I love the camera in my iPhone. I don’t even know where my former dedicated digital camera is. But the hard thing about the camera in the iPhone is that even though it’s always with me, it takes a few steps to open the camera up and by then, the moment may have passed. Apple has answered that with a quick access feature that involves double tapping the Home button and selecting the camera icon. The camera opens right up in about a second.
MacWorld has an article outlining the new camera features right here.
Yesterday, Apple made available the iOS 5 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that they announced back in May. This is one of the most highly anticipated updates they’ve offered in iPhone history. If the download and wait times were any indication, we all seemed to go at once. My updated was fraught with a few problems and it required updating every piece of computing equipment I own, but it all finally came together without out having to manually make any weird changes. So a word to the wise is to set aside some time, and maybe wait a while.
The biggest feature in iOS 5 is iCloud which takes over syncing duties from MobileMe and it effectively frees you from syncing your devices to get contact, calendar, photos and other updates. From my experience, it still requires a sync (at least at this point) to move music, videos and podcasts back and forth. I like keeping these in a central repository on my iMac, but we’ll see what happens after Apple gets this stuff moved to the cloud as well.
Because of iCloud, you have to update all your Macs and PCs. Updating your Macs requires an upgrade to Mac OS X 7.2 Lion. Snow Leopard is right out. You need to upgrade anyway unless you have some software that just isn’t compatible. PCs require Vista or better (what isnt’?) and the iCloud control panel from Apple. Everyone must upgrade iTunes to 10.5 or you won’t be asked if you want to upgrade. So all told for Macs, that’s about a 2 GB download per computer just to get ready.
So now you’ve upgraded your computers and you’re ready to update your devices. iTunes is running, you plug in your first device and it asks you to upgrade. You click OK. iOS 5 gets downloaded (700+MB) It backs up your device successfully it query’s Apple’s servers and because it’s the first day, it waits and waits and waits. But finally you get a connection. In my case and that of many others, we got an error saying that our device couldn’t be updated and to try again later.
Fortunately, you don’t panic. You try again later. It fails again later. But after some long suffering (God’s all about building your character, you know), the update happens, a restore takes place and then all of your apps, music and videos get reinstalled. If you take the waiting times out, the update took about an hour.
I got everything back intact. After a day with the stuff, this is a marvelous upgrade. The movable keyboard on the iPad that makes the keys smaller and closer to your thumbs is a dream come true! Location based reminders are awesome. I only have an iPhone 4 (poor pitiful me 😉 so I haven’t tried Siri, Apple’s speech recognition software, but the demos I’ve seen from impartial people look like something out of the 21st century.
I’ll add more in the coming days, but I’d love to know your thoughts and your experiences so drop me a line.
MacWorld is reporting that Apple has done something on their end to fix the installation woes a lot of us have been having. Check it out here.
Well, Facebook has done it again. They changed something. That alone is usually enough to rile people up. They did switch the Profile and Home button positions. Profile is now just your picture and your name. Not too thrilled about that, but we will all get used to that.
But the thing that’s unnerving is that they now display “Top Stories” in your Home page. They decide what a top story is based on a contributor’s relationship to you, (I noticed that my brand new posting got top billing so “self” is a prime relationship according to them. So much for being first in the kingdom of heaven.) and how many people comment or like a particular posting.
I have real friends on Facebook. I care about them and I don’t want the service to decide how interested I should be in what they have to say. Facebook has time and again made changes where they assumed that they knew best on what I want to see or how private I want my information to be and it has always been the reverse of what I want and therefore it is always contrary to good sense. I kid! I kid!
Google+ and Twitter are looking better all the time.
It’s good to blog again. Stay tuned for more if you like.
Facebook included a new feature to help with what you may really want to see. It’s a subscribe button. The catch is, it’s on each of the pages of people you are friends with or fans of. So now you have to go to all of your friends to make individual changes. Before, if one of the pages you followed annoyed you, you could block that material as wanted which is far more useful. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
I learned my lesson when I upgraded my hard drive in my MacBook last year. I had been doing Time Machine (built in to Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6) backups to an external hard drive, but I had elected not to back up my applications. So when I changed hard drives, after recovering, I still had some work ahead of me reinstalling applications I had lost. Well, not this time! Since then, I have been backing up everything with Time Machine except a couple of things that didn’t make sense like my Fusion virtual machines and podcasts which were temporary in nature.
So, yesterday afternoon, it was necessary for me to reformat my system drive. So I did this from the install disc (you have to choose Disk Utilities from the Tools menu of the Installer) and installed a fresh copy of Snow Leopard. When that booted up, it asked me if I was coming from another Mac and it gave me four options, one of them being a Time Machine backup on another volume (my connected external hard drive). I merely selected by backups and let it churn away. Since all of my programs were backed up as well, when it was done, I had a fresh new Mac exactly with everything intact and running just like it was the night before. Three easy steps and that was it while I watched a movie in the other room.
Try that with Windows 7! This would have easily taken a week or more as you reinstalled applications, searched for license codes and entered them in. Windows may be catching up to the Mac with user interface issues, but it is still built on an ancient foundation of mud and straw.
I found an interesting article on MacWorld.com showing different uses for Copy and Paste in the Mac’s Finder. Go have a look!
Drive letters assigned to hard disks, floppies, thumb drives and network shares are ancient technology and we need to preserve the past at all costs.
The confusion that drive letters cause help keep IT support people employed. Please, for our sakes, don’t get a Mac! The economy would crash due to massive unemployment.
It’s also good that you can only have 26 drives attached to a PC. Having too much choice and flexibility like Macs have has been shown to accelerate productivity among former Solitaire players.