Apple made much ado of the Lightning connector it launched side-by-side with the iPhone 5, but what we’ve known about it has been limited outside of the presence of an authentication chip. Double Helix Cables’ Peter Bradstock has delved deeper and tells AppleInsider that there’s some clever wiring that clinches the reversible design. While Lightning’s power supply is truly symmetrical among the contact pins, the data isn’t — which suggests a chip inside is redirecting data to keep the plug working as intended. The technique helps explain why Apple would need any elaborate circuitry in the first place. No matter the wizardry inside, Bradstock doesn’t see any cut-rate Lightning alternatives being useful in the near future: as it’s unlikely that anyone outside of Cupertino knows how the authentication works at this stage, clone cables may amount to little more than heaps of metal and plastic ~ Jon Fingaz
(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)
commentary Apple supporters triumphantly cheered on the company after it sold 5 million iPhones over the weekend. Wall Street, however, was disappointed by the figure after seeing the long lines on Friday.
The correct reaction probably lies somewhere in the middle. Perhaps a polite golf clap? For analysts, it was a classic case of hype feeding into the estimates, which ramped up to as high as 10 million for the first weekend, numbers that even a powerhouse like Apple couldn’t hope to achieve.
“We find it unfortunate that some analysts continue to publish irresponsible estimates without taking into account realistic demand trends and potential supply constraints,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee.
On the flip side, while 5 million is an impressively high number, and is 1 million better than last year’s iPhone 4S launch, it isn’t a genuine indicator of the longer-term appeal of the iPhone 5. There was so much pent-up demand that Apple would have sold out of however many phones it had in stock. The truth behind that first weekend statistic that Apple proudly proclaims is the number isn’t really as relevant as you might think. It’s a nice figure to boast about, window dressing, and it certainly fuels the hype and illusion that Apple is invincible. But in reality, that’s about it. There are too many factors, including supply issues, the availability of its phones in key markets, and reaction to the competition, to really make a judgment on whether the company’s latest phone will suitably carry on the legacy of success that its predecessors enjoyed. The true test of the phone’s longevity in the market won’t come until after the key holiday season, when many high-profile smartphones start to see a pullback in sales and the euphoria of the recent iPhonelaunch hype has long faded away.
Now, any company would kill to sell 5 million units of anything over the weekend, but the iPhone runs at a higher standard. Sales of the iPhone 4 were amazingly resilient, and hung on to the top spot at AT&T for more than a year (it was also helped by its introduction at Verizon Wireless). Conversely, sales of the iPhone 4S had an initial pop, but began to fizzle as the months went on. Yes, it remained a top-selling phone, but its momentum couldn’t match the previous iteration.
The iPhone 5 is poised to pick up where the iPhone 4 left off. Despite criticism that it isn’t drastically different, the phone addresses the key concerns of iPhone users, namely the larger display and a faster 4G wireless connection. Those two, alongside the thinner and lighter design, may convince consumers that it’s worth the upgrade. Despite the initial disappointment, Wall Street remains as bullish as ever. J.P. Morgan yesterday said it estimates Apple will sell 50 million iPhonesin the fourth quarter. For the quarter ending on Saturday, the firm estimates 25 million units will be sold. Sterne Agee’s Wu said the noise over the launch and the following disappointment didn’t change his estimate. He still believes the company will sell 27 million this month and 46.5 million in the quarter ending December 31. While the stock may have sold off yesterday, there remains a lot of optimism around Apple.
(Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNET)
There are some hurdles for Apple to reach those lofty expectations. For one, the company’s decision to use a new, thinner display is causing some supply shortages, according to reports. The various suppliers are having trouble producing the volume of screens needed to meet the high demand. The supply issue is one of the reasons analysts blamed for the big discrepancy between their estimates and Apple’s actual sales figure. Another unknown is whether Apple will be able to expand the availability. In China, hundreds of millions are waiting for the iPhone to show up at China Mobile. Getting the iPhone to China Mobile is important because it’s the world’s largest wireless carrier with more than 650 million subscribers, or more than twice the combined customer base of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile.
Beyond internal issues, Apple and its new iPhone 5 face unprecedented competition. Its biggest rival, Samsung, has already launched a campaign mocking the iPhone lines that even some fans have admitted contains genuine insight into the silliness of the whole affair. For once, its rivals can already boast of those key features in many of their smartphones.
Google unit Motorola has already tweaked Apple for the maps flap, and its lineup of Droid smartphones are an attractive alternative.
