Category Archives: iOS

What Was Announced at WWDC 2013

This video is a little late, but let’s talk about what Apple announced at WWDC

How I Stopped Chrome for iOS from Crashing on Startup

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UPDATE March 12, 2013: Google has released an update to Chrome for iOS to fix the startup crash through the App Store.
Google recently released Chrome version 25 for the iPhone and iPad, and as great as the new features might be, many users are reporting that the app crashes on start up. I am one of these
users, but I think I found a fix for the issue, which seems to revolve around the syncing protocol, specifically Google anonymous data collection. In order to do this though, you must be quick.

1: Uninstall Chrome for iOS by holding down the icon on the home screen until the icon start to jiggle. Then click on the little x in the top left corner of the app.

2: Reinstall the app from Apple’s App Store.

3: Open the app and hit check “Send Anonymous Usage Data”. Many users in the comments are saying that they had to accept Google’s “Anonymous Usage Data” option on the Terms of Service page in order to get this to work. I did not have to do this on my end, but so far it seems I am the exception. Click “Accept and Continue” when the Terms of Service pop up.

4. When the Google sign-in screen pops up, hit skip.

This is how I got the app to work for me. I had tried just the reinstall, but that still crashed the app for me. It was only when I skipped the login screen that I could once again use Chrome for iOS. I can also confirm that I was afterwards able to re-login to my Google Account and begin syncing Chrome again as normal.

It is interesting to note the the majority of those of people having this problem, though certainly not all, are users using a jailbroken device. Whether or not this is an issue with the jailbreak, with Chrome, or with both has yet to be seen. It has also been verified that Cydia apps/tweaks like BrowserChooser seem to be having no effect in either causing or eliminating the crashes.

Let me know if this worked for you or if you have any other methods that worked. And please share this so we can help others. Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon.

5 Ways iOS is Better than Android:

Note: This is a point-counterpoint article style.  If you want to see 5 ways Android beats iOS, click the link at the bottom of the article.

If you want to start a flame war on the Internet, there are a few topics to try bringing up.  One of these is iOS versus Android.  Even just a news article about a minor update or rumor about one OS or another is likely to summon anger and hate.  That being said, there are a few ways iOS is better than Android.  Here are 5 of them.  These reasons do not revolve around downloadable apps except where it applies to the debate.  Also, the arguments are not listed in order of importance or effectiveness.  Jailbreaking and/or rooting is also not being taken into consideration unless explicitly stated otherwise.

     SECURITY:  McAfee certainly finds iOS more secure than Android.  For better or worse, Apple tightly controls the experience of iOS, including the flow of apps into the App Store.  Apple’s examination process means increased security against malicious apps making it onto your iDevice.  We have seen proof of concepts where the App Store has some security bugs or apps have gotten through Apple’s screening process, but overall nothing like the malicious attempts against Android.

This goes deeper than just apps though.  Apple has the Find My iPhone app available for all of its iDevices in case yours gets lost or stolen.  I can’t tell you how many times in my job I have used or have seen this used to track a student’s stolen iPhone.  Of course you can get free or paid third-party options in the App Store and some of them offer more features.  But Apple’s own offering provides a very simple experience that you can access from any computer or iDevice that allows you to track your phone, send messages, or erase your entire phone.  Android has no solution of its own for this.

Both stores have apps that sometimes grab things that they probably shouldn’t be meddling with (why do some games need access to my contact list?), but with the recent iOS 6 update, Apple has allowed finer controls.  Now apps that want to access your Address Book, Location, Facebook or Twitter account, among other things, have to actually ask permission to do so.  Admittedly this whole thing started after a few scandals, but better late then never.

