All iOS News: A Brief Glimpse from 2012 - 2014


 

For a number of years this was the All iOS News website dedicated to iOS with news / reviews etc. that were edited by Clinton Fitch.

In 2001 I along with several of the writers from SimplyHPC started HPC:Factor, a site dedicate to the H/PC platform that is still active today. In 2003, seeing a rise in the PocketPC platform, I turned ClintonFitch.com from a personal site to a site dedicated to news, reviews and How To’s for that platform and continued to do so through 2012. In 2012 with what was now Windows Phone in turmoil, I stopped posting on the site until September 2014, using that time to build up an iOS dedicated site, AlliOSNews.
Clinton Fitch
Content is from the site's 2012 - 2014 archived pages providing just a glimpse what this AlliOSNews offered its readship.

For the most up to date Windows Phone and Windows related news, Android focused news, reviews and How To’s from Clinton Fitch go to his current website found at: https://www.clintonfitch.com

 

 

Circa 2012

 

About All iOS News

[Updated September 17, 2012]

Welcome to AlliOSNews!  I’m glad that you have stopped by – stay a while and look around.  Here you will find news, information, reviews, opinions and even the occasional rumor around anything related to Apple’s iOS platform.  While there are many sites that cover iPhone, iPad and other things related to iOS, the vision for this site is to provide a deep focus just on iOS devices, the platform, accessories and using the devices.  You won’t find anything related to other platforms.  Because the marriage between iOS and OS X is so tight now, you will also find plenty of Mac related news, help and information here as well.

AlliOSNews is owned by Clinton Fitch, a blogger who has been writing, speaking, teaching and otherwise involved in mobile blogging for over twelve years.  Clinton began his blogging at the now defunct Simply|HPC, writing reviews on the hardware and software of Handheld PCs, the predecessor of the Pocket PC.  After the demise of Simply|HPC, Clinton co-founded HPC:Factor with a handful of others from the Simply|HPC team.  The site, led predominantly by Chris Tilley, has become the #1 resource for information, news, tips and development for the long-since-gone H/PC.

In 2004 Clinton began ClintonFitch.com, a site dedicated to Microsoft based mobile technology including the Pocket PC, Smartphones and other Windows Mobile devices.  That site continued until April 2012 and saw an average of 3 million visitors per year.

Seeing the need for a site dedicated to news, reviews and information about iOS devices, Clinton began AlliOSNews in January 2010.  The site focuses just on iOS-based devices and applications with a small smattering of Mac news and information.  Not intended to be a “breaking news” site, AlliOSNews’ main goal is to expose readers to applications that they may not otherwise have heard of and show accessories for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to help them make a buying decision.  The site also has dozens of How-To articles on how to get the most from your iPhone or iPad and Mac.

Since opening in January 2010, AlliOSNews has steadily been growing from just a few hundred visitors the first week to well over 1500 each week as of June 2011.  As word-of-mouth about the site continues, expectations are AlliOSNews will exceed ClintonFitch.com in traffic volume by mid-2013.

Key Events of AlliOSNews

  • Founded January 1, 2010
  • 1,070 articles published (as of September 17, 2012)
  • YouTube channel established May 2012 – 9,900 views (as of September 17, 2012)
  • Growth up 2800% year-over-year from 2010 to 2011 – Growth up 7000% year-over-year from 2011 to 2012 (as of September 2012)

 

Clinton

Clinton is the editor of AlliOSNews.com. He has been writing opinions, reviews, how to's and anything related to the mobile communications market since 1999. You can follow Clinton on Twitter @AlliOSNews

 



 

How To

How To put your Mac’s display to sleep using Hot Corners

by Clinton
For many of us who use Mac’s in the corporate world, we are often called away from our desks for this meeting or that meeting or simply a run to Starbucks for a little pick-me-up in the afternoon.  One feature that Windows PC users have that Mac’s don’t is the ability to simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and Enter to lock their PCs.  This gives the impression, especially to new Mac users, that it is less secure.

