Mac Feeds

You're the Pundit: What's up with the Mac Pro?

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 6:00pm

When it comes to forecasting the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today's topic is the Mac Pro.

The powerhouse of the Mac universe, the Mac Pro is a hard-working mainstay for video editors, graphics shops, and other professional use. With Apple turning almost overwhelmingly towards producing consumer products, and with the higher end iMacs providing screaming power and great peripheral support, does the Mac Pro have a future?

You tell us. Place your vote in this poll and then join in the comments with all your predictions.

View Poll

You're the Pundit: What's up with the Mac Pro? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Categories: Mac Feeds

'60 Minutes' features previously unheard interviews with Steve Jobs

AppleInsider.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 5:52pm
Ahead of Monday's release of the authorized biography of Steve Jobs, CBS news magazine 60 Minutes offered a closer look at the book and the life of the Apple co-founder.


Categories: Mac Feeds

Talkcast, 10pm ET tonight: Ten years of iPod

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 4:30pm

It's a decade of iPod today, and that's what we're talking about tonight. Bring your iPod stories, your expectations for the future, and your good humor to that weekly confab we call the Talkcast.

Since it's really all about you, the community, why not call in? To participate, you can use the browser-only Talkshoe client, the embedded Facebook app, or download the classic TalkShoe Pro Java client; however, for the best talkcast experience, 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 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. Talk to you tonight!

Talkcast, 10pm ET tonight: Ten years of iPod originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Great Siri search commands

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 3:00pm

TUAW reader Harris Rydal sent in a bunch of terrific suggestions for using Siri's built-in search features without having to do a lot of typing. These are exceptionally useful ways of taking advantage of Siri-to-Safari tasking.

Sports scores - Look up the current score for in-progress games and find the team record, last game score, and the upcoming game. Say "Yahoo team name score". Rydal points out "There is a 'Yahoo' here because mobile Yahoo formats the results better than Google."

Flight Times - Say "Search the web for flights from City/Airport to City/Airport". In Google, this brings up a list of flight times that day and the associated airline.

Movie Times (and Ticket Purchasing) Say "Search for Movie Name showtimes Optional ZipCode", or if Siri will let you, you may get away with simply "Movie Name showtimes Optional Zipcode". You can also "Search for showtimes Zipcode".

Rydal points out that if you've set Google in Safari to use your current location, you don't even need to specify an area code. Google's Fandango integration allows you to click the showtime and hop over to the ticket purchasing page.

Great Siri search commands originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Steve "finally cracked" the TV puzzle, says bio

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 1:00pm

We're seeing an unending stream of tidbits from the new biography of Steve Jobs to be released tomorrow.

Author Walter Isaacson, who interviewed Jobs extensively has this interesting passage as quoted by Razorianfly:

"He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant."

"'I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,' he told me. 'It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.' No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. 'It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.'"

This will add to rampant speculation about Apple pursuing something beyond the Apple TV, which Jobs always referred to as a 'hobby'.

I hope Apple moves ahead with it. I can't think of another consumer electronics device that would benefit more from an Apple upgrade.

As it is today, handling a DVR, searching for shows and dealing with a TV program guide in any way is a method that could have been designed by the architects of the Spanish Inquisition.

I've had both Comcast and DirecTV, and it's no fun interacting with either. There have been some iPad and iPhone apps that ease the pain a little, largely because you get a keyboard instead of 'cursor hell' when trying to enter text, but so much more could be done. Think about what Apple brought to the whole experience of using a cellphone.

Come on Apple, we've suffered enough.

Steve "finally cracked" the TV puzzle, says bio originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPod 10th anniversary: Apple design exhibit at MKG Hamburg

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 11:15am

Since we're celebrating a decade of iPod today, it's a perfect time to share our photos from the Stylectrical exhibition at the MK&G museum in Hamburg, Germany. This collection features scores of Apple products (largely from the reign of design chief Jonathan Ive) alongside some of the industrial designs from other companies that informed, or were influenced by, the clean and functional Apple aesthetic. Check out the 'wall of iPods' that covers the full decade-long arc of the music player.

