Happy Sunday, and welcome to another edition of Feedback Loop! By now, you’re probably sick of hearing about the Apple Watch. Thankfully, though, our community members have some great discussions for you this week. To kick things off, we’re talking about the implications Microsoft’s potential purchase of developer Mojang could have on the indie community favorite Minecraft. Once you’re done kvetching over Microsoft’s latest pursuit, let us know which apps help keep your busy life on task and whether or not you’re happy with the current selection of smart lock solutions.
Microsoft might buy Mojang (the Minecraft guys)
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft. Notch, the game’s creator, has already built a small empire with the franchise, but Kris is wondering how this will impact its future. Obviously, more money and resources can be a good thing, but this could also lead to Microsoft limiting platform availability. Let us know if you’re happy with the news, or if the indie favorite is doomed.
What apps help you get things done?
I can be pretty forgetful. I have to rely on task apps for keeping me on track. Currently I’m rocking Things on my desktop and iPad, but I’m always looking for new options. The problem is there are just so many damn task-management apps out there. So, faithful Engadget community, I come to you for help. What tools are you using to stay focused?
Security solutions using your smartphone
User anishsomani likes the trend of using smartphones for unlocking your front door or bike lock. He just wishes these companies would make locks for other parts of our homes. He’s curious as to why he can’t use his phone to unlock his garage, laptop or mailbox, among other items. If you’re using smart locks, join the discussion and let the community know what you think of their progress so far.
iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus: Which one is the flagship?
Apple finally did it: It announced a phablet-sized iPhone. But it also showed off a smaller 4.7-inch iPhone, meaning Apple is once again giving consumers a choice. Last year, the flagship was obvious: the 5s. This year, it’s more of a toss-up. If you had to pick just one, which new iPhone do you consider to be Apple’s current flagship?
Other discussions you may also like:
- How often do you upgrade your phone?
- What do you think of Destiny so far?
- Which family plan should I use with the new iPhones?
That’s all this week. Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!
Not really interested in Apple’s new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? How about a smaller iPhone with an even smaller price tag? That’s exactly what’s on the table after Apple cut the price of an unlocked iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c by £100 each following yesterday’s event. That means can now pick up a 16GB or 32GB iPhone 5s for £459 or £499 respectively, while the price of the more colourful iPhone 5c (8GB) has dropped to £319. Although the Apple Watch won’t be available until the new year, the company has said iPhones from the 5c up will support the new wearable, meaning you won’t miss out if you decide later that you want a smaller screen on your wrist.
Source: Apple Store
Back in May, Logitech announced its new Case+ product for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, which contained a metal case and multiple magnetic attachments for different uses. Today, the company unveiled two new products inspired by the line: the new Protection+ case for iPhone 5s/5 and the +Trip accessory for mounting an iPhone to a car’s air vents for easy viewing.
Logitech’s Protection+ case
The Protection+ case for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 features a slim design with a protective outer shell and internal impact-resistant materials. The case’s corners each hold impact resistant polymers to minimize forces of impact, while the accessory’s insides feature a thermoplastic rubber (TPR) layer to absorb energy from drops. Logitech’s Protection+ case also comes with a raised bezel edge to protect the iPhone’s touch screen and is tested for drops from up to 1.8 meters (about 6 feet) in height.
Logitech’s +Trip car mount
Logitech’s +Trip car mount is also being sold alongside the original +Drive accessory that attaches to a car’s dashboard or windshield and came with the original Case+ system. The Protection+ case as well as the +Trip and +Drive mounts also all contain magnetic mounts to support the other Case+ attachments.
The Protection+ case will launch next month for $34.99, and will come in colors of Winter White, Gunmetal Black, Scarlett Plum, and Pacific Blue. The +Trip and +Drive accessories will also be released next month and sell for $29.99 and $49.99, respectively. Interested customers can pre-order all three now on Logitech’s official website.
As we creep closer to the fall release date of the iPhone 6, component leaks are becoming more frequent. While we originally saw the alleged front panel of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 back in April, 9to5Mac has shared additional photos of the component.
Depicted in both black and white, the front panel in the photos features a slight gloss and somewhat tapered edges, lending credence to both rumors and mockups that have suggested the iPhone 6 will have rounded iPod touch-style corners.
The two front panels in the photos appear to have varying locations for the device’s front camera, and it is unknown why there is a difference between the parts. The white front panel camera hole appears to be centered above the earpiece as it is in the iPhone 5s, with a sensor to the left, but the black front panel’s front-facing camera hole is to the left of the earpiece as it was in the iPhone 4.
The front panel was also compared to the front panel of the iPhone 5s, showing the size differences between the two devices.
In addition to these photos of the 4.7-inch iPhone’s front panel, we have also seen images that depict manufacturing molds, backlight panels, and rear shells, but the latter component may not be from the actual iPhone 6 as a new rumor from Japanese site Nikkei has suggested the finished device may not have the thick antenna breaks that have been depicted on mockups thus far.
Though only the 4.7-inch iPhone front panel has been seen, Apple is expected to be releasing the iPhone 6 in a larger 5.5-inch size as well. It is unknown at this point if the larger iPhone 6 will be released at the same time, as there have been some conflicting reports on its potential launch due to production issues. The most recent rumors indicate a simultaneous release, however.
Both versions of Apple’s iPhone 6 are expected to be thinner and lighter than the existing iPhone 5s, with an A8 processor and various camera improvements. Rumors have suggested the larger iPhone will be positioned as the premium version, offering features like optical image stabilization, a higher storage capacity, and a $100 price increase over the 4.7-inch version.
We always knew that sales for the Samsung Galaxy S5 were going to be astronomically high. If there was any doubt of that, reports that the Galaxy S5 is outdoing even its predecessor, the Galaxy S4 (at least in Europe), and being traded-in for iPhones are probably an indication that all is more than just good for Samsung‘s latest smartphone. If you needed even more evidence of exactly how good the Galaxy S5 is doing, Localytics is today reporting that, according to their data, the Samsung Galaxy S5 makes up 0.7 percent of all currently active Android devices after only one week.
That’s a pretty impressive feat considering the iPhone 5S only managed to achieve 1.1 percent penetration of all iOS devices. And why are we saying “only”? To put that in perspective, current estimations put Android at having 80% of the entire smartphone market. Even if we assume that iOS makes up the other 20% of the market, 0.7 percent of 80 is an absolutely massive chunk of that pie and an incredible number of devices to have sold in a week. Despite what you may think of the Korean smartphone giant, you have to give credit where credit is due. And again, that’s just after a week.
Localytics goes on to report that of the Galaxy S5′s that have been sold, 64% of them have been sold in America, distantly followed by another 23% sold in all of Europe. No doubt the Galaxy S5 is going to continue its barnstorming to the top of the Android sales leaderboard.
What do you think about these sales figures? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White is touring China and reports to investors that demand for the iPhone 5s in the Asian country is disappointing, while interest in Chinese brands like Xiaomi is on the rise. This cool sentiment towards the iPhone may change when an iPhone 6 model with a larger screen arrives later this year.
Interest in a large-screened iPhone model among Chinese vendors and carriers is reportedly very high, possibly making the next iPhone launch a “special” one for Apple.
In the near term, we sensed disappointment around demand for the iPhone 5S. That said, we heard great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6. In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple’s growth trajectory in China during 2H:14. We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus we believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple.
China has been a focus of Apple in recent years, with the company opening new retail stores and bringing both the iPhone and the iPad to wireless carriers in the Asian country. This year alone Apple has introduced a TD-LTE version of the iPad and launched both the iPhone 5s and 5c with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier with approximately 772 million subscribers.
Apple’s next iPhone model is expected to arrive in two display sizes, with one near 4.7 inches and the other at approximately 5.5 inches. The 4.7-inch model may debut this fall, while the 5.5-inch is rumored to land sometime in 2015.
It wouldn’t shock me, if HTC’s CEO just walked out on stage at their event, raised the New HTC One up in the air and yelled, “Here it is! Go get it!” then just walked off stage. The All New HTC One has been spotted more times in the wild than the Loch Ness Monster, and today, we get a dummy unit posing with some other phones you might have heard of.
The iPhone 5s, LG G2, Xperia Z1, and the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, lay beside the All New One, and we get a good look on how it measures up. Not like it is much of shock that it is pretty distinctive when compared to the other popular phones. So check out all the images, and let us know how excited you are about the new HTC One.
It’s that time of year again, when you have to try and wrestle back as many of those hard-earned dollars as you can from the insatiable gaping maw of the tax beast. In an effort to assuage that annual suffering, the folks at TurboTax created the free SnapTax app for 1040EZ/A returns and this year they’ve upped the ante for one lucky Engadget reader by offering an unlocked gold iPhone 5s so they can file on the go. Available for iOS and Android, the SnapTax app lets users file by simply snapping a photo of their W-2, answering a few questions and clicking “file my return.” This is one little slab of gold that you won’t want to stash in a safety deposit box, so head on down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning. And don’t forget: It’s time to do those taxes!
- Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
- Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
- Winners will be chosen randomly. One (1) winner will receive one (1) Apple iPhone 5S (Gold, 16GB, GSM (sim-free, unlocked) ME298LL/A).
- If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email or Facebook login. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.
- This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Apple, TurboTax and Engadget / AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
- The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
- Entries can be submitted until March 12th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!
Best Buy is introducing another special deal this weekend, offering a minimum of $150 for trade-ins of working iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 smartphones. Customers must buy a new smartphone with two-year contract on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, however. The offer is good through the end of the day tomorrow, March 1. The chain has also reduced the price of the base 16GB iPhone 5s to $150 to match the buyback.
With a number of carriers moving away from two-year contracts for its customers — instead focusing on non-subsidized, but cheaper, monthly plans — it may be affecting the bottom line of retailers like Best Buy because plans like AT&T Next do not, in many cases, require customers to pay money up front.
For upgrade-eligible iPhone-owners looking to move to the iPhone 5s, this promotion could be an inexpensive way to do that.
This is pretty ridiculous guys. I mean, if I would’ve known this whole Flappy Bird situation was going to lead people into making staggering profit from it, I would’ve bought myself an iPhone. Seems some clever entrepreneurs out there decided to take it upon themselves to help those who weren’t able to grab a Flappy Bird download by throwing iPhones on ebay with the game pre-installed. Hey why not? Could make a couple hundred bucks or so…OR SO!
The image above shows an actual ebay bidding for one of these iPhones with Flappy Bird installed on it. The bid is almost at $89,000! Are you kidding me? I want to believe this is fake, but looking on the actual page it does seem to be legit. I even saw someone else post a screenshot of another iPhone with Flappy Bird installed on it going for $42,000. Us Android enthusiasts are laughing our asses off, because we can obviously side load the apk with ease.
I can’t even think someone would actually pay that amount of money, and that very may be the case. It’s not like they are putting actual money on the table. Could be just idiots making fun of other idiots for putting the iPhone on Ebay. But we really will never know. Let us know your thoughts about this craziness. Maybe its the developer posting these iPhones to rake up more dough from his game, and all this drama surrounding it was just a clever marketing scheme.