Pet Supplies New Here: jowls flap and fur flies for shake dog photos by c...

Pet Supplies New Here: jowls flap and fur flies for shake dog photos by c...: jowls flap and fur flies for shake dog photos by carli davidson all images @ carli davidson capturing the ridiculous and playful facial ...


Pet Supplies New Here: Why do we go to sleep? To clean our brains, say US...

Pet Supplies New Here: Why do we go to sleep? To clean our brains, say US...: Why do we go to sleep? To clean our brains, say US scientists By Ian Sample, Science correspondent Scientists in the US claim to have...

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Why do we go to sleep? To clean our brains, say US scientists

By Ian Sample, Science correspondent

Scientists in the US claim to have a new explanation for why we sleep: in the hours spent slumbering, a rubbish disposal service swings into action that cleans up waste in the brain.

Through a series of experiments on mice, the researchers showed that during sleep, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped around the brain, and flushes out waste products like a biological dishwasher.

The process helps to remove the molecular detritus that brain cells churn out as part of their natural activity, along with toxic proteins that can lead to dementia when they build up in the brain, the researchers say.

Maiken Nedergaard, who led the study at the University of Rochester, said the discovery might explain why sleep is crucial for all living organisms. "I think we have discovered why we sleep," Nedergaard said. "We sleep to clean our brains."

Writing in the journal Science, Nedergaard describes how brain cells in mice shrank when they slept, making the space between them on average 60% greater. This made the cerebral spinal fluid in the animals' brains flow ten times faster than when the mice were awake.

The scientists then checked how well mice cleared toxins from their brains by injecting traces of proteins that are implicated in Alzheimer's disease. These amyloid beta proteins were removed faster from the brains of sleeping mice, they found.

Nedergaard believes the clean-up process is more active during sleep because it takes too much energy to pump fluid around the brain when awake. "You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can't really do both at the same time," she said in a statement.

According to the scientist, the cerebral spinal fluid flushes the brain's waste products into what she calls the "glymphatic system" which carries it down through the body and ultimately to the liver where it is broken down.

Other researchers were sceptical of the study, and said it was too early to know if the process goes to work in humans, and how to gauge the importance of the mechanism. "It's very attractive, but I don't think it's the main function of sleep," said Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, a specialist on sleep and circadian rhythms at Surrey University. "Sleep is related to everything: your metabolism, your physiology, your digestion, everything." She said she would like to see other experiments that show a build up of waste in the brains of sleep-deprived people, and a reduction of that waste when they catch up on sleep.

Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, another sleep expert at Surrey University, was also sceptical. "I'm not fully convinced. Some of the effects are so striking they are hard to believe. I would like to see this work replicated independently before it can be taken seriously," he said.

Jim Horne, professor emeritus and director of the sleep research centre at Loughborough University, cautioned that what happened in the fairly simple mouse brain might be very different to what happened in the more complex human brain. "Sleep in humans has evolved far more sophisticated functions for our cortex than that for the mouse, even though the present findings may well be true for us," he said.

But Nedergaard believes she will find the same waste disposal system at work in humans. The work, she claims, could pave the way for medicines that slow the onset of dementias caused by the build-up of waste in the brain, and even help those who go without enough sleep. "It may be that we can reduce the need at least, because it's so annoying to waste so much time sleeping," she said.

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Image is everything: upgrade your small business Web presence with photographs

Image is everything: upgrade your small business Web presence with photographs

Christopher Null , PCWorld

Pop quiz: Would you consider even visiting a house for sale without looking at photos on the Web first? Would you buy a television online if the store didn’t include a picture? Would you visit a doctor or dentist if you couldn’t see what they looked like in advance?

Most people would likely say no to all of these questions, and it’s easy to understand why. We live in a visual age, a time when stories are increasingly told not by an eloquently penned paragraph but through the uncompromising image created by a camera’s lens.

