Apple Announces September 19th Release Date for iOS 6

Today, during Apple’s media event, the company announced that iOS 6, which was announced in June at the company’s WWDC keynote event, will be available on September 19th.

iOS 6 will offer 200 new features. Siri will be enhanced to offer movie information, sport scores, and the option to easily post to Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the Passbook app will hold tickets, passes, and payment cards for participating businesses. Also, Safari will offer full-screen mode for better browsing and iCloud tabs to save your open tabs and offer immediate access to them on your other iOS devices and your computer.

Another great new feature in iOS 6 is the new maps app. The new maps app will offer turn-by-turn directions and a new 3D flyover feature to show a more realistic view of buildings and land features. Facebook has also been integrated into iOS 6, with the option to post Photo Stream pictures straight to Facebook and status updates via Siri.

iOS 6 will be available as a free download for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, new iPad, iPad 2 and 4th generation iPod touch. The iPhone 5 will ship with iOS 6.


Apple iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Galaxy Note II vs. HTC One X

Apple has just unveiled its next-generation iPhone, and as expected it packs in a larger 4-inch screen with higher resolution. It will also be the first handset to make use of the recently approved nano-SIM cards. While the iPhone 5 sports similar design as the last two generations of the iPhone, it does look much more beautiful, at least in the press shots from Apple.

If you are looking to buy a handset, and are confused about how the iPhone 5 stacks up against its competition, here is a specs based, on-paper, comparison of the handset with some of its major competitors -:

While the iPhone 5 does not sport a new design or any new innovative features, it does feature an excellent camera, a powerful SoC and an excellent battery life. On paper the iPhone 5 may look similar to the iPhone 4S and its Android competitors, but the device packs in some marvellous piece of technology. It will be interesting to see how the 8MP camera on the iPhone 5 stacks up against the 8.7MP PureView camera on the Lumia 920.

If you are interested in knowing which is the best smartphone in the market right now, then you won’t find your answer here. This question is extremely subjective and the answer depends more on the user’s needs than anything else. If you want the largest screen possible on a phone, then buy the Galaxy Note 2. If you want something that ‘just works’, then the iPhone 5 will be perfect for you. If you don’t like the restrictions of iOS6 and a closed ecosystem, the Galaxy S III is the handset you should buy.

Apple Unveils The iPhone 5 – 7.6mm thin, 4-inch screen and A6 SoC

Apple has just announced the much-anticipated iPhone 5, and surprisingly the rumor mill has been pretty accurate. The iPhone 5 sports the same design as the iPhone 4 and the 4S, but is made entirely out of aluminum and glass. It is also 20% lighter at 112 grams and 18% thinner with a 7.6mm waistline.

The screen on the iPhone 5 is, as predicted by the rumor mill, 4-inches in size with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen resolution has also been bumped up to 1136×640 so as to keep the Retina display (326PPI) tag intact. Apple has also updated all of its apps to take advantage of the increased resolution, along with adding a fifth row of icons to the home screen. The Cupertino based company has also updated all of its apps to take advantage of the increased resolution.

The touch sensor has been integrated right into the display, allowing Apple not only to make the iPhone thinner, but also the most accurate touchscreen device on the planet.

On the connectivity side, Apple has added HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and as expected…LTE! There is only a single chip and radio inside the iPhone 5 that handles both voice calls and data, simultaneously. The handset will be available on tons of LTE capable networks worldwide, and on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the United States, and Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada. The new Broadcom BC4334 chip inside the iPhone 5 makes sure there is support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Internally, the new A6 SoC powers the iPhone 5. Not only is it 22% smaller than A5, it is also two times faster. The A6 SoC consists of a dual-core Cortex-A15 SoC and an unnamed GPU, which according to Apple is 2x times faster than the GPU on the A5. Thanks to a bigger battery and the 32nm fab based A6 SoC, the new iPhone is capable of lasting 8 hours on LTE browsing with a standby time of 225 hours.

The iPhone 5 sports an enhanced 8MP camera with a dynamic low light mode, sapphire crystal (whatever that means), precision lens alignment, a next-generation ISP, Hybrid IR filter, Smart filter and more. The “most amazing feature in the iPhone 5”, however, is the Panorama mode. The device is capable of clicking panorama images in full 8MP mode with the final panorama image being up to 28MP in resolution. The face detection and video stabilization features have also been enhanced in the iPhone 5. The front-facing FaceTime camera also got a much-needed upgrade to 720p resolution.

Apple has also emphasized on the phone part of the iPhone 5. The new iPhone packs in three microphones (bottom, front and back) for excellent noise cancellation, a noise-cancelling earpiece, wideband audio, and an improved speaker design that is 20% smaller.

