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Australian app developers win big on Apple’s “best of 2012” wrap-up

posted Dec 18, 2012, 5:52 PM by Stephanie Wei

App developers must focus on creating fresh, original content rather than parroting existing ideas in order to stand out, says an Australian developer whose app has just been named one of Apple’s best of the year.

The list comes just as Google released its long-awaited Maps app, after being banished by Apple in favour its infamous home-grown option. The app has rocketed straight to number one on the most-downloaded list.

The annual Apple list of best iOS apps includes a number of Australian apps, including Virgin Australia Flight Specials, Sydney Food Trucks and OzTV, developed by young programmers Alex Johnston and Jeff Tan-Ang of Apps Perhaps.

Getting mentioned on these lists has become increasingly important, as developers struggle to stand out in the burgeoning app market.

Johnston told SmartCompany this morning the apps which tend to get noticed allow users to create, or at least consume, original content that hasn’t been copied.

“When I look at the apps this year, one thing that stands out to me is that apps which have content seem to do extremely well,” he says.

He points to the Apple app of the year – a program that allows users to add special effects to their video clips. “It really ticks all of those boxes,” he says.

“You have the ability to create content, but it comes with content itself. Certainly, I know when we’ve made and shared videos with the app, people enjoy seeing what we’ve done.”

“If you’ve got content that isn’t currently available, or you put a spin on it that people will find interesting, then it’s going to stand out.”

Johnston has identified a number of trends in this year’s winners, including minimalist design – like the bare-bones structure seen in a reading app like Pocket – or more social elements like in the Pinterest app.

Another big trend this year has been free-to-play, Johnston says. Many games and apps will offer the initial program for free, and then encourage users to buy small upgrades that only cost a minimal amount that builds up over time.

“I think Apple this year has been more selective in what they’ve chosen to award,” he says. “Previously you’ve seen the apps be awarded in each category, but you can see themes that have appeared this year.”

Usually, Apple awards the best apps based on a category, but this year Apple has chosen its own, such as “free to play”, “discover with friends” and “photo and video magic”.

As for OzTV, Johnston’s television guide app, the developer says his team’s effort to include a social layer may have earned them a mention in this year’s awards.

“We’ve tried to do that in a way that gels with the experience of the app, and we didn’t try to make a social app, but something you could use and then share with your friends.”

“I think it helps we don’t have any affiliations to any of the major networks and we’re not trying to promote any sort of agenda.”

The full list of apps:

  • App of the year: Action Movie FX
  • Runner-up: Figure

Disruptive services:

  • Sydney Food Trucks
  • Airbnb
  • Virgin Australia
  • Cards
  • iTranslate Voice
  • OzTV

Photo and video

  • iPhoto
  • Vyclone
  • Vintique
  • GroupShot
  • Cinemagram
  • Fuzel Pro

Intuitive Touch

  • Clear
  • Prismatic
  • Languages
  • Any.DO
  • Flipboard
  • Weathercube

Discover with friends

  • Pinterest
  • StumbleUpon
  • Snapguide
  • Pose
  • Showyou
  • Study Break!

Hidden gems

  • WhoSampled
  • Dandelion
  • DM1 for iPhone
  • Pocket
  • Ocarina 2
  • Fleksy 

Google Maps returns to life in iOS 6 as an app

posted Dec 17, 2012, 11:16 PM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Dec 18, 2012, 5:53 PM ]

The original map resource for owners of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch has returned, with Google bringing the power of its maps back to iOS.

Ever since iOS 6 debuted and Apple gave Google Maps the flick, in exchange for its own mapping platform which it worked on with TomTom, people have made fun of Apple’s maps. They’re often wrong, don’t show detailed information, and generally feel less reliable than what was previously offered when Apple used Google’s.

It’s probably not hard to see that the iOS 6 maps were nowhere near as ready for prime time as Google’s own, which have years of development behind them, compared to what was revealed for iOS.

In fact this week, Victorian police actually urged people to be more careful when using iOS 6 maps after people became stranded in the Murray Sunset National Park while trying to reach Mildura.

Samsung took advantage of the situation this week (above) with a little four-wheeled drive promotional stunt outside various office blocks in Australia.

Regardless, this week, iOS users can get their feel of the proper Google Maps, at least on iPhone and iPod Touch devices, with an app now available through the App Store that brings it back, and even logs you into your account to find your older maps.

