A few weeks ago there was a lot of hoopla around the arrival of a new Gmail app (free). But it was quickly pulled from the App Store because of serious bugs. Now it's back, without the bugs. Gmail has a large base of users, and the arrival of a dedicated app is welcome. Reviews have been lukewarm, however, with the main criticism being that it doesn't support multiple email accounts.
I am really liking iCloud, especially the way my email, calendar, and contacts are always in sync between my computer and iPad. And I like the way it automatically pushes new email to my computer and iPad.
If you're interested in having your entire iTunes library in iCloud via the new iTunes Match service, check out the excellent tutorial on TiPb. It walks you through the process both via text and screen shots, and via a video. The process involves downloading iTunes 10.5.1, going into iTunes and signing up for the $24.99 service, and then initiating the service by clicking the option that says Add This Computer. This starts the matching process as iTunes goes through your library and matches your songs with the iTunes catalog.
Today Apple released iTunes 10.5.1, which now lets you take advantage of the iTunes Match feature of iCloud. The service costs $25 per year and lets you store all of your music in iCloud. Your entire collection is conveniently available to you without having to store the whole collection on each deevice. When you subscribe to the service, it checks your iTunes Library against the iTunes Library of 20 million audio files. And for those in your collection that match their library, it adds those songs to your iCloud library.
According to an article on the Macworld website, iOS 5 has a couple features that are available but not enabled: 1) a panoramic photo feature and 2) an alternate way of invoking spelling suggestions. Interestingly, you can enable these features without jailbreaking your device. But you do have to tweak it a bit — so this is probably only of interest to the techies among you. Also, the features are pretty fritzy, which is possibly why they weren't enabled.
Yesterday Apple began selling an unlocked version of the iPhone 4S. That means that you can use it with any carrier, and you don't need to sign a contract. But it will cost you: prices start at $649 for the 16GB phone. You can also buy an unlocked iPhone 4 for $549 and a 3GS for $375. However, the unlocked phones will only work with GSM carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.
The good news is that an update is available that is said to fix the battery issue on the iPhone 4S. In addition, this is the first update available "over the air." No need to connect your iOS device to your computer. You can download it via Wi-Fi, though apparently not 3G or Edge. The not so good news is that according to PCWorld, some iPhone 4S users are still complaining about rapid battery drain.
A New Yorker article by Malcom Gladwell, one of my favorite writers, really gets to the heart of who Steve Jobs was as a person. Jobs, Gladwell says, relentlessly tweaked things. He didn't invent, he tweaked. And tweaked. And tweaked. Until it was perfect. He sometimes drove people crazy, but it was this aspect of his personality that led to Apple's success. Gladwell, using details from Walter Isaacson's biography, tells how the tweaking even spilled out into Jobs's personal life.
Of course I’m dying to have Siri on my iPad 2. But Apple’s official line, reiterated in a report on Cult of Mac, is that Siri will only be available on the iPhone 4S. Responding to a query from the website, an Apple engineer said. “Siri only works on the iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices.” Of course, the optimists among us focus on the word “currently,” hoping that it’ll happen in the future. Despite Apple’s rationale that older devices aren’t powerful enough to run Siri, hackers have been able to show that it can run on older phones.
The iPhone 4S is still selling like crazy, with AppleInsider reporting that 85% of the Apple Stores surveyed ran out of stock each day. But apparently their stock is being replenished every morning, so that customers who leave empty handed are able to make an appointment to pick one up the next day. There is similar demand around the world.