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How Do I Get the Apple iOS 6 Update?

Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod users can now rejoice…because the wait for iOS 6 is over. The update is now live and available for download.


With the new Maps app available with iOS 6, certain cities—like San Francisco—are showcased in dazzling 3D.

To get the update all you need to do is hook up your iDevice to your computer and launch iTunes. Apple will take it from there.

If you prefer to go wireless, you can download directly through your device, by opening your iDevice’s Settings, then selecting “General” and clicking on “Software Update.” Download times will vary and depend on a few things, like your connection speed and your current iOS. For example, if your iDevice OS is a few versions old, it could take significantly longer than if you’ve updated the OS regularly.

iOS 6 Features
The update (600 MB in size) is a goldmine, packed with more than 200 new features. Like Apple’s new Maps app, which replaces Google Maps as the iDevice choice for navigation assistance. In addition to offering voice-based navigation that tells you where to make each turn, “Maps” even contains a dazzling feature (“Flyover”) that uses a 3D display to showcase certain cities.


The Passbook app in iOS 6. No more fumbling for boarding passes or movie tickets.

For fans of social media, Facebook is integrated into the OS, while users familiar with Google Wallet will enjoy Passbook—which operates like a virtual wallet, storing digital items like movie tickets and airline tickets in your iDevice.

And if you’re an iPad user who’s felt jealous of your iPhone-carrying friends because they’ve gotten to know Siri, you can relax because there’s now plenty of Siri to go around. The iOS 6 update enables users of the third-generation iPad (as well as the new iPod Touch) to issue voice commands to Siri, who always responds with good advice spoken pleasantly. Plus, thanks to this update, she does even more now, including finding information about movies, restaurants and sporting news, and posting your direct comments to your Twitter or Facebook page.


Hottest new sportscaster of the year? Soon Siri will be delivering more sports news than ESPN.

It’s clear that iOS 6 represents a significant leap forward for the iOS—which is not surprising since the iOS will come standard on the iPhone 5. For programmers who are already exploiting the features of the last iOS, iOS 6 gives app developers a chance to really showcase their skills.

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posted by Phill Powell in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

A Guide to the New 2012 MacBook Pros

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) confirmed rumors we reported last year about updates to Apple’s product line. Yesterday at the WWDC, Apple announced several updates to the Apple line, including Apple’s award-winning line of MacBooks.


Photographers swarm around a display case at WWDC to get shots of the new MacBook Pro.

The new MacBooks – the first time Apple has updated the MacBook line since 2009 - feature some significant improvements. In fact, Apple introduced several new models, all of which began shipping Monday. Let’s take a closer look:

Smaller, Lighter
The leaner, meaner new MacBook Pro is only .71-inch thick. The 15.4-inch model weighs less than 4.5 pounds.

Retina Display
One version of the new MacBook Pro is equipped with Apple’s Retina display technology. The resolution is 2880 x 1880-pixel resolution, meaning it’s as sharp as a high-definition television. (The MacBook screen boasts a stunning 5.1 million pixels.) To put that into perspective, the new resolution on these models has a pixel count that’s four times higher than it was on previous MacBook Pro models.

More Processing Power
Under the hood, the new MacBook Pros will feature powerful processors. The 15.4-inch model carries the new 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processors with 6MB of shared cache, not to mention Turbo Boost speeds approaching 3.6GHz. (It can also be configured with more processing power.) The engine on the 13-inch model has also been tweaked: now it’s available with either a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 or 2.9GHz Intel Core i7, that can be revved up to 3.6 GHz with Turbo Boost. Some models will carry Ivy Bridge processors.

Where are the 17′s?
One noticeable omission is the 17-inch version of the MacBook Pro. Although the 13-inch and 15.4-inch models are being updated, there’s curiously been nothing said about the 17-inch model. Even more revealing, Apple’s website barely mentions it. Meanwhile, the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro retails for $2,199.


The dazzling new Retina-enhanced MacBook Pro boasts a whopping 5.1-million-pixel resolution.

Updated Inputs
As Apple moves toward the Cloud, fans of physical media will notice the loss of an optical drive on the Retina MacBook Pros. However, the updated models all feature twin USB 3.0 ports. In addition, the Retina models will also be equipped with two Thunderbolt ports.