It won’t actually replace your own iOS maps app, so if you’re looking to make it your proper mapping system, just move your iOS 6 supplied one to a folder somewhere and put this in its location.

Here are some Well-known iPhone 5 Issues

posted Oct 2, 2012, 4:12 PM by Stephanie Wei

Now that the iPhone 5 is here, it was only a matter of time before reviews came pouring in. Expert opinions are one thing to give a perspective about the phone but the true details come from regular users who talk about how the phone feels when they use it on a daily basis to make calls and send messages and the like. While there have been some impressive reviews about the phone and its performance, there have been several complaints from consumers. There appear to be issues that are common to all owners while a few of them seem sporadic but it is worth reading anyway.

For starters, the screen on the iPhone 5 received a lot of favorable reviews as it appeared to be more durable than the ones on its predecessors but the back and the sides of the phone are more prone to scratches. This seems to be a common problem and it is best to avoid placing the phone next to keys and the like. Moreover, the delicate exterior seems to have been damaged in the shipping as several owners complained of phones with scratches immediately after unboxing. The internals of the screen seem to be causing some sporadic problems. Air bubbles are a common issue while flickering is also reported by many. One flaw in design is that the light from the screen is leaking out from between the phone and the power button, something not many are impressed with.


A serious connectivity issue that a lot of users are facing happens to be the phone’s ability to connect and hold WiFi connections. It appears that the iPhone is not very good at connecting to background networks or even detecting them in some cases and a lot of the phones fail to hold on to the network after working for a while. Moreover, the WiFi networks aren’t being used to their full extent as internet on the phone is quite slow with them.

Build issues continue to pour in and one of the common but trivial ones is that the iPhone is not heavy enough and this results in difficult handling. Apple prides itself in the fact that this is the lightest phone it ever built but it could be a little heavier and sturdy according to people who have had the phone slip through their fingers.

Youtube can be used on iOS 6.0, here is how! [iOS 6.0 Tips & Tricks]

posted Sep 20, 2012, 9:28 PM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Sep 21, 2012, 12:50 AM ]

How to use Youtube on iPhone 5 ( iOS 6 ) like iOS 5.1.1 [ iOS6.0 Tips & Tricks] - Part 1 Of 2

How to use Youtube on iPhone 5 ( iOS 6 ) like iOS 5.1.1 [ iOS6.0 Tips & Tricks] - Part 2 Of 2


Or You can download & install from Apple iTunes



Free
Category: Photo & Video
Released: 11 September 2012
Version: 1.0.1.3063
Size: 7.5 MB
Languages: English, Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Basque, Bengali, Bokmål, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lingala, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Moldavian, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu
Seller: Google, Inc.
© 2012 Google Inc.

Description

Watch the world’s videos and keep up with your favorite YouTube channels with the official YouTube app for iOS. Sign in to access your subscriptions, playlists, uploads and more.

Features:

✓ Enjoy YouTube’s vast video catalog, including official music videos
✓ Find videos and channels more easily with voice search and query autocomplete
✓ Subscribe to channels and instantly access your subscriptions with the channel guide UI 
✓ Read comments, browse related videos, enable subtitles and more - all while watching
✓ Easy video sharing to Google+, E-mail, Facebook and Twitter

1st iPhone 5 Unboxing in Australia - Real Video

posted Sep 20, 2012, 7:05 PM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Sep 20, 2012, 7:08 PM ]

Real iPhone 5 Unboxing from Vodafone Australia


The wait is finally over and the iPhone 5 is here. It's thinner and lighter than before, connects to Vodafone's 3G+ network and is fully compatible with our new 4G (LTE) network rolling out from early 2013.

Online Crazy Sale /Limited Time Only
iPhone 5 Pre-Order
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iPhone 5 16GB - Unlocked (B/W)
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iPhone 5 32GB - Unlocked (B/W)
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iPhone 5 Unboxing (Australia)


After an hour and a half in line at the Optus store we now have our hands on the iPhone 5 White 16GB. In this video we give you a quick look at what to expect inside the box. One downside that we did notice was that there was no lightning to 30 pin adapter in the box as promised by Apple. 

Leaked photos: Is this the iPad mini?

posted Sep 20, 2012, 1:43 AM by Stephanie Wei


Is This the iPad Mini?

Alleged photos of Apple's 7-inch tablet surface on Chinese and French sites. Looks like - you guessed it - a slightly shrunken iPad.