Fortunately this is not the case.  Your Mac can be as secure as any PC when it comes to unauthorized logins to your Mac and, just like a Windows PC, you can immediately lock your Mac so others cannot login not by a key combination but a quick and simple swipe of your trackpad.  It’s called Hot Corners and it has been in OS X for a long time but it is not something that is enabled by default.  By setting up Hot Corners you can perform a wide range of tasks from pulling up Mission Control to starting your screensaver to locking your Mac all by swiping to a corner of your display.  It’s quick and efficient and in this How To I’ll show you exactly where to go and what to do on your Mac to set Hot Corners up.

For many of us who use Mac’s in the corporate world, we are often called away from our desks for this meeting or that meeting or simply a run to Starbucks for a little pick-me-up in the afternoon. One feature that Windows PC users have that Mac’s don’t is the ability to simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and Enter to lock their PCs. This gives the impression, especially to new Mac users, that it is less secure.

Fortunately this is not the case. Your Mac can be as secure as any PC when it comes to unauthorized logins to your Mac and, just like a Windows PC, you can immediately lock your Mac so others cannot login not by a key combination but a quick and simple swipe of your trackpad. It’s called Hot Corners and it has been in OS X for a long time but it is not something that is enabled by default. By setting up Hot Corners you can perform a wide range of tasks from pulling up Mission Control to starting your screensaver to locking your Mac all by swiping to a corner of your display. It’s quick and efficient and in this How To I’ll show you exactly where to go and what to do on your Mac to set Hot Corners up.

To start, go to System Preferences on your Mac. You can get there by going to Apple>System Preferences on the Toolbar or you can find it via Launchpad. Once in System Preferences navigate to Desktop & Screen Saver then click the Screen Saver button at the top. Normally this is where you configure a Screen Saver for your Mac. As a sidebar, if you haven’t



Put your display to sleep with a hot corner

checked out some of the new screen savers that are in Mountain Lion, you should. They are pretty cool! If you want a screen saver then you can configure it here but the key thing we are looking for in this How To is the Hot Corners button at the bottom right of the screen. Click that and you are brought to the settings for Hot Corners on your Mac.

Under Hot Corners there are multiple things you can configure for each of the four corners of your Mac display to do. For example, you can have one corner set up to go to your Desktop while another starts LaunchPad. The one for this How To is Put Display to Sleep. I recommend setting the lower right hot corner as the location for this one as you rarely end up in that corner of your display. This is to prevent you from accidentally putting your display to sleep while you are working.

With the Hot Corner now configured, you still have to make sure that your Mac is secure when you slide down to that corner to activate it. For this, go to Security & Privacy in System Preferences. The first option on this settings sheet is to require your system password after your display goes to sleep or your screensaver begins. You have several options but I recommend setting it to “Immediately”. This way as soon as you put your Mac to sleep your password is required to wake it again.



Security Settings to require a password upon sleep

Once you have your Hot Corner set up and your security configured, close out of System Preferences then move your pointer to the corner in which you set up to put your display to sleep. It should immediately go to sleep and when you press a key on your keyboard, you should be prompted for your password. Now you have a quick and easy way to lock your Mac when you step away from it.

A couple of real world suggestions. First, I don’t recommend setting up a Hot Corner in the upper right, especially Mountain Lion users. This is where the new Notification Center menu is and you may find yourself putting your display to sleep instead of checking Notifications if you swipe up quickly! Secondly, you can have both a Hot Corner and a screen saver configured on your Mac. They are not mutually exclusive. Further, as you saw in my first screen shot, you can configure one Hot Corner to turn off your display as I showed you here while having a second Hot Corner setup to active your screen saver.

 



 

iPhone 5

Apple updates iOS apps to support iOS 6 and iPhone 5

by Clinton

As expected, with the release of iOS 6 earlier today, a flurry of app updates have hit the iTunes App Store today.  Apple has released updates to their entire lineup of applications to support the new iOS as well as the new iPhone 5′s larger display.

