Pebble releases Pebble firmware update 2.2

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Accessory, Features, iOS, Software, User Interface, Wearables

Pebble 2.2 updating-crop

Last Wednesday, Pebble deployed the latest update to the firmware of the Pebble smartwatch. The Pebble iOS app was updated the week before on May 27th bringing it to version 2.2, not to be confused with the firmware for the watch itself which is once again in sync with the app’s version.

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Greg Christie retiring from Apple

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Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 09:11
Category: Announcement, Apple, iPhone, Patents, PDA, User Interface

apple_logoAfter 18 years with Apple, Human Interface chief Greg Christie is leaving the company at the end of the year. Christie was instrumental in the development of the first iPhoneOS. There were recent suggestions that the retirement announcement was promoted by difficulties regarding working with Senior VP of Design, Jony Ive. Apple has denied any problems in their official announcements, and have stated that Christie has been planning his retirement from Apple for some time, and that he will be staying on until the end of the year while some restructuring of Apple’s Human Interface Group takes place.

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Apple’s Touch ID vs. Samsung fingerprint scanner

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Date: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Android, Apple, iOS, iPhone, Software, User Interface

touch-id-iconIn three days, anyone who has been longing to get their hands on a new Samsung Galaxy S5 will get their wish, assuming quantities are sufficient. The internet has already been awash with reviews and first looks, but video demos of Samsung’s fingerprint scanner, making its debut on the S5, have been of particular interest. Over on YouTube, user iCrackUriDevice has a pretty thorough comparison between the S5′s scanner and Apple’s Touch ID scanner on the iPhone 5S. (does anyone else see the irony in the 5S vs. the S5?)

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Tired of using English on your Mac? Try Klingon!

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Date: Thursday, February 6th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Desktop Mac, Fun, How-To, User Interface

Klingon_EmpireI ran across this tidbit on FairerPlatform, but I really should have already known this already (shame on me). Among the many languages your Mac can support and display, such as Latvian, Russian, and Swahili; believe it or not, it can also do Klingon, the well known warrior race from Star Trek. To use the Klingon language on your Mac, go to System Preferences > Language & Region and, under the “Preferred Languages” box, click the “+” (plus) button. Then scroll down, until you find “tlhlngan Hol” (Klingon). Then select it and click add. The Mac will ask if you want to use Klingon or English as the primary language. Before that, however, you’ll need to download the appropriate fonts to install on your computer. Just make sure you know how to actually read Klingon or know your way back to the language preferences first. If you want to learn Klingon, you can find a number of books on the subject on Amazon, and there are even Klingon dictionary apps for your iPhone on the App Store. FairerPlatform also found a link to a review for a Klingon keyboard, but apparently they were all recalled to the home planet of Qo’noS, because they can no longer be found anywhere (probably in part because it could only use a PS2 port). Don’t expect the PowerPage to go Klingon, at least not for another 250 years or so.

Qapla’!

Facebook launches Paper app on Feb 3rd

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Date: Thursday, January 30th, 2014, 09:50
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Social, Software, User Interface

facebook-appFacebook announced that come February 3rd, its new iOS app called Paper should be hitting the US AppStore for iPhone only. So what is Paper? It seems that it is intended to be a number of things, although Facebook seems to be emphasizing the angle that is for news reading, not just from your friends, but from a variety of feeds that Facebook makes available within the app. Whether Paper is intended to eventually replace its current app hasn’t been mentioned, but from the looks of the demo video it comes close.

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iOS 7.1 beta 3 released to developers

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Date: Wednesday, January 8th, 2014, 08:09
Category: Apple, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Software, User Interface

iOS-gear-settingsApple has just released the latest beta update to iOS 7.1. Currently, the official 7.1 update is expected to drop sometime in March. Other than numerous backend improvements and bug fixes, Apple seems to be tweaking the interface as well. Developers who have had a chance to go over 7.1 list several screens that replace rectangular buttons with new circular ones. I guess they felt there simply wasn’t enough circles already. A few of the other changes that have been found are listed below;

  • Parallax can be disabled for wallpapers
  • Phone now has a new dialer and answer UI
  • New Repeat and Shuffle buttons
  • New power off UI
  • New dialogue in Safari ‘Search or enter an address’ now reads ‘Search web or enter site name’
  • New ‘New’ button for creating iTunes Radio stations in Music
  • New reduce white point option in accessibility contrast settings

Blackberry suing Typo Products over keyboard design

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 6th, 2014, 10:53
Category: Accessory, Cases, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, Mobile Phone, Patents, User Interface

TypoKeyboard-vs-Q10

In the litigious world of  tech companies who scramble daily to protect their patents and intellectual property, you can expect anything claiming to be new and innovative to be hit by a roomful of lawyers saying it isn’t true. Such is the case with the Typo Keyboard case which was getting ready to launch at this week’s CES event in Las Vegas. Typo Products, which was founded by Ryan Seacrest and his business partner Laurence Hallier, was hit with a lawsuit from Blackberry claiming copyright infringement of Blackberry’s own keyboard design.

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Smell-O-Vision for the iPhone?

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Date: Friday, December 13th, 2013, 08:23
Category: Accessory, App Store, Apps, Gadget, Game, Humor, iOS, iPhone, Software, User Interface

e1eed_popcorn3_610x380It was bound to happen eventually. Believe it or not, crafty inventors have been trying to include more human senses to the media experience since 1906. Many attempts to provide audiences with this additional dimension in films resulted in many creative attempts, but has yet to provide a satisfactory experience. There has to be some parallels to the film industry and these unique attempts at box-office draw and the developing popularity of smartphones. I bet a study could be done on this, but likely people would find it as interesting as smell-o-vision itself, which was negligible.

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Apple Files Ambient Noise Recording Patent for Handheld Devices

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Date: Friday, August 10th, 2007, 09:22
Category: User Interface

blackipod.jpg
The iPhone and iPod can already do a fair amount, but tend to lead to an insular experience (the conventional logic being that if I’m rocking out to Air Supply on my iPod, then so is the rest of the world. The same goes for the iPhone.)
This may change soon, as Apple has recently filed a patent that with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that posits the idea of passing external/ambient noise through a device’s headphones as opposed to strictly audio from the device.
According to MacNN, the patent describes a situation in which the user could flick a switch that would shut down audio from the device and instead pick up sounds such as voices or the sounds of nearby traffic. The patent, entitled “Presentation of audible media in accommodation with external sound”, lays out a situation in which the user can flip back and forth between their music and outside sounds, the technology perhaps even enhancing outside sounds, picking up ambient noise through a microphone and amplifying it through the headphones.
The headphones would be able to simultaneously record ambient noise, allowing for both live music playback from the device as well as recording of external noises or conversations.
Not a bad idea if it works out. Still, the technology is already here in the form of knowing when to put the headphones away and listen to friends, co-workers, employers, significant others and oncoming traffic.
Your two cents, as always, are more than appreciated in the comments and forums.

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Transparent Desktops – All the Rage

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 30th, 2005, 13:19
Category: User Interface

Transparent DesktopsCheck out these pictures from people who use desktop pictures of what is behind their monitor. It’s a really neat effect.
PowerPage west coast correspondent Jason Kaplan also notes that MacBidouille has a great image gallery of transparent desktops.
If you’d like to submit your PowerBook’s “transparent desktop” for an upcoming feature. Please use the “Contact Us” link at the top of every PowerPage -Ed

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