Tag: Iphone

Post “Apple-Pocalypse”: Why You Should Upgrade to iOS 7 (after the servers cool down)

Yesterday we all survived the “Apple-Pocalypse”.  For anyone who owns a recent “i” product from the white fruit company, there was a sudden peer pressure to upgrade to the newest version of operating system.  Namely, “iOS 7″.  Not creative, but the name probably shouldn’t detract from the shiny-ness of the product itself.  

After having used the OS for about a week prior to launch thanks to a “Lifehacker” blog, I was able to test drive some things and see what I liked and potentially didn’t like before the servers exploded on launch day.  If you haven’t downloaded yet, now might be a good time and this is why I think you should:

(1) Everything looks and feels better.  Apple has spent a lot of time fine tuning the Keyboard, making the OS move faster (I’m running an iPhone 4S), and taking away all the fake Bevels and Gradients that clogged the visuals of previous operating systems.  The new look is solid and much more cheerful (bright and airy).  At the same time, the backgrounds are much more detailed and beautiful (honing in on the Desktop Background experiences as Handheld computing becomes more popular).  The fonts have been redone to embolden or recede as necessary in the Phone and Texting Apps, and the icons create a different ethos than was previously had.  Even the notes app is brighter and easier to use.  Going back to iOS 6 would be abrasive visually.

(2) There has been much more added functionality (and accessibility).  The number one improvement I like is that you can go into your “Cellular” settings and choose which apps are allowed to use Cellular data.  If you want to cut off a data hog thats not always necessary, you now have the precision tool to do it.  New Menus are also accessible by thumb swipes giving easy grap of the new built in Flashlight button, music controls, bluetooth, wifi, sleep, airplane mode, and especially at Brightness slider – all in one spot.  Some utilities like Camera, Calculator, and time are also there for quick picks.  Lastly, the Folders now can slide and have multiple pages – not sure if I need it, but its nice to know its there).

(3) The movement is more bouncy, and feels fun.  Texts bounce up and down when stopping (though only slightly), notes are similar when going up and down, the apps fly on and off screen when locking/unlocking the phone, and the folders grow and retract more smoothly than I remember.  The background creates depth by moving in the background, so my chosen image of stars and clouds tilt as I tilt the phone.  Its fun to show others and to do when I’m bored in meetings while checking the time.

Other things: The basic app selection on the phone doesn’t seem to have changed much.  Facetime seems to appear more prominently, with the same green icon as Phone and Messages, but apps like Passbook are growing in utility as apps come out that allow you to collect plane tickets, gift cards and movie stubs.  I hope this continues to develop.  The Maps app still isn’t as good at Google Maps, Gmail (for Gmail users) is still more precise search-wise with Google’s app than Apple’s.  The camera is more robust now with different modes and filters on live images which is fun (having instagram like abilities from the get go.  All the apps still work too – so its not like you’re going to miss much, and the new things will take some time to play with, but will soon become useful.

In conclusion, pick up the new iOS as soon as you can.  There really isn’t a downside and it seems like there is a lot of upside.  Its fun, pretty, and functional (and continuing to get better with each revision).  For Apple fans, just do it.

 

(Photo Credit: http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u154082/ios7_cover_photo_2.png)

Apple Rumors Before the Announcement at 1 PM – Iphone 5? Iphone 4S? Both? Here is a Rumor Roundup

 

JUST ANNOUNCED, IPHONE 4S is Upgraded IPHONE 4 – My PREDICTIONS WERE RIGHT (read below)

Ars Teknia, Live Feed of Apple Event.

THE IPHONE will receive a new iteration today when Apple goes live at 1 pm today in Cupertino.  Rumors and speculation have swirled and it seems that there are some big chunks that have some validity.

Rumor 1: An Iphone 4S will be released, basically a beefed up Iphone 4, with the Ipad 2’s more powerful chip and upgraded software and an 8 MP camera on the back.  (This rumor seems likely.  Apple does need to retain the Iphone 4, and since it doesn’t require a major redesign, they could put some better parts in, have very little R&D costs, and have excitement around a cheaper to mass produce handset with a proven record of popularity to continue to challenge Android.)

