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Anticipation of iOS7

Published on September 8, 2013 by in Apple, iPad, iPhone, News

It looks like Apple’s newest version of its popular mobile operating system is ready to face the public, possibly being unveiled at the media event planned for September 10th.  Currently, almost all iPhones and iPads are operating on iOS 6, the last version to be offered from the tech giant.  Users are looking forward to the release of the new system because it means faster processing and new features to play with.

Usage Varies by Device Type

Chitika, an ad network, has recently posted its findings regarding iOS distribution among current iPhone and iPad devices.  They found that iOS 6 is currently installed on approximately 92% of iPhones, with iPads lagging slightly behind at 82%.  The older version of the system, iOS 5, barely accounts for any usage.  It is currently being used on about 13% of iPads, but a paltry 5% for iPhones.  The differential could be due to iOS 6 being a bit more “mobile friendly” than iOS 5 and therefore better for iPhones but not so much better for iPads.

Chitika analyzed data collected on iOS-based ad impressions during the period of August 15 through August 21.  The company states that it analyzed data from “tens of millions” of these impressions in order to have a solid basis for its numbers.  These numbers are pretty much what was expected by Apple ahead of its iOS 7 debut but slightly lower than the numbers found in and identical study carried out in June.  The drop is generally thought to be due to iOS 7 Beta making an impact with developers.

Anticipation Runs High for iOS 7

The next generation of iPhones, being unveiled September 10th, will be pre-loaded with the new iOS 7.  Apple followers also expect the new operating system to be released for use on iPhone 4, 4S and 5 devices at the same time that iOS 7 is unveiled on the next-gen handsets.  This will cause major changes in the distribution of operating systems on the company’s devices as occurred last year when iOS 6 was released.

As previously reported here, iOS 7 is looking at some small changes that make a big difference.  Many users are anticipating the release just so they can get their hands on the new updated features.  Folders, Safari, lock screen accessibility updates and other small tweaks in the system promise to deliver a more user-friendly iOS.  While some fans are disappointed that Siri doesn’t get an update, they are more than happy to explore the differences offered by the new iOS version.

 

 

 
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Apple’s Siri Tips, Tricks and Surprising Capabilities

Siri Top Tips and TricksTips, Tricks and Surprising Capabilities of Siri

Apple’s Siri has achieved an iconic status since its introduction.  It’s no surprise that the decidedly feminine personal assistant has gained such a following.  Her retorts to certain queries are the stuff of legend and her usefulness is hard to overstate.

Many users who have access to Siri aren’t fully cognizant of a lot of her capabilities.  As a personal assistant, Siri can help keep track of your appointments, emails, texts and other daily tasks.  She can also carry out a variety of other useful jobs.  Gathered here are some of the top tips and tricks for Siri.

Reminders Set by Location or Time

You probably know that Siri can send you a reminder at a specific time.  What is less well-known is that Siri can also give you reminders based on your location.  Setting either type of reminder is very easy.

For a time-specific reminder, simply tell Siri what time to remind you and what you need to do.  For example, you can tell Siri, “Remind me tomorrow at 9 a.m. to call my brother.”

Setting a reminder by location works the same way.  Instead of setting a specific time for a reminder, you set a specific place, such as “Remind me to go to the dry cleaner’s when I leave home.”  Because your iPhone has GPS, Siri knows when you leave your home location and will remind you to stop by the dry cleaner’s.

You may have to tell Siri specific information regarding locations or various other tidbits but location-specific reminders can be very useful.

Manage Your Text Messages

Texts and emails can be dictated through Siri, as many users are already aware.  Start by pressing and holding the Home button, and then simply speak what you want to do.  You might need to send a text to a colleague.  Simply say, “Text Mike Willis, don’t forget the PowerPoint presentation for the meeting.”  Siri searches your contacts for Mike Willis, composes the text and sends it without further input from you.

Many users don’t realize that Siri can also read your texts to you.  When you press and hold the Home button, tell Siri to “read my texts.”  Once a text has been read, you can tell Siri to reply in straightforward language like, “Tell Mom I’ll be there for Dad’s birthday,” or “Reply saying we’re on for next week.”

Siri can also sift through texts to find the ones from specific contacts when you ask if you have texts from them.  “Do I have texts from Mike?”

