Posts Tagged ‘apple’

The New iPhone — 4S

It’s not the iPhone 5, as much of the media has expected. Instead it will be called the iPhone 4S. The case and the screen will be basically the same. It will have a faster processor, faster graphics, better battery life, better camera with 1080p video, and a better antenna system. It will also be a world phone, so you can use it for traveling overseas.

All of these features are already available in a variety of Android phones. The 4S will only have 3G capabilities. It won’t take advantage of the new 4G cellular network that makes data transfers faster. Many Android phones already have 4G capability.

It looks like where the iPhone 4S will trump the Android operating system is in it’s addition of verbal commands. You will be able to ask the 4S  every day questions and have it answer you. Also, Apple has included a complete overhaul of their iOS operating system. So the software on this iPhone is bound to be better and have new features.

I think the fact that Apple called it the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5 says a lot. Instead of being an entirely new revision of hardware and software, it is only incrementally better. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be a great smart phone. It is sure to sell extremely well, but unless the new operating system is truly more spectacular than the Android operating system, I won’t be in a hurry to buy one.


The Apple Lion is Roaring

Today, I am uttering words that I never thought would pass my lips. “I WANT A NEW MAC”.

Although most of my work is done on a PC, I have always owned a Mac computer, as well. My Mac is an older machine, but it is good for answering questions abut the Mac and its operating system. It always seemed to me that the Mac was just a slightly different way of doing things. Even though I owned one, I never really longed for one. That is, until now.

I recently got to try out Lion, the new Mac OSX operating system. I was amazed by the changes that Apple came up with for this operating system. It provides a totally new way of doing things. When used with Apple’s new Magic Trackpad (a touchpad that attaches wirelessly through Bluetooth and sits next to your keyboard), Lion is nothing short of fantastic.

The surface of the Magic Trackpad is one large button, so you can click and double-click anywhere. You can pinch to zoom just like you can on an iPad or iPhone. You can rotate things with your fingertips. You can scroll up and down the page by using your fingers on the trackpad. You can even switch between applications by simply tapping four fingers on the pad.

Apple has always provided a stable, pretty-much virus-free operating system, but Lion has added a certain pizzaz. It makes computing easier without the use of a touch screen. I WANT ONE. As others discover Lion, there may be a big move to the Mac.

You can bet that the team at Microsoft who is working on Windows 8 had a big awakening when Lion came out. Now they have to come up with something just a little better and that will be a gargantuan task!

iPhone 4 Review

There was a backlog of Verizon customers waiting for the iPhone 4 and now it is here. I took a look at the Verizon version and I liked what I saw.

The iPhone 4 is a design dream. It is small and sleek, yet very durable. The phone has everything that you have come to expect from a smart phone including two great cameras and a very responsive screen.  And the Apps — oh the Apps. There are hundreds of thousands of Apps to choose from and many are free. Whether you want to use your phone to play games, get organized, or read books, there is an App for you.

The Verizon iPhone is very similar to the AT&T iPhone with only a few small differences. The one thing that you should remember is that if you buy an iPhone from Verizon, it will won’t only on the Verizon network and won’t be useable on the AT&T network.

Also, remember that the iPhone 5 will be available pretty soon. iPhones are traditionally released every year in July. This year’s release may be a bit delayed, but a few months is not too long to wait to see what Apple has in store for its next version.


With the best industrial design of any smartphone, an amazing Retina display, a great camera, and useful updates to the operating system, the iPhone 4 is working hard to stay on top of the fray.   Yet, others are moving ahead with fresher operating systems, dual processors, and 4G and NFR support. Although iOS is useable, the Android and Windows 7 Phone operating systems have moved ahead with the use of widgets, improved notifications, and customization options.

While the AT&T iPhone offers better world-wide support, the Verizon performance was better in the areas of the US where we tested. AT&T also offers the ability to access voice and data simultaneously, but Verizon’s hot-spot feature seems better implemented.

Apple’s iPhone started a revolution in smart phones with everyone wanting one. Now, however, the competition has finally caught up with Apple. Even though the iPhone operating system has gotten a little old, the design of this phone is so good that if you buy one, you probably won’t care about that at all. All-in-all, this smartphone has some wonderful features and although it has some weak points, it won’t disappoint.

