During a keynote presentation Monday morning in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to bring a whole host of new and shiny Apple stuff to a massive crowd of cheering fans/developers. Since this was a developer conference, the most important thing was, of course, the announcement of the next gen of iOS called iOS 7.
But that wasn’t all. Also announced was an update to Mac OS X called Mavericks, Apple’s new streaming service called iTunes Radio and new hardware including revamped MacBook Air laptops as well as a completely reimagined Mac Pro.
Here’s a list of all the announcements:
• New version of Mac OS X called Mavericks. That’s right, no more cat names. Now, cool surf spots in California instead.
• New version of iOS called iOS 7. No cute nickname but lots of innovative features and a new, fancy UI design.
• Updated MacBook Air laptops. Longer battery life and better WiFi speed with 802.11AC
• Completely reimagined Mac Pro desktop. For those who need to do some heavy lifting. It looks like a round version of the tower in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
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Even though a majority of us here at The Flickcast use smartphones made by Apple, that doesn’t mean we only care about iOS or things from Cupertino. We also like Android quite a bit too. And when a new smartphone is reportedly ready to be announced by Google itself, we pay particular attention.
That phone is the much-discussed “X Phone.” And now we’ve got a picture (or two) of it, curtesy of gadget blog Tinthe.tn, so you can see exactly what it’s all about.
From the pics we can say that the device does look a lot like other Android smartphones, particularly those from Samsung. Not that that’s a bad thing. In addition to the pics, there’s also info about the internals of the device.
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Even though they don’t release updates quite as often as a company like Microsoft, Apple does tend to update its products pretty often. In fact, they just issued an update today.
Today’s update is for iOS and the iPhone 5 and brings the software on that device to version 6.1.4. In typical Apple fashion the notes for this up;date don’t really tell a whole lot what the update actually contains.
In fact, ion this particular case, they only contain one sentence: Updated Audio Profile for Speakerphone.” Heck, maybe that’s all it does? Although, it’s kinda hard to believe Apple would got to the trouble to release this update for only one issue.
Still, you never know. iOS 6.1.4 is available from Apple immediately as an over the air (OTA) update. It should also be available for download through iTunes soon.
For Android users who’ve had a chance to experience just how good the Google Now service can be, this article won’t interest you as much. However, for the iOS users out there, this should be of great interest.
Not that we have anything against Apple’s Siri, but the Google Now service just gets the job done a bit better. Fortunately, Google Now has arrived for iOS.
It’s not a stand alone app but is, instead, part of the updated Google Search app for iOS. If you haven’t already downloaed it, you can grab it right here.
In case you’re somehow not familiar with Google Now, it’s an intelligent assistant that automatically presents users with information based on location, search history and more, without any action required by the user. It’s also really good at finding things like the nearest food when users asks specific questions like “I want tacos” or similar. Yes, that’s what Apple’s Siri is supposed to do, and it does. . . prety well.
Google Now just does it better. Sorry Apple. As with Maps, you’ve got some work to do in this area. Fortunately, competition is a good thing.
For more on Google Now, check out the official video after the break.
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If you’re a developer of software for Mac OS X or iOS, the event you probably want to go to is Apple’s WWDC in San Francisco. That is, if you can get a ticket.
Turns out tickets went on sale today and sold out in minutes. That’s great for Apple and those who managed to complete their purchases without errors, but what about the rest of the Apple developer community that’s been left out in the cold?
Fortunately, there’s an alternative. It’s called AltWWDC, is organized by the folks behind Appsterdam, runs June 10-14 and best of all, it’s free.
Some of the folks expected to speak at the event include Mike Lee, Saul Mora, Steve “Scotty” Scott and a couple of my old TUAW colleagues, Brett Terpstra and Victor Agreda, Jr. The event takes place at the downtown campus of San Francisco State University, which is only a block from Moscone Center where Apple’s WWDC is held.
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As fans of Apple and its products, we love things like this. Sure, these kinds of results should be taken with a grain (or three) of salt, but still, it’s kinda cool to see and makes us love Apple stuff even more.
What are we talking about? Well, this week ZDNet reports that based on a new study from Soluto, which uses “data from its massive online database of PC crashes, hangs, and performance metrics to identify the 10 most reliable Windows PCs you can buy today”, the most reliable Windows PC in the world is a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro running Windows via Boot Camp.
How abou that? According to the study, the MacBook Pro is “at the top of the list” with other hardware like the Acer Aspire E1-571, the Dell XPS 13, the Dell Vostro 3560, the Acer Aspire V3-771 and Apple’s 15-inch Retina-equipped MacBook Pro taking the next spots.
What about other vendors like Toshiba, Lenovo or market leader HP? Yeah, they don’t even crack the top ten. Sad, but true.
So, if you need to run Windows and are looking for the best, most reliable hardware out there to run it on, guess you should get a Mac. We’re not really surprised. We could have told you that.
Yes, we were supposed to get a Steve Jobs biopic featuring Ashton Kutcher as the iconic Apple frontman, but who knows what happened to that. We hear it’s not that great (putting it nicely) and will likely end up on video very soon.
However, even with the Kutcher movie coming out eventually, that hasn’t stopped the gang at Funny or Die from making a Jobs biopic of their own. This one features Justin Long as Jobs, who you may recall played opposite John Hodgman in Apple’s popular “Get a Mac” ad campaign. The hour-long movie, called iSteve, will make its debut on April 15th on the Funny or Die website.
To promote it, Funny or Die released a trailer, as you might expect. Watching the trailer, which isn’t much more than a collection of words and audio with one shot of Long as Jobs, we already think it’s going to be better than the Kutcher version. Well, at the very least, it will be intentionally funny.
Check out the trailer after the break.
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Another day, another software update for one (or more) of our devices. This time it’s from Apple in the form of an update to iOS, which brings the software to version 6.1.3.
According to Apple, iOS 6.1.3 fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the passcode and access the Phone. Bummer. It also provides improvements to iMaps in Japan. Well, that’s nice for Japan, but what about here in the U.S.?
Maybe next week, right Apple? Meantime, we’re liking Google Maps just fine in iOS, thank you.
The download is 17 MB in size and can be found by going to System Prefs> General on your iOS device. We’re updating now and will report back if anything breaks or, more to the point, improves.
I know. Just the word Monday deeply depresses most people when they see it. But that’s why I bring you guys the Monday Freeview. To give you something to look forward to on the longest possible point before the weekend begins. And this week, we’ve got a big one for you: League of Legends.
With the Mac client finally going live, I decided to give one of the most famous Free-To-Play games on the internet a try. For those who don’t know what League of Legends is, it is technically considered a MOBA (or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) which is an offshoot of the RTS genre after the success of a Warcraft 3 mod that would go on to become DotA (Defense of the Ancients). Instead of worrying about the minutia of base building and resource management, players got to focus on what they all really carried about, playing as a hyper strong character and taking the fight to their enemy.
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One thing you can say about Apple, they seem to provide a rather steady stream of updates to their various operating systems. Today’s example is an update to OS X Mountain Lion, which brings the software to version 10.8.3.
It features a good amount of fixes, improvements, etc. including:
• The ability to redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using the built-in camera on a Mac
• Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8 and Macs with a 3 TB hard drive
• Various fixes for issues that cause a URL to quit apps unexpectedly, that might cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive and stuttering audio on 2011 iMacs.
The update also includes Safari 6.0.3, which is nice. Although, I still prefer Chrome. But that’s a topic for another day.
The update is available via Software Update or through the Mac App Store. Here’s the full list of fixes and improvements.