Archive | June 2013

The Week in iPad Cases: Great Scott!

Hello? McFly? The Back to the Future iPad Case (iPad 2, 3, and 4; £20) features the cover of the Grays Sports Almanac that served as a pivotal plot device in the second installment of the popular film series.

It features a generous amount of padding and an excellent level of detail—all the way down the spelling mistakes that, according to the manufacturer, were in the original prop. Macworld was unable to confirm whether the case would be safe to use at speeds over 88 miles per hour.

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The Week in iOS Apps: A better connection

We’d normally find the temptation to make Canadian jokes too strong to resist, but the free McLaren’s Workshop app for iPad is just too neat to dismiss with mere McKenzie Brothers jokes. The app celebrates the work of Canadian animator Norman McLaren, including including 51 of his short films and a biographical essay. The app also invites creativity, showing users how McLaren performed his animation while giving users the opportunity to make their own using his techniques. It’s cooler than the Great White North.

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Inside the technology behind iOS 7's parallax effect

When iOS 7 arrives this fall, there will be plenty of new features coming our way. From a completely reimagined (if somewhat controversial) look to a new paradigm of user experience, it seems that Apple has gone all out in its attempt to reinvent the mobile operating system for the next decade.

Among these, the “parallax effect” is destined to change the way we physically interact with our mobile electronics. Through a bit of clever programming, it turns the screen into something more: a pane of glass behind which users can see a three-dimensional world that shifts and tilts alongside the device itself.

Perspective and parallax

The basic principle that makes parallax possible is a quirk in the way the human perception of size works. Because the eye works by forcing light through a single point, the brain has learned to measure the size of objects based on the apparent angle between their extremities, as measured from our pupils. As a result, objects that are nearer tend to appear larger, while things that are farther away seem smaller.

This is the basis for our perception of perspective, and parallax is simply the apparent motion that objects take when you move around them. …read more

Remains of the Day: Supreme beings

The Supremes smile down on Apple and the friendly skies are now full of iPads, but Tim Cook’s got nothing but downside. The remainders for Monday, June 24, 2013 have their ups and downs.

Apple Win in Mirror Worlds Case Left Intact by High Court (Bloomberg)

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the Apple vs. Mirror Worlds LLC case, in which Apple was accused of infringing upon patents for indexing files and documents. As such, Apple’s win holds, and if Mirror Worlds wants to try again, might I suggest … a parallel dimension?

Apple’s iPad now in use in all American Airlines cockpits (AppleInsider)

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The Week in iOS Apps: Picture perfect

Once there was voicemail; now there’s video mail. Skype, the grandaddy of VoIP apps, now allows users to record up-to-3-minute video messages and send those messages to other Skype users. If you’re not a paid subscriber to Skype and only use the free service, you can send up to 25 video messages before you need to shell out.

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Apple will roll out iPads to Los Angeles public school students this fall

In my earliest school years, the Apple IIgs was cutting edge, because it could run Number Munchers like nobody’s business. But just to remind me how very, very advanced in age I am, Apple said on Wednesday that the Los Angeles School Board of Education had given its approval to deploy iPads to students across the district, beginning this fall.

The deal, worth $30 million, will see an iPad distributed to every student on 47 campuses for the coming school year—and that’s just the beginning. Jaime Aquino, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, said that the goal is to provide every child with a device by 2014. The iPad was chosen because a review board that included students and teachers gave it top marks; it was also rated best in quality as well as being the most cost-effective option.

A full-scale rollout is a tall order for the district, which boasts more than 640,000 students on its 900-plus campuses and 187 charter schools. It’s the second biggest school district in the nation, behind only New York City. When the rollout across all of L.A.’s school district is complete, it will mark the largest such deployment …read more

The Week in iOS Apps: Kneel before Zod!

The free Bonnarooo brings you every part of this famous music festival, except perhaps for a very particular kind of secondhand smoke. If you’re at Bonnaroo, you can use the app to see which stages your favorite artists are playing on, views schedules for other acts, and share info through Facebook. If you’re not there, the updated stream of news stories and videos will make you feel like you are.

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Apple to increase Bluetooth integration in iOS 7, OS X Mavericks

Bluetooth enhancements are among the big changes to be found in the next versions of iOS and OS X, according to a Bluetooth trade group. Unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 7 andOS X 10.9 Mavericks will, among other things, allow Bluetooth-connected devices to use Notification Center. The changes are part of an “unprecedented” effort to more fully integrate the wireless technology into the Apple ecosystem and accessories such as game controllers, keyboards, and wearable health monitors.

Bluetooth SIG, a trade group of more than 18,000 companies that work with the short-range wireless technology, pointed out the development in a blog post and press release.

“This sets the table for some incredible innovation developers can bring to market,” Bluetooth SIG’s Suke Jawanda wrote in the blog post. “For example, my favorite sports app will seamlessly push an alert to my Bluetooth Smart watch every time my beloved Seattle Seahawks score a touchdown.” That means less time spent checking one’s phone for updates, Jawanda said.

OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 will include other Bluetooth-related enhancements, as well:

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Set up a kid-friendly iPad

As summer arrives, kids across the land are spending time with the family iPad. In today’s Macworld Video, Scholle Sawyer McFarland shares some tips for making the iPad safer and more kid-friendly.

Video transcript

Perhaps your family shares an iPad or iPod touch, or perhaps your kids have gotten lucky and scored their own. Either way, before you hand over an iOS device to a kid, it’s a good idea to do a little parental preparation.

Pick your restrictions

iOS devices offer basic parental controls. Tap Settings, tap General, and then tap Restrictions. When you tap Enable Restrictions, you’ll be prompted to enter a 4-digit code—this code will now be required to change the settings.

Most of your options are pretty black and white: Disable Safari, or leave it available. Nothing fancy like the ability to create whitelists of sites your kid is allowed to visit.

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First look: Hands-on with iOS 7

iOS 7 won’t come out until the fall, but since its unveiling at Monday’s WWDC keynote it’s been the talk of the Apple world.

Right now, we have four sources of information about iOS 7: What Apple said about it at that keynote; Apple’s own iOS 7 website; what we gleaned from our conversations with Apple executives on Monday; and the preview version of the operating system itself that was delivered to iOS developers on Monday.

That preview version was released under Apple’s confidentiality agreement with developers, which means that they’re not supposed to talk about the beta or show the beta to anyone. But developers are people too, and the changes to iOS 7 are so dramatic that everyone’s been passing around phones running iOS 7 this week, to see where the mobile OS is headed.

At this point, we don’t think anyone’s really served by detailed, page-by-page screen shots of iOS 7 right now: It’s just a first beta and (if you ask us) the OS is going to change a whole bunch before it sees the light of day.

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