The apps updated include all of the ones you would expect:

  • iMovie
  • iPhoto (added iPod Touch support as well)
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Keynote
  • Find My iPhone
  • Podcasts
  • Remote
  • AirPort Utility
  • iTunes University

On several of the apps there are other important udpates to functionality in addition to the new iOS support. For example, Keynote, Pages and Numbers now allow you to open one of their respective documents in another app.
Be sure to check all of the apps to see what has updated and changed.

 



 

REVIEWS

 

Review of OS X Mavericks

Free OS X Mavericks Is The Worst News Microsoft Has Had in Weeks

by Clinton Fitch
OS X Mavericks is the 10th version of the UNIX-based “Ten” OS from Apple.  This new version is not revolutionary as previous versions of OS X have been but rather is evolutionary.  There are refinements throughout the OS that bring a sleeker, more uniform feel to Macs but also brings online several new feature that, until Mavericks, was only on iOS.  It is clear that paths of OS X and iOS continue to converge at many points, particularly around apps.

It could be argued – successfully we think – that the bulk of the really cool bits of OS X Mavericks are actually things that most users will never even know are working in their favour.  Indeed with changes to how your Mac’s CPU and memory are utilised by OS X, even older Mac’s should see a little more pep-in-their-step with the underlying architecture changes.

In our review of OS X Mavericks we will touch on those under-the-keyboard changes that make your Mac operate more efficiently and we will cover the key new features and functions of this latest edition of OS X.  All-in-all we think that OS X Mavericks is a worthy successor to the hugely popular and rock-solid Mountain Lion and should bring benefits and unification of applications and processes to many Mac users.

If there was one group of people that were not overwhelmed with excitement during the Apple event yesterday it was the various teams at Microsoft.  In a single 1.5 hour presentation, Apple undermined everything that is important to the Redmond company and they now have serious competition on multiple fronts from the company they threw a lifeline to over a decade ago.

The single biggest blow to Microsoft yesterday came in the form of a free upgrade to OS X Mavericks for Mac owners.  Quite simply, this strikes at the very center of the Microsoft universe.  Microsoft is a software company and they live and die by the license sold to their product.  Rightfully so as this is what every software company does.  But Apple moved the cheese on them.  By giving away Mavericks, Apple is undermining this economic model.  As it was plainly stated in the keynote yesterday, gone are the days of the $199 OS upgrade.  Imagine if your competition, albeit a smaller player, suddenly gave away the widget you have been selling for decades at no charge.  That is exactly what Microsoft is facing and undoubtedly there are discussions across the entire campus this morning that are question what to do next.

If Mavericks was the big blow then the giving away of iWork apps and the massive improvements these app have seen both in iOS and OS X was the quick jab on the way out.  For Microsoft, Office is the cash cow.  It is even more so than Windows itself.  Up to this point they haven’t had much to worry about.  Sure Apple put a little pressure on them as did Google with Google Docs but really, they didn’t have much to worry about.  That’s changed now.  Pages, Keynote and Numbers are all powerful apps with a unified file format across all devices and platforms.  All of the sudden Microsoft has competition and to make matters worse, these apps are free.  Another blow to their license model.

So how then can Apple afford to do this?  How can they simply give away software while others are bound to sell licenses?  Simple really – look at the Apple ecosystem.  They control the apps, the OS and the hardware.  The very thing that Apple has been accused of being – a closed environment because they don’t license out their software to OEMs – is exactly the reason Apple can do this.  Simply put, they can afford to do it.  They know that they will make up any revenue lost through their hardware sales.  So while you may pay a premium for the Apple device of choice, you immediately gain access to this wide range of apps they offer free.  And those who argue that you are really paying for the apps anyway when you buy an Apple product are wrong.  The prices announced yesterday are the same or lower than last year on the iPad and MacBook Pro.  They didn’t raise prices to account for Mavericks and iWork.

The pressure is now on Microsoft to react.  How will they react?  Can they afford to give away Windows 8.1?  Likely not but they will have to react in some way.  From an office suite perspective they have already played their cards with Office 365 but the mobile apps for this are horrible at best.  They are going to have to step up their game in order to compete with Apple.

