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Siri’s at the Wheel!

Published on November 29, 2012 by in Apple, iPhone, News


Siri in the car

So there you are with your iPhone, checking your stocks, or the news or in the middle of a phone call that you just don’t want to end. But you do- you have to go to work, or run to the store, or pick up the kids. You’ll just have to finish that call later. Right?
Not anymore. Soon, your iPhone will be able to interface with your car via a connection on the steering wheel so that you can continue these things in the car without taking your eyes off the road.
General Motors and Apple are collaborating to bring us Siri and Eyes Free Mode, which will allow you to continue these activities uninterrupted, while keeping your eyes on the road. This new development is designed to allow you to do all of those things and more with no visual distractions:  “In fact, the iPhone’s screen won’t even light up as a result of the voice commands, even when Siri is answering simple questions that do not require graphics, as maps do. Like a responsible assistant, however, Siri won’t display Web pages or provide graphics while in Eyes Free mode.”, Adam Dickter of CIO Today tells us.
 Apple talking to multiple manufactures
According to CIO today this new capability will see its debut not on luxury cars, as in often the case, but on smaller models- the Spark and the Sonic, which will mean Eyes Free capability will be available to more average drivers sooner.  (click here to read the full article at CIO today)
These developments are not on their own, Ford is working to include better Bluetooth syncing capability with a variety of devices.
Will these measures make people safer? More productive? We’ll soon find out!
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iTunes offers Free Learning from World Class Institutions! (Homework Not Required.)

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iTunes U

Free Education via iTunesU

Apple has great products and services- a lot of them, any of which I am more than happy to wax poetic (okay, maybe not poetic!) about at a moment’s notice. Airport express base stations? Let me tell you how easy they are to fix. iPod touch? Can’t live without mine and friends know better than to let me get started going on about it. iBooks store? Samples of every book so I can decide what I want to buy, not to mention the selection of free books! Today though, I’m talking about a frequently overlooked service which I personally believe is the single best thing to ever come out of Cupertino: iTunes U.

You’ve probably noticed it while poking around iTunes on your computer, maybe wondered what it was. But have you actually checked it out? If not, I urge you to right now.
Introduced in 2007, iTunes U has a twofold purpose: incorporating learning materials for classes into a format easily portable on one’s computer or mobile device allowing a great opportunity for the integration of technology into education at any level; and distributing educational materials to iTunes users to learn anything they want, anytime, anywhere.
You might not be able to afford the time or money required for a Harvard or Oxford or Yale education, but with iTunes U, you can take a few of their classes at your convenience, all you need is time, an internet connection, and a computer with iTunes installed or an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with the iTunes U app installed. It might not get you a degree, but it will definitely get you started on learning just about anything you can imagine.
Learn iOS apps development. A foreign language. Economics, literature, film criticism, world history. These are just a few examples of the topics offered from schools at all levels, around the world.
iTunes U, along with free books on the iBooks store, the apps store, and podcasts are the only services available in all countries where there exists an iTunes store (in other words, it’s more widely available than the iTunes music store!)
So whatever you’re interested in learning about, iTunes U will have something to grab your interest. Next time you’re on your iPhone or computer, why not go and check out iTunes’s quieter, more studious cousin and see what it has to offer you?
Ready to Learn
(all photos are from of Apple.com)
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New iTunes and what to expect

Published on November 25, 2012 by in Apple, Apps, iPad, iPhone, News

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The new iTunes. This is the what Apple has called the upcoming latest version of iTunes. The first thought that goes through most people’s head is “Well what is so different about it?” Well that is what I am here to tell you!

The first thing that I noticed when this new version was introduces was a continuation of Apple’s more recent design policies. They continue to focus on one thing, unification. With the new iTunes you will notice the more modern look that expands upon the current iTunes 10.7 layout. The new layout provides a more uniform experience when switching from the iOS products to iTunes. Rather than having a full control column, Apple has opted for a drop-down menu. Like all the recent UI changes it showcases one thing, it is where it most people would expect it.  The controls are exactly where you would look for them, especially if you have any experience with iOS 6.