Gallery: Apple Design "Stylectrical" exhibit, Hamburg

Some of the most remarkable juxtapositions in the exhibit come with the pairings of mid-20th century Braun products with the Apple designs that follow their distinctive looks. The three postcards from the exhibit (shown above) feature designs by Dieter Rams for Braun that would seem perfectly in place on the tables of an Apple Store, save that they were produced in the late 1950s and early '60s.

Rams' influence on Ive's designs is widely acknowledged -- witness the iOS Calculator app, which is a dead ringer for the Braun ET66 calculator -- but there's a difference between knowing that and seeing it right in front of you. The exhibition is a must-visit for any Apple fan passing through Hamburg between now and mid-January. Don't miss the art gallery of prints from photographer Michael Tompert; his 12LVE project destroys Apple products (ow!) in the service of beautiful and haunting images.

Enjoy the gallery of products and displays. Thanks to the Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe and curator Ina Grätz for inviting us to visit. Reader Neil Curtis also toured the exhibit and sent us the video walkthrough below.

Photos by Michael Rose, (C) 2011. All rights reserved.

iPod 10th anniversary: Apple design exhibit at MKG Hamburg originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 13:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dear Aunt TUAW: My iPhone won't stop talking to me

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 9:30am

Dear Aunt TUAW,


While playing around with his new iPhone 4S Monday evening, Tim's phone started responding to every touch to the screen -- identifying vocally everything he touched and giving instructions about what to do there. He can't figure out how he turned the function on -- and he sure can't figure out how to turn it off.

Your loving nephews,

Jim and Tim

Dear Jim and Tim,

Accessibility enhancements open up the iPhone to users with a range of disabilities. iOS features allow users to magnify (or "zoom") displays, invert colors, and more. VoiceOver provides a way that visually impaired users can "listen" to their GUI. The VoiceOver service converts an application's visual presentation into an audio description.

Don't confuse VoiceOver with Voice Control or the Siri Assistant. VoiceOver is a method for presenting an audio description of a user interface and is highly gesture-based. The latter two terms refer to Apple's voice recognition technology for hands-free interaction.

As this Apple tech note details, you can control accessibility settings either from iTunes (easier for most visually-impaired users) or directly on the iPhone. To disable VoiceOver on the phone itself, navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver. Switch the VoiceOver option from ON to OFF.

Unfortunately, with VoiceOver turned on it can be tricky to get into Settings in the first place. If you have the triple-tap Accessibility setting turned on, you can try pressing the home button three times quickly, then double-tapping the "Turn VoiceOver Off" button. If triple-tapping does nothing, just push the Home button once. That will get you to the main page with the Settings app. Then use a series of tap-followed-by-double-tap selections to launch Settings, and then to move to the correct Settings page. Use triple-finger swipes to scroll the screen if needed.

Once disabled, the mysterious voice will be gone. Auntie hopes it wasn't too traumatic for you.

Hugs,

Auntie T.

Dear Aunt TUAW: My iPhone won't stop talking to me originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 years ago today, the original iPod changed music

TUAW.com - Sun, 10/23/2011 - 8:15am

Happy 10th anniversary to the iPod! It was introduced at a low-key Steve Jobs presentation on October 23, 2001, when the country and the consumer electronics market were still reeling from the events of six weeks earlier. The 5 GB device designed to put "1,000 songs in your pocket" wound up not only being a smashing hit, but paving the way to a revolution in how music and movies are purchased today, not to mention preparing the ground for the iPhone and the iPad.

The iPod was a game-changer on a number of levels, and we at TUAW decided to share with you our memories of our first iPods. We'll also be talking iPod history live tonight on the Talkcast.

Megan Lavey-Heaton

I was living in Bristol, Tenn., in 2004, working for the Bristol Herald Courier just over the state line in Virginia for a meager wage. That June, I began dating another journalist who worked for the Knoxville newspaper. After my laptop literally fell apart, my boyfriend offered to help me purchase a new computer.