The holiday season is poised to get even more crowded with a slew of Windows Phone backed by a massive push from Microsoft, vendors such as Nokia and HTC, and carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T. For the carriers in particular, the iPhone is no longer the phone to have, since it’s available virtually everywhere. There is also a lot of incentive to promote other phones, since they require a lower subsidy and consequently weigh less on their profits. Apple’s iPhone 5 will be successful; there is little doubt of that. But how much of a success remains to be seen, and one weekend’s worth of data isn’t nearly enough to make a call yet. ~ Rodger Cheng
IPhone 5 Limits Set to Spark Samsung Discounts in Europe
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone 5, which bars customers of some European carriers from accessing the fastest available mobile networks, will prompt those operators to cut prices for handsets from rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) The iPhone 5, which went on sale today, will connect to fourth-generation wireless networks in Europe that run on an 1,800 megahertz band, favoring carriers who do have a network attuned to that frequency, including Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) and its British EE venture with France Telecom SA. (FTE) Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) and Telefonica SA (TEF)’s O2 unit will only be able to offer the iPhone 5 on their slower 3G networks.
The restrictions of the iPhone 5 will “push Vodafone and many other European operators harder into the arms of Samsung,” especially as the South Korean company’s popular Galaxy line of phones includes a 4G version that is compatible with their networks, said Robin Bienenstock, a London-based analyst for Sanford C Bernstein. With the iPhone 5 predicted by analysts to become the fastest selling technology gadget in history, subsidies and promotions will help operators that only offer the device on slower networks to keep customers. Vodafone lost its top spot in the U.K. to O2 after failing to win the exclusive rights to the first iPhone in 2007.
The device became Telefonica’s best- selling phone ever and two-thirds of the clients coming to its U.K. network were poached from rivals. Upgrade Discount O2 plans to offer iPhone 5 customers with a long-term contract the chance to upgrade to a 4G phone once the operator’s own 4G service is available, according to Telefonica spokesman Simon Lloyd. The carrier will chip in 10 percent of the cost of buying out the contract and pay the taxes, he said. The new networks, based on long-term evolution, or LTE, technology, allow users to watch videos, stream music or perform other data-intensive tasks at a faster speed. EE, the largest mobile-phone operator in the U.K., said this week that the new 4G service is five times faster than is currently available. Samsung vaulted to the top of the global smartphone market by introducing a variety of Galaxy models using Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software.
While the iPhone is the most popular smartphone, Android is more widely used, showing up in devices from Samsung to HTC Corp. (2498) Galaxy S III Samsung said this month that sales of its latest Galaxy S III, which has a bigger screen than the iPhone 5 and also works with 4G networks based on different frequencies, topped 20 million units. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) unveiled a lineup of Lumia models this month with the most recent Microsoft Corp. Windows Phone software, aiming to win back market share with better camera and mapping technology. Customers in Sydney, Tokyo, Paris and New York lined up for the iPhone 5 today.
Queues of more than 1,000 people gathered in Frankfurt and London this morning as loyal Apple customers raced to get the latest device. Piper Jaffray Cos analyst Gene Munster predicts that 10 million iPhone 5 may be sold this weekend. Shares of Samsung climbed 1.2 percent to close at 1,302,000 won in Seoul. In German trading, Apple slipped 0.2 percent to the equivalent of $701.10 as of 10:56 a.m. in Frankfurt. Nokia dropped 0.6 percent to 2.19 euros on the Helsinki exchange. Subsidy Question “The question for operators now becomes in the near term – – how sticky is Apple’s software versus the better speeds of the Samsung Galaxy’s, and how much subsidy will be put behind this,” Bienenstock said. Vodafone and O2 offer 4G devices from Samsung, LG Electronics Inc. (066570) and HTC that are able to run on the operator’s 4G networks based on frequencies other than the 1,800 MHz band.
In the U.K., EE said Sept. 11 it will start the service and give pricing details in coming weeks. The U.K. auction of 800 MHz and 2,600 MHz frequencies is set to begin later this year, allowing a general rollout of faster data services in 2013, regulator Ofcom has said. Vodafone has opposed EE’s move to start 4G services ahead of an upcoming auction of frequencies, saying it was “shocked” by Ofcom’s approval of the service, which creates a “competitive distortion.” “We’ll have to work a bit harder and we’ll have to work with other devices,”
Vodafone Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford said last week. “We’ll be looking at the pricing and competitiveness of those devices.” To be sure, EE’s LTE network isn’t widely available — rolling out in 16 British cities by Christmas — and as the first entrant in the U.K., the burden will fall on them to introduce customers to the new technology and market its benefits, said Gyanee Dewnarain, a London-based analyst at researcher Gartner Inc. (IT) “They’ll have to do the work to educate the mass market,” Dewnarain said. “The mass market doesn’t have a clue what LTE is.” By the time they do, Vodafone may be ready to offer its own service, she said.
Apple’s iOS 6, the latest iteration of its mobile operating system was released yesterday and before some people have even managed to download the update it seems the ingenious developer community have already managed to come up with a tethered jailbreak using the latest version of the Redsn0w tool. The speed of some jailbreaks is really quite remarkable and we have all the details below but you need to be aware that this won’t work with all devices.
