking of him on that day, as I know I will. 

I hope you’ll take a moment to appreciate the many ways Steve made our world better. Children learn in new ways thanks to the products he dreamed up. The most creative people on earth use them to compose symphonies and pop songs, and write everything from novels to poetry to text messages. Steve’s life’s work produced the canvas on which artists now create masterpieces. 

Steve’s vision extended far beyond the years he was alive, and the values on which he built Apple will always be with us. Many of the ideas and projects we’re working on today got started after he died, but his influence on them — and on all of us — is unmistakeable. 

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for helping carry Steve’s legacy into the future. 


Apple Live Event- iPhone Recap!

Apple had its long awaited media event yesterday and we filtered nearly two hours of nerd glory to give you the vital details. The tech giant has been under pressure to make iPhones with larger screens because of the Phablet invasion in the Android market. Apple responded with two new, larger iPhones! The iPhone 6 touts a 4.7 inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 5.5 inch screen. Looking for Apple Watch Recap? For iPhone, keep reading!iPhone-6-iPhone-6-Plus-side-by-side-

Besides the screen sizes and battery life, the iPhone models are almost identical.

Here are the new specs, with shared specs first:


  • A8 Chip – 25% faster CPU and 50% faster GPU (compared to 5S)
  • M8 Chip – the new motion coprocessor adds one new sensor!
    • Barometer – measures elevation. Excellent for fitness tracking.
  • Wi‑Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • NFC – enables Apple Pay (more on that below)
  • Retina HD – (more specs listed below under specific models)
    • Dual-domain pixels – allow for wider angle viewing
    • Improved polarizer – make it easier to see the screen in sunlight

-8MP iSight camera

  • f/ 2.2 aperture
  • 1.5-micron pixels
  • Improved face detection
  • Focus Pixels – nearly twice as fast autofocus (compared to 5S)
  • exposure control – up to four 4-stop up or down range (iOS 8)
  • 1080p HD Video at 60 fps
  • 240 fps Slo-Mo at 720p
  • Time-lapse video (iOS 8)
  • Cinematic video stabilization
  • Continuous auto focus
  • Take photos while recording (iOS 8)

-Facetime HD camera

  • f/ 2.2 aperture – captures 81% more light (compared to 5S)
  • Burst Mode – 10 photos per second
  • Auto HDR for photos and videos
  • Imrpoved Face Detection
  • Exposure control (iOS 8)

Below are individual specs:

iPhone 6

  • 4.7 inch screen
  •  Weight & Dimensions
    • 4.55 ounces
    • 6.9mm thick
    • 2.64 inches wide
    • 5.44 inches high
  • 1334 x 750 resolution
  • 326 PPI
  • 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)
  •  Battery
    • 3G talk time = 14 hours
    • Stanby = 250 hours
    • LTE Internet = 10 hours
    • WiFi Internet = 11 hours
    • HD Video = 11 hours
    • Audio = 50 hours

iPhone 6 Plus

  • 5.5 inch screen
  • Weight & Dimensions
    • 6.07 ounces
    • 7.1mm thick
    • 3.06 inches wide
    • 6.22 inches high
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 401 PPI
  • 1300:1 contrast ratio (typical)
  • Optical image stabilization – only with the iPhone 6
  • Landscape View – utilizes large display in many built-in apps to help productivity, only with the iPhone 6
  •  Battery
    • 3G talk time = 24 hours
    • Stanby = 384 hours
    • LTE Internet = 12 hours
    • WiFi Internet = 12 hours
    • HD Video = 14 hours
    • Audio = 80 hours

The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB, and $399 for 128GB. (w/ new 2 year contract)

The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB and $499 for $128GB. (w/ new 2 year contract)

All available in Silver, Gold and Space GrayiPhone-6-gray-silver-gold-back-camera-1024x620

Both the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus are available for pre-order starting on September 12th and deliver on September 19th. While Apple hasn’t yet specified a time for pre-orders, if history has anything to say, it will most likely be at 12:01am on Sept 12 so brew that coffee and prepare to gaze into your bright laptop screen while refreshing a page that will most certainly be inundated with traffic.  If you can’t pre-order, Apple recommends visiting one their retail stores starting at 8:00 AM on September 19th. We highly recommend the preorder scenario. One late night will save you hours and days of waiting for the right model at your local Apple store as we expect stockouts to happen on day 1.

Apple didn’t stop with just new hardware… They also unveiled their mobile payment platform, Apple Pay.


How It Works:

First, add a credit card to Passbook.  You can add the credit/debit card from your iTunes account by just entering the security code. To add a new card, the Passbook app will use the iSight camera to capture the card information. You can add and use as many cards as you’d like but you will select one as default. Apple was very clever with security – your credit/debit card numbers are never stored on the device. Instead, stated by Apple, “a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone. These numbers are never stored on Apple servers. And when you make a purchase, the Device Account Number alongside a transaction-specific dynamic security code is used to process your payment. So your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared with merchants or transmitted with payment.”


Apple Pay only works with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus & Apple Watch using NFC and Touch ID.

