[Link] Photo Storage in iOS 8 Will be Solved


Rene Ritchie Reporting for iMore:

iOS devices are currently limited to between 8GB to 128GB of storage. Many people have 16-32GB devices. In an age of 8mp photos and 1080p video, that fills up fast. So, keeping photos and videos all locally on the device is a problem because you’ll run out of space, and sooner rather than later. It’s especially bad if you’re anxiously trying to capture a special moment only to be told there’s no space left and then having to quickly, under stress, figure out which older moments you’re willing to sacrifice.

Purely offloading all photos and videos to the cloud isn’t a perfect solution either. If they’re all stored online and you end up with a slow, limited, or non-existant internet connection, you lose immediate access to any photos or videos not stored locally on your device. That’s also a problem.

Apple’s solution is to cache a manageable portion of photos and videos on your device and keep the rest of them safely up on the cloud. Recently added and viewed photos and videos are the most likely be cached locally, and potentially in scaled-to-device sizes to make the most efficient use of storage.

There might be some situations where a photo or video you haven’t viewed in a while isn’t available in full resolution when you’re offline, but for most people most of the time, it will be far, far better than either losing content due to the 1000 photos/30 day limit, or running out of local storage on the iPhone or iPad.

For me, this is the most important feature of iOS 8 – everybody and I mean everybody needs a definitive solution to the photos and videos they take on their iPhones on how and where to store them.  If Apple’s new Cloud Kit addition can handle the photos and videos so it automatically uploads them and subsequently manages your locally stored copies to then free up space on your device so the user doesn’t have worry about this – well, then that is the solution – finally.

[Link] Eve Irrigation System hopes to make your garden perfect


Plaid Systems Eve Ecosystem Preview – CNET

Hop over to Kickstarter this morning and you’ll see the smart gardening platform the Eve Ecosystem launched its crowd-funding campaign. Built specifically to work with the SmartThings home automation hub, Eve is designed as an irrigation controller that automatically adapts to the conditions of your yard. It can manage up to 16 different watering zones of your home’s existing sprinkler system. You can control each zone individually from your smart phone or tablet, or let Eve do the scheduling for you. It’ll process data from its moisture sensor — called Adam — placed in your yard, and take into account any weather info gathered by the SmartThings hub, to give your lawn the exact amount of water it needs.

Love the integration with SmartThings and quite a similar product to Edyn but this has the integration that Edyn currently does not so I will certainly keep an eye out for this.

[Link] Skype relief is notifications only on the device you’re currently using


Joseph Keller on Skype’s new feature:

Skype will soon be doing more to curb notification noise on your devices. The company has announced a new feature, known as “active endpoint” that will contain chat notifications to the device that you’re using, rather than alerting every single device. For instance, if you’re chatting using Skype on your phone, your computer and tablet will remain silent.

I would love this feature in iMessage and FaceTime on iOS and OS X. I am all for devices in sync and currently with iOS 8 when I get a call or message coming through, it will alert me on all my devices but if iCloud could detect which device I was currently working on and mute the other devices, that would be a great feature.

[Link] What the deceptive Samsung “wall-hugger” ad doesn’t tell you


Steven Sande’s view on the Samsung Ad:

Yeah, I don’t know about you Galaxy S5 owners, but I bought my iPhone 5s for its high-resolution Retina color display. Frankly, I don’t think that “black and white colors” are going to cut it in Apple-land, where everything is colorful and happy. And it also shuts down “all unnecessary features in your S5” — hmmm, I wonder what those could be? How exactly does Samsung provide all of this amazing battery life in ultra power saving mode?

In addition to measures in power saving mode, Galaxy S5 ultra power saving mode saves additional battery in the following ways:

Change the screen from color to grayscale; Limiting the number of usable applications; Turning off mobile data when screen is off; Turning off WiFi and Bluetooth

So, let me get this straight. If I put my amazing Galaxy S5 into ultra power saving mode, I’ll see everything in grayscale, I’ll only be able to run a few apps, mobile data will be turned off when the screen is off, and WiFi and Bluetooth are totally disabled.

In other words, not only do I have a boring grayscale device in ultra power saving mode, but I can only run a few apps. What apps are those?

In ultra power saving mode, you’ll have access to some basic apps, like the ability to send text messages, make phone calls, and browse the web with Samsung’s browser.

You can add some other apps available when your Galaxy S5 is in ultra power saving mode. Of course, the apps are limited to some stock apps only. This includes, Phone, Messaging, Internet, Calculator, Google+, ChatON, Memo, Voice recorder and Clock.