After getting the computer and a new modem, we hauled the stuff out to the parking lot at Best Buy, and I asked my boyfriend to open the trunk so I could put our gear inside. He hesitated, saying I had a lot of junk in the trunk. Because I was holding some expensive items, I urged him to open it again. He opened the trunk, and sitting before me was a 15 GB 3rd generation iPod I'd been wanting for months. He'd been planning to surprise me with it at his house.

My relationship with that first iPod lasted much, much longer than the relationship with the boyfriend. We broke up after nearly seven months of dating. I kept the iPod until December 2006, when I got a 5th generation iPod so I could watch video. That first iPod saw me through two cross-country moves (Tennessee to Maine, then Maine to Arizona) and more. I passed the 3rd generation iPod down to my eldest niece, who used it another year before the battery and hard drive gave up the ghost.

Now, in addition to an iPhone, I have a 5th-generation iPod nano that I keep in the car and a 1st-generation iPod shuffle that I won at work that I use as an emergency USB stick. I've also sort of had my eye on the 6th-generation iPod nano.

"I was thinking I could use it as a watch," I told my husband.

My husband, who wouldn't be caught dead buying an iPod, but I still love him anyhow, just groaned.

Mike Rose

I had owned a RIO piece-o-junk MP3 player and had been studiously converting my CDs using SoundJam MP, so I was already familiar with the concept when the iPod came along, but it still seemed so remarkable -- five gigabytes of music on a hard drive? Who could even listen to that many songs? I had to buy one, and I did, telling myself I would use it as an external FireWire drive for troubleshooting and data transfer if the whole music thing didn't work out.

I used that 5G original iPod for quite a while, but then in a strange series of coincidences, I found myself in an upgrade cycle I didn't have to pay for. Between raffle drawings and tradeshow giveaways (an iPod mini, a nano, and eventually a first-gen iPod touch) and right-time/right-place happenstance (a boss who must have been feeling kindly toward me when he upgraded his iPod video, since he let me keep the old one) I don't believe I put my credit card down to buy a new iPod more than once or twice in the ten years after that first purchase.

My original iPod has long since been hand-me-up'ed to my mother; she was subsequently the recipient of the mini and now has her own iPhone 4. The nano and the touch have made their way to my two daughters. One clickwheel iPod is tucked away in my wife's kit bag, where she used it extensively with an external mic to record grad school lectures; the other one is embedded in a V55 5" video playback system that's been quite thoroughly obsoleted by recent developments.

I don't think any of us seeing the original iPod announcement back in October 2001 could have imagined what was to come... truthfully, we were all a little bit distracted at the time. What's remarkable now is the utter dominance that the iPod held over the portable player market, and eventually over the entire music ecosystem. To take such control of the category, only finding a shrinking sway when the entire product concept is being replaced by touchable devices -- it's been a wild ride.

TJ Luoma

I bought my first iPod in 2003, a 30GB model which only recently stopped working. It was my gateway to the Mac. My PC laptop didn't have FireWire so I bought a PC card adapter. That let me sync but didn't charge the iPod while it was syncing, which was a drag.

I had tried at least a dozen other MP3 players and always ended returning them. The iPod "just worked" and was so much better than everything else I'd tried. Sure, it cost more, but it actually made me want to use it, and it lasted about 6 years before the battery wouldn't hold a charge. It lived out its last years in my car, always plugged into a power adapter and working fine until one day it simply would not spin up.

A small memorial was held for family and friends.

Chris Rawson

I didn't get my first iPod until 2005. I'd wanted something like it since before the iPod even existed -- carrying CDs around in the car or in a portable player was always more trouble than it was worth -- but I felt the first several generations of iPod were simply far too expensive for what they offered. The low capacities, monochromatic screens, and high prices were all huge turn-offs.

The 60 GB iPod Photo finally offered the right mix of functionality and price, so I bought one ... exactly two weeks before Apple unveiled the much more capable fifth-generation iPod with video. Fortunately my local Apple Store was kind enough to let me exchange for the new one (after paying a restocking fee, naturally), and the iPod with video became my primary means of listening to music for nearly four years.

