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FaceTime HD iPhone 5

Disclaimer: this is pure speculation based on rumors, track record, and wishful thinking. So, no hurt feelings if it doesn't come to pass.

The way we see it, Apple methodically has been updating its entire Mac lineup with HD front facing cameras. The first to receive it was the iMac in mid-2011, quickly followed by last year's Macbook Pro lineup and subsequently the newly refreshed generation of MacBook Pros and Macbook Air; the lineup includes the 11-, 13-, and 15-inch as well as the flagship Macbook Pro with Retina display. The result is 720p high-definition video chat. The missing ingredient is the inclusion of HD FaceTime chat for iOS devices. Sure, the back of an iPhone 4/4S, iPad 2, and new iPad are technically HD cameras, and one could switch to that camera with a quick toggle, but it's still not ideal for most video chat interactions. I'm postulating that Apple could potentially introduce its first HD front-facing camera for iOS devices with the iPhone 5.

Click to continue reading Will FaceTime HD come to the iPhone 5 by way of a high definition front camera?


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Wi-Fi Plus Cellular

With iOS 6, Apple will be introducing new iPhone functionality that's aimed at alleviating the frustration many feel when connected to a weak WI-Fi hotspot. The feature is called Wi-Fi Plus Cellular, it helps keep the data flowing, and it can end up costing you some unexpected cash if you aren't careful.

Click to continue reading Be careful with iOS 6 Wi-Fi Plus Cellular feature, it could mean unexpected overage fees


AT&T FaceTime over Cellular

With the release of iOS 6 beta 3 yesterday, a disturbing "feature" was uncovered. Some users on with AT&T iPhones are reporting that, when they attempt to enable FaceTime over Cellular, a prompt pops up that tells the user to contact AT&T in order to enable the feature. Many are assuming that this means that AT&T will be looking to charge a premium for customers to use FaceTime over its data connection, and if that is the case, it is straight up consumer robbery.

Click to continue reading AT&T charging for FaceTime over Cellular is double-dipping consumer robbery


Chevy Volt malfunction danger

In case you missed it, earlier this week we detailed how the Chevy Volt malfunctioned and nearly caused a high-speed collission while we were driving it. We've had plenty of readers writing in to ask for an update on the Chevy Volt fisaco that we've found ourselves embroiled in. We definitely planned on hitting you guys with an update on how Chevrolet and General Motors address the situation that we're facing once all was said and done, but since it's taking a bit longer than we'd hoped, and since there have been a couple of new developments, we figured we'd do an interim report.

Before we get into some of the good, we've gotta say right up front that dealing with Chevy/GM as a corporate entity has been frustrating. It seems that it's goal is to tell us that there is nothing they can do, with the hope that this will just go away, rather than doing whatever it can to ease the concerns of a customer who's done nothing but praise it's flagship product all the way up until it put us in harms way. More on that later.

Click to continue reading Update: Dealing with Chevy for resolution on faulty Volt that put me in harm’s way


Wii U

Today we received a question about Nintendo's upcoming console release, Wii U, with GeekWire reader Alex wondering why the company continues to release new peripherals for a console that's seen better days.

Question: What's up with the Wii U? Why is Nintendo releasing yet another expensive peripheral for the aging Wii?

Nintendo originally announced Wii U in June 2011 in a vague manner, leaving much of the pertinent details left to the imagination. Because of this, many assumed that Wii U was the name of the new tablet-esque controller, and that it would interface with the Wii console that originally hit stores in November 2006. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: Is Wii U really a next-generation console?


Facebook Camera vs Instagram

Earlier today, Facebook launched its new photo-sharing app, Facebook Camera. Since then, we've seen tons of comments on Facebook and Twitter from people who are making fun of the company for releasing a new app that competes with Instagram, the photo sharing app and company that Facebook just acquired for $1 billion. Really? I thought it was time that we took a closer look at why Facebook Camera makes perfect sense, and how it really doesn't compete against Instagram at all.

