TUAW Talkcast: Mountain Lion preview show, 10pm ET

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Tonight on the Talkcast, we’re getting ready for the new top cat in town. The calendar is flipping past and the end of July is in sight, which means the release of OS X Mountain Lion is imminent. Our intrepid team has been helping you prepare your Mac for the new operating system via our ongoing Getting Ready for Mountain Lion series — now it’s your chance to call in and discuss, dissect, etcetera.

We’ll be welcoming a few special guests tonight, including Rene Ritchie of iMore and tech journalist Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer-Press. Bring your Mountain Lion musings — and also your predictions for Apple’s earnings call later this week.

To participate in the call, you can use the browser-only Talkshoe client, the embedded Facebook app, or download the classic TalkShoe Pro Java client; however, for +5 Interactivity, you should call in. For the web UI, just click the Talkshoe Web button on our profile page at 4 HI/7 PDT/10 pm EDT Sunday. To call in on regular phone or VoIP lines (Viva free weekend minutes!): dial (724) 444-7444 and enter our talkcast ID, 45077 — during the call, you can request to talk by keying in *8.

If you’ve got a headset or microphone handy on your Mac, you can connect via the free X-Lite or other SIP clients — basic instructions are here. Skype users with dial-out credit can call in via the service, or use those free iPhone minutes. Talk to you tonight!

Continue reading TUAW Talkcast: Mountain Lion preview show, 10pm ET

TUAW Talkcast: Mountain Lion preview show, 10pm ET originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 22 Jul 2012 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chirp iPhone app introduces sharing via sound

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a story about some sort of jukebox from my House (of Crackpot Theories), but this is news about a real app called Chirp.

What’s Chirp? “Half Bump, half Soundhound.” On your iPhone, you choose an item (photo, note, or link) and then you can share with everyone around you who also has the app. It plays a high pitched series of tones, which other phones nearby (also running Chirp) listen for; the tones convey the URL to the item uploaded, and the other phones download it. (The app does require data access to work, so it’s not true peer-to-peer sharing, but it’s good enough.)

I loaded it today, and since the TUAW staff doesn’t all report to one big office, I was sitting here by myself wondering how to test it. Luckily the Chirp Blog has a couple of test items you can use to try it out, and I have to admit, it’s pretty slick.

Something I hadn’t thought about when I first downloaded the app was doing something with audio on a website or in some other fashion, like an audio QR code. At first that sounded kind of cool, considering all the useful kinds of things to be done with something like that. Then I thought about hearing the same brief tone many many times a day and I think that would get old in a hurry.

As of now it appears to be just the Chirp app that uses this technology, but for a quick way to share files it looks reasonably handy.

hat tip The Next Web

Continue reading Chirp iPhone app introduces sharing via sound

Chirp iPhone app introduces sharing via sound originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 20 Jul 2012 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to copy content onto an Android device with a Mac

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Until Apple jumps in with its hypothetical offering, the Google Nexus 7 may be the best small-sized tablet on the market. With a US$200 starting price tag, some Mac users may be tempted to pick one up just to see what all the fuss is about.

Android devices, though, don’t easily sync to a Mac like the iPad or the iPhone. To help new Android owners manage their device, Macworld has a short, informational video that steps you through the process of transferring items to and from your device. (Hint: you use the Android File transfer app.)

You can check out the video by Christopher Breen on Macworld’s website.

Continue reading How to copy content onto an Android device with a Mac

How to copy content onto an Android device with a Mac originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to copy content onto an Android device with a Mac

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Until Apple jumps in with its hypothetical offering, the Google Nexus 7 may be the best small-sized tablet on the market. With a US$200 starting price tag, some Mac users may be tempted to pick one up just to see what all the fuss is about.

Android devices, though, don’t easily sync to a Mac like the iPad or the iPhone. To help new Android owners manage their device, Macworld has a short, informational video that steps you through the process of transferring items to and from your device. (Hint: you use the Android File transfer app.)

You can check out the video by Christopher Breen on Macworld’s website.

Continue reading How to copy content onto an Android device with a Mac

How to copy content onto an Android device with a Mac originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Trapit for iPad is a unique news discovery app

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

I have found several news apps I really like over the last couple of years, like Zite, Flipboard and Pulse News. Still, there’s always room for something new, and Trapit is different and useful. Trapit for iPad was born out of an artificial intelligence project completed by DARPA and SRI, and has some of the same DNA as Siri.

You sign up for a free subscription, and start selecting some topics you are interested in. By having an account you can also sign in from a web browser. Unlike Zite, subjects are completely open. You can type anything and get hits from the more than 100,00 sources that are currently available.

Even better, like Zite, the app learns from your selections and fine tunes your topics over time. There are also a great many pre-selected subjects, like the White House race, daytime TV or the British open. You can also share your discoveries to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Email sharing is also supported.

So how does it work? Frankly, I didn’t find the setup particularly intuitive, and I was surprised to find absolutely no detailed help built into the app. The app is not impossible to set up, but I just found it a bit clunky. Topics are in alphabetical order. I’d prefer to arrange them myself. With all the articles available, Trapit has a nice feature that shows brand new items on the right side of the screen so you don’t miss them.

Results were good, both in the pre-selected subjects, and some really obscure topics I created. The search algorithm seems quite sophisticated, and if there are mistakes you can find tune them, and eliminate topics that you no longer want to search for. Mailing articles was flawless. I think the biggest advantage of this app is the freedom of topic selection, and the ability to learn as you seed more and more topics. I wouldn’t replace any of the news discovery apps I have now, but I certainly think Trapit is worth a look, especially for free.