Hackers seem to be particularly quick at jailbreaking new iOS’s as the last few were jailbroken within a day of release by the dev community. Only a couple of days ago we told how one hacker advised those with jailbroken iOS devices not to update to iOS 6 until a jailbreak was available for it. We also then told about the iOS 6 TinyUmbrella app to save SHSH blobs. Now the Redsn0w iOS 6 jailbreak is available but a significant point is that this will only work with some iOS devices, namely the A4-based iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4th generation. Also as mentioned earlier this is a tethered jailbreak and there is not yet an untethered jailbreak available.
News of the Redsn0w tool jailbreak for iOS 6 came to us from Redmond Pie and came from the creative minds of the iPhone Dev Team. As usual we cannot recommend jailbreaking your device and anything that goes wrong is totally your own responsibility. Nevertheless we know that many people out there do enjoy the freedom of a jailbroken device so we will give you the details if you wish to take advantage. You’ll probably already know that if you want to go ahead with a jailbreak you’ll need to do a full backup of information but if you rely on unlock then you should avoid updating to iOS 6 at the moment.
You’ll need to download the newest Redsn0w version for either Mac or Windows from the source provided in the Redmond Pie article linked to above. You will also find full step-by-step instructions on how to perform the jailbreak process as well as how-to boot tethered on iOS 6 and also how to install Cydia on iOS 6 as the latest version of Redsn0w doesn’t do this by default. No doubt there will be many happy iOS 6 jailbreakers using any apps they choose on their devices very shortly.
Please remember this jailbreak is only for the A4-based iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 4th generation. It will NOT work for the other devices that support iOS 6, namely the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3 (new iPad) and finally the iPod touch 5th generation. We’re interested to hear from readers about the iOS 6 jailbreak with the latest Redsn0w tool.
BANGKOK – IPhone fanatics lined up in their droves across Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong to pick up the latest version of Apple Inc AAPL -0.49%.’s smartphone Friday. But enthusiasm also raged in Thailand – a country where the iPhone 5 won’t go on sale until later this year.
Customers here are flocking to crowded shopping warrens such as Mahboonkrong in downtown Bangkok to place deposits on phones smuggled in from places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and even the United States. One vendor in MBK – as it is known – said his team will try to bring over 100 phones into Thailand, and so far more than 80 people have handed over deposits of 5,000 baht, or $160, per phone.
- Bloomberg News
- People wait in line outside the Apple store on George Street in Sydney on Friday.
This contraband comes at a price, however. The an unlocked, top-end 64 gigabyte iPhone 5 will cost 43,000 baht, or $1,387, compared with about $927 in Hong Kong. The cheaper 16GB version goes for 35,000 baht, with the 32GB version selling for 39,000 baht.
“There is very high demand here, that’s why the prices are so high. Many people want to be among the first to have the new iPhone, but nobody knows exactly when it will go on sale in Thailand,” said a vendor who asked not to be identified, adding that this was a “golden time” for MBK’s phone traders. “If you want one, you’d better make a deposit now,” he said.
The first batch will arrive at MBK at around noon on Saturday, traders said. “If you want to see some pandemonium, come then,” one added.
The new iPhone will cost much less when it makes its official launch in Thailand later this year, and will set back customers around the same it costs them to get an unlocked iPhone 4S at present.
What is less clear is when the new phones will be available. Representatives at the DTAC network run by Total Access Communications sa DTAC.TH +2.59%id they don’t know when they will be ready to sell the iPhone 5 in Thailand. An official at rival network Advanced Info Service said that it might be able to have the new phones available for subscribers at the end of this month, potentially giving the first batch of iPhone buyers just a couple of weeks of posing time before the rest of the country can get their mitts on them.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)
It appears that Apple’s iPhone 5 isn’t going to escape the ongoing legal battle with Samsung Electronics.
Samsung said it would add the recently unveiled smartphone — which has already seen record pre-sale figures and which will hit stores tomorrow — to a list of products accused of violating its patents, according to Reuters, citing U.S. court documents.
Samsung confirmed that it would pursue the iPhone 5.
Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models. Samsung plans to file a motion to amend its infringement contentions to address the iPhone 5 as soon as it has had a reasonable opportunity to analyze the device.
The two companies are in the midst of a bitter legal war over intellectual property. Apple recently scored a big victory over Samsung in a Federal court in San Jose, Calif., but the two companies have several existing lawsuits going on in different countries around the world.
Samsung has already taken its case to consumers; the South Korean conglomerate released an ad yesterday slamming the iPhone 5 and people waiting in line for Apple products.
Analysts, meahwhile, believe that the iPhone 5 could be poised for record sales spurred by pent-up demand from consumers who skipped the last refresh, the iPhone 4S.
After a year-long gestation, iOS 6 is upon us. The latest version of Apple’s operating system for iPad, iPhone and the iPod touch is smarter than ever, with slicker graphics, better iCloud integration and easier sharing. It ships on the iPhone 5, and is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, fourth and fifth-generation iPod touch, and the second and third-generation iPad.
