iOS 8 is the follow-up to last years radical redesign of Apple’s mobile operating system. After the visual overhaul, the company went to work on adding a bunch of features that would make its devices more open with features like extensions and third-party keyboards, yet more secure with improved permissions and more widespread Touch ID integration. With iOS 8, Apple looks to refine the experience that was introduced last year, while allowing features for the power users of the world to shine.
It’s been shown that Apple follows a two-step release process with its iOS device hardware and software. For example, one year the company will release a new design for the iPhone, and the following year it’ll keep that design and refine the device, releasing it as an “S” class upgrade. iOS seems to follow a similar pattern, especially this year, which follows last year’s big redesign. With iOS 8, Apple has introduced a layer of polish on top of its mobile operating system, bringing with it a bevy of new features. The question remains, do all the changes come together in a meaningful way? Join us for our full iOS 8 review as we explore the answer.
There are few things in a home that say “sophisticated class” like a home bar when it’s done right. Rather than meeting at the local bar, invite some guests over to your place for drinks, and show them that there’s more to it then the simple choice of shaken or stirred. Each of these items is sure to impress at your next cocktail party.
Izola Measurements Cocktail Shaker
When upgrading your at-home cocktail setup from "dive bar" to "high-roller club,” remember that a well-prepared drink is what matters more than anything. We’ll get to the other cool stuff in a moment, but we had to start off with the Izola Measurements Cocktail Shaker. Izola’s vessel has a list of the most common drink measurements engraved into the steel, so your Vespers are sure to be Bond-worthy every time. $36 -
As we close out Device Theft Awareness Month, we wanted to talk about laptop security. We've already covered the device theft statistics, alongside a bunch of ways to protect yourself from smartphone theft. Some may argue that notebooks are even more of a danger to lose than a smartphone, due to the vast amount of personal data stored on them that can be lost or fall into the wrong hands, as well as the cost of replacement. Let's talk about some of the ways to protect both your investment and your data.
1. Password protect your computer. Regardless of whether you use a PC, Mac, or Linux, you have the option of settings up a lock screen barrier where you'll need to enter a password, custom swipe, image touch, or other secure option. It's a small step that some may find to be an annoyance, but it's an easy (and free) first line of defense in case someone is able to snatch up your device.
As we mentioned last week, we're celebrating Device Theft Awareness Month in conjunction with Absolute LoJack. We gave you a rundown of just how big a problem device theft is nowadays, with over 3 million people becoming victims of smartphone theft just last year alone. It's a growing problem that you can protect yourself from, and this week we wanted to share three tips that you can do to avoid permanently losing your device or data in the event of loss.
1. Create a passcode for your device. This is a simple method of protecting the data that lives on your device in the event of loss or theft. Some Android devices will allow you to set a pattern instead of an alphanumeric code, and the iPhone 5s and later lets you use Touch ID fingerprint recognition. Any of these are a better option than not protecting the home screen of your device, which will let prying eyes get to anything on your product.
A few weeks ago we talked about what what you can do to protect yourself in the event that your smartphone, tablet, or laptop gets lost or stolen. We even took a 24-hour #DigitallyDark challenge where we gave up our smartphones for 24 hours to see how it would feel. Well, August is Device Theft Awareness Month, and we wanna talk more about what you can do if you find that you're one of over 3.1 million Americans who'll likely fall victim to smartphone theft this year. A staggering 1.4 million people who lost their devices in 2013 never got them back--that is 4.5 million lost and stolen smartphones (and that doesn't include tablets or laptops,) and is enough to make us want to do something about it. This month, follow the hashtag #AbsoluteUncovered as we dive deep into this topic.
Back in June we introduced you to Absolute LoJack, a data protection software product that is tailored to help you keep your mobile data safe, track your devices in the event of loss or theft, and even an option for assistance with recovery so you can get them back. We are taking part in Device Theft Awareness Month by bringing you a series of articles in order to keep you more informed on the issue and how you can protect yourself from becoming another statistic.