The use of photography online is inexorably on the rise. Facebook now has 250 billion photos uploaded to date, and it adds 350 million more each day. And users seem to like them: Photo posts generate 53 percent more “likes ” than the average text-only missive on the site.

So maybe it’s time you made photos a bigger part of your small business strategy. Here are some ideas to help make that happen, whether or not you’re a Leibovitz behind the lens.

Website design

If a picture is worth a thousand words, why do so many websites have so much text on them and so few photos?

The answer is probably obvious: Taking good pictures is hard and expensive. Writing text is easy and cheap. And a decade of SEO advice has taught everyone that search engines spider text. That said, using more images and less text, by adopting a more image-centric design, can still make good business sense.

Insight Pest's website before and after it was redesigned with friendlier art and less text.

Sean Radvansky of Insight Pest is in the final stages of redesigning his company’s website with this direction in mind. The company surveyed 1300 customers this summer, assuming that when looking for service providers, performance and customer service would be key. To his surprise, when customers were asked, “On a scale of 1-10, when you hire a home service provider, how important is an attractive website?” the average customer rating given was a 7.7. (High-quality online reviews barely outpaced that, with an 8.3 average.) Given that 89 percent of customers indicated they used Google to find and evaluate businesses, and that 75 percent of customers considered more than one company before making a decision, he knew that cleaning up Insight’s design was key. The company is in the process of ditching the macro picture of an angry ant in favor of more friendly art and a more compact design that relies on just four or five sentences of

Greg Stallkamp, CEO of regional airline Lakeshore Express, agrees with this approach. “Maybe the best idea we’ve had is making our homepage more 'photo centric,'” he says, “We’ve updated our homepage to include more ‘emotional’ photos. This was a gradual process, but in doing so, we’ve seen an increase in Web traffic of at least 200 percent.” The current homepage features virtually no text at all aside from some boilerplate required by the government.

Lakeshore Express has seen traffic rise dramatically since emphasizing photos on its homepage.

Of course, this strategy makes the most sense for companies that have something to show off. But what if your company doesn’t offer a sexy product?

One option is to use images as windows into the company itself. Gainsight is a small CRM software company, with a product that doesn’t exactly lend itself to beauty shots. But the company humanizes itself by pulling back the curtain on its operation and posting photos online, including a long-running collection of pictures posted to its Twitter feed.

Social media

Gainsight isn’t the only outfit using social media for its visual value. Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest offer virtually any business a lot of added flexibility when it comes to images. In other words, if you don’t have the resources to redesign your website with pictures in mind, you can get great results from using images on third-party sites.

There are myriad strategies around using social media, but showcasing merchandise visually seems to work well across a wide swath of sites.

“Facebook brings in about 30 percent of our sales and 95 percent of the posts we share on Facebook are images,” says Tatiana Tugbaeva, owner of a children’s clothing boutique called My Little Jules. “I often hear customers say, ‘It looks so cute on the model, I must get it for my daughter!’ Or, ‘I need to get those shoes in the picture too.’ We did a photo shoot of the poorly performing ‘left-overs’ from our spring collection. We went from having 1 or 2 orders a week to 5 to 10 orders a day right after we posted pictures on our website and Facebook.” The company’s Facebook page now has more than 28,000 likes.

Children’s clothing boutique My Little Jules has seen sales increase after posting photos to its Facebook page.

If you want to go deeper into social sharing tactics, Amy Nowacoski of social media consultancy Ginger Snap Works is happy to reveal what she calls the “ninjas-don’t-want-you-to-know trick” to maximizing eyeballs on Facebook. “Photo posts have high engagement, but they don’t have great reach,” she says. “If you can snag engagement with higher reach on a text-only post and then piggyback that with a great photo post, you get engagement and reach together.” In other words, alternate image and text-only posts to get reach and engagement feeding off one another.

