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TeleNav offers a sort-of free GPS solution for iOS

TUAW.com - Mon, 10/31/2011 - 5:00am

As we continue our survey of GPS apps for iOS, I have to mention the TeleNav family. The company, which is also behind the AT&T Navigator subscription app, offers a free entry level app that is quite popular with users, even though it is missing some key features.

For free you get turn-by-turn directions, 3D maps, local search that includes gas prices, and one-touch rerouting.

There's a big feature missing, however. No spoken turn-by-turn directions. So, in a way, it's not offering much more than the built-in Maps application, and less than the free voice-enabled Mapquest application (published by our parent company AOL). There is a 3D view, but when driving, you don't want to be looking at a screen.

The solution is an upgrade to the US $0.99 app, but after that you use it for 30 days you need to upgrade to a $9.99 a year subscription. That's a sale price which is about half off the regular tariff. The paid version adds voice guidance, spoken street names and auto rerouting.

So how does it all work? It's not bad. The graphics are clean, setting up a destination is easy, and the local search is comprehensive. The voice guidance is very clear. I didn't run into heavy traffic during my test, so no comments there.

Since the maps are downloaded as you go, that means a data connection is needed. It's something to think about if you are going to be out of cellular range frequently. On the other hand, with no onboard maps, the app has a small footprint (17.5MB) and your maps will theoretically stay current.

With my driving in Arizona the maps seemed current, although some comments in the App Store indicate they may not always be up to date with the latest street layouts. As someone with local knowledge, TeleNav didn't always take me the way I would have chosen, but the choices always worked. I've noticed that nav apps have a bias for bigger streets, but sometimes the best shortcuts are the road less traveled.

Is the TeleNav app for you? If you are on a budget an in an urban setting I think it is worth a serious look. I'm not wild about the idea of subscriptions to apps. I'd rather spend a little more and forget about recurring charges. If you are on a limited data plan, and you use it a lot, you may run into extra charges, but the data being downloaded is pretty minimal.

It's nice to see the many, many choices iPhone users have to get a perfect fit for navigation. TeleNav has given you yet another choice worth considering. The app requires iOS 4 or greater but runs fine on iOS5 and the new iPhone 4S. TeleNav is universal so it runs on the iPhone as well as the iPad.

Of course, life would be grand if Apple provided built-in navigation as is found on the Android phones. That may be coming, and there have certainly been indications of it. Think of the power of Siri and navigation rolled into one.

Gallery: TeleNav GPS app for iOS

TeleNav offers a sort-of free GPS solution for iOS originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 31 Oct 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Steve Jobs' sister shares his final moments, last words

AppleInsider.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 7:31pm
Novelist Mona Simpson, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' biological sister, has shared her eulogy for her brother, offering an intimate look at the last moments before he died, including his surprising last words.


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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me find Spotlight items in the Finder

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 5:00pm

Dear Aunt TUAW,

There's plenty I like about Lion - but lots of pointless change for the worse. Top of my hate list is that Spotlight no longer gives me the location of the items I'm searching for. Sure, the preview on cursor hover is nifty, but why oh why can't Spotlight give me (for example) the location of a long-lost document that's become embedded in multiple folders, the way it did in Snow Leopard ?

Can Aunty help find a solution ?

Your loving nephew,

Jack, Cheltenham, UK

Dear Jack,

Use your up and down arrows to navigate through the Spotlight results list. (Do not click on items, that will open them). When the highlight is over the item you want, press Command-Enter.

Hugs,

Auntie T.

p.s. Thanks Uncle Brett

Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me find Spotlight items in the Finder originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mona Simpson's moving eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 4:15pm

The New York Times has published Mona Simpson's eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs. Simpson delivered her eulogy during his memorial service on October 16 at the Memorial Church of Stanford University. In her remarks, she recalls her experience of his final days and hours, including his last words to his family.

Simpson's eulogy is both powerful and heartbreaking, and I won't cheapen it by clipping bits to include here. Go read the full piece at the New York Times. I'd argue that you'll learn just as much about what kind of person Steve Jobs was in his sister's moving eulogy as you will by reading Walter Isaacson's sprawling biography of him.

