Monthly Archives: September 2012

Highlights of iOS 6

iOS 6 Logo

Unveiled back in June at the WWDC, the 6th major update for iDevices around the world will be available for download tomorrow! With over 200 new features it’s expected to be the BEST iOS ever! (Well, until iOS 7 at least) … And before it’s out, I managed to get on the developer’s release and have highlighted the key changes to look forward to in tomorrow’s release.

Siri
Siri IconShe’s definitely growing up. Almost a year after initially being introduced in iPhones last year (with the release of the iPhone 4S) Siri has gained more abilities and powers. You’ll now be able to use voice command to launch apps on your phone. You know, if you’re too busy to launch the music player while texting your pal, Siri will take care of that for you – just say the word. Siri will also be able to tweet for you. In under 140 characters, let her know what you want your followers to know and she’ll write it out and confirm with you before sending.

In addition to that Siri will also be able to pull scores of your favourite sports, research movie times and ticket purchases, and even help to get you dinner reservations. She’s actually starting to feel like a real assistant now.

By the way, the iOS 6 update is also the first time you’ll see Siri on the iPad.

Facebook Integration
iOS device users will now be able to fire status updates at ease. Sharing photos and direct links will now be a piece of cake. Facebook integration also integrates with your contacts; and even more surprising is that events and birthdays will also be synced with iDevices’ calendar. Wow!

iOS 6 Facebook Status on iPad and iPhone

Passbook
Passbook IconA new feature that kind of came out of nowhere, is Passbook: the keep-all-your-tickets-in-one application that allows it’s users to keep movie tickets, boarding passes, airline itineraries and special event tickets on your phone. Complete with the ability to store QR codes and 2D Barcodes, you’ll be able to flash the phone, scan and go. This is one application I have yet to figure out exactly how it’s going to work, but the concept is great.

Eyes Free
A cool new term drummed up by Apple’s team of awesomeness actually does what it sounds like it does. Gives drivers the ability to access their iPhones (and Siri) without having to even touch their handsets.

Apple Maps
After a long debate on what to do with the maps application, Apple has finally decides to dump Google maps for their proprietary maps applications, called MAPS. According to Apple, maps will offer turn-by-turn navigation, Siri voice command, search points of interest and even allow you to submit anonymous traffic tips.

iOS 6 Maps Overview

At last week’s keynote event, they even demonstrated the 3D rendering of maps to allow users to feel like Superman as they fly over their favourite cities in a third dimension. While I’m not convinced that maps is going to be better than Google maps, I think it’s going to take some time for this to fully flourish and become accepted. While using the developer’s version I noticed that the 3D was great in the hugely populated cities, but once you got out to farmland all the beauty was gone and you’re looking at a simple map application.

3G for FaceTime
Long gone will be the days where you had to actually wait until you were home and/or connected to a wifi before you could use FaceTime, iOS 6 now allows you to use this feature on your cellular data whether that’s 3G or LTE. Sounds great, but I’d be concerned for those users with less than 1GB of data on their monthly plans. I could see FaceTime racking up serious usage, especially if you’re a heavy user.

iOS FaceTime Sample

Email Goes VIP
There are two big improvements for the iOS email app. First, users will now be able to designate a VIP email inbox which allows you to set ‘favourites’ so that you don’t miss any of their emails and instead will be presented right up front. No having to sift through hundreds of spam to see those messages.

It’s also going to get a lot easier to add attachments to your emails. Instead of having to always use your Photo app to attach an email or file, you’ll have the option to do it right from the mail app in iOS 6. Cool feature that’s taken way too long to make an appearance in iOS.

Safari
A feature that was introduced as part of the OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) desktop version of Apple’s operating system introduces and iCloud tab syncing feature. That means that any device(s) using Mountain Lion (and Safari) that were left open, will now be able to be picked up on your iPhone, right where you left off. Basically making it easier for users to move from one Apple device to another. A seamless experience is a better experience.

iOS 6 Safari Sample

This is just scratching the surface of more than 200 new features for iOS 6. Let us know what your thoughts are on iOS 6 on my Facebook page.

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iPhone 5 Has Arrived!

iPhone 5 Hero
The iPhone 5 was officially announced earlier today in Yerba Buena, San Francisco by Apple CEO, Tim Cooke and a slew of Apple engineers. Each one took the stage to show off the 16:9 aspect ratio, 4-inch, smaller dock port, thinner, light, faster and LTE-enabled goodness officially named; iPhone 5!

iPhone 5 Measurement SpecsI purposely didn’t upgrade last year when the iPhone 4S was unveiled (I still use an iPhone 4) simply becuase I didn’t feel there was enough of an ‘update’ to get me to make the switch… but today’s news has me ready to line up next Friday to make sure I get my hands on one of the first ones to leave the Apple store. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 4S update was great, but it always felt like an incremental upgrade rather than a true step change, and although it sold wonderfully for Apple, there wasn’t enough for me to jump in and buy one.

