TIME Gadgets

Apple’s iPhone Event to Stream Live Online

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers his keynote address at the World Wide developers conference in San Francisco
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers his keynote address at the World Wide developers conference in San Francisco, June 2, 2014. Robert Galbraith—Reuters

A visit to Apple.com redirects to Apple.com/Live today, where company CEO Tim Cook and friends will unveil Apple’s holiday gadget lineup. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT.

Note the fine print at the bottom of the page: You’ll need to use an Apple device running the Safari web browser or a new-ish Apple TV box in order to stream the event.

Here’s a primer on what we might expect to see unveiled; all our iPhone 6-related news and analysis can be found here.

Check back here for additional coverage as things unfold.

TIME Gadgets

How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad

You can’t take any more photos. You can’t install the latest version of iOS. You can’t download the TV show you want to watch.

We’ve all been there, and many of us just stay there because it’s too much of a hassle to try to figure out what’s going on.

It’s not that hard, actually. Here are some of the most common storage-bloat culprits, with a few steps you can follow to find out what’s hiding where and how you can delete it.

This guide is written from the perspective of an iPhone user but applies to iPad users all the same.

First Stop: Settings

usage
Apple

Let’s dive in and see what’s actually taking up space on your phone.

Go to…

Settings > General > Usage

…and wait for the top-most item to load up (it might churn for a bit).

Once it’s ready, you’ll see which apps are taking the most space. You’ll likely notice the Photos & Camera, Music, and Video apps toward the top of the list. You might also notice the Messages app if you text a bunch of photos and videos around with your friends.

Before we move on to cleaning out these common culprits, now is a good time to delete apps you don’t use. Don’t worry: They’ll be available in the App Store if you want to re-install them in the future.

So from this screen, tap on any apps you don’t use and hit the “Delete App” button on the next screen (note that system-installed Apple apps aren’t able to be deleted).

Once you’ve deleted a bunch of old apps, you may notice your total storage — at the top of the Usage page — has increased. If it’s increased enough to get you the extra space you wanted, great. You’re done. If not, here are some other tricks to try.

Best Bet: Deleting Videos, Photos and Music

By far, videos take up the most space on your iPhone — followed distantly by music and photos. Delete a handful of videos and you’ll regain a ton of space right away. They’re lurking in various apps; here’s where to find them as well as how to delete unneeded photos and music.

camera
Apple

In the Camera Roll

Open up the Camera app and click the little square in the lower-left corner to bring up your previously-shot photos and videos. Swipe through to find videos you’ve shot but don’t need anymore and hit the garbage can in the lower-right corner. While you’re at it, do the same for photos you don’t need anymore.

If you want to delete a bunch at once, tap the Camera Roll button in the upper-left corner, then Select. Start tapping away on the ones you know you don’t need, amassing a big collection of them before tapping the garbage can. They’ll then all be deleted at once.

messages
Apple

In the Messages App

Here’s where you might find a treasure trove of forgotten photos and videos. If your friends texted you photos and videos of their new baby three years ago, for instance, you might still have a bunch of those big files trapped on your phone.

If you find an old message thread that you know you don’t need anymore, you can delete the entire thing by swiping left on it and tapping the Delete button.

If you only want to delete specific photos and videos from a messaging thread, open the thread, hold down on the first photo or video you want to delete, tap More…, select all the others you want to delete from the thread (click the little circles to the left of the files) and then tap the Delete All button.

videos
Apple

In the Videos App

If you’ve downloaded movies or TV shows, they’re taking up precious space on your phone. Open up the Videos app, find any old movies or TV shows you’ve already watched, swipe left on each one and tap Delete. Don’t worry: You can stream or re-download them later. They’re not gone forever.

In the Music App

Same drill as the Videos app: Open up the Music app, find any old songs you no longer need, swipe left on each one and tap Delete. Don’t worry: You can stream or re-download them later if you bought them from Apple. They’re not gone forever. If you got them from somewhere else and loaded them from your own computer, make sure you still have the original files.

Other Tricks

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers some of the most common culprits. Spotify isn’t covered here, but my Spotify library, for instance, takes up a fair amount of space on my phone. I don’t want to delete the app, but I could set some of the playlists to be online-only in order to free up some space. If you notice an abnormally large app in the Usage menu but you don’t want to completely delete the app, open it up and poke around to see if there are some files inside it that you can delete instead.

Also, instead of simply deleting things forever, you might want to back some of them up to your computer first and then remove them from your phone. Over at WonderHowTo, Justin Meyers has an incredibly thorough guide to clearing up space on your phone, complete with backup instructions and other sources of file-bloat you might be able to uncover. Be sure to check it out if the above tricks don’t work for you.

