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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 DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

How Siri Works

iTunes made the record store digital, the iPhone took communication into the space age, and Siri (pronounced Sir-ree) is Apple’s latest step toward our technological future.


Siri, a voice recognition feature that Apple developed for iPhone 4S, allows iPhone users to quickly access information just by asking your phone. 

Science Fiction, Science Fact 
The iPhone 4S is the fastest selling iPhone ever. AT&T reported it activated a million of the devices over a three-day period. And now those million-plus people are asking Siri for weather reports, restaurant recommendations and to text their wife. But did you know that Apple actually created the Siri back in 1987? Really. And then it was called the Knowledge Navigator.

Think of it like the Jetsons’ version of Google. Don’t believe us? See for yourself:

Apple also predicted when the technology would come to market, way back in 1987. Take a close look at the dates in the Knowledge Navigator video; the professor is looking for a paper from 2006, “about five years ago.” The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16. That would make it September 16, 2011. Apple predicted the technology – a natural-language voice assistant (built into a touchscreen Apple device) – but missed the date…but by only a month.

Can You Hear Me Now?
The Star Trek talking computer we grew up with as science fiction is now science fact. Voice recognition is considered the pinnacle of technology control.

But voice-controlled technology represents problems, though. People and their voices are unique, we pronounce words differently, and in many cases, with a regional accent. Apple believes the voice technology it has created is advanced enough to work. And, amusingly, it does.

Apple’s Siri voice recognition, still in beta, is a natural language-based voice assistant built into iOS 5 and at the center of the iPhone 4S features.

People have been putting Siri to the test across the U.S., asking her to “open the pod bay doors.” (See how 2001: A Space Odyssey predicted the future.)

It’s amazing to see what people do with technology and even more amazing to see what developers can do with smartphones these days. App development for iPhone and iPad is big business and consumers keep the demand high for apps and cutting-edge technology, such as Siri.

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

Free Texting: iMessage VS What’s App

It’s something you probably do every day, and while the technology exists to do it for free, many people are still paying for it. We’re talking of course, about texting.

The iPhone 4S and iOS deliver the promise of free texting with iMessage. 

Think about it, in an age when eon -mails and other forms of advanced electronic communication (such as Skype, Twitter, and Facebook) are basically free, wireless carriers are still charging for SMS (short messaging service) or texts.

We get it; cellular networks are costly to maintain and upgrade. But when others are already delivering texts for free, you’d think wireless carriers would follow suit – if for nothing more than to make up for all the dropped calls we’ve already endured as customers. The truth is free text poses threats to carriers.

Apple to the Rescue
Leave it to Steve Jobs to make technology companies (in this case, your cellular provider) work harder to provide you with better service and products. Apple’s latest iOS5 features iMessage, which is a free app that serves up unlimited texting to ANY Apple device running iOS 5. The good? Once you update your iOS, iMessage is ready to go. You can send texts, images or video. And like Facetime, it looks like iMessage is headed for the Mac OS. The bad? iMessage is only for Apple users running iOS 5. That means if your friend is a PC, or using an Android phone, you have to find another way to text him, like…


WhatsApp versus iMessage! Which is best? It depends on what devices your friends use…

WhatsApp!
In this corner, WhatsApp, the free texting app that works across different OSs and even multiple devices, such as the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. WhatsApp also allows you to send images and video in addition to texts.

While there’s no cost for texting while using WhatsApp, and you can connect with people internationally using it (again also for free), take note: you’ll still be using data from your data plan when you’re using your provider to connect to the Internet to send a text.

Texting, by the numbers (Source: NY Times):

  • 2 trillion: The number of text messages sent each year in the U.S.
  • $20 billion: Revenue generated from texting by wireless carriers.
  • $7 billion: Amount Verizon Wireless generates annually from texting (it’s 12 percent of the company’s total revenue or about a third of its operating income).
  • 1/3 of a penny: What it costs wireless carriers to send a text message.
  • 10-20 cents: What cellular providers charge to send and receive a text message. That’s more than a 4,000% markup.

Companies such as AT&T use services like texting as a profit center, charging users as much as 20 cents per text message for texts either sent or received. It’s a good thing there are free alternatives; texting apps are putting enterprising developers and their app development skills to good use.

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posted by DMA Jordan in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

iPhone Invitation Confirms Oct 4. iPhone 5 Launch

Apple has officially announced the launch date for its next iPhone (or iPhones). The big day? Next Tuesday, October 4th. The Cupertino, California-based company will reveal the eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 from the Town Hall auditorium on Apple’s campus.


Apple sent this simple invitation to the press to announce the event. 

