Posts tagged ios

Close-up image of woman texting and using an iPhone with iOS 11.

Apple’s iOS 11 and More Updates Coming

Close-up image of woman texting and using an iPhone with iOS 11.

What’s new with iOS 11?

Apple announced several updates are coming to their iOS devices this Fall. The company is giving iPhone and iPad users access to new features with iOS 11.

“iOS 11 gives iPad users the powerful app functionality they need to take advantage of everything iPad is capable of, and brings hundreds of new features and incredible updates to the iOS apps iPhone and iPad users enjoy every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Apple praises iOS 11 as “A giant step for iPhone. A monumental leap for iPad.” It’s hard not to see why. These long-awaited features are set to give users more options. Let’s walk through what Apple users can expect this Fall.

New iOS 11 Features

  • Customizable Dock – On iPad, iOS 11 gives users more customization options, making it even more powerful. The new customizable dock grants access to frequently used apps and documents. Furthermore, you can customize the dock with your favorite apps. The dock even suggests apps that you have used recently or on other iOS devices.
  • Multitasking Features – Switching between apps is now easier thanks to Split View and Slide Over. The new updates allow you have two apps open at the same time. You simply drag an app from your dock to your main screen.
  • Files – This app is perhaps the biggest feature coming with iOS 11. You can control the file storage on your devices. Not much is known about this feature. However, we do know that the Files app will give users access to stuff stored on iCloud and other storage services.
  • Apple Pencil Support – The update will allow the Apple Pencil more functionality on the iPad. Users are now able to markup PDFs and screenshots, take notes on the lock screen and draw in the notes app.
  • AR Functionality – With the ARKit, developers can easily build new and exciting AR experiences. Using the built-in camera of iOS devices, users can experience what Apple calls “detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.”
  • Updated Siri – Apple’s premier personal assistant Siri is set to become a whole lot smarter. By adding new AI technology, Siri will sound more realistic than ever. Siri can also offer suggestions based on what apps you use, learning about your interest and curating the content you see in apps like News and Safari.
  • Enhanced Do Not Disturb – The updated Do Not Disturb feature can determine when you are driving and prevent calls, text messages, and notifications from reaching you during that time. People who are trying to get in touch with you automatically receive a message that you are on the road.

More Updates

Apple announced a ton of other announcements at their conference. They revealed new products and features like the HomePod, iMac Pro, and updated App Store on iOS devices. In addition to these products, the company also detailed their new macOS operating system. You can check out everything the company has to offer by visiting their website. Keep visiting the Geek Aid blog for more on the future of mobile technology.

The Current iPad Market – Comparing the Available Devices

The iPad may not dominate the tablet market the way it did early on, but it is still the popular choice for many mobile users. Now take a look at the five tablets that you can buy brand new from Apple. They come in three sizes:

  • Small tablets – iPad mini 2, iPad mini 4 with a 7.9 inch screen
  • Large tablets – iPad Air, iPad Air 2 with 9.7 inch screen
  • Enormous tablets – iPad Pro (there’s actually a bigger-size jump from the Air to the Pro than from the mini to the Air) with 12.9 inch screen—practically a laptop

The Difference Between Each iPad

Let’s start with what sets the iPad Pro apart, besides being gigantic. It’s the only tablet for which Apple makes its own keyboard. You have to get a third-party keyboard for the others. It is also the only device compatible with Apple Pencil. You’ll need a third-party stylus for the other tablets. The Pro is also the only model with four speakers, compared to the usual two.

Differences in appearance primarily come down to size and color since they are all aluminum. While the three newest devices are available in a gold color, the iPad Air and the mini 2 are only available in space gray and silver.

All of the devices have the same screen resolution (2048 by 1536) except the Pro, which is 2732 by 2048. Even at that astounding resolution, the mini still has a higher ppi. The newest devices have a coating to reduce reflection that is not available on the mini 2 or the Air. The same is true of the touch ID feature.

Processor speed increases by device generation. The mini 2 and Air use the A7. The Air 2 and mini 4 use the A8. The Pro uses the A9 chip and clocks in at 2.3 GHz. It’s also the only device with 4 GB of RAM. The Air 2 and mini 4 have 2 GB,r and the Air and mini 2 also have 2 GB.

