Posts tagged iphone

Apple iOS 5 is a monster: new notifications, News Stand, Twitter, iMessage, more!

Apple SVP of iOS Scott Forstall just made Apple’s iOS 5 official, and it’s a serious update. Over 200 new features and 1,500 new APIs, but that’s not the most exciting part. We’re talking about redone notifications with Notification Center, a place to combine all notifications; Newsstand, which will automatically download the latest issues of your favorite subscription newspaper and magazines; deep Twitter integration including a system-level sign-on, Tweeting from Photos app and Safari, Twitter contact syncing; and even tabbed-browsing in Safari (finally!). Hit the break for more.

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Just demoed was a new app called Reminders which, from what it sounds like, will issue reminders based on time and date. You can also set up a geo-fence to have the app remind you when you get back to a certain location, like walking the dog when you get home. We need that. There’s also a lock screen camera shortcut added — boom! Also, thankfully, you can finally use the volume up button as the shutter button, and Apple added an auto-focus and exposure lock, grid lines in the camera app, and editing features like crop and rotate, red eye reduction, etc.

Oh wow… there is now flagging support in email (hyperventilating), rich text support, and even S/MIME support for enterprise customers. There’s a split iPad keyboard for people who like to thumb-type… it lets you place half the keyboard on the left side of the screen and the other half on the right, with an open space in the middle to see the app you’re in.

There is no longer a requirement for a PC to use an iOS device — iCloud, it is. Software updates are over the air, and even the initial device setup is done without the need for a PC. And uh oh, it’s a pretty miserable day in Waterloo. We’ve been told one of RIM’s biggest fears is Apple launching a BlackBerry Messanger competitor, and the company are doing just that with iMessage. The service includes messages, photos, group chat, 3G and Wi-Fi support — and even compatibility with all iOS 5 devices — you can even pick up your conversation where you left off when moving from one device to another.

Seriously, we couldn’t make this up… almost every gripe with iOS is being addressed in a major way. Developers get iOS 5 today, customers in the Fall (obviously to time up with a new iPhone). Here’s Apple’s press release:

New Version of iOS Includes Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand, Twitter Integration Among 200 New Features

Available to iPhone, iPad & iPod touch Users This Fall

SAN FRANCISCO―June 6, 2011―Apple® today previewed iOS 5, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members. The iOS 5 beta release includes over 200 new features that will be available to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users this fall. New iOS 5 features include: Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box and get software updates over the air with no computer required.

“iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Perhaps iOS 5’s paramount feature is that it’s built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading.”

With iOS 5 and iCloud®, you just enter your Apple ID and password and iCloud will seamlessly integrate with your apps to automatically and wirelessly keep all of your mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more, up-to-date across all your devices without ever having to connect to a computer.

Notification Center provides iOS 5 users with an innovative way to easily access all notifications―text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and more, all in one place, from anywhere in iOS 5. When they arrive, notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen without interrupting what you’re doing. With one swipe you can see all your notifications, and a simple tap will take you right to its app for more detail. Notifications also appear on the lock screen, with the ability to be taken to the notifying app with just one swipe.

Newsstand is a beautiful, easy-to-organize bookshelf displaying the covers of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in one place. A new section of the App Store™ features just subscription titles, and allows users to quickly find the most popular newspapers and magazines in the world. If subscribed to, new issues appear in the Newsstand and are updated automatically in the background so you always have the latest issue and the most recent cover art.

Safari is the world’s most popular mobile browser, and with iOS 5 it’s now even better. New features include Safari® Reader, which gets all the clutter out of the way and sets the right font size on a web page, so you can easily scroll and read through a story; Reading List, so you can save articles to read later and they automatically show up on all your iOS devices; and Tabbed Browsing, which makes it easy to flip between multiple web pages on iPad.

iOS 5 includes built-in Twitter integration, so you can sign in once and then tweet directly from all your Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps with a single tap. New APIs give third party developers the ability to take advantage of the single sign-on capability for their own iOS 5 apps.

iMessage in iOS 5 brings the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices―iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Built right into the Messages app, iMessage allows you to easily send text messages, photos, videos or contact information to a person or a group on other iOS 5 devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. iMessages are automatically pushed to all your iOS 5 devices, making it easy to maintain one conversation across your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iMessage also features delivery and read receipts, typing indication and secure end-to-end encryption.

The new Reminders app helps you manage your tasks; create and group related tasks together; and set time or location-based reminder alerts, priorities and due dates, so you can be reminded of a task as its deadline approaches, or when you arrive or depart a given location. Reminders can also be viewed in iCal® and Outlook and are updated automatically.

New features in the Camera and Photos apps give you instant access to the camera right from the lock screen, and you can use the volume-up button to quickly snap a photo. Optional grid lines help line up your shot and a simple tap locks focus and exposure on one subject. The new Photos app lets you crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye, and organize your photos into albums right on your device to share them on the go.

With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box with no computer required, and iOS software updates are delivered over the air and installed with just a tap. Wi-Fi Sync in iOS 5 transfers and backs up your content securely over SSL and wirelessly syncs purchased content from your device to your iTunes® library.

Additional new features in iOS 5 include:

  • Game Center, now with the ability to add photos to your profile, purchase new games from within the Game Center app and easier ways to find friends and new games;
  • Mail enhancements which include the ability to compose messages using draggable addresses, and a new formatting bar with bold, italics, underline and indention controls;
  • AirPlay® Mirroring to wirelessly display everything you do on your iPad 2 right on your HDTV through Apple TV®; and
  • a system-wide split keyboard to make it even easier to type on your iPad.

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Stephen Elop’s Nokia Adventure

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On a slushy morning in early March, Stephen Elop, a Canadian executive who built his résumé at U.S. technology companies, found himself in front of 2,000 Finns delivering a speech about failure. Six months earlier, Elop had been hired away from Microsoft (MSFT), where he oversaw the company’s Office products, to lead Nokia (NOK), the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones. At its peak, in 2002, it contributed 21 percent of all of Finland’s corporate tax revenue, and its success over the past dozen years has fueled the nation’s sense of possibility in the same way that General Motors (GM) once propelled the aspirations of the U.S. Elop’s message to his employees in the factory town of Salo was that, despite the 450 million phones the company sold in 2010—402 million more than Apple (AAPL)—almost everything Nokia had done since 2007 was wrong.

Without slides or props, Elop stood in the town’s gymnasium and explained his signature decision as chief executive officer: to dump Nokia’s homemade Symbian software, which has shipped on some 400 million phones, in favor of Microsoft’s nine-month-old Windows Phone 7 software that runs on a mere 4 million. Elop spoke in his usual manner, an engineer’s earnest, you-know-as-well-as-I-do appeal to reason. As he marched through his logic, the Nokia employees, aware that their new boss had only recently arrived from the very company whose software they would now be humiliatingly forced to use, betrayed no signs of emotion. Rather, a heavy silence filled the room, as if Elop were a defense attorney being watched for signs of inconsistency.

Much of what Elop had to say wasn’t news to his audience, but it was still distressing. In his measured telling, Apple and Google (GOOG) had changed the industry from handset-focused to software-focused. Symbian had fallen too far behind to have any hope of catching up. Worse, the company’s great hope for the future—a software platform created with chipmaker Intel (INTC), called MeeGo—wasn’t ready to pick up the slack. He tried to negotiate a deal with Google to run Android, but Google refused to give the world’s biggest phonemaker any advantages over its smaller partners, meaning Nokia’s corps of 11,600 engineers would have next to no ability to add their own innovations to Google’s software. "It just didn’t feel right," Elop says to the crowd. "We’d be just another company distributing Android. That’s not Nokia! We need to fight!"

Silence.

For a moment, Elop, 47, lays into the complacency he sees settling over the company. When he asks how many people in the crowd use an iPhone or Android device, few hands go up. "That upsets me—not because some of you are using iPhones, but because only a small number of people are using iPhones. I’d rather people have the intellectual curiosity to understand what we’re up against."

Finally, after emphasizing that he believes mismanagement—not a lack of innovation—is what ails the company, Elop gets personal. "I’m deeply apologetic that I can’t give you every bit of information about how this will impact each of you. That really sucks," he says of the layoffs destined to hit Salo’s employees as a result of abandoning Symbian and MeeGo. "But my commitment to you is that we will get through this as quickly and transparently as we can. And I think we’re going to make the best choices for the future." Within minutes the crowd has dispersed and headed back down the snowy road to the Nokia factory that since 1928 has been cranking out radios, TVs, and, more recently, cell phones. By Finnish standards, it could have gone worse. "It wasn’t exactly a standing ovation, but people didn’t walk out feeling resentful," says Ram Kuppuswamy, the plant’s manager. "The disappointment doesn’t go away. But this helped.

