WWDC Expectations – iOS8 & MAC OSX 10.10 & iPhone 6


Image

Hi all. I know this place was quiet for a while. And for those 10 that read me I apologise for not giving my fingers an exercise with WordPress. Work kept me busy typing enough on a daily basis.

So! WWDC 2014 kicks off on June 2nd and the web is buzzing with the usual rumours about the new features and expectations. That of course is there with a whole boat of concepts [those where awesome this year so far if you ask me!] and “leaks” of the new iPhone[s].

iPhone 6

Image

So there’s a talk going on that most likely there’s a new increased screen coming with the iPhone 6 and most seem convinced it will be 4.7″. That sort of makes me think – ok it’s like my Moto G. Which feels a little too large to be able to hold in one hand and use comfortably, and on the other hand it’s not large enough to justify losing the proper one hand use at most of the times. Is it all about hands though? I guess… But point being if 4.7″ is what we get – it will not satisfy me as big enough and will make my wife unhappy as too big. Hmm?

Then there’s the [I don't f**king believe it] 5.5″ screen size rumour. Honestly – if that came out I’d buy that one. Without thinking too long. I want a big phone! Yes, I am jealous of the HTC ONE M8 size. I don’t care about using it in one hand, I have massive hands and i rarely use the iPhone in one hand. Never did since the first one I had in 2008. Unless I decide to read while I’m walking. If that is so it doesn’t matter how big the screen is as all you do is scroll it down. It would make sense because there’s so much more that I can imagine I would be able to do with it. Might even make me go less to the tablet – not that it’s a bad thing really to do that, but the iPhone just seems to be… always there where I am. Watching videos, browsing the web, pictures, all is better with a bigger screen. I can’t see Apple making it though – and that makes me sad.

iOS8

This is one topic that seems to have more bulls*** rumours this year than anything. There certainly must something better around the corner than just Healthbook. And honestly something tells me if there will be an decent increase in the screen size of the iPhone there may just be a big change in the UI of the iPhone. How dumb will a larger screen will look if all it will have is more icons on it. Seriously! I’ve got a feeling the “just icons” view might be [not fully] on it’s way out to include widgets [please] or something useful along those lines. They could get away with “you get another row of icons!” with the size change from 3.5 to 4 – but I doubt [and hope] it’s not the case this time. Also if this is to be true, we’d probably see the new iPhone sooner rather than later because what’s the point of showing off the new OS [that mainly works best on the new phone and mainly because of the screen size] on the old small phone.

Text Edit? Preview? – Nonsense!

MACOSX 10.10

Another OS, another California location name? I’ll go for that!

I bet on more introduction of iOS language design getting integrated into OSX. Surely this is the new direction for them as Jonny Ive suggested. And frankly it would make sense as OSX and it’s basic interface is just getting old. Not to say that I don’t like it but it now gets out of line and looks very different from iOS. And surely Apple wants a more unified experience across their products!

In terms of features I am still praying for Time Machine in the iCloud! Nobody uses the map app on desktop so maybe they will talk more sense this time instead of introducing useless apps that are available in the cloud. I honestly think the Notes app on both platforms could benefit of a few more features, at least basic editing tools.


Ok, enough expectations! I am definitely excited for 2nd of June and the keynote, I hope at least some of the things I discussed here come true. All of them are purely based on logic and how the tech develops, where it goes. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Going from iOS to a trial of Android Part 1


Hello all. Has the hell frozen over and I’m switching to Android from iOS after 6 years? Not yet… But I’ve got an android phone – Moto G 8GB version.

motog2

I made the decision after buying my wife an iPhone 5S for Christmas and her iPhone 4 couldn’t serve us as a spare phone because it’s locked [bought through a weird cheap web site and nobody seems to care to unlock it and jailbreak is just evil] plus on iOS7 the phone is ridiculously slow. Moto G was cheap, we actually made money on the swap using good old CEX. £115 for a phone didn’t seem overkill, especially with the fact that the web is screaming in good reviews about this phone being great value for money. So let’s see if it is…

Now I’m no android user, last time I tested it was in 2.1 days, using a Samsung Galaxy Europa for a week – the phone two of which I bought my parents. I did receive a lot of hate from them for those… Budget handsets – what can you expect. However the look they gave at the OS was exactly as it was – just on a smaller screen. I was playing around with colleagues HTC phones like desire and the [hated on this blog] Samsung Galaxy. The experience was just clunky when compared to iOS – the apps were horribly designed, felt like back in windows 95 days to me in all honesty. Plus I possessed a lot of hate for the whole Thermonuclear War anger of Steve Jobs back in the days really steered me away.

