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More Cool Things You Can Do With Siri

Her calm and capable voice is everywhere these day – she’s Siri. Apple’s synthetic personal-assistant has risen to global prominence in a relatively short time. And fans of the technology know that it doesn’t take long to fall under Siri’s spell.


Siri is the virtual assistant at the heart of the iPhone 4S. 

Cool New Siri Tricks
With this many users, it only makes sense that Siri has become a celebrity unto herself, there’s practically an industry around exploring the technology and discovering cool new ways to showcase Siri’s many unseen talents. Some of these capabilities offer nifty practical uses while others are just for fun:

  1. Change your iPhone 4S settings using Siri. Not only can you change your brightness using Siri, you can perform special tasks, such as checking your iPhone’s battery level.
  2. Update your Twitter using Siri. You can also perform nine other Siri hacks, ranging from helping improve Siri’s pronunciation of phonetic names to parlor tricks like controlling Siri from across a room.
  3. Looking for laughs? The are plenty of Siri tricks to turn her into a comedian.

 
Siri for Other Phones
Don’t have Siri on your iPhone? A new app allows you to turn your iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS into a Siri phone - but you will have to jailbreak the phone – which voids the warranty. Google is also developing a Siri-like assistant, although based on insider reports, the technology will not be as smoothly integrated throughout the phone as Siri is in the iPhone 4S.

Developing Future Siri’s
Siri is a great iPhone app. Future apps like Siri will be created by young app developers. Do you want to learn app development? Why not get started this summer at a app development summer camp like Digital Media Academy. DMA offers hands-on training in app development from industry professionals. They’ll start you on a career and give you the skills to create your own Siri.

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posted by Phill Powell in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

iBooks Author: How to Make eBooks on iPad

Apple is reinventing textbooks thanks to the latest iBooks update. iBooks 2 which is available in the Apple App Store gives readers a new way to interact with the written word.


The new textbooks inside of iBooks. To sample the new textbooks, download  E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth for free. Your iPad will need to be running 1OS 5 to view the new books.

The iBook update now allows textbooks to be sold through the popular ereader app that already offers bestselling novels and literary classics like”Dracula” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Textbooks were not available before. The price for the textbooks? $14.99.

Reading is Fun-damental
Apple made the announcement at a press event in New York at the Guggenheim Museum. Apple feels it’s time that books caught up with other types of media, ebooks offer interactive notetaking, and highlighting as well as interactive videos, photo galleries, 3D models and other illustrations. For authors it’s another way that they can make their content come to life – for students it’s a fun and interactive way to learn.


The Beatles “Yellow Submarine is another free interactive ebook that showcases video. 

Before has death, Steve Jobs told the author of his biography, “Steve Jobs,” that he believed Apple could significantly shake-up the textbook industry and do it, with the iPad. Jobs held meetings with book publishers such as Pearson Education to encourage them to partner with Apple.

To date, Apple says there are more than 1.5 million iPads currently being used in schools and there. “Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Becoming an eBook Author
Apple aims to make it easier for educators and authors to create books using iBooks Author. The app provides plenty of templates and putting your content into a ebook is as simple as dragging and dropping it into the template. The app supports multi-touch interface, like pinch and zoom views and swiping gestures. Apple has even included iBook Author HTML5 and Javascript support for programmers who want to take their books beyond the app.


The iBooks Author app uses a template and drag and drop interface, much like Apple’s Keynote or Pages app.

Digital textbooks are the future of educational publishing. Using iBooks Author to create your own content is a major win for not only educators, but for those that want to self-publish too. It’s exciting to see Apple in education and learning app development for iPad’s and iPhones is another way to development content, it can be a great tool for book publishers, too. Either way, Apple is helping both educators and authors create the future of media.

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posted by DMA Phill in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

When Will The iPhone 5 Come Out?