Rumor 2: Sprint has paid 20 Billion dollars to buy up inventory and get the Iphone 5 exclusively, basically betting the farm on the cult of Apple.  (Not likely.  While they are dropping some big change, exclusivity for Sprint isn’t going to happen.  Apple needs as wide a swath as possible to continue the proliferation of IOS, and limiting it to the distant 3rd carrier, Sprint, would be a disastrous move, even for 20 Billion bucks, and considering how much cash Apple is sitting on, $20B isn’t really scratching their back that much.  Sprint is merely buying in and ensuring they aren’t left completely behind, for a huge amount of money for them. Also, this rumor came out yesterday – probably just attention seeking with a big “?” for buzz.)

Rumor 3: The Iphone 5 will come out slightly thinner, with curved glass and a wider screen.  It will be more powerful than the Iphone 4 (close to the 4S rumors, probably using Ipad 2 specs and better camera), and will have IOS5 (like the 4S rumors).  (This rumor is not as likely as the 4S, but probable.  It is hard to determine what Apple will do here.  In the past, Apple has released an Iphone, then Iphone 3G, then Iphone 3GS, then the 4.  Whether Apple calls it the 4S or the 5, I believe it will be the same phone.  If Apple follows their track record, they will release it with the name 4S – but that would seem unsynchronized with the IOS5 aesthetically.  If apple decides to make marketing easy, they will release the phone as the Iphone 5 with OS5, thus maintaining a big ol’ “FIVE” on everything they’re pushing.  It certainly would be prettier.)

Rumor 4: Apple will release an Iphone 4S and the Iphone 5 simultaneously.  One for the low end low cost market to combat cheap Android sets, and one to retain the crown of awsome-ness and blow everyone away with the Iphone 5 as a global minded handset for every carrier.  (Not likely but would be cool.  Apple is still doing well selling the 3GS and could just drop the price on that beast of a phone to nothing OR firesale the old Iphone 4’s.  While I would love to see a beefed up yet cheap Iphone 4S and the 5, it doesn’t seem likely – too much retooling for one announcement.)

Other Rumors – Apple will announce their new Voice Command Software, which better be good.  Controlling your device better with your voice would be a godsend for multi-taskers, but watch out for people who don’t know how to turn their phones to silent response – remember NEXTEL’s walki-talkies – we better not get a repeat of that kind of noise pollution in the public space.  ALSO, Apple will talk about their iCloud which they have been prepping pretty hard and opening server farms for.  This is Apple’s future and they will expect to have a positive response. This will simultaneously make lives easier for people who sync laptops, phones, desktops and televisions; AND Apple will be able to worry less about hard drives in their future devices (who needs a 10 Terabyte drive when you can keep most of your junk in the cloud – access only the 32 GB’s you need at a time).  This will keep devices like the Macbook Air and the Ipad/Iphone momentum and smallness on the go.  LASTLY – Apple will talk a lot about Twitter and Social Media integration.  They’re launching an Iphone Texting app similar to Blackberry’s ability to communicate between RIM devices, and word is they have placed Twitter into everything in IOS5.  Will be fun to see.

Looking forward to the Event at 1 PM – be ready for a news deluge – which is sure to be fun.  Woot!

Pick Your Phone By Your Personality (Windows, Blackberry, Iphone, Android) – Response

I just read this blog on Choosing Your Phone by Personality Type.  The writer makes a statement that he likes the Window’s phone best and then tries to characterize the personalities of those who prefer the different phones.  I felt that his take on the Iphone, however, was pretty shallow and I wasn’t sure what he was basing it off of.  So as a person who prefers the Iphone I will respond and characterize all four operating system users from an Iphone User’s perspective.

Android

Before Verizon had the Iphone, the Android became the status equivalent of the Iphone.  The news follows it rigorously so fanatics can obsess and fanboy over it like iOS.  Many who use Android are the tinkerers who don’t like Apple’s closed code policies so some rebels are among this group.  Since Google developed it, it has instant credibility and name recognition and has become the mass market smartphone.  People can trust it because Google is backing it and has perceptibly near infinite resources to back the project.  These users are not homogenous because there are a variety of devices at different price points.  It is a cheaper mass market option in line with Google’s strategy to dominate everything in every way in every sphere.  Lastly – the little Android guy is cute and may get some business from that angle.  Just saying.

Windows Phone

This phone is for the gamers, especially Xbox fans, and those who are generally fans of Microsoft products.  The design is sleek and there are those people who want Windows flow with an easy to use interface.  Who better to make a phone for pc lovers than MS and the simplicity in this os is surprising considering their past with convoluted menu systems and folders.  I think a lot of people will stumble into the Windows phone and the marketing seems quaint.  It is a phone that is supposed to save us from our phones.  Those who don’t like the direction complicated direction phones are taking may check this one out.

Blackberry (RIM)

Recent dedications to video and beautiful screens cover up the fact that BB’s are really the first smartphone to really take hold.  They are negatively known as “Crackberries” due to the nature of business people always connected, neglecting other responsibilities or relationships without really intending to drop the ball.  When texting, email and phone are always active, who could blame early adopters.  The roller ball and keyboard were well done for the time (though severely out dated since touch technology has become widely adopted).  Those who use Blackberry are now the traditionalist business people who don’t like change.  They got used to this thing so they’ll use it as long as they can.  Some businesses are making the move to Iphone, but I bet that many won’t take this without a fight.  Their market share may be shrinking, but that’s probably due to the market expanding around them.

Iphone

Ok – I’m a little biased.  I’m writing this on a Macbook Pro, I have two Imacs and I have an Iphone 3g (older, I know, but its still nice).  Iphone users tend to be obsessive about their tech (to the point of religious devotion – google it – there was a study on the brain).  The design factor and delight in merely holding such a beautiful device is enough for some, for others it is the integration of all things Apple.  These folks probably don’t mind the loss of a little control for the simplicity of a product that works and has amazing customer service.  They will pay more but get more out of the experience, and their word travels so that Apple really doesn’t have to market as much as it does these days.  Unfortunately, Apple changes things as it innovates and so the Iphone user is almost forced to upgrade every year and half, and compulsive buyers line up for the latest must have handheld.  A last word for apple – they know how to string people along.

Conclusion:

Hopefully this added a different perspective to the above blog (linked).  All the phones are good for someone, but they won’t fit everyone.  As phones become works of art and fashion they become more subjective.  Buyers should first start with the question of functionality and look at reviews of the device to determine the best phone, then look at the form factor.  Hardware and OS are key.  Find the right fit and you’re golden.  Good luck!

You Version Bible App Opened My Eyes to Lent’s True Meaning On My Iphone

Lent helps us celebrate Easter with fresh eyes, clear hearts

Published Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I’m going to warn everyone, the beginning of today’s column might be a little dry and geeky, but it gets juicier, so stick with it, and you will be rewarded with some actual insight into Lent.

There is a new app for the iPhone called You Version. It is an online Bible with many contemporary and traditional versions. It offers an interesting option of using a reading plan. I recommend it to everyone who has a smartphone, simply for its ease of use.

The front page of my smartphone, which holds all my most-used applications, has become a representation of who I am and what I use in my digital life. The first button is for my email, the next for Twitter, then Facebook and then a Web browser. Other apps on the front page include games, a calendar, contacts and Dropbox, a storage app that has made flash drives unnecessary.

I felt strongly that I should also make a Bible app prominent, if only to remind me to do my devotions.

At first, I used Paul Avery’s Bible, which was a straight app completely loaded on the phone, but I found that I often didn’t open it. Like that huge Family Bible on the coffee table, it gathered dust. Then I started seeing tweets about You Version, so I decided to try it out.

I opened the app and saw the reading plans. I decided in this season of Lent — and it is the first time I have ever been at a church that truly celebrated the season of Lent, I would dive in.

The app has changed my perspective.

My wife and I went into Lent knowing we would deny ourselves something, or fast, in order to be closer to Christ this season. I thought it was meant just for us to relate to Christ’s sufferings. So I chose TV shows (a difficult decision) and, harder still, my wife chose cheese, not realizing that almost all the food worth eating is smothered in wonderful cheese.