TIME Gadgets

Last-Minute iPhone 6, iWatch and iPad Rumor Roundup

Michael Nagle -- Bloomberg / Getty Images

The rumors have been floating around for months and the big day is almost here.

Just as Apple’s made its bones by simplifying technology, let’s boil down the nearly endless supply of rumors to paint a general picture of what we might expect to see from the company’s September 9 media event.

The Event Will Be Streamed Live Online

This one is most definitely not a rumor, and it’ll result in the rest of these rumors either being proven true or laid to rest starting at 1pm Eastern on Tuesday, September 9 when Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage at the Flint Center in Cupertino, CA. Fun fact: Steve Jobs launched the Mac from the Flint Center 30 years ago.

You’ll be able to watch the event live online, broadcast directly from Apple’s site at Apple.com/Live. There will also be roughly 1.2 bajillion liveblogs of the event going on at the same time. Visit just about any tech site to follow along.

New iPhones

All signs point to two new iPhone models, a 4.7-inch version and a 5.5-inch version (current iPhone models sport 4-inch screens).

For those of you with small hands, there will reportedly be a one-handed mode that rejiggers the interface slightly so you can reach everything (Samsung has a similar feature on some of its larger phones). The 5.5-inch iPhone’s more expansive display may take advantage of apps in an iPad-like fashion by leveraging iOS 8’s upcoming dual-pane feature.

The phones will apparently sport slightly curvier designs than past offerings and support tap-to-pay features, up to 128 gigabytes of storage (current models max out at 64 gigabytes) and a built-in barometer that ties into health and location apps.

There’s no great consensus on launch dates for either phone, though it’s believed the 4.7-inch version might launch first, with the 5.5-inch version to come along later this year. For recent launches, new iPhones have typically been available within a couple weeks of being announced, so perhaps the 4.7-inch version would roll out sometime in September.

There have also been some rumblings about the phones packing nearly unbreakable displays made of sapphire crystal, but well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the screens aren’t ready for such large displays. He thinks they’ll be present in Apple’s rumored iWatch line, though (more on that next).

The iWatch

Apple will reportedly be showcasing its long-rumored smartwatch, though it’s believed the device won’t be available for purchase until next year. Features apparently include a curved, rectangular screen made of impact-resistant sapphire crystal, tap-to-pay functionality, eight gigabytes of storage, health-tracking sensors and two screen sizes. It’s been reported that battery life might not be anything to write home about.

No word on firm pricing, though $400 has apparently been bandied about, with murmurs that pricing might not even be discussed at Apple’s media event.

New iPad Air

Alongside the new iPhones, Apple will reportedly be rolling out its followup to the iPad Air. It’s believed to be similar in design to the previous model, with the addition of a faster processor, the iPhone 5s’ fingerprint sensor and a gold color option. Apparently the iPad Mini line might not get a whole lot of attention but some models may get the fingerprint sensor as well.

Sources: 9to5Mac.com (here, here, here, here, here and here), New York Times, Re/code (here and here), Wall Street Journal, The Information, AppleInsider

TIME Gadgets

5 Unique Car Gadgets for Under $50

Come on, you're making some decent money now. Live a little! Consider blowing your paycheck on these worthy splurges.

Coffee Cup Power Inverter ($34.99)

coffee_cup_inverter
ThinkGeek

This doohickey looks like a cup of coffee and fits in your — you guessed it — cup holder.

Do not fill it with coffee or you will surely die. I can’t say “surely” for sure but I need to cover my bases somehow, so if we assume that you pouring liquid into a power inverter will result in death, then maybe you’ll think twice about doing so.

Anyhoo. You plug this coffee cup into your car’s cigarette lighter, plop it into your cup holder and enjoy the benefits of two AC plugs and a USB port, perfect for that cross-country high-speed getaway from Johnny Law road trip to see your half-sister in Arkansas.

[ThinkGeek]

Blind Spot-Eliminating Rearview Mirror ($49.95)

mirror
Amazon

Your driving instructor (should have) taught you to physically turn your head to check your blind spot before changing lanes.

But your driving instructor isn’t here, and the last time I looked out my window, this was America. Don’t tell me what to do, Derek. It’s been 20 years, and I still remember that my driving instructor’s name was Derek.

This monument to American laziness lets you survey both sides of your car without moving your head a single millimeter more than you have to. It clips to your existing mirror, overpowers it with its massive girth and immediately starts dictating how things are going to work around here.

[Amazon]

Portable Breathalyzer ($49.99)

bactrack
BACtrack

Getting busted for drinking and driving is the worst. Take it from me: a guy who’s seen several episodes of Cops but who’s never been pulled over for drunk driving.