The next must-have gadget to help usher humanity into the future is merely weeks away from release. It’s the original smartphone – the iPhone. And rumors about its release have been running wild for months. We break down the rumors and take a look at the future of iPhone:


The iPhone 5 will be slimmer, although this artist’s rendition probably more likely resembles the iPhone 7. 

iPhone 5 will be slimmer and wider. A wider display will look great for movies and games. A Slimmer profile will give the iPhone 5 an even sleeker look.

iPhone 5 will include Qualcomm Chipsets. In the cellular industry there are two competing network technologies. Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM – founded in 1987) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). CDMA was a standard developed by Qualcomm. Qualcomm makes the GSM/CDMA chipset; AT&T uses a GSM network, while Verizon uses the CDMA network. The iPhone 5 is rumored to be equipped with a Qualcomm chip with a CDMA, GSM and UMTS baseband processor. This would allow for only one model of the iPhone 5 to be produced, lowering the cost of the hardware, at least for Apple.


The iPhone 8 might be have a crystal clear display – literally. Where will they hide the circuits? 

iPhone 5 will use a Apple’s A5 Processor. The A5 powers the iPad2. This means a much faster phone and faster loading speeds for media. The small screen may be underwhelming when playing high-definition video content, but it will look crystal clear. A faster processor also means more power for games.

We’re definitely looking forward to the iPhone 5 and the next generation after it.

(Updated 1/2/2012)

iPhone 5 Release Date
So back to the original question: When will the iPhone 5 come out? Analysts that track iPhone and Apple’s manufacturing timelines point to a mid-late summer 2012 release. Here’s why: iPhones usually release in summer, this gives time for Apple and service providers to work out bugs before the holiday season buying rush. 

No matter if you’re just a phone geek or want to become an app developer, the iPhone 5 is an exciting upgrade to the world’s greatest smartphone.

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posted by Vince Matthews in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

App of the Month: “Frisbee Forever” (Review)

Game: Frisbee Forever
Developer: Kiloo Games
Rating: 4 out 5 stars
Cost: Free

Summer is here and if you can’t get to your local park to toss the Frisbee around, you can still enjoy the sport from the comfort of your couch, thanks to Wham-O’s new game and app: “Frisbee Forever.” Developed by Kiloo Games, the colorful, arcade-style game plays a lot like a Wii game. The object is simple: Navigate a mini-golf-like obstacle course with a Frisbee for coins. Coins can then be used in a Frisbee shop to buy better flying discs or special upgrades.


“Frisbee Forever” runs on the iPhone and iPad and uses those iDevices’ accelerometer to control the Frisbee (players tilt the device left or right to guide the flying disc through the course).

A gameplay trailer of “Frisbee Forever.”

Frisbee Flicking Fun
It’s as easy as flicking your finger across the touchscreen to send the disc on its way. Gameplay is super-responsive and the graphics rival anything you’ve seen on the Wii. “Frisbee Forever” includes 10 different worlds, and each world (or area) features 10 levels…for a total of 100 challenges. The courses and environments are inventive and fun, and while, at times, some of the obstacles seem impossible, patience and a well-practiced tilting technique will get you through. Flying through hoops and triangle checkpoints on the course maintain the Frisbee’s momentum, and as you fly through each course, you’ll collect stars along the course. The medal you are eventually awarded is based on how many stars you collect.


Purchase “Frisbee Forever” through the Apple App Store.

As mentioned, as players advance through the game, they earn coins for clearing each level and receive a trophy rank of silver, bronze or gold. Be warned that patience is necessary, however, because even for the best player it will take a while to collect enough coins for the better discs. But you can also buy coins to purchase items through the App Store.

Overall, “Forever Frisbee” is an extremely well-made app and will provide you with hours of fun – all for free.

Make Your Own Mobile App – at Summer Camp
Want to make your app or game for the iPhone or iPad? You can, this summer at Digital Media Academy computer and digital arts summer camps. Spend an exciting week learning 3D Game Development for the iPhone or App Development for Apple iDevices. Before you know it, you’ ll be on your way to making your dream app a reality…and that’s how careers get started. Find out more about Digital Media Academy app development summer camps and how they can help you create the future. DMA – where video-game dreams get transformed into reality.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,Featured,News Blog and have No Comments

Making Magic with Your iPhone

We love technology and we love magic, so when we see something that brings both of these great subjects together – well, we just have to share it. Check out this video by Marco Tempest. You will be amazed. Marco is an award-winning illusionist with a flair for presenting magic in a unique, technology-enhanced setting:

See? We weren’t kidding; the guy blends technology with magic to jaw-dropping effect. From interactive card tricks (using digital card images projected on an iPhone) to placing his head or hand magically inside a video monitor, Marco dazzles crowds all over the world with his incredible feats of magic. (We’re still trying to figure out how he got butterflies to appear on his iPhone and move them, magically from one phone to another.)

