Amazon Announcement Recap: Devices

Amazon has made a huge announcement on 9/28 for their new products.
We’re here to give you a short recap on all their new devices they have shown us.

Home Robot – Astro

Amazon now created a home robot named Astro! Astro can help check in on your home and look for people/pets. It also can actively patrol your home as well, using Ring’s subscription service. Amazon’s David Limp stated that he sees Astro as a way to help give peace of mind for families, helping them interact and check in on older family members, for example.
Limp said, “It’s not just an Alexa on wheels, it has eyes on the screen and even cup holders, because why not.”
It is designed for “privacy at every turn” as Limp stated. You can turn on a “do not disturb” setting to minimize how much Astro moves day or night. Amazon also built the device to do as much computing in its body as possible, rather than relying on an internet connection.

Astro will be available for $1,000. You’ll need an invite to order one when they launch.

Ring Always Home Cam

Ring’s mission is to make neighborhoods safe. One way Amazon has made this possible is creating the Ring Always Home Cam.
This device will  fly around your home at a regular interval, or when it hears something. Privacy is built in, Ring said, by covering the camera when it’s docked for charging.

Amazon isn’t going to start full-on selling it immediately. Instead, it’s going to start with an invite-only beta. It’ll cost $250.

Amazon Glow: A Video Chat Device For Kids

Amazon Glow, projects computer images onto a table, where kids can interact with it. There’s an 8-inch LCD display so the kids can see their loved one as well. It allows video calls for kids more interactive!
The way it works is that there will be an app that the adult on the other end of the call can use to interact with books, draw, play puzzles and more. On the kid’s side, the Amazon Glow projects what the adult sees on their tablet onto the surface in front of it. It’s designed to be interactive and to keep the kid’s attention. Amazon has partnered with Disney, Mattel, Sesame Street and Nickelodeon for interactive books, puzzles and all sorts of other items.

Amazon said the $249 device will have a privacy shutter, and kids can only call people who’ve been preapproved by their parents.

Blink Products

Amazon’s Blink cameras is expanding its product offerings. The cheap stick-up cameras are expanding to include a video doorbell. Now you can buy a $49 video doorbell under the Blink brand that’s wired or wireless. The company’s also going to start offering a floodlight.

Smart Thermostat

Amazon announced a competitor to Google’s Nest. Amazon says it’s working hard to lower its carbon footprint and limit energy use by its own products, but it also wants to help you lower your own energy use. Amazon announced a certified smart energy thermostat powered by Alexa. It’ll work with most existing HVAC systems and is made in partnership with Honeywell.

Its new Smart Thermostat will cost $59.99, which is half the price of the average smart thermostat sold on Amazon, the company said.

Echo Show 15

Amazon released a new release of a tablet that they state “changes the way we think of tablets, creating a wall-mounted device designed to give us information and control over our smart homes.” the Echo Show 15 comes with a new widget-based interface that’s meant to offer people access to information like the weather, shopping lists, sticky notes and a shared family calendar. You can also see which smart devices are on or off through the Echo Show. It’ll also show you feeds from the Ring video doorbell overlaid on what you’re seeing.

The Echo Show 15 can be mounted in portrait or landscape mode. You can watch TV on it as well!

Amazon has also released new updates for Alexa, privacy promises, and updates on the Fire TV. 


New Microsoft Surface Laptops – Now With Windows 11

Microsoft had their Surface Laptop announcement on 9/22 with new devices … Including a new phone!
We’re here to go over the basics of what to expect in the new Surface products.
All new Surface products have Windows 11.

Surface Laptop Studio

The Surface Laptop Studio has a three-position display, a slimmer, sleeker profile and 14-inch size. It will replace the Surface Book 3. Some of the things with this laptop that we don’t like are that it has nonremovable memory and service center-only storage upgrades.

It has a sleek 14.4″ 120HZ PixelSense Flow touchscreen. It is the most powerful Surface laptop with it’s Quad-core powered 11th Gen Intel® Core™ H Series processors and has up to 32GB RAM and up to 2TB SSD. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate.

