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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Assign a Launchpad Keyboard Shortcut

Launchpade OSX Screen Capture
After installing Mountain Lion on my mid-2011 iMac i realized that the launchpad key (F4) that my MacBook Air has, didn’t exist on my Apple wireless keyboard. No worries, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to open it.

Click on the Keyboard in System Preferences, then choose Keyboard Shortcuts tab along the top.

Keyboard System Pref Screen Capture

Click on Launchpad & Dock on the left side of menu. Click Show Launchpad, press Enter or Return, and enter your shortcut. Once you’re satisfied, you can click OK and close all windows.

Keyboard Prefs Screen Capture

All done. I set mine up to use F4, same as it is on my MacBook Air. Force of habit since I use it often.

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What’s New in Mountain Lion?

Mountain Lion MacsThere has been multiple words published about Mountain Lion since it hit the App Store yesterday, but the most important question people are asking is Mountain Lion worth the upgrade? The answer, yes it definitely is worth every penny (or $19.99 if you really want the exact cost.)

Advertised as containing over 200 new features is the icing on the cake and worth twice the asking price. And while most of the new features are minimal, the featured updates – Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Messages (formerly known as iMessages), Facebook (Available in fall 2012), Twitter Integration, Power Nap, Notifications Centre and a refined Safari browser experience make OS X v 10.8 the most secure and efficient operating system that Apple has ever released.

Ever since Mountain Lion was officially announced earlier this year, there’s been a misconception that OS X was going to just like iOS, and while Apple is trying to optimize each of it’s operating systems for the devices they’re intended, there are some blaring similarities, but this is not simply iOS for your desktop computer or notebook.

Sample iCloud ScreenHowever, Mountain Lion does use Apple’s most powerful tool – iCloud. Integration with iCloud is at the forefront of your install – it’s actually the first screen you get after installing a fresh copy of Mountain Lion – but it’s also my favourite part of this update. MobileMe has been completely removed the System Preferences pane – It was nuked at the end of June, so it was time – and now with iCloud, you can easily share calendars, contacts, bookmarks, email, Safari tabs, reminders, notes and much more, much easier than it’s ever been.

Pages Screen ShotDocuments in the Cloud allows you to share, edit and save Pages, Numbers and Keynote documents from any Apple device. In fact, when you go to open a document with the new version of iWork, it will default to iCloud and not to your Mac’s local directory. By using iCloud in this way, you can also access your documents from your iPad and iPhone as well.

Text Edit Screen ShotChanges made to documents are automatically synced through the cloud on all your devices. What’s even better is that other simple applications such as Text Edit, now have an option to save your Simple Text documents straight to the cloud, instead of on your local drive. Making all those field accessible from anywhere, start working on something on your laptop, and then pick up where you left off on your iMac and continue. You don’t even have to remember to save, iCloud will take care of doing that for you.

Messages Screen ShotMessages also arrives on the desktop, which means that I can now send iMessages to my contact list of friends on their iPhones, iPod Touches or iPads without having to grab my iPhone or iPad. The beauty of iCloud is evident here too, since as soon as I setup my iCloud account, all my contacts are automatically placed for use in Messages. It’s really simple.

AirPlay Screen ShotAirPlay was another major one for me … I always like to display my computer on my 60″ HDTV at home, and Mountain Lion has made it much easier with AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV. You should note that only 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs are supported and select MacBooks, iMacs etc, support this feature. Make sure you read the Apple site to confirm that your computer can do it, since the last thing you want is to buy Mountain Lion to use this feature and be disappointed that it doesn’t work for you – I’ve read a few angry reviews about how their system aren’t supported. Should have read the release notes.

The Notifications Center is great too! Provides an easy ‘command centre’ and overview of reminders, calendar events and appointments that are coming up. I also love how fully customizable it is!

Notifications Screen Capture

I could go on and on about all the features that are available with Mountain Lion, but here’s a great post that highlights everything you need to know!

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Next iPhone May Have a Smaller Dock Connector (Rumour)

Smaller Dock Comparison

Recent reports suggest that Apple has developed a smaller dock connector that will be used on the next generation iPhone (set for announcement and release this fall). If those rumours are true, the dock connector could become a 19 pin connect as opposed to the 30 pin connector we’re used to with all iDevices to date.

Some of my other sources report that aftermarket car audio manufacturers, such as Kenwood and Alpine have started developing a new line of connecting cables that will be compatible with a smaller dock connector.

While none of this has been confirmed by Apple, theres plenty of proof to suggest that this is the next step, including claims that Apple wants the next generation iPhone to be thinner and have a larger screen… and in order to make that possible something’s gotta give. A smaller connector would allow the earphone to be moved to the bottom of the device, allowing more room in the top region for possible NFC technology, larger screen or something else?

Does this spell great news or terrible news for users that already own docking system that support the old 30 pin design? Well, if this slimmer dock connection is true, you won’t be able to use the new phone on those older devices – at least not without an adapter.

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App Review: CloudOn for iPad

CloudOn App IconWhat’s the first thing people ask you as soon as they purchase their iPad – Can I run Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint on it? And for a while, there have been solutions (apps) that you could purchase that would help, but didn’t offer complete functionality like the desktop applications did. And even if you ended up with Docs-To-Go or similar, you still ended up having to pay for anything that would be useful.

That is until Cloud On released their app, available through the App Store for FREE, you’re able to open, create and modify Microsoft Office documents with ease (well, at least the main 3 – Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Not only is it free, but it also gives you full application functionality, same as it would on a desktop. I’ve been using it at work for the past few weeks and can honestly say that I’m in love. I can work while moving around, update my spreadsheets and create word docs without having to be at my desk. Great tool to managing workflow, but even if it’s not for business, it’s a great feeling to be completely mobile even in your own home!