I must have spent tens of thousands of hours listening to that thing, whether it was on cross-country car trips, commutes to university, riding the train to work, working out, or the 13-hour plane ride to New Zealand. I bought some games for it (Tetris was absolutely awesome on the iPod), kept notes and a handful of funny videos on it, and even used it for dictation a couple times with an external mic attachment. Through all of that, it kept trucking on like a champ.

One day at Target I saw a returned second-gen iPod shuffle sitting in the electronics department, marked down significantly from its normal price -- I think it was $39. I snagged it, but I've hardly used it at all since then, except in situations where I was afraid of damaging one of my more capable devices. Though my wife loved her first-gen nano and her newer sixth-gen model, I've never found anything particularly enticing about the nano lineup, which once again fell into a features/price situation that never convinced me I needed one.

Immediately after buying my first iPod, I wished for something that combined a device with the functionality of an iPod with basic phone functions. I would've been happy if Apple had just put out something that held a few gigabytes of songs, made phone calls, and let me sync my contacts, photos, and ringtones via iTunes -- even something like the ROKR would've been good enough if it had been able to hold 1000 songs instead of only 100. The iPhone turned out to do all that and much more, and it pretty much killed any enthusiasm I had for the entire iPod line. My iPhone 3G had far lower capacity than my iPod, but in every other way it was a far more capable device, so I sold my trusty old iPod and haven't looked back.

It's not a big stretch to say that the iPod is the product that saved Apple from the brink. It was also the first brand-new Apple product I ever bought, and though it's unlikely I'll ever buy another iPod, I've been hooked on Apple's other, more powerful mobile devices ever since.

Steve Sande

My first experience with the iPod was in 2002. I was fascinated by the idea of the iPod, but thought they were way too expensive so I went and bought a Creative NOMAD Jukebox MP3 player. I hated it. The user interface made no sense to me at all, and it took just a few days for me to pack it back in the box and send it back to Amazon.

The next week, I headed over to a nearby CompUSA store (remember them?) to look at the pricey, but oh-so-cool iPod. I ended up buying the 10 GB model, although at the time I had barely begun to rip my CD collection. I remember being totally enchanted by the 1st-Generation iPod, complete with that mechanical click wheel. It was so easy to use compared to that crappy NOMAD that it wasn't too long before I had ripped my CDs and created a pretty huge music library.

My experiences with the iPod resulted in me writing a book that was later published by Take Control Books as Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music. In that book, I talked about using the iPod as a PDA, running Linux on an iPod, and a number of other fascinating things that really went beyond just listening to music.

I've owned several iPods since then, although I haven't used one for listening to music since getting my first iPhone in 2007. I still have a 4th-generation iPod classic that I use as a troubleshooting tool, and I'm not sure that I'll ever get rid of it. It reminds me of that 1st-generation device that hooked me on the design, and it will make a good "museum piece" along with my QuickTake 100 camera and Newton MessagePad 2100.

What was your first iPod experience? Please share it with us in the comments!

10 years ago today, the original iPod changed music originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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You're the Pundit: When will we see Siri on the iPad 2?

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 7:00pm

When it comes to forecasting the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today's topic is hands-free operation on the iPad.

There's no technical reason that Siri can't run on the iPad 2. The iPad 2 has all the resources iOS needs, and knowing TUAW friend Steven Troughton-Smith's ingenuity, a prototype probably will be fully operational within a few weeks.

But Apple has never been all about the hands-free on its iPad line. Unlike the iPod touch and the iPhone, the iPad has never supported Voice Control, aka Siri's older and less attractive aunt.

So why isn't Apple pushing hands-free onto its hugely successful iPad? What's holding them back?

You tell us. Place your vote in this poll and then join in the comments with all your predictions.

View Poll

You're the Pundit: When will we see Siri on the iPad 2? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Former Compaq CEO now loves his Mac

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 5:00pm

Forbes is reporting a fun story about former Compaq CEO Ben Rosen. Seems Steve Jobs and Rosen met in 1999, and Jobs tried to convince Rosen, then at Compaq, to license the Mac OS. It never happened, and Steve reportedly had second thoughts about it all anyway.