Like it or not, Apple is pretty much definitely building a 7-inch tablet, speculatively termed the "iPad mini" by tech bloggers. (In fairness, that sounds better than iPod Touch MAXX.) While it could be weeks or months before we know for sure whether or not the name stuck, looking at recently leaked pictures at the French site NoWhereElse and the Chinese site Bolopad, it certainly fits. The "iPad mini" looks almost exactly like Apple's latest iPad, only smaller.

Either this is a 7-inch tablet or this guy's hand is HUGE.


Here's what we think we know:


The iPad mini will have front- and rear-facing cameras. It will feature Apple's new "Lightning" dock connector, and the same wake/sleep, volume up/down and home buttons, and mute/lock orientation switch as its larger cousin.



It also looks like the bottom of the case, on either side of the dock-connector, will have perforations for better sound output. You'll be able to buy it in white or black, because this is Apple. And there appears to be a small hole an inch or two above the Apple-logo on the tablet's backside.



Here's what we don't know:


What's that little hole on the backplate for? We have no clue. Also, there's no way of telling for sure what the resolution of that 7-inch screen will be (though it will probably keep pixel density above 220ppi to hang onto the Retina moniker). In both series of photos, icons for Youtube and Google Maps make it pretty obvious the tablets in these photos aren't running iOS 6, which means we're probably looking at mockup display.



And of course we don't know what Apple will try to cram inside. Will it get the latest iPad's A5X processor or the iPhone 5's A6? Will it be priced to under-bid Microsoft's 10.6-inch Surface tablets or to compete more directly with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD 7"?

Given two separate, consistent leaks, we do think these photos show an actual iPad mini - at least the frame. But there's a lot they can't tell us. Like, maybe most importantly, when will it hit the market?

As TechCrunch points out, it makes perfect sense that Apple waited to announce the iPad mini till it was sure it wouldn't steal the iPhone 5's spotlight. And given that we've already heard about the big iPod refreshes and iTunes update, it would also make sense for Apple to announce the device in lieu of its customary October music event.

Yes, We can Use Google Maps on iOS 6.0 Instantly [iOS 6.0 Tips & Tricks]

posted Sep 19, 2012, 7:08 PM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Sep 19, 2012, 7:11 PM ]

Google Maps Can Be Used On iOS 6 , Here Is How!
iOS 6 was released at WWDC 2012 and Apple replaced Google Maps with its own 3D ones. However,  you can use Google Maps on the version of iOS 6.

The company still offers it's maps services via mobile web, and the result is quite useful when the mobile web is mixed with home screen web bookmarks and Mobile Safari.

The way to get Google Maps on iOS 6

Step 1: Start Mobile Safari on your iOS 6 device and go to maps.google.com. 

You need to accept and allow if a user facing alert relating to permission to track the current location is provided by the interface. It's not necessary to grant this permission. However, without doing so, the service won't be able to provide anything that relies on the device location for example, routing.



Step 2: From the middle of the toolbar at the bottom of Mobile Safari, press the action button and choose 'Add to Home Screen' option from the list. 

The system will create a quickly accessible bookmark when this option is selected with the given web address and will be added to the home screen of the device to be invoked like a standard app.

Give to desired name to the bookmark and choose ok. The home screen will appear again on the device and an icon of Google Maps would be created. Press it to open, just like all other apps, and enjoy the Google Maps experience on iOS 6.


This is a good option for those who are not doing well with Apple's new native maps. So you can use mobile Google Maps site and add it as a bookmark to the home screen on your iDevice running iOS 6. Some native options are still there, including getting directions and routines and what's the location of the device, making it quite useful.

ALL New iOS 6 direct download links - iPhone , iPad & iPod

posted Sep 19, 2012, 3:02 PM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Sep 19, 2012, 3:04 PM ]

Right on schedule, after going through four beta versions, Apple today released iOS 6, a major and free update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The iPhone 5 will ship with iOS 6, while owners of older iOS devices can download iOS 6 software update via an over-the-air (OTA) or through iTunes.

iOS 6 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, third- and fourth-generation iPod Touches including iPod touch 5G, iPad, iPad 2 and ‘The New iPad’ (iPad 3). As usual, users with older iOS devices remain on older versions of the system software. The build is marked as 10A405 for iPhone 5, 10A406 for iPod touch 5G and 10A403 for rest of the iOS devices.

