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Apple's WWDC 2012 Sets Official Dates

clock April 28, 2012 00:19 by author Jeremy

Mark your calendars, folk: Apple's famous World Wide Developer's Conference has been announced for June 11 to 15. It'll be 5 days of Apple, Apple, aaaand... more Apple. 

Previous years of WWDC have seen the announcement of new iPods, iPhones, and even iPads. It's sort of like Apple's own personal little CES tradeshow. What can we expect this year? Their press release seems to emphasize more on developers and platforms. "We have a great WWDC plannde this year and can't wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers," said Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller.

Now for the long wait - 45 more days to go!

Sources: Apple, ComputerWorld



WWDC 2011 - OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud

clock June 8, 2011 01:27 by author Jeremy

What's the best way to start the week? Probably with WWDC, if you're an Apple fan. In the past few years, we've seen new releases of products each time WWDC came around. Unfortunately, there aren't any new hardware products this time around, but the new software will more than make up for it.

Steve Jobs started us off with OS X "Lion", the latest build for Macs. This upgrade is available from the Mac app Store and can be downloaded straight to your Mac: no need for CD's anymore. It'll come with over 250 new features, but only 10 were previewed at WWDC. Lion will be available for $29.99 in July.

  • Multi-touch Gestures: How can you go wrong with this? Feel free to zoom, scroll and swipe to your heart's content. From what we saw, you can use up to 3 fingers for different commands and functions.
  • Full-screen Apps: Fairly self-explanatory there. Not only can you run the apps full-screen though, you can also swipe on your trackpad to switch between apps.
  • Mission Control: This will show all currently running apps or open documents in a sort of windowed-array. You can assign certain sections of your screen to hold specific windows in different sizes, and even zoom in on specific apps and windows for a preview.

  • Auto-Save: This feature can be toggled on/off, but when left on, it will not only automatically save your documents, but also load up your document to exactly how you left it. Auto-Save also includes the capability to see past "versions", allowing you a sort-of "timeline" of your file.
  • AirDrop: Files kept in this section can be shared with other nearby users running AirDrop. No need for flashdrives or cables, and no need to set up any programs. Simple!
  • Mail: A new version of Mail includes a favorite-folders section, which allows for easy viewing and searching. Speaking of searching, the search-bar can filter by people, subjects, or even dates. Mail can be viewed as a conversation, so that all messages show inline.

Next up, iOS 5 was introduced for all the iPhone fans out there. Features include:

  • Notifications: Hate those pesky push-notifications that constantly interrupt what you're doing? Then say goodbye to them. Apple is adopting an Android-like method of notifying users: a swipe-down menu can now be accessed from the top. During games and videos, a small animation appears up-top that disappears shortly after. Clicking on the animation will take you straight to the app, or you can ignore it and carry on. Notifications also appear while the screen is locked, and swiping to a particular notification will open up that app directly as well.

  • Reader View: Ever browse a website and the words are too small, or you have to keep swiping left and right to see everything? With Reader View, the OS will re-organize the screen to make everything readable in one scrollable page.
  • Reading List: Now you can save that website you're browsing for later without adding it to the bookmarks or leaving the window open! Just add it to the "Reading List", which can be accessed across devices (more on this later).
  • Reminders: This will allow you to set reminders based on the date or location. Feel like being reminded to stop by the bank the minute you leave your house? Just set it up accordingly, take one step out the door, and you're set.
  • Camera: The camera's been upgraded to include a button on the lock-screen for easy access. Also, the volume-up button now serves as a capture button, and you can edit your pictures directly (reduce red-eye, crop, rotate, etc).

  • Mail: Addresses can be dragged-and-dropped (from the To/From fields, for example). You can flag individual pieces of mail as unread, and search the contents of the messages from the search bar. Rich text formatting is finally included, as well as indentation control and a built-in dictionary (which, actually, works for all apps bought through the app store).
  • Game Center: For the gaming-enthusiast-on-the-go! This app will keep track of high scores made by you, your friends, and even your friends' friends. You can recommend games to them through here, and vice versa. Or, play a turn-based game with your friends from this app.
  • PC Free: Brand new devices can now be activated straight from the device: no need to go to a PC anymore. Software updates are OTA, and you can even sync iTunes without the wires! Which brings us to...

The iCloud! The long-awaited solution to everyone's hopes and dreams...at least when it comes to cross-device synchronization. And that's assuming all your devices are Apple products. But hey, brand loyalty pays, right? The iCloud is a free service that Apple is offering, which will hold all your content in Apple storage facilities. All of your content can then be pushed to your other devices.