Here’s CNET UK’s pick of the 50 best tips, changes and must-have features for iDevice users everywhere.
The iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have long shared one of the best mobile email clients currently available. In iOS 6 it’s been given a subtle dab of polish.
1. VIP senders
Some emails are more important than others. Sometimes it’s the subject that determines their importance, but more often than not it’s the sender. Add really important senders to your VIP list and their messages will be sorted into a dedicated VIP inbox, so if you’re pushed for time you can just read them and ignore everything in your regular inbox. Think of it as Apple’s take on Google’s Priority Inbox feature for Gmail.
To save a sender as a VIP, open one of their messages, tap their name in the From field and then tap Add to VIP. A small star will appear beside their address to indicate that it’s been added to the list.
2. Email pull to refresh
The circular arrow email refresh button has disappeared from the mail app’s interface.
To update your inbox in iOS 6, simply drag it down past the top of the message listing, as you would to update your Twitter stream, and release when the stretched icon snaps.
iOS 6 benefits from beefed-up sharing tools for all of the core apps.
3. Facebook integration
iOS 5 introduced Twitter as a core service. iOS 6 extends that honour to Facebook, which was rumoured to have been Apple’s first choice when developing iOS 5, and was for some reason switched out late in development.
Facebook and Twitter are both managed through the Settings App. Scroll to the end of the default applications settings to find them and add your details in the appropriate boxes to enable posting to either service without using a third-party app.
4. Facebook and your Contacts
Give Facebook access to your Contacts list and it will match up anyone listed on your phone who is also a friend on Facebook.
Not only will this enable you to post updates to them directly, but it’ll also draw down their Facebook photo and use it to populate the photo field for their record in the Contacts app.
5. Post from Notification Center
As Facebook and Twitter are built in, you no longer need to use bespoke apps to post to either of them. So, if inspiration hits when you’re sitting on the bus, whichever app you’re using, you can swipe a finger or thumb down from the top of the screen to open Notification Center and use the Tap to Tweet and Tap to Post boxes to send an update directly.
6. Send multiple photos
Previously it was only possible to email photos one at a time, unless you went through the tedious process of copying and pasting them individually out of the Photos app and into your message. With iOS 6, you can select up to five photos at once and send them all out in a single email.
Open the Photos app, tap edit and then tap on each of the photos you want to send. Now tap Share to call up the various ways in which you can dispatch them and tap Mail to drop them into a new message.
Note that the sharing sheet is content sensitive, so if you select more than five images, the Mail option disappears. Reduce the selection to just one image and the Twitter option, which is missing from the grab to the right, reappears.
7. Shared Photo Streams
Photo Stream already makes it easy for you to view images shot on your iPhone from your iPad. Now Shared Photo Streams goes some way to restoring the Gallery feature that disappeared when Apple shut down MobileMe in favour of iCloud.
Create a Shared Photo Stream by opening Photos, tapping Edit and then tapping on each of the images you want to include. Now tap Share and select Photo Stream. Give the new Stream a name, include an address for the person with whom you want to share it, and decide whether or not you want the website on which they’re stored to be made public. The person to whom you sent it will receive an email containing a link to your shared photos.
8. Enable Shared Photo Streams
Shared Photo Streams are turned off by default, so before you use them for the first time, you’ll need to turn them on through Settings > iCloud > Photo Stream > Shared Photo Streams.
iOS 6 takes your privacy seriously, and although there are plenty of opportunities for you to integrate your data with third-party applications, such as allowing Facebook to peep at your contacts, it’s easy to shut down those that shouldn’t be seeing everything.
9. Restrict your applications
The centralised options pane at Settings > Privacy lets you restrict particular data types, with lists of which applications have requested certain types of data.
Each one is accompanied by a slider allowing you to revoke its access with a single tap.
10. Hide yourself
The iOS Location Services layer provides data based on your current position so that applications like Maps can plot your location. It also means the camera can geolocate your images so that when you import them into an application like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or a sharing site like Flickr, it’s easy to see where they were taken.
Again, you can revoke access to this data for each app in turn, but because it’s potentially sensitive, you can also switch it off system-wide by opening Settings > Privacy > Location Services and tapping the slider at the top of the screen to move it to OFF.
11. Do Not Disturb
It’s not just when you’re in the library that you might want to quieten down your phone. That’s why Apple implemented Do Not Disturb.
One tap on this option in the Settings app and your iPhone falls silent until you disable it.
In case you should forget, it places a moon icon beside the clock to remind you that it’s set not to disturb you.
12. Shhh… I’m sleeping
You can set Do Not Disturb to activate automatically during set hours. That’s good news if you sleep with your phone beside your bed (don’t forget to set the hours to expire before any alarms you’ve set to wake you up), and for anyone who doesn’t want to be disturbed while working (teachers stood at the front of a classroom, for example).
Set the hours during which Do Not Disturb should kick in by tapping Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb > Scheduled.
