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.


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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Judge Blocks Sale of Typo Keyboard Case

No mention of a sales ban here.

Late Friday, Judge William Orrick granted BlackBerry CEO John Chen's wish and issued a sales ban against Typo Products' Typo Keyboard.

Mr. Chen vowed to defend BlackBerry's IP when calling on the court to issue the sales ban while BlackBerry and Typo Products slug it out to see if the Typo keyboard really infringes on patents held by the handset maker.

Looks like you can still order a Typo case.

"A California judge has granted BlackBerry's wish to temporarily halt sales of an iPhone keyboard produced by start-up Typo Products while the two companies argue over alleged copyright infringement. 
BlackBerry had petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in late January to block sales of the Typo keyboard because it was an "obvious knock-off" of the keyboards on its phones."

While the judge may have ordered the sales ban, a quick look at the Typo Products website reveals no indication that they can no longer sell their iPhone 5/5S keyboard.

If you want to get a hardware keyboard for your iPhone 5/5S, it might be a better idea to put your money into the Boxwave Keyboard Buddy case for iPhone 5/5S.  The keys look to be larger, sells for $80, and doesn't cover up the TouchID home button like the Typo does.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Microsoft Releases Office Apps for Apple's iPad

In a bold move yesterday, Microsoft, lead by their new CEO Satya Nadella, launched Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the Apple iPad.

I'm not talking about watered down, half-hearted, sort-kinda Office applications, I'm talking about the real, full blown, well featured, iOS native Office applications for the iPad.  Did I mention this is Microsoft's Office on the iOS platform?!

To see Office in action on an iPad, you can watch Microsoft's introductory video.

I'm really excited about having Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on my iPad.  The apps look and feel great!  Taken together with the already released OneNote and OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), Microsoft has seemingly overnight, empowered millions of iPad owning Office users around the world.

So what do you get?  Available now in the iOS App Store, users can download, free of charge, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the iPad.  The apps are free and will enable anyone who installs them to read Office documents.  If you just happen to be an Office 365 customer, you can sign in to your account from the Office apps on your iPad and instantly have the ability to edit your documents.

You will need to have an iPad running iOS 7.0 or later and to edit documents, a Microsoft Office 365 Home subscription.

Microsoft's Office Apps for iPad are available now on the App Store, or you can use these handy download links.

You can read more about Microsoft's Office Apps for the Apple iPad on the Microsoft blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bloop Airmail 1.3.2 Comes in for a Landing

Indie Mac developer Bloop S.R.L. has released version 1.3.2 of their email client, Airmail.

Airmail 1.3.2 packs quite a punch when you look at new features and enhancements.  In total, the new version of Airmail ships with 15 new features, 26 enhancements, and 7 bug fixes.

Airmail, as you may have already guessed, is a well designed third-party email client for virtually every email service under the sun.  Airmail has built in support for popular services such as Microsoft (formerly known as, Google Gmail, Yahoo! web mail, Apple iCloud, and IMAP and POP3 servers.

Among the new features is a new Microsoft Exchange Server engine - critical if you use your Mac at work - and integration with Omni Group's Ominifocus.

On the improvements front, Bloop has enhanced features such as unified inbox, message rendering improvements, Exchange Server auto discovery, enhancements for Kerio email servers, calendar attachments, Evernote HTML support and more.

As an email client, Airmail looks great!  The application window is broken up into three areas: Mail accounts and mailbox folder tree in the left pane, inbox message list in the center, and the message pane all the way on the right.

In my brief time playing with Airmail today, I definitely liked what I saw and Airmail could slip in to replace Apple Mail as my default desktop email client.  I'm pretty picky with my email clients.  As it turns out, I prefer Microsoft Outlook for Windows the best and use Outlook 2011:Mac on my MacBook Pro.  The bar is set high, but it's not impossible to change my mind.  With Microsoft Exchange Server support, if you don't have Office installed and you need to connect to Microsoft's email server, Airmail is a low cost alternative that has the essentials for your email needs.

Airmail is available for purchase now from the Mac App Store for the reasonable price of $1.99.  Airmail requires Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Microsoft Brings OneNote to OS X

Earlier today, Microsoft released OneNote for Macintosh OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

To use OneNote, you need a free Microsoft account.  If you have a OneDrive account, formerly known as SkyDrive, or a subscription to the company's Office 365 Home Premium, you're good to go.

To install OneNote for Macintosh, you need to be running the aforementioned OS X Mavericks.  You also need 235MB of disk space.  OneDrive is compatible with OneNote 2010 and later for Windows, and the pre-existing OneNote and OneDrive for iOS devices.

OneNote for OS X with OneNote 2013 in the Background
I'm excited about OneNote coming to the Macintosh because I can see myself using it for personal digital notes.  (In the corporate environment I work in, there is virtually no one using OneNote for Windows.)

I really hope that OneNote for OS X, with it's features mirroring the Windows functionality, is a sign of things to come.  As someone who's been using Office for Windows and Mac OS X over the last 20 years, it has been really frustrating to have two products that are only the same in name only.  Hopefully, we will finally see a Microsoft that lets Office be Office, and not an expensive Windows-only add on.

According to Microsoft, OneNote is "free for a limited time," however, there is no mention of when this offer will expire.  OneNote is available now from the Mac App Store.