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Apple iWork now available for iPhone and iPod touch

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Apple on Tuesday officially announced that its iWork productivity applications, including Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, are now available for the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple has completely redesigned the applications to take advantage of iOS’s multitouch features. “Now you can use Keynote, Pages, and Numbers on iPhone and iPod touch to create amazing presentations, documents, and spreadsheets right in the palm of your hand,” Philip Shiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said. “The incredible Retina display, revolutionary multi-touch interface and our powerful software make it easy to create, edit, organize, and share all of your documents from the iPhone 4 or iPod touch.” The applications offer improved document management and a tools button in the toolbar for quickly sharing documents without closing the application. Keynote, Pages, and Numbers are available in the iTunes App Store now for $9.99 each. Existing iWork for iPad users can upgrade for free, and the Keynote Remote is available for $0.99. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Apple iWork Now Available For iPhone & iPod touch Users

CUPERTINO, California—May 31, 2011—Apple® today announced that its groundbreaking iWork® productivity apps, Keynote®, Pages® and Numbers®, are now available for iPhone® and iPod touch®, as well as iPad®. Created for the Mac® and then completely redesigned for iOS and Apple’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ interface, Keynote, Pages and Numbers allow you to create and share stunning presentations, beautifully formatted documents and powerful spreadsheets on the go. iWork apps are available on the App Store™ for $9.99 each to new users and as a free update for existing iWork for iPad customers.

“Now you can use Keynote, Pages and Numbers on iPhone and iPod touch to create amazing presentations, documents and spreadsheets right in the palm of your hand,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The incredible Retina display, revolutionary Multi-Touch interface and our powerful software make it easy to create, edit, organize and share all of your documents from iPhone 4 or iPod touch.”

Keynote, Pages and Numbers import and export documents from iWork for Mac and Microsoft Office; print wirelessly using AirPrint™; and include beautiful Apple-designed themes and templates. All iWork apps now include improved document management with thumbnail images that let you find your files quickly, organize them and group them into folders using intuitive gestures. From the Tools button in the toolbar, you can easily share any presentation, document or spreadsheet without leaving the app.

Keynote makes it easy to create impressive presentations, complete with animated charts and transitions. You can play your presentation in Full Screen view on the stunning, high-resolution Retina™ display or connect to a projector or HDTV for a large audience. Available separately, the Keynote Remote app allows your iPhone or iPod touch to control a Keynote presentation on any iOS device or Mac.

Pages is the most beautiful word processor ever designed for a mobile device and has everything you need to create amazing documents. Pages takes full advantage of the high-resolution Retina display on iPhone 4 and iPod touch so you can see all the detail and richness of your documents. To make working with text easy on iPhone and iPod touch, Smart Zoom automatically zooms in to follow the cursor while you’re editing and zooms back out when you’re done.

Numbers uses Multi-Touch gestures and an intelligent keyboard to help you create compelling, great-looking spreadsheets with over 250 easy-to-use functions, flexible tables and eye-catching charts. Just like Pages, Numbers takes advantage of the high-resolution Retina display and Smart Zoom to make working with text and cells on iPhone 4 or iPod touch easy.

Pricing & Availability
Keynote, Pages and Numbers are universal apps that run on iPad and iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation). Keynote, Pages and Numbers are available from the App Store for $9.99 (US) each for new users, or as a free update for existing iWork for iPad customers. Keynote Remote is sold separately via the App Store for 99 cents (US).

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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Leveraging your iPhone development expertise to build Windows Phone 7 applications

Assuming you are a happy coder, the joy of developing software all comes down to a few things:

  • Building something cool that users will enjoy
  • Getting rewards from users and recognition from peers
  • Learning how to solve new challenges and build novel features.

Even if you have a solid expertise on a particular platform/language, I think it is essential to be a “polyglot” developer. In other words, you might have a native or preferred language, but opening your mind to others can be very stimulating and will bring considerable value to your abilities and your resume.