     MULTITASKING:  iOS multitasking was implemented before Android got their own solution and has done it better since day one.  Just a double tap on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch’s home button brings up the multitasking bar.  You can slide through all of your open apps, or slide to the left and get access to your music controls.  Pause, play, fast-forward, and rewind, or jump straight into the app playing the audio be it Pandora, your Music app, or whatever.  You also can control your iDevice’s AirPlay streaming controls and whether to lock the screen’s rotation.  iOS users also got the ability to kill apps from that multitasking bar, even if they didn’t actually need to.

Android users get most of the same multitasking features like background audio or voice calls, but application switching didn’t get any native solution until Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”.  Android users had been using app-killing solutions from the Android Marketplace, but it took Google until Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” to actually implement that feature natively.  Admittedly the way Android 4.0 does it looks pretty slick, but it seems like something that could have been included so much earlier.  And speaking of apps…

     APPS, APPS, AND APPS!:  If there was one thing any smartphone or tablet has to have these days, its apps. While Steve Jobs may not have initially liked the idea of iOS apps, it’s pretty safe to say that he was wrong.  Today, Apple’s iOS has the largest marketplace for apps of any mobile OS (and maybe even some desktop operating systems).  iOS has over 600,000 apps with almost half of them for the iPad.  If you’re looking for an app, chances are you’ll find it there.  Apple does place some restrictions on how apps may function, some of this for security while others seem downright controlling, but as a whole, the Apple experience works fluidly, and many developers have figured out how to use the rules of iOS to their needs, especially with the lack of a file manager like Mac’s Finder.  On the user end, many people are leaving the standard computer for the iPad, including the elderly, students, young children, and more.

Some of the limits also factor in to quality control.  Apps on iOS seem better built, more stable, and less resource intensive than their Android counterparts.  This certainly seems like a factor in why iOS users are more willing to retain apps than Android users.  To be fair, some apps are great across platforms, while others are coded badly no matter the platform (I’m looking at you Facebook), so Android and iOS are not completely responsible for apps or their entire quality experience.  It’s also fair to note that the amount of free apps on Android is greater than iOS.

This also affect developers too.  Many developers publish an app hoping to make some money for the time they put into it.  This varies from developer to developer and the reason the developer makes an app may not be solely for profit.  It’s not uncommon for popular apps to come out on the iPhone or iPad first before making the leap to Android.  Why?  Android developers don’t make the same amount of cash as iPhone users do.  Macworld reports about how developers make less on Android than iOS.

     RESPONSIVENESS:  This is where we get a little technical.  Hardcore Android users love to talk about the hardware specs of their devices.  These can include 2 gigs of RAM, quad-core CPU and graphics, NVidia chipsets, etc.  For any tech geek, those are fairly impressive mobile stats.  Here’s something Android users never seem to talk about though: why does iOS run just as smooth, if not smoother, then the majority of Android devices while having generally lower stats (save for the graphics processor and the resolution of the screen on the latest models)?  Android and iOS users can play the same games, like ShadowGun, but iOS tends to play it so much more cleanly than Android.

Let’s look also at touch response.  The response time of an iPhone or iPad is consistently faster, more fluid, and better tracks your finger’s motion than Android.  This is what it breaks down to: iOS was created from the very beginning to be a touchscreen system, meaning that responsiveness to your touch needed to be a top priority.  So iOS sets a user’s touch command as a “real time priority”.  When you touch your iPad or iPhone’s screen, the device puts your touch and the corresponding commands at the highest priority.  It focuses all its attention on you like a puppy on a new toy.

When Android was first developed, it was competing against BlackBerry, so Android originally used a physical keyboard and mouse like BlackBerry.  Then the iPhone came out, and Android had to adapt.  But they implemented touch as a “normal priority”, treating it the same way as all the device’s other processes rather than the most important.  Google could fix this, if they wanted to have almost every app in the Google Play store rewritten to support the change.  Chances of this happening in the near future are pretty slim, so Google and manufacturers will likely keep sticking with more powerful hardware.  You can read more about this at Redmond Pie’s article.

