After cashing in $205bn, it’s safe to say Apple has had a pretty successful year, with the Guardian reporting that the company now has more money in the bank than “the Czech Republic, Peru and New Zealand make in gross domestic product a year”.
So, after such a hugely successful year, what’s to come in 2016?
2015 saw Apple release its Watch, which allowed people to get their hands on a piece of wearable tech that linked up to their Apple phone and seamlessly pay for things contactlessly and see their incoming calls, messages and emails at the flick of the wrist. Apple Pay was also introduced in July 2015, which helped devoted fans pay for purchases by simply holding their device up to a card reader.
Of course, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have also just been released, as the company aims to make its creations bigger and better – although work still needs to be done as they have become ever more fragile, leading to more and more people having to search for iPad repair online, to fix smashed screens after dropping them.
There’s also the introduction of an updated Apple TV, with a major expansion to the box’s ability to use apps, along with streaming from iTunes, making it a much more serious competitor to Google’s Chromecast and the Amazon Fire.
Apple’s most successful year has all been down to its innovative approach to technology, as it breaks the boundaries when it comes to size and limitations. It aims to create devices that are accessible to all, work seamlessly within the user’s everyday life and 2016 is rumoured to have great things in store.
Firstly, the iPhone 7 is on the cards for as early as summer 2016, with rumours flying that this latest device will feature everything from wireless charging to a touch screen with built in touch ID. Battery life is a big issue for iPhone users so people are expecting Apple to tackle the usability of their phones and their ability to last throughout the whole day while using all manner of apps. Those discussing the potential iPhone 7 are also hoping the company will push out phones with a starting point of 32GB, going on to 64GB and 128GB because 16GB is just not enough now when using a high powered mobile device.
The Apple Watch 2 is another rumoured release for 2016, that should boost the company’s ratings and earnings. While the first release has only just come down in price and is being seen on the wrists of people on the street a second, upgraded release will still be well received. The rumoured second release is said to potentially feature a front facing camera for Facetime chatting and a wireless chipset which means the watch could be used without having to rely on your iPhone. Better battery life is another feature that is being discussed and hoped for.
Whatever Apple release in 2016, and even if next year isn’t as big as 2015 was for them, they will always enjoy a high amount of sales due to their loyal customer base who wait outside Apple stores on release days like an excited teenager when the new Harry Potter books were released in the 00s. Apple shouldn’t have any issues making sales next year and it will be exciting to see what innovative products the company releases when the New Year rolls around.
Ahh, the humble telephone… Once a purely practical device, tethered to a single location allowing two people to converse over long distances. Now, it’s a pocket computer and communications device which is essential to daily life for a lot of people. Because it’s the thing we always have with us, we like to make our phone feel our own by adding customisations to it. That’s not just changing the background picture, but adding custom cases, charms, and a host of other things. Here’s a few ideas to choose from.
There’s a huge selection of designs that will show off your liking for anything from pets to retro design or photography on custom iPhone cases. A decent website will allow you to upload and alter the look of the case before ordering; it’s probably a good idea to go for an upright rather than landscape – as you’ll usually be holding it up to your ear.
Edit the photograph choice before uploading to add the effects you want using a free package such as Picasa or Fotor (or any of these other options). Also consider creating two or more photographic cases with different designs as perfect gifts for family and friends, but don’t forget that if the actual device changes then most likely its size will as well – who knows when the latest and greatest iPhone will muscle its way into the market.
A gift that can be created from chains, cords, ribbons or any other similar materials, to be combined with jewellery, badges, and even cuddly toys. The careful charm creator will look for something that will not fall or or tear, and won’t be jagged enough to tear clothing or handbags when pulled out. The charm can be combined with a keyring, or ring, and easily transferred from one phone to the other when the newer models emerge.
Music connoisseurs might baulk at altering their expensive brand headphones, and no-one would advocate attaching anything that could ruin the phones and make them impossible to use or sell on.
That said, the actual choice of headphone itself is a way of distinguishing yourself in the busy arena of musical listening on the move, and described in this Guardian piece as an accessory rather than a gadget. Retro is back in the form of these Master and Dynamic old-schoolers, a stereo world away from Beats, for example.
A quick search across the internet will reveal some spectacular and artistically beautiful example of iPhone laser engraving, and sometimes at unexpectedly cheap prices. Names, Marvel superheroes, faces of loved ones, and individual patterns are among the options. Consider matching up the designs with your tablet for the complete package.
There are plenty of excellent holders on the market for propping up your iPhone when you want to watch a video or read an e-book, but can’t be bothered to hold it up. Here are several examples of an item for an occasion when you won’t want to be touching the screen; when you’re getting messy with ingredients in the kitchen and you want to read the recipe without gunking up the screen.
Other potential options available to buy include simple wooden blocks with a name carving, and even a slotted human pillow, while home-made ideas could include creating a holder from an old cassette case – time to look back through your 80s and 90s compilation for some retro inspiration.
The top-grossing films of this year are a mixed bag of themes; from Marvel to Minions, and 007 to Furious 7, these are movies that cater for fans of practically any genre. Some are completely reliant on digital computing technology, others rely on real actors flinging themselves around while all hell breaks loose – presumably they needed artist insurance from Howden Group or other experts!
One note – this list includes films that were released towards the ends of 2014, simply because they continued to bring in money into the new year. What will be interesting is whether this list is changed by the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It may only be released on the 17th of December, but it’s highly possible it’ll be in the top ten before the year is out.
