Posts tagged Apple
spectacular quiet announcement Thursday, Apple revealed details of its upcoming operating system, Mountain Lion. Typically, such an announcement is brought along with a huge presentation. Instead, Apple had a small gathering of media for a private event.
Their site showcases several upcoming features for Mountain Lion. Again, it looks like iOS and OSX are being brought closer together. What changes are coming?
For starters, things that people are used to with iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) are coming to OS X. These include notes, reminders, Game Center, and the notification center.
But the biggest improvement is one that was already released. Messages Beta is available for OS X Lion users to download (requires 10.7.3 patch). This is essentially an upgrade/update to iChat. Besides changing the name to Messages, an important feature has been added, one that I figured would be coming: The ability to iMessage your friends. Yes, you can chat from your Mac to someone with an iPad or iPhone. And any iMessages sent to you are automatically synced to each of your devices, so you can pick up the conversation where you left off.
I’ve already been using Messages and can say that iMessage integration is pretty cool. It isn’t perfect and is a little buggy, but by the time Mountain Lion is released this summer, I think the chat experience will be more perfected.
For a video overview of OS X Mountain Lion, watch the video below.
Other good articles on Mountain Lion:
Apple held it’s keynote this morning at the 2011 Worldwide Developer Conference. The three big announcements were regarding OS X Lion, iOS 5, and the launch of iCloud.
Personally, the iOS 5 discussion was the best part for me. I’m always curious about the latest changes to the iPhone (and iPod Touch/iPad) software, and I feel Apple delivered with iOS 5. Here are some of the highlights:
- New Notification Center: Did you hate getting notifications, whether from the Messages app or something else, that kept interrupting what you were doing? Well, you don’t have to worry any longer! All notifications now go in the new Notification Center. How do you get to it? Simply swipe down from the top of your screen from anywhere! All notifications will go there, too, from missed phone calls to text messages.
- iMessages: Text messaging is great on the iPhone. However, services like Blackberry Messenging allowed for Blackberry users to message each other with an internal app. Well, Apple has come up with their own. Messages has been expanded with iMessages, allowing iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad owners to message each other in the same way that one would send a text to someone else. Finally, a great way to easily keep in touch with your iOS friends!
- Newsstand: If iBooks was a way to manage your digital books, Newsstand is your way of handling magazine subscriptions. It looks like iBooks, probably acts like iBooks, and if you’re big into digital magazines, may be just as exciting to you as iBooks. One neat thing with this, though, is that it will automatically download the latest magazines in your subscription for you to view.
- Reminders: How many times have you put in something important into the Calendar app just to remind yourself of something small, such as picking up something before you leave home? Well, there’s now an (Apple made) app for that! Reminders lets you create lists of things you need to do. However, it goes beyond simply reminding you on a certain day or time. It also can be triggered to remind you based on your location. Need to run to the bank before you head home? Reminders can send an alert as you leave work to remind you of that. Now that is useful!
- Twitter Integration: Ever wish you could tweet a photo from the Photos app? Or share a cool link from Safari? Now you can! Twitter is built right in so you can tweet with most apps. Simply enter your Twitter info from Settings.
- Camera Updates: The iPhone 4 camera is already impressive. But what happens when you need to grab a quick photo and you only have a few precious seconds to do so? By the time you unlock the phone, navigate to the page with the Camera app, and take the photo, you might have missed what you had wanted to capture. Not anymore! Apple has included an icon on the lock screen that takes you right to the Camera, so that you can quickly take the picture you wanted. The Camera also includes the ability to pinch-to-zoom feature, the ability to lock the autofocus and autoexposure, and optional grid lines on your photos to help with photo composition. Oh, and have you ever wished for a button on the iPhone to take a picture? The Volume Up button now works as that.
- Photo Editing: You can now edit photos in the Photos app. This includes cropping, redeye removal, and photo enhancements. This makes for a quick way to touch up a photo before you Tweet it to your friends from your phone.
- Tabbed Browsing and Reading Lists in Safari: Now, tabs are visible on the iPad in the same way they are in Sarafi for the desktop. Easily switch to the tab you want. You can also view articles with Safari Reader, which will remove ads and other “clutter” from an article you may be trying to read. Lastly, you can save items you wish to read later to a Reading List. (Sounds a bit like Instapaper, though).
- Goodbye USB Cable: No, I’m not saying you won’t need to charge your iOS device ever again. But, you won’t need to be plugged into a PC or Mac to activate or update your device. And you can now sync your iTunes library over WiFi. It’s about time!
This was just an overview of the features announced by Apple during today’s keynote at WWDC.
Posts regarding iCloud and OSX Lion will come soon, as well.
What do you think about these updates? Comment below!