LG-Nexus-4-add1I have been interested in Android since Google came up with the Nexus 4. I loved the design, there was something cool about it, that I never felt about any other Android phone. The Verge had a very interesting interview with Google about the product – for the first time I saw the glare in their eyes and huge amounts of excitement about what they’ve achieved with the product. It felt different, I knew this was going to be a game changer. And I think a lot of people would agree it was. Because the price was way less than most would expect to pay for the quality you were getting. My brother in law switched to Android and Nexus 4. He did have a lot of teething problems with it, he blatantly hated it for many reasons, and just called it dumb. I wasn’t so sure about all of that at the time.

So here I am now, – I spent one whole day without my iPhone *purposely* for the first time in all them years. How do I feel about it – good. I am actually still surprised. What Moto G is for what it cost me, – is amazing. The phone keeps up with my demands very well. It is fast. I am an Apple fanboy so no snapdragon discussions will happen here, – what matters is what it feels like. And it’s really good. There is occasional lag in scrolling, which as I understand is just unavoidable. It just feels that google can’t figure out how scrolling works. It seems very hard for them. It switches from an app to app quick, loads pages quick, notifications take me to the correct place very quickly [I would go as far as saying quicker than my iPhone 5 does].

love widgets. Oh my god how will I live without them on the iPhone. I’ve noticed it actually changes my attitude to the content. I am actually bothered to look at BBC News now because it’s as easy as a swipe to the left on my home screen and I get the top stories, and I can click on them and [nearly every time] it takes me right to the story and I can watch a video. My Spotify is hanging at the top of my most common apps on the home screen and I can see what’s playing and it’s artwork. It’s just god damn beautiful to look at. Plus it’s adding useful functionality and easy of use. Yes I said it, there’s something that feels easier here than it does on the iPhone. Weird that I’m saying it.

The folders are amazingly simple and it’s great. They are much better than the iOS folders as they don’t take up the whole screen showing you 9 apps. What is the f***ing point of that Apple?! Easy to organise, neat to see and access. Brownie point again.

It is being a twat with bluetooth in the car and Spotify. That is when I get into the car and I was listening to Spotify before it still starts playing my file from the music player – which happens to be my super mario ringtone. I might hate this ringtone soon I think. I just don’t store any music on the phone at all. Maybe it’s possible to change this as a default behaviour and if somebody knows how to – let me know.

I tried using AirPlay with this. ZappoTV and AppleTV Media works great! At least for YouTube it does which is what I care about most. Well… Plex which I got for free as a Plex Pass subscriber and serves our house media doesn’t know about airplay. ZappoTV allegedly can read Plex stuff but it wants me to pay it something extra to enable something which I’m not [yet] prepared to invest in. In a nutshell – it’s useable, not as good as the iPhone is in that respect, but I’m not expecting it to be. Maybe I will invest in a Chromecast at some point – it’s cheap isn’t it?

That is really it so far. I am sure there will be a lot more in my head as I carry on with this. But I dangerously like that phone to an extent of starting to think [way too early I know...] if I’ll be interested in the Nexus 5 or the next version of HTC One. I am scared though… Something might just go wrong and little things will start annoying me. We shall see. And I’ll let you know how this goes.

Peace. Speak soon.

iPad Air or iPad Mini retina?


retina-ipad-mini-ipad-air

Hello world.

One day after Apples “we’ve got a lot to cover” event, which brought the long rumoured and expected hardware / software updates. I was most definitely expecting new iPads and knew I was going to upgrade this time. Because as it happened last year eBuyer made a great deal on eBay which allowed me to buy an iPad 4, sell my iPad 3, and still walk away with £30. So I thought – I deserve an upgrade this year as the budget is there.