I reviewed the smartphone-connected version of this gadget a while back, but this portable version is cheaper and simpler to use. You’ll get 150 tests out of it before you need to replace the batteries, too. That’s a lot of booze.

Keep it in your car and fire it up to make sure it’s safe to drive home after book club. We all know that none of you talked about the book, and the only reading going on was to figure out whether you were drinking Chillable Red or Sunset Blush.

[BACtrack]

Cup Holder Speakerphone ($44.95)

speaker
Hammacher Schlemmer

This is the second cup holder-based gadget on this list, and I won’t apologize for it. Know why? You have multiple cup holders.

This speakerphone will allow you to make hands-free calls from your 1990 Tercel just like all your fancy-pants friends with their pinkies in the air driving around in their modern-day superchariots with built-in Bluetooth systems.

The product description says that this product is “ideal for use in a car or beach chair,” but if you’re sitting on the beach yelling into a speakerphone tucked into your chair’s cupholder, it might be time to make a pros and cons list about how life’s been going lately.

[Hammacher Schlemmer]

Smartphone-Connected Radar Detector ($29.99)

Cobra

You would never, ever, ever drive above the speed limit, but wouldn’t it be nice to know where members of the highway patrol are hiding so you can pull over and give them some fresh coffee and pie?

Pair this inexpensive Cobra radar detector to your iPhone or Android handset to be notified of nearby bogies — it detects 14 bands and six laser types — but don’t call them bogies in person, just to be on the safe side. I’m not sure if that’s an endearing term or not. Probably not? I don’t have a ton of experience with the law (see the above entry about me not getting pulled over for drunk driving).

[Amazon]

TIME Computers

Acer Chromebook 13 Impresses with Long Battery, Spacious Screen

Acer’s Chromebook 13 is arguably the best Chromebook for the money right now.

For $300, you get a 13-inch high-resolution screen — it’s 1080p in a sea of Chromebooks with 720p screens — and battery life that can hit 10 hours before needing to be recharged. Those are the two biggest selling points.

Battery life is real-deal here. I’ve been using the Chromebook 13 off and on as a secondary machine for the past week and have recharged it twice. I even took it with me on a four-day weekend and left the charger at home. The feeling was equal parts exhilarating and anxious, like riding an edible roller coaster made largely of ice cream sandwiches. If you’re doing basic stuff, you’ll probably be able to squeeze 10 hours out of this thing. If you’re hammering on it, expect about eight. Acer promises up to 11 hours, so hitting anywhere in the 8-10 range is pretty good.

The 1920×1080 screen is uncommon in a $300 machine and it’s a big selling point on its own, but don’t expect to be blown away. Viewing angles leave a bit to be desired and the matte panel — though pretty good outdoors — makes everything look somewhat lifeless. I kept wanting the screen to be great, but that burning desire kept getting quietly and fairly snuffed out by the $300 price tag.

What you’re getting from the screen, basically, is more space on the dance floor. Here’s a 72op Chromebook (on the left) up against the Chromebook 13’s 1080p screen:

720vs1080
Doug Aamoth / TIME

The trackpad and keyboard are both hits in their own right, too. The trackpad especially: it’s buttery-smooth for two-finger scrolling, rivaling the gold-standard MacBook trackpads. The island keyboard is plenty spacious, with the keys having Goldilocks-like travel: not too shallow, not too deep. Each keypress elicits a satisfying thump.

Under the hood, Acer’s installed a mobile-ish Nvidia Tegra chip, the first of its kind in this type of machine. The promise is great horsepower with minimal tradeoff to the battery. Battery life is a definite win here, though I’d say horsepower merely falls into the “good enough” to “pretty good” range depending what you’re trying to do. Chromebooks are appealing as secondary computers for people who use computers a lot or as basic computers for people who need something for browsing the web. If you’re looking for either of those things with this machine, you won’t be disappointed; if you want to use this as your primary computer and you’re going to load up a bunch of browser tabs, you might want to consider dropping an extra $80 for the next model up — which features double the RAM and double the storage — or spend a bit more for a mid-range PC.

And like any $300 computer, build quality isn’t going to be anything spectacular. The Chromebook 13 is Acer’s most solidly-built and best-looking Chromebook yet, though it’s still ensconced in white, smudge-magnet plastic and there’s a meaningful bezel surrounding the screen. The machine travels light, though, at 3.3 pounds and shares a similar length-and-width profile as a 13-inch MacBook Air, with a thickness of 0.7 inches:

CB13vsMBA
Doug Aamoth / TIME

Various quibbles aside, Acer’s Chromebook 13 has it where it counts: long battery, high-resolution screen, great trackpad, great keyboard and a very manageable travel size. The processor holds it back ever so slightly, but the day-long battery life should easily counterbalance that for most people.