Social Media Upgrades

Siri’s most recent incarnation allows you to update your Facebook status or tweet by voice command.  This is different from the older version in that you no longer have to text to Twitter or Facebook to get Siri to post for you.

When you want to post to Facebook, tell Siri “Post to Facebook, I made a new friend today, an eight foot red-tail boa!”  You must start your command with the words “Post to Facebook.”  Siri will render your post into text and you can then approve it by saying “Yes” or tapping the Post button.

Twitter is just as easy.  Pressing and holding the Home button (as you must anytime you want to talk to Siri), tell Siri to “Post to Twitter” and then compose your tweet.  Siri will again render your post into text that you can review and approve or not by saying “Yes” or “No” when Siri asks if it should be posted.

Siri is a Math Whiz

Calculators are very helpful, as anyone who isn’t very good at math can attest.  But sometimes, a calculator isn’t enough.  A problem might have more steps that you think, resulting in wildly inaccurate figures when you try to tackle it yourself.

Say you’re out with a group of friends and need to know how to split the tip.  You can ask Siri to solve the problem for you.  Tell Siri the total of the bill and how many people are sharing it and she’ll tell you exactly how much everyone needs to chip in.  Multiplication, division, addition, subtraction and more complex equations can be completed in less time than it would take you to count to ten.

Finding Family and Friends

The Find My Friends app allows you to find the geographical location of individuals who have shared such information with you.  Find My Friends opens as a map with colored orbs that represent family members and friends.  The colored orbs tell you where a specific person is, even allowing you to access the street address if you want or need it.

Of course, this app is better with Siri. Just ask Siri where your friends are, and Siri will open the app and show you their locations.  You can then tell Siri to send a message to the contact of your choice.  You can ask Siri the location of specific people, too.  For this, you need to employ commands like “Find my girlfriend” or “Where are my parents?”

Entertainment Advisor

Siri may be the best thing to ever happen to movie-goers.  Box office information, reviews, cast lists and other movie-related information can be accessed through Siri by voice command.  You can even request that Siri find movie trailers for you.

Older movies are typically not supported, but sites like Rotten Tomatoes have trailers for thousands of movies available on demand.   These include new release movie trailers as well as trailers for a lot of movies that have come out in the last five or ten years.  Whether you’re looking to rent a slightly older movie, or trying to decide what to go see at the theater, Siri can help.  Tell Siri to “Show me the trailer for Kick-Ass 2.”  The appropriate trailer will start playing on your device automatically if it is available.

Making Reservations

Not only can Siri do research for you about restaurant ratings and reviews, as well as getting driving directions, Siri can even make reservations for you.  You’ve got to have the OpenTable app installed on your device, you have to have an account and be signed into it, and your restaurant of choice must be in the OpenTable database.  Tell Siri when you want to dine, what kind of cuisine you’re looking for and where and as long as the conditions above are met, Siri can make recommendations and book a table.

You’ll want to tell Siri to “Make a reservation for four at an Italian restaurant tonight.”  Siri will produce a list of nearby Italian restaurants, show you their ratings and let you know if they have tables available and at what time.  Select one, review its details and make the reservation through the OpenTable app (Siri will open it for you).

Siri Makes Life Easier

Apple’s iconic personal assistant can help with these and many other day-to-day tasks.  Learning how to make the most of Siri is important because it will allow you to increase your productivity and take your mind off all the little details that Siri can handle for you.  You won’t have to worry about forgetting an appointment or dropping the ball on your to-do list because you now have a phenomenal personal assistant.

These helpful hints are just the tip of the iceberg, so keep an eye out in future posts for more helpful tips and tricks for Siri.

 

 

 

 
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Apple inc Looking to Design 3D Feature for iPhone, iPad

A Look at the Future

Your iPhone or iPad might come with 3D object manipulation in the near future.  Apple currently holds a patent filing that carries implications for the company’s future plans for 3D object manipulation.  The filing, with the revealing title “Working with 3D Objects,” was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday.  It describes the concept for manipulating objects in three dimensions by way of gestures, meaning that three dimensional object representations will be moved and rotated, stretched and pulled, just by waving your fingers over the device’s screen.

 

Apple looking to go 3D

How it Works

Users will likely find that getting into 3D manipulation is easier than it might seem.  Common gestures like pinching will allow control in 2D, while getting the object into 3D will only require touching the 2D representation at three points and then lifting your fingers from the screen.  Object manipulation will be simple, requiring only simple gestures above the screen of your device.