Jumping from one platform or language to another can introduce breaking changes in your habits, but ultimately change is very stimulating and will expand your opportunities.

If you are a .NET developer, learning Windows Phone development is not really “change.” Instead, it is more of a continuum, where you just add new features to what you already know. If you are an iPhone developer, new to Windows Phone (and .NET), yes this is different. But don’t worry. The learning curve is not as steep as you would imagine.

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New API mapping tool: iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7

Launched today, the iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool helps developers find their way around when they discover the Windows Phone platform. Think of the API mapping tool as being like a translation dictionary. For example, let’s say that you’re planning a vacation to France. Since you don’t speak the language, you’ll bring a pocket travel dictionary. Having this tool will surely help you to get some idea about what you are ordering from a restaurant menu but you’ll have no idea what the actual recipe is — nor will you be able to have a conversion in French with the server! But that’s a great learning tool to make the first steps.

With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms. Give it a try!

The code samples allow developers to quickly migrate short blobs of iOS code to the equivalent C# code. All WP7 API documentations are pulled in from the Silverlight, C# and XNA sources on MSDN.

What sort of applications does the mapping tool address?

Taking a step back, the iOS APIs can broadly be classified into the following categories: Audio / Video, Data Management, Graphics / Animation, Network / Internet, Performance, Security and User Interface

For current mapping, we started with 3 popular categories (Network / Internet, User Interface and Data Management) and mapped them to Windows Phone 7 API. Don’t expect a mapping for all of the APIs, simply because the platforms are built upon different architectures and user interfaces. For this first round we focused on identifying the one-to-one mapping when it exists. In the following versions we’ll expand the scope and anytime the concepts are similar enough, we’ll do our best to provide the appropriate guidance.

What’s next?

Of course, this is a work in progress, coverage will expand and more iOS APIs will be mapped soon. So, please consider using the mapping tool in your porting efforts, and provide feedback on the dedicated forum, where you can also suggest new mapping APIs to include: http://wp7mapping.uservoice.com

And before you ask, yes we are planning to provide similar guidance and tools for Android.
Stay tuned!

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Google VP Marissa Mayer Dishes Google Mobile Stats, 150M Mobile Maps Users

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At SXSW, Google’s VP of  Location and Local Services, Marissa Mayer, took the stage and dished out some interesting Google data, including mobile stats. During her talk, Mayer revealed the following statistics we found interesting:

  • 40% of all Google Maps usage is from mobile devices, and Christmas and New Years day mobile usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time.
  • 150 million mobile users on Google Maps
  • Google Maps Navigation, included on Android handsets, has guided users 12 billion miles a year, and the latest version with traffic routing saves users 2 years per day in time that would have been spent in traffic.
  • Google Maps could get smarter, and become contextually aware. For instance, if you were trying to catch a flight, Google Maps could see your flight schedule to see when your flight was, then look and analyze real-time traffic data and weather conditions to try and figure out the exact time you should leave
  • Google would like there to be better Google Maps for iPhone. “We like being the default provider, but we’d like to get some of these updates out to a broader audience. That’s still a debate/question we’re considering.”

With Google’s Android explosion continuing, it looks like there will plenty more Google Maps and Navigation users over the next few years.

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Android edges out BlackBerry and iPhone in recent ComScore survey

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While I always tend to take all these user numbers with a grain of salt, the latest ComScore results are rather interesting and certainly worth noting. For the first time, Android has surpassed Research In Motion as well as Apple within the ComScore ranking period of the past three-months ending in January 2011. As noted by ComScore:

65.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in January 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period. Google Android captured the #1 ranking among smartphone platforms for the first time in January with 31.2 percent market share. RIM ranked second with 30.4 percent market share, followed by Apple with 24.7 percent. Microsoft (8.0 percent) and Palm (3.2 percent) rounded out the top five.

While interesting to see, it’s not really surprising in anyway. Android continues to grow and as more manufacturers step up to make use of Google platform a slow down in market growth doesn’t appear to be in site. While I personally shed a tear for BlackBerry, Research In Motion is in a transition period and will be for quite some time. This is an Android and Apple time now, with Microsoft working there way back into relevancy.

 

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