13. Hear from those who matter most
It’s all very good being able to take yourself out of circulation like this, but what if you’re a parent with a kid who’s had an accident or is locked out of the house? In this instance you should set some exceptions to let through calls from those who matter most.
Set up a new list in Contacts and add to it those who should be excused from calling you when your phone is set to Do Not Disturb, then go to Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From and select your new list.
14. Permit persistent phone calls
Anyone else who needs to get through in an emergency will likely try your phone several times in quick succession.
If they call again within three minutes of their first call they’ll cause your phone to ring if you set the Repeated Calls slider to ON.
Safari for Windows missed out on an update the last time Apple shipped a new release. On the Mac and iOS though, it’s stronger than ever.
15. Full screen on iPhone
The iPhone has always been a great device for browsing the web, in large part because of its high resolution. In iOS 6 you can make it even better with a single tap: turn your iPhone to landscape orientation and tap the double-ended arrow on the toolbar to remove the bar and address box, and enjoy your sites full screen.
16. Reading list
Sometimes you don’t have time to read everything you find in one sitting, and you end up with a screen full of tabs. Rather than leaving them open, save each one to your reading list by tapping the shortcut button and selecting Add to Reading List.
Not only will this bookmark the page in your List, which you can find by tapping the open book icon followed by the pair of glasses at the bottom of the drop-down dialogue, but it also caches the page content so you can read it offline. It synchronises it with Safari running on your Mac and other iOS devices so it’s accessible from anywhere.
17. Synchronise your browsers
iCloud can also synchronise your browser tabs if you turn on the Safari sync feature through Settings > iCloud > Safari. Once active, it populates an iCloud tab dialogue in the iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 versions of Safari on each of your devices, so you can quickly switch between the same set of tabs on each platform. You can tell on which device each page is opened as they’re organised into logical groups, with the device name as the header of each group.
18. Swap your search engine
This was possible in iOS 5, but it’s worth remembering that you can switch the default search engine.
In its virgin state, Safari always directs you to Google, but you can change this to Yahoo or Bing if you prefer by picking one from Settings > Safari > Search Engine.
19. Search within the current page
You can also search the current page from the same search box as you would use for Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Type in your keyword (in the grab, right, I’ve used Samsung), and then scroll to the bottom of the results list to the line where it says how many times it’s been found in the current page.
Tap this line and you’ll return to the page, with each result highlighted. Use the left and right arrow keys on the toolbar to step backwards and forwards through the list of results.
The new iPad clock in iOS 6 has a beautiful set of Swiss faces at the top and a world map below plotting the locations of your chosen cities.
20. Add new cities
You can add your own destinations by swiping the faces to the left and tapping an empty face on the next screen to pick a new city. As you do, cities already on the map will shuffle around to make space for the new one.
When you fill up a whole screen of faces, a new one will become available in the same way that you can have several different screens full of apps. Whichever run of clocks you’re looking at, the map will always display every destination you’ve selected.
21. Check the weather worldwide
The iPad doesn’t have a weather app, but if you just want a quick idea of what’s happening around the world, you can do so with the clock. Each icon on the map is accompanied by an icon showing current conditions, along with the temperature.
22. Tap to set an alarm
The clock also allows you to set an alarm, as it does on the iPhone. Tap Alarm at the bottom of the screen and the ‘+’ icon at the top to open the alarm tumblers. Rather than scrolling through them until you reach the time you’re after though, it’s quicker to double-tap on the grid in the time slot where you want the alarm to sound.
23. Drag to reschedule
Rescheduling works in just the same way. Hold a finger on one of the alarm blobs and drag it up and down to set it later or earlier. Anything set later than the current time will be left in the column for today. Anything set earlier than the current time will be moved into that time slot for tomorrow, since you’ve already missed it today.
24. Cancel an alarm
To cancel an alarm, tap Edit, followed by the delete icon beside each one in the list that drops down.
Find a lost iDevice
Apple has built on the success of Find my iPhone with a dedicated Lost Mode in iOS 6.
25. Activate find my iPhone
To use the new Lost Mode you need to make sure that Find my iPhone (or Find my iPad) is active on your device. Turn it on through Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone, then return to the Home screen.
Note that switching this on could result in data about your current location passing through Apple’s servers.
26. Switch to Lost Mode
If you lose your iPhone or iPad, log in to icloud.com/find and switch to Find my iPhone. This searches for your device, and if it has an active network or phone connection, it will plot it on a map so you can see where it is. You can now wipe it or put it into Lost Mode.
Lost Mode lets you set a passcode on the device and display a phone number on the screen asking the finder (or thief) to call you. They can do this directly by tapping Call from the screen that pops up on the iPhone, without having access to any of its other features.
27. Check your email
When your iPhone or iPad are in Lost Mode, keep an eye on your email as it will keep on sending you updates of its current location, which should make it easier to find. Don’t take any risks and try to recover a stolen device yourself. Pass details of its location to the police or relevant authorities.
