Opinion: A New Personal Computing Paradigm

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, 07:50
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, Opinion

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By Robert Snow

How soon before most personal computing can be done with a phone? With a 64-bit iPhone, perhaps quite soon. Imagine the phone as your take everywhere computer:

“Never”, you say, the screen’s too small, even a phablet. When you need a better display, just pull out your touchscreen. It would look like an iPad or iPad Mini only thinner, lighter and cheaper. No CPU or storage. It would connect to your phone via Wi-fi and act as a display and touchscreen input device with a camera, microphone and speaker. It would be indistinguishable from an iPad, so long as your phone is nearby and turned on. Apple is almost there with AirPlay.

Let’s say you do a lot of writing, then you would have a screen with hinged keyboard and trackpad. It would look like a MacBook Air only thinner, lighter and cheaper. Again, no CPU or storage. iOS would recognize the device and work more like OS X. This would require some additional code for iOS. Call it “iOS X”. This would require 64 bits, no question.

Go to work where they have BYOD. On your desk, you would have a display, keyboard and mouse that looked just like an iMac. Again, iOS would need to recognize the larger display, keyboard and mouse and scale up. Imagine an iPhone 6s sporting a processor that is truly “Desktop Class”.

A future iPhone and iOS working this way could dominate the enterprise. Security would be awesome. Your desktop computer would cease to be a computer once you leave work with your phone. Laptop or tablet stolen, no security issues. Of course, the phone is secured by Touch ID and a new phone could be issued and restored from an online backup in no time. Only one computing and communications device per employee. Personal computing could not be more personal. No synchronizing devices. Minimal IT support. Lower cost.

Cloud storage and larger onboard memory would be key to this working.No more costs associated with deploying Microsoft Office or maintaining complicated desktop and laptop operating systems.There would still be a market for powerful desktop and laptop computers, but most employees would simply need a phone as their computer and some specialized input/output device mimicking a tablet, laptop or desktop computer. The phone would of course remain an expensive high-end phone. The upgrade cycle would be brilliant, keep your old IO devices and get a new desktop or laptop computer every two years by simply standing in line for the latest and greatest iPhone, subsidized by your carrier. Apple does make most of its profit on phones and this will sell more of them.

Sure, it would cannibalize iPad and Mac sales by growing a market for these IO devices and not just for the enterprise. Kids, grandparents and folks who just don’t need serious computing power could simplify their life by augmenting their colorful consumer phone with one of these devices. Consumer versions that are even cheaper and clad in plastic. If you need a phone right now, get a smart phone and you no longer need a camera, music player or GPS device. Get an iPhone in a year or two and you will no longer need a tablet, a laptop or a desktop computer. Wearable computing, no problem. Dumb down iOS for a tiny screen and just a few buttons.

A post-PC world on steroids.

One more thing: Home entertainment and in-car entertainment.

Same paradigm and one more reason to buy an iPhone.

BlackBerry releases BBM client for Android, iOS, then recalls software due to “rogue version” concerns

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 11:05
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Not that BlackBerry’s officially dead in the water (yet), but this isn’t a great sign.

Per Mac|Life, BlackBerry announced Saturday that it had suspended the rollout of the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for iPhone and Android over concerns that a rogue version of the Android app would cause issues with the service.

Originally scheduled for release on Saturday, BlackBerry’s BBM app for iPhone actually did make it out of the gate in a few countries such as New Zealand, only to be withdrawn from the App Store after the company decided to hit the pause button on the global rollout.

Those users lucky enough to have downloaded BBM for iPhone can continue using it, while the unreleased Android app — currently in use by 1.1 million users — will be disabled until BlackBerry can get get things back to normal.

“As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone,” the company noted in a blog post.

The company has yet to specify as to exactly when its messaging client will once again roll out for Android and iOS.

Apple TV 6.0 out the door, adds support for AirPlay, iTunes Radio, other new features

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 11:05
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

On a day filled to the brim with iPhone 5s and 5c happenings, Apple pulled the trigger on the good stuff for its Apple TV set top box.

Per AppleInsider, Apple released its anticipated software update to Apple TV today. The new software adds the followings fixes and changes:
- Added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlaying content from iCloud — like music from iTunes Match — to another person’s Apple TV.

- Allows users to take any purchased iTunes content — such as music, movies or TV episodes — and stream it directly to an Apple TV that may not be configured with their iTunes login credentials. The authentication is instead provided wirelessly by a connected iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad.

- Added access to purchases from the iTunes Music Store, and allows users to sync their podcasts. Photos from a shared Photo Stream can also be accessed.

- Added support for the newly launched iTunes Radio service, which is similar to established streaming Internet music provider Pandora. iTunes Radio debuted on Wednesday on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with the release of iOS 7.

The new Apple TV update may be the last software refresh before the company’s rumored Apple TV hardware reboot. The company took delivery of a mysterious shipment of “set top boxes” in the days leading up the iPhone 5s and 5c announcement.

As always, the software can be downloaded and installed by entering the Apple TV’s General Settings, then clicking “Software Update”.

If you’ve tried the new Apple TV software and have any comments or feedback about it, please let us know in the comments.

iOS 7 Lock Screen bug discovered, Apple says fix is en route

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Date: Thursday, September 19th, 2013, 15:58
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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Per Forbes and AllThingsD, the first iOS 7 security bug has appeared and may be worth noting. The bug is currently found in the iOS 7 Lock screen and Control Center implementation that could allow a person to bypass the device’s passcode and access the photo library. This bug is more of a potential security issue as it requires users to both be running their camera app (so it shows up in multitasking) and have Control Center activated for the Lock screen. Here are the steps (which we have independently re-produced):

1) Swipe up from the bottom of the Lock screen to open Control Center.

2) Launch the Clock app.

3) Open the Alarm Clock section of the Clock app.

4) Hold down the power button.

5) Quickly tap Cancel the immediately double-click the Home button.

6) Hold down for a bit longer on the second click.

With access to the photos, users could also share the images to social networks and via email (which could be worrisome). Of course, disabling Control Center access from the Lock screen will completely rid you of this potential security breach, but, either way, Apple will likely get a fix out in the coming weeks.

The hack is demonstrated below:



Apple has also confirmed in a statement to AllThingsD that it is working on a fix for a future software update:

“Apple takes user security very seriously,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iOS 7.0, 7.0.1 updates for iOS devices

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Date: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013, 13:34
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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It’s finally here.

On Wednesday, Apple released iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.0.1 (depending on your iOS device), the long-anticipated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a several hundred to a 1.33 gigabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Control Center: Control Center gives you quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second. Just swipe up from any screen — including the Lock screen — to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the brightness of your display. You can even shine a light on things with a new flashlight. Never has one swipe given you so much control.

- Notification Center: Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls, to-dos that need doing, and more. And a new feature called Today gives you a convenient summary of, well, today. One glance at your iPhone and you’ll know if it’s a certain someone’s birthday, if you’ll need an umbrella, or if traffic will slow down your commute. You’ll even get a heads-up on tomorrow. You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen. Just swipe down. And get up to speed.

- Multitasking: Multitasking has always been a smart way to switch between apps. Now it’s even smarter. Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do.

- Camera: Camera in iOS 7 puts all your shooting formats — still, video, panorama, and now square — front and center. With a swipe, you can capture what you want the way you want. Fast. And new filters let you do even more with each image. Give it a retro feel. Dial up the contrast. Or go black and white. Artistic license is all yours.

- Photos: Now there are faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane. Introducing Years, Collections, and Moments — smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen. Each year holds Collections, like your trip to San Francisco. And in that Collection are distinct Moments — photos from Union Square, videos from AT&T Park. So you can find a shot from whenever, wherever, in no time.

- AirDrop: Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine. But if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.

- Safari: Browsing is bigger, better, and more beautiful with Safari in iOS 7. Buttons and bars — like the unified smart search field — stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. So you see more content than ever on your screen. And with a swipe, you can go back or forward a page. It’s all designed so nothing gets in your way or slows you down.

- iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio features streaming radio stations you’ll love from day one — from the best selection of music. The more you listen, the more personalized it becomes. And it’s available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, and Apple TV for free. It’s radio re-imagined.

- Siri: Siri in iOS 7 gets a new look, a new sound, and new capabilities. It features a redesigned interface that fades into view — on top of whatever’s on your screen. A clearer, more natural-sounding female or male voice makes Siri even easier to understand. It’s faster at answering questions and it checks more sources, such as Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter. And Siri takes on extra tasks, like returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more.4

- App Store: Apps Near Me — a new feature of the App Store in iOS 7 — shows you a collection of popular apps relevant to your current location. And the new Kids category lets you browse and buy the best apps for children based on age. iOS 7 also keeps your apps up to date automatically, so you don’t have to bother. Another bonus of automatic updates: no more little red badge begging for your attention.

- Find My iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Losing your iOS device feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your device is still your device. No matter where it is.

- Bug fixes for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.0.1 are available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, iPad 2, third or fourth-gen iPad, iPod Touch 4th Gen or iPad Mini to install and run.

If you’ve tried the updates and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iTunes 11.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013, 08:57
Category: News, Software

This should add some nifty and long-awaited stuff to iTunes.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 11.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 215 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio is a great new way to discover music. Choose from over 250 stations or start a new one from your favorite artist or song. Enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free once you subscribe to iTunes Match.

- Genius Shuffle: Introducing a magical new way to experience your music library. Choose Genius Shuffle and iTunes instantly plays songs that go great together. Click it again to hear something new: enjoying your music has never been this easy.

- Podcast Stations: You can now create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes. Your stations, subscriptions, and current play position sync over iCloud to the Podcasts app.

- Sync with iOS 7: You can now use iTunes to sync your favorite music, movies, and more to devices with iOS 7. In addition, iTunes now makes it even easier to quickly organize and sync apps to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

iTunes 11.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

iCloud keychain feature goes missing from iOS 7 golden master, no clear explanation given as to why

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Date: Thursday, September 12th, 2013, 07:06
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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Ok, this is a little weird.

Per AppleInsider, developers updating their devices to the iOS 7 Golden Master seed have found that iCloud keychain, Apple’s new cloud-based credential storage system, has disappeared.

iCloud Keychain, a new feature of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks that allows users to securely store account names, passwords, and credit card information in iCloud and sync the data between their Macs, iPhones, and iPads, appears to have been removed from the latest iOS 7 pre-release seed.

The feature, revealed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, previously appeared as a toggle in the iCloud settings menu, but is now missing.

In addition, Apple’s iOS 7 ‘What’s New’ page now lists iCloud Keychain as ‘Coming Soon,’ an indication that there has been a change to the feature’s delivery schedule. It is possible that Cupertino may have opted to delay the release to coincide with the rollout of OS X Mavericks, which is expected in late October.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to release iLife for iOS for free on upcoming iOS devices

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Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 09:10
Category: News, Software

It sort of got lost in the shuffle yesterday, but it spiffy news.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, one of the announcements on Tuesday is that Apple is making its fleet of iWork apps available free for download on new iOS devices. In addition to Pages, Keynote and Numbers, users will also be able to download iMovie and iPhoto free of charge.


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While the aforementioned iOS apps won’t be pre-loaded, they will be available as free downloads on new iOS devices.

During yesterday’s event, Tim Cook explained:

“We think that iWork is a really key advantage for our customers’ productivity, and that iPhoto and iMovie are great for are customers creativity. No other platform has any apps like these. We think that all iOS devices are made even better if they have these apps. And almost all of our customers want these apps.”

So, neat stuff to come…

Apple posts iPhone 5s/5c event keynote online

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Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 08:19
Category: iPhone, News

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If you missed Apple’s iPhone event yesterday, it’s been posted online.

And it features about three minutes on updated ringtones.

Per AppleInsider, Apple posted the full stream of the event.

The stream of the event is now available via this link on Apple’s official website as well as from within the Apple Events app on your Apple TV. Tuesday’s presentation included Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, marketing chief Phil Schiller, and Software Engineering head Craig Federighi.

Apple used the event to introduce its new flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5s, which features a Touch ID fingerprint scanner and 64-bit A7 processor. It will go on sale next Friday, Sept. 20, and will be available for starting at US$199 with a new service contract.

The company introduced the new iPhone 5c, which has similar specifications to last year’s iPhone 5, but comes in a new polycarbonate plastic case that’s available in five new colors: red, green, yellow, blue and white. The iPhone 5c will run US$99 for a 16-gigabyte model with carrier subsidy, or US$199 for a 32-gigabyte capacity, and will also debut next Friday. Preorders for the iPhone 5c begin this Friday, Sept. 13.

Apple also revealed that iOS 7, its redesigned mobile operating system, will launch for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices next Wednesday, two days before the new iPhones become available. Like the previous incarnations of its iOS operating system, it will be available as a free download.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Apple TV software update expected for September 18th, will provide additional AirPlay features

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 08:30
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There shall be nifty new Apple TV software in the relatively near future…

Per AllThingsD, sources have indicated that come next week, Apple will update its set-top box, the Apple TV, with new software that will offer enhanced AirPlay capabilities with the software update reportedly set to arrive on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

While Apple apparently isn’t planning on updating the Apple TV hardware, the company is set to launch an “internal overhaul” that will “tweak” the current AirPlay feature, which allows users to stream content from their iOS device or Mac to the set-top box.

After the update, users will reportedly be able to stream purchased content from the iTunes Store to another person’s Apple TV, even if it isn’t set up with their Apple ID and password. That media will reportedly be streamed directly from the cloud, rather than requiring a local device.

The tweak gives the Apple TV an ability offered by Google’s new Chromecast, a US$35 media streaming dongle the search giant launched this summer.

Details on Apple’s alleged software updates headed for the Apple TV were first revealed last week, suggesting that the latest version will gain additional channels, content and functionality. Apple has been gradually adding new channels to the device in recent months, with the latest push supplying content from Vevo, Disney, the Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel. Prior to that, in June, Apple added HBO Go, WatchESPN, Sky News, CrunchyRoll, and Qello.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.