Corner Geeks 5 Part 3: WWDC 2011 – iCloud

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MP3 link (right click > save as)

Check out Justin Lee’s keypoint summary of the keynote or just refer to Apple’s iCloud page or the features page for their info about iCloud.

Brief Show Notes

  • What is cloud?
    • Save once. Uploaded and Distributed ‘everywhere’ (i.e. all your devices)
  • 9 uses:
    1. Contacts
    2. Calendar
    3. Mail
    4. Apps Store
    5. iBooks
    6. Backup
      • Daily wifi backups
      • Music / Apps / Books
      • Camera Roll
      • Device Settings
      • App Data
    7. Docs
    8. Photos
    9. iTunes
  • 1,2,3,7) Contacts / Calendar / Mail / Docs:
    • similar to Android and Google or Exchange
    • change once, push everywhere (locally stored vs cloud stored for Google for docs at least)
    • Google at least can access from web. Apple to find out
  • 4,5,9) Apps / iBooks / iTunes
    • Buy once, deploy everywhere or look through purchase history. click to download
  • 6) Daily cloud backup (huge I think. I agree. Google could have done this for Android but doesnt. I want to rant about Android here haha.)
  • 8) Photo stream
    • Syncs photos taken anywhere to all attached devices
      • iOS Devices
      • PCs
      • Apple TV
    • Like Eye-Fi. kind of but requires Internet. Eye-Fi can be local transfer to PC.
    • 1000 photos stored on the device (to save permanently to device, move pic to album)
    • 30 Days limit for all shots on cloud
    • Photos all on PC all saved (iPhoto integeration?)
    • I think this kind of functionality is useful for photographers. I’m suprised not a lot of Bruniean photographers use Eye-Fis.
  • 7) Documents in Cloud / iCloud API (There could be an actual iDisk like thing for normal documents?)
    • iCloud API: Looks like dropbox but seems to be like it’s centered on sandboxes per app basis?
    • Obvious ones are things like Pages and Keynote
    • Being able to sync settings for apps.
      • Game saves
      • To have something like Kindle’s Book resume thing.
      • Hopefully alternative browsers can setup something like Google Sync. Syncs my tabs and bookmarks. Please make this happen.
  • Similar to other exiting services:
  • Possible Issues:
    • Will there be sharing? Or only to personal account?
    • Data caps / be sure not to use all your data quota and end up paying
    • Do we get offline backup?
    • All your data, are belong to fruit
  • 5GB storage space (unsure which files are categorized in the 5GB, but music / photos not included in the quota)
  • Free, No ads
  • Available in the Fall (most likely September) but some features available now with iTunes update on Mac/PC or App Store update on iDevices

Corner Geeks 5 Part 2: WWDC 2011 – iOS5

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MP3 link (right click > save as)

Check out Justin Lee’s keypoint summary of the keynote or just refer to Apple’s iOS5 page or the features page for their info about iOS5.

Brief Show Notes

  • Lots of ‘finally’s
    • Notification Centre
      • Similar to Android: swipe down from top to see all notifications
      • But done better than Android
        • When notification comes in, shows snippet of info at top of screen then disappears
        • Notifications shown on lock screen
        • Direct access to act on notification from lock screen (swipe notification to access)
      • Also has 10 msg limit per app. MobileNotifier (the jailbreak app) has more. UI could be better on mobilenotifier though.
    • PC-less activation (makes it more of a standalone device and with iCloud could be a fuller laptop replacement)
    • iTunes-less
    • Wireless sync
    • Camera Upgrades.
      • Shutter button.
      • Launch from lockscreen (Double-tap home button and click on icon)
      • Crop photos, red-eye reduction, one-click enhancement filter thing (auto white balance, levels, etc similar to Preview on OS X)
      • Can create albums on iOS!
    • Delta Updates!! (no more 600+MB per update) Over the air!
  • Nice to have
    • Reading list (similar to instapaper / Read It Later): only Safari? no where else to access?
    • Reader view
    • Reminders (similar to Locale / Tasker for Android but those are commercial apps)
    • News stand: for magazine subscriptions.
    • Twitter Integration.
      • Twitter’s trying to be what OpenID wants to be? Online Identity?
      • Syncs Twitter Photo to contacts. (similar to what Android does)
      • Nice that it allows user to try diff apps without relogin (Though currently this still doesn’t work yet. Apps need to rewrite their apps. Even official Twitter App)
      • Twitter sharing in Photos / apps nice
      • Android sharing superior as doesn’t have to wait for Google to implement new share options: app needs to support receiving data
    • Photo editing
    • iPad
  • iMessage (lot of focus on security. mention encryption)
    • Replaces iOS SMS app. ie: could be seamless for normal users.
    • Allows iPod and iPads to use. Not sure about Mac, but it’ll be great if it could. (WhatsApp! not available for non 3G / cellulare devices like iPod Touch / iPad WiFi only)
    • Alternatives
    • Competitor Ecosystem Alternatives
      • Google: GTalk
      • Microsoft: Skype?
      • RIM: BBM
  • Some stuff not mentioned on keynote but is pretty cool
    • Typing shortcuts / macros. ie: the default on the OS was “omw” would autocomplete to “On my way”
    • Some UI improvements. Toggles in options.
    • Custom vibrations for incoming calls.
    • LED light can be used as notifications (older phones have had this: on Android side depends on manufacturer)
  • iOS5 beta and jailbreak
  • Available in the Fall (September earliest?)

Corner Geeks 5 Part 1: WWDC 2011 – Lion

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MP3 link (right click > Save Link As)

This week @mfirdaus and I talk about this week’s WWDC 2011. We will split this in 3 parts: Lion, iOS5 and iCloud as the discussion got pretty long. If you want to watch the video of the keynote click here but also do check out Justin Lee’s keypoint summary of the keynote or just refer to Apple’s what’s new section for their info about Lion.