More features that come with the Surface Laptop Studio:

  • 14.4″ touchscreen
  • 16GB or 32GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
  • 1080p resolution front facing camera.
  • Dual far-field Studio Mics

Surface Pro 8

The Surface Pro 8 is a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet as Microsoft announced. With its kickstand, anyone can watch videos at any angle at any given time. It comes with the 11th Gen Intel cor Processors and having all day battery power. You can stay connected all day with 16-hours of battery power so users can stay connected anywhere. The Surface Pro 8 has High-speed connections with two Thunderbolt™ 4 ports and it is only 1.96lbs!

The Surface Pro 8 has Windows 11 and it is a great way to stay connected with more power. You can use their new Surface Slim Pen 2 to stay creative and it is ideal to maneuver throughout the laptop/tablet.

It has a larger 13″ touchscreen, built-in 5.0MP 1080p front-facing camera and 10MP 4K rear-facing camera, dedicated charging port, and Wi-Fi 6 for ultra-fast bandwidth.
The new Surface Pro 8 comes in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB of memory as well as Firmware TPM chip for enterprise-grade security and BitLocker support and enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in.

More features that come with the Surface Pro 8:

  • Screen: 13” PixelSense™ Flow Display
  • Resolution: 2880 x 1920 (267 PPI)
  • Up to 120Hz refresh rate (60Hz default).
  • Removable solid-state drive (SSD) options: 128GB or 256GB
  • 512GB or 1TB of storage
  • Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
  • 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video
  • 10.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD and 4k video

Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro X is designed to keep up anywhere.
With it having a 13″ touchscreen, it can see and do more on the hi-res, virtually edge-to-edge PixelSense™ Display, navigate naturally on screen with touch, and with its signature 3:2 aspect ratio means that you’re viewing Word docs, websites and more perfectly scaled.
It has a custom-built Microsoft processor delivers fast, 8-core performance which can multitask across Microsoft 365* apps and multiple tabs and enjoy console caliber gaming.

More features that come with the Surface Pro X:

  • Available with optional Gigabit LTE4
  • Built-in, front-facing camera with 1080p HD video, backed by dual Studio Mics and optimized speakers for the best calling experience yet on Surface Pro
  • 2 USB-C® ports connect to 4K external monitors, charge your phone, or use a USB drive
  • 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB of memory
  • Screen: 13” PixelSense™ Display
  • Resolution: 2880×1920 (267 PPI)
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch

Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3 is ready to go anywhere with you!
It has a 10.5″ touchscreen display that is easy to go wherever you need it. Perfect for easy tasks, homework, and play.
Windows 11 is built-in and you can plug it in using a USB-C Port.
This is one of Microsoft’s more “basic” models.

More features that come with the Surface Duo 2:

  • Choice of faster Intel® Pentium® Gold or Intel® Core™ i3 processor
  • Up to 8GB of RAM
  • All-day battery life up to 11 hours
  • 4GB or 8GB memory
  • Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
  • Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)
  • 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video
  • 8.0MP rear-facing auto-focus camera with 1080p HD video

Surface Duo 2

The Surface Duo 2 is a 2 screen smartphone with lightening-fast 5G¹. One of the key features of the original Surface Duo was its ability to “span” apps across both its displays, putting an image on one side for example, and editing options on the other. You can also drag and drop items from one screen to the other, taking something you were editing for example and dropping it into a Microsoft Teams chat.

Microsoft did upgrade their cameras. With the dynamic triple lens camera, instantly capture vibrant, high-quality photos and 4K video across two screens, while viewing, editing, and delivering them across your devices.

More features that come with the Surface Duo 2:

  • Two high-resolution touchscreens light up new reading, gaming, and entertainment experiences
  • Open and see any two apps on each screen to easily compare or copy and paste content
  • Front-facing Camera: 12MP, f/2.0, 24 mm,1.0µm. Flash: Dual led – dual color flash
  • Photos:
    • Auto mode with low-light & HDR multi-frame photo capture and dynamic range scene detection
    • Dedicated night photography mode
    • Smooth Zoom between all 3 Rear Facing Camera combined with digital super zoom up to 10x
    • Portrait mode with adjustable depth control. Portrait mode supported for wide and tele camera. Machine learning used for portrait mode
    • Panorama mode with wide dynamic range
    • Capture short video during photo capture with long press
    • Capture photos during video recording
  • Video recording:
    • HDR Video
    • 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps
    • 1080p video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps
    • Slow motion video at 120 or 240fps
    • HEVC and H.264 video recording formats
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Battery Life
    • Up to 15.5 hours of Local Video Playback
    • Up to 28 hours of Talk Time

We have attached links to each product provided within the article for more information.