Updates to Air
Models from the MacBook Air line have also been updated. Apple has outfitted them with faster Ivy Bridge processors and better graphics chips.

Being a Technology Innovator
Apple is able to stay steps ahead of its competitors because of the ongoing creativity and technological genius of its workforce. Are you interested in building the next generation of super computers? Developing an interest in science and engineering or computer programming can be a great way to start exploring a career in computer science…and become part of the next wave of technological innovators.

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

What Did Apple Announce at WWDC? A Guide to iOS 6

This week in scenic San Francisco, Apple is wowing both companies and developers that make software and apps for Apple’s various platforms at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).


Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook gave WWCD’s keynote address on Monday. This was the first time WWDC was not addressed by Steve Jobs.

It’s a conference that often telegraphs Apple’s game plan for the rest of the year. In the past, the conference has been the forum where two iPhones and various Macs have been introduced. On Monday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage, giving the conference’s keynote address.

Numbers Game
Cook started his Monday morning keynote by dazzling the crowd with some spectacular numbers:

  • Apple largely owns the digital marketplace. Apple has paid out an estimated $5 billion to app developers since the App Store was started just four years ago.
  • There are now more than 66,000 apps, resulting in more than 30 billion downloaded apps.
  • Some 400 million consumers have their credit card information on file with Apple.

One of today’s major announcements involved Apple’s latest iOS (the iOS is what developers use to make apps for the iPad or iPhone). In a nutshell, the iOS powers Apple iDevices…and it’s about to change dramatically:

Driving Developments
For years, Google Maps has been the default mapping app for Apples iDevices, but that’s about to change. Apple’s iOS 6 will introduce its own tweaked-up version of Maps, and it promises to offer some capabilities that Google Maps can’t match. This includes turn-by-turn navigation, voiced by Siri, Apple’s personal assistant program.


Apple’s new Maps app will help you find your way.

Not only will Siri guide drivers to their destinations, she’ll also provide estimated trip times, and when the speed limit changes. If traffic slows (because of an accident or other event), she’ll  suggest an alternate route. Siri will also help you find gas. Finally, the new Maps app will feature a photographic 3D view of numerous cities called “Flyover,” in addition to offering a traffic view so you can visually plan the best route for your drive.

Siri-ous Improvements
Siri will be updated with iOS 6, too – and she’ll be featured on the new iPad. For most users, the biggest improvement will be the ability to launch apps with a single voice command, which many users have been vocal about desiring. Siri will also be given a new “Eyes Free” mode that will work in conjunction with your car by simply pressing a button on your steering wheel. (To make this a reality, Apple is already partnering with numerous auto manufacturers, including Toyota, Honda, GM, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.)

And not only will Siri become more convenient to access; the program will become smarter and know more about a wider range of subjects. For example, if you’re looking for sports scores and schedules (and even stats), Siri can now be your go-to expert. The same applies to other entertainment, such as movies (with Siri able to serve up reviews, showtimes and trailers).

And when it comes to grabbing a bite to eat after a game or before a movie, Siri will have you covered there, too. The personal assistant will soon be able to give you a sneak peek at restaurant menus and even help you make dinner reservations.


Attendees are flocking this week to San Francisco’s Moscone Center (West) from around the world. The conference will last through Friday. 

Social Affairs
It’s a social-media world, a fact not lost on Apple. So iOS 6 will fully integrate Facebook, just as iOS 5 brought system integration for Twitter users. With iOS 6, once you log into your Facebook account from the Settings app, you can remain logged in…even if you open different apps, and (here’s the best part) you won’t be required to log in multiple times.

With this new integration, Facebook events will appear in the Calendar app. And let’s say you use both Facebook and Twitter. With iOS 6, both social media sites will be included within the notification dropdown. So if you need to post a new status, you can do it once in this location and the change will be made to both the Facebook and Twitter accounts. iOS 6 enables all of these improvements, not to mention the ability to post photos and preferred apps directly to Facebook.

“Pass Go” with Passbook
iOS 6 will feature a new app called “Passbook.” It works like Google Wallet. Passbook stores a wide variety of items (such as movie tickets, gift cards and airline tickets) in one convenient app. Passbook works in conjunction with the notification center, helpfully reminding you if you arrive at a location where you might be able to use one of the items stored in the app.

Silence-is-Golden 
Another improvement? A “Do Not Disturb” feature for iPhones that keeps things on the down-low. Don’t worry; you’ll still receive notifications when they come but you just won’t have to hear about each and every one of them.


The Do Not Disturb feature lets you customize interruptions, such as when to activate and who to accept calls from.

Making the “VIP” List
The new iOS also gives you a way to prioritize the Mail app with special instructions based on the names of your inner-posse members. By accessing the “VIPs” feature, you’ll be able to receive special notification when you receive messages from those you’re tight with. The feature will also let you batch all incoming messages from the crew with a single tap. Mail will now let users add pix and flix to message, as well as view marked messages.

Setting the Pace
The announcements made at Apple’s WWDC often have a global impact, and influence the world of personal computing for the next year. Coming up in Part Two: We look at new changes coming to the MacBook line.

Are you ready to learn app development for the iPhone and iPad? We are! iOS makes the world’s coolest gadgets even cooler!

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

What Will the iPhone 5 Look Like?

Apple changed the smartphone business forever on January 9, 2007, when the late Steve Jobs introduced the revolutionary device to the world. The iPhone has since gone on to become one of the world’s most popular cell phones.


The iPhone 5 (far right) side by side with the current version of the phone. Note the iPhone 5′s 4-inch screen…

Since then Apple fans and phone enthusiasts gobble up rumors and news about new versions of the little phone that can. Lately there have been iPhone 5 rumors, like the rumor of a “teardrop-shaped iPhone 5,” which were false. More recently, both analysts and insiders have been dropping more rumors, but these are actually closer to reality, since they are coming from very reputable sources, like Foxcomm employees (the company that makes the iPhone).

Here’s what we’ve heard so far:

New Size: The iPhone 5 will be thinner and longer than the current iPhone 4 and 4S. While the iPhone 5 will be the same width, it will be taller – approximately 125 mm by 58.5 mm by 7.4 mm. That’s a 10-mm increase in height, and a 2-mm reduction in thickness.

New Connections:  A new Dock Connector will also be part of the new iPhone.


The new dock will be smaller to accommodate the thinner size.

The new connector is also rumored to to be used on ALL new upcoming Apple devices, including an iPod touch update expected later this year (which could have the same screen and CPU as the iPhone 5).

New Back: According to sources close to production, the plastic or ceramic back will be replaced with a metal back. Everything from liquid metal to aluminum has been rumored. And the back will be flat, not curved. (Insiders say it’s to resemble the new generation of Macbooks set to release this summer.)

New Glass Front: Apple loves glass. From the Apple Store to the new campus, Apple uses and knows a lot about glass and the mass production of it. Gorilla Glass will be used in the new iPhone. It can be manufactured thinner and can provide the same strength and protection as earlier iPhones. This is especially important for the:

New Display Size: The change in height includes bringing the screen size to 4 inches versus the current 3.5-inch diagonal. This would be the first time Apple has changed the screen size of the iPhone since the launch of the platform. This means app learning iPhone app development will include making the graphics fit a larger screen.


The iPhone: a silicon sandwich of cellular radio transmitters, memory, CPU, sensors, cameras and battery.

Why the changes? LTE radios. They take up more space in a smartphone than 3G radios and use more power. To use LTE in iPhone 5, rumors are that Apple needed to make room. There are also insiders that say for that reason, Apple will stick to a 3.5-inch screen, and skip LTE radios until they get smaller and take less power.

If Apple does make the display larger, the ad campaign could be something like “Making the Best, Better.” A 16:9 video would look amazing. Controls for games could also be placed to the sides of graphics (the current phone makes it hard to play with your thumbs obscuring the screen). Making iPhones games could be more challenging.

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

iPhone 5 Rumors & Release Date

Apple’s iPhone 5 is next up on the tech giants slate of planned product releases. Rumors about the smartphone have been swirling around the internet since before Apple played bait and switch with the iPhone 4S. But when is the iPhone 5 coming out, and what features will it have?


The iPhone 5 is rumored to have a metal case, and also – a larger screen.

When Will The iPhone 5 Go On Sale?
The earliest cited estimates for announcement/release of the iPhone 5 involve the late spring/early summer time frame. During that window, Apple will participate in the Worldwide Developers Conference, which is held in June. Some experts are betting that the release will take advantage of that event’s press exposure, with production getting in gear during that same time.

If Apple doesn’t make an iPhone 5 announcement in June, the next likely time frame would be October 2012. Most Apple analysts point to the fact that the last version of the iPhone (the iPhone 4S) was released this past fall, and Apple almost always spreads product releases by yearly intervals.

iPhone 5 Features
So now that we have an idea on when the phone will be available our next question is of course, what will it do? The iPhone 5 is supposedly part Apple’s all new product line for 2012, with Apple rumored to be overhauling it’s entire product base. This leaves some exciting possibilities for the iPhone 5, like:

Larger Screen: Apple has taken shots from consumers and the industry alike for not having a larger display. Some experts believe Apple will ramp up the current iPhone display size from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, while others are expecting a whopping big display on the iPhone 5…one that could approach 4.7 inches. Odds: Highly Likely

NFC: The iPhone rumors include the device may include NFC (near-field communication). Like Google Wallet, NFC allows for devices to be used as a credit card (otherwise known as “wave and pay” chips). Rumors are Apple has rejected NFC because there is no standard for it. But recently Forbes reported an Apple employee let it leak that the iPhone 5 would have NFC and use iTunes for billing. That makes more sense, since NFC is the future and Apple’s never been known to care much about the current standards, just look to iTunes for proof of that. Odds: 60% Likely

More Power: Other expected enhancements include a more powerful processor, possibly even using the A5X dual-core processor chip that powers the new iPad. Odds: 85% Likely

Better Camera: Apple has slowly added better cameras to their devices but they lag behind the industry as a whole. With the new push for retina display and better photography, odds are high that Apple will make sure a better camera is in the iPhone 5. Odds: Very Likely

Metal Case: According to sources at Apple’s Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, the new iPhone 5 could be made of lightweight metal, possibly aluminum, there have also been rumors of Liquidmetal, a futuristic substance that’s as easy to mold, lightweight like plastic, but as strong as aluminum. Odds: Highly Likely


Not the iPhone 5 – but this could be the iPhone 8…

Apple Innovation = Revolution
Apple like many young tech professionals are driven by technology and taking the lead in creating the future. Learning app development for the iPhone can help you be part of the revolution. And speaking of revolution, make no mistake, when the iPhone 5 does release it will be revolutionary.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

Step by Step: How to Remove a Mac Virus

The differences between Mac and PC computers are generally well-understood by this point in the Platform Wars. One of the prime selling points for Macintosh has traditionally been its relative immunity from computer viruses. Unfortunately, however, that changed recently when a Trojan virus called Flashback attacked more than 500,000 Macs.

Unhappy Mac’s (and Mac users) are fighting the Flashback virus.

And although it was pretty much a first-time occurrence, it was an event that’s now giving Mac users plenty of cause for concern. As a public service to those Mac users, we’re offering the following tips on how to find out if your Mac is hosting the Flashback virus, and what to do about it if your computer is infected.

Know Your Enemy: How to Find Out if Your Mac Has a Virus
Flashback (which spreads malware) is a very insidious virus, partly because it can get under your computer’s skin even without first gaining an administrative password. It gets “in” by targeting a weakness in Java. That’s not news to Oracle, Java’s creators, which has been proactive in dealing with the matter.

In February, Oracle came up with a fix for the Java problem. And that would have taken care of Flashback altogether, except for the fact that Apple has its own version of Java and Oracle’s patch would not solve the problem for Apple’s version. And although Apple got its own patch out recently, there was a time delay that gave Flashback the chance to do its worst. Consequently, the die had already been cast for a half million Mac users, whose machines became infected with malware initiated by Flashback.