One recommendation: before you read Simpson's eulogy, grab a handkerchief. Unless you're carved out of wood, you're probably going to need it.

Mona Simpson's moving eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Talkcast tonight, 10pm ET/7pm PT: Pre-Halloween Edition!

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 3:30pm

It's the night before All Hallows' Eve, and it's time for the creatures of the dark to make their way to their phones, Skypes and VoIP -- yes, indeed, it's Talkcast time! We won't know if you're wearing a costume (well, we will ask you what you're wearing, but we won't ask for proof) but there's sure to be both treats and tricks for our weekly go-round of all things Apple-licious. (Bobbing for Apples can get messy if you don't adequately waterproof your gear, you know.)

Since it's really all about you, the community, join me won't you? To participate, you can use the browser-only Talkshoe client, the embedded Facebook app, or download the classic TalkShoe Pro Java client; however, for +5 Interactivity, you should call in. For the web UI, just click the Talkshoe Web button on our profile page at 4 HI/7 PDT/10 pm EDT Sunday. To call in on regular phone or VoIP lines (Viva free weekend minutes!): dial (724) 444-7444 and enter our talkcast ID, 45077 -- during the call, you can request to talk by keying in *8.

If you've got a headset or microphone handy on your Mac, you can connect via the free Blink or X-Lite SIP clients, basic instructions are here. (If you like Blink, the pro version is available in the Mac App Store.) Talk to you tonight!

Talkcast tonight, 10pm ET/7pm PT: Pre-Halloween Edition! originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple launches three new iPhone 4S ads

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 3:10pm

Apple has kicked its iPhone 4S ad campaign into high gear with three new commercials featuring Siri, the new 8 megapixel camera, and integration with iCloud. All three ads are available on Apple's official YouTube channel, and they're also embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

The new iCloud ad does a really good job of explaining the service in simple terms easy enough for the general population to understand, and the new ad for Siri does a better job than the first iPhone 4S ad in showing off what the "personal assistant" actually does. Expect all three ads to end up in heavy rotation over the next couple of months as Apple pushes sales of its latest device through the busy holiday season.

It's pretty amusing (although undoubtedly coincidental) that the final Q&A in one ad is of a young boy asking "Do you think it will snow today?" with Siri answering in the affirmative. Of course Apple's ad agency couldn't possibly have known about the freak early Eastern US snowstorm this weekend... but then again...

Apple launches three new iPhone 4S ads originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple rumored to be testing new ultrathin 15-inch MacBook

AppleInsider.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 2:56pm
Apple is allegedly prepared to add a new thin-and-light 15-inch MacBook to its lineup in the near future, with one report claiming the company has finished development of a crucial test component.


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iPad 2 + iPad 2 + fake blood = awesome "hole in torso" costume

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 2:00pm

We'll have more costumes today and tomorrow, but this one was too good to not share right now. YouTube user onemeeeliondollars has posted video of a costume he apparently made with two iPad 2s that makes it look like you can see clean through his torso. As he says in the video below, you just cut two holes in a shirt (that's how you make every great Halloween costume -- just ask Charlie Brown), put a little fake blood around them, and then strap two iPad 2s to yourself (they have to be iPad 2s, of course, for the camera).

Then, he set both iPad 2s to run a FaceTime call between them, and voila -- one iPad 2 outputs the video of the other, and vice versa, and you get (kind of) an optical illusion where you can see right through a person.

Ok yes, it's a little hokey, it doesn't quite work perfectly, and you might be risking your iPad 2s (not to mention that your networking setup has to be tuned for your trick or treat route or the party you're attending; for his costume, he says he's using mobile WiFi). As he also points out in the video, if the costume itself isn't fascinating enough, they double as, you know, actual iPad 2s.


iPad 2 + iPad 2 + fake blood = awesome "hole in torso" costume originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jailbreak hack enables Siri on iPhone 4, 4th-gen iPod touch

AppleInsider.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 10:44am
Hackers have succeeded in bringing a limited port of Apple's new Siri voice assistant feature onto "jailbroken" versions of the iPhone 4 and the fourth-generation iPod touch, though they have noted that the workaround is not ready for a public release.


