Forget the iPhone: Look at the Remarkable 3-Year Rise of Android

August 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Hey, remember Symbian? You know, that god awful operating system Nokia used in its smartphones? well, just two years ago, it was still the top selling mobile OS in the world. 

Things change fast in the smartphone business. Yesterday, Gartner published it latest estimates of global mobile sales, and it reminded me of two things. First, it’s really foolish to take anything for granted about an industry that reshuffles itself so quickly. back in 2010, when “California Gurls” was tearing up the charts (God forgive us), the Blackberry was still going toe-to-toe with the iPhone. second, when you look at sales volumes, the big story in mobile for the past few years hasn’t really been Apple; it’s been the rise of Google’s Android. 

In the second quarter of 2009, worldwide smartphone sales totaled about 41 million, with Apple and Android devices accounting for 5.3 million about 755,000 units, respectively. This last quarter, consumers bought 153 million smartphones.* About 28.9 million had an Apple logo, while 98.5 million ran Google’s OS.  

When we watch companies like Apple and Samsung throw down in vicious patent fights to keep each others’ products off of shelves, this is the chart we should keep in mind. Apple looks unbeatable today, but nobody can be certain if it’ll be able to maintain the fat profit margins on each device that make it such a powerful company. And who knows what will happen when that Amazon phone comes out. Smartphones are still a relatively young industry, and things change fast. 

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*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the figure as 140 million units.

Alleged iPad Mini Cases Hit The Web

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

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It’s interesting how over the past few weeks the rumor mill talks about iPad Mini almost as much as about the iPhone 5. Some alleged iPad Mini cases have leaked on the web, courtesy of an iDevice accessories maker.

Rumor has it that the Apple is readying a smaller, cheaper tablet, unofficially dubbed iPad Mini, sporting a 7.85-inch, that will be a rival for Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle fire.

While my inspiration tells me that there will be no iPad Mini after all, the whole web seems fascinated by the perspective of this product, especially be the idea of an Apple tablet that costs $250 or $300.

What you are seeing in the gallery below are a couple of iPad Mini cases, coming for Devicewear, a company Apple will probably never forget if the pictures are real. You can see for yourself the smaller dock connector on the bottom of the device an the way the speaker grills are designed, a reminiscent of iPhone 5, or what we call the iPhone 5 based on the recent leaks.

We’ve also spotted the volume buttons, the mic, a button that probably turns off screen rotation and a camera that doesn’t have LED flash. The lens of the camera mounted on the back of the alleged iPad Mini is pretty big, therefore it might use the same technology as iPhone 4S, even though the lack of LED flash will be a drawback.

Even so, these are only rumors, and without Apple’s confirmation we can’t be 100% sure that this is how the iPad Mini looks like, or that it even exists.

Buying a computer for genealogy — 2012 update

August 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Buying a computer system is still considered a major purchase by many genealogists, but this perception may be changing as the options for the types of computers available become more varied and prices continue to fall. Present estimates are that over 100 million tablet computers will be sold in 2012, almost a 100% increase over 2011. as the tablet computers gain more and more functionality, they may end up replacing many of the traditional roles desktop computers have filled in the past. This decided movement to a handheld device is led by Apple’s iOS (operating system)  iPad series of tablets, but devices from Samsung and others running Google’s Android operating system are not far behind. it is possible that this shift to smaller, more portable devices will rather quickly replace the desktop.

At the same time, younger computer users are moving almost entirely to smartphones for their computer usage. I use a desktop computer but I also have a tablet and a smartphone, in my case an iPhone. I am finding that many of the tasks I would do on my desktop computer are now being done on my iPhone.

In the middle are the laptop computers. many of the laptop computers available today exceed the storage capacity and speed of desktop computers, and by adding a large external monitor and a keyboard and mouse or trackpad, a laptop can serve as a desktop computer also, with the advantage that it can be carried to a research site or used in other places in the home. another significant movement in the computer industry is towards “ultrabook” computers. these are essentially very lightweight and very thin laptop computers, usually with fewer of the connectors associated with a standard computer and missing a CD or DVD drive. Since most computer connectivity is being accomplished through WiFi or wireless connections, many of the cable connections are no longer absolutely necessary.

