Monthly Archives: October 2011

App Review: HeyTell Voice Messenger

HeyTell iTunes IconHeyTell brings back the original concept of the walkie-talkie, but for your iPhone. A cross-platform voice messenger that allows you to instantly talk with and locate friends and family. No account needed just download from the app store, install and start the app, choose a contact, and push the button to start talking, it’s so easy I walking sending my mindless banter within 2 minutes of searching through the app store.

Simply press and hold the large yellow button to record your voice and convey it to the other person.

HeyTell In UseBefore you roll your eyes and being to think “why not just pick up the phone and call the person”, the app has a few features that can’t be had with regular phone calls such as sharing your location with your selected contact. Conversation are stored locally on your phone for replaying offline. Push notifications alert you when you’ve received an incoming HeyTell message. For use on 3G, EDGE and Wi-Fi.

Before sending your friends a message, make sure they have the app installed or else they’ll get an email letting them know how to get it from the App store. Not bad for a FREE app that bring back the walking-talkie.

The obvious downfall of this app is that it seems a lot easier to just pick up the phone and call. On the other hand, this may be better to use while driving. As opposed to texting/talking while driving, now you can send out quick snippets of verbal messages.

My rating for HeyTell: 3/5

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Apps

MacAddiction on Facebook!

Mac Addiction Facebook Page Welcome

I want to start off by thanking those loyal followers on Twitter and WordPress that can now also follow along with everything that goes down on this blog (and more) on Facebook! With over 750 MILLION active users, I figured it was time to make the leap and launch our very own fan page dedicated to everything we talk about on the blog + more.

The intention of the Facebook page isn;t about being a stand-alone place, separate from the blog, but rather a place for friends and family of existing followers that aren’t sure if they’d benefit from subscribing to the blog, they can now contribute and comment on topics, just as they would, right here, on the main site.

If you’ve already clicked “LIKE” on the page – THANK YOU!, and if you haven’t yet, please click here to do it now. It would mean a lot to me as I look forward to keeping this blog consistent and up to date.

Once again thanks for the support and I’ll look forward to seeing you on Facebook and here!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tip Tuesday: Upload Your iPhone Contacts to iCloud

When transferring my MobileMe account to iCloud, I found that my contacts didn’t transfer to iCloud when accessed through the website even after repeated syncs through iTunes.

Settings iCloud Contacts Sample

To help anyone else with this issues, here’s a quick work-around I’ve found to get it to sync. Do the following:

  1. Make sure your iPhone iCloud account is setup. (I’m using my @me.com email address.)
  2. Turn off ‘Contacts.’
  3. When prompted, choose to save the contacts on the iPhone.
  4. Turn ‘Contacts’ back on.
  5. When prompted, choose to merge the contacts.

All of your MobileMe contacts should now be available through iCloud.

1 Comment

Filed under OS X, Tip

Steve Jobs’ Last Major Project: The iPhone 5?

iPhone 5 Mock Up

A mock up of the next generation iPhone.

The iPhone 4S is not the last major project that Steve Jobs worked on, according to one analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, Ashok Kumar. That would be the next generation iPhone – let’s call it the iPhone 5.

[The next-generation iPhone] was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design. For that reason…this product will establish the high water mark for iPhone volumes…

If this speculation is true, the iPhone 5 is expected to be the next cult classic because of Jobs’ involvement in the redesign. Speculations suggests that the phone will have a slimmer profile and larger screen size but with the same dimensions as the iPhone 4S. Also expected to have LTE, or Long Term Evolution – what’s sometimes referred to as 4G.

I’m going to guess that the “iPhone 5” or “iPhone HD” (as some have rumoured would be the next likely candidate for an iPhone renaming) will have a complete redesign. Since Jobs’ time was limited, he couldn’t dedicate much of his time to the iPhone 4S and undertook a much larger project – the iPhone 5.

That sounds about right. From the outside, the iPhone 4S is identical to the iPhone 4. And though the 4S has been revamped on the inside it carries over technology and features already seen in the iPad 2: the dual-core processor, same memory capacity, same accelerometer, same gyroscope, etc.

One thing is for sure, you can expect a complete redesign of the next generation iPhone. Likely a newer operating system as well.. iOS 6? or even a revamped Siri?

An iPhone 5 could debut as soon as the time of Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer’s Conference) in the summer of 2012. But for now, you can enjoy all the great things the iPhone 4S has to offer.

*iPhone 5 mock up courtesy of TechZek.com

6 Comments

Filed under iPhone, News

iPhone 4S’ New Features

iPhone 4S Title Hero

On Friday, October 14, 2011, the iPhone 4S was publicly released, and if you were one of the lucky ones to get your hands on one – you’re already aheads most of us. For anyone that still has the original iPhone 4, I put together a list of differences between what you currently have and what you could have if you upgrade the the “S”.

Design
If you’re into cosmetics, then the iPhone 4S won’t make you happy. The phone has the exact dimensions, design and casing as the original. (Think back to the 3G and then 3GS), the phone stayed exactly the same. It’s what’s inside that has been revamped.

iPhone 4S Hero

Inside
A5 Chip IconUnlike the exterior, there are major improvements inside (where it really matters) in the form of an upgraded processor. A dual-core A5 chip (same as the iPad 2) clocked in at 800mhz. The 4S has 512 MB of onboard RAM. It is available in 3 sizes – 16 GB, 32 GB, and new to the 4S, a 64 GB model size.

As for signals, the 4S has a dual-mode CDMA/GSM chipset, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. A digital compass, GPS chip, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and three axis gyroscope all come included in this generation iPhone.

HD Video IconThe rear camera has been replaced from the 5MP in the iPhone 4 to an 8 Mexgapixel in the 4S with improved optics which now delivers point and shoot quality photos. Comparable to actually carrying a dedicated digital camera. Video can now be shot in 1080 p (HD) with the upgraded camera. The inner camera remains unchanged and shoots in measly VGA resolution (same as the original).

Battery
In keynote address by Apple, just two weeks ago, there is an extra hour (talk time) given to the 4S while on 3G. In early tests, I’ve found that a full 16 hours of making calls, browsing the net, downloading apps, there was still battery left before plugging it in before bed. Business users will find this helpful while light users will rarely have to be worried about running out of juice on the road.

Software
The iPhone 4S comes pre-loaded with the first public release of iOS 5, and can be setup without ever connecting to a PC. The first retail iPhone that is completely untethered. Setup your phone but following the on-screen guide.

Read about all of iOS 5 features in a recent blog post that also covers iMessage, Newsstand, Reminders, Notifications, plus more which are all new to the recent iOS update.

Siri App IconAs for what’s specifically been created to work with the iPhone 4S, that can’t be had with any previous generation, is the intelligent assistant – know as Siri. Siri uses a combination of voice recognition, logic processing, and text-to-speech to interpret requests and follow conversations. Using Siri, you can use natural language to get directions, send text messages, schedule reminders or appointments, suggestions for dinner, plus tonnes more. Not only does Siri understand what you’re saying to it, it understands the context in which you’re saying it — so for instance, if you try and schedule a meeting on top of another meeting, Siri will warn you and ask if you’d like to change the time of your new appointment, and it’ll listen as you tell it a new time.

Siri Screen CaptureSiri can also process and answer basic and not-so-basic questions utilizing the WolframAlpha engine (like, “how many cups are in a gallon”), and the software pulls in Yelp data to help you find things like restaurants or movie theaters. When in doubt, Siri will do a web search based on your questions.
Siri also learns things about you and the people around you. You can tell Siri who your wife or brother is. You can tell Siri where you work and live. The software will read or write text messages using voice commands, and can also take dictation in any field where you can use a keyboard. If you ask it things like “do I need a raincoat today,” it understands and responds as a human being would. You can tell it to wake you up at a certain time and it knows to set an alarm, and if you ask Siri how to get home from somewhere, it’ll give you directions in the Maps application

iCloud
iCloud IconPart of the iOS 5 release, it’s not specific to the iPhone 4S but offers ‘magical’ syncing capabilities between all your iDevices and MacBook Pro, iMac, etc. If you had the opportunity to experience MobileMe, you’ll already have a taste of what iCloud has in store for you now. I recently covered all of iCloud’s features in this blog post.

1 Comment

Filed under iPhone

What’s new in iOS 5?

iOS 5 Beauty Picture

So now that iOS 5 officially launched on October 12 as a free upgrade to any iOS user, a lot of people are wondering what’s new? Since this release is being called the most complete and impressive operating system update so far, there’s a lot to cover. Apple claims over 200 tweaks, adjustments and fixes. I’d say at least half of the fixes won’t be noticed without a little digging, so I’be summarized the most notable changes and new features in iOS 5.

Notifications Center
A feature taken right out of the Android OS, iOS 5 introduces a hub for navigating all of your alerts in one place. Simply swipe down from the top of the screen to uncover notifications that require your attention. Completely, customizable you can go into Settings > Notifications to adjust whether you want your notification to appear as an alert or a banner, or if you want to completely disable it. As well as choosing how many recent items you want for each application.

Notifications Center Screen CapYou can also quickly jump to the application that you swipe on directly from the notifications centre. You’ll notice that your device no longer stops what it’s doing when you’re in the middle of using it with alerts. You’ll get the top half inches banner appear, letting you know something new is ready to be viewed, but it won’t interrupt the app you’re using.

The greatest thing about notifications centre is that all appears on your lock screen too (which you can also toggle which notifications you want to appear there, or not)

iMessage
Think Blackberry Messenger without the PIN access and you have iMessage. It uses your data, instead of regular SMS service in order to communicate with other iOS devices. No need to add additional pins or access points. You enable the feature by going into Settings > Messages and turning on iMessages. iMessage is married into your contacts and will automatically recognize who has iMessage when you begin sending messages using the standard message app on your iDevice. You don’t have to create any additional logins or even launch a stand-alone app – it’s already working when you send a text message.

iMessage SampleHow can I tell if iMessage is working? – Easy! When composing your text messages you’ll notice that the field to key in will actually say “Text Message” or “iMessage” if the person you’re sending to has this feature enabled. An even further still, you’ll see iMessages appear in blue conversation bubbles and regular SMS Text Messages in green ones.

You can also message groups of people using iMessage as well as send picture messages without incurring additional carrier fees for SMS or MMS type of messages. As long as you’re using iMessage you’re only using your data (on 3G) or bandwidth (on Wi-Fi).

Reminders SampleReminders
No need to download an additional app to help you remember to buy milk on your way home with the reminders app you have an easy to use and easy to navigate to-do list, that can be setup with alerts based on due date/time or based on your locations.

For example. You set a reminder to “buy wine” and set the reminder to go off be 6PM today or if you come across John’s Wine Store. Your phone will detect your surrounding (if your locations services is turned on) and the alert will go off when you’re in the area of John’s Wine Store or if you reach 6PM, whichever happens first.

You can group your reminders any way you like and it also works with iCal, Outlook and iCloud – any changes made will sync across all your devices instantly.

Twitter
Now built in to the iOS, Twitter makes it easier for you to tweet directly from within the iOS in applications like Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube or Maps. As well as syncing with your address book and adding your friend’s @Twitter username and profile pictures. You start typing the name and iOS takes over and does the rest.

Twitter iOS 5 Sample

Camera LockscreenCamera
You can now use the camera without unlocking the phone. Just double-tap the home button (when the phone is locked) and you’ll see the camera icon, tap that and take picture by pressing the volume up button. You can now pinch to zoom and enable options so that there’s a visible grid to help you centre your pictures.

Photos
Edit, rotate and crop your picture directly from the Photos app. It doesn’t get any easier than that. As well as your photos being sync’d to iCloud so they’re readily available on all your devices as soon as you take them and they’re sent to the cloud.

Safari
Cut out all the excess while browsing sites using Safari by clicking on “READER” in right side of the address bar. You’ll see the important stuff with all that extras removed so you can see the content that’s important without waiting for loading times.

(iPad only) You’ll be able to also create tabs for browsing more than one window in Safari. Great new feature which gives you that desktop feel to your browsing.

PC Free
iOS 5 is the first iOS that no longer requires users to own a computer. Activate and setup your device wirelessly – out of the box. All free updates moving forward can be done while connected to Wi-Fi and moving an arranging photos in folders can all be done on the device itself, no need to make changes on your computer in order for it to update on your phone.

PC Free iOS 5 Screen Capture

Mail
You can now compose emails in rich format, allowing you to bold, italicize or underline. As well as full iOS support for Hotmail.