Sometimes, the built in functions and options in a device are not enough. Choosing a ringtone on your iPhone is one thing. But what about having a random ringtone?
GeoRing allows you to use your entire music library as potential ringtones. Want to hear your favorite tunes when someone calls? You can! And best of all, you can add as many songs as you want to your ringtone playlist!
You can also customize at what part of the song the ringtone will begin at. Don’t like the opening to a song? Have it start ringing at a particular section. It can make it easy to find those catchy riffs in a song that you think would make for a great ringtone!
While the ringtone option is seemingly the main feature, GeoRing also allows you to map where you receive your phone calls. Ever been on a call with someone and you wish you could remember where you were at the time, perhaps because of that awesome coffee shop you were walking by at the time? Well, you won’t need to worry about that anymore! GeoRing gives you the ability to see where you were.
The app is very easy to navigate. In fact, you’ll quickly explore every page of options in the app within the first minute of playing with it! There are just two things to keep in mind when using this app:
- You need to have a silent ringtone (which you can download from their site) for your iPhone, or else your default iPhone ringtone will also go off along with your GeoRing set songs.
- The GeoRing app needs to be running in the background for it to operate. Do not remove it from your background processes.
I think many people that are interested in custom ringtones might find this app to suit their needs, especially those with a large music library on their iPhones.
Sometimes you’ll find apps that will not do all that they say they do. This one is definitely not one of those. Everything this app says it does, it does! I definitely recommend this app.
So, you’re the owner of an iPhone and you want a nice ringtone. All you see, though, are ones you have to pay for. What about making your own? After all, you have all of your music to choose from!
Well, it’s actually a fairly simple process. All you need is iTunes. Here’s how to do it:
- First, we need our audio clip. Presumably, you have an audio track in iTunes already that you would like to use. I’ll be using a song by Chameleon Circuit for my example.
- Now, you can use a whole song as a ringtone. Likely, though, you will only hear a few seconds of it. For this song, I only want to hear the first few seconds before it repeats. So, I go into the song’s info window and choose the “Options” tab. There, I’m able to set when the song stops playing.
- Once you’ve made those changes, right click on the song and choose “Create AAC Version”. This will create a duplicate listing in your iTunes library. However, you’ll notice that the new item will only be as long as the selection you had made.
- Take this new item and export it from iTunes. The easiest way to do this is to simply drag the song from iTunes onto your desktop.
- Now navigate to the file on your desktop. You’ll notice that it has a file extension of .m4a. Rename your file so that it now uses a .m4r extension.
- Once you have changed the extension, simply drag the newly renamed file from its current location into iTunes. iTunes will import the ringtone into your library, where you can now sync it with your iPhone.
Simple enough? I think so! Feel free to try it yourself and leave some comments and feedback about this post.
One of the things Steve Jobs just announced at the “Back to the Mac” event was the release of FaceTime Beta for Mac OSX. That’s right! You can now engage in FaceTime video chats with your friends that may have an iPod Touch or iPhone 4!
If you’re a Mac user running Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.4 or later, then go here and check it out: http://www.apple.com/mac/facetime/
It’s hard to believe that Twitter is already approaching the 10 billion tweet mark. It seems like not too long ago, we were faced with the Twitpocalypse. But, in under two days, Twitter will break past 10 billion tweets.
That comes out to lots and lots of messages that are being sent across Twitter! Want to get a visual on just how fast tweets are coming in? Check this link out! Hundreds of tweets are generated each second. That’s so hard to believe.
Of course, with all of this happening, I just have one thing to ask: If Apple can reward someone for buying their 10 billionth song, can Twitter give away a $10,000 gift card for sending the 10 billionth tweet? Just saying.
It was less than just over an hour ago when Steve Jobs officially announced the iPad, Apple’s tablet PC. For anyone that hasn’t heard rumors about this device, where have you been?!
This item has been rumored for so long, yet with it here now, what kind of work could it be used for?
Given its size and the fact that it is roughly 1.5 lbs., such a device could see various portable uses. And with the same accelerometers and most of the capabilities of the iPhone, I can see this being a household item. It even has a 10 hour battery life (and a month of standby battery life?! That’s insane!). Plus, the presentation today showed a few interesting things.
First, all current iPhone apps will work on iPad as they are now. They can either run in the current size or in full screen. I personally find this to be impressive, especially given all of the apps in the app store (over 140K now!) that can help with productivity and other tasks. That’s a large assortment of applications that users will be able to use right away on their iPad!
Second, they launched a service called iBooks, which essentially will let you buy and read books right on the iPad. Were you ever interested in the Kindle? Well, I’d save up for an iPad, instead! You can read books right in the palm of your hand. You can even flick the pages to go from page to page. Cool!
Third, with the larger screen, it looks like Apple has versions of iWork now available for this device. Personally, I’m a fan of Open Office, but if iWork can do it, why can’t Open Office? This definitely can be a productive tool in the office!
So, how does one manage the device? Apparently, you sync it up with iTunes, just like your iPhones and iPods. The device also has built in wifi, and it there is also an option to get a 3G data plan through AT&T for either $15 or $30 per month (depending on if you want a 250 MB plan or unlimited, respectively). And with it having a micro-SIM slot, I don’t see why you can’t use this on other networks, too. So long as you have the proper data plan, that is…
Price wise, these devices seemed to blow me away! Then again, seeing how they’re more like an iPod Touch than a mini-Mac, the prices made sense. The prices don’t seem bad, either. They come in two flavors: one is purely WiFi enabled, the second also includes 3G support. The 16GB WiFi model starts at $499, 32GB is $599, and the 64GB at $699. The 3G models are $130 more (for each size). So, for a 3G 64GB iPad, you’d be looking at spending $829. That is much cheaper than the rumored $1000 price!
We’re also seeing a few accessories coming from Apple with this release. The first obviously makes sense. If you’re releasing an item with a 9.7″ touchscreen, you’ll have people that definitely would want a real keyboard to use instead of the touchscreen. So, here’s the Dock. It makes perfect sense as an accessory to offer right from the start.
I think that accessory alone will interest people in the iPad. You can dock up the device and type away on a report, an article, on anything you need to type up, and then just undock the device and bring it with you. That’s brilliant!
So, what do I think about it?
I think it is a very neat device. I personally don’t see an immediate need for such a device, but with all that you can do with an iPhone now, it makes sense to up the design to something that people could use for much more. Anything you could do online, whether it is getting a map, reading a news paper, reading a book, playing Sudoku, solving a crossword puzzle, paying your bills, watching a movie, downloading music, all of it will be much easier to do on the go, anywhere in your house or otherwise, in your hands with iPad.
And I think I missed so many details in this post. If you really want to get the full news about this, visit the new site Apple has set up for the iPad, or check out the full video presentation on iTunes. (I’ll post the link once it goes live).
What do you think of the iPad? Share your comments!
This summer has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve already talked about the free MacBook Pro I won, courtesy of SourceForge. My dad has been enjoying that quite a bit. He’s put his customization into it already, which I expected right away. Due to him winning a free one, we also made a little deal: We’d split the cost of another MacBook Pro. It seemed like a win-win deal, especially considering that he had one for free.
Well, before I won that, I had won a $200 gift card to the Apple Store. That was thanks to a little giveaway that IntoMobile was running. Because of that gift card, I began seriously considering buying something at Apple. At first, it was just a passing thought. Then, I began to ponder the idea of getting a MacBook Pro and an iPhone (especially as the IntoMobile giveaway was due to the release of the iPhone 3GS).
Well, those thoughts have all come to pass. I now have my nice new MacBook Pro and, with it, an iPhone. Hopefully, the two will go hand-in-hand for me as I work on making both of them worth the purchase.
So, thanks to IntoMobile for the $200 gift card! And thanks to my dad for going along with the idea. I think he’s enjoying his iPhone, too.
Now to get used to running iTunes… and owning an iPod (of sorts)…
When I first signed up for Twitter back in February, I had no idea that it would be helping me win free stuff. Even now, I still can’t believe it. Except, of course, for the fact that I’ve actually received the free stuff.
I also would never have expected SourceForge to ever give me something for free, either. Yet, they have. And for that, SourceForge, I definitely thank you! I am My family is glad to have a new MacBook, too.
It all goes back to one month ago… I had heard about SourceForge’s 2009 Community Choice Awards and some live feeds they were going to do for the event. But wait! There’s more? They were giving away four MacBook Pros during the live coverage. Wow! Of course, what are the chances of me winning one, right?
Well, winning one required tweeting answers to trivia questions. I was shocked when the first question was one that I actually had an idea about. ”What movie did Apple use to hype its new QuickTime4 format?” I won’t give the answer, so have fun figuring it out! But, being the first to tweet @SourceForge with the correct answer, I soon learned I was right.
And so that started the journey of the new MacBook! It took some verification of personal data, some FedEx transit, but in the end, it made it here one month after that fateful night. Tuesday, I received an email with the FedEx tracking number and, thankfully, within two days, it was here.
Here are some photos from the grand opening! (Sorry for the lack of thumbnails… WordPress is giving me some issues with uploading photos.)
While it’s such a sweet looking piece of technology, I decided that I would not keep this. Nope, this MacBook is now my dad’s newest toy. I still have plans for a MacBook, but it wasn’t going to be this one. So, there you go, dad!
Again, a big thank you to SourceForge! I come to your site often for open source needs. And now I can we can thank you for this shiny new MacBook Pro, as well!