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Apple stays on trail with iPhone 4S, not iPhone 5

clock October 5, 2011 00:24 by author Jeremy

The biggest news to emerge from today's Apple event is, of course, the unveiling of their latest iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 4S. This will come with quite a few new specs, particularly iOS 5. The iPhone 4S itself can be pre-ordered starting Oct 7th and will be available Oct. 14th. Meanwhile, iOS 5 will be released on Oct. 12th. So let's take a look at what we're dealing with, shall we?

The iPhone 4S will have the same retina display and back glass-casing as the iPhone 4, but comes with the brand new A5 chip. This chip is said to be twice as fast as its predecessor and has dual-core graphics. A new battery will provide 8 hours of talk-time, 6 hours of browsing (or 9 if done through WiFi), 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music, all done via the supposed 14.4 Mbps download speeds. And with AirPlay Mirroring, you can view some of these things on a bigger screen, either through a wired or wireless connection.

A new 8 megapixel camera is provided as well, bringing 60% better performance over the iPhone 4; this camera will also take in 73% more light, has 26% better white balance and an IR filter for more accurate colors. Plus, it's faster: a mere 1.1 seconds required to take one picture and only 0.5 seconds to take a second picture.

Perhaps the biggest new feature of the iPhone 4S/iOS 5 is Siri - originally a company that handled a voice recognition app, but was bought out by Apply in early 2010. Finally, Siri is bringing their expertise to the table by becoming Apple's (very intuitive) voice program. Quite a few examples were done at Apple's event today, with various questions/demands being asked: "What time is it in Paris", "Do I need to wear a raincoat today", "Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto", "Wake me up tomorrow at 6 AM", "Search Wikipedia for...". With each command, Siri either responded in kind or brought up the specific app that would help (such as a web browser with a wiki-page open).

Of course, the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 weren't the only news (granted, they were what everyone was waiting for) - the iPod Nano and iPod Touch both got a few touch-ups and price-alterations today. The iPod Nano, which now has a multi-touch display for app-swiping and 16 new clocks (including a Mickey Mouse clock!), will be available for $129 (8GB) or $149 (16 GB). Meanwhile, the iPod Touch, which now has iMessaging - bringing texts from your Apple devices to your iPod - will be for sale at $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for 64GB.

Also fresh off the Cupertino-grill is iTunes Match, the long-awaited music service that works with iTunes. This feature will scan your library, find the corresponding songs in iTunes for you and gives you the same benefits that iTunes-purchased-music would. This will be live at the end of the month.

Definitely an exciting day for Apple loyalists, and an exciting day for Sprint customers too - it was officially announced today at the event that Sprint will be getting the iPhone as well.

Oh, and as if all the news above wasn't enough, here's a last piece of joy for you: the iPhone 4S will now be available in white as well.

Sources: 9to5Mac, engadget (pictures)



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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The Daily: iPad's Digital Newspaper

clock February 3, 2011 00:20 by author Jeremy

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, unveiled a new type of journalism in the form of an app specifically for the iPad. Called "The Daily", this newspaper can be purchased at the rate of $0.99 per week, or $39.99 for a year.

Their press release states, "The Daily's unique mix of text, photography, audio, video, information graphics, touch interactivity and real-time data and social feeds provides editors with the ability to decide not only which stories are most important -- but also the best format to deliver these stories to their reads."

We can expect articles covering six major topics: news, sports, gossip/celebrity, opinion, arts/life, and apps/games. "It will offer views from across the political spectrum. They will come from across cultures and generations, across America and the world."

Oh, and my personal favorite part? "The Daily will feature Sudoku and crossword puzzles." Whoo-hoo!

Not only can you read the story, but you can listen to it or watch it, depending on each article. And in case you have something to say, you're allowed to leave comments (both written and audio allowed).

Source: BusinessWire.com

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