Show Notes for WWDC 2011 Keynote on Lion

  • Bringing iOS to desktop: Trying to convert PC users using iOS devices to a Mac
  • User Interaction Changes
    • Multi touch gestures
    • Reverse scrolling, Smooth zooming. Scroll bars no longer unless scroll (iOS-like behaviours)
    • Emphasis on fullscreen app support (more for developers: OS supports fullscren better )
    • Launchpad: iOS-like launcher for apps
    • Mission Control: Can see everything in other spaces. Can manage spaces easier.
  • Airdrop: File sharing done easy/right for intranet (transfers encrypted)
  • Document versioning & Auto Save
    • Could be big for consumers and offices.
    • But will work with only iWork or all apps? (app needs to implement or an OS native feature)
    • Visual comparison similar to Time Machine interface: Can actually view old document to copy and paste
    • No need to manually save: new save as a new version
    • Delta saving so it saves only the changes (to save space)
  • Resume: Saving of program state: inspectors, window position automatically saved and restored when application reopened
  • Apps / MacStore
    • Delta Update
    • In-app purchases
    • Push Notifications
    • Apps install on all authorized comps: Buy once, deploy to all authorized computers. Good for consumers
  • New Mail app with updates
  • 250+ new features
    • Mostly are incremental
    • Some notable ones:
      • Full Disk Encryption
      • Quicktime: merge and rotate videos
      • Quicktime: record selected region
  • Price: USD$30. ~4GB only available on the Mac Store

iPhone 4 and Apple ups the ante yet again

Notable Highlights:

  • IPS 960×640 display
  • 720p 30fps HD recording
  • Camera Flash
  • Video editing via iMovie
  • Front-facing VGA camera
  • 2 microphones (1 used for noise cancellation)
  • Apple A4 processor
  • 3-axis gyroscope
  • Farmville and Guitar Hero
  • Better battery life
  • FaceTime for video chat
  • Micro SIM
  • Thinner (with a slightly smaller form factor than iPhone 3GS)
  • iPhone 4 on sale June 24th
  • iPhone 4 US$199 (16GB) / US$299 (32GB). 3GS now starts at US$99 (16GB)
  • iPhone OS 4 (now renamed to iOS 4) is available for FREE on June 21st.

Check out the Apple page and full specs

Check out WWDC live blog coverage by: gdgt | Engadget

Yet again Apple has blown the competition away in several areas with the revelation of the new iPhone 4. Looks (almost?) exactly like the leaked phone and while lots of things were expected there are a few more treats that Apple has thrown in. Firstly the display. Just like the iPad is uses an IPS display which is more power hungry but produces better viewing angles and better colour representation and also like the iPad is uses a resolution that is completely different from the competition. It uses a 960 x 640 display while the maximum resolution I’ve seen on an Android phone is 854×480. I think the reason behind this resolution is that older applications can be scaled exactly 2 times on the screen (old resolution was 480×320) which is easier on the processing and thus better on battery life. Also, this resolution provides the same number of pixels you would find in a typical netbook with 1024×600 screen resolution. This is a great improvement but the only concern is if application developers try to squeeze too much on the screen and make text too small to read.

The camera has HD recording AND editing. Bringing iMovie to the platform is what makes it more of a killer product for those doing in the field recording. You no longer need a laptop to edit videos out in the field. This will aid bloggers at conferences and events a whole lot. The camera finally has a flash and I believe Apple camera will continue to be one of the better ones on the market. Even today the 3GS camera holds it own with the image quality and video capabilities. Tap to focus for video introduced in iOS 4 is another added bonus for video bloggers: no longer do you need a dedicated camcorder. For the ultimate road warrior who always need to be mobile, yet functional this is almost a no brainer. Better to have an iPhone 4 rather than a camcorder and a netbook for video editing. iMovie can export HD video so I would assume that it can edit HD video too. So while you can get a cheap HD camera like the Kodak Zi8 or a Flip Mino HD, the iPhone trumps them in the added functionality and almost matches them on price.

Apple’s A4 processor is found inside and is of no surprised and is one of the contributing factors to the better battery life while still offering great performance. Simple things like an extra microphone for noise canceling is an added bonus just like the 3-axis gyroscope which will be big for games. On the topic of games: 2 huge games Farmville and Guitar Hero are coming and for the general consumer Netflix is coming to the iPhone too. There was also mention of iAd for developers which means of more free applications for consumers with hopefully less obtrusive ads. Better battery life is really icing on the top as many Android phones suffer in that aspect, its a bit of adding salt the the wound of bad battery life that Android has.

Use of micro SIM is a disappointment but expected. While you can hack together one by cutting an existing SIM card there are safer alternatives like Cut My SIM (main site seems down so here’s an article from Gizmodo about it). FaceTime is currently supported on iPhone 4 only as it is a new standard and Steve mentioned that they are going to make it an open standard but only the future will tell what happens. Currently it is not available over 3G/cell network but I’m not sure if this restriction is just to US (probably they are waiting for AT&T to upgrade their infrastructure to handle the extra load) or is something embedded into the application itself.

All in all this is a worthy upgrade to the iPhone line and now Android phone makers need to be pretty worried with the lead Apple has once again in terms of hardware and capability of their new device. Android still has multi-tasking and openness going for it, but is it enough? Multi-tasking on iOS 4 may be multi-tasking done right: it may have it’s limitations but if it gives the general consumer the multi-tasking they need, Android’s multi-tasking feature may just be moot. iPhone 4: Quality hardware on an existing proven platform with good application and developer support