The dock connector has also been replaced with a new, thinner and smaller variant, now known as Lighting. It is 80% smaller, has 8-signal design, is reversible and is completely digital. For owners of older generation iPhone and iPads, Apple will also be selling a converter.

As always, the 16GB iPhone 5 will cost $199 on two-year contract, with a $100 bump each for the 32GB and 64GB variants. The pre-order starts on September 14th, while the shipping will begin on September 21st. The handset will be available in more countries on September 28th, and by the end of December 2012, will be available in more than 100 countries and 240 carriers.

Image Credit – The Verge

iOS 6 Beta 4 Released; Includes Enhanced Privacy Settings And Improved Maps app

Yesterday, Apple released iOS 6 beta 4 to all iOS developers. The new beta of iOS 6 did not contain any new radical change, except for the removal of the stock YouTube app from iOS 6. Considering how ancient the app was, I say it was a good riddance.

Other than this major change, the latest beta only brings a handful of minor changes. Here are the changes as noted by 9to5Mac -:

  • The PassBook app now includes a button to the AppStore
  • On the first boot, users are requested to enter their iCloud account details
  • Improved performance of the Maps app including detailed maps in certain regions
  • Updated Siri information menu with new capabilities of the personal assistant
  • Enhanced Privacy settings
  • Bluetooth sharing

If you find any other change in iOS 6 beta 4, do drop in a comment and let us know!

Apple Drops YouTube App from iOS6 Due to Licensing; Standalone App Coming Soon

The war is officially on between Apple and Google with their competing mobile operating system; iOS and Android. Apple recently built their own Mapping system for iOS 6 and removed the integration with Google Maps. However, the most recent update to iOS 6 also drops the YouTube app.

According to The Verge, the removal of the YouTube app from iOS 6 was done because Apple and Google had come to an end of their licensing terms.

Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.

However, this is not the end of the YouTube app on iOS 6 because Google is reportedly working on a standalone YouTube app for iOS 6. This was mentioned in the Google India event.

YouTube is probably the most popular app on the iOS operating system and Google will definitely come up with a replacement before iOS 6 is shipped to consumers. However, it looks like the default app will still be available on older iOS versions.

Apple’s decision not to renew the license for the YouTube app may be based on their thinking to get rid of as much Google dependency as possible. I won’t be surprised if Apple also decides to go with Bing as the default search engine in future. If that happens, it would be a huge blow for Google because they make a large chunk of their revenue from the search option in iOS.

Apple Releases iOS 6 Beta 2 to Developers

Today, Apple has released iOS 6 beta 2 to developers, which include a few fixes related to touchscreen keyboard performance. This update comes just two weeks after iOS 6 was revealed at WWDC 2012. Earlier today, developers started to hear that  an update was available from “AppleInternal”. The “operating system 6.0” update is a  322-megabyte download for iPhone 4S users. The build number is  “10A5338d.” This new beta release is available via software update in Settings, and now the icon with gears move when updating to a new version of the software. A video can be watched below:

The release notes say that the update fixes an issue where key clicking sounds could be skipped during fast typing. Apple also addressed an issue in which the keyboard would be wrongly positioned when switching from landscape to portrait orientation. In addition, the company reportedly fixed an issue where the iOS SpringBoard may crash during a phone call if the screen would fade to black when using the speakerphone or headphones.  The update also fixed a crash issue which would occur if a new iCloud account was created during initial setup of the iOS device.

iOS 6 beta 2 also adds the podcasts section back into the iTunes application. However, there have been rumors that suggest that Apple may introduce a podcast application when iOS 6 officially launches this fall. The new beta is compatible with the third-generation iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and fourth-generation iPod touch.



Apple to Launch Standalone Podcast App with iOS 6

With the release of the iOS 6 beta, folks out there are trying to figure out every new change introduced. Earlier this week, AppAdvice pointed out that the three categories of content had disappeared from the iTunes app in iOS 6: Podcasts, Audiobooks, and iTunes U. Earlier this year, Apple launched a stand alone iTunes U app, but what the company was going to do with other apps in iOS 6 remained unclear.

Now, AllThingsD reports that Apple will also be launching a standalone app for podcasts in iOS 6. By doing so, this will give them a much higher visibility and will help simplify the iTunes app. Currently, iTunes is cluttered with a large number of content categories.

So why have podcasts disappeared from the new version of iTunes that Apple started showing to developers this week?

Because Apple plans on giving the recordings their own bit of digital turf.

People familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that when its new iOS 6 software becomes widely available this fall, podcasts will have their own app, where users will be able to discover, download and play them on mobile devices. Users who access iTunes via laptop and desktop machines will still find them in that version of iTunes, though.