FRAGMENTATION:  OK, I saved this section for last because it’s a very sensitive point in the debate and is probably the most detailed.  This argument also tends to be the go-to argument when people comment on the negatives of Android and I wanted to show there were other legitimate reasons before coming to this one.

With that out of the way, Android has a huge fragmentation problem, partially as a result of its openness and partially because of Google.  Android is available on many different devices running different hardware specs, screen sizes, and versions of Android.  It’s only recently that Google has tried to reign in on Android’s fragmentation problems.

Let’s start with the user interfaces.  You get a different user interface per manufacturer: Motorola has Blur, there’s HTC’s Sense, the stock Android experience, etc.  If you switch manufacturers, say to the Samsung Galaxy series from a Motorola phone, you have a little bit of a learning curve.  Some of these interfaces are downright ugly, though that’s a comment directed at the manufacturers rather than Android.  Different user interfaces aren’t a problem if a user chooses it because that’s their choice, but it’s a different story when you can’t customize that (which has always been a strong point for Android).

While we’re on the subject of manufacturer differences, let’s talk about stock apps.  Every OS comes with stock apps, such as the browser, calendar, etc.  But Android, like Windows on the desktop, generally has extra apps that the manufacturers put on the devices to make extra money and they have the right to do so.  However you don’t hear Windows users cry out in the same way that Android users do over third-party stock apps.  Why is that?  On Windows, you can always uninstall these apps, but not on Android.  If you want to uninstall the third party stock apps like security services, office software, etc., you have to root your device.  Plus, mobile phones don’t have the hard drive space that a full computer does.  You can eventually uninstall these apps, but you have to wait until there is a way to root your device (basically putting you in complete control over your device), and these aren’t always stable activities and can end up breaking your phone if you use the wrong one.  It’s one thing for Google to have their stock apps, but it’s different from those apps that a manufacturer puts on there.

Apps are also a problem on Android.  I’m not talking about the quality or range of apps on Android, I’m talking about not being able to install apps.  Let me explain: there are apps on every operating system, desktop or mobile, that won’t install on certain versions or devices or lack of requirements.  Some apps don’t update and require older operating systems, while some are new and don’t support older versions.  Likewise apps aren’t capable of running on some systems because of the lack of hardware requirements (this is especially true for media intensive apps like games).  No use using a camera app if your device has no camera.  So why am I picking on Android?  It’s the way Android handles this issue.  If I run into an app that I can’t run on my iPhone or iPad (which is rare indeed), the App Store will tell me that this app isn’t compatible with my device.  On Android, I don’t get this pop-up for incompatible apps.  In fact, I don’t get anything.  If an app isn’t compatible with my device, looking it up on my device won’t tell me that.  It just acts like the app doesn’t exist.  I have to go to the Android Marketplace website to see this for certain.  I want to be clear here:  I’m not talking about screen size limitations.  There are apps that are only available on my iPad that aren’t available on my iPhone and vice versa, and this isn’t something I hold against Android.  This is specifically when I’m look for an app on two different Android devices the app will show up on one device but not others.

But by far the worst thing about Android fragmentation is updating the OS.  In the iOS world, so long as your device is at least 2 years old or younger, you’re guaranteed to get the latest version of iOS.  You may be lacking some features due to hardware or Apple limitations, but you still get the majority of the patches, features, and fixes for your device. The latest version iOS (6.x.x) already is on a majority of iOS devices.  If you’re waiting for an Android update, join the club.  The current version of Android (Jelly Bean, 4.1-4.2) is still only about 10% of the market.  The hardware manufacturers are doing a pretty lousy job at upgrading their devices, even their latest devices.  They aren’t making the grade.  The only devices that consistently get the latest and greatest Android updates are the Nexus devices running the stock version of Android.  Those are released yearly and are run almost entirely by Google, who also controls the design of the Nexus devices, though they outsource the actual manufacturing to one of their hardware partners.  Funny, does this sound a little like Apple?