Apple’s filing reveals that pinching or pulling gestures will actively affect the representational object by squeezing or stretching specific parts of it, much like working with clay.  This could prove to be a particularly useful modification for use in CAD programs, allowing the designer to modify a 3D object with a whole new set of tools.

The patent application provides the following explanation:

The CAD program may provide a drafting area showing 2D or 3D objects being processed by the user, and menus outside the drafting area for allowing the user to choose from various tools in generating or modifying 2D or 3D objects. For example, there may be menus for 2D object templates, 3D object templates, paint brush options, eraser options, line options, color options, texture options, options for rotating or resizing the objects, and so forth. The user may select a tool from one of the menus and use the selected tool to manipulate the 2D or 3D object.

 

Viewing in 3D

It’s probable that the use of some type of 3D glasses will be required in order to see the objects properly.  The patent filing allows for a display that utilizes parallax barriers or lenticular lenses.  The display may make use of varied polarizations that are intended for the right or left eye and that will need to be viewed through a polarized pair of 3D specs.  Apple’s technology may be about to take a huge leap forward and users could be looking at it in a whole new way.

 

 
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Apple Plans Pre-Holiday Revamp for iPad, iPhone, Software

Published on August 13, 2013 by in Apple, iPad, iPhone, Mac

Apple to do a pre-holiday revamp

September iPhone Unveiling is Precursor for Holiday Plans

Much excitement surrounds the September introduction of the new iPhone 5S, but Apple has larger plans in store for holiday shoppers.  Apple is also purportedly planning to release revamped versions of the iPad and iPad mini prior to the holiday shopping season.

The new iPad will be thinner and sport a bezel that is not as wide as in previous models.  Its 9.7 inch screen will be encased in a body that is more like that of the current iPad mini; the new design is the first change in over a year.  March 2012 saw the last major change in iPad design when a high-resolution screen was introduced in the new iPad shape.  The company is also expected to introduce a new version of the iPad mini that will feature a high-definition screen.

Apple’s New Versions Aim to Capture Huge Market Share

These new product versions are expected to entice holiday shoppers who have not purchased new Apple products due to the lack of choices available.  With almost 70% of Apple’s last-quarter sales accounted for by iPad and iPhone sales, the release of new versions of these products is expected to help the company recapture some of its stock growth and market share.  These releases are designed and timed to boost stock prices that have slumped for Apple recently due to a lack of new products and slow profit growth.

Software Updates Also Expected

In June, Apple laid out plans to provide software updates and introduce iOS 7.  New iPhones and iPads will be equipped with the new mobile operating system.  iOS 7 includes changes to several basic functions like e-mail and calendar apps, as well as offering new color schemes and icons.

All Eyes on Apple

Analysts have predicted that Apple will garner huge profits during the 2013 holiday shopping season.  Many other companies are not even going to try to compete with them, instead opting to change the release dates of their own products in order to avoid being in Apple’s (admittedly huge) shadow.  All eyes will be on Apple for these new releases.  After the new products hit the market just in time for the holiday season, the company is expecting a boom in their sales numbers that will last approximately six months.

 

 
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iPhone 5S Rumored For August Launch

Published on March 6, 2013 by in Apple, iPad, iPhone, News, Rumors

Well kids, here we go again: another day, another Apple rumor story.  This time, it’s about iOS devices; specifically a release date for the next iPhone model.  According to i-everything blog iMore, the folks in Cupertino are eying an August launch for the iPhone 5S.  The phones are reportedly already in the manufacturing pipeline at Foxconn.  This is because the 5S doesn’t appear to be a major design departure from the current iPhone 5. Rather, it’s a spec speed bump, and is said to include a more advanced processor and a better camera.

The next interesting rumor floating about involves an “April-ish” launch for new iPads.  Even iMore said they weren’t sure what to make of this, given that we just saw a new release in October, with the iPad mini. They report that new cases for iPad 5 have begun to leak, and so they believe that it’s more believable than Retina for the iPad mini anytime terribly soon.

Apple Insider also noted that Jeffries analyst Peter Misek predicted that Apple will be launching a second smartphone alongside the 5S, possibly the widely-whispered low-cost version targeted at developing markets.  Time will tell if these rumors have an validity, but it looks like we won’t have long to find out.

 
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