CloudOn for iPad Screen Capture

I should warn you that it does have it’s shortfalls. First off you’ll need to create (or login to) a dropbox account. Not a huge deal, since drop box is also free from the App Store. And once you’re got that setup, you configure it with Cloud On and you’re set. The next shortfall is that Cloud On will only work with an internet connection. So if you’re not in wi-fi or out of rang of 3G connectivity, you can’t access your documents. The application is useless actually without internet access. And then there’s the issue of trying to quickly scroll through your document, there’s about a 2 second app delay (blurry) as the app refreshes and displays the content accurately. Not major to me, but if you have no patience, it may not be the best solution.

At a price of FREE, it’s a no-brainer for me. I got the app asap and haven’t looked back since. and use it everyday. I’m not even sure how the app manages to stay free since there’s no in app ads that come up or anything. Once you get it setup and going, you’ll enjoy the unlimited access to a complete list of commands from drop down menus (same as their desktop versions) while working on office documents. It’s worth every penny 😉

My rating: 5/5

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2012 WWDC Announced: June 11 to 15

WWDC 2012 Logo
Apple has officially announced its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that will run from June 11 through June 15 at San Francisco’s Moscone West.

For those that are unfamiliar with the event; This is the event most anticipated by developers to get a sneak peek at what’s next for iOS and OS X and what will be available to allow them to build incredible new apps.

This year’s WWDC includes:

  • more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
  • 100 hands-on labs staffed by more than 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
  • the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
  • engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
  • Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.

If you’re a registered developer, you could have purchased your tickets here for $1599.00 a piece; Unfortunately they’re all sold out.

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Apple Orders Larger iPhone Screens For Next Generation (Rumour)

Larger Screen iPhone Mock UpA mocked up image of a larger screen iPhone! According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered screens from a supply chain in Asia that are the biggest yet seen on any previous iPhone device since launching in 2007. Reports suggest that manufacturing of the 4-inch diagonal screens is set to begin next month.

The current iPhone 4S has a physical screen size of 3.5 inches. The source reports that the larger screen is Apple’s way of keeping up with increased competition, from devices like the Samsung Galaxy, which has the largest smartphone screen on the market – 4.8 inches.

Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed nor denied these claims, but experts love to speculate. I think a larger screen should be in order for the next generation iPhone, but they should (and likely will) consider that making the screen too large could jeopardize comfort of use. If the screen goes too large, we may not be able to use one hand when using the on screen keyboard. I can still comfortably use one hand, and one thumb to navigate the entire screen surface area as it stands, and would be bummed out if that wasn’t possible once the screen get larger.

The benefits could be things like 5 icons wide on the home screen, and less scrolling when you’re using your phone to view websites and/or using apps. There’s some food for thought.

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Apple Replaced My iPod Nano

iPod Nano 1st GenerationShout out to Clare on Twitter for giving me a heads up on the iPod replacement program being undertaken by Apple. I don’t know many people that still have an iPod 1st generation laying around, but I do/did.

Apple press released a public recall to anyone that has a 1st Generation iPod Nano on the basis that they had detected a defect in the battery, that would cause it to over heat and could potential explode, cause a fire, etc., and they had managed to pin point the problem to one manufacturer of the batteries and it affected iPod nanos that were sold between September 2005 and December 2006 – you could go on this site and input your serial number to see if you qualify.

After I entered my info, they confirmed that my 1GB 1st generation iPod Nano was one of the units affected, so they shipped my a package from Apple in Markham to send them back the unit. It came with a prepackaged envelope, instructions and shipping label making it very simple to send them my Nano.

By the way, the entire process was updated on their website, and I was informed via email, when they received my old nano, the repair and replacement. It felt good to be kept in the loop. No guessing game.

After a week without my iPod nano, I received a notice that they had shipped a replacement unit and to my surprise I received a 6th generation iPod Nano 8GB in silver.

Replaced iPod Documentation

The entire process took 1 week – from the moment I shipped them my 1st gen, to the moment I received my replacement. And I must say that this experience has made me love being an Apple customer that much more. It’s the little things that count and this was one of the things that make me proud to be an Addict.

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iPhone 4N May Be Next (Rumour)

iPhone 4 Side Hero Shot
If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next generation iPhone (most have called it “iPhone 5”) you may have to wait a little longer. On a recent domain name registration that has leaked online, it seems as though Apple just revealed the name of the next Apple iPhone, the iPhone 4N; Based on whois record below:

Apple iPhone 4N Domain Registration

What is interesting (and perhaps suspect) is that this domain name, iPhone4n.com, was registered through Godaddy, and not MarkMonitor. A review of the Apple iPhone.com domain name shows that the registrar is MarkMonitor and not Godaddy. This might just be a formality, as once you purchase a domain name it can be transferred to another registrar in the future.

The timing of this new registration is interesting, with this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June, it would make sense to secure this domain ahead of any formal announcement.

And because the latest iPad went from the iPad 2 to the New iPad, not the iPad 3, The iPhone 4N name would be inline with what we saw in March with the New iPad.

While it’s all just speculation, I believe we can confidently say that if the next generation iPhone keep the “4” in the same somewhere, that we won’t see a complete redesign of the phone itself, rather we’ll get the same physical device with more upgrades – maybe even NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Making it possible to pay for everyday purchases from your iPhone. No need for physical credit or debit cards cards.

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