1) Jurassic World – $1.6bn
Steven Spielberg was the executive producer for the return trip to Isla Nubar, which has somehow managed to overlook the carnage of 22 years ago to open a theme park housing a genetically modified stealth killing machine – surely nothing can go wrong?
2) Furious 7 – $1.5bn
The seventh instalment of the Fast and the Furious franchise became a poignant one when leading star Paul Walker was killed in an unrelated accident midway through shooting. Petrolheads haven’t got their fill yet – the next in the series arrives in 2017.
3) The Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4bn
Fans of US crime drama The Blacklist will have been happy that James Spader’s solemn tones provided the voice of robotic nemesis Ultron, to accompany RDJ, Chris Hemsworth and the rest of the team. No-one ever seems to talk about the mass destruction that numerous towns suffer during this franchise, only that a worse disaster has been escaped by the end.
4) Minions – $1.15bn
A single-celled evolutionary tale of how a spin-off from another set of films can work brilliantly, the Minions are perhaps everyone’s favourite yellow organisms since The Simpsons.
5) Inside Out – $842m
Perhaps the highest-ranked film on the list to receive universal acclaim from critics; indeed, there is even talk of it picking up the Oscar for best film, which would be a first for an animated movie. The five ‘personified’ emotions made this film the third highest-grossing Pixar film.
6) Mission Impossible Rogue Nation – $682m
Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg yet again took on an impossible mission – thereby surely continuing to devalue the term – as they tackled international rogue organization The Syndicate.
7) Fifty Shades of Grey – $569m
Despite being hammered by critics for its acting, script and total lack of chemistry, this ‘erotic’ romance made it into the top ten proving that the buying public takes little heed of reviews.
8) Spectre – $548.5m
James Bond’s latest incarnation, and Daniel Craig’s fourth outing, has received mixed reviews from those hoping for another Skyfall. Scott Mendelson at Forbes magazine said it was the worst Bond in 30 years. However, it still managed to take £52m in its first week, and will surely increase this figure over the coming months.
9) Cinderella – $542m
This Disney romance borrowed many influences and elements from the original 1950 film with a stellar cast including Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham-Carter.
10) Ant-Man – $513m
Another Marvel entrant, starring Paul Rudd as the superhero with an ability to shrink in scale while increasing in strength.
This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, but Sky 1 have announced that the Arrow/Flash spin off Legends of Tomorrow will be coming to the channel in 2016. As with the other DC properties, it’ll also be available on NOW TV.
From Berlanti Productions, the creators of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, comes this epic super hero team-up. Based on the characters from DC Comics, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is executive produced by Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Blindspot), Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Arrow, Fringe), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), Phil Klemmer (Chuck, The Tomorrow People) and Sarah Schechter (The Flash, Arrow, The Mysteries of Laura, Supergirl). Distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, the series comes from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Adam MacDonald, director of Sky 1, commented: “Hot on the heels of the amazing success of Supergirl, I’m really pleased to announce that another exciting comic-book drama is coming to the channel. From the team behind our three best-loved superhero shows and with a great high-profile cast, there’s real pedigree behind DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. And it’s set in the same world as The Flash and Arrow, too, so it couldn’t be more suited to Sky 1. Our customers are going to love it.”
No news on the exact air date yet, but it airs in America on 21st January, so I would expect it pretty soon after that on Sky 1.
As we’re a little short handed thanks to Chris (it’s all Chris’s fault) 😉 we have a shortened show this week as I’m flying solo. Fear not though, I do have a great little interview I did at Comic Con this weekend with 2 of the stars of Disney’s Once Upon A Time – Merrin Dungey & Victoria Smurfit. Merrin play’s Ursula and is currently starring in E4’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine whilst Victoria is due to make her return as the dastardly Cruella De Vil in ‘Once’ quite soon…
If you want to take a listen to the latest episode, just click the link below, and if you like it, you can click here to subscribe to Geektown Radio on iTunes or click here for the RSS feed.
The tv screen has come a long way in the last 20 years. I grew up with those giant CRT TV’s from the 80’s, which to someone born in the 00’s who’s grown up with tablets, phones, and super thin tvs, would seem as ridiculous as the 60’s fuzzy screened, black & white set’s would seem to my generation.
From CRT To OLED
Not only have tv screens got thinner, the tech inside them has changed. From CRT, to Plasma, to LCD and now OLED, each massively improving on the previous technology.
One of the most interesting things with OLED TVs is that, unlike most other tech, OLEDs require no backlight, with each pixel able to emit it’s own light. As you can see from the photo above, the difference this makes is huge, as it allows for a massively sharper, crisp, image, with infinitely better contrast and a much better shade of black… Shades of black may sound like a odd statement, but there are a lot more differences in those shades than you might think. Here’s a nice little video with Michael Uslan, exec producer of the Batman movies, that helps explain it a bit better.
What Difference does LG’s OLED Technology Make?
Did you know that in 2006, Reykjavik and its neighbouring municipalities agreed to turn off all the city lights in the capital area for half an hour, while a renowned astronomer talks about the stars and the constellations on national radio. This was done some people could go outside and view the stars without the light pollution caused by all the streetlights, signs etc… That’s not massively dissimilar to the difference between LCD and OLED. With the OLED screen, as the light is controlled pixel by individual pixel, you don’t get the ‘light pollution’ caused by using a backlight.
If you want to find out more about LG’s OLED TV, just follow this link
Article sponsored by LG