Apple

iTunes_Movie_Trailers

iTunes Movie Trailers

The Movie Trailers feature of Apple TV has been a long time favorite of mine. When friends come over we sometimes kill a little time just watching trailers and discussing upcoming movies. Before Apple TV you could also do this via the Apple QuickTime website. There are lots of ways to watch movie trailers, but one thing Apple has done well with this is the user interface and high quality nature of the trailers themselves with many streaming in HD. I always liked the Movie Poster way of seeing which trailers were available as well as doing searches. Apple has now brought this experience to iOS.

iTunes Movie Trailers on your iDevice

As you would expect Apple has done a good job with this App in that it looks very much like the Apple TV experience. You can scroll through the movie posters or do searches. Once you tap on a trailer you can choose to play it or in many cases see still photos in a gallery. Surprisingly the photos can be saved to your camera roll, tweeted or emailed. Beyond looking at trailers and stills the app goes further by giving you a calendar of movies that are about to hit theaters as well as what's already in theaters. You can save favorites of trailers and theaters. 

This App just about does it all (almost). I'm not quite ready to give up Flixster just yet. There is no movie rating feature in Apple's App. While you can see Rotten Tomato ratings, you can't rate it yourself and share those ratings with friends. Also there is no way to buy movie tickets from within the App. I would very much like this to be the only App I need, but until Apple adds a couple more features I'll still need to keep at least one of my others. Other than that, iTunes Movie Trailers is a great App and there is no reason not to have it!

You can get iTunes Movie Trailers for Free here from the iTunes

AirPort_Utility

AirPort Utility

One thing is for sure and that is Apple is aggressively removing all obstacles from people that just want to use an iDevice and may not even have a computer. With iOS 5 you can now setup and use an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch without ever having to sync it with a computer. You can download media directly to it as well as back it up to iCloud. So let's say you buy an iPad and an AirPort Base Station to be your wireless access point. If you didn't have a computer, how would you setup your new AirPort?

AirPort Utility for iOS

With the AirPort Utility App you can now not only setup your AirPort base station, but you can manage all of the settings going forward. The App is basic without many frills. Once you launch it it will identify any AirPort Base Stations in range. You can then access and change any of the settings. The App does what it claims to do and while the graphical interface is pretty plain for an Apple App, it works! It's a universal App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It does require iOS 5.

This is one more thing added to a growing list of things that I can do from my iDevices that I don't need my computer for anymore.

You can get the AirPort Utility for Free here from the iTunes

app_store

iPhone 4S and what you need to know…

(image courtesy of Apple.com)

Happy iPhone day! Well actually, happy day after iPhone day. By now most of you know that Apple was releasing a new version of the iPhone on October 4th and for those of you who don't, welcome back from under the rock (kidding). So what's new and why do you care? I'll share all of that and more so read on.

Bring On the Power!

There are many, many new features on the new iPhone 4S. Even though the outside looks the same, inside it is a much improved, much more refined, and a whole lot more powerful!

Lets jump right into the most important improvement in my opinion. The dual core A5 processor. This will be the first iPhone with a dual core processor. Also included is 1Gb (up from 512Mb) of ram. These two things coupled with the dual core graphics translate into a much faster, more robust iPhone. Games are going to fly, videos will have a smoother playback, and photo editing possibilities will grow tremendously. It's an exciting time to be both and iPhone user, and an iPhone developer. Along with the other performance improvements, the Addition of the 64Gb model doubles the largest previously available model.

 

The Good Gets Better

The camera on the iPhone has been, hands down, the most well received and most used of all of the smart phones on the market. With not only the impressive quality of the image files, but also the quality of the Apps available, the iPhone has become the mobile camera of choice for people world wide. Mashable reported recently that the #1 camera used to produce images on Flickr is the iPhone. Apple realizes all of this and has really outdone themselves with the iPhone 4S. It has a completely new 8-megapixel camera taking 3264×2448 pixel pictures. It is supposed to be 30% faster and sports a new backlit image sensor allowing it to take in more light. Along with this is a new f/2.4 lens to go along with the image sensor.

 

Get It Faster!

