Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Using Chrome? Maybe It's Time To Reconsider Firefox.


Jack Schofield, writing for ZDNet:

"The main reason for switching to Firefox is that, overall, it's better than Chrome. But there are other reasons.

Other leading browsers may sometimes do that, but their primary function is to serve the needs of giant corporations -- Apple, Google and Microsoft -- none of which has any interest in preserving your privacy. Usually the reverse, in fact.

Firefox has always respected your privacy, and now, all things considered, it's also winning on merit."
I couldn't agree more.  Google already knows so much about us, I don't want to make it even easier for the search and advertizing giant to learn more about me.  That's why I still have FireFox installed on my Macs and Windows 7 PCs.  As far as I'm concerned, FireFox is pretty fast enough for my needs and when I do have to run Chrome, I run it in a VM.

[Via ZDNet.com...]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

iWork for iOS Apps and Safari for OS X Get Version Bumps

As is usually the case, Apple can't just rollout one software update, it has to make it a party!

Alongside the iOS 7.1.1 update that was released shortly after 1:00pm eastern this afternoon, Apple also upgraded Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS and the Safari 7.0.3 maintenance update.



The Safari 7.0.3 update tweaks stored credit card information, address/search bar and other minor fixes.


Use the iOS 7 and Mac OS X Software Update features to download and install the updates.

Apple Releases iOS 7.1.1


Earlier this afternoon, Apple released iOS 7.1.1, a minor update to iOS 7.

iOS 7.1.1 focuses in on three areas for enhancement and updates, including additional enhancements to the iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor, a bug fix for keyboard responsiveness and corrects and issue with Bluetooth keyboards when the VoiceOver feature is enabled.


The iOS 7.1.1 update is coming in at about 16.5MB for both my iPhone 5S and iPhone 4S.  To install the latest iOS update on your iOS device, go to: Settings > General > Software Update.

To learn more about this and other Apple software updates, visit the Apple Support website.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Is This the End of the Nike FuelBand? Maybe, Maybe Not


Yesterday, a number of websites and Apple fan blogs when nuts with the news that Nike had laid off most if not all of their Nike+ hardware staff and was planning on spinning down their fitness hardware sales.  Articles, like the one that appears on Cnet.com suggested that Nike would shift from a hardware software solution to a software only platform solution that others can write applications for.

But then, things took a 180-degree turn when Nike reported to Re/code that it was true that a "small number" of layoffs did take place, but that Nike had no plans to halt sales of the current Nike+ FuelBand SE.

Interesting.

There are a few pieces of information that we need to keep in mind here.  First, is that the wearables market is still a relatively new market and, in my opinion, no killer device has been released yet.  Yes, the FuelBand is popular as are the FitBit and the Pebble.  I'm seeing more people starting to use "wearables" in my office.

Another thing to consider, as was pointed out in some of the articles that appeared over the last few days is that Americans start things with the best intensions, but after a period of time, stopping doing them.  This explains, perfectly, my on again, off again relationship with my local gym.  At least I'm not alone.  I think this supports my first point above that people buy wearables with the intent of being more fit, and then slowly use them less as time goes on.

As an Apple fanboy, there are two other things to consider.  We know that Apple is working on some kind of "wearable" device.  The popular opinion is that it is the "iWatch".  Recent rumors of the iWatch has been all over the map, but we know it's coming.  I'm in the camp that says the watch will be more of FuelBand device than a traditional watch.  Any entry of an Apple "wearable" is likely to have a negative impact on other other smaller players, like Nike, when it is first released.

The last item to consider is that Apple has had a long relationship with Nike that goes all the way back to the iPod and the Nike+ running accessory.  What I learned yesterday, which I didn't realize, is that Apple CEO Tim Cook is a Nike board member.

Huh.

Does Nike's board know more than we do about what's coming next from Apple related to their new Health Book application and wearable?  Maybe.  Nike was at the front of the like with an application to support Apple's M7 coprocessor in found in the iPhone 5S.  Maybe that, in some small way, is a glimpse into the future of the Apple/Nike relationship; Apple takes of building the hardware, and Nike with their Nike+ API kit, develops applications using their Nike+ Fuel points system for all of us to use in the future.

We'll see what the future holds with the announcements from Apple's WWDC that kicks of on June 2 and then again in late September or October when Apple finally releases new hardware.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Link Bait? High Quality iPhone 6 Screen Capture Leaks


It what is sure to drive traffic for many Apple rumor blogs today is a new high quality leaked screen shot of what is reportedly from a prototype future iPhone running iOS 8.

Since I'm still on year one of my two year Sprint contract, I'm trying not to get dragged into the hysteria the comes just before a new iPhone launch.  (And as my Dad will tell you, I keep all of my old phones, so the cost of upgrading for me is will over $700 USD.)

Still, I'm sitting here at my desk trying to imagine how much larger a future iPhone would be from my current iPhone 5S.  I'm not so concerned about height, but in terms of length and width.

My guess would be that the forehead and chin of the iPhone 5/iPhone 5S design will shrink slightly to squeeze in another row of icons; growing the icon grid to a hight of 7 from current 6.  As for the width, I can see Apple increasing the total width of the iPhone and shrinking the side bezels slightly to get the extra 0.5" to get an extra column of icons on the display; effectively growing to 5 columns from 4.

I think which ever way Apple decides to grow the iPhone, it is going to be a hit.  As more and more time goes by, I seem to be in the minority about popular phone sizes.  I'm perfectly happy with the size of my iPhone 5S.  Using one hand, I have just enough clearance with my thumb to reach the top of the screen and still hold the phone securely in my hand.

It's becoming pretty clear, that for many people around the world, the iPhone is the only computer they are going to ever own or want to use.  And for that to work better, screen sizes need to grow from their current sizes.

[Via BGR.com...]

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Apple Announced WWDC '14


Apple has announced the dates for this year's WWDC '14 will be held June 2 - 6.

This year, Apple has changed the procedure for getting tickets for the event.  This year, iOS and OS X developer who want to attend this year's WWDC, can submit their information and Apple will randomly select people to purchase tickets on April 7 at 10:00am.  Developers will be contacted by 5:00pm PDT to be informed if they were selected to purchase tickets.

While some people maybe put off by a random lottery as the way to dole out tickets to this year's WWDC, but in my opinion, this is really the only fair way to go about it.  WWDC tickets sold out well under 10 minutes laster year, locking out many developers from attending.  This year's lottery gives everyone an equal chance to attend.

Tickets to this year's event will cost $1599 and the registration and payment for developers selected for the opportunity to purchase tickets must be complete by April 14 at 5:00pm PDT.

For more information, visit the Apple WWDC '14 website.

Fantastical for iPad Now Available


After last month's teaser, Flexibits has released Fantastical 2 for iPad!


Fantastical 2 for iPad is everything you love about Fantastical on your Mac or iPhone now on the iPad's larger canvas.  This is really great news because I'm not really a fan of Apple's iOS Calendar app in it's new iOS 7 minimalist design.

Unfortunately, Flexibits did not make Fantastical 2 a universal app, which means you will need to buy copies for your iPhone and iPad separately.

Fantastical 2 for iPad is on sale now in the App Store for $9.99 and is compatible with any iPad running iOS 7.0 and later.