MonthOctober 2011

Where’d they put that? iOS 5 edition (Updated)

I’ve been around tech a long time now, but I have to admit I was having trouble finding some of iOS’s new features. Here are a few of the less obvious (to me, at least):

  • iMessage: Don’t bother looking for an “iMessage” app on your phone — there is none. Instead, activate it from Settings–>Messages. Then, in the regular Messages app, create a new message addressed to the recipient’s iCloud address (usually their account). The header will change from “New Message” to “New iMessage” and the color scheme will change from green to blue.
  • Camera app zoom feature: When I couldn’t get this to work with the usual screen tap, I wondered if Apple had removed the digital zoom feature from the built-in camera app. No fear, it’s still there, now invoked with a “pinch to zoom” multi-touch gesture. (Hat tip to @jgamet and a host of Twitter followers for setting me straight on that one.)
  • Reminders: We iPhone 4 and older owners may not get Siri, but it doesn’t mean we can’t use those cool “geo-fence” reminders. (“Remind me to call my wife when I leave work.”) [Update: Location reminders are only available in iPhone 4/4S; they don’t appear to be available in older iPhones or iPads.] They’re there, in the Reminders app itself. Just create a new reminder, then tap it to set the details. Tap “Remind Me” and you’ll see that one of the choices is “At a location.” You can choose your current location, those available in your own Address Book card from any contact in your Address Book. You don’t appear to be able to type in a specific address though. Reminders doesn’t appear to be clever enough to link relationships to contact information as Siri does.
  • Multitasking Gestures for iPad 1: If you were one of the enterprising iPad 1 users who used the not-so-super-secret developers’ hack to add the ability to do things like swipe with four fingers to switch apps, you may be in for a disappointment: it looks like only iPad 2 owners are getting those gestures with iOS 5 — the update not only doesn’t add them to your iPad 1, it removes them if they were already there. Get to it, jailbreak developers!

I’ll keep posting these as I discover or learn about them.

[UPDATE:] Apple says the next iOS update will restore/enable gestures on the original iPad.

A couple more found features related to weather: In the Notifications page, swipe the local weather display for the six-day outlook. In the Weather app itself, tap (or swipe down) on the six-day outlook to get an hourly forecast.

‘Apple’s 1987 Knowledge Navigator, only one month late’

I’ve been mentioning the resemblance of Apple’s iPhone 4S’ Siri voice recognition to it’s 1987 concept video (I noted it in my liveblog of the announcement.) What I didn’t notice was the uncanny accuracy of the date in which the fictional Knowledge Navigator was placed.

From Andy Baio’s

Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written “about five years ago,” setting the year as 2011.

As I mentioned on Chuck Joiner’s MacJury podcast the night of the iPhone announcements, I’m glad they left out the bow tie, though.

(Via Daring Fireball. Again.)

This is the stupidest thing I have seen in a long time

From an International Business Times article by Wendy Li:

However, when iPhone 4S was launched, Apple fans were disappointed somehow, for they were expecting the redesigned iPhone 5 as rumors suggested. Naturally, many analysts had predicted a subdued response to iPhone 4S.

But no one foresaw that the tech genius Jobs would suddenly pass away, only one day after iPhone 4S was released. Jobs’ demise stirred sadness and grief around the world and it’s believed that Jobs’ untimely death has rocketed demand for iPhone 4S from consumers.

It reinforces my belief that finding the “next Steve Jobs” is not nearly as critical to Apple’s success as is the continued presence of people so entirely clueless. More evidence in a Seattle Times article from Andy Lees, head of Microsoft’s Windows Phone division:

Q: Do you think the iPhone 4S (running on iOS 5) gives you an opening? Do you think they missed an opportunity there?

A: Yes I do. I think, from an end user’s experience on the software, there’s a lot of interesting reviews written comparing us to iOS 5 and the amount that we’ve got done in 11 months — so some people (are) making comparisons of pace. […]

From a pure hardware perspective, I was surprised they’re not giving the consumer more choice. People want a variety of different things.

(Hat tip to Daring Fireball for both quotes.)

Your Mac Life: In Memoriam—Steve Jobs

Shawn King, host of the long-running Your Mac Life broadcast, put together an audio tribute to the memory of Steve Jobs:

Wednesday was an awful day for the Macintosh Community – Thursday was not much better. As I wondered what to do and how to do it, I came up with this idea – have friends and colleagues “Tell Me a Steve Jobs Story”. Thanks very much to all who participated and, for those of you who couldn’t do it, my apologies for not being able to fit you in.

The “audio vignettes” feature thoughts, observations and remembrances of a dozen Mac community members, including Adam and Tonya Engst, Michael T. Rose, Chris Pirillo, John Moltz and yours truly. King’s tribute is a lovely, respectful, often touching collection and I’m proud to be a part of it.

The special episode is available on iTunes or via the Your Mac Life website.

Steve Jobs dead at 56

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Steven P. Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, has died, according to a statement released by Apple’s Board of Directors:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Earlier this evening, his family issued this statement:

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

In recent years, Jobs has battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer and underwent a liver transplant and took two medical leaves from the company. In late September, he stepped down as CEO of Apple, saying “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” He was named Chairman of Apple’s Board of Directors, a position he held at the time of his death.

Jobs famously asked John Sculley if he wanted to “sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?” and he did just that, transforming entire industries with visionary devices and software including the original Macintosh, the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad. He took Apple from a startup that assembled computers in a garage to arguably the most successful company in history, and along the way lead the company through one of the most dramatic turnarounds in corporate history.

In addition to running Apple, Jobs also ran NeXT, whose NeXTSTEP operating system became the basis for MacOS X; and Pixar, a computer animation company that produced such hits as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Up” and others. When Pixar was acquired by Disney, Jobs was named to Disney’s Board of Directors.

Apple’s website offers a tribute to Jobs, a single black and white photo with the text “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” The company is encouraging the public to share their “thoughts, memories, and condolences” by sending an email to

Bill Gates, founder and former CEO of Microsoft and sometimes-partner/sometimes-nemesis of Jobs, posted a statement on his personal blog:

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

From Job’s bio on the Apple website:

Steve Jobs is the Chairman of the Board of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976. Apple is leading the consumer technology world with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, its family of iPod media players and iTunes media store, and its Mac computers and iLife and iWork application suites. Apple recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Steve also co-founded and was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006 and Steve now serves on Disney’s board of directors.

Steve grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley, and still lives there with his family.

iPhone announcement coverage

RandomMaccess will be covering the Apple iPhone announcement as it happens. Check back here starting at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern Time. And look for RandomMaccess Publisher Chuck La Tournous on a special MacJury session reviewing and analyzing the announcements.

Among the anticipated (OK, rumored) enhancements we’ve seen bouncing around the web: Voice Assistant, Dual Core processor, 8 megapixel camera, “teardrop shape,” larger screen, 4S/5 or both, iPod touch 3G, App rentals…did we miss any? Read on to see what’s really announced.

Click here for the live coverage page.

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