Of course, Facebook isn’t the only game in town. Instagram has its fans, but Nowacoski isn’t among them. “It takes a ton of work to keep up an Instagram feed, you can’t measure it very well, and you can’t take traffic off Instagram very easily,” she says. “You can’t click from Instgram to go to another site. With my small business clients, I only will build and implement an Instagram feed if their target audience is heavy into Instagram, their business is highly visual, and the employees are super hot on the idea of collaborating on Instagram.”

10 percent of sales for RefinedKind Pet Products is driven by Pinterest.

Pinterest also has both its detractors and its fans. But one proponent is John Feinkind, who says 10 percent of sales for his RefinedKind Pet Products collection of websites is now being driven by Pinterest. His secret: Invest in high-end photography if you want to drive repins and traffic. Bad pictures are quickly buried on this social network.

Try Animoto

Say you have photos but don’t know what to do with them. Give Animoto a try.

This is a service that’s rising in popularity thanks to its simplicity and, apparently, the results it gets. Animoto takes existing photos and video clips and turns them into a sort of slideshow/video production, complete with synchronized music. While the end product is more video than photo, it’s something you can add to your site without ever touching a video camera, and it’s an easy way to extend your existing photography assets into the even more inaccessible world of video.

Kent Corey , a Florida real estate agent, uses Animoto for his listings and says that clicks to elements within his website tripled after he started running the Animoto videos on it.

Get users involved

As with all things online these days, your business’ use of photography should not be a one-way street. After all, by including customers in your strategy you get access to a virtually inexhaustible supply of free photo assets with minimal effort.

James Prutilpac operates a family-owned furniture store in Morgantown, West Virginia, called Chuck’s Furniture. Lately he’s been ramping up his Facebook strategy, with a special focus on photography. While he religiously posts photos of new furniture items in the store, one new piece of the strategy includes a photo album devoted exclusively to pictures that customers take of their purchases in their own homes. By showcasing already-purchased pieces, Prutilpac accomplishes several things at once. He continues to develop a relationship with a customer by showing an ongoing interest in them and their business, and he gets free marketing collateral. The program is new, but it’s already showing results, says Prutilpac.

Chuck’s Furniture's Facebook page features an album of pictures customers take of their purchases in their homes.

“We have a mother and daughter who purchase all of their furniture here,” says Prutiplac. “The daughter has posted pictures of her furniture and her mother said she is going to send us images because in her words, ‘I’ve bought more furniture here than [her daughter] has.’ To them it has become a little competition.

“The most recent customer I contacted responded within two minutes and couldn’t say enough good things about the furniture or the sales associate that helped her pick out her sofa and the fabric to put on it. This is a rather new push we are pursuing but we have already seen a jump in customer interaction and, more importantly, a jump in customer inquiries on our website.”

Of course, the final reason to use more images on your website is a purely aesthetic one: By thinking of your Web presence as a coffee table book instead of a dictionary, you distinguish your business in a subtle yet powerful way. And there’s one final reason, if none of the above grab you: Using pictures instead of text means you don’t have to write nearly as much as before.

Teens' public Facebook posts are guaranteed to cause controversy

Teens' public Facebook posts are guaranteed to cause controversy

By Caitlin McGarry

Teens are getting bored of Facebook. There’s Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat—it’s really too much to manage all of those networks and not fail out of high school. But Facebook needs teens to stick around, and stickers just aren't cutting it. On Wednesday, the social behemoth gave them more options.

Now 13- to 17-year-olds can choose to post publicly. To protect teens’ privacy, Facebook has long prevented them from sharing status updates with the world at large. Their first posts were limited to friends of friends, and that’s about as large as their circle could get. If you’re a teenager posting on Facebook for the first time, the privacy setting is set to friends, but you can easily change the audience for future posts.

Facebook is also letting teens turn on the follow feature, so strangers who follow them on Facebook can see all posts set to public.

This move makes sense for Facebook. It’s competing with other networks that give teens the ability to live their lives out in the open. It doesn’t want to be seen as the nanny network.