Podcasts are one of the most used media types on Apple’s devices, and have been available through the iTunes Store since the release of iTunes 4.9 in mid-2005.

Baidu and Apple to Share Revenue from iPhone Searches in China

With the revelation of iOS 6, Apple added support for China’s search engine Baidu. Now it is reported that Apple will receive a cut of advertising revenue from the search engine. Terms of the deal are similar to revenue sharing agreements with other smartphone makers who provide off the search engine as an option, Wang Jing, vice president of the Beijing-based company, said in an interview with Bloomberg. 

Baidu currently accounts for about 80 percent of web searches in China. It is China’s Google. The search engine integration is already available in about 80 percent of Android smartphones in China. Baidu has been able to increase its presence on mobile devices by sharing advertising revenue with hardware manufacturers.

Apple revealed that the support for the search engine will be added in both iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. In addition, Baidu will also be used for Siri on the iPhone. When iOS 6 launches this fall, Siri will also understand Mandarin, tuned for both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and Cantonese, for Hong Kong and the mainland.

Geofencing: The Smarts In Apple’s Smartphones

In the iOS6 segment of Apple’s WWDC keynote yesterday there were some interesting features talked about; some known and some new. Reminders is an iOS app from Apple that I’ve found interesting due to its geofencing capabilities. Introduced in Reminders, your iPhone reminds you of tasks when you are in a particular geographical area.  Simplest of all concepts, not mainstream enough, Apple realized the benefits of this Geofencing; so much so that they have added the feature to more iOS functions. Announced at WWDC, Geofencing is now part of:

Phone app

This one of those, why didn’t anyone else implement this? Surely the smartest engineers have thought of it. As Scott Forstall explained, sitting in a meeting and if your phone rang, you could in a tap tell your phone to remind you about the call once you’ve exited the premises. Genius many would say, and it is. Apple deserves props for making this feature mainstream.

Pass Book

One of the key announcements made yesterday, Pass Book brings all your tickets, coupons and boarding passes in one location. And that isn’t the cool part—many apps do this. What makes Pass Book a delight to use, is geofencing. If you buy a ticket through Fandango and when you are near a theater, Pass Book will give you a prompt taking you to your ticket. No more hassles of launching an app, scrolling to the “pass.”

Your smartphone is smart enough to know where you are and what you want to do. Geofencing is the smarts in smartphones, at least one of them.

Update: Macworld is reporting that Geofencing will be powering Find my Friends too. According to Serenity Caldwaell, in iOS6, your devices will send you a notification when a particular friend exits or enters a certain area. Very cool.

Apple Announces iOS 6 with Over 200 New Features

During the WWDC 2012 keynote, Apple revealed iOS 6 with over 200 new features for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. iOS 6 will offer new functionality for Siri, Facebook integration, a brand new Maps app, Share Photo Streams via iCloud, and more.

Apple revealed that iOS 6 will add several new functionalities to Siri. In iOS 6, Siri will be able to provide sports scores and schedules, make restaurant reservations via OpenTable, find local movie listings and even launch apps. The virtual assistant will also debut in new languages including Spanish, Italian, and French.

Another really nice feature that was introduced in iOS 6 was Facebook integration. It is very similar to the current Twitter integration in iOS 5 with a system wide log in and the option to quickly post from apps. Also, contacts can be updated automatically using information gathered from Facebook. Third-party developers will also be able to add functionality with a public API.

Do Not Disturb model was also added which allows users to schedule when notifications should not cause any sounds or visual alerts. In addition, the also received new options that will allow users to reply with a text message or prompt a reminder to return a call later when an incoming call arrives.

Share Photo Streams were also introduced which lets users easily share photos with selected family and friends. The share photos can be viewed by other iOS devices,  iPhoto and Aperture on a Mac, or on the web or through an Apple TV.

Passbook was also introduced. It is an app that will combine payment cards and electronic tickets. Also, movie tickets purchased through Fandango can be redeemed through the app. I think with the introduction of Passbook it shows where Apple is headed with mobile payments, and it seems that they have cracked mobile payments. A new API will offer developers access to Passbook.

iOS 6 will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, 2nd-generation iPad and later, and the 4th-generation iPod touch and will be available in the fall. A beta has been made available to developers today.

Let’s get this straight. A three year device will still be getting the latest version of iOS! 80 percent of Apple’s customers are now using iOS 5. Now when you compare that to Android’s less than seven percent on 4.0, that’s absurd. Android 4.0 was released around the same time as iOS 5.

Eat your heart out, Android owners.

[Image credit Engadget]