apple

What’s new in iOS7 (beta 3) – see screenshots here

Apple launched beta 3 of the highly anticipated iOS7 today. Geeky developers (like us) have been spending the day learning about the latest release and sharing screenshots and opinions on what’s new. Here are a few highlights from today.

iTunes Radio

Combine the innovative technology of spotify or rdio with the reach and userbase of iTunes and you have iTunes Radio. Create a radio station then let iTunes Radio “learn” your preferences and tailor music to you through the new “Tune This Station” slider that was spotted today:

BUT – currently only available in the USA (boo!).

iTunes shows download sizes

You can now see how large an app download is in iTunes before you download it. Great for those on limited data plans who may want to wait until they’re on wifi before updating an app.

New loading animation

Icons no longer use the blue progress bar to show how much has been downloaded, you’ll see a new ‘circular’ animation now instead as shown here:

New calendar

A few improvements to the calendar since beta 2 including those small dot indicators under days to show when you have events on certain days. The latest version looks like this:

Those are just a few highlights from today. What else have you spotted that you like in beta 3?

What’s a Hamburger Button? It’s the Hamburger that’s good for you.

There’s a hamburger you should try. It’s becoming really popular, people who try it seem to like it, it doesn’t make you (or your app) feel bloated…

Ok, enough of the poor wordplay, of course I’m talking about a Hamburger Button – that little three line icon you would have seen on apps that hides the primary navigation system until you tap on it.

Why talk about it? We build a lot of mobile sites and apps here at Fly Digital and have started seeing a real trend in clients moving away from tab bar navigation to the Hamburger way of navigating. It’s becoming a more widely accepted way to manage navigation on smaller screens.

Is it going to replace the tab bar? I think it will. The traditional tab bar that runs across the footer of many apps takes up a fair percentage of the screen real estate and usually only allows for 5 options at any one time. The Hamburger method takes up a tiny amount of screen space and can reveal a menu system that theoretically can be endless. These two reasons alone are going to move more app developers across to this method.

How does it work? In most cases, tapping the Hamburger icon slides the main content across to the right revealing a vertically scrolling view of menu items. Some apps also replicate this behaviour by allowing you to swipe across the main content.

The screenshots above show how the Facebook app on iOS does this. Below is a closeup of the Hamburger icon and expanded menu from the Teambox app also on iOS:

Why ‘Hamburger’? Well the icon itself has been around for a while but was originally designed to represent a set of drawers that when opened reveal additional content. However as it’s been used more widely in the mobile world (and probably in a bar somewhere on a Friday during lunch) developers have recently decided that the three layers looked more like a stylised burger instead, hence the name.

How to troubleshoot iPhone5′s battery life drain issues

If your new iPhone5 battery isn’t lasting as long as you’d expect and you’re constantly plugging it in just so you can stop it from dying during the day you’re not alone!

Many users are reporting problems with battery life on iPhone5. Whilst we’re waiting for Apple to acknowledge this fact and hopefully provide a firm solution, here are a few tips for how you may be able to improve your iPhone5′s battery life:

1) Reset All Settings

Tap SETTINGS > GENERAL > RESET > RESET ALL SETTINGS

This will reset general settings on your iPhone such as your saved wifi networks, passcode lock, homescreen image etc.

It won’t delete any of your data though (eg: your apps, music or photos).

I tried this on an iPhone5 earlier today and have noticed an improvement in battery life as a result, so this is the one I’d recommend you start with.

2) Full Battery Drain & Recharge

Try letting your iPhone5 battery drain fully to 0% so the phone switches itself off. Then connect it so it starts recharging and don’t disconnect until the battery is back up to 100% again.

3) Turn iCloud Safari Syncing Off

Tap SETTINGS > ICLOUD and swipe the ‘Safari’ option to OFF.

This will stop Safari from syncing your open tabs from all of your supported devices that have iCloud Safari preferences enabled.

(To use this feature, your Mac must have OS X Mountain Lion and Safari 6, and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch must be using iOS 6).

 

4) Full Restore To Factory Defaults

Finally, if all else fails, some users have reported that when restoring an iPhone5 to factory defaults and not backing up from a previous iPhone has shown improvements in battery life. This involves plugging your iPhone5 into iTunes and clicking the ‘Restore’ button.

It’s strongly advised that you backup your phone before doing this. However this also means your phone will be wiped of all data and you’ll have to start from scratch installing all your apps, syncing your music, etc. But if you’re at your wits end and have explored every other option it could be worth a try.

If you have any other tips for improving battery life let us know in the comments below.

 

Apple iPad Mini Announcement – LIVE BLOG

Welcome to the Fly Digital live blog of the Apple announcement on October 24th (October 23rd US) 2012. All times are Aus EDST.

4.01am: Tim Cook has just made his way onto the stage.

4.02am: We’re told the iPhone 5 was the fastest selling phone in history. Apple have made a video to back this up with lots of happy customers queueing at the Apple store in New York.