Apple announced iOS 6 and seeded to developers at WWDC in June bringing more than 200 new features with enhancements to its digital voice assistant. Among the new features are a totally redesigned Maps app, a revamped Mail app and tight Facebook integration. iOS 6 is considered as a next generation update that enables developers to implement thousands of new APIs to take advantage of Apple’s latest technologies in their apps.

Why Should I update to iOS 6?


Siri: Coming on iPod touch and iPad - Apple has extended Siri support to the iPad and iPod Touch but specifically only on iPad (3rd generation), and iPod touch (5th generation). 

It can now do sports scores, stats, standings and schedules. Enhancements to data on restaurants, in-Siri reviews from Yelp, reservations and lots more. Siri knows movie theater listings, integrates with Rotten Tomatoes reviews and trailers. Siri digital assistant can even launch apps: “Play Temple Run.” With iOS 6, new languages support has been added – English/French forCanada, Spanish for Spain/Mexico/U.S., Italian, Korean.

Phone Updates: Call Me Later - With iOS 6 installed on iPhone, in addition to answering and declining a call as usual, you can now press a button to reply with a pre-defined or custom message to call them back later.


Camera: Panorama Mode - Apple SVP Philip Schiller demonstrated the feature during iPhone 5 launch. 

Just by swiping your iPhone vertically as you take a photo, Panorama lets you create panoramic photos. Panorama is available only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod touch (5th generation).

Facebook: Deeper Integration - Like Twitter was integrated in iOS 5, Facebook is now tightly integrated into iOS 6.

 Without much hassle, you can share photos without launching a Facebook App, and your friend’s profile information is also integrated into your contacts, including their birthdays and email addresses.

FaceTime: Video Chat over 3G - FaceTime now works over cellular and unifies phone number and Apple ID. 

Incoming FaceTime calls to phone number can be answered on Mac as well. FaceTime over a 3G cellular network requires iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability.

New app: Passbook - It can handle tickets and boarding passes, customer loyalty/discount cards, movie ticket apps, etc. 

When you’re near Starbucks, card pops up. Cards are live too and if airline gate changes, virtual boarding pass will alert you.

Why Shouldn’t I update to iOS 6?


Jailbreak developer, BigBoss has called the latest iOS 6 mobile operating system as ‘a total dud’ which is more like an incremental update iOS 5.1.2 rather than a feature-rich upgrade. Since Apple has removed YouTube and Google maps, jailbreakers have two more reasons not to update their jailbroken iOS devices to iOS 6. Those who inadvertently update will get Apple maps with no street view, no transit directions.

iPhone unlockers and those preserving their unlockable basebands ‘must’ stay away from installing the iOS 6 update. Since most of the jailbroken applications and apple’s official apps are still not supported; it is advisable to stay away from the update. Unlocker and jailbreakers are advised to save 5.1.1 SHSH blobs. Once 5.1.1 stops being signed, you will NOT be able to downgrade from 6.0.

iOS 6 direct download links:



Video - ‘Real iPhone 5′ caught booting up on camera

posted Sep 5, 2012, 4:41 PM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Sep 5, 2012, 4:42 PM ]

Up until now, the iPhone 5 has only leaked either as parts or as a dummy model. And although a working model has never made it out into the wild, M.I.C Gadget now claims that a genuine iPhone 5 was slipped out of Foxconn‘s Jicheng factory and was caught on camera. While the purported device does appear thinner, slightly taller and has what appears to be a larger display, the mysterious iOS 6 boot-up message, sketchy-looking slope on its left bezel, chintzy home button and additional hole next to the relocated FaceTime camera suggests the device could just be an elaborate hoax. Is this iPhone 5 real or is it fake? Take a look at the “leaked iPhone 5″ video down below.

Completely Redesigned Headphones for iPhone 5 - Youtube Video & Photo

posted Sep 2, 2012, 2:23 AM by Stephanie Wei   [ updated Sep 2, 2012, 2:24 AM ]

New earphones coming with the iPhone 5
New headphones to accompany the iPhone 5?
(Credit: Tinhte.vn)

A Vietnamese tech news site published images of earphones that it speculates will come with the new iPhone this month.
With the iPhone 5 expected to make an official debut in the next few weeks, the rumors and pictures are hitting a fever pitch. The latest, from Vietnamese tech news site, tinhte.vn, offers images of earphones that it speculates could accompany Apple's next wave of devices.

Of course, it could be earphones from a third-party, rather than Apple, or another rumor that won't pan out. Apple isn't telling. 

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