Ad Hoc Powerpage Meetup

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014, 11:35
Category: Announcement, conference, Meetup, Social

PP bolt logoHi PowerPage-ers! (we need a trendier name like Veronica Mars has “Marshmallows”) I know this is late notice, but if any readers are going to be at MacWorld/iWorld in San Francisco this week, I’d like to setup a brief meetup on Saturday. Post in the comments if you’ll be there and if Saturday afternoon works for you.

Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Oooo…how about “Bolters”?

Death knell is coming for Google Voice

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014, 08:42
Category: Android, Apps, Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Services, Software, Telephony

GoogleHangVoiceAfter five years, it looks like Google Voice is going away…at least as an independent service and app. In 2007 Google acquired GrandCentral (started in 2005) and eventually rebranded it and launched it as Google Voice in 2009. Very little was done for the switchover, from a user standpoint, other than to incorporate the service into Google’s infrastructure. I had a GrandCentral account and it was nearly identical to how Google Voice works and looks today. According to 9to5Google, sometime in the coming months, Google plans to depreciate and eventually phase out the service with its features to be rolled into the Google Hangouts app.

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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

Posted by:
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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Amazon raises Prime pricetag to $99

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Date: Thursday, March 20th, 2014, 09:50
Category: Amazon, Business, News, retail

amazon-money1Back in February, we wrote about rumors that Amazon might be raising the cost of its Prime service as much as $40. Amazon decided to split the difference rather than alienate all its customers by only raising the price by $20, but it seems that was enough to rile up a lot of Amazon Prime customers into threatening to stop paying for the service. An email was recently sent to current subscribers to notify them of the change which included an explanation for the price increase;

“Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”

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iPhone Tips: Fight off the battery blues, Part 1

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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 likeĀ 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.