Apple Car confirmed for release in 2019

phpt9o0c8It’s no secret that Apple has been exploring the possibility of breaking into the car industry with an electric car, but until now details have been fairly few and far between. However, a newly released report from the Wall Street Journal has confirmed that the company has committed to the project and announced a projected release date for the car of 2019.

In a sudden surge of activity, the existing team of 600 working on ‘Project Titan’ has reportedly been tripled, with experts from the automotive industry having been brought on board in recent months.

With the release date being much sooner than expected, the report quashes rumours that the first ‘Apple Car’, as it’s being referred to by all but Apple, will be an autonomous vehicle. However, the fact that company has employed experts involved with self-driving cars strongly suggests that this is the direction the company intends the project to take.

It may be a bit of a departure from its usual direction, but Apple is certain to apply the same flair and expertise to Project Titan as it does to everything else it creates, and tech and automobile enthusiasts alike will be waiting with bated breath to see what it delivers in four years’ time.

What do you think of the prospect of an Apple Car?

Apple Music goes head-to-head with Spotify

Apple MusicApple Music was finally launched as a “one more thing” at the end of the company’s keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

Apple’s eagerly awaited music streaming service will launch on 30 June, and although initially only available on Mac, iOS and Apple TV, it will also be coming to PC and Android later in the year.

Users will be given a three month free trial of the service, after which it will cost $9.99 per month or $14.99 per month for a family of up to six people. UK prices are yet to be released but it’s expected to be less than rival services.

The platform consists of three separate elements, which Apple hopes will encapsulate “All the ways you love music. All in one place”.

Apple Music favouritesFirst and foremost there’s iTunes, which you can use to search for, and listen to music you’ve downloaded, or stream from a huge library of other tracks and albums. You can also use Siri to search for or suggest music, if you want.

The app will also have it’s own radio station, Beats 1 that will be fronted by Zane Lowe and broadcast to over 100 countries around the world.

Its final dimension is a social network, known as Connect, where artists can share exclusive content with users.

It remains to be seen whether Apple’s multi-faceted music platform will be able to rival its biggest competitor, Spotify, particularly as the music streaming giant has just announced that it has doubled its paid subscribers from 10 million to 20 million in the past year. Judging by his reaction to the launch of Apple Music – an “Oh ok” via Twitter – Founder Daniel Ek doesn’t seem to think so.

Do you think Apple Music will be able to rival Spotify?

Apple Watch price and release date revealed at launch

After months of waiting, the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch was finally launched yesterday at an event in San Francisco. While most details on the Apple Watch had already been unveiled at an event back in September, it was the price and release date that interested parties were waiting to hear.

apple_watch_iwatch_2Unsurprisingly it ain’t going to be cheap, with prices starting at £299 for the entry level Apple Watch Sport model, and ranging up to a whopping £13,500 for the top of the range Apple Watch Edition version.

This massive variation in price has no bearing on the specs of the smartwatch, but rather the materials that it’s made from. The cheapest model, the Apple Watch Sport has an aluminium casing, while the regular Apple Watch is stainless steel and Apple Watch Edition 18 carat gold.

With 38 different models, Apple claims “there’s an Apple Watch for everyone”, assuming, of course that everyone has at least £300 to shell out on a device to complement their already heftily priced iPhone 5 or 6. However, those with plenty of disposable income will be able to choose between two different sizes (38mm and 42mm), the three different casings, and a range of different straps and watch faces, to suit their individual style and budget.

The Apple Watch will go on sale on 24 April, with pre-orders opening on 10 April.

Will the Apple Watch finally kickstart interest in smartwatches and bring them into common usage? If anyone can do it, it’ll probably be Apple.

iPad Air 2: is it worth upgrading?

ipad-air-2-thin3Last week Apple released the iPad Air 2, to great acclaim. It’s been heralded by many as the best tablet on the market, and there’s no doubt that it’s an impressive piece of tech, but is it worth the upgrade, given its £399-£559 price tag?

There wasn’t much about the iPad Air that needed improving, but Apple has managed to do so nonetheless. For starters, they’ve made it even thinner than the, already thin, iPad Air, trimming it down from 7.5mm to only 6.1mm to make it one of the thinnest tablets on the market.

Not only is it slimmer, but also considerably more powerful and has a new processor, the AX8, which is 40% faster than previous generations.

The 9.7 inch screen has the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as its predecessor but the iPad Air 2 now has an anti reflective screen, which Apple claims reduces glare by around 56% compared to the iPad Air.

The iPad Air 2 also now has Touch ID, which will come as a relief to those who’ve got used to using the feature on their iPhone and keep trying to unlock their iPad with their thumb!

iPad_Air_2_Touch_ID_1000It also has new improved cameras for those who don’t feel silly taking photos with their tablet. The rear camera has been upgraded from 5 to 8 megapixels and now has time lapse, slow motion and multi burst functions. Perhaps more pertinent to tablet use is the 1.2 megapixel front camera with improved sensor, which allows for much improved FaceTime calls, especially in low light.

The only potential downside appears to be the battery, which has been reduced from 8,827 mAh to 7,340 mAh in order to accommodate the new slimmer design. Apple claims that the smaller battery will not affect battery life, which will remain at 10 hours. However, early reviews suggest that it has been reduced slightly.

So, is it worth the upgrade? If you already own an iPad Air, it’s probably not worth the additional expense, but those with previous generations of iPad will certainly notice a considerable improvement. There are certainly worse things you could spend your hard earned cash on!

What do you think of the iPad Air 2? Are you upgrading?

Apple makes record 4 million pre-order sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 24 hours

Apple has made a record number of pre-sales of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were officially unveiled last Tuesday. Pre-orders for the handsets opened early on Friday morning and by the end of the day they had sold 4 million units, which is twice the volume of sales of the iPhone 5 over the same period when it launched in 2012. The new larger iPhone 6 Plus sold out almost straight away.

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The devices will go on sale in stores in the UK at 8am on Friday 19 September and there will no doubt be a similar frenzy to secure one, despite the fact that they are not cheap. To buy an unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple, it will set you back £539 for 16GB model, £619 for 64GB, and £699 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus is £619 for the 16GB version, £699 for 64GB and £789 for 128GB.

Networks have also started to release their prices for buying the phone on a contract. Three and EE are offering the iPhone 6 on a 24 month contract for a minimum price plan of around £40 per month, plus £99 upfront for the handset. Both Vodafone and O2 are offering free handsets but minimum monthly price plans of around £53.

Those with an iPhone 4S or above who plan to stick with their existing handset will be able to upgrade to iOS 8 from Wednesday 17 September.

Will you be buying an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

Find out more about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus here