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I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

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iOS Joke

Everyone wants the latest iOS but waiting over six hours to download and instal is in my minds eye is a joke. Apple should adopt a ticket request system next time a new iOS is available. It could act as how theme parks allocate ride times, so when a device requests the download then a ticketed time slot is allocated for that device, this way the servers would not be overloaded and downloads would be quicker.
But I hear you say “what happens if I miss my time slot?”
Well in all fairness I would say “tuff luck” and you should be made to request another ticketed time slot, I think for those who have patiently waited their turn should not have to wait any longer and abusing the system means your have to join the que again.
Maybe I should not be in so much of a rush to want to download the latest iOS then I would not be waiting so long for my download.

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Mavericks

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There is not one thing that jumps out with Apple's new Mac operating system, known as Mavericks and that is a good thing. Mavericks has plenty of modest refinements that add up to a system well worth the upgrade, even if Apple were not giving it away for free.
Many years ago, Web surfing changed dramatically when the Opera browser offered a way to open multiple Web pages in tabs instead of separate windows that cluttered the computer desktop. Most browsers soon followed, that concept now comes to file management as part of Mavericks, which Apple released Tuesday for new Macs and older ones running Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion. You can now use tabs rather than separate windows for various folders, disks and networked servers.The change may seem cosmetic, but it saves time. As I opened a file here and move a file there in previous versions of the Mac OS, I could easily have a half-dozen or more windows open. If I closed them, I would have to go through the trouble of finding those folders and drives again later.
Tabs mean I no longer have to accept that clutter. All the tabs are neatly organised at the top of a single window. I can access files and move them around more easily and to further assist with file management, Mavericks lets you assign one or more tags to files. It is similar to the approach Google's Gmail uses to organise email. I have been trying to go paperless by scanning or requesting bills and receipts electronically, but they have been scattered in more than 100 folders and subfolders.
The problem is that an individual file might belong in a number of folders. A receipt for a museum membership might go under "receipts," ''museum," ''charity," ''taxes" or in a folder for the credit card I used. With tags, I can label the file with all five and find it more easily. It does not matter anymore what folder I put it in. Searching by the tag will automatically pull the relevant file up.

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Apple e-books also sync. Mavericks introduces an iBooks app for the Mac, so you are no longer limited to iPhones and iPads. You can start a book on an iPhone and pick up where you left off on the Mac. Any highlights and notes transfer over. Bonus: Copy a passage into any app, and Mavericks automatically adds a citation.

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Safari, a new Sidebar offers quick access to bookmarks, sites marked for offline viewing and suggestions from people you follow on Twitter or LinkedIn. Unfortunately, Facebook links are not part of that. A continuous scrolling feature automatically grabs the next site on your list when you get to the bottom of one.
Apple's Maps app comes to the Mac. Last year, that app deposed Google Maps as the primary mapping app on iPhones, only to lead many people astray with mismatched landmarks and faulty directions.The mobile app has gotten better, and the Mac version shares many of its attributes. You do not get turn-by-turn voice guidance on the Mac, but you can send results to your iPhone with two clicks. It is much easier to plan a trip using a real keyboard.
Apple does integrate the service with its other apps, something it can do by building a stand-alone app. Click on an address in a Mail message for a small map within the app. You can then add the address to the Contacts app or pull up the full map in Maps and when you fill out a Calendar entry with an address, Apple uses it’s mapping service to calculate and block out travel time from the previous appointment. It also shows you a small map and the weather.

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The Calendar app, meanwhile, is easier to read. Weeks no longer have to start on the same day each week, usually Sunday. Months don't have to begin on the first. You can view the last two weeks of one month and the first two weeks of the next on one screen, for instance.
Mavericks also offers easier ways to reply to chats and emails when notifications pop up on the side. I did have trouble when a friend and I sent each other streams of chats at once, without waiting for a reply. I can reply with only one line without returning to the chat app and if another chat comes in as I am replying, I see only the first message in the reply box.

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Mavericks offers much more you will not see, but might feel, includes better power and memory management. There are also improvements when working with multiple monitors. By offering it for free, Apple is following the model it has adopted for iPhones and iPads: Make money on devices, and keep customers happy with the latest software innovations. Just remember to back up your files before downloading and installing the update through the Mac's app store.

The Visit

I had not seen my mum and sister for quite sometime and missed the christmas break time last year to see them, so an overdue visit was in order.
Hayley was excited because she was waiting to visit so that she could go to Apple and get her iPad and one for mum too, what they did not relies was that I was going to treat them to an iPad mini each.
After picking them up from Morden, we decided to have a quick break and then head off to Kingston to buy the iPads as this was a bank holiday weekend and getting it done today was the quitest of days to do it, also it would both give them a chance to set up their iPads on the day they needed to rest up after their journey.
After getting mum and Hayley their iPad minis we headed over to John Lewis to get them a case for each of their devices as Apple only sell the smart covers and no protective cases that cover the whole device. Mum at the moment is really into the colour pink and she found the perfect case, Hayley also got the same case but in a nice bright green colour.
We turned this day from just a trip to Apple into a Kingston shopping trip but first was a visit to Montazuma's for a tea and in mine and Wayne's case, a hot chocolate break.
A shopping trip with mum and Hayley would not be complete without Hayley going into two or three shoe shops, strange this time round she did not buy any, she must be to excited about her new iPad.
After doing the usual mooch about the shops in some rather hot weather, we decide to head home and set up both their iPads and give them a chance to rest up before Ian made his debut, oh I do hope Ian remembered the promised peanut brittle for Hayley.

hayley, Wayne, joan @ montazuma 2013

WWDC 2012

Every Apple lover’s favourite time of the year has arrived. June 11 marked the first day of the Worldwide Developers Conference, and after weeks of rumours and speculation, we finally found out what Apple had in store for us.
With the kickoff of WWDC in San Francisco, Apple has announced the availability of their next major version of OS X: Mountain Lion. It will be available in July for £12.88 from the Mac App Store.
This version of OS X bridges the gap between iOS and Apple’s line of computers even more by bringing in elements that were formerly found only in iOS. What this means is a tighter integration of data for those that use an iPhone, iPad, and a Mac with 200 new features.
Apple announced its upcoming OS X operating system, Mountain Lion.

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Available for Lion users as a beta, the final version of Messages will be available preinstalled on all Macs with Mountain Lion.
Messages is the upgraded version of iChat, but now you will be able to send and receive unlimited messages from anyone with an iPhone or iPad (running iOS 5), and Mac. You can send text or photos, videos, documents, and even contacts through Message; the ability to send out a group message is built-in too.
Similar to BlackBerry Messenger, users can see when their message has been delivered and whether someone has read the message (if enabled), or if they are working on a reply. You can even make FaceTime calls right from Messages too.
Messages, just like iMessage on iOS, features end-to-end encryption, so you do not have to worry about your messages being intercepted, they will stay safe and private.
If you link your Apple ID on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, all of your messages will be kept synced together, so you are able to continue conversations from one machine to another.

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With Mountain Lion, the gap between desktop computing and iOS becomes even more blurred since Notification Center is finally here. With it, you will be able to see whenever something new happens on your computer, whether it is a new email, message, friend request, calendar alert, or more.
Notification Center on the Mac will look just like its iOS counterpart, with the banner notifications that appear long enough for you to get a glance, and then disappear just as quickly so the interruption is very brief. With a simple swipe, you can pull up the entire Notification Center tray, which will show all of your notifications in a single, organised list. Clicking any notification will open the selected app, just like on your iPhone and iPad.

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Mountain Lion will have system-wide dictation. Now you can just type what you want to in any application.

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Also taking the stage at WWDC, Apple’s head of mobile software Scott Forstall kicked off his iOS 6 presentation noting how, with over 365 million iOS devices sold through March, Apple’s mobile software is doing very well in the market. The latest publicly available version, iOS 5, has been installed on over 80% of available devices. Released in October 2011, iOS 5 has seen exceptional adoption: over 140 million iMessage users have sent over 150 billion iMessages to date, making it over 1 billion on average every day. Directly integrated into iOS 5, Twitter saw a 3x growth increase, with over 10 billion tweets sent from iOS 5. The numbers go on and on.There is no denying on Apple’s part that iOS 5 has been a success for developers, the companies involved, and, ultimately, the users. iOS 6, previewed and released to developers as beta yesterday, is a major new release that, with over 200 new features, will take iOS devices in “entirely new directions”.

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Apple’s voice-based assistant, Siri, is getting several new functionalities, support for more countries and languages, and new iPad compatibility in iOS 6. Keeping true to its original promise, Apple today published an official list of the countries and languages Siri will work with in iOS 6. As for the iPad, Siri will work exclusively on the third generation iteration of the device, with an interface design that is largely similar to it’s existing iPhone counterpart, only available through a floating popover window that “pops out” from the Home button in landscape and portrait modes. With iOS 6, Siri will be capable of finding movies available in your area by location or showtime. Support for flicks goes beyond fancy GPS integration, however, as Siri will be integrated with Rotten Tomatoes to show you ratings and reviews with just a command of your voice; Siri will also be able to display trailers for movies you are interested in, and load additional information such as premiere date, actors’ timelines and guest starring in other movies, and more. Siri will be getting support for Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to post tweets or status updates directly with your voice without needing to fire up dedicated applications. But if you do want to open apps, Siri will also gain a new feature to launch apps, so this autumn launching Angry Birds or Tweetbot will just be a question away. At the keynote, there was no mention of a Siri API, but Apple notes on its site that you can “ask Siri to launch Facebook and see what your friends are up to, or take a look at the latest posts on your Wall”, quite possibly hinting at some limited functionality to launch an app’s specific section through Siri.

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Lastly, Apple has been working with car manufacturers like Honda and Ford to bring “Eyes Free” to Siri: by having Siri integrated with existing voice control systems and steering wheel buttons, your iPhone’s screen will not turn on, you will not be distracted, but Siri will still be fully functional and operative.
From what we have seen at this years WWDC, iOS 6 will be about supercharging the iOS 5 experience and making it better from two standpoints: the original iPhone OS and OS X. iOS 5 didn’t get Facebook sharing, but iOS 6 will, once again stating how Apple sees social networking as a feature relevant to native and third-party applications, rather than competition.
Now it is just a waiting game to see how all these features are really going to work out and if they do become a helping hand or an hinderance, time will only tell.

iPad Neck

Today I awoke with a very stiff neck, I can remember getting this some time ago when I relied heavily on using the laptop, now though it is from excessively looking down and possibly playing far to many games on the iPad.
Maybe now it is not called a stiff neck anymore but rather iPad neck.
While the first murmurs of so called iPad neck pain originated in the circles of massage therapists, the condition has been now been verified by scientists. The millions of people who use the devices, hailed as a bridge between laptops and mobile phones, are also at risk of neck injuries, claims a new study.