Welcome to the Office Wars – 2013 style.

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Apple Releases iWork Update for iOS and OS X

by Clinton Fitch
As promised in their keynote from yesterday, Apple has released the iWork update for both iOS and OS X today.  The update to Pages, Numbers and Keynote are now both in the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store on your respective devices.  The iWork update is being touted as the biggest update to the apps ever and put Apple squarely in strong competition with Microsoft and Google Docs for your document creation, sharing and collaboration needs.

Equally as important, Apple is now giving these apps away free of charge to new customers or customers with new devices running iOS 7.  This is a huge savings as each of the iOS apps are $9.99.  The Mac versions remain at $19.99 each.

The big changes with iWork in all of the apps are the huge number of templates that are in the apps – Pages sports 60 new ones on both iOS and Mac, new animations and transitions in Pages and Keynote, easy link sharing and file sharing via AirDrop, in Pages you can turn documents into ebooks and export to ePug and a new unified file format across both iOS and OS X.  Frankly the number of updates and improvements across this suite of apps would make this post longer than our OS X Mavericks review so we encourage you to read the Release Notes with each app.  We have provided links however to all of the apps both for iOS and OS X.  If you already own these apps on either platform, the updates are of course free.

The update to the iWork apps put Apple squarely and competitively on par with Microsoft and Google.  No longer are Pages, Keynote and Numbers looked at as second class office citizens.  These apps are powerful – very powerful – and offer all the features you would expect to find in a office caliber application.  Couple this with iWork for iCloud and the collaboration and sharing benefits of Google Docs suddenly have competition.

The office wars may just be heating up once again.  Welcome back to the early 90s.

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TechMom Tuesday – Review of NuuNest for iOS

by Tricia in TechMomTuesday
Let me assure you – Mommy Brain is a thing. This is caused by the never-ending questions spewed at you stream of conscious style, which in turn makes your brain forget any and every piece of information relevant to managing your life while still being able to cite the entire Mickey Mouse Clubhouse introduction without fail.

Mommy Brain begins the moment you give birth. The stress of fluctuating hormones, sleepless nights and the general post-partum malaise of “what the hell do I do now,” makes tracking your newborn even more difficult. Congratulations. You now have a tiny person completely dependent on you for its every need in order to maintain life.

Rumor has it your new little darling will be bundled up and your newly enlarged family will be scuttled out the hospital with a ream of papers – legal documents, pamphlets, consent forms, tracking charts – all seemingly Xeroxed using ditto sheets and proffered to new millennium parents with all the faded purple ink glory they can muster.

You’ll probably have a lot of questions. Trust me when I tell you this. Write it down. Questions, data, life musings. You will not remember 30 seconds later. You are now your baby’s biggest advocate. Documenting your routines will alert you to any potential problem caused by a deviation or simply remind you what day it is.

Lucky for you, it’s now 2013. Ditch the paper charts; there’s an app for that. I was first turned on to NuuNest by a woman working for our local janitorial service (btw, she provided the best cleaning service ever). She only worked part time due to her baby, but she had kept an incredible amount of data on her child since birth on the app and was able to show me how to use it proficiently. I was so impressed that this woman whose job entailed mob buckets and cleaning solutions would be so tech savvy!

NuuNest allows you to track your newborn’s development, your routines, as well as offering helpful info, advice and tips (452 age-based ones) – all provided in a clean and easy-to-use UI. This won’t make life easier per say, but it will certainly keep you organized and informed when the pediatrician asks you a litany of questions when you’re in the ER on a Friday night because baby has the sniffles (hypothetical TechTot case).

Disclaimer: NuuNest is fantabulous data tracker *IF* your baby is born term and healthy. Should you find yourself embroiled in the whirlwind roller coaster of prematurity and the NICU, immediately discard your “What to Expect” nonsense of paperbound and digital alike. Go download MyPreemie. Do not pass go (except to liberally apply the hand sanitizer).

NuuNest allows moms to detail the details of those foggy early days of parenthood – weight gain, diaper duty, and feeding. Sprinkled throughout are information and helpful tips about what to expect. These can be very reassuring as you wonder, “Is this normal?!”