Section 1: Running Diagnostic Tests
First things first: You need to determine if your CPU is carrying the virus. The quickest and best way to do this is to use Kaspersky Lab’s Flashbackcheck. But there is one caveat to following this method: you must first know the universally unique identifier (UUID) for your particular Mac.


Don’t worry…Fortunately, finding your UUID is a painless process…

How to Find Your UUID

  1. Go to Finder and choose the menu item called “About This Mac.”
  2. Next, locate the “More info” option and select that.
  3. In the next window you see, locate “Hardware UUID.”
  4. Copy the Hardware UUID, which is a lengthy series of 32 numerals and letters.

In the event you’re running a MacBook Air, the procedure for locating the UUID is roughly the same:

  1. Go to Finder and choose the menu item called “About This Mac.”
  2. Next, press the button labeled “System Report.”
  3. Within the Hardware Overview, you’ll find the UUID.
  4. Copy the Hardware UUID to your clipboard.

 
At this point, if you’ve got the UUID, you’re pretty much set. All you need to do is go to Flashbackcheck.com, follow the prompts and enter the UUID when requested. That’s it. Flashbackcheck will then tell you whether or not your computer is carrying the virus.

There are also other ways to find out if your Mac has the virus, if you don’t like the idea of giving a sensitive piece of data (such as the UUID) to an external website.

Option 1: Download FlashbackChecker onto your Mac and then simply run the program.

Option 2: If you don’t like Option 1, you can also find out if your machine is infected by using your Mac’s Terminal app. This isn’t terribly complicated but does require some additional maneuvers.

  1. Go to your Applications folder.
  2. Open the Terminal application.
  3. Paste the following line of code within Terminal:    defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES
  4. Hopefully, you’ll get the following response: The domain/default pair of (/Users/<yourusername>/.MacOSX/environment, DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES) does not exist
  5. The key words you’re looking for are “does not exist.” If you get that message, you can relax because it means your Mac is not carrying the Flashback virus. If you don’t get that message, don’t worry…but your machine is probably infected. Assuming you’re not infected, let’s run a double check to make sure your CPU is clean.
  6. Type and run this line of code: defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
  7. With any luck you’ll again receive a message saying that it “does not exist.”
  8. As a further check, type in: defaults read /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
  9. Once more, you should see a “does not exist” response. If so, go on about your business, because your Mac is clean. On the other hand, if you don’t get that message, move on to our next section.

 

Get ready to squash some bugs with our step-by-step virus removal instructions.

Section 2: Removing the Virus
If you’re still reading, we’ll assume that our diagnostic testing has revealed that your machine is indeed infected with Flashback. Here again you have a couple of options you can follow in order to eradicate the menace.

As before, the easiest way is to let the pros handle it. There is a special app created by Kaspersky Lab that can manage the entire operation. All you have to do to follow this method is to download the app (which is called the Flashfake Removal Tool) and then run it on your system. When you’ve done so, your machine should be clean as a whistle…although it wouldn’t hurt to re-run the diagnostic procedure we’ve already performed so you can confirm that Flashback’s gone.

For the more adventurous DIY types among you, we’ve got a procedure you can use, although it comes with a warning: If you’re not a skilled computer user who is comfortable working with CPU’s operating system, it may be better to use the Flashfake Removal Tool. (Otherwise you could casually derail your system by entering something incorrectly in your Mac’s command line.)

Still with us? Good, let’s go:

