Macworld/iWorld 2014 Expo Hall wrap-up

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Date: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 09:01
Category: Apple, conference, Developer, iPhone, Mac, Software

2014-expo-floorLast week was a bit of a whirlwind as Macworld/iWorld took over a large portion of my week. Now that I’ve had some time to put together some of the things I saw, I thought I’d provide a brief recap. This year, the convention was held in Moscone Center’s North Hall. The first day, Thursday, was my traditional walk around the show floor which I always do on the first day so I can make some mental notes about what I want to go back and see later. This makes it easier to go straight to the important stuff when you only have about 45 minutes between talks and demos. There wasn’t much that was unique about the Expo Hall this year, except for possibly the two live stages (I only recall one in the past).

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Internet News Reading Down 80% Due to Unreliable April 1st Trends

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Date: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 08:14
Category: Apple, Finance, Humor, News

Portrait of shocked business woman looking at computer in officePeople who are used to getting their daily news from online news sources and blogs have finally given up on reading anything on the web, as the yearly trend to post fake stories to the internet on April 1st continues. The online statistics service AdNumbers stated today that ad revenue from online marketing and banner ads, as of 8:00 AM EST, was down nearly 80% as workers across the country resorted to getting some work done rather than be duped by mischievous journalists and bloggers. ADNumbers representative Nick O’Parkman stated, “Everyone is just fed up. They go to the internet to read news on April 1st and they don’t know what to believe anymore, so now they don’t bother! It is really cutting into our bottom line.”

Medical health journalist, Dr. Eugene Simmons suggests that in the past this trend has been dangerous to unsuspecting news readers, in particular investors and individuals with large stock portfolios, who might read that Apple Inc. is producing a line of computers with no keyboard, Tonk Hawk is promoting a working hoverboard, or that Apple plans to acquire iFixit.* Past hoaxes included rumors that Steve Ballmer was going to become CEO of Microsoft.** “Such outrageous stories have been know to cause heart-attacks, nervous break-downs, and unwarranted stock sellouts, which could hurt our already fragile economy”, says Simmons.

In a related story, the Onion News Network posted a TRUE news story today….and nobody noticed.

 

 

*Touché iFixit, touché

**oh right, that one was real, it just sounded far-fetched

[Re-posted with permission from myself who originally wrote a version of this for April 1st 2009]

 

 

MacWorld/iWorld starts this Thursday

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 24th, 2014, 08:15
Category: Apple, conference, Consumer Electronics, Fun, iOS, OS X

macworldIt’s that time of year again, when the fans of Apple and its various iThings pile into Moscone Center in San Francisco to ogle products, learn a few things, or just hang out and talk about Apple tech. I’m talking about the MacWorld/iWorld event (I wish they’d do something about that weird slash-enabled name) which starts this Thursday, March 27th, and runs until Saturday the 29th. If you are one of those last minute shoppers, you can still get tickets on the event’s web site, BUT I’ve tracked down a couple of promo code links that will get you some discounted tickets. For example, currently the Expo Hall pass is $25 at the site, but using the promo links you can get it for $10! The Conference Pass is cut from $299 to $149. Don’t wait too long though, I don’t know how long the codes are good for and it’ll be $30 at the door.

 

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iPhone Tips: Fight off the battery blues, Part 2

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Date: Friday, March 21st, 2014, 10:50
Category: Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, Software, Tips

iPhoneBattery-part2-note cropWelcome to the second part of my iPhone battery conservation tips. Check out yesterday’s post for Part 1. With the recent iOS 7.1 update came many complaints that battery life had gotten worse instead of better. Some of the following tips are useful on their own, but may be of particular interest to anyone experiencing faster power loss since the 7.1 update. Shall we begin…

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iPhone Tips: Fight off the battery blues, Part 1

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Date: Thursday, March 20th, 2014, 08:29
Category: Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, Software, Tips

iPhoneBatteryBattery life has always been the bane of any mobile device user, and the trend continues to this day. As handheld device manufacturers add new capabilities, more demands are placed on the battery which offsets at least some of the improvements in battery technology. Other technologies like Bluetooth LE have been developed to reduce the drain on batteries, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle plus not every device has this capability yet. Inevitably, any time Apple updates iOS there will be nearly as many people saying that their battery life was shortened as people saying it was improved. Why is this? The plain answer to the question is that every iDevice out there is different. Some people leave their iPhones at the stock settings, some customize them extensively. Some people have 10 apps total on their phone, and some have over 300 (I’m guilty of the latter). There are many other factors such as how often your phone has to search for a wifi or cellular signal, the amount of video you watch on it, and how many notifications you get, just to name a few. So what can you do about it? Other than carrying around a charger or using a battery case, here are a number of tips that I use regularly when it seems like the battery drainage has gotten excessive.

 

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Pebble updates device hardware and iOS app to version 2.0.2

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Date: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Accessory, App Store, Installation, iOS, iPhone, News, Software, Wearables

Pebble-202-updatePebble has released the latest software for the Pebble Smartwatch. Once the iOS Pebble app is downloaded or updated, it will prompt to let it update the firmware on the watch, leaving both at version 2.0.2. The update includes the following;

Pebble OS Firmware, ver. 2.0.2

  • Fixes an issue preventing some users from successfully installing the Pebble OS 2.0 firmware onto their watches.

Pebble App for iOS, ver. 2.0.2

  • More JavaScript apps included!
  • Fixed a number of crashes.

No update for the the recently updated Pebble app for Android to Pebble 2.0…YES, it’s out now! More on that in a future post.

 

 

Apple finally ditches 2nd Gen iPad

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Date: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPad, News

elipad2Tuesday, Apple finally retired the iPad 2, replacing it with the 16 GB 4th Generation iPad. “But wasn’t the 4th Gen iPad retired?”, you ask. Yes, the 4th Generation iPad was officially discontinued in October of last year, but it appears Apple felt it needed a new lease on life when compared to the aging iPad 2. Like the original iPad mini (still available) the 4G iPad is ONLY available in a 16 GB version, now acting as Apple’s entry-level “large” tablet device. This now means that the original iPad mini has the only non-retina display among the iPad and iPhone lineups. The iPad 2 was also the last device in the iPad line to sport the old 30-pin dock connector, leaving the iPhone 4S as the sole device in Apple’s current product line to still have one.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.31.10

Raise a virtual glass on St. Patrick’s Day with iBeer Free

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014, 09:10
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Fun, Holiday, iOS, iPhone, Review, Software

iBeer iconFirst off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day from O’Grady’s PowerPage!

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to tie the holiday into a post, but then I ran across iBeer Free. I’m not sure this is the type of app that gets used on a regular basis, but it can be fun to pull out as a fun way to demonstrate how the iPhone’s accelerometer works. As you can imagine, the app turns your iThing into a virtual glass of beer, or other beverages via in-app purchases. Tilting your iPhone to your mouth as you would a glass makes the simulated beer magically drain away as if you had consumed a refreshing beverage. By default, you get to choose between four simulated types of beers and some green mouthwash, which at first I thought an odd addition, but then I realized it would be perfect for St. Paddy’s Day to give the appearance of chugging some green beer. For $0.99 you can get rid of the ads (highly recommended) which also adds coffee to your list of beverages.

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Maps app gets serious in iOS 8

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Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014, 08:46
Category: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

Maps_iOS7Isn’t that typical? We just get a nice, new 7.1 update for iOS and people have already moved on to talk about what’s new in iOS 8. iOS 8?! Yes, apparently details about the next OS for iDevices has been leaking out of Cupertino, and one item of particular interest seems to be Maps. Most should be familiar with the story of Apple Maps by now. Apple dumped Google Maps as the default mapping solution for iOS 6, to be replaced by Apple’s own mapping solution. While pretty to look at, the new solution gets deployed without public transit info and then proceeds to prove that it really wasn’t ready by giving some horribly incorrect directions. Sadly, it still appears to be doing that. With the combined acquisitions of companies like BroadMap, Embark and HopStop, Apple will hopefully be able to shake the bugs out of their mapping data as well as finally provide transit information within the Maps app. Rumors are that the transit info will even include schedules for shuttles and “enhanced” airport directions. A new “augmented reality” view will also overlay local information about the area that you’re mapping.

Personally, I’ve had pretty good results with Maps within the Bay Area, but I wouldn’t mind the security of not wondering if I should double-check everything in Google Maps.

 

 

Apple TV software gets updated to 6.1…but what does it do?

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 10th, 2014, 23:57
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Features, Opinion, Software

upgrade-apple-tv_?Earlier today we announced that the long anticipated iOS 7.1 update was released. Hot on its heels were a few other updates including one for Xcode (5.1) which adds support for iOS 7.1, an update to the Remote app (4.2), and an update for the Apple TV. The thing is, I can’t seem to find out what the new 6.1 update does, at least not much. Everyone and their grandmother has mentioned the new ability to hide the channel icons directly on the Apple TV menu screen, which previously required you going into the Settings to do this.

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