Posts Tagged iPhone 5
While several of my compatriots here at 148Apps waxed lyrical about all sorts of general things they appreciate from the past year, I’m going to get specific. Sometimes, it truly is the little things that make me happy. To wit, the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, the Letterpress word game, a portable bluetooth speaker, and an illuminated portable keyboard. Seriously, these all made my 2012 just that bit brighter.
I reviewed this as a Wi-Fi only device, then promptly went out and bought an LTE model. The iPad mini is everything I’ve ever wanted in a tablet, with the perfect form factor and amazing battery life. While I still would love a faster processor or higher resolution screen, the mini is an unbelievably fantastic device at any price. I use it daily for news reading, writing, music creation, calendar reminders, and a ton of things that I used to just use my iPhone for. Now that I have the iPad mini, I can keep my iPhone just a bit more charged as I offload many tasks to the mini.
The iPhone 5 is a triumph of form and function, as many an outlet has proclaimed from the start. What I find amazing about it is how simply useful it is. The combination of killer app ecosystem, tied into the well-iterated iOS 6 structure and married to an absolutely flawless industrial design make this the best iPhone I’ve ever owned. While I do miss the double-sided glass panels of the iPhone 4, the trade off in terms of weight and durability are well worth it. I use this thing in all areas of my life, and I notice more and more people around me doing the same.
Wait, what? A word game? You’d think I’d spend more time with a game like Infinity Blade, or Magic 2013. Maybe even something like Arcane Legends, which I admittedly play daily. The win here goes to Letterpress, however, precisely because it is a word game, and one which has stolen more of my mind share this year than any other game. Winning the game requires a deft handling of both vocabulary and strategy, which keeps me coming back for more, every day.
Braven Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While working on a round up of a few of these jambox-style small, rechargeable portable speakers, I fell in love with the Braven 600 model sent along from the manufacturer for review. You’ll be able to read the full write up in the next few days, but suffice it to say that this one has it all: small footprint, good sound, and incredible battery life. Oh, and pairing it to any Bluetooth capable device is a breeze.
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
I don’t think I could call myself a blogger without some sort of keyboard to use with my iPad 3 or iPad mini while out in the field. Or, you know, at piano lessons. The Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 is a delight to use, as you can see in my full review here. It’s quickly become my keyboard of choice across my many devices, including my Mac mini in my home office (also known as my bedroom). The ability to tap an F key and have the keyboard respond to one of three different devices is a revelation of workflow joy, allowing this to replace my Apple bluetooth keyboard in a rather quick fashion.
Is it really nearly 2013? How did that happen? And why did 2012 go so fast? I have no answer, but I can answer what I enjoyed so much about 2012. It wasn’t the greatest of years for me in many respects, but it was a fantastic year for the technology fan part of me.
Tell me at the start of the year that my main gaming addiction this year would be a card game and I’d have laughed. A lot. I’ve always quite enjoyed solitaire games but usually when I have nothing better to do. Fairway Solitaire has established its place in my daily routine ever since I reviewed it at the start of the year. No mean feat given the wealth of games I’ve played across the year. Its constant trickle of new content each day is all too tempting and I’ve found it to be very relaxing. Shame that some elements of the game require quite a lot of in-app purchases.
I’ve never owned an iPhone since launch before, having always picked them up much later down the line. Thanks to things working out well, I picked up an iPhone 5 two days after its initial launch. I’m so glad I did. Out of all the technology in my house, it’s the most used and not just for work reasons. It might not be the most revolutionary of hardware updates, but the extra screen space and processor power is very handy. Owning the 32gb variety (for the first time) is a particular revelation. Finally, I don’t have to swap out apps and games all the time.
Summer of Sport
As a soccer and athletics fan, this summer was a memorable one. Euro 2012 kept me happy, if predictably disappointed, as an England supporter. The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, made me proud of my country and ecstatic to watch so much fantastic sport. It also marked the first Olympics when iOS devices played an important part in coverage, which was shown through the plethora of apps available.
The Walking Dead
The most emotional game I’ve played in recent years. Bar none. It’s perhaps a little weak on gaming elements and there are a few plotholes by the end, but it doesn’t stop The Walking Dead being a tour de force of emotion. I have no children but I can only imagine the powerful story of a girl desperate to find her parents amongst a zombie invasion, being all the more potent for those who do.
More zombies! Not quite in the same way, though. Zombies, Run! is my exercise companion. I jog, rather than run. A distinct lack of stamina and a continuing foot problem means things are a little slower for me. The key thing is, though, Zombies, Run! motivates me to keep trying. Telling a story linked into exercise is an inspired move and one that genuinely encouraged me to regularly jog. No matter how slow the progress might have been.
Yes, I know iA Writer isn’t an app that came out in 2012. It has had regular updates but that isn’t why it’s in my list, either. It’s here because 2012 marked the year that I bought my first Mac. A MacBook Pro, to be exact. Since then, there have been many apps that have made my life much easier but none more so than the Mac version of iA Writer. I’m using it right now to write this. Even better, if I have to go away from my laptop for whatever reason, I can carry on where I left this on my iPhone or iPad. That flexibility has made a massive difference to my year.
This week at 148Apps.com, site founder Jeff Scott took a closer look at the new studio and game from Aurora Feint co-founder Danielle Cassley: “It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Danielle Cassley. Please indulge me in this short trip down memory lane. Ms. Cassley is one of the co-founders of Aurora Feint. Aurora Feint was our first app review way way back in 2008 here at 148Apps. Sadly, the Aurora Feint games have been removed from the App Store probably due to their reliance on the soon to be shutters OpenFeint. They were and interesting part of the App Store history and will be missed. Aurora Feint the games company eventually became OpenFeint the social game network service as the demand for the social backend built into Aurora Feint became the focus. A couple years later, in April 2011, after great success, OpenFeint the company was purchased by GREE.
Ms. Cassley has always struck me as a superstar seemingly held back by other forces like corporate structure. Much like her co-founder of Aurora Feint, Jason Citron who started his own company recently, she has now started a new game studio to help build the games she wants to see made. The first game from her new company, Red Bird Studios is a joint venture with Velvet Architects and is titled Avengees.
Want to know more? Read the full article on 148Apps.
GiggleApps.com got revolutionary this week, with a review of Ansel & Claire: Paul Revere’s Ride. Amy Solomon writes, “Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride is a splendid educational app for iPad 2 and beyond that does a thorough job of explaining the American Revolution and the details of Paul Revere’s ride.
Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride is a new app in a series of Ansel & Clair apps that revolves around intergalactic travelers Ansel, a travel photographer from planet Virtoos and Clair, the Virtoosian robot who accompanies Ansel to Boston at the start of the American Revolution to take historical photographs used to teach other Virtoosians distant history.”
And finally, AndroidRundown’s KickStarter Spotlight this week was for iGloLED. Joseph Bertolini says, “While it may not be the cheapest, probably the fastest and easiest way to spice up any basement or outside area is to add colored lights. We’ve looked at KickStarter projects in the past that are WiFi enabled smart LED lightbulbs, but these are very expensive per light and only illuminate a small circular area. The other solution is to use LED strips, those long single row ropes of LED’s that can easily be hidden under a bar or inside an entertainment system. Now, I have looked around the internet before for these and buying one is actually a lot more expensive then it initially seems because they have to include their own power adapter and most of them cannot be wirelessly controlled or change color. As you can probably guess, this is exactly what this weeks project, iGloLED does. Like most of our KickStarter projects this operates via WiFi and includes a host of options for customizing the color. If that is not enough there will also be an available SDK which means that this bad boy is open to the public and all of their programming brilliance.”
Another week down, and only 15 shopping days remain this holiday season. Before you give the gift of apps, check all of our sites for the latest news, reviews and more – and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and Like us on Facebook to get the latest updates right when they happen. See you next week!
This week at 148Apps.com, we turkey trotted our way into Thanksgiving and the holiday season with a tremendous list of apps for sale, courtesy of site founder Jeff Scott: “Black Friday is the biggest sale day of the year for the big box stores. And the same is true for the App Store. But the good thing about the App Store is there’s virtually 0% chance of getting trampled while trying to get that $39 laptop everyone is racing for.
This week and into Monday we’ll likely see hundreds of iOS games and apps on sale at some really great prices. We’ll be updating this post frequently through Monday with the best of the sale apps and games.”
Want to know more? Read our full Price Drop list at 148Apps.
The holiday spirit continued at GiggleApps.com, with Amy Solomon’s review of Wombi Toys: “Wombi Toys – a toy workshop for kids is a new interactive app that my son is really enjoying.
My son always get so much out of immersive role-playing apps, be it mini-games or more open-ended adventures which allow my son to cook for animals, plant a garden, pretend to be a doctor, fix a car or play tea party.
For those parents who know exactly the genre of app I am talking about, it is worth getting to know Wombi, a Swedish developer with a wonderful sense of style.
They have developed a series of really fun jigsaw puzzles of different themes and other apps that I have also enjoyed, so I was super-excited for the release of Wombi Toys – a toy workshop for kids which allows children to play toy-themed mini-games, building or fixing a very nice variety of toys such as wind-up car, painting alphabet blocks or using a hand pump to inflate a ball as each of these games are cute and fun, tactile as well as intuitive.”
Released: 2012-10-18 :: Category: Games
Finally, AndroidRundown.com writer Carter Dotson shared some unfortunate news: One of the biggest names of the early days of touchscreen mobile gaming is about to finally fade away: parent company GREE is shutting down OpenFeint, effective in December.
OpenFeint may not be as fondly remembered on Android as it is on iOS. It was the first real service to provide leaderboards and achievements, a much-desired feature. However, the platform failed to expand upon that core functionality once Game Center kicked in and became ubiquitous; while features like cloud saves were implemented by OpenFeint (and seen in games like INC which provided cross-platform saves) they never took off with developers or the public. However, the service was still purchased by GREE, and has been languishing recently as it transitions in to the GREE Platform.”
And, as the tryptophan kicks in, we bid you a fond adieu this week. But make sure you keep track of all the latest sales, contests, reviews and news items by following us on Twitter and Facebook. See you next week. Gobble gobble.
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Skype, that venerable internet audio, video and text chat app that began life as a way to dial real phones from your computer, has updated its software to better support the screen size of the iPhone 5. Hooray!
What’s New in Version 4.1.2
-Support for iPhone 5 display.
There has been a very exciting rush by TV show producers to get their content onto mobile devices. But it hasn’t been without a good number of issues. First, the content is split amongst dozens of different apps. Next, the shows have seriously stupid usage rights. Sometimes you can only watch shows weeks after first aired. Some shows expire after a few weeks only to appear again many months later. Trying to keep it straight and figure out where any show is can be annoying.
What about your DVR? I have been a long term fan of TiVo. I bought the first box they made and have upgraded multiple times over these past ten plus years. The problem with TiVo is that they have been very slow to adapt to new technologies like streaming content to mobile devices. Until recently you just couldn’t do it without special PC software and a hours of processing time. While TiVo has released a new streaming device, it only works locally unless you remember to download your shows first. Better, but still not good.
Sometimes I just wished I had access to everything on my DVR while on the go. Well, that’s where Sling comes in. A wholly owned subsidiary of Echostar, Sling has been making devices to give you access to your recorded and live content while on the go for years. They do this by having their box sit between your cable box or DVR and your TV. You connect the output of your cable box to the Slingbox and the output of the Slingbox to your TV. While this process can be a bit tedious with many of the included cables to connect, the included instructions are clear and easy.
We’ve taken a look at the Slingbox and player before but a lot has changed since then. For one, the latest Slingboxes support full 1080p HD streaming, assuming you have a good enough connection. They have also been updated to support the iPhone 5 screen for widescreen 16:9 viewing. And at some point after our previous review was posted, support was added to allow streaming over cell networks.
The iPad and iPhone versions of the app both do a good job allowing you to stream from a Slingbox. The iPad version is much easier to use due to the larger screen size, allowing for more controls on the screen. While the iPhone interface isn’t horrible, it could use a rethink.