If you’ve been following most of the leaked rumours over the past year on what to expect for the iPhone 5, today’s announcements were as expected. Things like a thinner design, the inclusion of the A6 processing chip, a smaller camera were great to see.

The forward facing camera has been beefed up to 720 p version, which means it’s 20% less fuzzy. The Wifi is ‘ultrafast’ (wait, did I just use an Apple buzzword?) and the 4G LTE had to be included to keep up with what the other phones are the market are doing.

Then there’s the all glass and aluminium chassis that claim to be the thinnest smartphone at 7.6 mm ‘thin’ and in order to make the phone more movie-friendly, they’ve increased the retina display to 4-inches. In the hand the iPhone 5 feels comfortable as it did with the 4S, so you see why Apple decided to keep the width the same. But fear not, the new phone certainly feels different – the aluminium manages to bring a premium feel in a notable lighter device.

iPhone 5 A6 ChipInside the phone, a beefier A6 chip definitely brings a snappier feel with less lag. Many with an iPhone 4, like me, will be all too used to the lagginess when tyring to do anything slightly complex with their phone. The iPhone 5 manages to make even the most demanding tasks seem like a walk in the park.

The added length could have made the phone unwieldy, but the loss of thickness ensures that it maintains its balance and premium feel. Those people who have got used to the iPhone 4 and 4S will certainly notice the difference that the design brings. It serves to make the device have a more modern feeling while utilizing the premium materials Apple has put so much stock in.

Thinner, lighter and more screen were always on Apple fan’s wish lists and I feel that this release has those wishes covered. The screen is brighter and splashes out a wider spectrum of rich colours. And compared to older iPhone, the camera now launches and captures pictures a lot quicker. One of the frustrating things I experience when trying to snap a quick picture.

iOS 6 App IconWhat’s even better is what iOS 6 plans to bring to the table. iOS 6 brings with it a wealth of new features that will certainly make a major difference to not only the way the iPhone 5 feels, but also its predecessors the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S when they get the updated software. Maps, for instance, is significantly altered after Apple ended its longstanding agreement to use Google Maps and pushed forward with its own offering, in conjunction with satellite navigational giant TomTom.

The new maps certainly look the part, with some beautiful 3D renders and snazzy looking new vector graphics, although we would like to really take some time to tell you just how well the new offering performs in the wild.

Early indications elsewhere are good, however, as the ‘Apple designed’ tag is pushed to the fore. The tilt and rotate view functionality looks gorgeous and the turn-by-turn navigation is likely to attract plaudits with a simple and intuitive interface.

iPhone 5 Maps Sample Screens

iPhone Siri App IconSiri has been given a major, and much-needed, overhaul with the voice ‘companion’ functionality extended into new languages and new territories in an attempt to turn the iPhone 4S’ overhyped and under-featured personal assistant up to a useful level.

Given the obsession with Facebook, the need for better integration was a key addition for Apple in its latest OS, and the iPhone 5 and its older brothers will benefit from a major overhaul of the way in which the social network links up with your handset.

The Facebook (and Twitter) functionality feels much more central to the experience this time around, and having the ability to post form the notifications screen feels like an obvious inclusion that works well.

If you want to compare specs of the iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 5, Apple has a nice chart to give you exactly what you need, side-by-side.

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Create a Folder from Multiple Selected Items in Finder

New Folder with Item Screen Shot
You can create a folder from a selection of files, instead of creating a new folder first, then moving files in.

Here’s how: In the Finder, select any files you want to put into the same folder. (sleet multiple files by holding down the command button and clicking files to ad) You can do this in any Finder window, including the Desktop or from the results of a Spotlight search (not the Spotlight menu itself).

Right-click on any one of the selected files, and the top menu item is New Folder with Selection (number of Items). When you choose that, a new folder will be created, and the files literally leap into the folder. The new folder is called New Folder With Items, and you can change its name.

(This isn’t technically new, it was added in Lion. But it’s a nice feature to be aware of) I use this daily.

Works for:

  • OSX 10.7 Lion
  • OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

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Filed under Mac Desktop, OS X, Tip