These days, iPad cases are a dime a dozen. You've got folios that double as stands, shells that provide drop protection, and everything in between. It's tough to stand out in a sea of similar faces, but the Ergo Book from Acme Made is a real game changer. I've had a chance to test out this new case, which has currently passed its funding goal on Kickstarter, and I'm more than impressed.
Holy moly, I forgot how hard math can be! I really feel for our youth who every year have to gear up for entrance, mid-terms, and final exams. If I had not known a math wiz who helped me extensively with my homework, I would not have made it through algebra, geometry, or trig, and I now only have a fuzzy idea of the rules (like the Pythagorean Theorem required to solve the above). I figured by now, one could use Siri to answer math questions, or at least the mega awesome MyScript calculator app (free). NOTE: Please do not try to use Siri or your iPhone/iPad during an exam, unless explicitly told you are allowed to do so by an authorized test administrator. If you are one of the unlucky few who are grinding through trig problems (or verb conjugation) these beautiful spring and early summer days, check out Play2Prep (free). It is designed to make getting ready for your next major exam fun and engaging. Mostly I found it to be quite ridiculously hard...but yeah, in a fun way I guess!
Everyone asks me right after (and often during) an Apple keynote "what was the best thing they announced?" Since this event was all about software, and there were so many new features announced, I had to ponder it all and let it sink in. And I thought, "What would my wife care about?"
If you want to share all the photos of the school play, the graduation party, your adorable puppy, or your anniversary celebration, but don't want to go through the trouble of selecting individual photos to share, you're in luck. Your iPhone Photo app organizes your photos into "Moments" and you can easily share all the photos in a Moment at once.
So I have a news reader app on my iPad called Pulse (free), which has lived there for years. It is among the best news apps I have found (though the recent LinkedIn version is garnering complaints), and I say humph. What more do I need? Enter Reverb and the latest Pearltrees 2.0 (both free). Reverb is not a bourgeois news app that spews AP wire content to elite techno-snobs. It shakes things up by dumping material from a cornucopia of sources into each news topic. Though it can be a bit discomfiting, it's mostly just darn refreshing! While Reverb helps one find interesting content on a particular topic, Pearltrees helps you to collect, and even create your own! These two freebies will take you down many enjoyable or even daring roads on the interwebs, which is the point of the journey, yes?
Epic Games' Tim Sweeney took the stage at WWDC as once again his company's technology was prominently featured at the Apple media event. This time however, instead of swinging swords as Infinity Blade's tragic hero Siris, the team behind the best selling Infinity Blade series was there to show off the capabilities of iOS 8's new level of gaming software called Metal.
Thanks to everyone who entered the May 19th iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the June 2nd giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!
And the winners are... (drum roll please):
So the word is out. iOS 8, Xcode 6 and the new Swift programming language are headed your way. What should you do? Should you continue to learn iOS 7 and Objective-C or should you make the switch to iOS 8 and Swift programming? I've already had several emails and tweets asking about this as iOS developers ponder this important question.
WWDC's keynote with Tim Cook and company has come and gone, and what is striking is not what was announced, but what was not announced. A new version of Mac OS and iOS is always to be expected at WWDC. WWDC is when and where developers go to learn direct from the source. I've attended a few times and it's been a great way to learn about new frameworks and tools. It's a no brainer that Apple would use that venue to reveal the next generation of their mobile and computer-based operating systems. But Apple usually has one or two hardware announcements at WWDC. With a captive audience of 5,000-plus Apple computer owners, plus countless more watching the live stream, it's a great opportunity to sell hardware. Maybe not a new phone but usually there is a refreshed or all new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or the Mac Pro or Mac mini. Last year it was the dramatically redesigned cylindrical Mac Pro. Before that it was the MacBook Pro Retina. After all, in a crowded room, it's likely that someone is celebrating a birthday that week. So, with such a broad product line from Apple, there is always some device ready to be updated.
Today during the keynote at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Apple announced some exciting new products and upgrades. Much of what we predicted was right on, while a few things barely got a mention or were left out altogether. Here’s a rundown of the announcements that got us the most excited.
When Tim Cook opened up by saying that iOS 8 accompanies the biggest release of the Apple SDK since the launch of the App Store, I thought it might just be hyperbole. It wasn't. There are tremendous changes in store for iOS app developers that will drastically change the way you create apps. I'll start with the biggest change first.
Imagine you’re arriving home after work, and before you can fumble around for your keys, the door simply senses your presence and unlocks, the lights turn on, music from your favorite album begins to play from your speaker system, the air inside is cooled to your ideal temperature.
What you’re envisioning is actually already possible. All of the technology exists—with products from companies such as Belkin, Insteon, Vera, and Nest—but it hasn’t been leveraged into an integrated system that’s accessible to the everyday person.
If there was a common theme for WWDC 2014, Tim Cook articulated it at the end. He said what's great about Apple products is that their operating system, devices, and services work together in harmony, creating a seamless experience for users. And that seamless experience was expanded in dramatic fashion today, with the announcement of new technologies such as HomeKit, HealthKit, iCloud Drive, and Continuity. Apple also announced a ton of new features for built-in apps in iOS 8 such as Mail, Messages, Photos, and Safari.
As expected, Apple introduced HomeKit, a platform to standardize new and existing home automation systems. They didn't announce any new hardware, but that's probably for the best. Rather than stifle competition, HomeKit can help encourage competing vendors like Lowes, Schlage, Google's Nest and others by making it easy to work together. Lights, locks, thermostats, garage door openers from different manufacturers can now be controlled by Siri or third-party apps, as long as the devices leverage iOS 8 and HealthKit.
Touch ID has been very successful on the iPhone 5s, increasing both security and convenience. It's rumored that Touch ID will now be on all new iOS devices, including the forthcoming iPads.
Apple made two significant announcements related to the iOS keyboard today. One is predictive capability, called QuickType. Depending on context, iOS is now smart enough to predict words as you type.
Siri will have a couple great new features in iOS 8. One is hands-free operation, such that you can simply say "Hey Siri" and Siri will respond. This, of course, will be especially useful if you're in your car.
Apple announced their new HealthKit platform and Health app. The main idea is that HealthKit is a single comprehensive repository for all your health and fitness information. The announced platform goes far beyond the rumors.
Big changes to Messages in iOS 8. You can now reply to SMS messages within the lock screen or within an app.