Overall, the Slingbox 500 was easy to setup, if not super quick. Once it was installed it worked well. Connecting to it from remote was quick and worked well. Changing or selecting a recorded show to watch can be a bit tedious, though, with a 3-4 second delay for each remote key press. Once the streaming started, very few hiccups were noticed.
Is the Slingbox 500 the ideal way to get your content on the go? No. But it is, by far, the best very option right now to give you access to that content on the go. And let’s be honest, it’s likely to be the best option for some time. Access to content will get much stricter before it gets more convenient.
The Slingbox 500 is available online or at Best Buy now for $299.99.
Released: 2009-05-13 :: Category: Entertainment
This week at 148Apps.com, we kicked off October by interviewing the developer of iOS horror game Organ Trail. Rob Rich writes, “I make no attempt to hide my adoration for Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. I love this game and I’m proud of it. So having the opportunity to ask The Men Who Wear Many Hats – specifically Ryan Wiemeyer, co-owner and designer – a few questions was quite exciting. From the Flash game with over half a million fans to their new Greenlight venture, it’s all fair game for these enterprising haberdashers. Okay so they don’t necessarily make the hats but you get the idea.”
Released: 2012-08-09 :: Category: Games
Nothing nearly as frightening was happening at GiggleApps.com this week. Amy Solomon reviewed Tizzy Seasons, saying, “Tizzy Seasons is a delightful application for young children which teaches about each of the four seasons. Not a word is spoken or seen as text within this application, making this app a very nice selection for children no matter their language background. Start by choosing a boy or girl character and then a season with a tap, each charmingly expressed within four beautifully crafted scenes and each coming together as four corners of a background image, yet showing each season’s differences with the use of color and other details.”
Released: 2012-08-22 :: Category: Education
And last, but certainly not least, founder Jeff Scott announced across all 148Apps sites, including 148Apps.biz, “We are very excited to announce that 148Apps and our network of sites have been acquired by our friends at Steel Media! 148Apps joins the amazing network of app related sites such as Pocket Gamer, Pocket Gamer.biz, AppSpy, Padvance, Quality Index, and more.
For more than four years 148Apps has covered the world of iOS apps and games. It started as a passion of mine and has now expanded to include the best writers this side of Mars. Now along with the Steel Media portfolio of sites, we have mobile apps and games covered from every angle.”
From interviews, to reviews, to exciting, game-changing news – this week had it all. Keep track of the latest developments across the mobile app world by following us on Twitter or Liking us on Facebook. See you next week!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The fantastic mutli-service IM client, IM+, was updated today, with some welcome fixes.
What’s New in Version 7.3
– Support for iOS 6 and iPhone 5
– Message queue: outgoing messages are queued if network is not available and will be automatically sent when network connection is restored
– UI improvements
– Bug fixes
This week at 148Apps.com, we pondered life after the change from Google Maps to Apple Maps. Carter Dotson took a look at his Favorite Four alternatives to Apple’s built-in guidance system: “So, there’s a bit of a brouhaha over iOS 6 switching its maps provider from Google Maps to TomTom and other Apple sources. Yes, the 3D flybys in the maps are pretty, but the lack of details once had in Google Maps and loss of transit directions is a backbreaker for some. Sure, Google Maps has a mobile website that can be added as a web app, but maybe it’s time for something all new. Unless or until a separate Google Maps application is released, here’s four fine alternatives for mapping and directions.”
Released: 2009-06-11 :: Category: Navigation
GiggleApps writer Amy Solomon got cooking with a kids’ game called Dr. Panda’s Restaurant: “My son and I are thoroughly enjoying Dr. Panda’s Restaurant as this app has so much to offer in cooking fun for children of all ages. This app consists of a two-story restaurant, each containing a two-person table to be filled with the animals who get welcomed by Dr. Panda, now the chef of this restaurant as well as the one who greets these animals before they are sent to their table. Eight animals are included, as are ten recipes to cook.”
Released: 2012-09-01 :: Category: Games
And finally, AndroidRundown.com featured a KickStarter Spotlight on Lifx. Joseph Bertolini writes, “Lifx is an LED light that connects to any home wireless network and is controlled by a smartphone. It would have been easy for the developers to just simply stop at changing the color, and I, frankly, would have been satisfied. But seeing as this is a KickStarter project, it is a safe bet that these developers did not become complacent. Some simple additions, such as dimming and batch operation are included, but the one that I am most impressed by is the ability for the light to deliver phone notifications. Imagine every time a text message comes in the room blinks green or blue for Facebook notifications. There is also an option to program lights onto specific actions and cycles, such as dimming over a period of time or turning on every day at 8 am.”
And that about covers it for the week that was. Joins us every day for the latest news, reviews and contests – and keep track of it all by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. See you in 7.
Thinner and lighter, and we’re not talking about the length of this podcast; it’s a long one.
On This Episode:
The iPhone 5 came out, and actual iPhone 5 owners, Blake Grundman and Brett Nolan, discuss with Carter Dotson how it impacts gaming and their thoughts on it, including if it is really worth it. As well, the cast discusses iOS 6’s Game Center Challenges, Blake’s pinball addiction, and the pros and cons of the new Lightning connector, and how it will impact other accessories and upcoming iOS devices.
- “Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)” by The Eternal – Download on iTunes here:
- “Nanocarp” by The Eternal
How to Listen:
- Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
- Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.
- Listen Here:
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Ah yes, iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 just came out. As with every major iOS release, complaints of battery life being worse than before are in tow. There are ways to preserve battery life on iOS, thankfully.
Now, the thing with saving battery life is that there’s a trade-off between being able to leave some feature on, and having to jump in and out of settings to re-enable features we need. If you’re so fed up with battery life that you really need to start disabling features, here’s a rundown of what may help.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not using it.
While it can be convenient to leave these on, and Wi-Fi assists in location detection, they’re also both massive idle battery drains because they’re constantly scanning in the background. Disable both of these features in Settings when not using them. Bluetooth settings are no longer hidden under submenus iOS 6, making it easier to manage.