When the iPad mini was released, I was very excited about it, apart from the lack of retina display. When I actually looked at it in the Apple store, the non-retina display stopped me from buying it. Now we’ve got a retina iPad mini! However… We’ve also got an iPad Air. I’m sure I’m not alone on the “weird name” opinion. Are we getting an iPad Pro or something anytime soon? – unlikely. So anyway, the point is that it now starts to seem that the iPad Air is not such a bad option as it’s lighter than 4th gen, and you get the bigger screen. What buys me back to the mini is that it’s got more potential to be used in more places. I would probably take it out more, and actually use it. If I were to get it I am thinking of a 4G version and for a start put the free data sim into it from Ovivo – so that I don’t care about usage and just use it when I need to.

Ehh! I’m going back and forth between the two. I’ve used a full size iPad regularly for nearly two years soon. And I have been tempted by the mini design. I am thinking of getting the mini first. If I REALLY don’t like it, there’s always the 14 days return policy, right?

Any thoughts? I’m sure I’m not alone on this “decisions decisions” topic.

Alex

Why do we need a PC nowadays?


Image

Hello world.

Just a quick note. Nothing serious today. Or may it be?

I just happened to notice recently that the more the time goes on, the less I have to use an old fashioned style computer with a desktop operating system. I.E. I just get most of the things I need doing done on my iPhone or the iPad. I rarely sit down by the Macbook Pro to get anything done at all [I am writing this on it thought as the keyboard is a must for a lot of text].

Main things I need the desktop os for:

1. Photo editing from DSLR, storing them. Storing videos.

2. My windows server downloads movies and plex server shares them out to iOS devices and the rest around the house.

3. Storing mp3s, in my case the likes of russian rap that is mostly unavailable on spotify.

4. Skype video chat for long periods of time, mainly with mum, sometimes still use an iPad for that.

5. Any new developments / learning for my IT career, the likes of CISCO, software development, HTML.

These are the main things. I sat down for a bit, I couldn’t think of many more. All this begs the question, – when I replace this laptop, which won’t happen for many years unless it fails [2 years of apple care left], what kind of cheap machine will I be going for as really… I am not using it all that much. It’s a powerful 2012 15″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display, so either way it will last a while and won’t slow down. But down the line… I am probably looking at my next machine being a middle range laptop, ultra-book or whatever will be out on the market in the next few years.

What do you use the computer for? If you use it for more than any of these things, do you have a tablet?

It’s funny as it kind of takes me back to the day when the iPad was released and people were asking why would you need one. I don’t understand a need for a PC as much as I understand a need for a tablet now.

Can YouTube or Facebook replace RSS?


Hello World!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been very happily using the new updated YouTube interface, and I think it’s a game changer. There is now a main focus on the channel subscriptions, and you seem to be forced to care more about the channels that you subscribe to. Not to say you couldn’t care about them in the past, but now it’s just right there, in your FACE:

Image

That sort of brings me to the way (soon to be gone) Google Reader is displaying the feeds:

Google Reader

Kind of similar, huh?

I know it’s two different things. But most blogs / news sites have a youtube channel nowadays, where they publish daily news. I very closely follow CNET TV for example, and I feel that it’s probably even a better way of getting the news, as you can actually see things in real life. I definitely agree with the fact that more people should do it after all, as not ALL of the web sites have  a channel.

I think the point that I’m trying to make is that YouTube is a different kind of a social network beast than it someday used to be. It went from all sorts of clips to daily news, updates, weekly reviews etc. I seem to be opening YouTube nowadays before I go to the RSS. It is just simplerAnd that (I think) matters to people. The easier it is to get access to the information that you’re after, the more likelihood you are to go with that source. I think the fact that it has a billion monthly users only proves my point. Proof – BBC Article.

I keep hearing this on podcasts, that Twitter is a new RSS replacement. And I will say that yes, I have been using it mainly for that purpose for a while. It seems however that it is good to deliver the latest, but the “river” issue with it is a concern. When I go to twitter on my iPhone I will more than likely scroll through the last 200 tweets at most. And that would mean that I would miss whatever’s been posted before. I know you can create lists etc, but it’s not as convenient, and there’s clearly the absence of them focusing on that in the way it is shown in the above screenshots.