Fast forward to 2007. Rosen writes Jobs a letter that says in part:

"Well, after a 20-plus year interlude with that other OS (necessitated by my Compaq involvement), I thought you'd be pleased to know that for the last few years I've returned to my roots. I'm once again an avid Apple user and evangelist.

Imagine, Ben Rosen, former Compaq Chairman, now a Mac enthusiast!"

Then Jobs replied:

"Sorry for my delayed reply - I was on a much needed family vacation for the past three weeks.

Wow - this news makes my day! I'm glad to hear it. I hope you like what we've done with the Mac. I'm biased, of course, but I think its light years ahead of Windows."

You can read more Ben Rosen memories of Steve Jobs at his blog. Written, no doubt, on his trusty Mac.

Former Compaq CEO now loves his Mac originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Creating a shopping list with Reminders and Siri

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 3:00pm

Cliff Joyce of Pure Blend Software introduced me to my favorite way of putting together shopping lists in Siri.

Start in the Reminders application and create a new list. To do this, tap the Lists but-ton at the top-left corner of the application. It looks like three lines on top of each other. Then tap Edit > Create New List ... and enter the name Groceries. Click Done. Once you have added a new list, you can refer to that list in Siri.

After creating the list, you can add items to it with simple requests whenever you think of something new you need to buy. Tell Siri "Add eggs to my Groceries list".

Siri asks you to confirm the new item. Just say Yes, and Siri adds it for you.

When you're at the market, just check off the items as you buy them. Couldn't be easier.

One more thing? If you're on a diet, this is an excellent way to keep logging what you eat, a little at a time.

Creating a shopping list with Reminders and Siri originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fitbit releases iPhone app for fitness tracking on the go

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 1:00pm

Since the beginning of October, I've had a constant companion -- a Fitbit Ultra fitness tracker. It's been tracking my activity (or lack thereof), my sleep, and the number of flights of stairs that I go up and down. But until earlier this week, I had to visit the Fitbit website to enter in other information such as what I was eating, how many glasses of water I've had to drink, etc... Now Fitbit has released an iPhone app to give Fitbit owners a way to track or enter fitness and nutrition data on the go.

To use the app, you need to have a US$99 Fitbit or Fitbit Ultra registered with the Fitbit service. Unfortunately, the app does not let your iPhone or iPod touch communicate directly with the Fitbit -- for that, you still need to be within 30 feet of the charge/sync dock to have the device transfer information. It would be nice if Fitbit would figure out a way to get the device to communicate directly with the iPhone so traveling users don't have to lug around a laptop and the little dock in order to transfer the fitness info.

What I like about the iPhone app is that I'm much more likely to track my food and water intake when I have the app at my fingertips rather than needing to grab a computer to enter the info. You can also see how many steps you've taken, how many calories have been burned so far today, how many calories you can ingest for the rest of the day, and how much water you've had to drink. It's also nice to see a history of your weight, although I prefer using WeightBot ($1.99) for that.

Gallery: Fitbit App for iPhone

This first go at a Fitbit app is quite well done, and it's a must for all Fitbit owners. Be sure to check out the gallery to get an idea of how the app works.

Fitbit releases iPhone app for fitness tracking on the go originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Al Gore praises Apple Board at All Things D conference

TUAW.com - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 11:00am

Al Gore, Former Vice President and member of the Apple board of Directors, sat down with Walt Mossberg at the recent AsiaD conference held in Hong Kong last week. Besides environmental issues and politics, Gore also talked about Steve Jobs, Apple and its board of Directors. Gore has served on Apple's board since 2003.

Gore had nothing but good things to say about the members of Apple's Board of Directors and praised them for making difficult decisions throughout Steve Jobs's protracted illness.

I have the deepest respect for my fellow board members, we're all very good friends... I think that people who specialize in kibitzing about these things - I respect them, it's good for them to think about this kind of stuff, but I wouldn't change a thing about the way the Apple board has operated.