CONCLUSION:  I’m not an Apple fanboy, despite what you might think.  There are things I sincerely like about Android, and some things I wish would change in iOS.  All that aside, I know that my iDevices will always have the latest software for at least a few years, have a wider and better selection of apps, and will work when I need them too.  Apple and iOS aren’t perfect, but this is a case where the vertical integration style of Apple just works, and that’s what I really need.   If you care to hear 5 ways Android is better than iOS, another post will come out soon detailing 5 ways Android is better than iOS.  I encourage you to read both sides of the debate.

In the comments below, we want to hear what you think.  Was there something I missed, something I got wrong, or just have your own take to add to the debate?  Tell us in the comments.  You can check out more on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen.  And check out our Google Plus.  Thanks!

WWDC: For iOS

This is a 2-part article series.  This second part covers what has been announced for iOS 6.

At their World Wide Developer Conference today, Apple announced iOS 6 with 200 new features. A beta version is available today for registered developers and will available to consumers in the fall. Below  I’ll do a brief rundown of the new features.

MAPS:
The Maps app has been updated with a new icon. It seems the leak we saw last week was correct. As far as we know the app itself is completely new. It seems as if Apple has built something totally new, and Apple dropped Google as the Maps provider, using a proprietary service using the maps technology and talent they acquired previous to WWDC.  They are also utilizing Tom Tom and Waze for turn-by-turn directions.

The new Maps interface has the silver theme. Features includes spoken turn by turn directions, crowd sourced information about traffic, construction, and accidents.  It likely will not include information about red-light cameras and police traps.  One of the biggest features in the new Maps is called Flyover. Flyover is a very impressive 3D maps view. When the iPhone first received satellite maps it was very

Apple’s preview of Maps’ Flyover and Turn by turn directions.

impressive; this is the next generation of that. Flyover looks phenomenal (at least in screenshots we’ve seen) and includes the polish which has become almost a feature in Apple products in itself.  You will also be able to zoom in very close on businesses and streets, and the maps app will show restaurant reviews from Yelp on any zoomed-in restaurant.

One sad note, not every iOS 6 device will be getting all of these great features.  Specifically, turn by turn directions and Flyover will only be available on the iPhone 4S and on the iPad 2 and later.  This means that the original iPad, all the iPod Touches, and all iPhone earlier than the 4S will not get these features.  Turn-by-turn directions seems like a feature that should be added to the iPhone 4 at least, if not all of iOS 6.  Why they aren’t spreading this farther is unclear.

SIRI:
Apple demoed a few new Siri features in iOS 6, but those added features were some of the most heavily demanded from users.  Siri can now give you a variety of sports stats covering basketball, soccer, football, baseball, and more.  You can get the latest scores and stats of teams, individual players, and even odd bits of sports trivia.

Siri in iOS 6 allows you to check out reviews and reserve tables at local restaurants using Yelp and the Open Table app respectively.  This means as soon as you find that fancy restaurant for a date, you can immediately check for any open spots and reserve your place.  You will also be able to look up movie reviews through Siri using Rotten Tomatoes reviews.  You will be able to search movies by your favorite directors, stars, genres, and look at when these movies debuted or will debut.  It doesn’t look like you will be able to

Siri pulling up sports scores and statistics.

pre-order movie tickets through a service like Fandango however.

Siri will also be expanding the languages it understands to include Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Swiss-French, Swiss-German, and more.  This is great because you will now be able to update your Facebook status and tweet directly from Siri.  A feature long wished for has finally been added. But the biggest addition to Siri is the ability to launch apps.  Just tell Siri to launch Angry Birds, and you’ll be playing Angry Birds in no time.  This is great for those with a lot of apps scattered about on their device.

Apple also is bringing about a feature called “Eyes Free”.  It is a feature that will be integrated with cars to allow you to control your iPhone through Siri.  The screen will be shut off while connected to the car, and Siri will announce whatever news is coming your way, text messages, who is calling, and directions to your next location.  I think that this is a great safety feature and I’m glad to see Apple adding this.  Currently, BMW, Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Chrysler are on board with this according to Apple.