Apple Announcement Overview

Apple has released it’s next batch of products!
Between the new iPhone 13, to the Apple Watch Series 7, and can’t forget the iPad Mini.
We’re here to review what Apple has in stored for us with these new products.

iPad/iPad Mini

One of Apple’s first product announcements was their release of the newest iPads. iPad and iPad mini! It’s powerful, easy to use, and versatile. Here are some of the new features for each.

Apple took the iPad to a whole new level. With the newest A13 Bionic Chip and new ultra wide camera, it’s sure to be the best iPad yet.

The A13 Bionic chip makes everything more responsive, from messaging to web browsing to using multiple apps at once. It also effortlessly powers advanced apps like Adobe Fresco and Procreate.
It’s up to 20% faster GPU gives the graphics performance that is needed. Perfect for playing immersive games and even more.

All-day battery life is always ready to work or play for as long as you need it. Apple has even broaden the iPad more with cellular connection.

One of the newest upgrade to the iPad is the 12MP Ultra Wide front camera. It brings a huge boost in image quality for even better selfies and group shots. The 8MP Wide camera on the back of iPad captures sharp, vivid images and video and the versatile back camera also lets you scan documents and experience immersive AR apps.

Adding onto the camera, Apple has now come up with Center Stage. Center Stage makes video calls more engaging by automatically adjusting to keep you centered in the frame. And it lets you create fun videos for posting to popular social apps.

More added features to the iPad are:

  • Accessibility features that support vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive needs. Like sign language prominence in FaceTime, which can detect when a participant is using sign language and make the person prominent in a Group FaceTime call.
  • Fast Wi‑Fi lets you stay connected at home, work, school, or wherever you go with iPad.
  • Gigabit‑class LTE, you can connect even when you can’t access Wi‑Fi.
  • iPad OS smooth operating system.
  • Privacy built-in

iPad comes in 64GB and 256GB and starts from $329! Available to pre-order and is available in stores next week!

iPad Mini
One of the most exciting announcements from Apple was the comeback of the Apple iPad Mini! This new redesign was an eyecatcher during the Apple Announcement. The iPad mini has so much power in such a small size. With new all screen design, powerful A15 Bionic chip, superfast 5G network, and now available in 4 new beautiful colors, it’s sure to be on the top of things to purchase this year.

With it’s all screen design, it has an all-new enclosure features a new edge-to-edge screen, along with narrow borders and elegant rounded corners. The new 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display features True Tone, P3 wide color, and ultralow reflectivity, making text sharp and colors vivid, wherever you are.

Apple’s design of the iPad Mini also allows the Apple Pencil to to attach magnetically to the side of iPad mini, so it’s always with you and ready for all of your creative and spontaneous ideas.

With the new A15 Bionic chip, it makes the new iPad Mini just as powerful. It has the power to do everything. Use advanced apps, capture brilliant content, and bring your creative projects to life, anywhere. It delivers up to 40 percent faster CPU performance (6-core CPU) and, with the Apple Neural Engine, up to 2x faster machine learning. 80 percent faster graphics (5-core GPU) for your creative and gaming needs!

The iPad Mini also has all-day battery life, so it’s always ready for you when you need it.

Touch ID is also integrated into the top button for
fast, easy, and secure authentication.

The ultra-wide camera creates unlimited possibilities! It has a 12MP ultra wide front camera and also has Center Stage for more natural and engaging calls. The wide camera on the back of the iPad Mini features a 12MP sensor with Focus Pixels and a large aperture to capture sharp, vivid photos. With the A15 Bionic chip, it enables Smart HDR 3 to capture higher quality imagines. It also includes True Tone Flash to improve photos in low light.  You can also use True Tone Flash to scan documents and mark them up.

The iPad Mini comes in 4 new colors: Space Grey, Pink, Purple, and Starlight.

iPad Mini comes in 64GB and 256GB and starts from $499! Available to pre-order and is available in stores next week!

Apple Watch Series 7

Another great upgrade for Apple products is the Apple Watch Series 7.

The Series 7 seems to be only display upgrade. With a larger display, always-on Retina display, and it’s smooth edges, it’s a fresh look for anyone looking to purchase an Apple Watch. With this upgrade, it allow everything else to expand as well. Users will be able to see much more texts and buttons will be larger for it to be easier on the fingers.

It was explained that it is the most durable Apple Watch ever built. It is crack resistant, water resistant, and dust resistant. Just like the Series 6, there is no difference with that information. One thing they mentioned in the announcement is that the charging speed has increased by 33% and takes 8 minutes to provide 8 hours making it easier to sleep track.

One thing that’s exciting about the Series 7 is that the display is much larger now that it will now have a keyboard so you can type on the Apple Watch. Now users will be able to type their message or swipe through the keyboard to write out a message. Apple still kept the scribble feature for users who are used to it and will also be able to talk-to-text on the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 7 will come in 5 colors: Green, Blue, (PRODUCT)RED, Starlight, and Midnight.

As far as this new product, it just seems like a bigger version of the Series 6 but with different colors and a few new features.
Apple Watch Series 7 will be available later this Fall.
It’ll start from $399.

iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, & iPhone 13 Pro/Max

This one seemed to be the most disappointing during the announcements. Apple announced the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. It seemed to be filled with only updates on the battery, camera, and new finishes to complete the look.

One thing that all the new iPhones include now is Cinematic Mode. Cinematic Mode allows users to hold your finger on the subject to hold focus and it blurs everything in the background.
It follows that subjects face throughout the frame.

All new iPhones will have iOS 15 update available!

We’re going to go over all the new models and what upgrades Apple has done.

iPhone 13 & iPhone 13 Mini
The iPhone 13 has come out with a new look with the cameras to fit the new camera upgrades. With it’s diagonal look, it adds a fresh new look to the product while also upgrading the camera so it can support the Ultra Wide camera. The new Wide camera captures 47% more light for better photos and videos and the new sensor-shift optical image stabilization keeps shots steady. Both cameras have gotten a significant upgrade from the iPhone 12 with all new features and photographic styles that make every picture clear and bright. Apple has always done a great job with upgrading their camera with every new release of the iPhone.

The battery life has increased as well since the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 has up to 2.5 hours more battery life and the and iPhone 13 Mini has up to 11.5 hours more battery life.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini comes in 5 finishes: Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED.

The iPhone 13 is a 6.1-inch display and the iPhone 13 mini has a 5.4-inch display. Keeping it’s smooth-edged design from the iPhone 12 and ceramic shield front, Apple has kept the build (exterior) of the iPhone the same.
The iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
iPhone 13 starts from $799.
iPhone 13 mini starts from $699.
All before trade-in.
Available September 24.

iPhone 13 Pro & iPhone 13 Pro Max

The main thing Apple focused on with the Pro lines is the dramatic camera upgrade they have done to the phone. With its redesigned lens and powerful auto-focus system, the new Ultra Wide camera can focus at just 2 cm. It makes the smallest item seem amazing! Ultra Wide gets a wider aperture, a faster sensor, and all-new autofocus. And Telephoto now has Night mode. iPhone 13 pro models were made for low light.
The wide camera captures up to 92% more light for better pictures and videos. Night mode is now on every camera too. It also captures sharper pictures and videos in any lighting. The new Telephoto camera features a 77 mm focal length and 3x optical zoom, which is great for classic portraits or shooting clearer photos and videos from far away.

Here is a better look at what each camera does.
image: Apple

iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max also come in 1TB of storage! Huge upgrade on storage for the iPhone lines.

Other new features include:

  • Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion that can refresh from 10 to 120 times per second.
  • Up to 25% brighter outdoors.
  • A15 Bionic Chip
  • Surgical-grade stainless steel
  • Ceramic Shield that’s tougher than any smartphone glass.
  • 2.5 more hours of battery life on iPhone 13 Pro Max and 1.5 more battery life on iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max comes in 4 finishes: Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite.

iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max come with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage.
iPhone 13 Pro is 6.1″ and iPhone 13 Pro Max is 6.4″ display.
iPhone 13 Pro starts from $999 and iPhone 13 Pro Max starts from $1099 all before trade-in.
Available September 24.