How much can you expect to pay? Occasionally you’ll find deals, with the starting rretail price for the mini 2 at $269, the Air and mini 4 are $399, the Air 3 is $499, and the Pro is $799. That is the base model of each, which is Wi-Fi only, and has 16 GB of storage (except the Pro which starts at 32 GB).

Windows 10: Will It Really Be an Improvement Over the Windows 8 Frustrations?

If you bought a PC in the past couple of years and were not ready for Windows 8, then you probably suffered some serious shock and frustration over the vast changes made to the flagship operating system. One reason Microsoft may have dropped the ball with the updated interface is that that the PC market (like the laptop market) is now split, with quite a few machines having a touch screen. Thus, Microsoft appears to have developed a PC OS that belonged on tablets and smartphones but was difficult to navigate with a keyboard and mouse. If you have been a Windows user for years, then you know that they seem to get things right about every other time. Does that mean Windows 10 (yes, they skipped 9) will be the next successful venture for Microsoft?

One of the most frustrating things about Windows 8 for new users was the Start Menu or the distinct lack of one. Oh sure, it says start in the corner, but just clicking on that innocent looking button will make most users groan. Suddenly the screen is filled with tiles instead of the familiar menu. Have no fear. Windows 10 is bringing our precious Start menu back, just the way it used to be. If you have grown accustomed to the tiles (or use a 2-in-1 device), there is no cause for concern. They will still be there, just in a less intrusive manner. The tiles have been moved, thankfully, to the sidebar. It is really the best of both worlds.

Windows 10 has placed the focus back where it should be, on functionality. That means an added Task View feature that will resemble application managers that have long been available for Linux and OS X users. Also, with monitors having greater and greater resolutions, Microsoft has added a quarter screen feature in order to allow the user to view four open windows on one screen rather than just having to tile them horizontally or vertically.

We still have at least a few months to wait before Microsoft starts rolling out the new OS, but by the end of the year, you can expect every new PC to be providing users with a much better interface.

Smartphone Hotspots From Any Platform

Smartphone Hotspots From Any Platform: In Case of Emergency

When an Internet connection goes down we might need to depend on our smartphones to connect. Being able to turn that mobile connection into a hotspot is very advantageous. In order to benefit from that process, first you need to learn how to do it. Here is how you can make a smartphone hotspot from any platform.

In order to create a hotspot from your android phone, you may need to check with your service provider. This is especially true if you live with in the United States. However, there are some apps that let you create a hotspot without having the right type of plan from your carrier. Please keep in mind, however, that doing this might violate the terms of your contract with your phone provider.

After you have resolved this question go to the settings menu on your android. While menu settings may be different on each phone, generally the place to go is the wireless settings section. Find the button that allows you more options, then, look for different options for tethering. You will also find how to encrypt your hotspot. This is recommended, especially if you are in an unsafe public area. Later, you can change the network ID and password to something that will be easy for you to recall.

To create a hotspot from an iOS device, first select settings and then select cellular. Switch on ‘Personal Hotspot.’ If you are living in the United States, you will definitely need a plan that allows tethering. If you jailbreak your phone, not recommended, there are options for bypassing the tethering plan.

To make a hotspot on a Windows phone go to the settings page. Once there go to the sharing option. Turn the ability to share on, then change the login information to something you can easily recall.

Once you have the hotspot turned on from your mobile device, it is very easy to connect a tablet or a laptop. Simply open up the Wi-Fi connection and connect.
No matter what device you use, the first thing is to check with your provider to understand your options. You certainly do not want to get hit with unexpected fees. How well the hotspot works can depend on how good your mobile connection is. This will also take a toll on your data plan.

You can make a smartphone hotspot from any platform. This may not be a complete replacement for real Wi-Fi, but it will work in a pinch.

Wireless Hearing Aid

New Hearing Aid Allows for Apple Device Streaming

A new type of wireless hearing aid—LiNX, “made for iPhone hearing aid”—has been developed by ReSound that allows Apple users to connect wirelessly to their mobile devices that transmits and amplifies sounds using Bluetooth technology.

Instead of having to hold your device up to the ear with the hearing aid in place, the device can stream directly into the ear, much like when a person uses a Bluetooth headset. LiNX operates on a 2.4 GHz signal on par with modern wireless headphone technology, and it also works with the latest IOS software, so battery power is not drained rapidly.