Disable or Reduce Cellular Data When Necessary
If you don’t need or don’t have data service available, then disabling Cellular Data can save on battery life while leaving you available to the world. What if you have wifi access and are not expecting – or not wanting – any calls, and anyone who needs to reach you has iMessage? Well, Airplane Mode serves as a handy way to make sure that there’s no usage of cellular access at all. It should dramatically improve battery life.
LTE on the iPhone 5 is fast, and will also drain your battery fast. Your Twitter notifications will come in just fine on 3G networks alone, so disable LTE when not needing it, or not in an LTE service area, to save some battery life. Disable this in Settings -> General -> Cellular. Older phone models may have the option to disable 3G networks.
Turn Off Notifications, and Reduce Background Data Usage
Getting lots of notifications can be a real drain on battery life as the screen constantly turns on, and the device constantly polls the Apple servers for notifications. While there’s no easy way in iOS 6 to turn off all notification, at least turning off certain applications’ notifications can help.
As well, if you have push email and don’t really need it, set it to Fetch every so often, or just check it manually. This can be done from Settings -> Mail, Contacts, and Calendars -> Fetch New Data and diabling Push, and setting Fetch to manual.
Just Buy an External Battery Already
Look, the reason we leave all this stuff on is because we want the convenience of being able to jump from mobile data to Wi-Fi, to be notified of every little thing, and to have a screen so bright it could be seen from space. So why trade off? There are plenty of external batteries out there, including separate ones, and ones built in to cases. Yes, it’s something else to carry around, and will leave less pocket room, but for the ability to never have to turn off Bluetooth ever again when you want to pull out that keyboard? Priceless. Mophie makes battery-enabled cases with wide availability. NewTrent makes external battery packs that are beefy enough to charge an iPhone several times over. DealExtreme is a great source for cheap external chargers.
Have other ways to save some battery life? Let us know in the comments below!
This week at 148Apps.com, iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 were never too far out of our collective consciousness, as evidenced by site founder Jeff Scott’s discussion of changes in the iOS App Store: “Take exposing the top paid, free, and grossing apps at the same time on the landing page of the Top Apps list, for instance. It seems like a small change, but it promotes free apps to the front of the page and lowers the exposure of the top paid apps past the first three. Michael Zaletel of i4software notes, ‘This gives MUCH MORE prominence to the Top Free Apps and so I predict Free apps and Freemium apps will see a big boost after today.'”
Meanwhile, back in the GiggleApps.com cave, reviewer Amy Solomon had this to say about Superhero Comic Book Maker HD: “Comic Maker allows one to choose from 27 backgrounds, a blank page and a chance to access photos from one’s device to work on. I really enjoy these backdrops, each bold and colorful, as there are wonderful choices to stimulate creative thinking and superhero or monster themes, such as the POV from a spaceship, industrial setting with robots and a conveyer belt, as well as other more natural scenes including a farm, saloon, or desert, which allow these characters to visit Earth. It is worth noting that although the theme here includes monsters, every image included within is utterly family-friendly, as is the included classical music based on classic nursery rhymes that Duck Duck Moose is known for.”
Released: 2012-08-01 :: Category: Games
And staying on the ‘Super’ theme, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson solicited some marketing advice from Supercool Creative: “Social media is often an enigma to developers looking to promote their apps. It’s a tool that can be incredibly powerful for getting more downloads and driving revenue, but just how to succeed with it is a mystery to many. Facebook integration, especially with the App Store, has been anticipated by developers as a way to help their games spread through social media, but these features won’t be doing all the work to make an app gain users through social media usage. However, David Murdico has written an interesting blog post for Supercool Creative entitled “5 Ways to Promote Mobile Apps and Games with Social Media” that covers many ways to best utilize social media to developers’ advantage.”
That’s it for this week, but with fall…um…falling, there’s sure to be a huge amount of new content about to drop before the holidays. Keep up with the latest by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. We’ll make it worth your while! See you next week!
As I’m sure everyone on the planet knows, the iPhone 5 comes out this week. If you are a heavy iPhone user you no doubt have some sort of a battery like our favorite, the Mophie for your iPhone. With the iPhone 5 release and the new Lightning connector, these old devices won’t work. And Mophie and others don’t yet have Lightning and iPhone 5 compatible devices available. We’ve found a solution, and have also found a great deal for you.
New Trent makes some of our favorite external batteries for recharging all kinds of USB connected devices. The IMP 120D is a massive 12,000mAh at about 1 1/2 the size of a deck of cards. That’s enough to recharge the iPhone 5 multiple times. It is a USB charger — meaning that you plug in a USB cable into the battery and then connect that to your device to charge it. So it works with a wide variety of devices. We’ve used our with iPhones, iPads, other phones, even digital cameras.
We got an email about a special deal from New Trent and Amazon.com, if you buy the New Trent IMP 120D, and use coupon code 3IMIRROR on Amazon, you get a second, slimmer 6,000mAh battery ($40 value) for free. Here’s how to do it:
Add the IMP 120D to your Amazon cart from this link: New Trent IMP 120D
Add the iMirror, 6,000mAh battery to your Amazon cart: New Trent iMirror
Go to your cart on Amazon and enter promo code: 3IMIRROR and the price of the iMirror will be discounted to $0! One note – we have no idea how long this deal will last. If this looks good to you, buy it quickly.
Now when you get the batteries, just plug in the Lightning USB cable you got with your iPhone 5 and you are all set to recharge on the go.
iOS 6 Roundup
Last week, Apple announced the iPhone 5, much to the surprise of everyone I’m sure (that’s sarcasm). The new phone has some pretty nifty features, but not everyone will be waiting in line for days in order to get their hands on one. Those of us who don’t want to trade-up just yet still have a way to scratch that “new Apple gadget” itch, however: iOS 6. This new iOS will be compatible with most older devices, including the iPhone 3GS (Yay!) and above, the fourth generation iPod Touch and up, and the iPad 2 and later. So while I might not be able to get my hands on a 5 just yet, I can still feel special when my phone starts to do new and exciting things!
iOS 6 – Plenty of changes to some old favorites
Before we get in to all the major changes and new features I want to take a moment to go over some of the smaller tweaks to the apps many iOS users can’t live without. The camera has gotten a bit more attention this time around. Users can take panoramic photos now with their iPhone 4S/5 and iPod Touch 4th/5th generation, up to 240 degrees both horizontally and vertically. They have simply to sweep the camera along using a predefined motion and the device and software takes care of the rest. Then, said photos and everything else on the camera roll can be shown off to friends quickly and easily with the Photo app. Video chatting with friends and family via FaceTime has also gotten much simpler now that the app can work over a cellular network and Wi-Fi is no longer required–provided the carrier allows for that sort of thing, naturally.