So, what kind of content, you ask? Just about anything from your documents to your music, from your pictures to your videos. There are slight limitations though: for example, photos only last in the cloud for 30 days, but your devices can hold the last 1000 cloud-shared photos. Obviously, your PC/Mac can hold save these for as long as you want.

The music you bought is automatically uploaded to each device as well, assuming you have the capacity for it. And speaking of music...

iTunes Match was probably the most exciting news (for me, at least). This will scan your library and attempt to match your songs to anything in the iTunes Music Store's database. Songs that are matched are upgraded to 256Kbps AAC without DRM That's right folks: all those torrented CD's you've been listening to are now somewhat legit. iTunes Match is $24.99 per year, but Jobs promises that the matching-and-moving will take minutes, not weeks (which seemed like a swing against competitors Amazon and Google's music services).

So, no iPhone 5. Can't say I'm shocked, but it doesn't mean I'm any less excited. And you should be excited too! Don't you have some files to go prepare for the cloud?

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iPad 2 - Faster, Thinner, and App-tastic

clock March 4, 2011 01:08 by author Jeremy

 

Apple's event on March 2nd held big news for tablet-lovers across the globe: the official release of the iPad 2, being sold in stores starting March 11. Steve Jobs himself took a break from his medical leave to narrate the event, which shows just how important the arrival of the iPad 2 is.

To quote the ever-so-popular Daft Punk, the iPad 2 is, simply-put, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". Jobs claimed that it was roughly 33% thinner than the previous model, and comes with not only a dual-core processor but also the new A5 chip, which supposedly works 9x faster than the A4 chip in the original iPad. However, it will retain the same 10-hour life span per charge.

One of the most exciting pieces announced during the event was, oddly enough, a cover. Not to be confused with a "case" mind you, as Jobs specifically mentioned a few times during the event. This new iPad Cover (iCover?) uses magnets to clip onto your iPad 2 with precision. The Cover can be manipulated in several ways: use it as its name implies (which will also clean your screen thanks to the material used on the iPad-side), or use it as a stand in either horizontal- or vertical-view. The Cover will come in either polyurethane for $39, or leather for $69; each type will have 5 different colors of your choosing.

Jobs also placed a heavy emphasis on FaceTime, which can be used from either the front or back camera. These cameras will definitely come in handy, as one of the newest additions to the iPad 2 is the introduction of an HDMI-out plug.

  

Now, imagine FaceTime on your extra large television at home, thanks to this handy little plug. The same plug even allows your iPad 2 to be charged simultaneously.

The iPad 2 will have 2 new arrivals on the app market: iMovie and GarageBand.

  

iMovie will let you become the director of your own films. By using the cameras, or uploading videos from your computer, you can edit the movies by mixing and matching, cutting and pasting, or even overriding the sound with various sound effects.

  

Meanwhile, GarageBand is exactly what it sounds like: be your own band. The app comes with a variety of instruments, ranging from your classic guitar to various types of pianos. The music from these touch-intuitive instruments can be recorded, edited, and uploaded.

 

 

With the iPad Cover, Facetime, front-and-back cameras, an HDMI-out plug, and 2 new apps, it's clear that Apple pulled all the stops on this creation. Now, the only question that remains is, are you going to buy one?

Source/Pictures: engadget.com



Sprint's "Industry First" Event Showcases The Kyocera Echo

clock February 8, 2011 01:13 by author Jeremy

Yes, that's right: the phone you see in the picture above is their big news (literally). It's the world's first giant phone.

Just kidding! It's a prop. Seriously though, today was a big day for Sprint: their event had been planned as far back as January 20, and even promised David Blaine (who did make an appearance, by the way, but we'll get to that later). The big news was the official announcement of the Kyocera Echo, the first dual touchscreen Android phone.

With the Echo, you can use both of its screens as either one giant screen, or use it to do two tasks simultanously. Sprint even decided to provide the new term "simultasking" - which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Currently, the Echo has 7 different apps that you can run simultaneously through its two screens. In one example during the event, viewers saw emails being checked on the bottom screen while text messages were being seen at the top. We also saw an example of The Sims, where the bottom screen was our control panel and the top showed the game screen.

Apparently, Sprint and Kyocera will also be releasing API's, which will encourage other developers to create apps and programs for our dual-screen wonder.

So what was David Blaine's part in all this? He was the opening act for Sprint. The act included him swimming around a giant tank of water for roughly 8 minutes, while fish came out of his mouth. He also had a cigar, poured wine, and opened a book that had even more fish in it. Don't worry, I'm just as baffled as you are.

To see more information on the actual event, check out engadget. They also witnessed the David Blaine fish-tank act...you know, in case you're actually curious.

Source/Picture: engadget.com

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