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Researchers found that the flexibility and convenience tablet computers are hailed for could actually be harming users, especially if held on their laps.
They are at risk of "iPad shoulder" or "iPad neck" because holding a tablet low down means that the user has to gaze downwards more sharply, increasing the pressure on their joints.
So it turns out that computing on your lap is a major strain, but is that not also how we usually read books? Yes, we like to have books at angles to optimise viewing angles, but tablets are harder to hold than books because of the active screen. You have to hold them on the edge so as you do not activate the screen with your touch, unlike books. This constraint limits how we can hold them, and if we read for too long, some postures get a bit too much too. While a steep viewing angle can work for watching movies or reading, it makes for uncomfortable typing.
My advice is to keep moving, do not get stuck in the same position for too long and following these few simple steps should help.
1. Shift positions frequently. Keep moving and changing your postures every few minutes. This will keep your neck, shoulders, and arms from tensing up or getting fatigued.
2. Invest in a case. If you are using an iPad for long bouts of reading or movie viewing, you will want to keep it propped on a table at about a 60 to 70 degree angle to prevent neck strain. Tilting the tablet in your hands for extended periods will be tough on your arms and wrists.
3. Set fonts to a large type size. This will enable you to read material more easily in a neutral posture with back and neck in a straight vertical line. If you cannot read the type, you will be inclined to round your back and thrust your neck forward, in a poor posture that is associated with shoulder and neck pain.
Other than just keep moving there are exercises you can do If you do let it slip and your body has got to a stage where aches and pains are already present.
1. Neck rolls are helpful for releasing a stiff neck. They can be done frequently to help keep your neck loose during the day. Just do half neck rolls by rolling from one ear to the other and dropping the head forward, To avoid compressing nerves in the neck and do not drop the head to the back. Aim for eight to 12 neck rolls each side. Then, hold the ear to the shoulder for a few deep breaths, just once to each side. It is important to keep the shoulders down and relaxed during these exercises. Take deep breaths and relax as you stretch. Neck rolls can be done several times each day.
2. Head Turns are simple ways to also help. Turn the head and look right to left. Try to gently look a little bit further behind you with each turn. Keep the shoulders down. Neck rolls and head turns are helpful if you work at a computer or other job where you tend to round the shoulders and neck forward as you work.
3. Across the body stretches help to, don not think that it is all about stretching just your neck. Bring your arm across your body and hold the elbow. Gently press your elbow towards your chest. Keep the shoulders down and relaxed. Hold for five to 10 deep breaths and focus on relaxing into the stretch. Repeat other side. This exercise provides a gentle stretch for the shoulder. Combining shoulder and neck stretches with using good posture and body mechanics, can help to ease stiffness and prevent pain.
4. It is not just neck and arms, think about your head to, that can also link the pain points. You can also bring your hands behind your head. As you squeeze the shoulder blades together, open your elbows as far as possible without hurting your shoulders. To involve the neck, gently press the back of your head into your hands. This not only stretches the neck and shoulders, but also helps to correct posture as well. Lifting the arms behind the head will help you to sit up straight. Pressing the head back into the hands will bring your neck in alignment over the shoulders.

It Is All Updates

Today has been a day of updates, I have been slaving away pulling data from an old blog site to finally launch the TCell Blog and all my hard work has paid off, as now the blog is live with its first of many entries. Today's only draw back has been the non existent syncing of the 'Day One' journal application between my mac and my iPad.
The injury I done on my knee a few days ago is starting to heal as for the first time in several days I am finally walking rather than limping.

Getting It Down

I was looking for an application today that would make recording my daily events a bit easier as I have been using the notepad on both the iPad and iPhone as they sync so well with iCloud. The downside to this is that you have to start all the time with just a blank canvas and though that is great for taking notes, to use for a diary or journal entires it is very impractical and it becomes a real bind to do on every event. That is when I stumbled on DayOne and after a few reviews on YouTube this application was the best there is so I just had to have it.

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I purchased it across all platforms so that I would be able to track my life wherever I was.
This entry is living proof that it is working well as the inbuilt export feature allows me to send my entires as either a tweet or via email in both plain and rich text and is ideal for a quick copy and paste straight into my website building application.

An Apple A Day

I so love my tech! I think I am way ahead of the Smiths and Jones of this world, possibly could have been born a few hundred years too early.
I am finding that slowly but surely I am once again reverting back to my old ways of when I once used a Mac in the publishing field.
One good thing about Apple that has never changed is the ability to take massive technological leaps that leave others standing in the past.
So going back to Apple products, albeit that they are more advanced than ever before, I do not feel that I have to start over again with learning how to use them.
Apple have got it sussed how to use tech in a simple and yet intuitive manner, the iPad is living proof of this in the way children as young as a few years old can just pick up the device, touch and swipe and use applications.
You can see why so many people who have used Apple devices end up being addicted to them. They just feel so right when it comes to practicalities and are also perfectly designed.


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My obsession started with the iPod, then it only felt natural when the iPhone came out, then came the iMac (Intel) and now to add to the collection, the iPad2. This slight obsession has rubbed off on Wayne, who was always so anti-Apple and now he is also slowly but surely being converted to the way of the Apple; he cannot live without his iPhone and now his iPad.
So what is next?