Hotmail Screen Capture

Wi-Fi Sync
You can also wirelessly sync you iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi network (means that Mac or PC has to be on the same local network) anytime you connect the iDevice to a power source, for example, charging overnight.

iOS 5 Supported Devices

To read about all the features of iCloud, visit Apple’s iOS page.

1 Comment

Filed under iOS

Say Hello to iCloud

iCloud Sync

So what does iCloud do exactly? Well for starters, it does pretty much everything MobileMe did before it — meaning web-based email, contacts, and calendar. Those three services will also sync to your devices. But iCloud does a lot more than that.

The service promises to keep your photos, music, and settings synced across devices, using the iCloud servers as a way point and container for most (but not all) of your content. Essentially what it does is keep a running tab of content you’ve created, or apps and music you’ve purchased from iTunes. All of that content is sent to the cloud, and then back down to your phone, iPod touch, or iPad.

To help you visualize how this works, here are a few use cases:

  1. You take a bunch of photos on your phone. Since you’re using Photo Stream to sync these to iCloud, they get beamed up to Apple’s servers. Later, when you open your laptop and start up iPhoto, the application pulls down all of those photos onto your local storage. The same thing happens when you use your iPad with the same account and Photo Stream turned on.
  2. You buy an app on your iPhone. Later, you want to put that app on your iPod touch. You’ll have access to that app on any of your devices in a list of purchased software in the App Store. All you need to do is download the app to your device.
  3. You buy a new song in iTunes. If you have iTunes in the Cloud turned on, that new purchase will sync down to all of your devices registered with the same account. No fussing with syncing individually anymore. The same goes for video and iBooks content too.
  4. You’re working on a document on your iPad in Pages. With iCloud, that document will be saved on your iPad, then accessible through icloud.com for download, or will be synced to your other devices running Pages. Every time you update that document (unless you’re doing it in Pages on your laptop), it will be synced to the cloud.

Essentially, this is a rather static service which is constantly moving your content from your devices, up into the cloud, and back down to devices. It’s not Flickr or Gmail — it’s a way to keep content and devices in sync without hassle. In its current state, it works quite well, though there are some catches in the service that you should probably make a note of.

For starters, you get 5GB of storage for free, which doesn’t count your apps, music, books, TV content, or Photo Stream images. You can upgrade that storage for a nominal fee (starting at $20 a year for a total of 15GB, up to $100 annually for 55GB of cloud storage). Secondly, the way iCloud handles your photos is that it will keep 1000 photos in the cloud for up to 30 days. If you go beyond 1000, or past 30 days, you start to lose your content unless you move it to a device (say your laptop) or to a folder in your Camera Roll. If that sounds confusing — that’s because it is. Also, there’s no way to view your photos or share them online at this point.

There’s one other issue with Photo Stream that I find a little disconcerting. Once your pics have uploaded to Photo Stream, you have no way to delete individual photos. You can delete all of your photos and turn off the service (thus allowing you to delete on your devices), but you can’t choose single files to delete by hand. The moment you finish taking photos, they’re upped to iCloud where they basically cannot be manipulated. It’s actually a bit upsetting — it feels like you don’t have full control over your content.

By the end of October, Apple will introduce another component to iCloud – iTunes Match. For $24.99 a year, that service will find every song you’ve ever purchased on iTunes and make it available to stream on your devices, and will also upload or match anything else you have in your collection — whether you’d purchased it in iTunes or just ripped a CD.

The free basic iCloud service should simplify the experience of moving content to and from devices. It’s not perfect but it solves many problems that iOS users have struggled with since the first iPhone.

1 Comment

Filed under iOS

Steve Jobs Passes Away

Apple Site in Memory of Steve Jobs

News around the world broke last night about 7:30 pm that the man behind everything Apple, passed away. Steve Jobs lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away on October 5, 2011. Some say he was like Edison of our time and a true visionary. Apple co-founder and 2-time CEO.

Steve Jobs resigned just 6 weeks ago and his death came suddenly and at first I didn’t believe the new, but after a quick search it was confirmed. Apple’s site has the above picture on the landing page in memory of the man, the legend, the hero.

I strongly feel that while Jobs was a significant symbol in everything Apple, but the company is a bigger icon than he was. Apple will continue to do great things!

This blog wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for his great vision. My prayers go to his family and close friends. Yesterday we lost on of my lifetime heroes.

Rest in peace, Steve.

Leave a comment

Filed under News