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Halloween costumes inspired by Apple, influenced by Steve Jobs

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 10:30am

Halloween celebrations are underway, and it's time to get those costumes out of the closet. We're hoping that some of you are moving beyond the ghost and the witch of your childhood and looking towards Apple for your inspiration.

So if you're dressing up as an iPhone, an iPad or some other Apple-influenced costume, please post your pictures to twitter or Flickr with the hashtag #applecostume and we will compile them here for everyone to see.

[Image: computerjoe/flickr]

Halloween costumes inspired by Apple, influenced by Steve Jobs originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Talking to Siri: the Wolfram Alpha search tricks video

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/30/2011 - 9:20am

On Friday, I posted a list of ten nifty Wolfram Alpha tricks you could use with Siri. They were inspired from an ebook that Steve Sande and I collaborated on.

After the post was published, we received several emails and comments saying "every time I say Wolfram, Siri hears 'Wolf Ram.' Siri must be broken." On top of that, Mike Rose said he was having issues too. So I made a video to show that everything on that list could actually be said.

I was going to call this the "proof that Mike Rose can't enunciate" video because Mike claims that he can't handle the "say a color hex sequence out loud." Instead, it turned into the "watch Erica butcher classic Monty Python" (because, frankly, airspeed velocity doesn't exactly roll off the tongue -- but on the bright side, I can do a lot of the argument clinic from memory).

Anyway, for those of you (I'm looking at you, Mike) who swore up and down that some of the Wolfram Alpha / Siri examples I posted weren't humanly possible to articulate, well, here's proof.

As for "Wolfram", it's Wolfrum, not Wolf Ram. That should help your recognition rate. Brought to you by the universally recognized "most irritating voice in the universe." If Siri doesn't mind me, hey, that's validation.

Talking to Siri: the Wolfram Alpha search tricks video originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 11:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Siri hacked to work on jailbroken iPhone 4 and iPod touch

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 8:27pm

iPhone experts Steven Troughton-Smith and chpwn seem to have just gotten the iPhone 4S-only Siri working on jailbroken iPhone 4 and current-gen iPod touch units this evening. This bypasses earlier authentication issues. They tweeted their success and posted a screen shot showing Siri working via Wi-Fi (the Airplane Mode icon just means that 3G is turned off, but it is possible to turn Wi-Fi back on even in AM; that's what they did.)

Their success comes just weeks after the iPhone 4S debuted. Since Apple's back-end systems are checking for iPhone 4S devices before processing Siri queries, they managed to work around this limitation. The hack is based on moving compiled code components from a 4S to the older units.

In an interview with 9to5Mac, Troughton-Smith recounts that the Siri transplant was about a 20-step process, and that it does require access to a jailbroken iPhone 4S to work. He has no intention of releasing the mod to the public; this is a proof-of-concept only.

Siri hacked to work on jailbroken iPhone 4 and iPod touch originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple rumored to take on Google's 3D maps with superior technology

AppleInsider.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 8:15pm
Evidence continues to point to Apple actively developing a 3D mapping surface through a combination of acquisitions and in-house development, with recent rumors suggesting that the iPhone maker has acquired a Swedish 3D mapping company.


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Apple acquires 3D mapping company C3 Technologies

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 4:00pm

Apple has extended its mapping services to a number of mapping companies over the past few years. The company has reportedly been working on building its own solution to maps and navigation on the iPhone, beginning with its acquisition of Placebase in 2009 and continuing with a "crowd-sourced traffic" service this year. Although Google and Apple have recently renewed their partnership and kept Google Maps in iOS 5, if Apple makes full use of its latest acquisition, Apple may have no need for Google's services for much longer. In fact, Apple may have something up its sleeve that makes Google Maps look like a dog's breakfast.

According to 9to5 Mac, back in August Apple acquired a Swedish 3D mapping firm called C3 Technologies. Former high-level heads of C3 are now all working within Apple's iOS division, though they're still doing all their work in Sweden. C3 Technologies uses some rather science-fictionish techniques to create photorealistic 3D maps with a breathtaking level of detail. Buildings, landmarks, and geographical features all render in 3D automatically, without mapmakers having to mock them up in CAD.