Marco is a Swiss-born magician who resides in New York City. While he’s been performing magic for some years, he gained widespread fame with an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Since his appearance in 2006, he’s gone on to produce an entire show, which is called “The VIrtual Magician” and is based around interactive technology-themed magic. He also issued a “Phonecam” challenge, to encourage other magicians to post a video-taped magic trick done in one take, using no cuts or edits. Want to catch this amazing magician on the road? Check out Marco Tempests’ Tour Schedule.


We first found Marco showing off his talents when the original iPhone launched back in 2007. Here he uses the iPhone to X-Ray his hand.

Make Magic with Your iPhone
To create many of the illusions Marco performs on stage, he produces his own apps that run on devices like the iPhone. Want to make magic on your iPhone like Marco? Then make a magic app or game for the iPhone or iPad. You can do it. Spend an exciting week learning 3D Game Development for the iPhone or App Development for Apple iDevices. Before you know it, you’ ll be on your way to wowing crowds…just like Marco Tempest.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Summer Survival Tech Tips: Keeping Your iPad Dry & More

Summer is just around the corner and this means that, in addition to the sunscreen and shark floaties, you’ll no doubt be bringing your technology along with you to the beach or pool. You know, modern must-have accessories like your iPad, your MacBook Pro, your iPhone and iPod. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your electronics while enjoying summer fun:

Stream Your Music & Media Everywhere
You should already be using a free cloud storage service like Amazon or Dropbox offer, and if you’re not, you will be. Doing so offers a pain-free way to secure your computer’s data, while improving CPU performance. Cloud storage services are becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons, and you can start using one today – for free!


Stream your music, from the cloud…

But why risk bringing your one and only music player and your entire library of music on vacation when you don’t have to? Amazon offers 5GB of free storage while Dropbox offers 2GB. Buy an album on Amazon and you can get 20GB. Dropbox even has an app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to play your music on the run, although it doesn’t offer quite the functionality as something like…

BoxyTunes – Make any iPhone or iPad a Cloud Music Player
Google’s Android platform has multiple options for cloud music players; the iPhone, not so much. But if you have Dropbox, now there’s a solution so you can access your tunes on the go. BoxyTunes cost $2 and allows you to sync up your iPhone or iPad with your Dropbox account.


A new way to think outside the box when it comes to music: BoxyTunes.

The BoxyTunes app plays all the formats iOS supports and even offers such great features as quick rewind, background play and AirPlay support.  It certainly won’t replace your iPod but it does offer a great alternative to playing your music, especially if you’re storing your music on the cloud (or in this case, on Dropbox). Remember though, this app doesn’t stream music; it’s a music player for Dropbox.

Keeping Gadgets Dry & Sand-Free
Nothing could be worse than watching your iPad or Kindle slip from your fingers and take that slow dive to the bottom of the pool. But now you don’t have to worry if your new electronic buddy goes for a swim, thanks to the makers of Dry Case.


Dry Case – protecting your technology while you enjoy it.

The vacuum-sealed plastic pouch is completely waterproof and has earphone and mic jacks that provide an additional layer of protection. Sure, with a few gallon-sized Ziplock bags you can do pretty much the same thing, but at $59.95 it’s a small investment to properly protect your $500+ iPad.

Make Your Own Mobile App – at Summer Camp
What better way to really learn what that amazing mobile device can do than to build an app for it? And where better to do that than on the campus of a prestigious university like HarvardThe University of ChicagoDrexelUCLAUCSD or StanfordDigital Media Academy offers critically acclaimed app development summer camps, where you’ll learn app development skills from leading industry professionals.

Spend an exciting week learning 3D Game Development for the iPhone or App Development for Apple iDevices. Before you know it, you’ ll be on your way to making your dream app a reality.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog and have No Comments