The “All About Mom” section has more in-depth answers to the most common questions occurring directly after delivery. You may laugh and/or cringe now, but it’s pertinent information in the baby-making business!

You can customize your home screen to best suit your own needs. (I know, each child is unique – shocking.) There is also an option to receive notification if the data is not in alignment with developmental expectations (see above warning if you’re a preemie parent – nothing will be in alignment).

And yes! The app supports twins. (Some of the data entry can be a bit clunky or repetitive as you switch back and forth between profiles.)

The app boasts, “NuuNest provides answers in seconds as you settle in with your new baby. It’s like having an experienced baby nurse right at your fingertips, 24 hours a day.”

Do I recommend this app? Yes. If you’ve had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and are blessed with a take-home baby immediately after birth – download the app and start documenting. It may seem mundane, and way less adorable than other things you’re documenting, but the little things really do matter for your little ones.

NuuNest – Newborn Nurse Answers and Baby Tracking, $2.99

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Evernote for iOS Update Brings New Map Display

by Clinton Fitch | 2013
The popular note taking and overall life collection app Evernote for iOS has received a nice update that brings some enhancements for everyone and one exclusive to Premium customers.  The update, available now in the App Store, now allows all users to see their notes displayed on a map in the Places section of the app.

For those who have a Premium account (which can be done through in-app purchase), you now have the ability to customise your home screen layout in the App.  This is done through the Edit menu on your iPhone or iPad and allows you to change the order display of notes, notebooks, tags, places and the Evernote Market.  It is one of those simple changes but it makes a big difference for those of who use Evernote heavily as you can essentially develop a workflow that works for you.

Finally is the new Search enhancements where are available to everyone.  You can now save searches when you use the

 

Saved Searches function from the search results screen.  You can remove them later by swiping right as you can to delete most things in iOS 7.  Now if you need to quickly find something in your hundreds of Evernotes the task just got a little bit easier.

I have been a happy Evernote users for many years now and if you need a great note and life memory app I highly recommend it.  The app itself is free as is your account.  You can sign up for Premium services at $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year which brings you the ability have notes offline, sharing of notes with friends (who can also edit them), presentation ability from within the App and priority chat support if you run into trouble

 

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Review of iOS 8

Post by Clinton | 17/09/2014
With the release of iOS 8, Apple has taken another step forward in their mobile operating system platform.  It is not a watershed, massive change that we saw with iOS 7.  Rather it is taking what was foundational in that release and refining it further.  As I write this review of iOS 8 I am compelled to remember the early days of iOS.  Comparing where this platform was just 4 years ago in the iOS 4 days, it is remarkable how much has changed.  iOS 8 represents the most advanced mobile platform Apple has ever produced and you could argue that it is the most refined in the market today.

But the purpose of this review of iOS 8 is not to sell you on it.  I’m assuming, because you are on this site, you are already an iOS user who has upgraded to iOS 8 or that you are someone looking to move from another platform to iOS and want to find out what all the hubbub is about.  Hopefully I’ll be able to satisfy both types of readers.

To start, we need to look at what has become a very foundational part of iOS 8 and indeed OS X Yosemite:  iCloud.  When iCloud was introduced in October 2011 (yes, it’s been that long!), it was seen as an opportunity for Apple to do better than they had done with the MobileMe service.  To be honest, that was a pretty low bar.  My professional opinion:  MobileMe sucked.

But iCloud hasn’t exactly set the world alight.  When it was introduced the expectation was that it would be Dropbox like in functionality and it proved to be anything but that.  It was rigid in what file formats you could store on it, you could effectively only store from Apple apps and storage was horrendously expensive for such a limited service.

But Apple kept at it, slowly tweaking and improving the service.  They also kept building and improving their data centres globally, adding more and more capacity.  They were playing in the long game and were willing to take their lumps against Dropbox and OneDrive for the long term gain of their vision.