Oh, and Siri will be able to run on the iPhone 4S and the new iPad (third generation).

GUIDED ACCESS:

Apple has really embraced some of the ways people are using the iPad.  This has been especially true for those with some form of disabilities and how they use the iPad.  Guided Access is a new app from Apple that allows users to control access to certain areas of an app.  A controller user, such as a teacher, can turn on Guided Access and prevent access to the Home Button and limit touch and motion controls on the iPad.  They will also be able to circle areas of an app on-screen.  Whatever is circled will not be accessible to other users of the iPad.  This means that a teacher could prevent a child from accessing settings or accidentally exiting the app.  Apple talked a lot about autistic children when showing off this feature, and this really does target them and allow parents and care workers to help these people.

COMMUNICATION: MAIL, PHONE, AND FACETIME:

Apple is updating its communication apps with several nice new features.  iOS’s Mail app has finally added a flagging feature, allowing you to flag important messages.  I use this feature a lot on the desktop to help me keep up with important emails that need responses or that remind me of things I need to take care of us.  You can now setup a VIP Mailbox in iOS Mail, allowing you to only focus on emails from certain groups, companies, and people.  This makes it easier to sort through email and get work done without having to constantly flag emails from certain people.

Apple has updated how you decline a phone call.  When you decline a call now, you get the added option of set your iPhone to remind you about the call at a later time or to send a quick text or iMessage to the caller.  These messages can be manually typed out or you can use a premade message. And while we’re talking about calling, Facetime can now be used over WiFi and 3G connections, a feature that has been on Android phone and other video chatting services for a long time.

Apple also has included a “Do Not Disturb” feature.  You can set your iDevice to not notify you of any emails, Twitter updates, or any other notifications during a set time period.  This was demoed as a feature for getting through the night with a good rest.  Apple also said, however, that you will be able to set certain contacts that will be able get through this barrier, meaning you won’t ever miss a phone call or message from your child, boss, loved one, etc.

There’s one more note though about all of this.  Facetime and iMessage all work through your Apple ID, which has caused problems if a person didn’t have your Apple ID,and instead only had your iPhone’s number.  Problems included messages and calls not syncing across devices, or certain messages showing up only on your iPhone.  Now, Apple is integrating your iPhone’s number with your Apple ID, meaning your Facetime calls and iMessages will always be synced across iPhone, Macs, and other iDevices.

SAFARI:

Apple has worked to make Safari even better.  Your open tabs from Safari on iOS to another of your iOS devices and/or Macs with a feature called Cloud Tabs.  You can select these from a new iCloud icon in the Safari menu.    Apple drastically improved their Reading List feature; instead of just saving the links to

Picture of the new Safari

your web articles, now it saves the website for offline reading.  And Safari can go into a special full screen mode when your iPhone or iPod Touch is held horizontally, letting you save precious screen real estate.

FACEBOOK & PHOTO STREAM:

Last year, Apple integrated Twitter with iOS, allowing you to tweet almost anything from anywhere.  This year, Facebook integration is coming to iOS 6.  You can update your status, share links, and show off your photos without launching the Facebook app.  Likewise, your Facebook events and friends’ birthdays can be integrated with your Calendar, and your contacts personal information can also be added directly.  If this integration is like Twitter, you will have to have the Facebook app already installed on your iOS device.

Photo Stream is adding the ability to share Photo Streams with others.  Just select the photos from your Photos app and anyone running iOS 6 or Mountain Lion will have that picture in their Photo Stream or iPhoto app.  I see potentially a lot of great family albums and a few embarrassing moments being shared.  And Apple has said that if you want to share these with people who aren’t using Apple devices, they will be able to see them on the web.