The Good

  • Fantastic screen
  • Very good rear-facing camera
  • Excellent design
  • Sturdy & stylish
  • Dual cameras
  • Very good accessibility options
  • AirPlay & AirPrint
  • Good noise-canceling microphone

The Bad

  • No user-replaceable battery
  • Non-expandable memory
  • Can’t do voice & data simultaneously
  • No 4G
  • No NFR
  • iOS need updating

My full review with pictures can be found at Hardware Secrets.

iPad 2 Makes Its Debut

iPad 2
iPad 2

iPad 2

If you watch technology, you know that last week’s big news was Apple’s release of the iPad 2. During the iPad’s announcement, Steve Jobs said that almost 15 million iPads had been sold in the original iPad’s first nine months on the market. Obviously, none of those people took my advice to wait for the second version of the iPad.

But those who did will be happy to find that the iPad 2 is lighter, a third thinner, and twice as fast. It has a more powerful dual core main processor and a faster video processer. It also has dual facing cameras, a gyroscope, and an HDMI port. Other specs, like the display, are the same as the iPad 1. The pricing is also the same: $499 to $699 for the Wi-Fi only versions and $629 to$829 for the Wi-Fi plus 3G, depending on the amount of memory. The 3G version will now have GPS and will work with service from AT&T and Verizon where the older iPad only worked on the AT&T network.

These changes give the iPad the ability to take pictures, do video conferencing, surf faster, and display movies and television shows more smoothly. The HDMI port will let you easily hook the iPad 2 up to a TV to display whatever you see on the iPad screen on the television. Most importantly, the new dual core processor, gyroscope, and GPS will allow developers to create better games and new Apps that will only run on the iPad 2 and future versions.

So perhaps now is the time to buy an iPad. But then, you need to consider that the competition in this tablet computer area is really heating up. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, no less than 80 manufacturers announced that they were working on tablets.  I thought that some of these manufacturers would have good, inexpensive tablets out by now, but most have not yet appeared, giving Apple a real leg up in the marketplace.

The few tablets that have appeared don’t seem to compare favorably to the iPad 2. Samsung has already released their Galaxy Tab. It is smaller and runs an older Android operating system so the whole tablet turns out to be inferior when compared to the iPad 2. Motorola has just released their Xoom tablet which is running a new Android operating system made for tablet PCs. The hardware and the new operating system are getting good reviews, but the Xoom only comes in one model with extra memory and 3G and 4G support. It sells for $800 without a Verizon contract or $600 with a two-year contract. While it may be popular, Motorola has cut out the lower end of the market where Apple is making a killing.  Apple smartly responded by cutting the price of the iPad 1 by $100. So you can now get an original iPad for $400.

While the launch of the iPad 2 will put more pressure on competitors to get their products to market in a timely way with a less expensive price tag, how they fair remains to be seen. In the iPod music area, Apple got such a strong hold on the market that no one has ever been able to catch up. Yet in the mobile phone arena even though Apple had a big lead with their iPhone, the Android operating system has become a good solid competitor. It’s too soon to tell how things will go with the tablet PC market, but one thing is for sure. These tablets are extremely useful as they augment the average lifestyle.

A tablet like the iPad can be used to easily read the morning, afternoon and evening news. It can be turned into a book reader, a magazine reader, a gaming machine, or a photo display gallery. You can use it to create and/or play music and to watch television and movies. Best of all, it is always handy. With a 10-hour battery life, you don’t have to worry about plugging it in as you do a laptop. Just pick it up when you need to look up a word, recipe, or news story. Use it as a baby-sitter to keep the kids entertained. Use it in the bathroom to catch up on email or in the garage to catch the game while you putter.  It can quickly become an integral part of your everyday family life.

All you have to do is decide if you want to buy one now or later. The next version of the iPad will be available at this time next year. It is almost sure to have a better display and other goodies that Apple is already working on. And there may be some competitor that comes on strong. In the meantime, the iPad 2 is a worthwhile purchase. In fact, I’ve got a birthday coming up and I just put it on my wish list – make that a Verizon 3G model, please.

The Confession App Receives Pope’s Blessings

I recently wrote an article explaining “Apps” with info on what they are, how they work, and how popular they are. It seems that there is an app for everything. Yet, this latest development still surprised me. There is now an app titled “Confession” and it is sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

For $1.99 you can buy this App at the iTunes store and get help examining your conscience and getting through the process of confession. You still have to visit a priest to get absolution, but you can take your iPhone or iPad into the confessional to help you along. However, you may want to tell the priest that you are using the confession app on your iPhone so he doesn’t think you are playing Angry Birds while you are making your confession.

I don’t know how useful this app will be in getting Catholics closer to their church, but I think it proves two things:

1. The Pope is embracing digital technologies quickly.

2. There really is an app for everything!

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