We denied ourselves and tried hard to be perfect like Christ was perfect.

But we found ourselves stumbling all the time, though not purposefully. We would have breakfast sandwiches and halfway through my wife would lament, “No! I’ve eaten cheese!” Or I would find that on Thursdays, when my favorite comedies came on, my eyes would wander from the book I was reading to the TV screen. My wife would just shake her head.

It wasn’t until I delved into You Version’s Lent devotional plan that I started to understand the fullness of what was happening.

In a short paragraph, it was pointed out that in Lent we try and often fail to be like Christ. In its fullness, Lent is about relying on and remembering the grace we have all received because of what Christ did on the cross.

So as we were messing up and crying out in our mistakes — much like stubbing your toe and being quite upset — we began to see us for what we are: imperfect people who are trying to become more perfect but are still dependant on Christ’s sacrifice.

It is all about Jesus! Not our own ability to be stoicists.

As Easter approaches, it has become quite clear to us, thanks to the words sent across the electronic highway of the Internet, that we are still in need of a savior and that we can celebrate Christ’s resurrection with fresh eyes and hearts cleared of self-pride.

Daniel Griswold is the director of youth at St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church. Follow him on Twitter @dannonhill.

Advice for Beginning Strategies in Kingdoms Live (Storm 8 Iphone War Game)

In the Iphone game Kingdoms Live, I am Muad’Dib (2ps1r) in the GOW clan.  I have been playing for 2 years, almost since the game came out in the first place.  I am level 122 with 15 million and hour in income and I did that without spending more than a few bucks on the game.  We just won a war which is exciting, but I also invited a friend who just received an Android phone to get into the game.  I hope he continues and we can recruit him sometime.  Regardless, I wanted to provide some tips for new players into the dynamics of the game before you start really building your profile.

(1) When you start out – you will find that just about everything in the game revolves around gold. Mana is pretty much useless because in later levels the weapons you receive by doing quests (which use mana to complete) are not as good as what you can buy.  By having a strong cash flow you will be strong.  So when choosing your character traits try to pick what makes more gold in the long run.

(2) Learn the art of the camp.  I have a little level 11 account on my wife’s ipod which already has 700,000 gold an hour.  When you first start, your measly 15 – 300 gold an hour seems paltry.  But one maxim that gets you everywhere is this: “Patience is currency”.  See your growth in terms of months, not in days.  Often a one or two month “camp” (no gear and doing nothing but buying land – which you can’t do until level 7) is a good thing to do.  You will have all Lands available at level 60 – so some people can get away with leveling how they wish until level 60 and then super camping for three or four months to gain land.  Fighting is fun, but only if you can win, and to win you need weapons, and to have weapons you need lots of land.  Don’t skimp or you’ll be bulldozered out of the game.

(3) Before you join a clan, realize that good clans have requirements.  A clan is a group of players that have banded up to fight others or defend their mates.  If your clan doesn’t have requirements (like level 25 to start and good land for your level) you will end up in a war and your clan falling apart around you.  There are main clans in KL that you can join that have strong players.  Mine is Gods of War or GOW with the flame.  There is also Legion lead by Meataxe, there is TheDachosen1s led by the Alien symbol, There are the Immortals, Armageddon, Justice Dealers, FOMA led by Warlord, the Guard is still out there, There is TTB, and more insidiously there is Chaos, Sin City, LOC among others.  Surf the clan before you join up.  You don’t want to have to spend time if the clan isn’t worth the join.

(4) Watch where you put your skill points.  In this game you really don’t need much more than 150 health to do well.  I have 160 and just use gold to heal whenever I wish to attack more.  Also, don’t put much into Mana.  I wouldn’t put more than 40 into mana because in the long run there is only one useful Quest in the “Forest” quests called Kill Spiders in the Woods.  That gives you 28 experience for 19 mana, which is the best deal. At early levels you can really level up fast with that.  In the beginning you will want more defense points, but later in the game you will need more attack points to break through armor.  Though many players put even points to attack and defend-it might be fun to make a canon (all attack) or fortress (all defense) account.  Or if you have two accounts build one of each.  I have a high level of defense, but an even higher level of attack.  My mana is low and so is my health and I have a good amount of spirit to lay into an enemy.  Feel out what you need, but don’t get too unbalanced.  Some players put tons of money into health and end up getting trashed at the end and just reset.  Don’t let that player be you.