Couple quick notes before we wrap up:

  • Toshiba’s got an impressive 13-incher launching in early October. For $30 more, you get an Intel processor, double the RAM and a 1080p IPS screen that ought to look better than the Acer’s matte display. Battery life for the Toshiba will be shorter though, with the company promising up to nine hours — which will likely mean around 7-8 hours in the real world. And Acer’s known to cut prices pretty aggressively when needed. The Chromebook 13 is still a safe buy right now, but if you’re looking for a little more horsepower, a better screen and are willing to give up a few hours of battery, it might be worth it to wait to compare the two once they’re both on the market.
  • There’s a $280 version of this Acer Chromebook that features a 720p screen and up to 13 hours of battery life. I’d argue that the extra $20 for the 1080p screen is absolutely worth it, but if you’re looking to squeeze every last minute out of your laptop battery, the $280 model is worth a look.
  • There’s a $300 version with 4GB of RAM (the regular version has 2GB) available at select retailers. That should be a no-brainer if you frequent one of the establishments listed at the bottom of the product page.
TIME Gadgets

Samsung Rolls Out Giant Note 4 Phone, but New Note Edge Will Turn Heads

Note 4
Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 sports a high-resolution 5.7-inch screen and a UV sensor Samsung

Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge has a curved side-screen for quick access to info and apps

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Note 4, the latest in its line of 5.7-inch phones.

Its design doesn’t deviate terribly from the Note 3’s, though the giant screen has gotten a significant bump in resolution (quad-HD/2560×1440) to make for a sharper pixel density. The plasticky frame from the Note 3 is gone, too, replaced with aluminum. There’s a heart-rate sensor present on the backside of the phone, joined by a built-in UV sensor to measure sun-exposure levels — a first for phones.

If you liked previous offerings of the Note line — and plenty of people do — you’ll almost certainly like this one. Samsung didn’t mess with anything too much, instead opting for various refinements over radical changes.

The bigger news here, however, is the Galaxy Note Edge. It’s got a slightly smaller screen than the Note 4 — 5.6-inches compared to 5.7 inches — but the right-hand side of the phone’s screen curves around its edge, offering quick access to various apps, at-a-glance updates and top-mounted shutter buttons when using the phone as a camera.

note edge
‘s Note Edge smartphone features a curved side-screen Samsung

It’s certainly enough to differentiate the phone from other smartphones — and the smartphone market is crowded — though whether it’ll be enough to win over consumers remains to be seen. Neither phone has a price yet, though both will start rolling out in October. The Note line is typically priced at $300 with a two-year contract — higher than most smartphones — and it’s expected that the Note Edge could cost even more than the Note 4 due to its screen technology.

Both phones will be available from all four major U.S. carriers though, again, no firm pricing or release dates have been announced. They’ll be available in time for the holiday shopping season, however.

 

 

TIME Gadgets

30 Incredible Vintage Tech Commercials

Apropos of nothing, here's a collection of old-timey tech. We've come a long way, no?

AT&T’s “You Will” ads from the early ’90s were eerily prescient. Widescreen monitors? Check. Touchscreens? Check. Dash-mounted GPS? Check. Using a tablet to send a fax from the beach? Eh, close enough.

Selling point for the Motorola StarTAC? “It can vibrate instead of ring!” The tagline: “What you never thought possible.”

The late, great Phil Hartman sells the Philips CD-i in a series of truly bizarre ad spots. Here’s another one and one more after that if the following video somehow left you jonesing for additional weirdness. The CD-i, for what it’s worth, was an interesting flop (to put it lightly): there’s a nice writeup here.

Here’s an early commercial for the deluxe Nintendo Entertainment System set, which packed a robot — a robot! — called R.O.B., the zapper light gun, two controllers and a couple of games. Pay attention to the last five seconds of the commercial to see all the loot you’d get with that $200 kit.

Here’s Steve Ballmer in his early days, selling the bejesus out of Windows 1.0. He now owns the Clippers. Learn to sell like this and you could own a basketball team someday, kids. This “commercial” never aired on TV. It’s an internal Microsoft video, but it’s too good to leave off this list.

This old Atari commercial has it all. Kareem Abdul Jabbar is priceless! Just look at that little kid gloat while our old buddy Kareem sulks.

Here we have Bill Cosby shilling for Texas Instruments. I can’t help but wonder if this computer is the one, though. That wasn’t made clear. Wait — I just rewatched it. Yes, it’s the one. Sorry.