So I can’t use Twitter or Facebook, take photos or shoot video, edit documents, write posts and upload them to the TUAW CMS, or do anything else very productive? I think I’ll take my iPhone 5s and just carry a couple of big battery packs with me, thank you. And almost 15 million people have watched this video on YouTube? Must be a lot of Galaxy S5 users who are wishing they’d waited for the next iPhone to appear…

That’s ads for you – If you don’t look deep into things and get suckered, then Samsung’s ad strategy works…

[Link] Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million


Internet of Bling: Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million | Re/code

SmartThings will continue to be run by CEO and founder Alex Hawkinson and operate independently, Samsung said. But most of its operations — which now include 55 employees in Washington, D.C., and also offices in San Francisco and Minnesota — will be moved to Palo Alto, Calif., to become part of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (OIC) there.

It was only a matter of time before SmartThings got bought out – their hub, devices and 3rd party control of other smartphone-controlled products stood head and shoulders above their competitors. Samsung you would think, would try and include SmartThings technology into their devices but as long as SmartThings remain separate as they have stated, then with Samsung’s backing they can improve their products so that they become more mainstream and integrate with even more 3rd party device companies.

[Link] Mannequins With Beacon Tech Trialled In UK


From Window Shopping To Retail Clicks: Mannequins With Beacon Tech Trialled In UK | TechCrunch

Mannequins that send details of the clothes they’re displaying to nearby shoppers’ phones are being trialled in three UK bricks-and-mortar stores.

We covered the underlying VMBeacon tech earlier this year, which combines a low powered indoor transmitter Bluetooth beacon with shop mannequins or other visual merchandise — with the aim of turning window shopping into retail clicks.

The system also offers retailers a way to gain analytics on their window displays — by generating reports on customer in-app engagement with display items, although users of the Iconeme app can choose which of their details (age, gender, location) to share with shops.

The startup behind the VMBeacon, Iconeme, has now kicked off the first trial of its tech in the wild. The UK shops participating in the trial are House of Fraser’s Online Store in Aberdeen (which, despite the name, is a physical retail store); Hawes & Curtis in London; and Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames. Iconeme said further stores will be announced soon — with retail partnerships focused for now on the UK and the US.

The main barrier to entry for Iconeme’s system is that the user needs to be using the companion  app (iOS or Android) in order to be sent window display information. So it’s opt in marketing — which will limit uptake but at least avoids the risk of feeling too spammy.

Info is fired out to app users as an automatic alert when they come within a 50 meter range of a VMBeacon enabled mannequin. Details sent can include info on the clothes and accessories displayed such as price and links to purchase items directly from the retailer’s website, and where they can be found within the store. The app also lets shoppers view more detailed photos and product descriptions, save looks for later, share with friends and access additional offers and rewards.

A recent ABI Research report predicts that in five years’ time the Bluetooth beacon device market will be some 60-million units strong. The early focus for the low power transmitter tech has been on linking retail environments with nearby shoppers via the medium of their smartphones — opening up a local mobile marketing channel.

Not too far away from Tom Cruise in Minority Report where he has his eyeballs scanned

Re/Code on Five iPhone Podcast Apps Compared


Re/Code looks at five iPhone Podcast Apps

If you’re just getting into podcasts and want a basic player, I’d recommend giving Overcast a try (it’s free, after all). And for those who want more bells and whistles, Downcast definitely has it dialed in.

I am surprised that Instacast is not in the list. It’s certainly older than the majority of podcast apps highlighted in this piece and for me (and I have tested all of them) has the best syncing service between iOS devices. They even have a Mac client as well.

Sproutling Baby Monitor wearable device


SBGR Reporting on the Sproutling Baby Monitor wearable device:

Developed by Apple and Google alums, the Sproutling Baby Monitor can monitor the heart rate of the baby and predict when the baby is most likely to wake up. Furthermore, the gadget tells parents whether the baby is sleeping on its back or on the tummy and whether it’s “calm, fussy or angry” when it wakes up.

The wearable device also measures noise, brightness and temperature levels in the room the baby is sleeping in.

The first comment below the articles perfectly sums this product up “A product of simplicity that reinvents its category. Jobs would be proud.”

Adding Bluetooth to a Car With an AUX Port


Adding Bluetooth to a Car With an AUX Port — Chambers Daily

If you follow me on Twitter or listen to my podcast, you’ll know that I recently purchased a car. One of my major annoyances with it is that it contained Bluetooth, but not Bluetooth audio. Bluetooth audio should be standard, but it’s considered an upgrade. Thankfully, the car does have an AUX port. I obviously could use a 3.5mm cord, but I wanted to ditch the cords. I found a product on Amazon that claimed it could help me. It’s the Miccus Mini-jack RX. It plugs into your AUX port and then can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. It’s battery powered, but the manufacturer has a nice feature for using it with a car. When it’s plugged up to USB, it will power on and off with the car. If you need an in-expensive way to add Bluetooth, this will serve you well. Overall, it’s working great so far.

Great find by Bradley. I purchased one myself and I must say it has actually improved the quality of the sound in my car plus one less wire – Highly recommended.