Anthony Mongeluzo spoke about the Apple Announcement on Fox 29 News!
Click here to view.

All images are from Apple Inc and we do not take rights for any images shown. 

If you use Apple products, it’s time for a critical update

Hackers can now break into your Apple devices just by sending you an iMessage. Once the hacker accesses the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iPod Touch, or Mac computer, they can grab data, record calls, steal passwords and more. This is a big one.

University of Toronto’s research group The Citizen Lab has revealed this vulnerability in Apple’s iMessage, and titled it FORCEDENTRY. This is a zero-click attack, meaning hackers can break into just about any Apple device by sending it an iMessage. FORCEDENTRY requires no response from the recipient.

Fortunately, Apple has released a security update that eliminates the FORCEDENTRY vulnerability.

Watch PCS President Anthony Mongeluzo address FORCEDENTRY on FOX29:

Follow these links to more info on updating your Apple products:
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Cyber Security – Back To School Edition

Back to school is here and we start to see more children using technology for their assignments/homework.
We also see parents posting pictures of their children with back to school chalkboards.
We’re here to remind that anything can be used as personal data to hack into your information!

Back To School Pictures

September is that time where users can sign in to social media platforms and see those adorable back to school pictures that parents post. Posting pictures of the chalkboards with the child’s school, favorite things, grade, etc. Seems harmless, right? Not for hackers it isn’t. Malicious attacks can happen to your personal accounts just by posting a picture on social media.
Based off of this picture, hackers can see what your child’s name is, school, and sometimes favorite color. Based off of this, sometimes it can trace back to your password hints. Try to keep all personal information sacred and not posting the detailed chalkboards on social media.

Keep it personal to family/friends and try to keep it simple for social media. Be very mindful of what you post on social media. Don’t post any personal information that you don’t want someone using for a cyber attack.



Homework On Personal Computer

Now that the school year is starting, so will all the homework assignments that children will have to complete through different websites. One thing can lead to another and they can click on a link that can lead to a malicious attack happening. Be cautious on what your child is doing online! Clicking bad links can lead to your personal information on your PC to be accessed.

Clicking on a suspicious link is dangerous:
Information is sent.
Malicious software can be launched.
Your location can be determined.

If you don’t completely trust the site, don’t let it install or launch anything on it. Always make sure you have your firewall activated and monitor your child while using websites to make sure they don’t accidentally click on a link that would cause an attack.

Make sure you also familiarize yourself with all the websites your child needs to complete their assignments. If you’re able to navigate yourself through the website, you can help your child just steer towards where they need to go. This will help ensure that no extra links are being clicked on within the website so there won’t be any risks of malicious attacks.

Password Protection

Assignments being scheduled online and children having to login to specific website, this is a cause for them to have access to passwords. With passwords being such a big secret, children might not understand how important it is to protect data as much as we do. Creating a password can get tricky, but do not make it the same password as all your personal information!

A few tips on password protection:
 Do not use easy-to-guess passwords.
 “Complex passwords” are nice, “Cognitive Passwords” are better.
 Do not use the same password iterations.
 Never use the same password for all of your accounts.
 Do not use the same password at work that you use at home. Keep work and home separate.
 Do not give child password on paper. Could lose it and get into the wrong hands.
 Do not store passwords on documents online!

Make Use Of Parental Controls & Privacy Settings

Parental controls and privacy settings help you keep your child safe from cyberbullying and online predators by allowing you to establish boundaries around which sites your child can access, the amount of information they can share online, and the amount of time they can spend online outside of school. Don’t just configure the settings; explain the importance of them to your children. This is a great opportunity to shift into a larger discussion of online safety.

Make Sure Software & Devices Are Up-To-Date

Having updated software and devices allows important security settings to remain active within your device. Don’t keep pushing it off! That extra added protection will allow your children to have no issues and continue to stay secured.

Beware Of Phishing Scams

Monitoring your children’s school emails are important when it comes to cyber security.  Clicking on suspicious links and replying back to suspicious emails can lead to malicious attacks and causing personal data to be accessed. Talk to your child about the importance of emails and not clicking links they see unless approved by someone.

Avoid all suspicious emails!

Start off the school year right with these important tips to keeping your information safe!