(5) Make friends that are like you.  There are lots of terds out there, so make sure that you have a few people you like to hang with.  Almost all players use the chat App on their phones called Palringo. Google search it or download it because most clans have public rooms to talk out of game.  Just ask for the room to talk in, add it in Palringo, and you can private message or talk in the public rooms.  GoWs is KL_GOW.  Come and say hey if you like.  We are often chatting.

Overall – never forget to have fun.  You are immortal in the game.  One way to lose is to lose your head.  It isn’t worth it and if you get trashed it is okay.  Your enemy will get bored if you don’t get mad and move on.  Then you can build stronger and come back.  Good luck!  I hope this helps someone.

Here are my other KL posts from the past:

Summary of My Kingdoms Live Helps:

Battle Strategies for Kingdoms Live

Leadership in Kingdoms Live

Kingdoms Live Basics (Gold and other things)

Gold, Politics, and Power (A Personal Plan for Dominant Playing)

An early plan for Growing a Profile

My First Ever Blog on KL (Simple Gloating ;)

If there is anything I missed feel free to add it in comments below.

Mirror’s Edge Iphone Game/App (Review)

A new app came out on the Iphone recently based on the console game “Mirror’s Edge”.  The former being a first person cell shaded game, or so I’ve heard.  People raved about it being unique and fun to play.

I just downloaded the Iphone version, because it was (1) featured and (2) had good reviews as far as an app goes.  I’ll confirm the reviews the game is amazing.

Why?  A few reasons:

(1) its epic like star wars.  From the anti-institutional storyline about “runners” passing info that isn’t governent approved to the actual scrolling into the distance text that moves while the levels load, this game feels like its bigger than it is.

(2) It does something most games dont (k.i.s.s.) Keep it Simple Stupid.  The game controls are a series of dashes.  Nothing too complicated.  You dash forward with a finger, and she slides, you dash up with your finger and she jumps, all the while if you are touching the ground, she runs faster until hitting an object.

(3) For an Iphone app, the Graphics are great.  The feel of cell shaded graphics do well on the iphone, and since this is a side scroller, it doesn’t ever get too complicated.  It reminds me of the new 3d sidescrollers harking back to Mario and Sonic Days of Glory on SNES and Genesis.  Hits me in a real retro spot.

Overall, this is a great download.  The challenge does get harder as the levels progress and will remind you of the mega man days of trying to memorize a level and doing it over and over til you get it right.  Highly worth the download my friends.  Out.

Civilization Revolution Iphone App (Thoughts on the Game)

Recently played through an entire game of Civilization Revolution, which is an incredibly addicting game, and just wanted to mention a few strange things about the game that show up regularly:

(1) It’s 1940, and I’m still using a Catapult.

(2) Ghandi is the most warlike leader everytime I play.  His armies are purple, and I’m scared of him.

(3) I am Russian, and I win culturally, first by building Hollywood, and then by buiding the United Nations.

(4) The Chinese and Japanese send out space missions before I do.

(5) Rifleman can beat tanks.

I love it.  I always start slow because I build lots of cities and focus on growth.  The other nations think that I’m weak and so they start war talk.  I keep them at bay as I build units from my cities.  Half military, and half building temples and cathedrals for culture.  As I begin to beat them to a pulp I’m winning a cultural victory, and this time I almost won economically as well by getting to 20000 gold, and was about to build the bank (if you didn’t know you can win militarily – controlling the world and taking every city; technologically – by building and launching a ship to another world; economically – by collecting 20k gold and building the world bank; or culturally – by having 20 cultural acheivements and great people and then building the United Nations).

In the past I have held out the cultural victory to win militarily, but the Japanese and Chinese were about to launch their spaceship!

I love the sureality of it all! ;) Great App – check it out.