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Tools of the Trade: October 2017

By Michael Castelluccio
October 1, 2017
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10_2017_tools

 

1. iPHONE X

 

Apple launched three new iPhones—the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and a premium edition called the iPhone X. The X commemorates the 10th anniversary of Apple’s flagship device. The premium X base price is $999. Among its unique features is the Super Retina 5.8″ screen, even bigger than that of the new 8 Plus, and it’s the first OLED screen on an iPhone. The home button is gone, re­placed with gestures and an unlock procedure using FaceID that’s sufficiently secure for Apple Pay. To get home, you swipe once instead of pressing a button. The 12MP camera has both optical and digital zoom of 10x for photos and 6x for videos and wide-angle. A portrait mode feature creates studio portrait lighting that is further enhanced with depth-sensing cameras and precise facial mapping. The A11 Bionic chip is touted as the smartest, most powerful neural engine in a smartphone, capable of 600 billion operations per second. The iPhone X battery will provide up to two more hours on a charge than the iPhone 7 does, and it charges wirelessly. And there’s much more. www.apple.com

 

2. iPHONE 8

 

The new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus both feature a new glass design, front and back, with an aluminum band around the edges. The glass back facilitates the wireless charging, and the home button has a fingerprint sensor. Screen sizes are 4.7″ and 5.5″, and the Retina HD multitouch displays have Apple’s True Tone, which will adjust the color temperature according to the ambient lighting. The cases are splash, water, and dust resistant and are available in gold, silver, and space gray. The 12MP camera has optical image stabilization, a six-element lens, pano­rama, zoom, and a sapphire crystal lens cover. The 8 Plus has optical and digital zoom, up to 10x, and portrait lighting in portrait mode. The FaceTime HD camera has 7MP with 1,080p HD video. Both come in 64GB and 256GB configurations. www.apple.com

 

3. APPLE WATCH SERIES 3

 

The second series of the Apple Watch offered improvements like GPS, but you still needed your phone nearby for its main functions. The Series 3 adds a number of improvements, including a faster processor, but the game changer is an LTE modem that will let you connect to your cellular network using your phone number. You can be connected away from your phone. You can make and receive calls and send texts on your watch. If you have wireless earbuds, you can connect to your Apple Music library. You can talk to Siri to schedule events and reminders, send texts, and find answers. With Apple Maps, you can get turn-by-turn navigation or find local shops. And the watch still has the same thin profile encased in the near-indestructible, swimproof ceramic case. www.apple.com

 

4. VOLTERMAN SMART WALLET

 

It’s always fun to check the crowdfunding sites, and this month there’s a truly amazing smart wardrobe accessory on IndieGoGo. The Volterman smart wallet looks like an ordinary leather wallet, but it’s a computer and power source. It can charge your dead phone and provide a global Wi-Fi hotspot for an internet connection from your wallet! It also has a global GPS tracker. It will alert you if you lose it and will even take and send a photo of whoever picked it up and opened it. It isn’t due for release until February 2018, but you might want to bookmark the website, or maybe even join the crowdfund. The demos are at www.volterman.com.

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 21 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 19th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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