“While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the chance to share more broadly, just like on other social media services,” Facebook said in a Wednesday blog post.

But there was a reason Facebook set limits for teens. The Internet can be an unfriendly place, especially for kids who are struggling with self-esteem issues. Sure, teens can choose to keep their privacy settings locked down, and Facebook will repeatedly ask them if they’re sure they want to post publicly.

Facebook double-checks to make sure teens want to post publicly.

“We take the safety of teens very seriously, so they will see an extra reminder before they can share publicly,” the company said.

But issues of teen privacy and online bullying are real concerns—ones that Facebook continues to confront. The social network operates on a much larger scale than its competitors, with billions of users, many of them under the age of 18. One thing’s for certain: Parents and privacy groups are making their displeasure known.



猩妈觉得自己的娃被欺负了,so ……


Leaving Las Pinterest: How to kill your social media accounts

Leaving Las Pinterest: How to kill your social media accounts

By Nick Mediati  @dtnick

You’ve decided that enough is enough—you’re going to nuke some of your social media accounts. Maybe you don’t use them. Maybe they’re too much of a distraction. Maybe you’ve grown bored of sepia tone. Maybe you’re tired of worrying about privacy concerns. Whatever the reason, we won’t judge you.

Most social networks actually make it fairly easy to delete or deactivate your account. Usually you can find a link to the page to kill your account toward the bottom of the main account settings page, though services often make it a small link and tuck it away in a corner in hopes that users will overlook it and stick around.

The one catch is that on some social networks you can’t completely delete your account—you can only deactivate it. Deactivating an account puts it into suspended animation, so to speak: Anything you posted will be taken offline, but the service will retain your account information in case you want to come back.

In the case of Facebook, you can readily deactivate your account, but if you want to delete it, you have to do some digging. Twitter gives a 30-day grace period after you deactivate your account before the service purges it, in case you change your mind; after those 30 days, though, Twitter will delete your account entirely. And Pinterest allows only deactivation—you have no option to delete the account.

If you’re ready to say good-bye to likes, retweets, pins, and pokes, here’s how to remove your account on five popular social media sites to the fullest extent possible.

Five things you must do to prepare for the end of BlackBerry

Five things you must do to prepare for the end of BlackBerry

by Tony Bradley

With BlackBerry on life support, it’s time to accept the likelihood that there won’t be a BlackBerry a year from now. Your business will be in for a rude awakening if it relies on the once-mighty smartphone for mobile communication and productivity.

You don’t need to abandon BlackBerry immediately and run for the lifeboats, but you do need to know what your options are. Here are five things you should start thinking about now in order to prepare for a transition away from BlackBerry.

1. If not BlackBerry, what?

If you’ve built your entire mobile ecosystem around BlackBerry, the first issue you need to address is which mobile platform (or platforms) you should switch to if BlackBerry ceases to be an option.

“Ownership matters,” says John Dasher, vice president of product marketing for Good Technology “Assuming your BlackBerry devices are company-owned, is your go-forward plan the same? Or is BYOD in your future? Or maybe a mixture of the two options? The answer here potentially affects your security model and deployment plan.”

Take a step back and consider why your business uses BlackBerry devices. Which BlackBerry features or benefits are most important to your business or your users? With those considerations in mind, you can compare Android, iOS, and Windows Phone to determine which platform(s) can best meet your needs.

2. Mobile device management

BlackBerry essentially invented the concept of mobile device management (MDM). BlackBerry Enterprise Server gives companies direct control over their mobile ecosystem, as well as the tools needed to provision, protect, and manage BlackBerry devices.

BlackBerry is unique among the major mobile device manufacturers in offering its own proprietary ecosystem. Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices, in contrast, rely on the wireless service providers—and companies that use them have to invest in and implement some sort of third-party MDM system to manage it all.