Even the Notification Center has been revamped with Twitter or Facebook posting allowed directly from the notifications window and the option to quiet those irritating 3am notices, thanks to the new Do Not Disturb feature (more on that later). Last, but certainly not least to the accident prone, Find My Phone has been updated to include a Lost Mode which allows users to remotely lock their misplaced phone with a 4-digit code and display contact information for honest folks to use in order to return the lost device. This goes hand-in-hand with Find My Friends, an app that uses GPS to keep track of friends and family, even going so far as to issue alerts when certain individuals have left or reached specific destinations. It sounds weird, but think of it in terms of the kids leaving school and getting home. Pretty nifty, I know, but this is just the beginning.
iTunes, App Store, iBookstore – Refurbishing the storefronts
iTunes, the App Store, and the iBookstore are also getting adjustments by way of some slightly revamped storefronts, Facebook integration (“like” items in the store or view items that friends like), and a new preview feature that automatically keeps track of any apps/music/books that you browse through. You can view this list from within any of the three stores–and across any of their iOS devices thanks to iCloud–and make purchases from it directly.
It’s that most magical time of year: the time before a new iPhone launches. This means that for many people, it’s time to sell that old phone to buy the new one. For those looking to ditch their phone, here’s three handy tips to make sure everything goes smoothly in transitioning to the iPhone 5.
Make Sure the Phone is Backed Up
There’s no real need to start fresh with any missing contacts or apps when using a new iPhone. Follow our handy guide to setting up backups via iCloud or iTunes. Then, when the new iPhone is purchased, simply restore to the backup of that phone. On iTunes, this is just as simple as selecting the device from the list when choosing what to restore from. For iCloud backups, make sure to log in to the same iCloud account when restoring on the new device. It may be a good idea to note which iCloud account is being used on your old iPhone. Remember as well that backups are cross-compatible, so even an iPod touch backup could be used to restore to the new iPhone
Make Sure the Phone is Erased.
No one wants to accidentally hand over a phone with all their contacts, saved payment information in apps, and their most embarassing photos to a stranger or even worse: a family member! Thankfully, erasing a device is easy. Just go to Settings -> General -> Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings. This will erase all user data on the phone. Make sure it’s backed up first! This will leave it in a state where it will be possible to restore to a new device. If you’re selling it to someone you don’t know, you may want to set it up as a new device just so they can test the features out, while showing how to erase it so they can set it up themselves, possibly even from a backup they made!
A website like Gazelle or a store like GameStop may make it easy to sell the phone quickly and securely, but this will not net as much as selling it directly to another person will. Selling via eBay or Craigslist is a good way to quickly sell the phone, but it comes with the inherent risk of dealing with strangers. Hold on to the original receipt if possible in order to ensure that you have proof that you purchased it in case someone tries to claim that the phone was stolen. Especially log your phone’s IMEI or ESN, a phone’s unique identifying number, if possible, as it is what the carriers use to track stolen phones. Here’s how to find this information on the iPhone itself. Having a log of this may help if a scammer tries to claim you sold them a stolen phone.
Good luck out there!
In spite of preorders of over 2 million iPhone 5s in less than 24 hours, the iPhone 5 is boring. Yes, it’s true. It’s boring. But, it needs to be. You see, boring works, boring is usable.
First, what is boring about it? It improves on every single aspect of the iPhone 4S. Some features are considerably better. LTE data speed is astonishing. The overall speed of the device, faster than any Android phone, is amazingly responsive. The screen expands for the first time ever in a uniquely usable way. So why then, is it boring? Because it’s Apple.
Apple has a track record of revising their products in ways that don’t vastly change the device in any single iteration. And that’s the case here. The device is amazingly more usable, but it’s not that different. Well that is until you start using it. Those writing that it’s boring don’t have the device yet.
You have to remember that there are a few fundamental things that set Apple devices apart from other device manufacturers:
Apple doesn’t add features people won’t use.
Apple doesn’t add features they can’t control.
Apple makes stuff that just works.
Apple innovates through revising what works, not bulk overhaul.
Many in the media expect every company to add “amazing” new features with every revision. There’s a problem with that though, most of those amazing features are unintutive, uneeded, and unwanted. But, those features take up words and make writing about the devices easier. The reality is that no one uses these oddball, yet somehow banner features like the stuff Samsung adds with every new product revision. Whizbang features do not equate with usable features. Apple is more pragmatic than that and add features that work and that people will use.
What’s the summary of all this? The iPhone 5 is fastest, most usable, feature rich, and amazing, yet boring phone ever.
I can’t wait for my boring new iPhone.
This week at 148Apps.com, everything was about – what else? – the iPhone 5. Site founder and all-around iPhone guru Jeff Scott provided some much-needed advice for anyone interested in switching carriers when upgrading: “So you, like many, have decided to switch carriers with the iPhone 5? You could go data only but perhaps you still need the phone part of the iPhone. Let’s say for instance you are tired of the customer-hostile management at AT&T and want to move to Verizon. Just, you know, as an example.
Let’s rundown what you will need to make the switch and any pitfalls you might hit. It’s a fairly simple process, but there are some things you should know first, before starting.”
Meanwhile, GiggleApps headed to the Great White Way, courtesy of Amy Solomon’s review of Broadway Barks: “Broadway Barks is a lovely interactive story, written, narrated and sung by Tony-winning actress Bernadette Peters, based on the previously published children’s book with CD of the same name. Versions for both iPhone as well as iPad are available.
This is a cute and charming story of a dog who no longer has a home and is all alone in the park until he is discovered and given a chance to be seen at Broadway Barks – a charity event in New York City to promote the adoption of animal, ultimately finding a new home.”
Finally, 148Apps.biz featured a how-to for creating a better mobile app from Prince Arora: “You just came up with a great idea for a mobile app or you are working on a new feature to add in your existing app. You have laid out all the screens, primary & secondary actions, and interaction flow in your head and you get down to write the code.
Great! However, this scenario is the same as starting to build a house without a blueprint. Wireframes are like blueprints and visual design is like interior decoration for an app.
So before you start writing code, work on a blueprint — this includes writing down the features/user stories, designing the flow charts, defining the primary & secondary action and designing the wireframes. These sounds like a lot but I’ll walk you through each step to show you how simple it can be.”
And that, my friends, brings us to the end of a very busy and exciting week. Stay abreast of the latest news, reviews and contests by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook, and be sure to meet me back here next weekend for a rundown of what you might have missed. See you next week!
So you, like many, have decided to switch carriers with the iPhone 5? You could go data only but perhaps you still need the phone part of the iPhone. Let’s say for instance you are tired of the customer-hostile management at AT&T and want to move to Verizon. Just, you know, as an example.
Let’s rundown what you will need to make the switch and any pitfalls you might hit. It’s a fairly simple process, but there are some things you should know first, before starting.
Double check your new carrier choice
While you can look at coverage maps online to see where your new carrier of choice has coverage (see below for quick reference). It’s always best to double check the service in the places that matter most to you. For most people this is going to be home and work. Find someone you know on your new carrier in or near those locations and check their signal strength as close to those locations as you can.
This is a much more reliable way to test that your new carrier will have service where it matters to you most.
Call your current carrier, and be nice
It’s a good idea to call your current carrier to find out what your early termination fees will be, if any. They may give you the tough sell and try to get you to stay. Be careful though, unless the deal is killer and enough to sway you, they could renew your contract for another two years if you agree to a new plan rate.
Try to be nice to them, even though you are likely fed up by now. Remember that the person you are talking to doesn’t set the policies or prices.
If any of your phones are still under contract, you’ll be looking at an early termination fee. This will be somewhere around $350 minus $10/per month fulfilled in your contract depending on when you signed up and what carrier you have. And that’s for each line still under contract.
If you are out of contract, the carrier you are switching from shouldn’t charge you anything to cancel, except perhaps a small account change fee; they get you whenever they can.
Make the Switch
To actually pull the trigger and make the switch you’ll create a new account at your new carrier of choice. This is typically done when you order your new phone. In this case we’ll assume you are ordering the iPhone 5. You’ll create the account during the ordering process and then cancel your old account after your new phone is all set up and working.
You’ll need your current mobile phone number, your account number, and your account password from your current carrier to make the switch. Though those things are only needed if you wish to keep your current phone number. If you are getting a new number, you’ll just need to call your current provider to cancel your account once the new one is working.
Next you’ll need to decide if you want to do the switch online or in a store. Each has it’s advantages. In store you will have someone who will help you walk through the process. If you do it online you won’t need to wait in any lines.
Make the Switch Online
You can pre-order the iPhone 5 and switch carriers at the same time. Here’s what you need to know to do so.
First, during the order process you want to create a new account with your new carrier. You will likely need to choose what level of service you want to for the new account and then continue.
Next, you will have two choices when you order your phone online. You can either keep your current phone number (called number porting), or you can get a new one. Think about both options, you may want a new number, especially if your old boyfriend/girlfriend keeps bugging you.
If you want to keep your current number, at some point during the process it will ask for your current phone number, your account number and password with your current carrier. The account number and password are what you typically use to login to your carrier’s site to check your account. For some carriers, your account number may be the same as your phone number.
Enter this and it will walk you though the process to port the number. A couple more steps and you’ll likely be asked for your Social Security Number as the carrier will want to do a credit check before opening your account.
Finish the process answering things like your billing address, then do the normal hardware ordering process, pay for it, and then wait. And skip to The Switch is Done below.
Make the Switch In Store
By far the easiest way to do this is to go to the carrier you want to move to. After all they are incentivized (and the salesperson usually gets commission) to get you set up properly. You can also go the the Apple Store to do this and it will be just about as easy.
When you get to the store let them know that you want to create a new account with your new carrier. They will get the information needed and help you pick a service level plan. You will need to decide if you want to keep your current phone number (called number porting), or you can get a new one. Think about both options, you may want a new number, especially if your old boyfriend or girlfriend keeps bugging you.
The sales assistant will need your phone number, account number and password with your current carrier. The account number and password are what you typically use to login to your carrier’s site to check your account. For some carriers your account number may be the same as your phone number.
The rest of the process will be fairly straightforward, filling out forms with your address, billing info, etc.
The Switch is Done
Ok, the switch is done, your phone is ordered, now what?
Nothing will really happen until you get and activate your new iPhone. When that happens, your phone number will transfer over and your old account will be a zombie. This will likely happen in store if you go that route, or when you plug in your phone for the first time if you order it online. If you ported over your number, that will take 1-3 hours from when your new phone is turned on. Once that’s done your phone number will ring to your new phone on your new carrier.
Once you have your new phone, new account, and everything is in working order, it’s a good idea to call your old carrier again. You will need to close the account down and pay any termination fees. If you don’t close your account, they may just keep it open and assign you new phone numbers and keep charging you.
While talking to them, ask them to unlock your phone as well. It will make it worth a bit more money down the road.
Backup and Restore Your Old iPhone
If you already have an iPhone you’ll likely want to use iCloud or iTunes to backup and restore your phone. This will bring over all your apps, preferences, and data to your new phone. Here’s our Howto backup your device with iTunes or iCloud guide that will walk you through that.
Enjoy your new iPhone and your new carrier!
They will hopefully be better for you. Remember that each carrier has dead spots, don’t expect your phone to magically work everywhere. And the dead spots that you memorized for your old carrier will likely be different now. You phone may get reception in places it didn’t before and will likely not get reception in all new places. Hopefully you did step one above to make sure it works in the places most important to you.
Consider donating your old phone to a charity that helps people in need. Or you could sell it, hopefully as an unlocked phone. Just make sure to wipe the old phone’s data before you get rid of it (instructions in the above linked backup post).
Here’s a quick reference to some of the items you may need in helping you decide if you want to switch carriers.
Apple held a special event in San Francisco today to announce the iPhone 5 and a few other things. While just about everything about the new device had already been leaked, in typical Apple style, the event still held a few surprises.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about the event today.
It’s in the numbers…
As Apple does at just about every event they started out with a recap of some recent numbers showing how well they have done recently. And this time around it was no less impressive. Here’s a quick rundown of the amazing numbers all in one place for quick reference:
The iPad continues to impress and dominate the tablet market. In the words of Tim Cook, Apple CEO: “The iPad has 91% of the tablet web traffic. I don’t know what these other tablets are doing? Perhaps they are sitting in a drawer.”
17 million iPads sold last quarter (April-June 2012), that’s more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line
84 million total iPads sold through June 2012
iPad Market Share, June 2011 – 62% market share
iPad Market Share, June 2012 – 68% market share
iPads represent 91% of web traffic from tablet devices
94% of the Fortune 500 companies are testing / deploying iPads
700,000 iOS Apps in the App Store
250,000 iPad Apps in the App Store (iPad and Universal)
90% of apps in the App Store are downloaded each month
The average iOS customer uses over 100 apps
400 million iOS devices sold through June 2012
150 million Game Center users
600 million sets of those standard iPod headphones produced
26 million songs
20 billion total downloads
iTunes store available in 63 countries
435 million iTunes accounts with 1-click purchase
66% of downloads come from iOS devices
That’s a lot of really impressive stats.
The iPhone 5 takes the iPhone 4S and makes just about everything better. When it took center stage we finally got to see the new specs of this oh so lust-worthy new iPhone.
The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order this Friday, the 14th. With delivery and store availability a week later on the 21st. The prices end up being the same as the 4S, $199/299/399 for 16GB/32GB/64GB with two year contract.
In the US it will be available on the carriers that currently offer the 4S, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
The major new features include a larger screen, about 15% taller than the current iPhone screen. That doesn’t seem like much, but it lets you get an extra row in just about every list app. And it will give you that much more screen in games — or that much more screen that your thumbs won’t cover.
For apps that are not yet optimized for the iPhone 5, you will see those apps just as you do now. No stretching, you’ll just have small black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.
The other big change in the phone is a new dock connector, called Lightning. This is an all digital connector that adapts the pins to what your connected device needs to do — audio, video, charging, etc. It’s build much more robust than the current dock connector and can be inserted either way.
The downside to the new connector is that you are going to need to buy $30 Lightning converters for all of the devices that you need to use that have the old style dock connector. This could get expensive. Not to mention the 20+ dock connector cables I have in a drawer.
A much faster processor, a better camera (though still 8MP), a much better screen that supports a larger color gamut, a FaceTime HD (720p) front camera, all in a a thinner and lighter phone.
Oh yeah, and it has LTE as well. Major speed bump there.
It’s a great upgrade and worth it if you use your iPhone a lot. It’s not a drop everything and upgrade new device as there’s no feature that is just going to make you really crave it. If anything, the new dock connector will make this an expensive update for many. But it is a good feature bump and if you are due for an upgrade, it’s the one to go for.
iOS 6 Release Next Week
We got a quick recap of iOS 6 and the features we had already seen. They have gone through testing and iOS 6 is ready to release next week on September 19th.
The one new iOS 6 feature discussed was the ability to create Panorama images. It’s done quickly and easily by selecting Panorama from the camera options menu and sweeping the camera from left to right. It was shown working on the iPhone 5 and the new iPod touch. It’s not know at this point if this will work on other devices.
iPod touch is a first class citizen again
The iPod touch has been a bit ignored in recent years. The upgrade announced today gives it a huge update and brings it in line with the iPhone 4S / 5 hybrid specs. It’s a great upgrade to what is, but is not marketed as, the biggest selling portable gaming device.
The 5th generation iPod touch will sport the same screen as the iPhone 5, and will have the same processor as the 4S and a similar camera to the iPhone 4. It’s a great update.
The updated iPod touch will be available in five colors in October for $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB versions.
Earpods – 3 years in the making
Apple also introduced new earbud that were three years in the making. The Earpods are really quite good, if a bit badly named. They will also ship with the new iPhone and iPod touch.
Great bass response, amazing for earbuds. They don’t seal in your ear, so no outside noise reduction. But the flip side is that they are much more comfortable.
So that’s it, the rundown of what you need to know. A great event and some great new products.
We can expect more news from Apple before the end of the year. I wonder what it will be…
Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone 5 at a press event this week in San Francisco. The release of the iPhone 5 should follow shortly after that, perhaps as early as September 21st. Without any consideration of the new hardware, there are already a few hurdles that Apple will need to overcome to allow the iPhone 5 and successive devices to reach their full potential.
Took a Samsung to the knee
The problems with Samsung are really two-fold. The most immediatly pressing are the rumors that Samsung will attempt to file an injunction to stop the sale of the iPhone 5 if that device supports LTE. With their pride still quite hurt from losing their latest patent battle in the US with Apple, they are looking for a way to regain a bit of pride. What better way than to mark it’s territory and stop the iPhone 5 from being released by filing for an injunction based on their LTE patent portfolio.
On the flip side, Apple also has quite a few LTE related patents, recently purchased and the ones they already had. This should stop a judge from allowing the injunction, but you never really know with technology and judges. If this happens, expect a bit of a stock hit.
The long term problem with Samsung is their step-by-step duplication of Apple innovations. This will take Apple a long time to overcome in the courts, though recent court rulings have been both for and against Apple. It’s a long road, and unfortunately will slow down both companies, and others in the industry. The only real winners in the fight will be the lawyers, as usual.