A smarter shopping experience
Apple is not just about the hardware and software of its devices, it also offers well-stocked stores for buying goodies to play on them. In iOS 6, each has been given a lick of paint.
28. Improvements to iTunes
iTunes is only used for buying music, movies, audiobooks and TV programmes in iOS, not playing them back as with the Mac and PC. The old rigid box-based look of this longest-running of all Apple stores has a fresh new look, with a coverflow-style carousel at the top of the page promoting Apple’s chosen products.
29. Post your purchases to Facebook
Ping, Apple’s own iTunes-based social network, is set to close. In its place, you can now ‘Like’ tracks and albums on Facebook from right within the iTunes Store.
Open a track or album listing, tap Reviews and you’ll find the Facebook like button immediately above the ratings.
30. App Store Enhancements
Likewise, improvements to the App Store mean you can get a better view of your search results, with large panels for each one showing larger headline grabs.
Compared to this, the iOS 5 app store looks positively pokey.
31. iBooks bolstered
The iBookstore is a far more pleasant place to look for some new reading material, sporting the same Coverflow interface as the Music Store. This allows you to swipe through the various offerings or drill down into individual sections and lists of top-selling books and popular authors. Books available for pre-order are marked with an orange price sticker, as you can see in the grab below.
Maps marks perhaps the biggest change in Apple’s latest OS. As well as dumping Google’s YouTube app in this release, it’s also switched away from using Google Maps in the Maps application, instead relying on its own map data, plus directions from TomTom.
32. Textures and depth
Maps now have more depth thanks to improved 3D rendering, even on the older second-generation iPad. A 3D button in the corner of the display lets you switch between a regular top-down and slanted view, through which you can gaze across the landscape. Dragging and twisting the view shows off the 3D lay of the land at its best.
33. Take the world for a spin
Satellite maps render very quickly on a consumer broadband connection, and it’s easy to move around them by dragging and letting go, which causes them to slide along and then glide to a stop. Putting two fingers on the map and twisting them around lets you get a different view of the scene by turning it in the same way you’d twist a physical map. This works in both 2D and 3D modes, and tapping a compass icon in the top corner quickly reorientates the map so that north is at the top again.
34. Buildings with depth
It’s not just the landscape that’s been rendered in 3D either — so have the buildings in some key cities. San Francisco, which you can see in the grab below, is a great example, in which the buildings really do rise up out of the ground.
35. Clearer directions
The new directions engine from TomTom produces very similar routes to the iOS 5 implementation, but the way they’re presented is now far clearer.
Large motorway sign graphics at the top of the screen highlight each turn, and sliding them left and right across the screen moves forwards and backwards through the route, updating the map view below.
36. Traffic problems
Maps has long been capable of showing you where there are hold-ups and slow traffic courtesy of coloured lined on the road (you’d be advised to avoid routes dotted red as they’re congested). Now, though, you can also see what’s causing the hold-up as a series of icons on the map highlight accidents, alerts and roadworks. Tapping on them calls up a floating panel giving further details.
As soon as magazines and newspapers started to create their own apps, our iOS home screens began getting very cluttered. Apple solved this problem in iOS 5 by introducing Newsstand, a special folder to contain them all.
Now it’s done the same with vouchers, tickets and loyalty cards in the form of Passbook, an iPhone-only tool that doesn’t appear on the iPad.
37. Collect tokens and vouchers
Passbook is a simple folder for the various digital tickets and slips that previously would have been rendered in cardboard or plastic and slipped into your wallet.
Vendors can send you vouchers or membership cards, plane or train tickets and so on in an email, or allow you to download them from a website.
So long as they’re compatible, they’ll be neatly filed in Passbook.
38. Location awareness
Passbook documents can be set to be location aware. This would allow a coffee shop loyalty card to pop up on your Lock Screen, for example, when it detected that you were walking past the shop’s front door.
When you popped inside, it would be ready for the barista to scan the barcode or QR code, or type your details into the till so that you could collect or redeem your points, or enjoy a discount.
39. Automatic updates
Sometimes the information on a Passbook document will change after it’s been issued. Airline tickets are a prime example here, as the flight time or gate could change at the last minute. Flipping over the ticket by tapping the ‘i’ in the bottom corner will let you check that it is authorised to accept Automatic Updates, which would enable the airline to push the amended data directly to your phone.
40. Securely shred old tickets
In much the same way that you should get into the habit of shredding old tickets and receipts from your wallet, you can shred the expired contents of Passbook. Flip around any voucher you don’t need any more by tapping the ‘i’ in the bottom corner and then tap the trash icon and confirm that you want to delete the selected pass.
Passbook will run it through the shredder and remove it from your wallet.
It’s easy to forget that the iPhone is actually a phone, as well as everything else. Naturally, the features in this section, while being integral to iOS 6, only work on the iPhone and not the iPad or iPod touch.