If you want to switch from BlackBerry to Windows Phone, you’re on your own. But if you choose to migrate to iOS, Android, or both, BlackBerry can help. It offers its customers BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which extends the familiar BES environment so that it can manage Android and iOS devices along with BlackBerry hardware.

It’s not a permanent solution, but BlackBerry Mobile Fusion gives you a short-term means of transitioning from BlackBerry by attrition. Eventually, however, you may still need to migrate to a third-party MDM.

3. Secure messaging

One hallmark of BlackBerry is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), its messaging back end. BlackBerry built its reputation on reliable, secure mobile communications. If you’re transitioning from BlackBerry to another mobile platform, the role that BBM used to play for your business will be hard to fill.

“BlackBerry is still the only cell phone provider that bypasses the carriers for messaging,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group. “Depending on Internet speed, you may be able to use an instant messaging technology, but it will need to be a secure form, the clients will need to be able to run the related software, and you’ll likely need a low-latency guarantee of service from your carrier to get this to work.”

At first blush, Apple’s iMessage may look like a similar platform-specific messaging tool. But iMessage is essentially just SMS text messaging with a little extra Apple polish. BBM has much greater depth of features and is more secure, requiring users to do more than just provide someone’s phone number in order to connect and chat.

BlackBerry intended to ease this transition by offering a BBM app for both iOS and Android. The app would have enabled an organization to begin switching to one or both of those platforms, while maintaining the security, reliability, and familiarity of BBM. The apps are currently on hold, however, following a botched launch that caused BlackBerry to pull the whole thing for the time being.

4. Data protection

BlackBerry is synonymous with mobile security. BlackBerry customers are accustomed to end-to-end encryption out of the box and built-in data protection technologies to secure company data against unauthorized access.

Android, iOS, and Windows Phone are—first and foremost—consumer devices. They can function as well as or better than BlackBerry mobile devices in many business and productivity roles, but they treat things like encryption and data protection more as options than as default features.

As you assess your mobile platform options for replacing BlackBerry, consider how each handles the critical job of protecting data—both on the device itself and during its transfer across the airwaves. Make sure that the inherent security features and capabilities of the mobile platform you choose meet your needs, and confirm that your IT admin will be able to manage and enforce security policies on the mobile devices involved.

5. Alternative apps

Good Technology’s Dasher stresses that apps are crucial, and should play a significant role in your choice of a mobile platform to replace BlackBerry. “Your BlackBerry is likely used for email, calendar and contacts. In the destination plan, think about the additional apps that are needed to ensure employee productivity.”

List all of the BlackBerry apps you depend on: email, contacts, calendar, CRM (customer relationship management), VPN, and any others. Then determine whether those same apps are available on other mobile platforms.

If they’re not, you’ll have to do additional research to find appropriate alternatives. If you plan to migrate by attrition, make sure that the alternative app can work alongside the BlackBerry app; and check to see whether you can integrate or transfer data from the old app to the new one to smooth the transition.

Stay calm and carry on

Harry Brelsford, founder of SMB Nation and a loyal supporter of BlackBerry, believes that businesses could use up to 24 months to plan and execute the next phase of their mobility strategy. He notes some potentially serious disruptions on the horizon, including how the Nokia/Microsoft deal will play out, and (of course) what company will acquire BlackBerry. The future is murky.

“It’s one of those strange times in technology,” Brelsford says, “where we don’t know what we don’t know.”

Wireless Cell Phone Charger - Black

iPhone 5s review: Tomorrow's technology today

iPhone 5s review: Tomorrow's technology today

Via: Macworld By Jason Snell  @jsnell

Apple’s pattern of iteration isn’t smooth when it comes to the iPhone. It bumps along: a new case design one year, more subtle advancements the next. The iPhone 5s is, as the name implies, a phone that doesn’t look much different from last year’s iPhone 5. But the mostly static exterior belies the numerous changes inside the device.