It is now becoming more common for a computer user to have a desktop computer or a laptop and a smartphone or a tablet. Computers are appearing in places where they were never seen before, such as church meetings and social gatherings.

First, looking at a desktop system, what does the system consist of and what should it cost? Bear in mind that most genealogical applications are neither speed nor memory- intensive. The types of activities that push the limits of even today’s computers include online gaming (computer games played online), video production and intensive graphic design or photo manipulation. One previous concern in purchasing a computer was the amount of internal storage capacity of the hard drive. This has ceased to be a problem or concern due to the availability of very low-cost external hard disk storage. I recently purchased a 3 Terabyte external hard drive for $130. This is more storage than most people would use in their lifetime. If you fall into the category of a heavy computer user, you already know the limits of your computer system and are aware of what you need to do to get either a faster computer or more storage capacity.

So what is a “computer system?” Usually, when there are advertisements for a “system” the package consists of a computer in a box or case, a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor or screen and sometimes a printer thrown in free. There are always several computer systems sold at any one of the mass merchandising big-box stores such as Costco, Walmart or Best Buy. The current price for a complete system, including a monitor, start at under $4oo.  At the other end of the spectrum a new Apple iMac starts at about $1200. but to get some perspective, it was not too long ago that I was paying almost a $1000 or more for just a monitor.

That brings up another issue. The quality, speed and ease of use of the new computers far exceeds anything available just a few years ago. Computers do not just undergo model changes, they are almost completely re-invented every year. you may be happy with your five or ten-year-old computer, but you are essentially locking yourself out of the advances in programs and online resources by keeping your outdated machine. Just from the standpoint of monitors, the advances are notable. I mentioned that we used to spend $1000 or more on a CRT monitor. Today, I can buy a 24″ LCD monitor for less than $150.

What do laptops cost? here the same factors influence computer costs as with desktops or any other device: speed, storage capacity, and the resolution of the screen or monitor. a very functional laptop can be purchased for under $300, but many laptops cost between $300 and $400. If you own a large SUV, that is about five tankfuls of gas. you can spend more; the lightweight ultrabooks start at around $800. again, to gain some perspective, Apple computers are becoming the most popular types sold, and the MacBook Pro laptop starts at $1200 while the ultralight MacBook Air begins at $1000.

Part of the reason tablet computers have become so popular is the trade-off between utility and price. Tablets are extremely useful, but it would be difficult to manage a large genealogical database on a tablet, although that may change. The most popular tablet, the Apple iPad, begins at $400, while other tablet computers such as the Samsung Galaxy costs about $300. you might want to look into purchasing a portable keyboard for your tablet. in addition, some of the tablet computers, including the iPad, come with built-in cameras.

The last option, which may not be a replacement for your desktop, laptop or tablet, is to use a smartphone. these are sold entirely differently than any of the other computers. they are sold as telephones with a monthly charge for phone service and a premium additional charge for a data plan. There are so many options and plans that it might take a few hours in a phone store to figure out what you want or can afford. but the price of the device itself is often free or nominal when you sign up for a data plan.

So, if you are using an older computer, this is best of all possible times to move up to a newer system. but then again, tomorrow there will be even more options and possibly lower prices. My last suggestion is don’t get caught in the waiting game. There will always be a new computer coming out in “just a few months” so there is no need to wait.

Apple, Samsung drop some patent claims as trial nears

July 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

IDG News Service – Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop some of the patent infringement claims they have filed against each other, they said Monday. The move will help simplify the litigation between the two companies when it goes in front of a California jury next week.

Apple said it would dismiss all claims it had previously made against Samsung’s Acclaim, Nexus S and Sidekick cell phones, while Samsung is dropping all claims against Apple relating to U.S. Patent 6,928,604. The decision was disclosed in a filing to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The two companies have been arguing in a San Jose courtroom over a lawsuit Apple filed against Samsung in April 2011. The case covers the design and operation of tablet computers and smartphones and essentially boils down to Apple accusing Samsung of too closely copying its iPad and iPhone products.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection next Monday.

In an attempt to make the case easier for a jury to manage, the presiding judge in the case, Lucy Koh, has restricted each side to no more than 25 hours to present their case and show no more than 125 exhibits. Even so, the case could take up to four weeks to complete.

She has also repeatedly asked both companies to narrow their claims down to a core set of complaints that each feels most confident about winning. Koh most recently gave similar instructions on July 18.

