Wiper – Yet another private messaging & call app

We have yet another entry in the messaging arena on iOS and Android called Wiper.

Like most such apps, this is also an iPhone only app. Even though it claims compatibility with the iPad, but, is not a universal app. The name sounds very similar to a far better known app called Viber and some might get confused between the two names.

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EzeeCube – Great add-on for photos and videos

EzeeCube seems to be a must have for most homes today.

We all have tons of digital photos and videos from our phones that really need to be organised and sorted out. This stackable, and therefore extendable gadget does it all.

No need for any Internet connection. It’s all locally done, right in the comfort of your home network at blazing speeds unlike the relatively slow Internet speeds.

Check out the IndieGoGo page where this gizmo has already been over-subscribed.

There is also a very nice video and a writeup from EnGadget which is worth looking into.

I hope to get my hands on one of these sometime soon…

Tempo Calendar for iPhone seems promising

For those still searching for a better alternate to the stock iPhone calendar app, Tempo might be a very promising candidate. Tempo has combined calendars, reminders, maps, birthdays, Facebook posts, meeting email organisation and natural language processing to easily add events and more…All rolled into one usable app.

The best part is that Tempo is currently free on the App Store.

iTunes U 2.0 with custom classroom support released

Apple released iTunes U 2.0 with support for creating and sharing courses a few hours ago. Although it is too early to figure out the actual impact and overall usage and adoption given the high price of Apple devices, it does look promising.

To create a course, you need to have an iPad and have to register with an Institute name and profile, which, can be edited later. I guess details will emerge as and when people start using it.

A brief description from the application is as follows:

  • The new iTunes U makes it simple for students participating in private courses to pose questions on the course or any post or assignment
  • Other students in the class can jump into the discussion and ask more questions or provide answers
  • Teachers and students can keep up with the conversation when they receive push notifications as the discussion progresses

Create courses on iPad

  • Teachers can now create and update their courses using the iTunes U app on their iPad—getting started is fast, simple, and completely free
  • Provide every student a course outline, write posts, distribute assignments, upload class materials, easily track participating students, and much more
  • Take advantage of the built in camera on iPad to easily capture photos or videos and upload them for course assignments
  • Create materials using Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—or other apps from the App Store—and add them to your course by using “Open in iTunes U” from within each app
  • Teachers affiliated with qualified institutions have the option to publish their courses to the iTunes U Catalog—making them available to everyone for free

 

iOS 8 Beta 3 – First Looks

After dabbling around with the iOS 8 Beta 3, I came across some interesting things. I had skipped Beta 2, so, it is possible that some of these might have been in Beta 2 as well.

If you restore to iOS 8 Beta 3, you will find the following changes on startup.

  • Hindi welcome messages have been included in the startup screen.
  • Keyboards are selectable at startup along with English (India). You can also select Emoji right here.
  • Find my phone is enabled by default if you use iCloud.
  • Upgrade to iCloud Drive for Yosemite or keep using iCloud documents.
  • Share App Analytics with developers to improve apps.

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iOS 7.1.2 and Mavericks 10.9.4 Released – A preliminary look!

Apple released iOS 7.1.2 and Mavericks 10.9.4 a few hours ago. Once again, at least the iOS update appears to be untried and untested. There is also an update for Apple TV, 6.2, although I did not see anything new or different in the brief look I had after the update.

Those attempting to update iOS using iTunes might be out of luck as the update might get stuck after a while. The OTA update seems to work fine on a few devices that I tried.

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StreamNation Shutter – Unlimited Photos & Videos

StreamNation has released it’s new app called Shutter which offers unlimited cloud storage for mobile photos and videos upto a duration of an hour.

The app is currently iOS only and an Android version will be released soon.

Sounds good? So it seems. It works as advertised excepting for a few sticky points…

  1. iPhone 5s SloMo will be converted to normal speed
  2. No option to choose what to upload from your iOS photos app. It will upload all!

Other than the above points, it seems a viable alternate to Flickr. In fact, it seems to work a lot better than Flickr considering that this is just the initial release and Flickr leaves a lot to be desired even after the year or so it has already been around (after the free 1TB for all).

Shutter allows you to share the content either privately or over social networks. The organisation seems to be better than Flickr at first glance.

There is a catch…as always…unlimited storage is only for photos or videos taken from the mobile device. Any other content is limited to a 5 GB free limit.

Let’s see how this turns out…

WWDC 2014 – iOS 8, OS X 10.10 – Apple opens up iOS a bit more!

Well…Not a very exciting event from Apple, but, there are some points that could stretch Apple’s lead in the mobile and desktop market to some extent.

  1. Apple has opened out more APIs on the iOS side allowing app functionality, officially, that was previously available only on jailbroken devices. Given the wide developer base, we could see some exciting apps coming up in the near future. iOS 8 Enterprise features have also been enhanced and could spur wider enterprise adoption.
  2. The introduction of a new programming language, Swift, which could accelerate the development on iOS and OS X platforms far more than ever before.
  3. The integration and extension of the functionality of the 10+ year old Nokia PC Suite into Yosemite is a welcome addition. Most people using iOS devices would probably understand that this could be quite useful on occasion. This page has details.

A word of caution for early adopters. Do not attempt to try iOS 8 just as yet on your primary phone. Most of the current applications will not work as expected and a vast majority would simply crash, including the stock apps. Yosemite, although usable, is quite laggy and slow, which is to be expected from a developer preview. The same applies to Xcode 6 beta.

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Setting up a new iPhone/iPad? A brief How-To…

Back in 2010, I had listed out some of the apps I was using and recommended the same. A lot has evolved since. It’s not just the apps, its also the devices that have changed giving rise to better and more powerful apps. I will try to cover the basic setup options for a new iDevice running iOS 7. iOS is currently at version 7.1.1 and, ideally, one should upgrade to this version, if not already on it.

I will focus on the iPhone here since that is the most commonly used iDevice. Most of the following also applies to the iPad. You can find tutorials for the iDevices on Apple’s site as well as YouTube, if needed.

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