The new iTunes on the left , and iTunes 10.7 on the right.

A one other interesting detail about the new iTunes is the updated mini player. The mini player is a small form of iTunes that has been sadly neglected. Currently, the mini player is really just the top left section of iTunes. With the updated mini player you can access your whole library without switching back by searching for the content you would like, and there is the new “Up Next” feature.

iTunes 11 version on the left, current mini player on the right.

Up Next is an interesting addition, it allows you to quickly see the next few songs that iTunes will play and make adjustments as you go. Even allowing you to make adjustments and quickly select what you want next on the fly!

Up Next menu

Have you ever been listening to an album and wanted more like it? Well apparently so has Apple. The In the Store feature will allow you to find similar music quickly, based on your existing preferences.

One of my personal favorite additions is the continued integration with iCloud. This will make it far easier to keep your library consistent across all of your Apple products. This works best if all of your content was purchased in the iTunes store directly. This is not always possible for every user, however there is always iTunes Match for those of us that have music from other sources. This degree of integration is very useful, and easy to use. Just click on the album you want and there it is. Any music you purchase in iTunes while on the go  is easily available for you to access on your home computer! Now the wording on the product description page appears to imply that you will be able to stream any of your purchased music, rather than downloading it (with the option to download directly). Added on to this is the new “Pick up where you left off” feature will make for fun times. This will enable most of your iTunes content (be it a movie, TV show, podcast, iTunes U content, or audiobook) to remember your place without any extra work from you.

iCloud integration! Prometheus DLC purchased separately.

Next up is the iTunes Store. You access it by clicking the Store button in the upper right hand side (and close it by clicking the Library button in the same location). Like with the iOS 6 iTunes and App Stores, the biggest changes are mostly cosmetic. Again Apple has reached for uniformity in this aspect, by trying to make the store look and act the same across all devices.

redesigned iTunes

The other major change that has been announced is the addition of a Preview History button. This feature was first released with iOS 6 and has finally found its way to iTunes. The draw of such a feature is obvious. I can’t remember the names of songs I own, much less a song I looked up three weeks ago.

We should expect to get our hands on the new iTunes soon! MacRumors reports that artists are preparing for the launch in the “next days.”

(All iTunes 11 photos from Apple.com)

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Black Friday 2012 at Apple

Published on November 20, 2012 by in Apple, iPad, iPhone, Mac, News, Rumors

The holiday seasons are here and for all everyone who is looking for a deal the infamous Black Friday is coming up very soon, actually some stores are doing it on Thursday.  For everyone looking to get an iPad, iPhone, iPod or mac at a discount…  this Friday would be the best time to buy.  We all know that the folks at Apple are very good at sticking to their manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) and so are their retailers, however on Friday as early as 3am you can shop online and pay less than MSRP.

To give everyone an idea of what type of discounts Apple may provide us on Black Friday 2012 lets take a look at last years price reductions.

Apple 2012 Black Friday

Black Friday 2011 Apple Discounts

-Apple Macs saw reductions by about $100

-Apple iPads had discounts anywhere from about $40 to $60

-Apple iPod Nano’s had a discount of about $10

-Apple  iPod Touch was down by about $40

-Accessories had discounts too, but they were all over the board, hard to narrow it down to a dollar figure


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iPad mini LTE shipping and are in stores now

Published on November 16, 2012 by in Apple, iPad, News

Its been since November 2nd since Apple had released the 4th generation iPad ( iPad mini) in WiFi only model and for some WiFi only is not good enough and LTE is a must have.  Well  for those who have been wanting an iPad mini with LTE… your wait is now over.   Both Sprint and AT&T have announced they will be carrying the LTE iPad mini, sorry Verizon fans.


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