Apple and Samsung are due in court in San Jose on Tuesday for a final trial hearing ahead of next week’s jury trial.

Also this week, a Dusseldorf court will rule in an appeals case over whether the Galaxy Tab 10.1N infringes on Apple’s designs. A patent battle between the two companies began on Monday in Australia with Samsung accusing Apple of refusing to enter into negotiations to license essential 3G patents included in the iPhone and iPad.

The U.S. case is 11-01846 being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn’s e-mail address is

Top 6 Sites for the Best Tech Tips

July 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

You enjoy keeping up with the latest in technology, especially if it makes your life easier. You don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to reading all the tech blogs but you enjoy keeping up with the latest tech news. Today, we’ve rounded up six websites that are perfect for you, the busy professional. these websites are dedicated to giving you only the most useful tips and news so that you can spend your time doing the things you love.

1. LifehackerThe beauty of Lifehacker is that it doesn’t limit itself to covering just technology, it will also educate you on everything from how to cool your coffee to how to handle hot leftovers. Predominately, however, you’ll find that most of their articles touch on technology-related products. Here you’ll find an endless amount of tips, shortcuts and downloads that are aimed to make you work and live smarter and more efficiently. want to learn how to sync your bookmarks from your computer to your smartphone? Interested in finding out what the best Ereader is for your iPhone? find the answers to these questions and more at Lifehacker.

Tip: Recently, Lifehacker looked back on 2011 by rounding up their most popular stories which includes how-to guides, tips, and more. find a full list of the stories here.

2. CNETSimilar to PC Mag, CNET is a site that publishes news on technology and consumer products. Calling itself a “collective of the tech-savvy and tech-obsessed,” this website is filled with the latest news, reviews, downloads and how-tos. in their How-To section, you’ll find great tips on how to optimize the usage of your phone, tablet and computer, or, if you’re Facebook-obsessed, you’ll learn how to manage your profile with articles that cover everything from learning Facebook’s keyboard shortcut to finding out how to update Facebook with Siri. This clean, easy to navigate website is the perfect place to learn some fast, useful tips.

Tip: Have a specific question you’d like answered? Ask it at the bottom of the how To section and, if you’re lucky, a CNET editor might choose your topic to cover next.

3. PC MagWhile PC Magazine is a computer magazine that started back in 1982, its print edition discontinued in 2009 and it’s now only an online destination. A trusted source to find reviews and previews of the latest tech products, PC Mag is written by leading experts who will guide you through operating system issues, as well as answer software and hardware questions. Articles cover everything from how to make the switch from a PC to Apple to discovering extra features in Firefox 3 you probably didn’t know of. if and when you’re ready to take the leap and buy a new laptop, destktop, tablet or other tech related product, you can search through their deep archive of articles to find their top picks and advice on how to choose the one that’s right for you.

Tip: Check out their Award Winners section to find lists of top products as chosen by their editors or readers.

4. EngadgetLove being on top of all the latest news in gadgets and consumer electronics? Always looking to stay ahead of the curve? if the answer to these questions is “yes” then make sure you bookmark Engadget. This web magazine, that launched in March of 2004, is now one of the biggest, most visited blogs today. It was purchased by AOL in 2005 and has since gone through a major reshuffling of their corporate staff. Regardless, it still remains as one of the go-to sites to find the breaking news on the coolest products. It also has a neatly organized Reviews section where you can learn about tech products before you buy them.

Tip: Aside from their website, you can also access Engadget through their app on any number of different platforms including the iPad, iPhone, Android or BlackBerry.

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Google could pay record fine for bypassing Apple’s Safari security features, report says

July 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Google (GOOG) and the Federal Trade Commission are closing in on a deal that would require the Mountain View search giant to pay a record $22.5 million fine for bypassing the default privacy settings of Apple’s (AAPL) Safari browser for Google users, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the two sides were close to the deal, which would be the largest fine the FTC has ever levied on a single company.

The FTC investigation focuses on whether Google violated the terms of an existing settlement involving privacy problems with its ill-fated “Buzz” social network in 2010; because of that settlement, Google faces sanctions as large as $16,000 per violation per day in the Safari case, which potentially affected millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac users.