41. Swipe calls to reveal options
As well as the regular answer and decline options, you now have several other ways to quickly handle incoming calls. Swipe up on the screen rather than tapping either button when a call comes in to open up the menu, from which you can dispatch a text message or set a diary note to call them back.
42. Decline politely
There are often times when you don’t want to take a call right away. For these occasions, set up your iPhone to reply to the caller with a text message. You can set three default messages to handle calling them back later, telling them you’re on your way, or asking them what they want through Settings > Phone > Reply with message. If none of these is appropriate, tap Custom to type a new message on the spot.
43. Remind yourself to call back
Alternatively, tap Remind Me Later to send the caller to voicemail and then specify when you want to be reminded to call them back.
As well as an option to call in an hour, you can be reminded when your iPhone detects either that you’re leaving your current location, or you’re arriving at the location saved on your own card in Contacts as your home address.
It uses the integrated GPS receiver and Wi-Fi IP look-ups to determine when this might be and where you are.
Best of the rest
There are literally hundreds of tiny improvements in iOS 6, but we’ll sign off with seven handy but not essential add-ons that give it a little extra spit and polish.
44. Split personalities
In iOS 5 and earlier, it was only possible to set a single signature, which was used by all of your email accounts, meaning you signed off in the same manner on both your personal and business messages. This isn’t always appropriate, so iOS 6 now lets you set signatures on a per-account basis if you choose.
45. Podcasts push off
Podcasts are no longer part of the Music application. They’ve been hived off into an app of their own called, naturally enough, Podcasts.
It’s a free download from the App Store and includes a comprehensive catalogue of available subscriptions and downloads in both audio and video format.
46. More noises
With increased ways of getting in touch with friends and family — and a commensurate broadening of the ways in which they can get in touch with you — there are more ways to be notified.
There are now more events for which you can set alert sounds, along with a built-in alert tone store selling current songs available for use as tones.
47. Panorama photography
Panoramic photography, which has been common on consumer digital cameras for many years, finally comes to the iPhone in iOS 6, without the need for a third-party app.
All you need do is sweep an iPhone 4S or 5, or a fifth-generation iPod touch across the scene in front of you and it’ll stitch together up to 240 degrees of the view, either vertically or horizontally. This feature doesn’t work on older iPhones or any iPad.
48. FaceTime goes mobile
This one is dependent on your phone network provider, but FaceTime can finally be used over 3G and 4G connections. Previously it was restricted to use only over Wi-Fi. So long as you have sufficient data left in your monthly bandwidth allocation, you can now video conference from the train just as easily as you can from home.
49. Siriously useful
Siri was conspicuous by its absence from the new iPad, but upgrading it to iOS 6 adds in the Siri features that were missing. Previously the only part of Siri that these devices could use was the dictation tool. Other improvements to Siri are largely aimed at a US audience, although it does now support more languages than it did at launch, and Apple is adding to its repertoire by the day.
50. The four-finger shuffle
Gestures are nothing new — they’ve been part of iOS for the last few releases, but if you can learn just three, they’ll do a lot to prolong the life of your iPad by saving you from clicking the Home button quite so often as you do on an iPhone.
Put all four fingers on the screen, slightly spread out, and slide up to reveal the task switch bar. If you want to cycle through your applications, swipe them to the left and right instead of sliding them up. And if you want to return to the home screen from any application, put all four spread-out fingers and a thumb on the screen and bring them all together to close your current app.
On Wednesday, Apple released a software update for the iPhone to Northern America that, among other changes, replaces the Google maps that have been on the phone since 2007 with Apple’s own maps. So far the feedback from reviewers and early adopters of the new software is that it is attractive but suffers from holes and glitches.
For example, some have found that searches for an in-town destination can pull up an entirely different city, and there is no built-in information about public transportation.
Apple’s previous versions of iOS, its mobile software system, included a Maps app that was made by Apple but powered by Google’s mapping service. In iOS 6, the latest version, Apple has replaced the old app with a new version that uses mapping data collected or purchased by Apple itself.
The company has been preparing for this change for a while as Google, with its Android software for phones, has come to be more of a competitor than a partner. Over the last three years, Apple has acquired three mapping companies.
On the bright side, the new Apple-powered Maps app includes some features that were not in the old version, like spoken turn-by-turn directions and Flyover, a feature that shows 3-D models of buildings in major cities.
The colors in the Apple maps sparkle a bit more; zooming and panning is faster. Yelp, a popular review site for businesses and restaurants, supplies data for location searches. And iPhone users can ask Siri, the voice-powered assistant, to tell them how to get somewhere.
But because Apple is relatively new to mapping, it has a lot more work to do before its service is as robust as Google’s.
Anil Dash, a New York-based entrepreneur, was critical of Apple and its maps on his blog, writing that Apple had “used their platform dominance to privilege their own app over a competitor’s offering, even though it’s a worse experience for users.” He complained that a search for “Bloomberg” failed to turn up the company’s headquarters, and one for an address on Lexington Avenue pulled up a street in Brooklyn, even when “NY, NY” was specified.
