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

iphone

Misfit Or Misfortune

I have had my troubles with fitness bands, trackers and motivational tech and last week was no exception. The Misfit Flash so appropriately named met on all the tech but lacked on comfortability and so tracking health and fitness came at a price, the cost of comfort and so another tracker bites the dust.
I have opted for the Jawbone Move, a similar bit of tech slightly cheaper but far more comfortable and a perfect substitute until the release of all the big named wearable tech in March/ April of 2015.
I was a bit disappointed that the Misfit Flash had so much going for it, it was stylish, compact, affordable and yet lacked in comfort after long periods of wear, the sort of thing you do not expect from wearable tech and for me clearly a Misfit or was it misfortune?
So the Misfit Flash has be returned and exchanged for the Jawbone Move, lets see how tiny tech does now.

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The Flash

The wearable has become the new bit of tech that the body conscious or those who are concerned that they be sitting on their arse a bit to much are using at the moment, but that is all set to change in 2015.
The tech on these fitness bands are becoming so advanced that more and more data about yourself can now be monitored, in some of these wearables sleep tracking is also an option.
Several years ago I had a Nike Fuelband and I think because at that time, wearables were in the early stages, it just did not meet the expectations that Nike had made the band out to be and the Fuelband was forever losing data in-between the sync relationship from phone to wearable, not a good start.
However the 2015 horizon is looking good for the best of the best.  Apple have jumped on to the bandwagon of wearables with its iWatch and those wearables that did not seem to come up to the mark now do.  Jawbone also had a misfortune in its early stages but now seem to be heading the way as wearers want more and Jawbone offer all that and more in its latest model the UP3, due to be released any time soon.
My only concern is what do you buy into in the meantime when you know there is going to be update soon for the bit of tech you really want?
I’ve opted for the Misfit Flash, the budget bit of tech that might be cheap but offers more than most for your buck and has released its latest model ‘The Flash’.

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Small and as colourful as you want it to be ‘The Flash’ is packed with preset features and is waterproof, lasts six months on a single battery, comes with a wristband and clip-on accessory, works with iOS and Android, and tracks steps and sleep.
The Flash is not just waterproof for the shower and the bath but to 3ATM, which means it can be worn in water down to 96 feet in depth (Note: water resistant and waterproof tech should never be worn in salt water, though). So you can wear it in the shower or while swimming. In the Misfit app it has a fitness tracking mode that recognizes swim activity.

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You click the Flash's soft-touch top to show daily progress as the LED lights complete a circle (for instance, if 6 of 12 dots are lit, you've completed 50 percent of your daily step goal). Afterward, it even tells the time via flashing dots for hours and minutes. 
Sleep tracking records automatically, just like on the Misfit Shine, and it does a pretty good job of guessing when you actually went to sleep. It records "light" and "deep" sleep plus the hours slept, which is not as rich a sleep-tracking tool as more advanced REM-sensing, heart-rate-enabled ones such as Jawbone and Fitbit's upcoming wearables, but it is fine for the price.  You can also set a smart alarm that wakes you at your lightest sleep pattern closes to your wake up time, a feature I tried out yesterday only to be woken a whole hour before my actual alarm clock, thankfully I did not feel groggy, so even though I was up earlier than I wanted to be I was not in a bad mood about it or wanting to go back to bed, The feature works.

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The Flash works via Bluetooth with the Misfit app, which is available for iOS and Android and soon for Windows Phone. You will need Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with the Flash: iPhone 4s or later, iPod Touch 5th gen, and iPads going back to the 3rd-gen Retina, or Android 4.3 or later phones. It syncs easily, and the Misfit app cleanly lays out daily progress in steps and sleep. It allows you to label activity sessions, and the app integrates with a variety of other ecosystems: My FitnessPal, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Walgreens and many more.

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It comes in seven bright colors. It's cute. Does it reinvent wearable health tech? No. Keep in mind that the Jawbone Move also costs about the same price and does nearly the same thing, but it's not water resistant and for recording sleep you will need the wrist band that is at, yes you guessed it, an optional extra.
I have used Jawbone apps and find that they go that bit deeper for information, but I like wearing my wearables in the shower, too. So until the latest UP3 is available this is the bit of tech for me.
Budget, but beautiful in every way.