As part of its agreement signed last year with the FTC after the Buzz incident, Google agreed to undergo 20 years of outside reviews of its privacy policies and promised not to misrepresent its privacy practices to consumers. Google did not acknowledge breaking the law by agreeing to the Buzz consent decree and did not pay a fine.

As with the earlier Buzz case, Google has said the Safari breach was inadvertent. Google has acknowledged it changed the default settings in Safari browsers to allow the “+1″ button connected to its Google+ social network to work with Apple’s browser. It said those changes inadvertently resulted in Google’s advertising tracking software becoming attached to the browsers of many iPhone and iPad users — even though Google’s own website had told Safari users that if they took no action, they would be protected from having their travels across the Web monitored and shared with advertisers.

“We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled,” Google said when the charges first came to light. “We created a temporary communication link between Safari browsers and Google’s servers, so that we could ascertain whether Safari users were also signed into Google, and had opted for personalized ads and other content. however, the Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser.”

Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.

6 Best Tablet Computers of 2011

June 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Since the launch of the first iPad in 2010, tablet computers have become almost ubiquitous, with plenty of users now taking advantage of the many benefits of being able to use a touch screen computer on the move. bigger and more powerful than a touch screen phone, yet slimmer and more convenient than a laptop, tablet computing offers web browsing, multimedia entertainment and much more.

If you’re in the market for a tablet computer, this handy review of the top six 2011 models will give you a great place to start.

1. Apple iPad 2
Apple were the innovators when it came to tablet computing, expanding on the success of their iPhone and iPod touch devices to bring multi-touch technology and the tremendously easy to use iPhone interface to a larger portable device. now in its second generation, the iPad is the original and still the best, especially if you are an Apple fan. That’s why this tablet is the best-selling on the market today.

Over its predecessor, the original iPad, the iPad 2 offers a faster dual-core A5 chip, superfast graphics that help apps perform better, and two cameras. With one camera on the front and one on the back, they are specially designed for video calling using the Facetime feature, and they work together so that you can be filmed for the person you are talking to, whilst at the same time looking at their image on the screen.

The iPad 2 is also 33 percent thinner and lighter than the original by up to 15 percent, so it feels more comfortable in your hands and is even more portable. The 9.7 inch diagonal LED-backlit display with 1024×768 pixels make everything appear on the iPad 2’s sleek screen remarkably crisp, vivid, and bright. Ambient light sensors allow the device to automatically adjust the screen’s brightness to suit your surroundings.

The iPad 2 has the same amazing 10 hours of battery life. this is enough juice to keep you entertained throughout an entire flight across the Atlantic, allow you to watch movies or play games for a whole night, or keep you amused for a week of commuting to the other side of the city.

The only real drawbacks to the iPad 2 are those which come with all of Apple’s devices – firstly, it is more expensive than any of its competitors, and secondly, you can’t replace the battery – once it begins to wear out you have to send your unit back to Apple to have a new one installed. also, Apple are expected to release the next iPad relatively soon, so you may find your iPad 2 isn’t the newest and best thing around for long.

2. Motorola Xoom
The Motorola Xoom, although somewhat heavier than some of its rivals at 730g, is selling well and receiving good reviews. The Xoom’s 10.1 inch-screen boasts the same 1280 X 800 screen resolution as you would get on a laptop. The super-fast dual-core processors run the Honeycomb OS and support high speed downloads via the 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi networks. When you consider its 10 hours of sustained video playback and the twin cameras and micro HDMI slot, the Motorola Xoom is as feature rich as any other tablet out there, and significantly cheaper than the comparable iPad 2, though it is currently only available in a 32GB capacity model.

Some have criticized Motorola’s phones in the past for not having the most intuitive menus or user interface, but with the touch screen tablet format a lot of this has been resolved and you should find the Xoom easy to set up and use.

3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101
Another android tablet which uses the Honeycomb OS is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. this offers a whole range of apps, as Android’s app market is almost, if not as strong as Apple’s. It has a 9.5 hour battery life, so only slightly less than the iPad and Xoom’s 10 hours, even though it is the cheapest tablet reviewed here.

One of the downsides of the Asus in comparison to more expensive models is that the cameras are not as good, with the front camera being only a 1.2 megapixel. It also only comes in a 16GB and 32GB capacity, whereas the iPad, Xoom and Blackberry Playbook all have a 64GB model available. if you don’t plan to store endless hours of video and music on your device and aren’t too bothered about the resolution of the front camera, the Asus really is a great budget tablet.