  1. Within the Terminal app, type and run this command: defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
  2. Notice the value given with the response “DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES.” Is there only one entry here? (You’ll need to use this info later.)
  3. In the event you then receive an error message stating: “The domain/default pair of (/Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info, LSEnvironment) does not exist,” move directly to Step 8.
  4. Provided you didn’t receive the error message mentioned in Step 3, type and run this command within Terminal: grep -a -o’_ldpath_[- ~ ]*’ %path_obtained_in_step2%
  5. Notice the value given after “_ldpath_”. (You’ll need to use this info later.)
  6. Provided you only saw one entry back in Step 2, you’re ready to type these commands, still within the Terminal app: sudo defaults delete /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment sudo chmod 644 /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info/plist
  7. Remember back in Steps 2 and 5 when we asked you to notice the values (files)? Now you should delete those files.
  8. In Terminal, type this command and run it: defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES
  9. Now at this point, you may see the following: “The domain/default pair of (/Users/joe/.MacOSX/environment, DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES) does not exist”. If this is the case, congrats! You’re done! On the other hand, if you don’t get the message, keep pressing on with the rest of our steps, and take note of whatever file information is specified. (You’ll need this info later.)
  10. Within Terminal, type and run this command: grep -a -o’_ldpath_[- ~ ]*’ %path_obtained_in_step9%
  11. Notice the value given after “_ldpath_”. (You’ll need to use this info soon.)
  12. Still within Terminal, type and run these commands: defaults delete ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES launchctl unsetenv DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES
  13. Take those files you got in Steps 9 and 11 and delete them.
  14. In Terminal, type and run this command: ls -lA ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
  15. Notice the file name displayed and remember it for later use. If you have one file, move on to the remaining final steps. (However, if you don’t see a file name displayed, go ahead and contact Customer Support so a trained tech can help you finish up the procedure.)
  16. In Terminal, type this command: defaults read ~/Library/LaunchAgents/%filename_obtained_in_step15% ProgramArguments
  17. Notice the path, which you’ll need during the final step. Does the file name begin with this: “.”? If so, you’re probably no longer infected. Otherwise, proceed to Step 18.
  18. Delete the files you got during Steps 15 and 17.

 
And that should just about do it. To repeat, it’s our recommendation that instead of stepping through a fairly tricky computer procedure, you check out the offerings from Kaspersky Lab. Both Flashbackcheck.com and the Flashfake Removal Tool are designed expressly to keep you from having to monkey around with your computer’s core functionality. But either way, now you should be able to resume your normal Mac activities, secure in the knowledge that all manner of malicious malware isn’t working away, deep within your computer.

Finally, it’s important to note that if you own a Mac, you’re probably going to need to take some proactive measure to defend the machine against Flashback. Why? Because the usual antivirus utilities won’t sniff this particular virus out, so it’s up to you to remain on guard.

Keeping Your Computer Heathly
The world of computing is constantly evolving. Learning more about computers and the code that makes them run can not only be a lifesaver when you’re trying to keep your computer healthy but it can also be a life changing career. Learning C+++ or Java programming for example, these programming languages power smartphones, ATMs and a whole host of other electronic devices. Get the skills to fight the hackers – and squash nasty bugs like the Flashback virus too, while you’re at it.

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

When Will Siri Work on iPad?

Siri, the helpful female voice Apple created to serve as an all-purpose Help desk, has captivated technology maniacs since she was introduced. Now Apple intends to extend Siri’s influence - allowing her to control other devices.


It’s sort of official: Siri is being prepped to work on other devices besides the iPhone.

Apple Talks Patents
Apple hasn’t made any announcements yet, but tech insiders point to recent patent filings that support the claim that Siri could be used to control more devices. The patent application filed by Apple in late March suggests a scenario wherein iPhones might be used to control digital media players with voice commands (potentially for use with Apple TV). Likewise, Siri could be used to provide remote-control operation of digital cameras. It might even be used in the future to control various devices via Mac computers – or your iPad.

Apple’s patent filing stated that “Portable electronic devices, such as digital media players, personal digital assistants, mobile phones, and so on, typically rely on small buttons and screens for user input. Such controls may be built into the device or part of a touch-screen interface, but are typically very small and can be cumbersome to manipulate.”

The patent application then tips Apple’s hand a bit: “What is needed is an electronic device that includes a voice user interface for executing voice or oral commands from a user, but where voice recognition is performed by a remote device communicatively coupled to the electronic device, rather than the electronic device itself.” Hmmm…Sounds like Apple foresees a future in which machines – like a TV – are controlled by voice. We agree, but Apple needs to catch up, since you can already control your TV with Microsoft’s Kinect system.

The Future of Tech
Apple is clearly shaping the new technological landscape and you can be part of it by learning more about Apple’s iOS. App development and programming courses like those taught by Digital Media Academy could help you become the one that’s creating the future. Held on some of America’s most respected college and university campuses (such as Harvard and UCLA), DMA summer camps enable motivated youngsters to pursue their technological dreams.