Scheduled

Everyone who has ever tried to do something long term has probably found that the biggest challenge is not reaching your goal but maintaining a schedule to do the task in hand and when it comes to weight loss this is one of the biggest hurdles faced by most, since goals like that are not seen with quick results.
Last year I had sports injury that stopped me from running and so had to take a more sedated approach to keeping fit but unfortunate last year that did not happen and I fell more and more into a progressive slump.
This year I feel more motivated to want to lose the weight and keep fit and being an owner of a treadmill there really is no excuse to why I’m not at least using that, I cannot blame the bad British weather for not using that.
From experience I have noticed that when you become aware of your body shape and decide you really do not like what you see then you have two choices, you can shy away from the whole issue and cover yourself up in lose baggy clothing or take a firm stand and decide at present that you do have a curvy body and that the shapes do not quite fit into place so you set a realistic goal and a schedule to do something about it.
I have set a goal of 18 months to lose weight and scheduling a daily run for 30 minutes on the treadmill with the aim to lose enough weight that I am happy with what is see looking back at me in the mirror. I find setting a goal like this is realistic and something I will stick to, being told to lose X amount of kg might be a medical achievement for some but that type of goal is no good if you still look at your body and still know you are physically fat rather than medically fat.
I have tried lots of diet plans and as much as some are helpful in educating you to eat right the one thing they all have in common is that it is a complete change of lifestyle that cannot be maintained long term and you then understand why the diet industry is worth a staggering two billion a year in the UK alone, just on dietary products to help you maintain losing weight.
Luckily for us iPhone users there are applications that make tracking weight and goals a lot easier and making life that little bit easier to maintain your goal.

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I have been using a application called ‘MyFitnessPal’ and works well and is simple to use. After signing onto the program, you enter your weight, age and goal weight. The application asks you to judge the amount of daily activity you do. You can then choose how much you plan to lose each week. In addition, you set your exercise goal. Next, you are told the number of calories you should eat each day in order to lose that weight. Each day, you will fill in two daily logs: what you eat, and what you do for exercise. My Fitness Pal stores thousands of different foods, including many brand name items and wight he iPhone application you can just scan the bar code and enter how much you ate of that item or go wight he recommended does that the barcoding reports back. for those items without a barcode or un-scanable barcode you can type in a search term and choose the closest matching item. Your food diary on My Fitness Pal will save foods that you commonly eat, so after entering that food once, all you need to do when you eat that again is just check the item and add it to that meal.
Along with entering your meals, you can enter your exercise for that day. Just like the food diary, the exercise diary section lets you type in the type of exercise you have done and tell how many minutes you did. It will calculate the number of calories you burned and add those additional calories to the total amount you can eat that day if you so wish to, I however prefer not to.
When you have finished entering your log for the day, you will get a note which tells you how you are doing and what your weight progress will be in five weeks.
If that was not motivational enough of not clear enough then wight he new iOS 8 operating system the Apple ‘Health’ application lets works along side most diet application and shows in its main dashboard dietary and exercise information to keep you motivated.

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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Down To The Pins

As much I liked the design of the Mophie juice pack I had to return my case for a refund as there was one distinct design fault that let this case down. The case was designed that the joining of the two parts of the case was at the bottom of the phone inline with the lightning connector, as usual you take the case apart and slide your phone in, then join the two parts together. Most cases of this nature have the joining at the top of the phone so as not to interfere with the charging area, this is where the design fault is on the Mophie.
In order to connect battery pack and phone there needs to be a joining connector, a circuit connection, most cases do not need this as the phone slides in from the top but as the Mophie is different in design, it needs some form of connection.
At some point you do need to remove your phone from its case and doing this with the Morphie will be its downfall. You see there are two pins in the removable lower part of the case that connect to two receivers in the top part of the case, it only takes for the pins to come unaligned or the connectors to be pushed to far back into the case housing and then you get what I got, no connection and no charge.
Sorry Mophie your cases are nice to look at and are sturdy but the design is the letdown and ultimately in a case that you are paying nearly £90 you would have thought it to be more durable and without flaws.

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Juiced Up

With a new iPhone means buying new accessories and the iPhone 5s is no exception, but as the phone is relatively new it does mean that the only products available are from those companies that have always been in Apple line of sight, these are Mophie, Belkin and Twelve South. These products however are part of the high end range, but with quality does mean they are not cheap, if anything they are the most expensive but I do believe you get what you pay for, buy budget you get budget, buy quality you get the best.
The Mophie Juice Pack Air is an iPhone 5s case that offers substantial protection, but more importantly contains a built-in battery that enables you to run the iPhone 5 for longer.

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Short battery life is a problem that plagues many smartphones. Apple has paid close attention to maxing out the battery life of its products. Indeed the recent iPhone and iPads are little more than batteries with components embedded inside and screens attached. Apple claims eight hours of talk time, and 10 hours of video playback on the iPhone 5s. Typically this should be enough but there are circumstances when the battery runs short: keen gamers, those who use the iPhone 5s as a Sat-Nav and anybody on a long-haul flight will find solace in this Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 5s case. The Mophie Juice Pack Air completely surrounds the rear and sides of an iPhone 5s. The bottom part is removable and forms two pieces that clip together around the iPhone. Once clipped into place the iPhone 5s display and buttons are accessible, but the rest of the phone is neatly sealed in.
There are gaps for the earphone socket, and camera lens and replacement buttons on the sides of the Mophie Juice Pack Air.

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These push down the appropriate buttons, and adjust the Mute slider as appropriate. In all the iPhone 5s worked exactly the same as before. Impressed with the fit and finish of the Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 5s. Like previous Mophie products it is clearly made of high quality plastic and metal with a styling designed to somewhat mimic the iPhone 5s (there’s a metal band running around the side). There are also build in speaker grills so the audio from the iPhone is pumped out from the front. The only technical difference is that you charge the Mophie Juice Pack Air iPhone 5s with a Micro USB cable instead of the usual Lightning connector. It is worth noting that you cannot sync to iTunes with the USB cable, although you can sync an iPhone 5s wirelessly these days).

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On the reverse of the case is a rocker switch so you can choose to charge the iPhone 5s or just hold the power in reserve. It also sports a button with four lights that you can press to get a charge status.

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The case did not interfere with call or data function, although there is no getting away from the fact that it bulks out the iPhone 5s.
It doubles the width of the iPhone 5s and takes the weight of the phone from 112grams to 188grams. I did not find it unwieldy though, and the extra weight did not seem much of an issue. Probably because the iPhone 5s is especially lightweight to begin with. Still, it is a direct trade-off between form and function. The case is essentially a large battery and I found that when it was attached to an iPhone 5s it charged up an iPhone from flat to 85%. This offers a lot of extra time to use the device. It is enough to see you happy on any long-haul journey, but probably overkill for day-to-day use but then we do use our smartphones more and more these days.

Got My 5s

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I know previously I blogged about not buying and iPhone 5s but after playing with one in-store and the realisation that the iPhone 6 would not be out until at least December 2014 it was a bit to long to wait for a new phone, I was also not going to get stuck in the rut of buying from my network provider and being locked into a 24 month contract again, just so I could have the latest phone and also to do that I would be subjected to a monthly bill of the of £47 at least, an increase to my contract and being that my provider was not really doing a good job of providing it worked to be the money saving object even if it did mean spending money. Buying a sim free phone did mean I could decide who I wanted to get my mobile service from, to the point that I could change as often as I liked till I got the service that is expected of mobile providers today.

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.

I Am Waiting

I like my gadgets, and generally consider myself an early adopter. When my friends are looking at buying a new piece of technology, I am the one they ask as they know I have either owned it or have tried it.
So you might be surprised to learn that my phone is an iPhone 4S and even after the unveiling of the 5s (no, I do not know why it suddenly became lower-case either), I am planning to wait for the iPhone 6 before upgrading.
It is not that the 5s is not impressive from a purely technological viewpoint. It is. A 64-bit phone? That is a pretty incredible achievement. Delegating sensor functions to a separate chip to enable constant use without the usual battery drain?
Brilliant.
A truly state-of-the-art fingerprint sensor?
Fantastic.
A larger phone sensor with lower pixel-density? Exactly the right approach, and I was delighted to see Apple refusing to join in the stupid megapixel race.
But I am still not going to buy one.
Much as I love hi-tech solutions for their own sake, I still need to see practical benefit. While I am wowed by the 64-bit CPU, I cannot honestly think of a single occasion when I have been using an app and wishing my phone were faster. Perhaps I would if I were a gamer, but I am generally not. My experience of using my 4S is that I touch a button and something happens. Mobile data delays, sure, but waiting for the processor to do something? Does not ever happen for me.
It is not like a laptop. The switch from 32-bit to 64-bit there was night-and-day with some tasks, like processing lots of photos and video editing. But those processor-intensive operations are not the kind of thing I do on my phone.

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The M7 co-processor really is a piece of genius. If you are not familiar with the concept, normally the CPU the A7 chip in this case does pretty much all of the work. Not just running apps, but also all the background stuff too: keeping track of the phone’s orientation, looking out for new wifi networks to join, that kind of stuff. What the 5s does is have a separate chip to take care of the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. For example, if you are running a fitness app, instead of the CPU being active the whole time, collecting that data and passing it to the app, the M7 chip simply logs it all and makes it available later to any app on demand. That means the A7 chip has less to do, and you get better battery life.
Fantastic.
But in my typical usage, it is rare for me to run out of battery life. My office is at home, and I have an iPhone dock in my car, so the phone generally only needs to operate on battery power for a few hours at a time. There are exceptions, but for most of those the 4S still copes and there are battery power cases for the few times they are needed.

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Fingerprint sensors are not new, and they have even made it into phones before, but the 5s one is incredibly advanced. With many fingerprint sensors, you have to roll your finger across them, and the finger has to be in a consistent orientation. With the 5s sensor, all you do is touch, and it offers 360-degree recognition, so it does not matter how you are holding the phone or how you apply your finger.
I love that. But it is not enough. Give me fingerprint-protected NFC, so I can leave my wallet at home and only carry my phone, and I would have been setting up camp outside my local Apple Store. Let me unlock my banking app and Paypal account and I would have been pretty tempted. But just to unlock my phone? Well, that’s a waste of good technology.

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I have been using my phone more and more to take professional photos and that new phone sensor and f/2.2 lens? Ok, Apple, I admit you did tempt me there. While everyone else crams in more and more pointless megapixels to a tiny sensor just so they can put an impressive-sounding number on the box, you actually understand photography. You know that once you have enough megapixels to produce a decent-sized print (and honestly, even 4MP achieves that), what matters is the quality of those pixels. And for quality, sensor size is king. Couple that with a wide-aperture lens to let in as much light as possible and you have a camera that will be incredibly capable in low-light conditions.
The new styling? Hmm, sorry, Jony, it is pretty and all, and you have achieved an absolute miracle in creating a non-tacky-looking gold phone, but I honestly prefer my all-white 4S.

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I also will not be buying one because my nearly two-year-old iPhone 4S still looks new. It still looks modern. It still performs beautifully. The buttons and switch all work perfectly. The attention to detail and manufacturing quality that made it a winner then leave it still a winner today. In short, if I were to walk into a phone store today and buy my 4S, I would be happy with my purchase.
Apple, you got me to upgrade from the iPhone 4 to the 4S. Siri did that. But I will be able to get the iOS 7 goodness just like those who have splashed out on the 5s, and there is nothing else I want enough to join them. In essence, Apple, by creating a quality phone and then allowing me to update it to the latest software two years later, you have cost yourself a sale.
But then that is also the reason I will likely still be a customer many years from now. Long-term, Apple’s strategy is bang on the money.

Other Areas

Today I have been working on my website, catching up on areas that have been neglected over the last few weeks and in updating my site, I have learnt a thing or two that I wanted to pass onto my readers.
I have learnt about the new iOS6 iPhone software update and a few tips and tricks, these can all be found if you head on over to the 'iPhone - iPad Plus' section on this website.
Have fun.

It Is A Hoax. Really, It Is.

I was shocked the other day to find that my best loved mobile application 'WhatsApp' was having problems and unlike most I did not just forget about it and wait for someone else to deal with it, just in case it was true.
I contacted the developers to find out if this was a hoax or the real deal and within a few hours I found out it was all an elaborate hoax. So I wanted to share with you what the developers at WhatsApp have to say to reassure those who may have got this hoax message.

“We have been getting a lot of emails and questions from you about this chain letter message circulating in our network:
WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.
Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it. While we are flattered that we made it to Hoax Slayer, we would rather work on cool new features instead of debunking silly stories like these.

UPDATE: this is a hoax message as well:

Whatsapp is shutting down on 28th jan Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team”


Both of these messages seem to be doing the rounds and sooner or later someone will be held responsible for their actions. Okay yes it is great publicity on one side for WhatsApp but on the other it is also not a nice message to receive and our only combat to stop this is to DELETE the message. If you respond in the hope to get a resolve then you are wasting your time, if anything you are giving your information to probably some robot to distribute your now known active mobile number to other scammers and fraudsters.
My advice to any kind of message like this wether it be from WhatsApp or someone telling you they have thousands of pounds waiting for you to claim from your mis-sold PPI, the only way to combat this is to DELETE, DELETE, DELETE.
One day our data and information will be our own, until then companies will sell your information on and only we can put a stop to it.

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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.

iPhone Update

Today sees the start of a new way for some of us, I am of course referring to my sister Hayley who is now an iPhone owner. She is lucky being the fact she is no ordinary iPhone owner but she has me to keep her ahead of most as bing so into Apple there is not many tricks and updates I do not get first hand, well at least before the masses.
I do not know what it is about my fascination for all things tech and in particular all things Apple, but at least one thing is for sure, those of you who are my close friends or family sure as hell benefit from my inquisitive nature of technology and the want to always need to know more.
Tonight I taught Hayley how to do her first iOS update and just like owning an Apple product were manuals are not needed, as the ability to use out iDevices is just second nature, so is updating your iOS.

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Another iPhone Owner

Today I helped my sister set up my old iPhone4.
Yes, you heard it right, she is now an iPhone owner as I have had a sneaky upgrade to the iPhone 4s as my contact came to an end. Value for money it was better option to get the iPhone through my mobile phone provider rather than buy is SIM free as I usually do, because what ever way you look at it I will always need to have a mobile plan. So far ever year I have taken a discounted line package but as I am on the bare minimum and so then my provider cannot really give me with anything less and in all honesty a £10 line discount does not really compare to owning the iPhone 4s, does it?
Well, it did not take long to get the phone up and running and as Hayley already had a Apple I.D. it made everything run even smoother, the only thing we did not manage to do was set here up a me.com email address that you get with iCloud. I think due to the fact it has been out for some time that all the best email addresses have gone, that seems to be the problem with anything Apple, you kind of need to get in quick and that is one of the advantages of my interest for knowing whats going on in the Apple world as soon as it develops.
It has been less than an hour and the phone is working a charm and with no manual to hand Hayley has already grasped the basics of using the iPhone, she has also learnt a few advanced features that I have shown her and I do not think before long she will be discovering a few more.
I could tell that before I even arrived the excitement of owning an iPhone had already kicked in as after we got the phone up and running, Hayley had already made a list of applications to download.
Oh well best crack on and get these applications downloaded for her, no better still I will pass the phone to Hayley and let her do it.

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Monday Blues

What could be worse than a Monday morning stuck in traffic?
Monday morning in traffic, heading to the dentist. Fortunately my dentist in Wandsworth is excellent and also extremely cheap compared to my last dentist who though was a little closer to home was also a lot more expensive and she had no compassion towards my anxiety of sitting in the dentists chair. So today I may be £17 out of pocket but I got some pearly whites to show for it.
For a few days now I have been experiencing a little trouble with applications loading and my iPhone running a little sluggish and today I could not get the app store to load so after a hard reboot and a tweaking here and there and still no joy, I had no choice but to do a system restore and it feels like I have a brand new iPhone.
A word of waring for anyone who has to do this procedure, for god sake BACKUP YOUR IPHONE!
I have always backed up my data and kept my applications up to date and with the added benefit of having application and phone settings that can be stored in Apples iCloud, now doing such a drastic procedure is as easy as pie with only one drawback, needing about an hour or so to solely dedicate to the job in hand.
Sorted, a new feeling about my iPhone and all of my applications, folders and data in its place.

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?