Using missile technology developed by the Swedish military, C3 Technologies' mapping service is able to create 3D maps with a stunning level of detail. Google Maps has Street View and a couple of other 3D-ish hackarounds, but it's got nothing on the level of what C3 Technologies has shown. This is no pipe dream service that may work on iOS devices someday; in one of the videos below you'll be able to see a C3 rep scrolling through a 3D representation of London in real time on an iPad. That video came out in February of 2011, and the technology is almost certainly even farther along now that Apple has thrown its resources into it.

If Apple is able to implement this tech into a homegrown Maps application, it would blow the current Google Maps app out of the water. The applications for 3D mapping at this level of detail go beyond its obvious utility as a navigation aid -- if third-party app developers were granted access to the Maps APIs, it could be a huge boon to game developers.

Evidence has been mounting for years that Apple is moving away from its dependence on Google for several internet services, presumably because the two companies now find themselves in the paradoxical situation of being direct competitors as well as partners. Apple has already branched out to Yahoo! and Bing for web searches (although Google remains the default), and Siri does an end run around Google for many of its search functions. If Apple can have this mapping technology available in time for iOS 6's release (presumably coming sometime in 2012), Apple may be able to extricate itself from Google Maps once and for all.

Below you can view a video showing an aerial view of Oslo rendered in 3D, plus a second video showing how well the service functioned on a first-gen iPad earlier this year.

Apple acquires 3D mapping company C3 Technologies originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NaNoWriMo: Some helpful hints and tools

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 3:00pm

This morning, I noticed a tweet from @rvbelzen that said, "As a NaNoWriMo veteran, do you have any tips for this NaNoWriMo newbie, maybe an article you wrote about it?" Most of the posts that I've done about National Novel Writing Month for TUAW have focused on the tools, not on the technique. Based on the tweet, I thought I'd give you some hints from a three-time NaNoWriMo winner (that means you wrote a 50,000-word novel in the month of November) about how to prepare for the writing marathon.

Helpful Hints For Writing Your NaNoWriMo Novel

1) Make sure you have a broad outline of your plot and characters in your mind or on paper. This was the hardest part for me the first two years I did NaNoWriMo, as I had a story in my head but didn't spend the time to think of characters or how the story was going to evolve. As a result, those first two novels were only about halfway through the total plot line when I got to 50,000 words. What I suggest is sitting down with your favorite writing tool -- whether that's TextEdit, Word, Storyist, Story Mill, Scrivener, or another other writing tool, and just write a quick outline of how the story is going to unfold. Come up with character names and a rough description, locations, etc., and write them down as well.

2) At some point on November 1st, sit down for an uninterrupted spell of writing. In order to write 50,000 words in a month, you'll need to average 1,667 words a day. I find that setting aside time to write in a place where I'm not going to be interrupted by talk, TV, or tweets is essential. If you're enthusiastic about your story, that 1,667 words is going to flow out of you, and you'll find that some days you're writing 2,500 words. Go for it on those days, because you'll have other days when you need to take a break. My favorite place to write NaNoWriMo novels? The kitchen table. The chair is uncomfortable, so I need to write quickly so I can get out of it ASAP.

3) It's all about words, not about tools. I've noticed over the last few days that I see more and more tweets about "which tool should I use?" There are debates going on about the merits of Storyist versus Scrivener, or using one of the many minimalist writing tools. Here's my take on the writing tools: don't go out of your way to buy a new app that has lots of bells and whistles, because they'll get in the way of writing your novel. Many of the novel-writing apps have ways to write outlines, build character cards, etc. I found these tools to be so incredibly distracting that I finally just started using minimalist tools. You can easily write a NaNoWriMo novel in Pages or Word -- you don't need an "author's tool" unless you really think it will help you. My second NaNoWriMo novel was actually written in TextEdit.

4) Have fun writing. If NaNoWriMo turns into a chore, you're not going to make it. For me, writing fiction ends up being so much different from blogging and writing tech books that it's an absolute joy. I love thinking up characters, putting them in odd situations, and then trying to get them out of those situations while moving the plot forward. Are they well-written novels? Probably not. But it's been a blast writing them. To make writing fun, think about something that either excites you or makes you laugh, and then use that as a key launching point for your novel. This year, I'm resurrecting a character from last year. He's a private detective in the near future (about 10 years from now) who gets involved in some rather bizarre situations like a locked-room murder on a space station and (this year) being injected with nano-particles that cause him to grow.