A person using LiNX can listen to music on an iPhone, iPod, iTouch, or iPad. Other features allow one to preset the volume of the music utilizing GPS software. Music can be preprogrammed to be louder at the gym and quieter in places where other sounds need to be heard.

ReSound claims that LiNX will be an effective wireless hearing aid for a majority of people who experiences hearing loss.  The device is currently on the market and retails around $2000.

Hearing loss is experienced by both the young and the old. LiNX may inspire younger avid technology consumers with hearing deficiencies to seek proper treatment and not be ashamed of using a wireless hearing aid that looks like an ordinary headset. For the older patrons, LiNX may encourage them to incorporate technology into their lives while finding joy again in music and other diverting endeavors. All in all, LiNX is heading in the right direction to integrate technology to benefit one’s quality of life.

A Readable Font for Dyslexia Sufferers

Abelardo Gonzalez is a developer whose name may soon become well known to people with dyslexia, especially once they download his open source font and begin using it to help ease their struggle with reading. He has entitled this revolutionary new font, OpenDyslexic. It is free and you can download it as an extension for Chrome or Safari. iOS users can download it with a free web-browsing application. A number of third party applications also incorporate this new font.

So how does it work? The letters are all heavily weighed at the bottom. This holds the letters in their place. The ideas is to anchor each letter in place so that a dyslexic person’s mind cannot flip, rotate, swap, or otherwise confuse the lettering. For someone suffering from dyslexia, this may help them enjoy reading for the first time in their life.

OpenDyslexic also has italic and bold capabilities. The key to keeping OpenDyslexic readable for dyslexic individuals, even when using italics, is that the slant is not very strong. It is just enough to set the words apart without negating the weighting effect. You can even use bold and italics together, and it should still be readable.

If you use the OpenDyslexic extension in either Safari or Chrome, the extension automatically will convert all website text to the more easily readable font. If you use apple products, you can download OpenWeb, which is a free browser for iOS. Using this app you can also get the OpenDyslexic font.

Dyslexia does not affect every one in the same way. Because of this fact, the effectiveness of the font may vary for different individuals. If you struggle with dyslexia, give this app a try. It is available from the OpenDyslexia website. You can even try a couple of free classic books in the font, which are available on the site as well.

If you struggle with dyslexia, it is worth a try.

iOS 6 in Review

Of course, Apple fans are psyched when a new iPhone is released. But the buzz is for more than just greater processing power. The new mobile operating system from Apple, iOS 6, is also causing a stir. What can users look forward to in this year’s incarnation?

Google Maps is gone from the new iPhone. That’s because Apple Maps is here. Get ready to view flyovers of major cities and world landmarks as though you were buzzing by in a helicopter. It has beautifully rendered 3D viewing, and is sure to be a big time spender.

The flyover, however, isn’t really the practical use of this built in app. Integrating this app with Siri allows you to ask your phone for directions verbally. “How do I get to the nearest zoo?” Now Siri will vocalize directions as you drive. The directions should be pretty good, as maps programs go, but obviously any new map program will require some updating.

Twitter got on board with iOS 5, but now Apple has taken it up a level and joined forces with Facebook for iOS 6. Easy sharing features include using Siri to post for you.

Those aren’t the only two upgrades your favorite female voice has gotten. Now she can read you sports scores, help you check movie times, and even make your restaurant reservations with the help of OpenTable. Siri can also now open your apps for you without having to jailbreak the phone.

Despite the growing power of NFC, Apple is sticking with Passbook for now. This is an easy payment system for companies that have been willing to partner up with Apple. Now you can grab concert tickets from Ticket Master, a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and some headache meds for the next morning at Walgreens, all while using the one feature to keep track of your balances.

The interface has been upgraded at the app store. Both iTunes and iBooks have received similar upgrades, making it easier to shop for the downloadable media you want.

Facetime is no longer wifi only, which is a change that many users will be happy about. Verizon and Sprint customers can begin enjoying the new feature immediately. AT&T is taking the opportunity to get everyone on their new shared plans and making that a requirement for non-wifi Facetime.

One last nifty feature we’ve been waiting a long time for is the option to immediately reply to an ignored call with a preset busy message. You can also ignore the call with the option of having a reminder notice for later.

All in all, iOS 6 has some nice new features that are sure to keep users happy.


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