Click to continue reading Why Facebook Camera and Instagram can easily co-exist


MacBook Air

A few minutes ago, my dock crashed in OS X. Everything else was fine, but I couldn't launch anything or switch between apps. Usually, people would reboot in this situation, but there's a much faster and easier way to fix a frozen dock, which meant I could continue working without having to worry about saving and restarting everything. In fact, you can fix a stuck Finder, Menubar, and Spaces as well. All you need to do is launch Terminal, and type in a simple command for each. Here's what you do after launching terminal in these situations - these are all case-sensitive:

If the Finder crashes:
killall -KILL Finder
(Or, you can right-click the Finder and select Relaunch)

If the Dock crashes and becomes unresponsive:
killall -KILL Dock

If Spaces crashes and you can't swap between them:
killall -KILL Dock

If the Menubar crashes and can't be clicked (beachball):
killall -KILL SystemUIServer

There you go! Easy ways to quickly fix system issues that might crop up on your Mac.


Ford Evos to be the next Mustang

There are rumors floating around that Ford maybe ditching its retro-designed Mustang in favor of a modern look. Wall Street Journal’s Matt Ramsey is a proponent of this theory.

In his article, he suggests that Ford is doing so due to decline in retro-looking car sales. He also suggests Volkswagen suffered the same fate with its New Beetle, which also saw a decline in sales. However, Autoblog brings up two valid counterarguments. One is the Mustang did not have competition for years, and now competes against Dodge. Secondly, both manufacturers where hit by the recession, thus sales suffered.

Both arguments hold true. Ford has announced that it's going to take the Mustang global. Though the retro-looking Mustangs are popular here in the States, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea in Europe. They’re not big on large, bulky vehicles roaming the streets. We don’t blame them either, since most of their city streets aren’t wide enough for pedestrians to walk on.

The speculated predecessor for the retro-Mustang would be the Evos. The Evos is geared with Generation Y in mind. It also fits well with Ford’s overlapping theme set by the Fusion or the Aston Martin look, as we like to call it. Though we’re not opposed the redesign, we’d be sad to see the retro-bodied Mustang go to pasture.


In today's Ask Andru column, we get a question about an issue with the iPad that we've actually experienced ourselves for years. Ever since the release of the original iPad, it's been painfully obvious that the speaker on the Apple tablet isn't exactly up to snuff. It's fine if you're somewhere quiet, but go somewhere that has any ambient noise, and all of a sudden it's a challenge to enjoy any audio-based entertainment. So, on to the submitted question:

I love my new iPad, but I wish it were louder. It seems that everything about the new iPad is high-quality, with the exception of the speaker! Is there any way I can get more volume out of this thing?

I hear you! As I said earlier, the low volume issue has been around since the very first iPad. When the iPad 2 was released, the speaker grille was larger, and many assumed that this meant that the device would be louder. Unfortunately, despite the visual cue, the iPad 2 suffered from the same issue, and the new third-generation model (see our new iPad review) seems to have the exact same speaker as its predecessor. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the frustration.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: How can I make my iPad louder?


SCion FR-S Overpriced

There has been much hype surrounding the Toyota 86 (Scion FR-S for the U.S.) and the Subaru BRZ after both vehicles hit the assembly line a few days ago. Much of the speculation was that the car was going to be a game changer for both manufacturers. On Toyota’s side, they would finally have a proper sports car after killing their legendary Supra (our fingers are still crossed in hopes Toyota will bring it back.) On other side of the field, Subaru has given up their claim to fame in only producing all-wheel-drive vehicles, as the BRZ is a rear-wheel drive coupe. But personally, the biggest blow is the price tag attached to the Toyota 86--$24,930.

Let’s be real here, with a sticker price in the mid $20s, the Toyota 86 doesn’t hold a candle to some its competitors. In the neighborhood of $25,000 you have plenty of other options. If you’re looking for a bit more room and functionality, you can pick up a Volkswagen Golf GTI, which starts at $23,995. If you’re looking for a thrill and all weather functionality, you have the Subaru WRX, which starts at $25,595.

Now if you’re wondering what the BRZ will be priced at, it’ll cost even more without a doubt. But Subaru has not yet released their price on the coupe. Unless you’re a diehard for a coupe, the BRZ’s price point is just illogical, not too mention that for $24,250 you can get a coupe that’ll run circles around the T86 and BRZ all day long. Wondering what that is? The newly redesigned Hyundai Genesis, featuring 274 horses. This, in our opinion is a better buy in the current sports coupe market.


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