5) Start fast. Seriously, try to beat your 1,667-word goal every day for the first 10 days. That way, you might be halfway done with the novel by the time November 10th rolls around. What does that mean? You can take a break from writing if you absolutely feel like it, or take more time focusing on a key point of the plot. My wife was a NaNoWriMo winner last year and she totally amazed me by writing almost half of her novel in the first five days of November. I like to start fast and finish at a comfortable pace.

6) Don't focus on spelling or grammar. Once again, this is all about word count. It doesn't have to be perfect. You just want to get the story out of your system and onto the screen (or paper, if you so desire). When you're done at the end of the month, you have a working rough draft that you can then spend time cleaning up. So turn off the spell and grammar check, or ignore the red underlines that mean you misspelled something. Chances are very good that you're not going to publish your book anyway, so who cares if it is filled with misspellings and lousy sentence structure? As long as you're happy with it, that's what counts.

7) Keep your writing to yourself. There's nothing worse than thinking that you're doing a bad job when you're writing. It will absolutely defeat you from getting your novel completed. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during NaNoWriMo is to let somebody else read what you've written. Why? Well, everyone's a critic these days, and the reader will have no hesitation telling you that what you've written is horrible or pointing out mistakes. Wait until December 1, 2011, and let them read it then. Don't even talk about your novel with other folks, unless you're just telling them how much fun you're having and how far along you are.

8) Work through writer's block. Here's something I had issues with the first year I did NaNoWriMo. I was about one-third of the way through the novel and just lost focus. I had thought a lot about the beginning of the book, but didn't have a clue where I was going. Preparation (see hint #1) will help this, but realize that you're going to have days where you just can't get the brain to wrap around writing! What do I do on these days? Try to write anyway. If I need help, I pick up a favorite good book and read parts of it, carefully noting the way that the writer crafted certain phrases or created a twist that caught my attention. That's usually enough to motivate me to write more. Also consider taking a walk or doing something to clear your mind. I find that walking is a great way to get my mind to focus on developing plot points or thinking about dialogue.

9) Back up your novel every single day. I've been lucky -- I've never lost any of my writing. But can you imagine how depressing it would be to get two-thirds of the way through your novel and then lose the file? It would be enough to make you never want to write again! I highly recommend doing multiple backups of your novel file every day. My base document is always sitting in a folder on Dropbox, which means that it's also downloaded to the Dropbox folder on both of my Macs. That's three copies right there, plus I always have a Time Machine backup going. That's four. Am I paranoid enough? Probably.

10) Keep your eye on the goal. That's going to motivate you more than anything. Thinking about getting to that 50,000th word is a daunting thing, but you'll be surprised just how quickly your words will add up. Take the writing one day at a time, try to stretch your daily total over the required 1,667 words, and you'll be a winner before the end of the month. I have to admit that there's no better feeling than wrapping up a NaNoWriMo novel, even when I know that nobody will probably read it. Having done this three times, I'm confident that I can write another novel, and I'm looking forward to that sense of accomplishment at the end of November.

Tools Of The NaNoWriMo Writer

When you're thinking about which tool to use to write your novel, keep hint #3 in mind -- it's about writing, not about tools. I really do get irritated with the annual debates over which app is better than another, but then again I'm an antisocial curmudgeon. I've tried 'em all, but the two apps that I find work the best for me are TextEdit and Microsoft Word. Get a blank piece of digital paper and start writing. I haven't tried Pages, although I'm sure it would work swimmingly in the "typewriter" Lion full-screen mode. Maybe this year?

Most of the writing tools that people spend their money on before tackling NaNoWriMo fall into two camps -- the "Swiss Army Knife" apps that have all the bells and whistles, and the "Minimalist" apps that just give you a blank page and a word count. Here are some examples of both types.

"Swiss Army Knife" Writing Apps

I think I've tried each and every one of these apps at one point or another, and even though I've used them to start NaNoWriMo novels, I've always just transferred my text to another app within a day or two. Your mileage may vary, and you may make use of all of the many features of these apps.

I won't go into a lot of detail about each of the apps; the developers have info for you and in many cases will let you download a trial copy:

Scrivener (US$44.49)

Storyist ($59.99 for Mac, $9.99 for iPad)

StoryMill ($49.95)

Manuscript ($39.99)

Ulysses ($19.99)

CopyWrite ($24.99)

DEVONThink ($49.99): Actually more of an outlining tool, but can be used for writing.

OmniOutliner ($39.99): Once again, an outlining tool that is perfect for writing. Also available on iPad for $19.99.

Minimalist Writing Apps

WriteRoom ($24.99): available for both Mac and iOS ($4.99)

Ommwriter Däna ($4.99): available for both Mac and iPad at the same low price!

Byword ($9.99)

Clean Writer ($0.99): available for Mac and iPad

Writer ($2.99)

Grandview ($4.99)

iAWriter ($9.99): also available for iPad ($0.99)

I'm sure there are a lot more tools available, but I'll leave this as an exercise for TUAW readers to go out and do some research. If you find any, please let us know in the comments. Also, if you're a NaNoWriMo winner and have some additional hints and tips, be sure to write a comment.

By the way, in case you're wondering how long this post is, it's 1827 words. That's more than a person needs to write every day to be a NaNoWriMo winner. YOU CAN DO IT!

NaNoWriMo: Some helpful hints and tools originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iOS 5 and the TUAW iPhone app

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 2:15pm

As those of you using the free TUAW iPhone app in iOS 5 have already seen, there are a few issues with it; missing buttons, some broken functionality, et cetera. While we were expecting that the AOL team handling mobile development for us & all our sister sites would have an update ready for the iOS 5 release, that didn't happen. I was told that as of October 28, an update would be submitted to Apple. AOL has a QA process for mobile apps, and several bugs popped up once iOS 5 hit.

I did receive a new build to test on Thursday, and I'm happy to report it works well with iOS 5. That said, I do not yet know if the latest version of our app has been submitted for App Store review. Therefore, on Monday, October 31, I will ask our mobile team to provide me with an update and ETA for a properly-functioning iPhone app (noting that Apple's review process is obviously outside our control).

If the word is still "we hope to submit it this week," I will most likely pull the current app from the store so that no more new users will be wondering why an Apple blog's iOS app doesn't work. I'm hoping not to have to do this, as it won't do anything for the existing users who are frustrated and unhappy; I can only tell you that I'm just as frustrated and unhappy as you are, possibly more so.

Also, if you're wondering about an iPad app, you should check out Engadget's Distro app. Would you like this same treatment for TUAW? I have watched Distro in development, and while I think it's a cool way to skin the site into a magazine-like format, I still feel that it lacks some of the filtering and sorting tools our users would expect. That said, I also realize it is almost 2012 and we still don't have an iPad app, although our site works perfectly well in Mobile Safari.

Just as with our iPhone app, we must rely upon the mobile development team within AOL, and that team doesn't exactly have TUAW at the top of its priority list (we're sort of the pinky toe of the AOL content universe). If and when we're able to put TUAW into something like Distro, I'll be the first to let you know.

Thanks to everyone who sent in bug reports. I hope to have better news for you in November. In the meanwhile, I would encourage you to check out our site in Mobile Safari. Unlike when we used to call iOS "iPhone OS," the latest version of Safari in iOS doesn't crash miserably when loading TUAW. Those were good times, weren't they?

By the way, if you're wondering why our app has a 17+ rating, that's because Apple requires it on any app which allows you to "go" to the full web within the app (the theory being you'll go from TUAW to some inappropriate site -- Apple can be weird this way). So if we remove that option, we can lower the age limit. Unfortunately, that option is very handy sometimes. Let me know in the comments if you'd rather we ditch our web view in exchange for lowering the age limit.

My apologies for the bugs, the lack of communication and lack of an iPad app. We hope to fix things soon.

iOS 5 and the TUAW iPhone app originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to use PhoneView to fix your iPhoto camera roll woes

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 1:30pm

If the Camera app and Photos app on your iPhone disagree about the contents of your camera roll, you may find yourself needing to get "under the hood" of your iPhone to fix the issue. Fortunately, you can do this without having to jailbreak and hopefully without losing any pictures.

You may know the name Ethan Marcotte from the world of web design, particularly the idea of responsive web design. This week Ethan posted on Twitter that he was having a problem with his iPhone.

The Camera app saw pictures in his Camera Roll, but the Photos app claimed the Camera Roll was empty. This was preventing iPhoto from synchronizing his pictures.

The first problem was figuring out how to get all the pictures off his iPhone. The second problem was figuring out how to getting the Camera and Photos apps to agree about the contents of his camera roll.

A few years ago, when I had a similar problem with my iPhone camera, I was able to solve the problem using Ecamm's $20 Mac utility PhoneView.

I've written about PhoneView before, and two years ago Dave Caolo even wrote about fixing a bug in iPhone's camera roll, but obviously this is still an issue.

PhoneView gives you access to the data on your phone, regardless of whether it is jailbroken or 'vanilla.' Obviously there are some limitations to what it can access, but for things like pictures and music it can be invaluable.

The first step is to enable the "Show Entire Disk (Advanced Disk Mode)" preference in PhoneView. Turning on that feature will pop up a disclaimer that if you aren't careful you can cause data loss. Let's proceed with caution, but without undue fear.

Once you have Advanced Disk Mode enabled, click on the "Disk" folder under "Data" and look for the two folders highlighted here: DCIM and PhotoData.

Select both of those folders (as shown here), and then click "Copy From iPhone" from the toolbar. This makes sure that you have a local copy of the information, including your pictures and videos. You must confirm that you have all your pictures and videos before continuing.

Aside: there may be another folder called "Photos" which I believe contains the pictures which are synchronized to your iPhone from your Mac via iPhoto or Aperture. Leave that alone.

Once you are sure that you have copied all of your pictures and videos from your iPhone to your Mac, click the "Delete" button.

Now, unlock your iPhone and take a new picture, and you should find that the iPhone has re-created the necessary folders and started a new fresh Camera Roll. Problem solved.

PhoneView costs $19.95, however a free demo is available. Check out the website for a fuller description of all the various features that PhoneView offers. It's definitely worth the cost if you want to backup lots of various pieces of information such as SMSes, phone call lists, even voicemails.

How to use PhoneView to fix your iPhoto camera roll woes originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Mac Feeds

Apple-themed pumpkin carving for Halloween

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 9:15am

The good folks at MacRumors have done us all a favor and rounded up all of the Apple-themed pumpkins they've seen this year so far. Most of them, like the one carved by Sbrocket seen above, have focused on Steve Jobs in some way, which makes sense given that everyone's still thinking about Steve and his influence. But all of these pumpkins are very well done -- I'd love to see them sitting out at a party or on a curb this Halloween.

If you're carving a pumpkin and you happen to end up with an Apple-related design (sure, the Apple logo is pretty easy, but maybe try an app icon or an old Mac design?), be sure to take a picture and send it to us here at TUAW. We've love to check it out! You can post it to Flickr with a #tuaw tag, or give us a Twitter reply @TUAW.

Apple-themed pumpkin carving for Halloween originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Mac Feeds

iBaby monitor: Keeping an iOS eye on your little one

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/29/2011 - 6:00am

One of the nicest things about Apple's iOS mobile operating system becoming ubiquitous is that accessory manufacturers are coming out with some wonderful devices that work with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. The latest is one that new parents are going to love: the iBaby Monitor (US$199.95) from iBaby Labs.

Of course, you don't have to use the iBaby Monitor to look after a baby. The iBaby Labs website asks the question "Who's your baby?," pointing out that you might want to keep an eye on your dog or cat, an elderly relative or friend, or your house while you're out and about.

Design

The iBaby Monitor is a Wi-Fi connected webcam with built-in microphones, infrared LED night lighting, and a swivel base. The device is attractive -- made of white plastic, it's relatively unobtrusive and fits in just about anywhere.

Once it is set up, the Monitor can be placed anywhere there is a power outlet. The company includes a mount that can be used to place the camera out of reach on a wall if desired.

Functionality

I'd rate the setup of the iBaby Monitor as "somewhat easy." What I mean by that is that it isn't as drop-dead simple to set up as the Stem Innovations iZON camera, but it can still be accomplished by just about anyone using the Quick Installation Guide that comes along with the device.