This mid-’80s Compaq ad starring John Cleese is actually pretty funny, though I’d be surprised if the general public understood the 386 joke or, even more obscure, the bus joke. If you’re feeling ambitious, read this Wikipedia entry and then rewatch the commercial. I snort-laughed a puff of air out of my nose at the bus joke; you may find yourself doing the same after reading about computer buses. You might not, though, so plan accordingly.

William Shatner of Star Wars fame sells the Commodore VIC-20. “He’s from Star Trek.” I don’t think so. *Coffee cup shatters against the wall mere inches above my head.* Star Trek it is. Fun fact: The VIC-20 sold like relative hotcakes back in the early ’80s, widely believed to be the first computer to clear the million-unit sales mark.

This stretches the whole “vintage” thing, but the below Ameritrade commercial contains three of the greatest quips in the history of tech commercials: “Let’s light this candle…”, “Easy as falling in love…” and “That’s synonymous with free…”

This AOL ad is from back when you could meet kayaking buddies online within a week and repeatedly have courteous, civil discussions with them.

I’m almost positive we had this giant VCR with the comically large, colorful buttons. Didn’t everyone? Note that the remote control had a cord on it. I remember my dad having to lie on the floor to record stuff so he could be close enough to the VCR to use the remote.

Ah, the old video disc. These were actually analog and functioned sort of like records. Watch at the 10-second mark in the below video. Wild, no? These RCA jobbers got steamrolled by VHS, Betamax and the LaserDisc formats of the early ’80s.

Somehow or another we actually ended up with a 3DO, the insanely expensive flop of a console. In many ways it was far superior to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis it mocks in the following commercial. Except for one: fun. Oh, and it loaded really slowly. Also, there weren’t very many games available for it. So three ways, at least.

You think people using their phones in restaurants are obnoxious? Get a load of this jerk from the early ’90s. Zero eye contact with the waiter. Here’s another doozy of an ad, too.

Even back in the mid-’80s, Apple was running us-against-them ad spots. Here’s the Apple IIc firing shots across the bow of an IBM PCjr.

This old-timey ad for the Sony Walkman is in Japanese, but you know what? Doesn’t matter. Primates enjoy music just like humans do.

The Simpsons sell Intel’s Pentium II processor which, by the way, looks absolutely enormous compared to modern-day processors. Had to finesse that L2 cache, though.

Hit me on my beeper, kids. This ad is so old that they have to spend a chunk of it explaining how a pager works. Man, Jason really jacked up his bike, too.

Ah, the svelte and ultraportable IBM 5100 weighed in at a mere 50 pounds. It was introduced in the mid-’70s; the below commercial was apparently from 1977.

I had an Etch A Sketch Animator and I followed the instructions to make the baseball animation in the below video. If memory serves, it took roughly a year and a half and I had to drop out of elementary school for a bit to get it done. But I finished it!

Try to figure out what this commercial is about before the 50-second mark. I won’t spoil it here. I do, however, work from home on occasion and can confirm that the big city is exactly as it’s portrayed. They left out some late-running trains but other than that, it’s spot on.

Oh my. Remember the U-Force? No? You didn’t miss much. It was — to put it diplomatically — not good. You waved your hands over it, which in turn broke infrared beams, which in turn translated into controller directions. Except the last part of that sequence didn’t work well. At all.

Comedian David Cross sells AOL back in the mid-’90s. He apparently hasn’t aged a bit. Well done, Mr. Cross.

Here we have Sega referring to the Nintendo 64 as “Pretendo” before shooting it skeet-style, saying it wasn’t worth waiting for. The general public would disagree, as the N64 proved to be pretty popular.

I bought this motion-based Sidewinder Freestyle Pro controller back in the late ’90s, and the Motocross Madness game that came with it was a hoot. Playing other games with it? Not a hoot. But you could turn off the motion-sensing hoopla and use the thing as a standard controller.

To be fair, the jump from 56k to broadband was pretty incredible. Going from 28.8k to 56k was nice, too, but broadband was life-changing for a lot of people.

Believe it or not, things like “interest groups” sold Internet service back in the ’90s. You’d join Prodigy to talk with other people who liked fly fishing and cross stitching.

Thanks to Radio Shack’s Color Computer 3 (born of the TRS-80 line), Eliot and Jeff can spend some time alone, together. Notice that Eliot does his homework first, while Jeff just goes straight for the games. And do check out this deep, deep dive into the TRS-80’s history if you’re interested in learning more.

Here’s IBM showing off voice recognition waaaaay back in the mid-’80s. We’re getting there — slowly but surely.

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