Category Archives: Apple

netneutistockfeature1-e1293050143472While trying to feverishly watch season 2 of House of Cards, I’ve noticed a few spinning rainbows via my AppleTV. What’s up? I tend to blame my Internet connection, but in reality it seems like there’s some nefarious “auto slowdown” occurring. It seems like Netflix is having a conflict with Verizon and other broadband providers over how much content should be carried without additional fees. Netflix complains that they’ve encountered a 14% slowdown in average speeds. The Wall Street Journal is reporting on the conflict between the two titans, but they’re telling us that Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, have already begun paying broadband providers for smoother access to their networks, which leaves Netflix kind of flapping in the wind complaining about tiered access.

The war around the idea of “net neutrality” is heating up as consumers move away from traditional TV and focus more on “binge watching” and a la carte watching via Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, iTunes and other streaming and/or subscription services. Just last month, a court ruled in favor of Verizon’s suit to block the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, which has spurred chaos among the providers and content creators as more people consume more high-definition video. To add fire to the furnace, Netflix is more than likely very interested in the upcoming federal review of Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and may push for new requirements on traffic-swapping deals. As we move forward into the unknown waters of “tiered Internet access” it’s going to be more and more about who pays what: the content creators and/or their customers.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 9.44.25 AMFor years, I’ve moved between Android and iOS, usually changing operating systems when a new phone grabs my attention. It’s a constant “push and pull” problem: the combination of a phone’s unique features, the operating system, and my desire to have a “perfect mobile experience”. Rarely is that experience as perfect as I want it to be. As an iPhone loyalist, I judge everything against the experience I have with iOS, Apple’s hardware, and the overall platform’s ecosystem. As iPhone has seemingly “shrunk” in form factor, staying at an untenable 4″ screen size in light of other manufacturers’ growing screens, I’ve gravitated toward the larger-screen phones, most recently, the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5, for once, is the perfect phone for me. It’s size and form factor seem the perfect size for my palm, my pants, and my weary eyes. KitKat is the best version of Android to date and, simply put, I’ve never been so satisfied with a smartphone. I’ve kinda cast away the thoughts of going back to iPhone. Yes, there are the nagging rumors of the coming iPhone 6 with a larger screen, but KitKat has a hold on me unlike any that iOS has ever had.

However, Apple’s advantage is their App Store. And, with Facebook’s iPhone-only new app, Paper, being released today, I’ve begun to wonder: can one app make me go back? I hate the feeling of being left out: when an app is only available on “another” platform, I get frustrated. Facebook turns 10 years old today, and there’s new research that shows its users have evolved their expectations of what the Facebook experience means for them. In light of this, Facebook’s Paper app is an attempt to evolve how Facebook interacts with its users and how it expects to provide new types of interaction between you and your Facebook friends. Paper reformats the typical Facebook experience with a more visually stunning approach (similar to what Google Plus did with their app), and turns your Facebook feed into a “Flipboard-like” magazine experience. Development of the app was led by a team that Facebook acquired from Apple in 2011, and represents Facebook’s obvious prioritization of rich visual design. The obvious plus to Paper is it gives you a platform-specific experience optimized for what that platform can best provide. In this sense, it may mean more fragmentation in apps if Facebook determines to release platform-optimized Facebook experiences across the board. However, it also means that Facebook evolves from being a fast-food experience (dumbed down UIs to provide a similar experience across all devices), to a more holistic and optimal experience based on whatever platform you’re on. The Paper app could signal a new frontier in designing and developing app experiences that mold more to its user’s context, and is a step-forward to a more humanistic experience. This means our platform decisions may no longer be made based on just price, carrier subsidies, form factors, and operating systems. We may begin making decisions based on all these plus the type of app experience we prefer based on how we use our phones.

One of the coolest little features of the new Control Center is the options it offers.

First, did you know you can access the Control Center right from your lock screen? Similar to how iOS6 let you access the camera quickly, you can now swipe up and view the Control Center. (If this doesn’t work for you go to Settings > Control Center and select Access on Lock Screen.)

Now, the Control Center is pretty neat. You can quickly access airplane mode, wifi, bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Screen Rotation Lock.

Control Center

The brightness ad volume sliders are there too. But look a little further. You can pop your iPhone into Speaker mode from here too.

Additionally, if you’re fumbling with your keys on a dark night, there’s a Flashlight built in. (So long hundreds of Flashlight apps!) A timer is accessible from here, as well as the Calculator (calculate those tips) and the camera.

Enjoy!

Just a quick tip per day to get you up and running with some less publicized features of iOS7:

Previously if you wanted to block a caller, you had to go into your Verizon or AT&T account and block each number manually.  Now you can do it right from your iPhone.

Just go into your Phone button and select either Generic Cialis Recents or Contacts.

Choose the number or contact you wish to block.

Scroll down and choose Block Caller.

Block Caller

iPhone will make sure you really want to block the person. Confirm your selection.

Confirm Block

Note that this blocks the contact from reaching you via voice, FaceTime, and Text. You can always Unblock the caller (same process) at any time.

Enjoy!

Just some quick tips every day to help you adjust to the new and different iOS7.

My absolute favorite feature, by far, is the one no one has really mentioned. When I was running in beta, I discovered it and now I wonder how I lived without it.

Unread Mail is now available from your Mailboxes screen.

Unread Mail

From your mailboxes screen, tap the EDIT button.

Scroll Buy Levitra down on the resulting screen. You’ll see a list of mailboxes, including All Trash, All Sent, Unread Mail, and more. Select the mailboxes you’d like to display on your mailboxes screen and tap Done.

Add Mailboxes

 I like to keep Unread mail near the top. In fact, since I started using the Unread Mail box, it makes handling my mail a lot more efficient and easier.

Enjoy!

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