4.07am: There were 200million downloads of iOS6 in the first month (wow).

4.08am: 300 Billion messages have been sent via iMessage. That’s 28,000 per second. People don’t like calling each other any more.

4.10pm: 35 Billion apps have been downloaded from the App store representing a payout of 6.5 Billion dollars to developers.

4.15am: Welcome Phil Schiller to the stage to talk about some new hardware.

4.17am: The MacBook Pro is the best selling Mac machine (never knew that), and a new 13″ version is being released today.

4.21am: 7 hour battery life, retina display, lightning connector, power nap. The 2.5GHz dual-core i5 8GB RAM, 128GB flash version starts from $1699 (US).

4.26am: The first mention of “mini” … but it’s the new Mac Mini. Phil cracks a joke “you knew there’d be mention of something ‘mini’ in this presentation right?”.

4.29am: There’s a new iMac, the 8th generation of the flagship computer for Apple. Edge to edge glass, far thinner casing (5mm thick). Now that’s one thin desktop computer. Looks very sexy.

4.34am: The new iMac is 8lb lighter than the previous version, up to 768GB flash drive, up to 3TB HDD, Intel Quad Core i5 or i7, 21.5″ and 27″ versions.

4.36am: The iMac’s new Fusion Drive is a hybrid drive to enable faster access of data. Mountain Lion and base OSX apps are preloaded onto Fusion Drive if you choose that option. Claims to open files over 3x faster than standard HDD.

4.39am: 21.5″ iMac, 2.7GHz quad-core i5 starts at $1299. 27″, 2.9GHz starts at $1799, ships in December. Fly Digital will be getting a new present for Christmas methinks…

4.40am: And Tim Cook is back on stage, “and next I’d like to talk about iPad”.

4.40am: 100 Millionth iPad was sold last month (that’s over 2.5 years).

4.41am: iPad accounts for 91% of web traffic from Tablets. “There’s a simple reason for this”, says Tim Cook: “people love their iPads”. That got a chuckle from the audience.

4.45am: iBooks based textbooks are being used in over 2,500 schools in the US.

4.47am: And Phil Schiller is back on stage to talk more about iPad.

4.48am: The new 4th gen iPad has: A6X processor, 10-hour battery life, FaceTime HD camera, Expanded LTE (Telstra & Optus logos appeared on screen there), 2x faster Wi-Fi, lightning connector (with lightning to USB and SD connector options), black/white, 16GB Wi-Fi from $499, 16GB Wi-Fi and 4G from $629.

4.51am: The first mention of iPad Mini. The audience claps.

4.53am: The new iPad Mini is 7.2mm thick with a (7.9-inch diagonal) display. All software created for 3rd gen iPad works on iPad Mini.

4.59am: A comparison between the iPad and a “popular Android tablet” (Nexus 7) shows the iPad with a larger screen and larger area for content when browsing web pages.

5.01am: “Every inch an iPad” seems to be the new marketing line.

5.04am: We’re now watching a video on how the iPad Mini was conceived. Apple are doing a good job of reminding us this is a “condensed” iPad and a whole new device, and not just a “smaller” iPad.

5.07am: 16GB Wi-Fi version start at $329 (US) $369 (AUS). Pre-order October 26th. Wi-Fi ships November 2nd for Australia (available at 8:00 a.m in store).

5.09am: The new iPad Mini ad is pretty cute – two people playing “chopsticks” on a piano app side by side, iPad 3 on the left, iPad Mini on the right. Clever. That’s Phil’s spot finished, and Tim Cook is back.

5.12am: “This has been a truly prolific year of innovation for Apple”. Tim Cook thanks his teams for their work this year.

5.13am: And we’re done. Tim Cook thanks everyone for attending and the presentation finishes.

5.14am: www.apple.com is updated with the new iPad Mini

iPad Mini – Apple have got “a little more to show you”

Barely weeks since the iOS6 and iPhone5 announcements Apple are once again causing ripples across the Internet with more rumours of new products.

This time it’s the much anticipated iPad Mini – rumoured to be a 7.5-inch device to go head to head with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen size.

Apple are hosting an event next week (23rd in the US, 24th early morning here in Australia) and the iPad Mini is widely expected to feature. The invitation read: “We’ve got a little more to show you”.

It could have a price point around the $250-$300 mark.

Whatever gets announced we’ll let you know about it here.

The new iPhone5 and Apple’s other big announcements this week

Here’s a rundown of the main announcements that Apple made this week:

The New iPhone5

After much speculation and assumption Apple did indeed launch a new version of the iPhone and it is called iPhone5.

Features include:

  • runs on Telstra and Optus’s new 4G LTE networks (unlike the new iPad)
  • 4-inch (diagonal) display (4S was 3.4inch) – existing apps will be “letterboxed” until upgraded in size
  • faster A6 processor
  • new “lightning” connector (adaptors, of course, available in your nearest Apple store)
  • facetime on 3/4G networks

A few more images from the media kit are shown below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The iPhone5 will be available in Australia from September 21st.