PASSBOOK:

Passbook was an interesting feature announced by Apple.  Since Google Wallet was announced, people had been speculating about whether or not Apple would release a similar product, dubbed iWallet.  While Apple didn’t announce anything with that, they did show off Passbook.  Basically, you can store your coupons, loyalty cards, passports, movie tickets, and more in the app.  Then you can use it to scan these items in a checkout line, in an airport, etc.  But the app does more than storage; it also updates when your flight terminal changes, your coupons expire, and help you locate your seat in a theatre, as well as checking the balance on your money cards.  And using your iDevice’s location systems, the app will show the appropriate tickets or cards on the lock screen based off the time and your location.  I must admit that I wasn’t impressed at first glance, but I can see this as being a very useful app, especially for travelers.  That being said, there seems to be no indication that you can add your credit or debit cards to Passbook.

OTHER IMPROVEMENTS:

Apple has also included a few minor improvements as well.  Apple has already talking about integrating more Chinese services into iOS for its Chinese consumers.  Chinese users have an increased library of character, Baidu support for web searching in Safari, and other social networking features.

A look at Apple’s new design for their online store apps.

Improvements to the iBookStore, iTunes Store, and the iOS App Store also have received some revamping.   Each of these stores now remember your preview history of songs, books, and other media, allowing you to quickly re-find them for purchase later.  You can start shopping on one iOS device and continue the purchase on another.  Lastly, the stores had a little visual refresh to show the hottest content in a Cover Flow-like system.

iOS 6 seems to be giving users a lot of features they’ve been asking for, though some of it seems like Apple is playing catch-up to other apps and operating systems.  We’d like to hear what you are most excited about.  Please leave a comment below or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  Thanks!

The Summary of the iPad 3

The iPad 3 has just been announced, and some major changes have been announced.

  • iPhoto for iPad: Apple brought GarageBand and iMovie to the iPad, and now iPhoto joins them.  The entire iLife suite has come to the iPad, and the app looks beautiful.

    iPhoto for iPad

    It allows for more advanced color correct, editing, multitouch edits, and more.  You can buy it for $4.99

  • Camera: The camera has been updated dramatically.  The rear camera is now 5 Megapixels, has improved white balance, automatic face detection, and can shoot 1080p video.  This is not as good as the iPhone 4s, but the same level as the iPhone 4.
  • Retina Display: The iPad 3 has a major update to the display, boating over 3 million pixels on the screen, which Apple says is the highest on any mobile device.  From initial looks, it looks like a fantastic update, and great for playing high quality games or those new 1080p videos you might be shooting.
  • A5X: The new chip is the A5X, which is a dual core CPU, but a quad-core GPU, meaning that your graphics functionality is going to be vastly improved, which goes great with your iLife suite and new cameras, but for high quality gaming, such as N.O.V.A., Infinity Blade, and more.  This could also bring more high intensity games to the iPad, such as what you see on consoles.
  • 4G LTE: AT&T and Verizon will be getting their own 4G LTE enable iPads, starting at $629.  No word on Sprint, though I’ll update the article when I find out.  Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple has formerly made comments about the compromises adding 4G would add to the devices, but it seems those statements are in the past.  This likely means that the next iPhone will also have 4G.  The battery life has only taken down by an hour is 4G is enabled, otherwise it remains at about 10 hours.
  • Dictation:  A lot of people were hoping for Siri on the new iPad, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  The iPad 3 comes will the ability to use speech to text, just tap the microphone button on a keyboard to start.  However, you can’t use the voice dictation like Siri on the iPad to schedule meetings, reminders, etc.  This is something I think will come out in the future, but I’m anxious to get it.

You can preorder the iPad at http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad, and read more at https://www.apple.com/ipad/.  The price scheme hasn’t change, 16-Gig WiFi-only starts at $499, and $829 for a 64 Gig 4G iPad.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at easyosx@live.com  You can also check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen.  You can also check out my Google Plus Page at https://plus.google.com/107817518299218190319.  Thanks!

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