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is widely regarded as one of the best Android Honeycomb based tablet devices on the market. The hardware is comfortable, attractive and light and it has a high definition 10.1 inch-screen.

The dual-core processors smoothly load the OS and applications very quickly and the Android Honeycomb operating system easily manages the browser, plays media and runs and switches effortlessly between multiple apps. like the other tablets reviewed here, it has front and rear cameras and built in speakers, and the device offers a 9.5 hour battery life. The only significant drawback that this tablet does not come with built in USB, HDMI, and SD card slots. The versatile Galaxy Tab can work with both Wi-Fi and 3G when you need internet connectivity.

This device is the second most expensive reviewed here after the iPad 2, however it is also probably the iPad’s closest competitor from the Android market.

5. Acer Iconia Tab A500
The Acer Iconia is another budget tablet, which offers great value for money for an Android Honeycomb based device with the same dual core NVIDIA CPU as all the other non-Apple devices reviewed here. It has slightly less battery life than the other tablets with 8 hours, but that is still quite a lot of time and will see you through most long haul flights. It is the heaviest of the six machines at 766g, but still looks and feels sleek. One of the main drawbacks is that it only supports Wi-Fi, so you won’t be able to use it over 3G when you’re out and about and you want to take it online.

6. Blackberry Playbook
In the smartphone market, Blackberry has been a key player for even longer than Apple, and with so many fans of Blackberry phones out there RIM’s tablet was eagerly awaited.

The PlayBook has a browser that puts the Web in your hands. Coming in at just 0.9 pounds, 0.4 inches thin, and with a 7 inch-screen, the PlayBook is truly portable, though this is a significantly smaller screen size than any of the other tablets reviewed here.

Aided by Adobe Flash 10.2 support (unlike the iPad), the QNX-powered OS loads sites in full desktop splendor. The dual-core processor lets you multitask on a high resolution display with more pixels than an iPad. With full HD playback, an HDMI outlet, and with cameras front and back, the PlayBook packs a lot into a little space. It offers 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, all at a substantially lower price than the equivalent iPad.

Opinion: Five things to look forward to in Apple's iOS 6

June 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

iOS 6 is due out this fall. while hardware got a lot of attention at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the event is still really about software. That’s why Apple CEO Tim Cook and other execs offered up a slew of new details about OS X Mountain Lion — due out next month — and, more importantly, unveiled iOS 6, the next version of Apple’s mobile OS.

iOS 6 will be released this fall, almost certainly in tandem with new iPhones. much is already known about Mountain Lion, Apple’s desktop OS. But iOS 6 is a new arrival, and promises to make iPhone/iPod touch and iPad users very happy when it’s released. Apple says there are some 200 or so new features in iOS 6, though many of them are smaller tweaks and updates. But there are still plenty of additions that will change, for the better, how mobile users use their iOS devices.

Here are the five things I’m already looking forward to:

A better Siri

Siri has learned some new tricks in the months since the technology’s initial release. first and foremost, with iOS 6, Siri will become available on the latest Retina display iPads released in March. although iOS 5 allows those iPad users to turn spoken words into text with built-in dictation, Apple’s voice assistant has remained an exclusive feature of the iPhone 4S. (iPad 2 owners are out of luck.)

Even better, the Siri service has been tied into more databases, and will have answers regarding movie info and times at local theaters, better knowledge of actors and directors, and access to sports scores, schedules and current player stats. Siri will go beyond simply recommending restaurants based on Yelp and can even allow you to book a table from Siri’s visual interface.

Also, Siri will finally be able to launch apps when told to do so. ( Thank you, Siri.)

Apple is clearly trying to expand Siri’s reach and is busy making deals with automakers to integrate a Siri activation button in their cars. Marketed as “Eyes Free,” the integration deals involve most major automakers, with the notable exception of Ford, which has a license deal with Microsoft. if all goes as planned, this feature should be available in cars beginning in 2013.

Going social

iOS 6 is getting more social. Apple engineers have integrated Facebook more deeply into iOS 6, much as they did with Twitter in iOS 5. You’ll now be able to share photos and Safari links on Facebook from within the respective apps using the Share button. Among the updated apps from Apple will be Safari, Game Center, iTunes and the App Store, and by the time iOS is ready to ship, developers will have had time to incorporate Facebook into their own apps, as well.