The result is, yes, Apple’s latest best-iPhone-yet. From the addictive Touch ID sensor to the clever camera upgrades to the promotion of sensors from part-time to full-time workers, the iPhone 5s is a worthy inheritor of the iPhone throne.

All that glitters

I’ve been carrying an iPhone 5 in my pocket for the past year, and the iPhone 5s feels exactly the same: It has the same curved edges, same dimensions, same everything. Only the updated Home button and the new camera flash betray that this is not an iPhone 5.

That is, unless you count the color. Last year’s slate model (black glass and very dark gray metal) has been displaced by a slightly lighter “space gray” version, but more notably the white-and-silver model has been joined by a second, white-and-gold variation. When the rumor of a gold iPhone first appeared on the scene, the response was a strange backlash. I still don’t get it—were people really expecting that Apple’s exacting designers would release a phone that looks like an Australian’s nightmare?

No, this gold finish is very much the counterpart of the silvery aluminum finish on last year’s white iPhone 5. As with the endless ice cream battle between chocolate and vanilla, some people like gold and some like silver. Me, I still prefer the darker look of space gray, but the gold iPhone is attractive and tasteful.

The display of the iPhone 5s is essentially the same as that of the iPhone 5: a 4-inch-diagonal, 1136-by-640-pixel display at 326 ppi, or Retina resolution. It’s a bright, beautiful display. It’s great, but I find myself looking at the larger screens on the phones of competitors with growing envy. The HTC One is a thin, beautiful Android phone—and it has a 4.7-inch-diagonal, 1920-by-1080-pixel display at 469 dpi.

Apple doesn’t need to make an iPhone that’s comically large like the Samsung Galaxy Note, but something the size of the HTC One would be welcome. Perhaps next year Apple can offer a new, larger iPhone model to go with the iPhone 5s and the 5c. In the meantime, people seeking a phone with a larger screen will not find satisfaction from Apple.

Then there’s the new Home button on the iPhone 5s. That old rounded-rectangle image silkscreened on a slightly concave button, the one we’ve known since the very first iPhone, is history. Meet the new button: A metallic ring (colored to match the color of the rest of the phone’s metal) surrounds a flat surface that seems subtly smaller than the old button. The button click feels a bit firmer, a bit like switching from a scissor-key keyboard to one with mechanical switches.

The purpose of this button change isn’t aesthetic. This new button is not just a bit of clicky plastic. It’s a sophisticated biometric scanner, and it’s just as outlandish as it is practical.

Sci-fi technology made routine

Beneath the surface of the Home button is the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. When I first heard rumors about this feature, I thought it sounded like a gimmick, a feature that brings a frisson of living in a science-fiction future but that probably won’t be useful in practice. After using it for a few days, though, I can say that once you start using Touch ID, it’s awfully hard to stop.

Unlocking the phone with Touch ID is seamless. If I press the Home button and leave my finger resting on the button after the press, the phone just jumps to the home screen. And Apple’s software-design decisions around Touch ID are tasteful, not distracting. After three failed attempts to scan a finger, a passcode/password screen slides in, a reminder that you can also unlock the phone without any fingerprint. On a failed attempt to read a print, the phone’s ‘Slide to Unlock’ text changes briefly to read ‘Try Again’.

Is Touch ID security going to satisfy spies and handlers of classified material? No. Clever people have already demonstrated that, if you invest a large amount of time, money, and materials, you can fake out the sensor. If you’re James Bond, do not rely on Touch ID to secure your purloined secrets.

But for the rest of us, the point of Touch ID is not to create unbreakable security against all attackers. It’s to make iPhones more secure overall by making it easier for users to lock their devices. Consider why Apple added Time Machine to OS X: Not enough computer users were backing up their systems. The barrier to setting up a backup was simply too high. So Apple created software that made doing so easier, allowing users to plug in a hard drive and then click just one button to start a backup regimen.