This week at 148Apps, we left our white shoes behind and got ready for some football with Carter Dotson’s round-up of apps for the NFL 2012 season: “Are you ready for some football, in particular the 2012–2013 season of the premier American football league, the National Football League? Well, with the season kicking off tonight with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants playing the Dallas Cowboys, I’ve collected four apps to help make the game-watching and fantasy-football-playing experience better. No matter what, they’re better than the replacement refs are going to be!”
Released: 2010-09-10 :: Category: Sports
Over at GiggleApps, Amy Solomon reviewed This Is My Body-Anatomy for Kids, saying, “I have really enjoyed perusing this application, consisting of many sections that cover such topics as how fast one grows, the skin, one’s senses, as well as the different systems of the body, such as digestive, respiratory, muscular, nervous and skeletal, going into a very nice amount of depth for children to appreciate.
As this app opens up, children are given a choice of characters to follow, nicely including boy and girl choices some of which are children of color and an Asian character – lovely inclusions still not seen often enough in the US iTunes store.”
And stalwart reporter Carter Dotson returned yet again, this time on AndroidRundown, to look at the latest developments from Apple iPad rival Amazon: “While rumors of a new iPad mini spread, and the Nexus 7 enjoys its sales numbers, Amazon has laid dormant until now with the announcement of new Kindle Fire devices.
The flagship is the Kindle Fire HD. This will come in both an 8.9″ variety and a 7″ variety; the specs on the 7″ are supposed to be the same as the 8.9″, but Amazon was more keen to show off this version. It’s got a 1920×1200 screen (true HD!) which is 254 ppi (compared to the iPad retina display’s 264 ppi), to go along with a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor, which Amazon claims can do 50% more floating point operations as compared to the Tegra 3 processor in the Nexus 7.”
And that’s a wrap of this weekly wrap-up! Join us throughout the week for the latest contests, reviews and news on our Facebook site as well as on Twitter. Until next week, remember – no white after Labor Day!
Now that the third generation iPad has been released, rumors are starting up about the new iPhone (iPhone 5? the “new” iPhone?). Apparently there’s been some information ‘leak’ that’s started the rumor that the new iPhone will have a bigger, 4.6-inch Retina display.
Of course, we see no facts from anyone proving that this is true. Nor are most people putting much thought into the consequences of changing the dimensions of the iPhone in such an extreme way. John Gruber (at DaringFireball.net) made a great point,
“…this new iPhone would need way more pixels than the current 960 × 640 iPhone display. (If they increased the size but kept the pixel count the same, it would drop beneath Apple’s “retina display” threshold — not going to happen.) That means every app in the App Store would need to be redesigned/resized.”
My math may not be perfect, but going from a 3.5-inch diagonal to a 4.6-inch diagonal doesn’t quite double the area of the screen. So in order to keep the new iPhone at Retina quality, Apple would have to add a quite odd amount of pixels. Updating the graphics in apps for developers wouldn’t be as simple as doubling the resolution. As Gruber said, they would likely have to redesign almost every app in the app store.
My guess: 4.6-inch screen? Not very likely. Chalk this up as another reason we don’t traffic in rumors.
It’s starting to get chilly in a lot of places and that means that folks will likely begin donning gloves to keep their digits warm. Unfortunately, if you’re an iOS user it can be rather difficult to utilize your mobile device in blustery conditions, as the iPhone’s touch screen doesn’t play all that nice with gloves. That problem may soon be solved though, as rumor has it Apple is reworking the screen on the iPhone 5 so it’s more glove-friendly.
Hitachi Displays has created a new projection-type touch panel akin to what the iPhone already uses which has no problem playing nicely with gloves or even a plastic-tipped stylus. Basically, the screen is able to read a touch even through insulators such as cloth, allowing the screen to react even though it isn’t receiving direct finger contact. In another practical application, the screen also works when touched with a fingernail, eliminating the annoyance of not having your iPhone register your taps simply because your nails are getting in the way.
Just because the tech exists doesn’t mean Apple is guaranteed to use it, but there’s little reason to suspect they won’t. Considering current iPhones only work with one specific type of Apple-approved glove the company would likely be very happy to expand functionality and ease the burden on consumers. Furthermore, considering Apple is often the company leading the charge on capacitive touch screens, they’re always interested in any major breakthroughs.
The only thing we don’t yet know is how thick a glove users can wear and have this new screen still function properly. While very thin gloves seem to work just fine, we still have questions about the heavy-duty snow gloves that are ideal for harsher climes. Of course, the folks who live in places where thick gloves are acceptable are often so adapted to the cold they don’t wear gloves at all, but that’s mainly because the pain receptors in their brain are frozen solid so they don’t even realize their fingers could snap off if they even try using their iPhone while outside.
Last week, we reported that the white iPhone has been delayed until Spring, and along the way linked to a couple stories with possible reasons why. One of the more outlandish-sounding ideas was that Apple was killing the white iPhone entirely and just waiting for the iPhone 5, but suddenly that idea doesn’t seem so crazy.
Last week, Apple pulled the white iPhone 4 from its online store, basically removing any possibility that it will be available for pre-order or sale anytime in the near future. The device hasn’t been wiped totally out of existence though, as Apple’s iPhone gallery still touts pics of the enigmatic phone alongside other, existent products.
So what are we to make of all this then? From the order of events (Apple posting the phone in the store, announcing the delay and then pulling it entirely), we’re led to believe that the company had every intention of releasing the device for the holidays, but had to pull the plug at the last minute due to undisclosed reasons. We assume the issues are technical in nature, as there have been all sorts of rumors about the iPhone having trouble with pictures, lighting and so forth due to the lighter casing. The actions of the company this week seem to to be the result of slamming the brakes on a locomotive running at full steam; at this point Apple’s just hoping the whole train doesn’t derail.
While a Spring release is still the company’s official line, the idea that the phone may ever come out is looking less and less likely. If the iPhone 5 arrives around June as expected would Apple even bother to release a soon-to-be-outdated iPhone 4 model, or will they just cut their losses and move on to the next generation? We believe that if the snags that have held up the device don’t clear up soon then it will definitely be the latter.