If you happened to catch the 13-part adventure that was Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, then you are already aware that it's a visual masterpiece worthy of being in your collection, and we're giving away a copy of the Blu-ray set. Aside from the 13 episodes in crisp 1080p, the $40 set includes over two hours of bonus content:
- The Cosmic Calendar: An Interactive Look at the History of the Universe (Blu-ray Exclusive)
- COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey – The Voyage Continues
- Celebrating Carl Sagan: A Selection From The Library of Congress Dedication
- COSMOS at Comic-Con 2013
- Audio Commentary on Episode One: “Standing Up in the Milky Way”
Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
Here's how this is gonna go down: The grand prize winner will talk away with $150 in Google Play store credit. Second place gets $100. 15 other winners will each get $50 in credit. Ready to enter? Go get it:
OS X 10.10, better known as Yosemite, represents the next-generation in Apple's desktop operating system. Yosemite brings a new look to the desktop experience, and also ties OS X and iOS together through a feature called Continuity that I bet will make work a lot easier for Apple users. With any big change, customers will wonder if their older hardware will be supported. We recently received this question from a reader named Steve:
Q: I'm excited to check out OS X Yosemite once it launches, the redesigned interface looks great! My MacBook Air is from 2010, and I was curious if you knew if it would run Yosemite without any issues, or if I have to upgrade my computer?
A: I agree--I think the look and feel of OS X Yosemite is a breath of fresh air. I've been using the Developer Preview since it was made available at WWDC 2014, and when I use a Mac that is running Mavericks or earlier, it already feels like a big step backwards from a design perspective. Now, on to system requirements! The nice thing about Yosemite is that Apple hasn't changed any of the system requirements from what was required to run Mavericks. In other words, all Macintosh products capable of running OS X Mavericks will be supported by Yosemite; as with Mavericks, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of available storage, and OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later are required to upgrade. To make it easier to figure out if you're specific Mac is compatible, here is a listing of all the Apple hardware that is Yosemite-capable:
- iMac Mid-2007 or newer
- MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
As you can see, anyone who has bought a Mac within the past five years is covered and will be able to run OS X Yosemite. Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook aluminum buyers as far back as 2008 are also good. In fact, some MacBook Pro and iMac buyers from back in 2007 can even get in on the Yosemite action, and those computers are now 7 years old! This is a pretty large blanket of Mac users that will be able to enjoy the next generation of OS X, and I comment Apple for including as many Macs as it did.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite is set to launch later this fall, and will be available exclusively on the Mac App Store. At WWDC, Apple announced that it will be made available completely free to its users. Can't beat that!
Curious about how Cortana made her way from assisting Master Chief in Halo over to helping you out on Windows Phone? During a sit-down with Microsoft's Marcus Ash, he spoke to us about what it took to get Cortana just right on Windows Phone and to be seen as a legitimate competitor to Apple's Siri.
First, the Cortana logo was the first thing Microsoft has to get right. Originally, they didn't want a physical representation. The thought was that people could think it was creepy if it is "too human." They also didn't want it to be like Clippy, the infamous character from Microsoft Office that was hated by many. It was also decided that Cortana couldn't be just a voice, since it wouldn't feel the same.
Initially, Microsoft tried to use the Xbox Live avatar idea, but that was odd due to everyone having the female Cortana voice. Then they started playing around with the circle. A circle can stretch, bounce, and transform. They also tried triangles, diamonds, hearts, and the ability of letter the user choose any of these. At the end of the day, the circle next to Metro on the start screen looked good, so that was what Microsoft decided on. The next issue was that a simple circle isn't iconic, and is hard to brand. That's when the Windows Phone team met with the Halo team at 343 Industries.
It's summertime, and we've got a few items we're giving away to bring the fun to a whole new level. Courtesy of AT&T here in Seattle, we've got a Jawbone mini Jambox, Jawbone UP24, and a Bodyguardz tempered glass protective cover for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Here's a little more on each item and why we think they're perfect for this Summer Bundle Giveaway:
- Jawbone mini Jambox: Okay, for real, who doesn't wanna have music with them when by the pool or at the beach? A lot of us have a seemingly unlimited amount of music accessible by our smartphones and tablets, and the mini Jambox allows you to stream it over Bluetooth. At the next family BBQ, you'll be the star of the show.
- Jawbone UP24: Fitness wearables are all the rage these days, and if you like tracking your stats or are looking for a motivational tool, then it's easy to see why. With the UP24, you can monitor your fitness throughout the day, and even track your calories and water intake. At night, it'll even keep track of how well you are sleeping, which is probably not well if you're out camping in a tent. The device connects to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth LE, so the battery lasts a full week, and there's no plugging anything in to sync.
- Bodyguardz Screenguardz Pure: I always thought it was kind of silly for people to protect their smartphone screens with a thin plastic film. The Screenguardz Pure is a super-thin piece of tempered glass that can actually take a real beating, and exceeds the hardness of steel. That's protection.
So, are you ready to enter to win some of that goodness? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! Remember, if you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated: