It may not be the best thing that Facebook pervades a bit too much of our lives, but it IS useful, especially on the iOS devices.
Per Mac|Life, Facebook released version 3.4 of its iPhone app on Monday. The new version, which still has yet to go iPad native, adds a handful of modest improvements including the ability to “unfriend” one of your friends with a couple of taps.
A “Place”s feature in the Facebook app has added a map view. Now, instead of simply seeing a list of where your friends are, you can actually see their location, even from across the country. Version 3.4 also adds the ability to check in to Facebook Events that you happen to be attending.
Last but not least, the Facebook app gets an “improved News Feed” as well as an “improved notifications UI,” but one major thing on everyone’s wish list remains MIA yet again — either a native Facebook app for the iPad, or better yet a universal upgrade so the app is optimized for both the iPhone/iPod touch as well as the iPad.
The Facebook app is available for free and requires iOS 3.0 or later to install and run.
Because you don’t spend enough time talking to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Per TechCrunch, Apple is rumored to be working on a means of vastly improving voice commands on devices like the iPhone and iPad with the anticipated release of iOS 5 later this year.
Apple’s “deeply integrated” voice control feature in iOS 5 is expected to be demoed at this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. The voice control will reportedly be a combination of artificial intelligence and assistance technology, and Apple’s team is said to be putting the “finishing touches” on elements that will be demonstrated at WWDC.
The new features are said to stem from technology and personnel Apple obtained through its acquisition of Siri in 2010. Siri is the developer of a personal assistant application for the iPhone, and it allows users to speak to the device in plain conversational English to find information and automatically accomplish tasks, like booking a reservation at a restaurant.
The advanced voice control technology owned by Apple and said to be coming in iOS 5 may even be opened up to developers for use in third-party applications. However, author MG Siegler cautioned that information “isn’t quite as concrete.”
The latest rumor corroborates a report filed that went public earlier this year which claimed that Apple is working on “voice navigation” features in iOS 5. It also builds on rumors that circulated in February that Apple hopes to improve operation of the iPhone through voice commands due to some users’ dislike of using a virtual keyboard.
Apple announced on Monday that WWDC will kick off on June 6 at San Francisco’s Moscone West, where the company plans to “unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS.” The annual developers conference sold out in a record 10 hours.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.
Even if you’re still trying to figure out if Apple’s iOS 4.3.1 update provided any meaningful fixes, there’s still iOS 5.0 on the horizon. Per TechCrunch, iOS 5.0 may not see the light of day until this fall, the rumor mill stating that Instead of Apple possibly unveiling the latest version this spring, we may not see an official preview until summer, possibly alongside WWDC.
The current rumors have presented the following details:
-iOS 5 will launch in the fall and will be a major revamp of the OS.
-It could well be previewed at WWDC, but won’t be released then.
-The iOS 5 launch may coincide with the release of the oft talked about iPad 3.
-The new iOS would be built heavily around the cloud, and could see the launching of several new services by Apple that would take advantage of this.
-One of those said services would be a “music locker” service, which would see the aim for a fall launch, which is usually when Apple hosts their music-themed event.
-Much of the cloud information would first be covered at WWDC.
-The new cloud service element would include a location service for finding friends and family members.
-Some of the new cloud features could also make their way into OS X Lion as well.
Still, it could be interesting stuff, even if the usual timeline is thrown off a bit.
Stay tuned to PowerPage and we’ll bring you additional information as it becomes available.
Apple on Friday released iOS 4.3.1, the latest update to its mobile operating system. The update includes a handful of bug fixes and security patches for iOS devices.
Per Macworld, the update centers around a pair of graphics-related fixes: one for an occasional glitch on the 4th-generation iPod touch and one for flickering problems when using the Apple Digital AV Adapter with some TVs. iOS 4.3.1 also resolves a problem with authenticating some enterprise Web services and some bugs experienced when activating and connecting to cellular networks.
The update is recommended for all users of the GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, iPad 2, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touches. To download and install it, connect your device to your Mac or PC and click Check for Updates in iTunes.
If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes (for better or for worse), please let us know in the comments.
There’ll always be a few bugs to sort out, no matter how popular a new device is.
Per AppleInsider, some users have reported freezing issues with the FaceTime video chat feature, requiring a restart of the device.
A handful of users on Apple’s support forums have posted to a growing thread where they have described a problem where the image displayed by the forward-facing camera on the iPad 2 crashes in the FaceTime application. The same issue is also detailed in two other, smaller threads (1, 2).
“When I opened up FaceTime the first time, the camera was working fine, but now whenever I open it up, it just shows a still image from when I left,” user “CRK The Man” wrote. “How can I fix it?”
Most users seem to have found success in repairing FaceTime by simply restarting their iPad 2. Others have gone as far as completing a full software restore of the iPad 2 to address the problem.
One user, “dels7080,” claimed that the manager of a Verizon store in New York City revealed that the FaceTime glitch has occurred to “a lot” of demo units available for customers on the sales floor to try. They too said the problem is solved by restarting the iPad 2.
“It happens quite frequently,” user “leov36″ wrote of the issue. “Restarting the ipad fixes the problem, BUT, it happens again with in the next two to three times I go to use it.”
FaceTime is only available on iOS devices with a forward-facing camera, including the newly released iPad 2. To take advantage of the forward and rear cameras on the second-generation iPad, Apple also added devoted applications for picture and movie taking, as well as Photo Booth for taking and editing photos.
If you’ve seen this with your new iPad 2, please let us know in the comments.
As nifty as Apple’s iOS devices are, there are some limitations. One of these hurdles is the ability to play videos in an AVI format, which isn’t supported by iTunes or the native video player in the iPhone and iPad.
The cool cats at Mac|Life have thrown together a quick guide as to how to solve this problem, the author recommending that the HandBrake program can be used to convert an AVI movie into an MP4 file that will play perfectly on our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Users can also download an iPhone or iPad app that does play these files, such as CineXPlayer for iPad (US$2.99) or the universal GoodPlayer (US$2.99), and use that to watch your videos without needing to convert them.
If you’ve played with any of these programs or have conversion tips of your own, please let us know in the comments.
As nifty as the 2011 MacBook Pro notebooks are, there may be some debugging that needs to be done.
Per AppleInsider, a number of early 2011 MacBook Pro owners report being unable to connect devices or maintain connections through iTunes Home Sharing.
A support thread in Apple’s Discussion forums has received over 200 posts from owners of Apple’s latest MacBook Pros reporting issues with iTunes Home Sharing. Several readers have also contacted AppleInsider regarding the issue.
“This is turning out to be a bigger problem than I thought with many people giving up and returning their new MBP 2011 due to this conflict. Apple has yet to find a fix but it has been widely documented via phone through AppleCare and through many Apple retail stores,” wrote one reader.
According to forum user ‘themacbear,’ the new MacBook Pro was able to stream to a second-generation Apple TV at first, but then the Apple TV reported being unable to connect or would display the error message “There are no movies in this library.”
In March, Apple released iOS 4.3 with new Home Sharing features. The Mac maker also issued iTunes 10.2 and then iTunes 10.2.1 to add compatibility with iOS 4.3 and Home Sharing. In spite of the updates, a number of users continue to report being unable to connect or maintain connections with iOS devices on their early 2011 MacBook Pros.
Recent improvements to the Home Sharing feature expand iTunes library sharing from just between Macs, PCs and Apple TVs to include mobile devices such as iPods, iPhones and iPads. When working properly, Home Sharing in iOS 4.3 allows an unlimited number of iOS devices to access content over Wi-Fi.
Though early 2011 MacBook Pros appear to be having the most trouble with Home Sharing, owners of older machines have also reported problems with the feature in a support thread for Home Sharing in iOS 4.3 that has reached 60 posts.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know.
Over the past few days, friends have sent this along to both my Facebook and e-mail accounts, the messages expressing a certain disbelief that something this bad exists, much less that it just cracked the top 100 songs on the iTunes Music Store.
So under the rationale that this has caused me pain and torment and frustration with how bad it is, allow me to follow the PowerPage work ethic of passing the torment along to you:
Stepping back a bit, this is either a valid song or a viral-but-successful farce or both, but even so, I have to sympathize on some levels. Perhaps there is an actual musical effort being put forth here, an actual aspiring singer attempting to create a work, but it’s so heavily autotuned and overwrought with editing that this comes off as a modern day version of The Shaggs, wherein the effort attempts to soar and crashes directly into the mountainside with a resounding thud.
More specifically, here are the issues at hand with the video:
- The audio sounds autotuned to the point wherein the singer sounds like a mix of a GPS voice and Frances McDormand’s character from “Fargo”.
- There is, for some reason, a rap sequence in which an unknown rapper in his 30s or 40s is talking about not only enjoying the weekend for what it is, but apparently the joy of hanging out with the underage singer. And if this isn’t sort of creepy, then nothing is.
- Beyond the brain-damaging lyrics and amazingly saccharine content of the video, there seems to be the thought that the gloss/visual appeal of the video itself will save the day. This only compounds the train wreck as it unfolds in front of you, the train apparently having hopped the rails and now barreling towards the nitroglycerine plant, the old folks’ home and the petting zoo before tumbling off a cliff at the end of its path.
So what does this have to do with your Mac or iOS device outside of the fact that this song is available on the iTunes Store? Not a lot, but given that it’s become easier than ever to edit audio and video on your computer, there also comes the need to sit back and look over what you’re doing, especially prior to publishing it out on YouTube as an official video. And for Rebecca Black herself, who may or may not at this moment be wrangled by a team of ambitious parents, managers and public relations wonks, one has to hope that there’s an actual voice at the bottom of the pile of autotuning, especially if this is the very beginning of a career in music…
Thanks for listening to the rant and there’s free coffee and doughnuts in the corner.
“I’ve noticed in the lock screen, certain notifications seem to have some sort of flash thing (almost looks like it’s blinking in some cases),” says one user. “Similar to other posters in this thread. After rebooting it many times, the same issue is happening.”
“The graphics for some reason have a snowy and animated outline,” says another. “This iPod is not hacked or dropped or anything I don’t understand why this is happening. I’ve turned it off and turned it back on and still having the issue. It is NOT a major issue, it is odd though and having issues with the display on this type of device still can’t be a good sign right?”
Stay tuned for additional details and if you’ve seen the bug on your end, please let us know.