To start the setup, you must be near a Wi-Fi router with an open Ethernet port. There's a small white "rubber duck" antenna that is plugged into the back of the Monitor to give the device relatively good range. The iBaby Monitor comes with an AC power adapter that is plugged in prior to setup, and then you run the included Ethernet cable between the router and the device.

Gallery: iBaby Monitor Wi-Fi Webcam

While the iBaby Monitor goes through a set of warmup exercises, you download the iBaby Monitor app to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. This free app is used for the rest of the setup process. It was at about this point that things went a little awry in the setup. I have a Foscam Wi-Fi webcam set up in our house, and the iBaby Monitor app kept finding it, but didn't seem to be able to find the iBaby Monitor. I canceled out of the setup, and then noticed that the app had found both the "iBaby 1" and "RubyCam 1" Wi-Fi webcams, so I switched it over to iBaby 1 to continue the process.

From there, things went swimmingly. As soon as I had a Wi-Fi connection from the device to my iPhone, I could see the image and the app asked me to disconnect the Ethernet cable. After the initial setup, you can pretty much move the camera to any location near a power outlet and plug it in.

The iBaby Monitor, like my old Foscam webcam, can be swiveled over a wide range. Unlike the Foscam, which didn't come with any Mac or iOS software, the iBaby Monitor is controlled by just swiping the screen in the direction you wish to move the camera. The camera has a 350° pan range, and can also tilt up and down over a 70° range. That's great for coverage of a complete room, and with the wide-angle lens that's built into the camera, you see everything.

There are also infrared LEDs built into the camera for illuminating a dark room without waking the baby or Grandma. The lighting has a range of about 16 feet, so you won't want to set up the iBaby Monitor too far away from your intended subject.

If you're watching baby and babysitter from work, you might want to hear what's going on as well. The camera has two nice little microphones that pick up sounds and transmit them to the app. My favorite feature? You can plug speakers into the speaker ports on the back of this camera and actually talk to the person on the other end. This would be perfect for yelling at your new puppy just before she's about to relieve herself on your nice imported Turkish rug.

You're not going to be able to connect to your iBaby Monitor via 3G; it's just too slow. You can also view the video feed via a PC app or on the web. The website instructions were supposed to be in the Owner's Manual that was not included with the device, and the links to download a PDF version of the manual were not working at the time of this review. The device has a default DDNS address, user name, and password listed on it, but I was unable to attach to the device via a web browser. If the Owner's Manual becomes available before I return this device to iBaby Labs, I'll see if I can use a browser to view the feed.

One final feature set to talk about: the app has toggles for two alarm types -- a motion alarm and a sound alarm. I liked the way that the motion alarm worked; small motions didn't set it off, but somebody or something walking into a room was enough to make the iPhone start chiming. I never could get the sound alarm to chime, but it might be more attuned to the sound of a baby screaming.

The app was definitely made in China (along with the device itself) as the built-in FAQs use a charming mishmash of Chinglish to explain how to use the iBaby Monitor and app. (Note to iBaby Labs: you can hire me to do a proper English translation of the FAQs for the next version of the app.)

Conclusion

If you're looking for a really nice baby shower gift for a friend, or if you'd like a webcam that will work well with your iOS devices, then pony up the $200 and buy the iBaby Monitor. It has very few flaws, and the control provided by the free app is very good. The microphone and speaker ports are really the icing on the cake, though. This would be great for someone who was out of town on business but wanted to talk with the person or animal on the other end of the monitored connection.

For absolute ease of setup for a non-controllable baby monitor and the ability to monitor via 3G, I'd recommend the less expensive iZON Remote Room Monitor ($129.95). But if you want the ability to pan and tilt the camera, want to see what's going on in a darkened nursery, or want the two-way sound capability, drop the extra $70 for the iBaby Monitor. You'll be very happy that you did.

iBaby monitor: Keeping an iOS eye on your little one originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 29 Oct 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Mac Feeds

YouTube adds over 100 original channels in Google's bid for the living room

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 11:15pm
Coming on the heels of a major Google TV overhaul, YouTube has announced over 100 new channels as Google pushes for a stronger presence in consumers' living rooms.


Categories: Mac Feeds