Facebook is adding the followers section in the News Feed update. That will put it closer to where twitter is, however it will separate your stuff straight away, so you will have your friends with the garbage joke photos (sorry, I think Facebook has become a Trash folder recently) and companies that you follow. However I haven’t been following many on there, so I cannot tell if it’s any good. I probably should give it a try.

So guys and gals. What is your take on this? Can we live without RSS? I know a lot of people might not know what it is, but I know a lot of people rely on it for research purposes, and as a way of keeping up-to-date. YouTube helps me personally, and I’ve also been trying to contribute as much as I can myself, by bringing useful, and sometimes not so useful footage to the worlds biggest social video network.

Peace!

Starcraft 2 Heart Of The Swarm Running on the Macbook Pro Retina 15″ 2012


Trying to make a Hackintosh


Hi all.

Yesterday I decided to try to install MACOSX on the old little PC tower I’ve picked up from my mother in laws. The unit is no screaming beast – a “Stone computers” unit. It’s an Intel Core 2 Duo E7300, running at 2.66Ghz. 3GB of Ram upgraded from 2 (don’t remember the speeds), Intel GMA 3100 GPU (I am guessing it’s a part of the CPU). It has a 250GB HDD on it. As of my experience trying to put OSX on it, it achieved another 1TB drive.

So the problem to be solved, and why would I do this? Well, I still think that windows is not as great as MACOSX for what I need the OS for. Yes, it’s running my Plex Server, and OSX won’t do that much better you’d say. But I foolishly believe it does. And it’s just another interesting thing to try to achieve. I’ve tried it in the past, installed it on a Sony VAIO laptop – it worked, but I had issues with drivers… Now I’ve gone through the KnowHow Guide and expected the situation with the drivers should be resolve-able. Apart from the know how guide, I found a pre-installed image that people were advised to just restore to the HDD.

First obstacle – the PCs BIOS has no ability to boot from USB… This is just a recipe for insanity nowadays. It does have a DVD drive, but not that I have any blank DVDs to burn + the software that is used to create the flash drive doesn’t know how to burn to a disk. Well, what I had to do was shuffle the data around HDDs, I used a 2.5inch 250GB drive that would act as my “flash drive”, or the bootable drive. After waiting for over an hour while the data was moving off that disk to another one, I went down the first route of the two that I picked.

This first route was to use the pre-installed system, you’d think that’s just easier! Well, the image that I downloaded was an .arc, it had all the instructions, you’d need to use R-Drive to restore it to a drive. When trying to do that, all I kept on getting is a message that would say “Image media removed”. That just didn’t make any sense to me. I thought it’d be windows permissions issue, so I moved it to a folder out of the ISO that all the goodness was provided in – still no joy. I tried opening the program as administrator – no difference… I just ended up banning this idea assuming the image file was bogus.

The second route I took was the one that came from Twit and the KnowHow Guide. This guide pretty much is a good explanation how to use the tools at tonymacx86. I used the Unibeast tool to create the flash drive out of my 250GB drive using my sata to usb board that I took out of an enclosure a while ago. It implied downloading mountain lion from the mac app store, which I’ve done, and just going through a process they said would take 30 minutes, but on the Retina Display Macbook Pro I now have it funnily only took about 3 minutes. Away I went to plug my massive flash drive into the sata port of the Stone Desktop, and rebooted. When booting from the “flash drive” it greeted me with a boot loader that allowed me to pick the OSX install, or boot into windows. I picked the OSX install and yes (!) the apple logo has appeared. It followed by the spinning pizza ball, which was all looking good. However soon a crossed circle icon had appeared… Oh another round of troubleshooting. I went through every single available step that was there on the website, I tried all sorts of different modes, but nothing was changing.

At that point I have spent about 5 hours with moving data backwards and forwards, trying not to screw up partitioning, and lose any data. The point was reached – I gave up. Some might say that I just got used to the Apple way of using and doing things (“it just works”), got lazy, and my brain just doesn’t want to think any more. Maybe it’s the Stone Desktop, god knows. But it didn’t work, and the day was coming to an end.

If somebody had better experience with Hackintosh, let me know. I am just disappointed, and unsure if I want to try it again.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 439 other followers