Apple's board has been criticized in the past for withholding information about Steve Jobs's illness and for not publicizing its CEO accession plan.

Al Gore praises Apple Board at All Things D conference originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First "Steve Jobs" review finds biography worthy of its subject

AppleInsider.com - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 5:39am
The first review for Steve Jobs' biography says that any book written about the Apple co-founder's life should adhere to the same rules of intelligent design the subject lived by, and "Steve Jobs" does just that.


Categories: Mac Feeds

Steve Jobs trusted Tim Cook to "know exactly what to do"

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/21/2011 - 7:21pm
Excerpts from Steve Jobs' upcoming biography have been leaked online, giving new insight into the relationship between the Apple co-founder his eventual successor.


Categories: Mac Feeds

iPhone used to record parts of Marvel's 'The Avengers' feature film

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/21/2011 - 6:06pm
It was revealed on Thursday that the cinematographer filming 'The Avengers' used an iPhone to shoot footage for the upcoming high-budget film.


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Dear Aunt TUAW: What is this "Voice Control" thing?

TUAW.com - Fri, 10/21/2011 - 5:00pm

Dear Aunt TUAW,

I discovered by accident that I can hold down the home button on the iPhone 4 and it brings up Voice Control. I don't remember this being there before. Is this some sort of Siri light functionality for the iPhone 4? I can use it to makes calls and FaceTime someone, but not much else.

Your loving nephew,

Douglas

Dear Douglas,

Think of Voice Control as Siri's, well, not Mom...maybe Siri's Aunt? Yeah. Exactly. Voice Control is basically an older, less stylish version of Siri -- far more approachable, slightly less sexy. And with a worse sense of humor.

First introduced on the iPhone 3GS, Voice Control offers hand-free dialing and basic music controls. As with Siri, you can press and hold the Home button to bring up the assistant. There you can say "Call Dave at Home" or "FaceTime Steve" or "Next Track" or "Play Songs by Parry Gripp" (Auntie is a huge Parry Gripp fan). When Voice Control is running, recommended, speakable phrases scroll across the screen.

You can use Voice Control on the 3GS and later and on newer model iPod touches. If you disable Siri on the 4S or haven't gotten around to enabling it, the 4S uses Voice Control instead. Apple has never really done the whole hands-free thing on the iPad, which is a shame because Auntie thinks that Siri would rock on the iPad, but that's the topic for a whole different post.

Hugs,

Auntie T.

Dear Aunt TUAW: What is this "Voice Control" thing? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple estimated to sell over 42 million iPhones this quarter

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/21/2011 - 4:43pm
Investment bank UBS on Friday estimated that sales of Apple's iPhone will top 42.5M units worldwide, boosted by international iPhone 4S launches.


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Amazon introduces new HTML5-based eBook format

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/21/2011 - 4:19pm
Amazon on Friday announced a new HTML5-based e-book format called Kindle Format 8 (KF8), that will allow publishers to create content with rich formatting and advanced design elements tailored to the company’s tablet and e-reader lines.


Categories: Mac Feeds

Spooky fun: iOS apps for Halloween

TUAW.com - Fri, 10/21/2011 - 4:00pm

I love Halloween. As kids we anticipated the night we'd canvas the neighborhood in plastic costumes, visiting house after house. Especially that one crazy lady who dressed as a witch and tried her best to scare us.

We had fun, but we didn't have iPhones. Today a slew of digital treats lurk inside the App Store. Here's a selection of our favorites.

Getting ready

There are prerequisites to Halloween fun. You've got to choose a costume, carve a pumpkin and set a creepy mood. Here are some apps to get you started (all prices are USD).

Costume Decider (Free) Can't decide on a costume? Let your iPhone help. This app from GS Design features two "wheels" for you to spin; one features adjectives such as "super" and "Vulcan" while the other offers nouns like "nurse" or "granny." Flip through the 625 possible combinations to find a winner. We'd like to see a Vulcan nurse, actually.

