Monday, September 23, 2013

Blackberry finally craters

Blackberry just announced on Friday that it will cut 4,500 jobs following a gruesome loss.  And today news comes that Blackberry is getting a $4.7 billion buyout offer.  Well, we saw this coming.  It's like its been the Blackberry suicide watch for the last year and a half.  Although at this point, is there anything left worth buying ?  I think not.

This sounds like deja-vu all over again.  Like the sad saga of Palm and webOS.  Acquired by HP for about $1.2 billion in 2010.  HP then managed Palm straight into the ground and finally killed it off after the riotous failure of the HP TouchPad tablet that they firesaled at $99 a piece.  Then, to add insult to... well their own insult and injury...  threw webOS into open source, then finally sold webOS to LG.

HP might as well have just piled up a billion bucks on the front lawn and lit it on fire. Sounds like they are about to have company.

...Aaaaand, another one bites the dust-taaa...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You should upgrade to iOS 7 too

iOS 7 RULES on iPhone & iPad
iOS 7 was released to the public today and I am thrilled to finally have iOS 7 on my everyday iPhone.  I've been using iOS 7 betas on an iPod Touch for testing since the first iOS 7 beta release on June 10, 2013.  And on my everyday iPad (one I use everyday) since iOS 7 Beta 2 was released with support for the iPad on June 24, 2013.  Check out all the iOS 7 blog articles here.

But, I didn't want to mess with my everyday production iPhone that my life depends on.  So I waited until today's public release to upgrade, and I'm THRILLED  !!!!  Finally, iOS 7 on my phone.

So, don't be afraid.  Upgrade....  Based on my experience with iOS 7 over the last few months, I can recommend it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How To Install iOS 7 Betas with Xcode 5

The procedure to install iOS 7 betas, or other iOS versions on development devices, has changed in Xcode 5.  In this article I'll cover the steps.  The process with Xcode has changed slightly from the steps with Xcode 4.6.3.  Xcode 5 no longer supports direct restore of an iOS restore image that you download from the Apple iOS Dev Center.  You now use iTunes 11.1x.

See my previous blog article on How To Install iOS 7 Developer Preview and use the same steps up to 5.  Install iOS onto your development device using Xcode 4.6.3, and instead follow these steps below.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Apple's Sept 10th Event: What's coming ?

The rumors have been flying fast and hot for months.  Which is, as usual for Apple.  No body gets the tech business juices flowing like Apple does.  

So much so, that competitors, and even not so competitors, have taken to doing their own announcements around Apple events.  Trying to ride Apple's coat tails, as it were, to draft off the momentum and buzz that no one but Apple generates.  So far it's been Google, Microsoft, Samsung and more.

What's Likely ?

Based on reports, rumors and Apple history, here's what's likely to happen:

Update Sept 10, 2013:
Below I've noted in purple under the guesses, whether the guess was right or not.
  • Sept 10, Tue at 10am PT - Apple's Event.
  • Sept 12 or 13 - iPhones available for pre-order online from Apple & carriers.
    Yup - iPhone 5c will open for pre-orders on Sept 13, Fri.  iPhone 5s will open for pre-orders on Sept 20, Fri at 12:01am PT.
  • Sept 20, Fri - iPhone shipments arrive for online order customers and available for purchase in stores.
    Yup - Both the iPhone 5c and 5s will be available on Sept 20, Fri.
  • Sept 18, Wed - iOS 7 released to public.
    Yup
  • Sept 10, Tue - iOS 7 Gold to developers.
    Yup

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My favorite app for workaholics

Recently I've been working my butt off (I wish!) and have had to resort to using a program that I bought years ago for my iPhone 3, have only occasionally had use for, but have been thankful for owning every time I've needed it. It's my favorite software. Period. At least for now. And it's name is Ignition by Logmein.

What I like about it is the user interface. You'd think it would be really painful to manipulate a full-screen computer remotely from a device the size of a smartphone screen. And you'd be right. But the Ignition interface transforms the experience into a veritable pleasure.

The brilliant innovation is that, instead of having to move a miniscule mouse pointer around a miniscule representation of your full-size screen, and then tap in just the right place with your elephant sized hoof of a finger, you can freeze the mouse pointer in the center of your device's screen and move the remote screen around beneath it and zoom in/out at need. When the desired bit of the remote screen is placed beneath the pointer, tap the screen anywhere to "click" the remote mouse. Or double-tap to "double-click" the mouse. Or two-finger tap to "right-click". And so on.

The keyboard is there when you need it. There are shortcuts for special key clicks. All in all, it's really nice. So nice, in fact, that the other day when I was waiting around for my car to be serviced, I was regretting having brought my laptop with me. Had I left it at home, I could have used it remotely from my iPad. Crazy, nay?

Here's the bad news. When I bought version 1.0 or whatever, lo those many years ago, I shelled out a princely $15 for the software. Now the price is $130! Glad I'm not shelling out today.

Here's the good news. There's a free app (not called Ignition, but just Logmein) that does everything I described above.

So what does $130 buy you? Primarily a really great file transfer utility. I confess I never looked at it before today, and I'm looking at it now solely because I'm writing about the software. And I'm kicking myself a little bit because I'm really impressed and thinking I could have saved myself a lot of hassling around in the past had I just known that my software could do this. Let's see: It can transfer files between the remote device and my iOS device, between either of them and any of a number of cloud storage services, between one remote device and another (I like that!), and it can attach any of these files directly to an email message.

I suspect, too, that if I had Logmein Pro or Central installed on my computers, it might be able to do even more. But I'm not a deep-pocketed corporation, so I'll have to settle for the free version on my computers.

There is one thing that I don't like about Ignition or, more accurately, that I wish they would/could enhance. I've gotten used to not proper casing or punctuating when I type on an iOS device, because the OS does all that for me. But when I am typing remotely I have to remember to do all that stuff. It would be so cool if the software would do it for me. Asking a lot, I know. For now, if I have a lot of remote typing to do, I use another favorite app, iA Writer, to do the typing, then copy/paste. In fact, I do that whenever I have to write anything on an iOS device more than a few sentences. That's another nice app, which I'll write about on another day.


Microsoft copies Apple again: Buys Nokia

Microsoft announced today they are buying Nokia's Devices & Services business.  Effectively copying Apple again by trying to own the smartphone product end to end.  Just like Apple does.  Apparently the fragmented strategy that MS has used from day one, and the one that Google has employed with Android, just ain't cuttin' it any more.

This is creepy crazy, cuase just 2 days ago I read a great article on All Things D that threw this very idea on the wall, to see if it could stick as a way to save the ailing Red(mond) monster.  GREAT article by the way - you gotta read it.  Like deja - friggin' - vu !!!!  Check it out:

Apple's Sept 10 Invitation Hints at Colorful iPhone 5C

Apple has confirmed the rumors about Sept 10 being the day of their event, with an invite that hints that the rumors of the colorful cases of the iPhone 5C might just be right too.  MacRumors has also reported that shipments of the new iPhone models has begun arriving in the US.

While the iPhone 5C will mean huge growth in overseas markets to price sensitive markets, in addition to making a colorful splash in the US, it's not quite enough to achieve the excitement of a typical Apple iPhone announcement event.  So I think we can still expect an iPhone 5S too and MacRumors report of photos of the home button part with a fingerprint sensor, continues to point to interesting advances in the iPhone.