Trenton Fuller, an iPhone and iPad owner and a computer systems administrator in Louisville, Ky., said he liked the look of the Apple maps but found similar problems.
Mr. Fuller said he did a search for Heine Brothers, a popular coffee shop in Louisville, but substituted “Bros.” The map service could not find the shop until he typed its name in precisely. Google Maps, in contrast, was able to find it, even with spelling variations. And the Apple service came up with an inaccurate street address for Mr. Fuller’s office.
“Not being able to find businesses or points of interest without spelling a name 100 percent perfectly could cause some grief,” Mr. Fuller said. “That problem combined with inaccurate street addresses could be superfrustrating.”
Despite the problems, Mr. Fuller said he did not regret his decision to order the new iPhone 5, which will come with the new software installed when it is released on Friday.
For public transit schedules, Apple gives the option for customers to tap on a tab inside the Maps app and download a third-party transit app for their city, though the quality of these may vary.
Google could build its own maps app for Apple devices and submit it to Apple for approval. It declined to say whether it would do so. Brian McClendon, vice president for engineering for maps at Google, would say only that the company wanted to make its maps available to everyone.
All iPhone users will continue to be able to reach Google’s mapping service through a mobile Web browser, a method that is somewhat clunky compared with an app. (The Google site prompts users to create a Google Maps icon that resides alongside app icons on the iPhone.) Users who choose not to upgrade to the new Apple operating system or buy a new iPhone will be able to keep using Google’s maps, and there is no indication that either Google or Apple will stop providing that service.
As more people use Apple’s maps, the company will learn how to improve them. There are 400 million devices running iOS, so it may only be a small matter of time before millions of people have the new maps. Over the next year or two, Apple’s maps should become as good as Google’s for most people, said Scott Rafer, chief executive of Lumatic, a company that has developed a transit app for iPhones.
“What no one’s talking about is map usage is a lot more important than any of this crazy software” that Google’s maps may have, Mr. Rafer said.
Google executives, though they will not talk directly about Apple’s maps, are reminding people that Google is coming to the fight with years of expertise, and a lot of data of its own.
Google, which has offered maps since 2005, has taken photos of streets in 3,000 cities for its Street View service, photos that help it ensure the accuracy of its maps. And it has information about one million transit stops around the world, including things like photos of the inside of Tokyo subway stations and directions on which exit to use.
“It takes a long time and effort to figure out how to do this right,” Mr. McClendon said. “Experience is important.”
On the same day that Apple released iOS 6, Google introduced some small updates to its Android maps, like the ability to see a list of places that a user had previously searched for on his computer.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner, said Apple was clearly not the market leader in maps, lagging both Google and Nokia. But Mr. Gartenberg said he did not think most consumers would be bothered by what was missing in Apple’s maps and that, on the whole, they would be more pleased by the addition of turn-by-turn navigation.
“The granularity of how good mapping is on one platform versus another doesn’t seem like it’s going to matter a lot to consumers,” he said.
Samsung Galaxy s4
While speaking to the Korea Times, an unnamed company official has revealed that the successor to Samsung’s popular Galaxy S3 smartphone may be released as early as March 2013. The updated handset is thought to feature a 5-inch OLED display and full LTE support.
The source claims that the Korean firm intends to unveil the new flagship device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, with plans to hit retail in March 2013. The official stated that the handset will feature an increased screen size of five inches (up from 4.8 on the S3), as well as a more powerful quad-core processor. Although it’s thought that there will be aesthetic changes to the device, the rectangular, curved-edge form-factor is unlikely to change significantly.
It’s important to note that this report is unconfirmed and can therefore not be relied upon for accuracy. However, if true, the move could be seen as a direct response to Apple’s new iPhone 5 handset, announced earlier this week. While the iPhone 5 will undoubtedly prove to be a popular handset, many were disappointed with its lack of innovative features, a perception that was only perpetuated by uncharacteristic pre-announcement leaks.
Samsung is Apple’s key competitor in the smartphone market, with the two companies currently engaged in multiple law suits across the globe. The Korean firm’s popular Galaxy S3 handset has sold more than 20 million units since its launch this spring (northern hemisphere) and the firm believes that it will ship in excess of 30 million units by the end of the year.
Source: Korea Times
Nano-SIM pictured in the middleThe price of the new nano-SIM will set users back around US $12 (R105). Can a standard micro-SIM be converted to a nano-SIM? Yes. Will it work in an iPhone 5? Yes and no. Apple was one of the first companies to adopt the micro-SIM standard, and currently the iPhone 5 is the only official nano-SIM phone announced.
The iPhone 5 ships to eager customers 21 September, with a worldwide push to over 100 countries come December 2012. South Africa is yet to be named as one of these countries, but chances are even money that it will be.