Apple iOS6

Yesterday Apple also released details on iOS6 with over 200 new features, highlights include:

And finally…

Other notable annoucements from the conference this week include:

  • the brand new MacBook pro with retina display and and even thinner case
  • a new iPod Nano range with pause/rewind ‘live’ radio and Siri
  • the new OSX – Mountain Lion
  • the fifth generation iPod Touch with larger (iPhone5 sized) 4-inch screen

Passbook on iOS6 stores all your tickets & confirmations in one place

Apple’s new ‘Passbook’ app launched at the WWDC today stores tickets, confirmations, boarding passes and cards in one place within the new iOS6 operating system.

Apple are using Passbook as a way to change how users approach digital wallets and as with most of their other iOS6 apps the UI is incredibly simple to navigate and operate.

The app uses GeoLocation to bring up relevant Passbook ‘tickets’ when you are near outlets that you have confirmations for.

Passbook also appears to be able to handle stored value cards as demonstrated by Scott Forstall with a Starbucks card.

Plus cards are ‘live’ – ie: if your flight details change so will the boarding pass stored in your passbook app and an Apple notification will appear with the update.

Passbook is one of over 200 new features being launched with iOS6 this week.

Images via @verge.

 

ASOS Scan To Shop on iOS and Android

Fashion etailer ASOS were promoting their ‘Scan to Shop’ app at a recent Vogue event in Sydney.

‘Vogue’s Fashion Night Out’ in Sydney on September 6th showcased fashion retailers and brands in the CBD through a vast array of live events, outdoor stalls, activities and  parties.

ASOS provided a large 4-sided wall of product images which allowed owners of the app to scan via iOS/Android and purchase direct.

The app is similar in principle to Woolworths’ smartphone app which allows you to scan grocery items in train stations to virtually shop without visiting an actual store. ASOS have taken this principle and adapted it for the tech savvy online fashion market.

Pictured on the left is the fashion wall of products being scanned on an iPhone 4S.

Download via: iTunes or GooglePlay

More info on ASOS here.

‘How To Lose Weight Fast’ makes Woman’s Day top apps list

Thanks to the team at Woman’s Day magazine for listing the ‘How To Lose Weight Fast’ app we created for Susie Burrell as one of their top apps in the latest edition of the magazine.

To be featured alongside the likes of the brilliant ‘Map My Run’ app is a compliment indeed.

Thanks also to everyone who has downloaded the app and provided feedback on what you’d like to see in future versions.

iPad kiosks, Google Wallet, QR codes & free wifi – mobile tech in New York

American retail outlets are really embracing new mobile technologies and apps to help drive business and raise awareness of their products.

Here are some of the highlights from a stroll around the lower West side of Manhattan (mainly Chelsea, Meatpackers and West Village).

Innovative iPad kiosk housing

At Fly Digital we’ve created iOS apps for clients looking to use an iPad as a kiosk solution. However we’re often asked how to restrict access to the home and lock buttons to prevent customers from clicking out of the app.

Professionally made kiosk housings are usually the answer such as the great ones made by Lilitab (http://www.lilitab.com/).

But clothing store ‘All Saints’ created their own clever way of achieving the same thing with reclaimed wood, metal and a couple of butterfly screws.

A really clever idea and very on brand for this retail outlet.

QR codes are everywhere

They really are EVERYWHERE. Shop windows, posters, digital signage, check-in signs at the airport, even on bananas (no kidding), you can’t get away from QR codes here in the USA.

Like Australia, Near Field Communication (NFC) still isn’t being widely used in the USA to transfer data onto customers phones despite the growing number of devices with the required hardware. So for the moment QR is still the most popular method.

Pictured here is a QR code that links to a video of the New York Yankees seen underneath a poster in the headquarters of mlb.com in Chelsea Market.

Google wallet is starting to appear

Retailers accepting Google Wallet as a payment method are starting to advertise with stickers in their windows.

Pictured here is the signage at a fruit and veg store in Chelsea Markets.

I tweeted this earlier and the friendly team at Duane Reade (@duanereade) let me know they are also taking Google Wallet for micro-payments in their stores.

Funny free wifi login messages

Free wifi is offered in certain retail outlets so if your partner is taking longer to select an item than you would ideally like and you don’t have a 3/4G account you can at least check what’s happening on Twitter.

Based on my short research exercise I’d say around 30-40% of the shops I was in today offered a free wifi service. Some were simply an open wifi network under the store name, but some did require acceptance of a fair-use policy.

I took this screenshot of my favourite – again at Chelsea Market – showing that you don’t have to take a serious message too seriously. I love what they’ve done here.

More updates to follow as I find more around the city. Follow us on twitter (@fly_digital) for real-time updates, follow this blog or sign up to our newsletter for fortnightly roundups.