The invitation Apple sent to the media doesn’t reveal much else beside the date and location of the event. A Google maps icon pinpoints Apple’s campus location at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino. The date and time are also communicated. What is intriguing is the the red notification “1,” which on the iPhone indicates a message or call. Many industry insiders have speculated that Apple will introduce not only one iPhone but two new iPhones – including a smaller, cheaper and faster iPhone 4.

iPhones for Everyone
It’s also been rumored that Sprint will also carry the iPhone. That partnership, if a reality, will most likely be announced at the event, too. The various iPhone options (including a new iPhone 5) has been the source of many industry rumors. Most believe Apple is offering different types and price points for the iPhone in order to be more competitive with Google’s Android phones. If you’re considering a new cell phone, we recommend waiting until after the release of the iPhone 5, as the release of the iPhone 5 and different types of iPhones will most likely dramatically affect the plans offered by smartphone providers like AT&T & Verizon.

iPhone 5 Apps & Features
In addition to the new iOS 5, a number of other features and updates are expected along with the iPhone 5 announcement. Among them, Facebook and Twitter may be more closely intergrated into the phone. According to Ben Parr of Mashable, an unnamed source informed him that a new Facebook iPhone app, a new Facebook iPad app and, possibly (if that isn’t enough to have you updating your status by now), an HTML5-based mobile app store.

Neither Apple or Facebook have made any comment confirming the above rumor. Instead, Apple just quietly sent an invite for the October 4th event to press and select app developers. DMAC has been tracking the status of the iPhone 5‘s release for some time. Join us next Tuesday for a full report on the iPhone’s launch, including price and availability.

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posted by DMA Jordan in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

iPad 3 Features & Release Date

The iPad, just as Apple’s Steve Jobs predicted, has changed the face of computing. Some analysts predict that in 5 to 10 years, almost all desktop and laptop computers will be replaced by tablet devices. In the same way, smartphones have revolutionized cell phones, tablets, and particularly the iPad…and these devices are already revolutionizing computing.


A 3D artist’s rendering of the iPad 3. 

While the tablet business has been brisk for Apple, it hasn’t been as lucrative for some. Hewlitt-Packard recently announced it would leave the computer hardware business entirely, including its tablet business. HP recently sold out its 16GB HP Touchpad for the jaw-dropping, basement price of $99.

Outside of Apple, Amazon is probably the company most aggressive about the tablet business, and Amazon expects to sell 3 to 5 million tablets by 2012. Still, the king of the tablet throne is Apple’s iPad, and rumors are already circulating around the next version of that device. We’ve done some investigation and here’s what the iPad 3 could offer and when you can expect it:

Better Display
iPad 3′s screen resolution and possibly its size will be increased. The iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch screen and 1024 x 768 resolution – the same as the first-generation iPad. A retina display (like the iPhone 4) with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 is rumored to be in the works for the iPad 3.

The iPad has also taken knocks for its glossy screen. Sure, it looks great, but the glare can be a real problem when trying to read a book or play a game. Amazon’s Kindle features a matte-like screen that diffuses light rather than reflecting it; Apple could offer a version of the iPad 3 with anti-glare.


Apple quietly re-introduced an anti-glare option for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. A similar option could be made available for the iPad 3.

Better Camera
The camera on the iPad 2 is less than 1 megapixel. Frankly, it’s appalling that such a cutting-edge device has such an outdated camera. Rumors suggest that the iPad 3 camera resolution will be significantly improved.

New OS
In addition to hardware upgrades, Apple insiders also point to a new or updated iPad operating system. Ideally, this OS would be released just prior to the iPad 3 release, and original iPad and iPad 2 owners would also benefit from the update. iOS 5 is already slated for release this fall.

New Outputs
Currently, the iPad requires an adapter (which must be bought separately) in order to connect the device to your flatscreen or to view pictures on the device you’ve taken with a separate camera. Some analysts have said a next-generation iPad may at least have HDMI out. However Apple insiders have ruled this out, because the addition of another output would increase the cost of hardware, which is something Apple is not fond of doing.

Release Date & New iPad Retailer
Apple’s hardware release pattern is somewhat predictable, at least it was until component manufacturers located in Japan, China and other Asian regions were affected by this past year’s tsunami. But most analysts look to a Spring 2012 iPad 3 release. Here’s why: A newly forged relationship with communications provider Sprint, which is rumored to be getting iPad distribution rights in 2012. Also, Apple has a tendency to release devices well in advance of the holiday season (usually during spring or early summer) to allow consumer demand to build for almost an entire year. In addition, Apple will not want to cannibalize sales of the iPhone 5, which drops in September. Apple will want that device to have all the limelight possible well into the end of this year.

Developing For The Future
As the computer hardware industry changes to embrace tablets, the development community must change, too. Almost all tablets not made by Apple are driven by the Android OS, and apps are the primary way to experience content. Learning app development or the Android OS could help you get your foot in the door of the tablet revolution. It’s a revolution that’s already well underway.

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posted by DMA Jordan in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments