Blogger’s Choice: iOS7

by Valerie Heruska

So, you’ve got the new Apple iOS7 and if you’re like me you’re probably like: did Apple have an 8th grader work on the colors?

I think iOS7 is nifty, despite the way the graphics look on my phone. I think the people at Apple were looking to get away from the simpleness of the way the apps functioned and looked to this new brightness and more diversified way to use your apps and the phone. A friend passed along this article to me: The Best Hidden Features of iOS7 and I have to admit, it was pretty darn cool to figure out this new operating system.

First, I would suggest turning down the brightness of the phone so your eyes don’t bleed. Also, this helps maintain some good battery life if you’re rocking the iPhone 4/4s/5. I haven’t had the opportunity to tinker with the new iPhone 5S and 5C (c as in cheap – it’s all plastic) and so I don’t know about the battery life. If anyone out there has a new iPhone 5s/5c, can you please share your thoughts here. I’ve had this operating system for a few days and I have to say it will drain your battery, so be sure to keep a charger with you.

For me, two of the best new features: Male Siri voice and the fact that all my apps update automatically.  I remember the last time I upgraded that everything took forever and a day to update, but now, it just does it automatically. Facebook, Nike Running, Twitter, Newsstand, are just a few that have some pretty rad updates to go along with iOS7. Oh and make Siri voice sounds a lot less harsh than female Siri voice.

All in all, iOS7 is something that you should not be afraid of, rather you should embrace the change that Apple has bestowed upon us Apple nerds. If you have any fun tips or want to share any of your favorite features, share them here!

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Blogger’s Choice: iOS7

Blogger Choice: A family that Macs together, stays together.

by Colleen Riggle

Apples

We are officially a full Apple family. MacBook Pro(s), iPads, iPhones, Apple TV and recently a 27 inch iMac was added to the family of glowing screens. We are the family that needs to have a special router to accommodate all the technology running in our home.  And I’m pretty sure my husband would buy our youngest (17 months) some type of Apple device if she wouldn’t attempt to chew on it.

Although she’s too young for a Macbook Pro, she loves to use my iPhone.  However, I must admit I’m thrifty when it comes to apps. I really don’t like to pay for them, so I usually find something that is free in place of one that is .99 – yes I know that’s way less than a Starbucks but it’s besides the point.  Fisher Price has definitely won my vote.  They have over 20 children’s educational apps.  Everything from learning the alphabet, numbers, to singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat to even a small piano!  All for free! I’ve gone through and bought almost all of them.  They are in a special folder for just for Catherine.

And on the other end of the spectrum, my 18 yo son just bought a MacBook Pro.  He’s a big gamer and had been using a 5 year old Dell – it’s quite the difference now.  We had a little down time the other night and were all found sitting at our pub table with the glow of the screen on our faces.

Some families bond over sports, some food, and others television.  We definitely love food, and a good show during prime time, but we will definitely always have the bond of technology.

A family that Macs together, stays together.

Blogger Choice: A family that Macs together, stays together.

App Addiction

By Brenda Bethman

As Anitra did last week, I also have a confession — one that is also related to the apps on my iPhone / iPad. In my case, its that I am just a wee bit addicted to trying new apps. So much so that I currently have 143 apps installed on my phone, 148 on the iPad and a library of 223 in iTunes on my Mac (and this is after a major purge a bit ago during which I deleted close to 100 apps from iTunes).

There are a few reasons for this addiction of mine:

  • One is that I genuinely enjoy playing around with and testing new apps (and hey, I do co-edit a tech blog, so thats probably a good thing). As this was a long weekend, I spent some time downloading some new apps, playing around with them, and then deciding whether to keep them (Drafts made the cut, Smartr did not, and the jury is still out on Things).
  • Secondly is that I am a bit of a digital hoarder. Paper I will throw out, but I hang on to my apps just in case I need them sometime. Yes, I know I can re-download at any time, but that requires an Internet connection and time. What if I need the app right away?!? Much better to have it on my phone.
  • Third is the belief that somewhere out there the perfect app is waiting for me — one that will accurately and beautifully forecast the weather, one that will magically organize the chaos of my contacts, one that will keep my to-do lists in such perfect order that I will become more productive overnight, etc., etc. I know thats a myth, and yet…..the hope and promise of a new app is like a siren call, one to which I succumb again and again.

What about you? Are an app addict? Or a buy-just-what-you-need kind of app buyer? Let us know. Oh, and if you have any tips for that app that might just change my life, please leave a link in the comments!

 

App Addiction

How do you include your hobbies & passions into your work and everyday life?

by Jess Faulk

This blog prompt made me  consider reaching beyond my work life and everyday life and to actually use my hobbies and passions in the blog post itself.  Yes, it’s a bit meta, but bear with me.  Enjoy a visualization of me: my passions (Graphic Design, Google, Tech, Apple), my hobbies (Biking, Kayaking, Climbing), and what is most important to me (family, friends, learning, and sharing).

My Passions & HobbiesIf you made a visualization of you, what pictures or items would it include?  How would you answer this prompt?

How do you include your hobbies & passions into your work and everyday life?

Apple of my eye

by Jess Faulk

There is no doubt that the passing of Steve Jobs this week has shaken a large community of die-hard apple lovers.  But Steve Job’s impact goes far beyond a group of dedicated fans. Steve’s impact was so far reaching, that it has impacted every single one of our lives.  Whether you have bought every version of the iphone, or are an avid Droid user, Steve Jobs, and Apple (and Pixar) have been influencing innovation, design, and the rapid pace of technological growth around us for over 25 years.

Many people know that it was Apple who first brought us the computer mouse in 1984.  With their Macintosh computer, they made computing fun and accessible for a whole generation of people.  After so many years, we now take this advancement for granted, but can you imagine interacting with your computer in any other way? This was just the start of a long line of technological advances yet to come.

Job’s re-emergence as the CEO of Apple after many years absence (in which he bought and nourished Pixar animation) was a second renaissance in computer design.  For anyone old enough to remember those little bubble gum colored macs spinning around on a platform, you couldn’t help but want to be a part of the fun that was an iMac.

My first love for Mac came much before the iMac launch (1998).  When my family decided it was time to finally buy a computer for our household I was in high school.  They asked us whether we wanted a Macintosh or a PC.  Fortunately for me, I had a couple of friends who had some strong feelings on the subject and guided me in the direction of the Macintosh Performa.  I can not even venture a guess of how many hours my older brothers and I spent at that computer, playing games from CD-ROMs and Floppy Disks, finding 100’s of demos of free games and downloading them with our 14.4k modem.  We were in heaven having bought this beautiful machine that captured our imagination, allowed us access to information on the net (though the standard AOL connection), and gave us a new way to play.

One particular moment of excitement with my Performa will be forever remembered by the scar I have on my left hand.  When I learned from a classmate that ClarisWorks (a old document creator) could connect to the Internet to send documents I was beyond ecstatic (don’t ask me why we didn’t just email the document, since that would have clearly been too simple).  I was excitedly working on setting up the connection, running around the hallway between the phone, my room, and the computer in the hall, working beyond the point of stubbornness to make this connection work.  In my haste, I managed to punch the stair banister in the hallway and didn’t even notice it until many minutes later when I looked down and saw the blood.  I was so preoccupied with the work I was doing on my Mac that I didn’t care that I had permanently scarred my own hand! Now I cherish this scar as a reminder of the joy of discovery and a simpler time when connecting to another person’s computer was the most exciting thing in the world.

My life is peppered with memories like these, all a tribute to the impact Apple has had on my life.  After 19 years of Macs, IPods, IPhones, IPads and listening to Steve Jobs keynotes, I can truly say that Apple is a piece of who I am today.  From their intense focus on design, to their innovative spirit, Apple inspires me, and the work that I do everyday.  Thank you Steve Jobs for all that you have brought to this world.

Author’s note:  Except for a few brief dalliances with PCs (what can I say, it was in college and I was going through an experimental phase!), I have stayed true to my love of apple.  Below is a graphic of all of the Apple products I have owned, a timeline of my “iLife.”

Apple Timeline

Share your “ilife” with us in the comments sections of this post

 

 

Apple of my eye

What I didn’t know about the iPad.

By Jennifer Keegin

I am an owner of an iPad. Okay, really it’s the University’s. I bought it for work. It’s still for my use, and I’m totally jazzed about it. But as I went to purchase my shiny new white iPad with a mere 16GB of memory with Verizon wireless and 3G – I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about the iPad and that I had a lot to learn. This isn’t just a big ‘ole iPhone.

For starters there are the data plans. I didn’t really think that part through when I rolled up into Best Buy with my business credit card. I just knew I wanted a white one and it was cheaper to get the 16GB. My iPhone has 32G and that’s just crazy. My phone doesn’t need that much memory. Overkill. It would be nice to have more memory on the iPad, but again, this was for work and I did have to stay in a budget.

Data Plans: If you go to the Apple website, you could go through the whole purchase process without seeing anything at all about data plans. You have to choose either an AT&T model or a Verizon model and I think that’s where I got mixed up. You can buy the unit, but then once you get the thing home – you have to connect to the provider of choice and then pick your plan. They actually made me pick a plan in the store – just to get home to see that I had to do it all over again on the iPad. I have no idea why I had to go through the whole process in the store – they don’t set up the tablet with a connection. It indicated on the receipt what I picked – but again, I had to truly register it at home. So picking the actual data plan – I just went with Verizon because everything through the University is AT&T and I have been interested in how well the Verizon service is around here.

So I found the data plan structure to be very hard to understand. Apparently I’m not the only one. The way the salesperson at Best Buy explained it to me was that Verizon was more expensive, but had better coverage in NY. Who knows. But again – something to think about.

Applications: I didn’t know that iPhone applications are different from iPad applications. Silly me. I just assumed if I had an application I liked on the iPhone, it would just transfer over to the iPad. No such luck.

Some applications like Facebook don’t even have an official iPad app. How did I not know this? I learned the hard way. Synced up the iPad with my work computer that also syncs with my iPhone. Had all these lovely applications that ended up looking like this photo.

So make sure you find iPad apps to replace the iPhone ones that you love so much.

  • Here’s another thing I didn’t know. There is at least one application that is only available on iPad that is so cool…it alone, to me, makes owning an iPad worth it. It’s called Flipboard. Thank you to Ed Cabellon for the tip.
  • Also, I believe that Google Earth was created with a large touch screen in mind. Moving and shifting and squeezing the world between your fingertips – amazing!
  • The applications all look different on the iPad too. I kinda like some of it, some of it is a little annoying. For instance, Twitter is layered with sliding panels that overlay on top of one another.

Usually picking and adding apps can be one of the most fun parts of owning the iPod Touch, the iPhone, or the iPad – so enjoy!

Summary: I have already learned a great deal about my purchase and I’m still learning new tricks, new apps and new ways of using my iPad everyday to enhance what I do. Hopefully I’ll be able to do another installment of this post when I have more to share. For now, I’d love to know if anyone else can share “Things I Wish I Knew” about their iPad.

What I didn’t know about the iPad.