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Dictionary Pop Ups In OS X Lion

17 Jun

Lion has a neat little feature discovered by @AppleFortyTwo.  If you need a word looking up, three finger tap on your multitouch pad and hey presto, a neat dictionary pop up appears.  See picture.

9To5 Mac are also reporting that the integration of Dictionary in Lion is much more prevalent including iBooks integration and an official SDK allowing developers to integrate Dictionary with ease.  They also report seeing much more integration in iOS 5 for Apple mobile device suite.

MB

New Apple Time Capsules & Airport Extremes On The Way

15 Jun

9To5 Mac are reporting that the latest Airport Utility update references next generation Time Capsule (4th Gen) and Airport Extreme (5th Gen).  This is on the back of reports that the hardware stock levels have been heavily depleted at retail stores which is also usually a sign of new incoming replacements.

Without many referencing the stock level numbers the references to next gen hardware alone would not necessarily be a massive thing.  Apple always anticipate future hardware releases, this is something very characteristically Apple after all, and therefore, always something that they will be planning to do at some point, perhaps not always so imminently!

MB

New Apple Campus – The Mothership Has Landed

8 Jun

UPDATE: Mayor Gilbert Wong has been quoted as saying that the Apple plans for their new Campus will be suppoted.  “There is no chance we are saying no” to the Mothership, Wong said.

Steve Jobs presented plans to the Cupertino Council for a new Apple Campus.The campus will centre on a huge circular building with some ancilliary parking , R&D and Leisure buildings.  The site will also focus on increasing the green space with an increase in trees and decrease in developed floor space.

Take a look at the presentation below.  Looks pretty special and they have obviously taken time to consider the environmental issues facing such a large development including energy usage where they plan on using the national grid as a backup to an on site natural gas energy system.

MB

OS X Lion £20.99 in the UK from the App Store coming July

7 Jun

Apple have released details of the UK OS X Lion release and it seems to be at a very reasonable £20.99 inc VAT from the App Store as disclosed yesterday.  Nice price and convenient purchase delivery!  Nice One!

iTunes 10.3 Now Available

7 Jun

We have just picked up the newest version of iTunes through Software Update on a Mac.  Here is the Apple description;

What’s new in iTunes 10.3

Introducing iTunes in the Cloud beta. The music you purchase in iTunes appears automatically on all your devices. You can also download your past iTunes purchases. Where you want, when you want.

• Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.

• Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music purchases again at no additional cost. Your purchases are available in the iTunes Store on your Mac or in the iTunes app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.

iTunes 10.3 also adds Books to the iTunes Store, where you can discover and buy your favorite books on your computer and automatically download them to iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. This version also allows you to use Automatic Downloads with apps and books or download previously purchased apps and books from your computer or iOS device.

Enjoy!

MB

Will iOS 5 Pack New Voice Control System

7 Jun

Super charged voice control features from iOS have been muted for a little while now but there was no announcement yesterday with the outing of iOS5 and it’s main features.  However, it was mentioned that iOS would have a lot more new features and tweaks.  Could a superior voice control system be on its way?

Since Apple acquired Siri last year and rumours of detailed talks between voice recognition experts Nuance, along with Nuance software creeping in to OS X Lion all points to a big new feature on it’s way.

But why no annoucnement yesterday.  Well the answer there could be very simple and that is “iPhone 5”!  Apple is rumoured to be prepping the new device to be released later this year in the Autumn.  Do not be surprised if that is alongwide the new iPod announcements which come in the Fall, cioncidentally when iOS 5 should be released.  With Apple looking to play hard with Android, why would they out all the new features now when there will be lots to talk about over a new iPhone as well?

Excited?  Tell us about it!

MB

Apple Keynote WWDC – 6th June 2011

6 Jun

The video of todays Apple Keynote is now available for one and all (with internet access 😉 ) from the Apple website.

MB

WWDC Apple Round Up

6 Jun

It has been hotly anticipated as it is each year so here is a round up and we will do our best to fill in the gaps later!

LION OS X is first up.

“We’re here to talk about 3 things today – Lion, iOS  5 and “some interesting cloud stuff”  Steve Jobs!

250 new features in Lion OS X of which 10 covered at WWDC.

Multi Touch gestures will be a big part of Lion OS X.  No scroll bars on Safari as it is all controlled by Multi Touch Gestures.  This really puts the application in to context of what has been muted through Macbook Pros etc for a while now.  It may take some getting used to but you can really start to see the tablet and desktop world coming together with all of this.

Full Screen Apps, refreshing from last set of announcements from Apple.  Swiping a full screen application for your desktop and swiping again to get is back, neat!

Mission Control – You can have multiple desktops, full-screen apps, and dashboard widgets.

Multiple desktop spaces are integrated into mission control. You can populate these spaces by dragging windows; they’re almost like little desktop folders sitting at the top of your screen.  To clean up a space, click on hit and hit delete and you’re back at your original desktop space.

The Mac App Store is now huge.  And it will be an important part of Lion OS X.

Launchpad, make a simple pinch motion and all your apps appear with apps from the App store appearing straight in to Launchpad.

Autosave is part and parcel of Lion with all your Docs saved in the background as you work.  Simple idea and very important/effective, but that is Apple.

Versions. While editing a document, you can take a snapshot of where it is manually,  they are all saved automatically, and you can browse them in a Time Machine-type interface and allowing you to cut and paste between Versions as required.

Airdrop.  A really simple and smart way of sharing files through Finder which will show you all the people in your network who you want to share files with.

Brand new Mail.  Works in full screen mode and integrates search suggestions.  Looks nice with full message view to the right and messages to the Left (think Mobile Me).  I can see search Suggestions being really useful.

LION WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLY VIA THE APP STORE AND WILL BE A 4GB DOWNLOAD. July release $30.

Time for iOS.

10 new features in iOS.

Notifications.  The part of iOS that needed upgrading the most has been.  Notifications Centre which you can access by swiping down from wherever you are on the screen.  The lock screen gives a lot more info; you can swipe across the screen on a notification to go directly to the app it came from. Swiping a text takes you to the next text. A ticker scrolls across the top, and you can tap X to clear all your notifications. This is good, very good, at last!

Newsstand. Newsstand is a place to download all your newspapers and magazines, with background downloads of susbcriptions.

Twitter now built in to iOS. Now built into the iPhone, particularly apps like Camera. You can also tweet articles from Safari, Youtube, Maps, etc.

Safari Reader brings an Instapaper type service to iOS. Reading list is synched across multiple devices and allows you to save stories to read later.  Safari also now has tabbed browsing which is neat.

Reminders. Evernote watch out!  A list making feature with locations driven notifications built in.  You have options to notify “when I arrive” and “when I leave”.

Revamped Camera.  Access from your lock screen, basic editing tools and gesture to lock the focus.  Shutter button can now be your volume up button, again a nice little convenience change.

Mail.  Rich text formatting–bold, italics, underline etc.  You can now also flag and un-flag messages, drag addresses, entire message searches which really makes iOS mail sit well alongside desktop mail clients.

The iPad version of iOS 5 also has a split thumb keyboard.

And finally, Over The Air software updates for your iOS devices.  This really is a big step up and will open the world to people who do not like PCs or Desktop Macs (some of the elderly spring to mind like my Mum!).  System will use Delta Updates – only changing parts of the Apps necessary rather than the complete App.

iMessage!  A new messaging service for iOS users. For all iOS5 customers on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. You can send text, photos, videos, contacts and group messages. The system will push to all of your iOS5 devices along with delivery receipts, and it is all securely encrypted.  You can pick up conversations from one device to another.  It works on Network, 3G and Wi-Fi.

AirPlay Mirroring.  iPad to TV.

Wi-Fi iTunes Syncing. Your device will find iTunes and then syncs.

Also other stuff incoming with iOS5 such as new Music App for iPad and new notification tones.  It all arrives in the Fall.

And here it is iCloud!

Everything will now be pushed to the cloud and synced across all of your devices.  If something’s on your iPhone or iPad, it’s pushed to the cloud automatically, and then pushed to all devices. Totally integrated with apps. No user instigation required.

MobileMe has been re-architectured to become iCloud.  It will also be free. No Ads!

Syncing will work with iBooks too syncing bookmarks.

There will also be daily back ups of all of your important content so open up a device and everything just shows, content, bookmarks, contacts, app data, device data etc etc, really impressive.

Documents in the iCloud keeps all of your documents synced and up to date across devices.

iCloud will also have storage APIs so Apps can use it too.

It will all work on Macs and PCs too!

Photo Stream will push all of your photo library  to the iCloud and sync to all of your devices, including AppleTV!  On a PC the photos are pushed to your Photos folder.  It works with iPhoto too if this is where you manage your photos.  One point we are not sure about is that iCloud only stores 30 days worth of data and your last 1000 pictures.  If you want to keep them permanently, you evidently just move them to an album.

iTunes in the Cloud is also now part of the iCloud service.  Now your entire purchase history is on all your devices. You can re-download any of them by pushing the iCloud button. It will be free to re-download. You can ask it to sync everything in the future.  Songs are 256kbps AAC, and download to up to 10 devices.
This is downloading not streaming.  Not really what we expected in honesty.  Basically the App Store characteristics for iTunes.

You get 5GB of free storage.  Photo Stream, Music and Books do not count towards this.

There will be a developers 4.3 Beta released today.

Ah, iTunes Match! This is how the stuff you did not buy from iTunes is handled.  Scans your library  and then…hey presto, stream that stuff!  $25 a year!  Anything not matched you can upload. iTunes matched songs are upgraded to 256kbps.  The price is regardless of your library size, 5,000 or 25,000.

And thats it, let us know what you think.

It will be interesting to see how existing paid up MobileMe users are treated.

We are now scanning the Apple website for further info!

MB

Pages, Numbers & Keynote for iPhone

3 Jun

So we have finally been able to test out the iWork suite which was released to iPhone users this week.

Overall, we have to say it is impressive and sits comfortably alongside the iWork suite that is also available for the iPad.  Functinality is in fact pretty much the same as the iPad with a lot of formating, insertion and reviewing options available.

We will not go in to the full nuts and bolts but generally, if you are out and about and need to quickly adapt a document or review a document and you do not have your laptop with you, the iPhone auite handles to the task you would expect to be able to do impressively.  Having said that we had some trouble opening up some of our Keynotes saved to iDisk but otherwise it all seemed to work pretty well.

If you have been thinking of buying the iWork suite or part of it, then we would highly recommend them but one word of caution, if you are planning of working your whole document requirements from the iPhone screen we would found that this was just a little tedious.  Our view is that the iPhone use is great for quickly reviewing or changing docs sent to you or that you have run out of time to work on in the office, but it will of course not replace the full suite on your Mac.  That is probably the intention.  Keynote however is oretty handy on the iPhone if you want to connect your device to an external display to make a presentation from your device with functions to assist.

The suite offers a good variety of the standard templates you can pick up from the full version of iWork, all of course customisable.  Opening up Microsoft office docs seems to work pretty well too.  Edit and format functions work well, write using the onscreen keyboard, customise using various fonts, colours, charts and tables.  You can import documents from iTunes, Mail, the web, iDisk or a WebDAV service (we did not test the latter) all pretty well.  Sharing your work is pretty straight forward too via MobileMe iDisk, Mail or via the iWork.com public beta.  Airpint works well too with printing options to boot.

Our preference overall to review docs on the fly would be via an iPad as you would probably expect, but the addition of the suite to the iPhone is welcome and will come in very handy, particularly given that purchase of the iWork for iOS suite means it is ready for iPad and iPhone without separate purchases making the price even better value for money.

All in all, Apple has delivered a great transfer to the iPhone at a good price.  Let us know what you think and any of your own observations in the comments section below.

MB

New iCloud Icon and $25 per year for the iCloud Service?

3 Jun

AppleInsider have posted the above image of a banner set for Mondays announcement from Apple of iCloud services along with the future of OSX and iOS to be detailed.

The LA Times is also reporting that the iCloud service will likely cost $25 per annum.  Not sure how that will relate to other parts of the world and how this will dove tail in with “free” elements of iCloud which are reportedly to be packaged in with OS X Lion.

We will have to wait and see how much detail we get on Monday but our bet is that the service is probably going to be pretty quickly available.

MB