Likely one of the main reasons the iPhone 5s is off to such a remarkable start is the amazing camera, which has features that no other camera has, smartphone or otherwise. An excellent article on Computerworld gives an in-depth look at the technology inside the iPhone 5s camera, including the value of the larger sensor in letting in more light. The article also discusses the new Image Signal Processor in the A7 chip that gives capabilities only found in high-end cameras. For example, it uses "tonal mapping" to independently enhance the contrast in individual areas of the photo. It also uses multi-zone metering to give you much better autofocus.
Unhappily I'm in the market for a new iPad mini, having dropped mine this morning and cracked the screen. So I'm doubly looking forward to Apple's announcement of new iPads in October. One rumor has said the event will be coming Oct. 15. I hope that's correct. Meanwhile, we still know little about the new iPad mini, while videos continue to surface showing in detail what the new fifth-generation iPad will look like. The latest video (see below) gives the clearest overview yet of the relative sizes of the current iPad and iPad mini compared to the fifth-generation iPad. And again it shows that the new iPad will be thinner, lighter, and narrower. It also shows that there will be a second microphone on the back of the device. I don't recall having seen that detail before.
The other night my wife and I were cooking dinner. We decided to try using a new app in order to find a new recipe. Unfortunately, this app was so poorly designed that it was practically impossible to use. Anyone could have designed that app better, right? Wrong. It’s hard to design something to be easy to use. And there is a science behind why it's so hard.
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It’s been yet another fascinating week in the world of Apple news, so let’s get right to it. This week’s roundup includes results from the first ever touchscreen responsiveness benchmark tests, a neat comparison of all the iPhones since the first iteration back in 2007 as well as new video that’s leaked featuring the new, soon-to-be released large iPad.
There's a surprising lack of buzz surrounding the anticipated introduction of new iPads in October. I suspect one reason is that we already know a fair amount about the fifth-generation iPad: it'll be thinner, lighter, and narrower, with narrower bezels left and right, and a form factor similar to the iPad mini. Another reason may be that no one is expecting anything major, unlike last year when the iPad mini was announced. So far it's a bit of a mystery what sort of upgrade the mini will receive, with some rumors saying it'll get a retina display and others saying that a retina model won't be ready until next year.
The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the new iPhone 5s has been well received. Apple says that half of smartphone owners don't use any security at all, so Touch ID should provide greater security just by making it easier for people to restrict access without having to go through the step of a passcode. But fingerprint sensors have been shown in the past to be vulnerable, and the day after the iPhone 5s was released, a group of hackers in Germany claimed to have defeated Touch ID security. (See the video below.) But it's not easy, and it's unlikely that most bad guys would go to this much trouble.
Here's how they describe the steps necessary to perform this hack:
Every time a new update comes out, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. It’s quite distracting, and I find myself daydreaming about all the goodies in store for me. Some updates are more awesome than others, but I’m glad to say that the iOS 7 did not disappoint me, iPhone Life-ers! It certainly is the biggest change in five years. Sure there are things that I would change if I were boss of the world, but there’s lots that I like. Instead of going feature by feature, let’s focus on the visual user interface (UI) differences. As the husband of a graphic designer and a person who has overseen the design and development of many iPhone apps in his day, the look and feel is really important to me.
As an avid Apple follower, I've seen and heard it all lately. Many respected technology sites are praising the iPhone 5s for its new camera, fingerprint scanner, and faster chip. They are saying that the phone is so much better than its younger sibling, the 5c, that it puts the poor phone to shame.
These experts, analysts, and Apple watchers are wrong. So wrong that it offends me.
I've already covered basic tips and useful hidden features in iOS 7. Now I'd like to cover a few new features that seem important for everyone to be aware of.
On Friday, Sept. 20, record numbers of people lined up all over the world to get their hands on the new iPhone 5s and 5c. According to Tech Crunch the line at Apple’s flagship NYC store was 83 percent longer at 8 a.m. on Friday morning than it was at the same time during the iPhone 5 launch. Similar scenes played out in all the major cities. Fortune posted a roundup of YouTube videos documenting the impressive crowds:
For the first time since the original iPhone came out, I did NOT get the latest model on opening day. It was not for lack of trying, but it's complicated. As a developer, I can justify grabbing the latest gear, because I have to make sure my apps work on the new devices, and take advantage of any new features. But I've been using iOS 7 for several weeks on my iPhone 5 and was satisfied that they would work fine. The 64-bit CPU is important for data-intensive apps, but not necessarily my apps. Apple hasn't opened up the fingerprint reader to developers, so there wasn't an overwhelming need to upgrade.
Last week I posted some basic tips for iOS 7. In this post I want to share some useful but not obvious features.
For those of you who find iOS 7 harder to see, in addition to selecting a darker wallpaper, as I explained in my previous post, you can make the new slimmer system font bold so that app names are more visible. Do this by going to Settings>General>Accessibility, and turning on Bold. In addition, you can increase the font size by going to Settings>General>Larger Type, and adjusting the slider. This doesn't appear to affect fonts on the Home screen but does increase the size of fonts in those apps that take advantage of this feature, including most of Apple's apps such as Mail.
When I take my mountain bike out on the trails, besides getting a good workout, it relaxes me. For me it's a mindful experience being out in nature with only me, the bike, and the trail.
However, because I live in Colorado, when the snow starts falling my bike finds residence in my garage until the sun starts shining again, I can shed my North Face coat, and the trails start drying out.
During the winter, I usually find myself hanging out on the couch instead of getting the exercise I need. I absolutely hate going to the gym.
So, that's why I was happy to hear about a fellow Colorado resident who developed an app designed to quiet the mind and make working out at the gym like being outdoors.
Adoption of iOS 7 has been remarkable. According to the New York Times, an estimated 18[ercent of iOS users had downloaded iOS 7 within the first 24 hours. So many people were downloading it that some university networks crashed, and Apple's servers struggled under the load. This strong demand for the new software has led to problems.
Gusto Technologies, creators of the FitTrip App now on Kickstarter, are helping out fellow residents of the Boulder, Colorado area who lost almost everything they own to the flooding that occurred during the week of Sept. 12. Close to 13 inches of rain fell in the region in just a few short days.
So far I really like iOS 7, but my immediate impression was that it was harder to see. I had a light wallpaper and the white text on the lock screen and icon names was barely visible. (The text was white in the past, but it was superimposed over the darker shadow that give the icons their 3-D look.) So I immediately went to Settings>Wallpaper & Brightness and chose a darker image. Plus, I was initially confused about a few things. Here are some basic tips to help you get oriented.
Here’s a last minute chance to get involved in the realization of an exciting Kickstarter project for which the funding period ends Sept. 20, and if the goal is met shipping will begin Oct. 1st.
The project involves a bike computer from Wahoo Fitness powered by an iPhone, for access to GPS, music, and app functionality connected by Bluetooth.
Apple's recent event revealed the iPhone 5S, complete with space gray, silver, or gold color schemes, new camera features, and a fingerprint sensor. It also highlighted the new M7 motion coprocessor, designed to gather motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.
Fitness apps that would normally fall on the A7 chip will now rely on the M7, a more efficient alternative that draws less battery. With a new set of CoreMotion APIs, developers can also contribute a variety of fitness and motion tracking apps for iOS 7.
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