The Notification Center will also be upgraded to include Twitter and Facebook direct post buttons, and, even better, you can post to both services using Siri.

With iOS 6, Apple has embraced social in a big way. the question of whether it’s late to the party compared to the integration with other smartphone OSes isn’t up for debate; it is late. But now that these social sharing features are coming, people who frequently use these services will certainly appreciate it.

Note: Facebook integration will also be a part of OS X Mountain Lion, which is now due out in July.

Photo Streams

Speaking of social: I expect Shared Photo Streams to be a hit with families; I know it will be with mine. Here’s why: Most of my family lives in the Northeast, while I live far away in Florida. Shared Photo Streams allows you to create groups that are automatically notified when pictures are added, and these photos are automatically delivered to their iPhones or iPads. for instance, I can create a Family group, and the addition of any photos to that Photo Stream group will instantly alert and send those photos to any of the people listed. Being able to immediately share selected photos with my sister, parents and assorted cousins with the tap of a Share button will be fantastic, especially since Shared Photos will be using iCloud, which, unlike MMS messaging, is a free service.

When you first create a Photo Stream to be shared, there are options to create a publicly viewable page of those pictures for family and friends who don’t have iOS devices. After you select recipients, a push notification is sent to their phones. they can then view the pictures using the Photos app or, for non-iOS users, on a specially created Web page. It’s a super quick and easy way to share photos with family members and friends, and, keeping with the more social theme, comments can be added.

If you have an AppleTV, your pictures can even be transmitted to one that has access to your Photo Stream, so your Apple TV screen saver will always display the latest pictures, automatically.

A better Phone app

In iOS 6, Apple will make several useful enhancements to the phone app. when a call comes in on an iPhone running iOS 5, you can swipe the screen to answer, or press a button located at the top of the phone to dismiss it. for many of us, that means forgetting a call ever took place until much, much later.

With iOS 6, you’ll be able to slide the on-screen phone icon vertically for new options: Remind Me later and reply With Message. Selecting either produces still even more options, such as location- and time-based reminders under the Remind Me later button, and a couple of canned messages for quick response under reply With Messages. and the flourish: a new system-wide do no Disturb, which can be manually turned on or set to activate during customizable hours.

Do no Disturb does just that: blocks all calls and notifications, ending the annoyingly sudden bright lights of iPhones receiving emails in the middle of the night.

But there are smart touches here that can let some calls through, and you can create a custom group of people that are to be let through no matter what, even with do not Disturb turned on. Another nice touch: if a phone number calls more than once within a three-minute time span, the iPhone allows the call to go through, under the assumption that the call might be an emergency.

Better Maps

After keeping it mostly unchanged since the iPhone arrived in 2007, Apple has unleashed a brand new Maps app.

As expected, Apple dropped Google as a backend provider for the maps databases. Instead, it turned inward, using the talent its engineers acquired in an Open Street deal, and forging alliances with other companies that have resulted in some pretty neat tricks in the mapping service.

For starters, Maps gets a cleaned-up interface, with a Directions arrow, an address bar, and bookmarks headlining the top menu. the Maps app itself uses vector-based graphics, ensuring smooth graphics to go along with sharp text. Tapping the directions arrow brings up the Directions Interface, where you can enter start and end locations and get directions for driving, walking or mass transit — though, according to those who have use the WWDC developer build of iOS 6, the last option seems to be relegated to third-party apps. This may be a step backwards, compared to earlier iterations of Maps, but that will depend on how the feature is implemented in the final version.

The new Maps app works much like the current one and is easy to navigate: double-tap to zoom in, double-tap with two fingers to zoom out, and pinch to zoom. Maps has learned new tricks, and the on-screen maps view can now be rotated and tilted using two-finger gestures.

In addition to a new feature called Flyover, which offers 3D views of some large cities, the new Maps will get enhanced Siri integration. when you ask for directions, Siri guides you with turn-by-turn directions, using an uncluttered user interface that displays driving instructions within illustrated traffic signs. Traffic information is crowd-sourced from iPhones in the area, and Maps is quick to suggest alternate routes if heavy traffic is encountered. As a bonus, Maps will even display what’s causing the holdup.

Maps looked impressive in the WWDC keynote, and my sense is that it spells doom for GPS makers.

iOS 6 is full of additions and tweaks that promise to make the user experience for Apple’s mobile devices even better. from enhancements like password-free application updates to better social integration, this new version — which is going to be given away to existing users — will be a no-brainer once released.

Michael deAgonia, a frequent contributor to Computerworld, is a writer, computer consultant and technology geek who has been working on computers since 1993. You can find him on Twitter ( @mdeagonia).

Read more about mobile oses in Computerworld’s Mobile OSes Topic Center.

All About Operating Systems, Their Uses and Importance

June 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

An operating system can be considered as the base of any device that you can interact with. It may be your laptop/personal computer on which you are reading this or may be your personal phone, iPhone or any personal, commercial or home based device that you have and use it in your daily life. now, let us know more about what it is and how it works.

It is basically a software component, which acts as an interface between the hardware device like the computer/laptop and you. The operating systems can be broadly classified into four types depending on the applications supported by them and the type of computer systems they control. They are: Real Time OS, Single User-Multi-tasking, Single-user-single task, and Multi-user.

This operating system component of your computer enables you to have a quick and easy interaction with the hardware. since, the hardware cannot understand the English language there must be something to make it interactive and this is exactly what an OS does and that too very efficiently. It only understands the binary language, but at a faster rate. You will be able to do your entire personal or impersonal tasks with the help of the operating system. It is usually different for different types of hardware and they are as mentioned below:

Operating systems for mobile / handheld devices

As you know, an operating system is necessary for any device to run and the functionality of them depends upon the device for which they are developed by the group of developers. A mobile that works for all the mobile devices is called mobile OS (operating system). Various mobile hardware manufacturers have developed their own OS for their mobile phones.

Various corporations present a number of handheld devices for the users. All of them have their OS developed by themselves. Similarly, all other companies that offering their own handheld devices or mobile phones configure their devices in such a way that no other company’s OS could work with them. Today, the mobile OS have become capable of computation equal to the personal computers.

Operating system for computers / laptops

Operating system is also developed and used differently with all types of the non-moving computing devices. They are developed basically in following the base platforms or in simple language can be understood as the categories. First one is under Linux platform and the second is UNIX and the third one is windows environment or windows platform. Linux has been developed by various freelancers and hence, it comes under open source and free software development and distribution scheme.

Windows OS is new and the first OS to support graphical user interface. It was initially launched in DOS (disk OS ) environment to work with commands only. It has also some versions to act as server called windows server. Nowadays, most of the things are on mobile environment that is why, the new windows operating system is developed to be compatible with both mobile as well as personal handheld devices.

Tip of The Week (TOTW): Deleting Multiple Email Messages

June 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

I frequently get asked if it is possible to delete multiple email messages easily.  Actually, it is very easy, once you know how.  the same process applies to moving your emails to a different email folder or marking the emails.

Here is how to do it on the iPad and iPhone.  Below is how to do it on your computer.

On the iPad & iPhone:1) Tap “Edit” in the upper right corner of the email list (not the email itself).2) you will see empty circles appear next to each message.3) Tap the emails you want to delete, one by one. you can scroll to select more emails. the circles will turn red for the selected emails.4) At the bottom of the message list you will have three options: a) Delete, b) move, c) Mark. choose the one you want.5) (see illustrations below)

On the computer:To delete all –  Select one then tap “CTRL” & ” A” keys at the same time (on a MAC “Command” and “A”).To delete a range – Select one at one end of the range you want to select, hold the “shift” key, select the one at the other end.To delete random ones – Select one, then hold the “CTRL” key (on a MAC the “Command”) and select any others one by one.NOTES: – To select a single email, means to use use the mouse to highlight the email with a simple click of the mouse.  Do not double tap to open it.– the “Command” key on a MAC is the one with “⌘”.

iPhone & iPad Illustrated

1) Tap “Edit” in the upper right corner of the email list (not the email itself).

2) you will see empty circles appear next to each message.

3) Tap the emails you want to delete, one by one. you can scroll to select more emails. the circles will turn red for the selected emails.

4) At the bottom of the message list you will have three options: a) Delete, b) move, c) Mark. choose the one you want.

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