Everyone remembers Antennagate. You know hold the iPhone4 just so and watch your bars drop down until you lose signal. Not wanting a repeat of that fiasco, Apple has a new antenna system that not only ensures no signal loss from holding the phone a certain way, but also adds some much needed features. The new antenna system allows the iPhone 4S to switch between two antennas for better sound quality and a much faster download speed. This new system allows for a speed increase double of what it is with the standard iPhone4. Remember that these are theoretical speeds so the actual speed will most likely be much lower. Still, there will be a noticeable speed increase. While this isn't quite 4g speed, it's a whole lot better than standard 3g.

 

iPhone Gets A Personal Assistant

Named Siri, Apple also released it's new personal voice assistant for the iPhone 4S. Able to understand natural voice commands, Siri is the new voice assistant that allows you to interact with your iPhone on a whole new level. As a demo, Scott Forstall (of Apple) asked Siri "what's the weather like today" to which the iPhone responded with what the weather was like. It's not limited to weather however. Siri is able to transcribe text messages, search Wikipedia, Google Maps, and much more. Siri is referred to as in "beta" however this only means that Apple will continue to add features and languages as they go.

 

The Bottom Line

I love the new iPhone. Not so much because I have to have the latest and greatest, but because I could really use the increased performance, and better camera. There were some other notable announcements today including iOS 5, iPod Nano, and Cards (not so sure about the usefulness of this last one personally) but the big announcement was the iPhone 4S. So what do you think? Is this enough of an update for you to upgrade from your current phone? Let us know in the comments section.

Pages

5 Apps For Writing Better on the iPad

When the first iPad was released, Steve Jobs went up on stage and touted that the iPad would be great for productivity, in many ways replacing a computer. Now a year later, Apple turned the focus from productivity onto games, an area that has been exploding with new apps. The iPad, however, is still a magnificent device to write on, especially using a bluetooth keyboard. In this post, I want to share with you five of my favorite apps for writing on the iPad.

Simplenote

SimplenoteFirst of the apps is Simplenote, my newly found note taking app. The beauty of this app, apart from that it syncs with the cloud and desktop, is that it is not just limited to notes. Because it has such an extensive way of searching and finding notes, I use it for most writing on the iPad when I just want a blank screen to fill with my words.

Price: Free

Simplenote - Codality

Pages

PagesAlong with the first iPad, Apple released the iWork suite for iPad. In here we find Pages, the mobile version of the great word processor found on the Mac. If formatting is important for you when you are writing on the iPad, definitely try out Pages, since it offers much of the functionality found on the Mac. The downside is that you need to setup your documents first and it doesn’t do many of them stored and sorting is a nightmare.

Price: $9.95

Pages - Apple®

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iphoneos4

iOS 4.2(.1) is finally here – My favorite updates!

After being in beta to developers for over a month, iOS 4.2.1 is now released to everyone through the usual updating process in iTunes. Finally everyone gets to enjoy the added benefits on iOS 4 on the iPad with the great additions.

As an iOS developer, I get to enjoy the betas and pre-releases of all iOS software and thus I have been able to play around with this for about a month so this post is all dedicated to the additions that I have found very useful and some downsides to the update as well.

All iOS 4 features are on the iPad!

Most key new things in iOS 4.2 revolve around the features introduced into iOS 4 this past summer. Let me tell you that it is absolutely wonderful to see these finally coming to the iPad. Now I am not really that excited about the multitasking bit and being able to stream music in the background because I tend not to use my iPad for just that. Maybe I am weird in this way but music is on my iPhone, which is usually next to me whenever I am on the iPad anyway.

Related to the multitasking however is the fast app switching and this is a lovely feature, especially on the iPad. Since iOS 4 came out on the iPhone I have been constantly annoyed when I close an application that I am not launched into the very same position the next time around. This is one of the features that you just get used to, very quickly!

What my favorite addition is you ask? For the iPad, this is probably the unified single mail inbox! Around half of my iPad use relates to doing some sort of work and the email bit has had me grumpy since getting used to the new way on the iPhone. I am so glad that it is now in the iPad as well.

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