Last year in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 it began to really take hold with it being a more integrated part of the platform.  Now, in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, iCloud is very much part of the fabric.  The line between “on the device” and “in the cloud” has blurred and that is evident in several of the new features of iOS 8.  In fact as you read on in this review of iOS 8, you are going to read a common theme of iCloud integration with applications.  Indeed I would contend that is increasingly more difficult for someone who wants iOS to not use it with iCloud.  Like Google has done with Android and Chrome and to a much greater degree Microsoft has done with Windows Phone and Windows, it is time to pick your ecosystem readers.  Playing in more than one is getting ever more difficult because operating systems are dependent on cloud services and vice versa.

But not impossible.

iCloud has grown up a huge amount in a short period of time and the fluidity between apps and storage is now borderless.  That’s exactly what Apple (and Google, and Microsoft) want it to be.  The question is will you jump in with both feet.

Enough with iCloud, I think I’ve made my point.  Let’s talk about iOS 8 and the design and new features (or refinement in most cases) of the latest Cupertino has to offer us.

 

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Review of Camu for iPhone

Post by Clinton | 01/09/2014
One of the newest and brightest photo taking and editing apps in the App Store is Camu for iPhone.  Camu is a real time editing app that allows you to apply photo filters on-the-fly to the photos you are taking at the moment or add those effect to photos later.  It then allows you to post those creations to a wide range of social networks for sharing.  The beauty of Camu for iPhone is in its simplicity but don’t let that fool you:  This is a powerful photo editing application.

I’ve been using Camu now for a couple of weeks and I have to say I’m nothing short of impressed.  It has a nice selection of filters that you can apply to your photos (and not you don’t get nickel & dime’d to death with having to buy filters) but it is also completely gesture driven in using so there is virtually no learning curve.  This is one of those apps that truly anyone could pick up and figure out in about 5 minutes.  In fact my only real disappointment with the app is that there isn’t a native iPad version.

It is well worth your time and iPhone storage to take a look at Camu for iPhone.

 

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Star Wars Commander for iOS Review

Post by Clinton | 25/08/2014

Star Wars Commander is the latest in the Star Wars franchise of apps from Lucas Arts that brings a tower defence style game to the Rebellion versus Empire universe.  Like many such games, the object is to keep your own base safe and secure while also leading attacks on your enemy bases to collect currency and materials to further upgrade and build your own base.

This is where the game takes a twist.  In Star Wars Commander you can choose if you want to fight for the Rebel Alliance or if you want to take up arms for the Galactic Empire.  Depending on the site you select will determine the weapons at hand and your mission objectives.

I have to say that personally I’ve grown a bit tired of the tower defense style games as there are so many of them.  But Star Wars Commander, while certainly in the genre, has been a great amount of fun to play partly because it is in the Star Wars universe (and really, what’s not to love about that?) and the fact I can pick my side in the game.  It’s kinda nice being on the Empire side and commanding TIE Fighters.

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Vivino Wine Scanner App for iPhone Review

Post by Clinton | 23/08/2014
I love wine but I fully admit that I’m a bit of a neanderthal when it comes to being able to pick a good wine from a not-so-good wine.  As I have discovered, price isn’t necessarily a reflection of a wine that is good and there is certainly an element of personal tastes that come into the picture.  Compounding my problem is when I go to my local grocer or “bottle store” (AKA Liquor Store), there is a dizzying number of wines of all times and all price ranges.  Regardless of your wine selecting skills, there is a great app that can help you find that perfect wine as you stand there looking at a wall of bottles.  The Vivino Wine Scanner app allows you to scan the label of any wine and instantly get peer ratings, price ranges and reviews of that wine.  It helps eliminate the guess work so you can find wines you like at a price that is right.

The Vivino Wine Scanner app is one of those apps that just makes life easier.  It works amazingly well and I’ve yet to find a bottle of wine that it didn’t recognise.  Literally all you do is snap a photo of the label of the wine bottle and it does all the work of giving you information about that wine.  It has become my favourite app to use while I’m stood in my grocer trying to find that bottle of wine that goes with that meal.

 

 

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