Haunt Finder ($2.99) Trick-or-treating not your thing? Check out Haunt Finder, a mobile database of haunted houses and and other frightening attractions across the US. Powered by HauntedHouse.com, Haunt Finder will list all the spooky goings-on within 200 miles of your current location. Listings include a description, distance and URL.

Halloween Soundlab ($0.99) If you intend to host a Halloween party, you'll need an eerie soundtrack. Halloween Soundlab offers 13 spooky loops that can be played solo or in combination to produce a horrifying soundtrack.

Kids

Like many other holidays, Halloween is mostly about the kids. Help them channel that sugar-fueled energy with a bit of iOS fun.

Carve It ($0.99) Carve a virtual jack-o-lantern with Carve It from ABCya. There's no sharp knife, fistfulls of goo or burning candle to worry about. Plus, if Jr. makes a mistake, he can just start over. Choose from 8 characters and enjoy the mini-game (it's kind of like Plinko) once the novelty of carving virtual pumpkins wears off.

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin ($0.99, universal) This app is based on one of my kids' favorite Halloween books. Poor Spookely isn't like the other pumpkins in the patch, he's a cube! A not-so-spooky soundtrack enhances the charm of Susan Banta's illustrations.

Halloween Postage ($1.99) If your kids are like mine, they adore looking at themselves. Embrace that tendency with Halloween Postage from RogueSheep. Take a photo of your costumed children and then add a postcard theme, creepy effects, titles and more. Finally, share it with far-flung family and friends via email, Facebook and more.

Reading

The air is getting cooler, the days getting shorter (here in the northern hemisphere at least) and the time is right to curl up with a good, scary book. Of course, we suggest doing so with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Here are a few Halloween suggestions.

The Masque of the Red Death ($0.99) This digital interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's classic tale is rather unique. As you read, a soundtrack creates an effective mood. It's more than music, though. Actions described in the text can be heard in the soundtrack: doors slam, maidens scream, chandeliers crash to the stone floor. As you read, the app notices your pace and times these sounds to almost the very moment you read the corresponding words. It's uncannily accurate and a lot of fun.

Incidentally, the Vincent Price movie is also quite good.

Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition ($4.99) Here's another enhanced book app. This title goes beyond a soundtrack by offering lots of fun stuff to do. As you read, you'll swing a lantern to reveal text, open letters tucked inside envelopes and blow the leaves off of a tombstone. You'll also find vintage photographs from the Dracula legacy, some released for the first time with this app. It's an unusual reading experience -- more of a game than a book -- and a lot of fun. Plus, it's got the full blessing of the official Stoker Family Estate.

Mickey's Spooky Night Puzzle Book ($0.99) Here's one for the kids. Mickey's Spooky Night Puzzle Book from Disney offers a cute tale plus a few fun activities. Read the story and then complete the various puzzles. You can even record your own voice, turing the app into a personal read-along.

Games

Forget bobbing for Apples, we've got A5 chips! Here are a few picks for iOS gaming, both light-hearted and hardcore.

Plants Vs. Zombies HD ($6.99, $2.99 for Plants Vs. Zombies for iPhone) It'd be impossible not to mention this smash hit from PopCap Games. It's a tower defense game with an undead theme. You're job is to stop the invading horde from entering your house by hurling all matter of plants at them. It sounds crazy and it is. Crazy fun!

Dark Meadow ($5.99, universal) Built on the Unreal Engine, Dark Meadow is serious fun with serious graphics. Part first-person-shooter and part puzzle game, your job is to unravel the mystery of the abandoned mental hospital, battle baddies and eventually escape. There's a lot of story here, nice battle mechanics and good looks.

Monster Dash ($0.99, universal) This platform shooter has you blasting away all sorts of bad guys across various worlds, from back alleys to ancient Egypt and icy tundras. Grab yourself a jet pack for high-flyng fun.

There you have it, a dozen apps to enhance All Hallow's Eve. Have fun, and don't eat your candy all at once.

Spooky fun: iOS apps for Halloween originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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