The future includes voice control and a whole host of other technology we haven’t even thought of yet…”Siri show us the future!”

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

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

Steve Jobs Action Figure Cancelled

The toy company that announced the Steve Jobs Action Figure has cancelled plans to release the figure. In an announcement posted to their website, inicons explained the genesis of the idea and the action figure.


This announcement greeted visitors to inicons site, and explained the Steve Jobs would not be produced.

inicons announced a Steve Jobs action figure just before the end of 2011 and expected to ship the figure in late February 2012 for $99.00. The figure was a fully detailed 12″ Steve Jobs, right down to his black turtleneck and New Balance sneakers. Other accessories were also included with the figure including, extra hands, a stool (like the one used during the Apple presentations Jobs gave) – and apples.

Apple Approval
The announcement to cancel the figure was not a surprise, as many figured, without the approval of Steve Jobs’ family the figure could not be produced. inicons spoke directly to the copyright issue in a statement they released on their site and defended their position – one that came from a fan perspective.


The incredible detail of the action figure is seen closeup. 

“I created a single figurine of Steve which I placed on my desk next to my Mac,” the toy maker commented. The announcement also explained why there would be no figure:

“Though we still believe that we have not overstepped any legal boundaries, we have decided to completely stop the offer, production and sale of the Steve Jobs figure out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feeling of the Steve Jobs family. We understand that this decision will cause many of the fans’ disappointment, but please forgive us as there is no other alternative unless to have the blessing from Steve Jobs family…”

The announcement ended with inicons promising refunds to buyers who pre-ordered and thanking all the fans for their support and one last apology.

Apple Toys
The Steve Job action figure would have adorned cubicles and fanboy shelves all over the world. But for now, the only “official” Apple toy fans will be able to get their hands on are apps like Garageband and others created by app development for iPhone and iPad.

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

Apple’s Very First Phone and Other Design Innovations

Long before the iPhone, Apple had another touch screen phone in development. The phone wasn’t the creation of Steve Jobs, but a designer he hired in 1982.


In addition to helping Apple establish a global brand presence, German designer Hartmut Esslinger was instrumental in creating an image for Sony, his work includes their line of personal music products and the Sony Trinitron. 

German designer Hartmut Esslinger created the Apple Phone prototype, along with other signature Apple designs, while working under exclusively under a $1,000,000 a year contract. His first job? To create a design strategy to turn the Silicon Valley start-up into a world-class brand.

Designing the Apple Brand 
Esslinger brought his company Frogdesign to California and set up shop in 1982 and he worked for Apple until Steve Jobs’ was forced out of the company in 1985. Esslinger broke his contract with Apple and followed Jobs to NeXT shortly after. But his designs would live on in Apple products until 1990.

Esslinger and Frogdesign created the “Snow White design” for Apple, this was the style used for all Apple products from 1984 to 1990, starting with the Apple IIc. The essence of the design uses vertical and horizontal lines for both decoration and ventilation. The lines give the illusion that the computer enclosure is smaller than it really is.


An Apple Macintosh IIx with Snow White design elements – off-white color and shallow, simple horizontal and vertical lines give a clean and minimal look.

In addition, the “Snow White design” also introduced Esslinger’s unique Apple logo—a three-dimensional rainbow Apple that was cut into the product case. Still, one of Esslinger’s most interesting designs has only recently surfaced – the prototype for the Apple Phone. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Apple was looking into telecommunication – and their very first phone even featured a touch screen.

The Apple Phone wasn’t a cell or “smartphone” but a landline phone and even though the device was designed in the early 80′s it still has a futuristic look – the handset has a unique angle and the touchscreen even has a small slot to store the stylus when not in use.


This recently uncovered photograph shows off an Apple phone prototype. The prototype dates back to 1983.

Apple has been on the forefront of technology for a long time. The company and it’s innovations have been mainly driven by Steve Jobs and his futuristic vision. In the post-Jobs era, a new, younger generation of designers and those learning app development for iPhone and iPad will design the future of Apple – future designers like those who follow in Hartmut Esslinger’s footsteps.

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