Editorial

iOS 8, OS X Yosemite and future shock

I love my Macs and my iOS devices, but I can't help but feel like things are getting out of control.

When I look at the gadgets that my family and I take for granted, I feel like I live in the future. Smart tablets, smart phones, smart watches. Despite all these smart devices, though, there's a basic dysfunction that I find frustrating, and that many others find overwhelming.

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The iPhone 6c potential

If Apple holds to pattern — though sometimes the company doesn't — we'll be getting an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and perhaps an iPhone 6c this fall.

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How the Apple Watch will be your personal trainer

Information broker. Health tracker. Digital wallet. Communicator. Remote Control. It's all one product. It's the Apple Watch.

Each of those features — individually or in combination — appeal to different people. For some, the ability to track activity and heart rate to measure walking, running, and stair climbing; to log rowing machines and exercise bikes; and to be not only reminded to stand up and move around, but rewarded for it: This will all be especially compelling. In that role, the Apple Watch can not only help quantify our lives; it can become a virtual personal trainer.

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Taco Bell takes a page from Apple and evokes '1984' in new viral ad

George Orwell's 1984 inspired Apple's most famous TV ad. Now Taco Bell is channeling it too. For breakfast.

Taco Bell's Routine Republic is a new three-minute short film the fast food purveyor has posted to YouTube. The ad depicts a solemn, grey totalitarian state where people line up and shuffle forward to be handed nondescript breakfast sandwiches, assaulted by Soviet-style imagery, video and audio lauding the benefits of having the same breakfast every day.

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Overcoming video game addiction in children

Video games are great. I love them. I podcast about them. But when it comes to my children, my husband and I have a strict system to help them maintain balance and learn moderation.

How your child or children react to playing video games can vary. It's an intense experience and while some will do just fine and exhibit minimal behavioral changes, others will present with diminished focus, rudeness, or a loss of emotional control. The latter is something I saw in my own children, and something I knew I had to help them learn to overcome.

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Futurology 1.1: Smaller, higher-capacity batteries are closer than ever before

Recent advancements in Lithium Sulfur and Lithium metal anodes pave the way for smaller, safer batteries with higher capacities.

Back at the start of the year in our Smartphone Futurology series, we discussed the technology behind the battery in smartphones and what's to come in the future. This article is a quick update to that piece, looking at some of the recent developments in batteries based on Lithium chemistry — like the ones powering the vast majority of smartphones.

We'll take a closer look at what reduces your phone's battery life over time, and how high-capacity technologies like Lithium Sulfur batteries and Lithium metal anodes are closer than ever to becoming practical. Join us after the break.

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Apple Watch apps: Best practices when designing for the wrist

The Apple Watch will ship on April 24 — which means that, right now, developers and designers are hard at work on the first generation of Apple Watch apps.

Currently limited to actionable notifications (short and long looks), widgets (glances), and remote views (WatchKit apps), even though Apple Watch apps are bound to the iPhone, there's still boundless potential. I've tried several smartwatches and bands, seen most of what's on the market, and I've even been lucky enough to use the Apple Watch both back in September and recently again in March, where third-party apps were showcased. Those apps, the ones listed on the Apple Watch App Store apps page, benefited from time in the labs and testing on actual hardware. For those who didn't get that opportunity, after a lot of conversations with a lot of smart and experienced people, here's a list of things that are vital to keep in mind.

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On the Apple Watch and OLED displays

All Apple has said about the Apple Watch display is that it's 'flexible Retina', yet it's widely believed to be OLED.

That's interesting because Apple has thus far eschewed OLED (organic light-emmitting diode) displays for iPhone and iPad due to what the company said were the compromises needed to produce the panel at those sizes. A look back at things like PenTile and over-saturation in generations past makes that point hard to argue. Modern OLED, however, has improved considerably. At Apple Watch size, where power efficiency is the priority, those compromises start to fall in OLED's favor.

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What would you change about Control Center?

Control Center is a way to get at all your toggles, sliders, buttons, and basic actions, all in one place.

Since it's debut in iOS 7 back in 2013, Control Center hasn't changed much. Pull it up from the bottom of the screen and you get quick access to a variety of options. The top row gives you airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, and orientation lock. Next is a brightness slider. After that is media, including play, pause, skip, and volume. Then you have AirDrop and AirPlay. Last row is flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera.

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NSFW: Apple Watch, turning the corner, and betting on the future

I'm curious about how Apple Watch technology will evolve. I'm also excited to see the third party market.

I admit that I'm later to the Apple Watch game than some of my colleagues. It was only recently that I had an epiphany about how the Apple Watch could really change things for me. I'm excited about them now. But what I'm even more excited about is seeing what happens from here.

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