When Apple launched the iTunes Store in April 2013, the Cupertino company had deals with the 5 major Record Labels. This forced other big labels to follow suit as well as thousands of independent labels. Visa, MasterCard and American Express will allow customers to use their credit cards with Apple Pay. Participating Banks include: Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. If you’re not with one of these credit companies or banks – Don’t worry! Just like the record labels, all financial institutions will be on the Apple Pay train soon enough!

Starting in October, you’ll be able to use Apple Pay at 220,00 stores – like Bloomingdales, Petco, Subway, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Duane Reade and Staples to name a few. You will see the Apple Pay icon pop up in a bunch of apps as a shortcut to pay for goods or services. Uber, Sephora, Starbucks and Panera will allow you to pay through their app using Apple Pay. Our favorite in-app Apple Pay option is for OpenTable – pay for your check whenever you’re ready!

Everyone here at Techderiefs sure is ready for the iPhone 6’s & Apple Pay!


Apple Watch: All you need to know!

After announcing Apple Pay, Tim Cook continued the live event with his first introduction of a new and highly anticipated product category: the Apple Watch!

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The Apple Watch is Apple’s version of the smartwatch starting at $349 and available at an estimated date of early 2015. Cook revealed the Apple Watch with 3 different faces, 2 sizes, and 6 different bands, allowing users to customize their Watch to match their individual style.  Although Tim Cook did not disclose the price of each of the three different models of the Apple Watch, consumers can choose from the Apple Watch, Apple Watch SPORT, and Apple Watch EDITION.

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The Apple Watch sends and receives data by connecting to an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5s and iPhone 6 or 6+ via bluetooth connection. An accelerometer, gyroscope, infrared monitor are also packed into the Apple Watch for functionality.

The Apple Watch features a steel body in either stainless steel or black colors with a sapphire crystal screen. Next the Watch SPORT is available in a silver or space gray aluminum screen with a strong Ion-X glass. Lastly the Watch EDITION dons a luxurious 18 k gold body in either yellow or rose gold and a sapphire crystal screen. Apple offers two different sizes for all of their watches with either a 38mm or 42mm height.

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The Apple Watch operating system (yet to be named) Apple includes 11 different watch faces to maintain either traditional or innovative watch designs with multiple customization options. Watch faces include time lapses, a solar monitor, moving objects, personalized photos, modular info, astronomy, and more!

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In additional to customization and a beautiful design, the Apple Watch maintains an aspect of traditional watch design with a “digital crown” on the side of the Watch allowing for scrolling, zooming, and navigating the Apple Watch’s interface in order to keep your fingers out of the view of the screen as much as possible. Instead of pinching to zoom on Apple Maps, you can use the digital crown to zoom in and out without covering up the screen. Below the Digital Crown is a home/on-off button.

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Communication Features:

Messaging: Send messages using a new quick response feature or through speech dictation. Quick responses are suggested based on your most commonly used phrases. Other than text you can send a fully customized emoji as your message for fun.

Phone: Answer calls through the built in speaker and microphone or easily transfer calls to your iPhone, Car speakers, or bluetooth headset. Silence calls by covering the Watch with your hand.

Mail: Read messages right on the Apple Watch or open messages on your phone to send a long message.

Sketch: Send and receive personalized sketches to other Apple Watch Wearers

Walkie Talkie: Instead of calling each other use the Walkie Talkie to send and receive sound bites.

Tap: Send your friends with Apple Watch discreet customized taps using the devices taptic engine.

Heartbeat: With the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor, send your own heart beat to your friends, family, and loved ones.

Fitness: The Apple iWatch focuses heavily on monitoring your health and activity utilizing its M8 motion chip, heart rate monitor and app features.

Activity App:

  • Move- Apple Watch suggests new “Move” goals each week with calorie burn targets and allows users to adjust goals to their comfort level.
  • Exercise- Apple Watch monitors activity above a brisk walk and compiles the time spent exercising to complete a ring when users have exercised for the internationally recommended time of 30 minutes per day.
  • Standing- Apple notices when you stand up and rewards this activity in order to promote non-sedentary activity.

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Workout App: Along with the activity app the Workout App aggregates calories, heartbeat, pace, and time and also tracks your own goals, reminders, and achievements. While the Apple Watch shows your daily workout progress, you can view your long term progress over time on the iPhone companion app.

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Apple Pay

Utilizing Apple’s new Apple Pay system, the Apple Watch allows you to pay for purchases by tapping your Watch to any NFC  supporting card reader at retailers worldwide.

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In addition to all of the Communication and Health/Fitness Features- Apple’s standard features are also available on the Apple Watch with Calendar, Maps, Music, Remote, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarms, World Clock, Stocks, Weather, Weather, Photos, Siri, and Settings. One new app feature includes a Camera shutter that allows you to see what your iPhone sees in real time.


Apple will also release the Watchkit for developers to create unique and creative apps that will engender a plethora of new uses for the Apple Watch.

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The Apple Watch not only demonstrates an improvement on the wrist wearable space from the smart watch attempts of the Samsung Gear, LG, and Moto G Watch, but also validates the sector of wrist wearables.  We’re excited to get our hands on an Apple Watch and report back on its capabilities! In case you missed yesterdays Apple’s Live Event and introduction of the Apple Watch, iPhone 6/6+, and Apple Pay, watch it by clicking here!



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