Tag Archives: iPhone 4

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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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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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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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.

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Is the iPhone Nano Coming? (Rumour)

A new report that came out today suggests that Apple could be working on at least one new model of the iPhone that is one-third smaller than the size of the current iPhone 4 and cheaper.

The news makes sense because of the growing market shares Google’s Android phones are getting, this would be Apple’s way of appealing to those customers. The new version would cost $200 without a two-year contract. The current iPhone 4 without a contract comes in at $599.

The source that claims to have seen the iPhone sometimes last year, says that even though it was one-third smaller, it may have changed by now.

In addition to that, Apple is also working on Universal SIM technology and dual-mode phones that can work on CDMA and GSM networks. Not surprising since Qualcomm delivers the chip technology to make this happen, which is the same dual-mode chip used in Verizon’s iPhone 4, released this past week.

The question now becomes, would a smaller iPhone version compromise the user experience of an iOS-capable device? I’d think not. It’s an existing product with a twist. Smaller can appeal to those that complain about how ‘bulky’ and ‘big’ the iPhone is when compared to the competition. With a reduced price being offered I can see a lot of people in the market that have considered an iPhone in the past but thought it was too expensive, would now have a clear choice.

Keep in mind that Apple has done this before with other products (ie: iPod nano), so this may be more accurate than one might think.

Possible names are rumoured to be “iPhone Mini” or “iPhone Nano”.

Let’s hope it makes it to production before it gets scrapped.

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App Review: Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter App Store IconProbably one of the nicest looking games on the iPhone screen has to go to Capcom’s Street Fighter 4 available for a limited time for 99 cents through the App Store. The game includes 14 fighters to choose for battle – Ryu, Ken, Guile and more. It’s not long before you pick your favourite and start kicking ass in no time!

Simplified controls and responsive button mapping makes it one of the only playable fighting games on iOS. Since it’s release in the App store in March 2010, there’s been weekly updates from Capcom either adding new fighters to the roster or tightening up the gameplay.

Street Fighter 4 Fighter Select Screen

Street Fighter 4 Battle Screen

Plus, the game includes Bluetooth multiplayer battles, allowing you to challenge your friends simulating the arcade experience without the quarters.

Regular price for this game before the price drop was $9.99. Just based on price for what you’re getting it makes the purchase worth it. The awesome controls and beautiful graphics is just bonus. I’m rating this 5/5

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iOS 4.3 Debuts on Monday

MacStories reports that it has heard from a “reliable source” that Apple is planning to release iOS 4.3 to the public on February 14th at its typical iOS software update time of 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 1:00 PM Eastern Time.

iOS 4.3 Beta Notice

I’ve highlighted some of the cool new features that are part of the iOS 4.3 release a few weeks ago.

Is Apple showing love by release this sweetness on Valentine’s Day?

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Verizon Getting Ready for “Heavy Users”

iPhone 4 Promo Shot

In light of recent buzz that the iPhone 4 comes to Verizon this week, they’ve made changes to their user policy to throttle heavy data users.

From what I’ve managed to read until now, AT&T has been the sole provider of iPhone 4 service in the US and it shows. Customer complaints on reliability and poor reception have been common for the network. Verizon will now carry the iPhone 4 on their networks, while at the same time unveiling a plan to throttle the 5% “heavy data users” so that the other 95% can enjoy their service without being slowed down.

I’m trying to think back to when the iPhone 4 was announced in Canada to also be available through Bell/Telus, not only Rogers. Remembering that Rogers is the THE giant in Canada when it came to service. It was more of a competitive release as opposed to a solution to a bogged down network. In the US, the Verizon iPhone 4 is being coined “the saviour” for reception woes.

I’m guessing that someone in their engineering department gave them the heads up that even though they may be the ‘better choice’ right now for reception in the US, once the iPhone drops, it’s going to be a whole different story.

We’ll see.

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A8 Processor for iPhone 5?

My bank account hasn’t yet fully recovered for when I purchased the iPhone 4 and there’s already rumours swirling about what the possibilities of the iPhone 5 are:

“The release of iOS 4.3 beta for developers has revealed updates to gesture-based navigation, AirPlay and Personal Hot Spot in the next edition of iPad and iPhone. However, not all changes are UI-related; it is reported that Apple is due to add an ARM Cortex A8 processor to its iPhone 5. Apple Daily, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, reported that Apple’s iPhone 5 will be powered by a dual core processor with SGX543 graphics. It is reported that Apple is in contact with a Taiwanese component maker for the A8 SoC. Currently Apple uses a custom made A4 SoC in its iPad and iPhone 4 and uses SGX535 graphics and video support.”

But what does that mean? I’ll do my best to translate. After the slew of smartphones that were unveiled at last week’s CES with dual processors and 1080p video playback, which the iPad and iPhone currently lack, it was time to consider how to match and beat the competition.

Still with me? … The SGX543 dual core processor, rumoured to be in the iPhone 5, is designed to deliver real-world performance of 35 million polygons per second and 1 Gigapixel (1 billion pixels) per second at a fill rate of 200 MHz. Making it capable to drive HD screens with high def 3D graphics.

The next generation or iPhone and iPad would offer 1080p video playback and HDMI support. There are no official acknowledgements of a release or timeline for the new iPhone, but that doesn’t mean that speculation has died down. It’s alive and well and I’m just hoping I can pay down my iPhone 4 debt before jumping ship to the next device.

My wallet may file for divorce.

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First Look at iOS 4.3

Last week, I announced that the iOS 4.3 for iPhone and iPad devices was released for developers, now we have a first look at what iOS 4.3 has to offer with some previews of how gestures work on the iPad.

Video by AppAdvice.

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