Touch ID makes it much easier to unlock your phone—after a day or so, it became habitual for me. Touch ID also requires that you add a passcode or password, and what self-respecting iPhone 5s user would buy this phone and then never use the built-in fingerprint sensor? As a result, I suspect that Touch ID will cause a much larger percentage of iPhone users to lock their phones, and that’s a good thing.

Training Touch ID is a relatively easy process. The helpful training screen (with an animated status bar that shows fingerprint lines gradually turning from gray to red) prompts you when to place your finger on the Home button for scanning and when to lift it. Once the phone has gotten the core of your print, it asks you to press your finger to the scanner some more so that it can read the edges—the parts that might not be visible when you press your finger on the button in the standard position.

The iPhone 5s can store up to five fingerprints. After using the phone for five days, I’ve discovered that I seem to use only three fingers (two thumbs and one index finger) to unlock my phone, depending on how I’m holding it; that leaves me a couple of slots that I can reserve for my wife’s digits, in case she needs to unlock my phone.

Adding a fingerprint sensor was an audacious move by Apple; this is weird, sci-fi technology that could make the iPhone a laughingstock if it doesn’t work right. Not only does it work, but Apple has also shown great restraint in making the entire process feel normal. There are no bright animations or wacky sounds when Touch ID is in use. Sure, you’re unlocking your 64-bit pocket supercomputer with just a fingerprint, but that’s no reason to get excited.

It’s faster, for sure

I didn’t think I would notice a difference between speed on the iPhone 5 and its successor; I mean, really, the iPhone 5 is pretty darned fast on its own. But the moment I started launching apps on the iPhone 5s, I could tell that it was a lot faster. Particularly troublesome or ambitious apps, ones that bogged down on my iPhone 5, ran smoothly on the iPhone 5s, with little or no delays and no jittery scrolling.

Benchmarks: iPhone 5s lives up to the hype

For example, Twitterrific 5—my iOS Twitter client of choice—can get a little ropy when it’s loading a large batch of new tweets, accessing the network and drawing a whole lot of text at the same time. On my iPhone 5 (and even more so on my iPad mini), I usually have to take a deep breath and let the tweets load before I try to do anything. On the iPhone 5s, I saw no delay, and the scrolling never hiccuped; everything that app had to offer me, it offered without hesitation.

So the iPhone 5s feels fast. What do the benchmarks say? You can read our lab results in detail, but to summarize: The iPhone 5s is twice as fast as the iPhone 5c and nearly twice as fast as the iPhone 5. Upgraders from the iPhone 4s will be even more impressed, as the iPhone 5s is roughly six times as fast as the phone that was Apple’s top-of-the-line model only two years ago. And the battery life is better than that of the iPhone 5.

That said, the iPhone 5 remains plenty fast—for now. Most current iOS apps have been tuned for the iPhone 5, by developers who use the iPhone 5 every day. As those developers begin using the iPhone 5s, they will begin to expect the power of the iPhone 5s. As a result, the extra processor power of the iPhone 5s will begin to come into play—and the iPhone 5 (and 5c) might start to feel a bit pokier. That’s one reason perfectly fast phones begin to feel slower as they age.

Quite honestly, right now the app that’s making the best use of the new A7 processor that powers the iPhone 5s is Apple’s built-in Camera app. On the 5s, it’s now remarkably reactive, performing a huge amount of image-processing magic with almost no delay. And that brings us to the feature that is, in many ways, the most important aspect of the iPhone 5s.

Skateboard revolution

The camera in the iPhone 5s is physically better—it includes a larger sensor and a bigger lens that lets in more light, which together make for better pictures and better low-light performance. But as I just mentioned, I suspect that the star of the show is really the A7 processor, which allows the iPhone 5s to focus and capture photos faster than any previous iPhone.

Apple doesn’t participate in the megapixel arms race, it seems. The iPhone 5s has an 8-megapixel sensor, but Apple has added all sorts of clever software with the goal of making it easy and fun to take great pictures. It’s a very Apple approach.

Take the new Slo-Mo mode, which shoots 720p HD video at a rate of 120 frames per second, four times the rate of standard video, to give you the option of slowing things down to quarter speed. The iPhone 5s is far from the first phone to offer such a slow-motion mode, but when I investigated the Android phones that provide it, I found that the feature was hard to find and not being talked about online. For other phone makers, 120-fps HD video was just another check on a feature list. For Apple, it’s a feature that now stands front and center in the Camera app.

Shooting slow-motion video is easy. Once you select the Slo-Mo mode in the Camera app, you just shoot video normally. When you’re done, the Camera app gives you a set of sliders that let you select the portion of the video you want to play in slow motion. Once you’ve selected that portion, you have a shareable video that can start in regular speed, shift suddenly to fluid quarter-speed, and then flip back to regular. It’s the feature that will launch a zillion totally awesome slow-motion skateboard videos.

The Camera app also offers a new burst mode, enabled when you hold your finger down on the shutter. In this mode, the camera takes a whole bunch of full-quality photos, ten per second. The iPhone picks the image it deems best, but you can also burrow down into the entire stack of photos from the burst and pick your favorites. (All of the images appear in your camera roll and so can be imported onto a computer later for analysis and selection.)

There’s more nice synergy between hardware and software in the new True Tone Flash. The new camera flash in the iPhone 5s consists of two separate LEDs, each with its own unique color temperature. (One of them is a bluish-white, while the other is more yellow.) The iPhone’s software analyzes the color temperature of the shot it’s going to take—is the room’s light warm, cold, or somewhere in between?—and then adjusts the intensity of the two LED flashes to match the ambient light as closely as possible. The result is better flashes, no doubt.

However, flashes still have a tendency to ruin photographs. I highly recommend setting your iPhone’s flash setting to Off and turning it on only when getting a shot any other way is impossible. The good news on this front is that the camera on the iPhone 5s is remarkably good in low-light settings. Even if you think that you just can’t get a good shot without using a flash, I recommend that you show a little faith in the iPhone 5s: You’ll be surprised at what it can accomplish with very little light.

I like to move it, move it

One of the iPhone 5s features I find most fascinating is also one that I can’t really test: It’s the existence of the M7 coprocessor, a chip that allows the iPhone to constantly monitor its array of sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, compass) without expending the massive amount of power required to keep the main processor operating.

For now, Apple says that there are two places where it’s using the M7 data already. The first is in the Maps app, which can sense a change in how you’re moving. Let’s say you have to park down the block from your destination. The Maps app will detect that you’ve stopped driving and started walking, and will switch from providing driving directions to telling you where to walk.

The iPhone 5s will also take note of its own movement. If the phone hasn’t moved for some time, it will reduce the amount of time it spends querying the network for data, thereby saving energy. Nifty stuff, but I suspect that some clever app developers out there will find much better uses for the M7’s data. And at the very least, we should finally make the iPhone able to act as an accurate pedometer all on its own.

Bottom line

The existence of the iPhone 5c as a second new iPhone in Apple’s product line gives the iPhone 5s some breathing room. It doesn’t have to be the one and only iPhone. Instead, it can be the high-end model, packed with new features that will spread throughout Apple’s product line in the future—but for now, are exclusive to the 5s.

The iPhone 5s continues Apple’s relentless iteration, with the company adding several cutting-edge technologies into the product line, impressively improving on last year’s model while utterly blowing away the features of the two-year-old phones owned by users who are ready to upgrade. Rather than tossing a couple of dozen half-finished features into a new model and hoping for the best, Apple has focused on a few specific areas. It has combined its hardware knowledge with its software expertise, and done an impressive job of making the new features elegant and usable.

Meet the new iPhone. It looks a lot like the old one, but inside it’s a whole new ballgame.

Crystal Clear Films for iPhone 5S