Gallery: Trapit for iPad

Trapit for iPad is a unique news discovery app originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 19 Jul 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daily iPhone App: Over: text+ photos lets you annotate your photos with ease

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

If you’re looking for an easy way to add text to your photos, then you should check out Over: text+ photos. The lightweight photo editor only does text overlays, but it does so with style and ease.

Over uses a dial as its menu, which is a nice change from the traditional button-driven interface. It includes 19 fonts, and you can buy more via an in-app purchase. Besides changing the font type, you can also adjust the size and alignment of the text. If you want to change the text, just tap on it. The text box will re-open and let you make changes.

The only drawback I found is the text color, which is limited to shades of grey, white and black. These colors are compatible with most photos, but this limitation might be disappointing for users who like to add a splash of color to their text. This is an easy feature that hopefully will appear in a future version of the app.

Once you’ve tweaked the text to your liking, you can share the annotated image via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or email. You can also save it to your camera roll. Interested iOS owners can download the Over: text+ photos app from the iOS App Store for US$1.99.

Daily iPhone App: Over: text+ photos lets you annotate your photos with ease originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 17 Jul 2012 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Siri’s novelty is wearing off … for some

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

New York Times technology writer Nick Bilton may be breaking up with Siri, per his post on the NYT Bits blog.

Bilton’s on-again, off-again love affair with Apple’s intelligent assistant seems to be familiar territory for some other iPhone 4S users. He notes that “Many people I have spoken to have switched Siri off and reverted to the iPhone’s voice dictation service, which is more reliable because it doesn’t use Siri’s artificial intelligence software.”

According to Bilton, Gene Munster — our favorite securities analyst from Piper Jaffray — ran a series of 1,600 voice tests with Siri. It could hear requests fairly well, understanding 89 percent of requests made in a quiet room and 83 percent of those made on a noisy city street. But Siri’s understanding isn’t that great; Munster said that it could only accurately answer a question 68 percent of the time in a quiet room or 62 percent of the time on the street.

Munster gave Siri a “D” and says that the beta service needs to sharply improve. Bilton has spurned Siri for another sexy voice, that of Google Voice Search on Android phones. He may not realize he can already use that same technology via the free Google Search app on his iPhone 4S.

The public seems to still have a fondness for Siri. A survey by John Barrett of Parks Associates cited in Bilton’s article showing that 55 percent of respondents gave Siri a high rating, 21 percent said it was “satisfactory,” and only 10 percent completely dissatisfied with it.

For me, I’ve found that the more I use Siri, the better my success with her. Maybe Siri likes me just because I used her as the lead character in a book, but I still find her enchanting, helpful, and sometimes mysterious. Don’t worry about that breakup with Nick Bilton, Siri; you’ll always have me, even if my love is a bit one-sided…

Siri’s novelty is wearing off … for some originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Going to the London Olympics? Here are the transport apps you’ll need

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

The London 2012 Olympics officially start in just under two weeks. From July 27th until August 12th millions of combined spectators, journalists, and the world’s fittest athletes will descend upon the greatest city on the planet. During that time Transport for London estimates that there will be an extra four million visitors to the city. To put that in perspective, that’s adding over 50% to the capital’s normal population of 7.5 million. In addition, TFL estimates that up to one million extra people per day will be using London’s transport systems. What does that mean? Chaos, basically (and a huge pain for the people who live here).

But if you’re going to be one of the four million visitors there is some hope. You can stock up on London’s best transport apps that will help you navigate the city. Since I moved to London in 2007 I’ve tried virtually every London transportation app. In the list that follows, I’ve narrowed down the single best app from each category: tube, bus, car, bicycle, and boat.

Tube: Tube Map Pro

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needHands down, Tube Map Pro by mxData Ltd is the best tube app out there. The app uses officially licensed maps from Transport for London that allows users to easily see an overview of the entire transport network and find out how to quickly get from one point to another. Besides maps and route planning, the app uses GPS to show you the closest station to you, features live departure boards, and lets you track the balance of your Oyster card (the Tube’s ticketing system) right in the app.

If you’re visiting London, Tube Map Pro is the single best app purchase you can make. Tube Map Pro is discounted to US$0.99 in honor of the games. The app is universal, so it works on both the iPhone and iPad. mxData also has a free, ad-supported version of the app called Tube Map.

Bus: London Bus Checker

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needAfter the Tube, the mode of transport most visitors will be taking is the bus. London’s bus network is excellent, and many times it’s faster that the tube (when you take walking to stations into account). The best London bus app I’ve found is London Bus Checker by FatAttitude. The single best thing about this app is it lets you see, in real-time, when the next bus you need to catch is coming. If, for instance, your bus stop is around the corner you can check the app to see if the #55 is two minutes away and you need to run to make it, or if it’s 10 minutes away and you can mosey on over at your own pace.

Among the many other features, the app also offers stop alerts so you know when you’re approaching your stop and lets you see full route maps for London’s entire bus network. London Bus Checker is $2.99. It’s also a universal app, so it works on both the iPhone and iPad.

Car: Park-Up – London Parking

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needLet me just say this right now: if you are planning to drive in the city during the London Olympics, you are crazy. Period. You’ll spend more time sitting in traffic then you will seeing all the sights London has to offer. That being said, I’m sure there will be some people who will still think that driving is the way to go. In that case, iOS’s Maps app is the best route planner for your transportation needs. However, just because Maps can get you there, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually find a place to park. That’s where Park-Up’s London Parking comes in.

The app tracks over 10,000 places to park in central London, from single street parking bays to entire car parks and parking garages. What’s really nice about the app is that you can view what kind of parking space it is before you get there. Tapping on any parking location will show you the hours and costs, and, if available, the number of spaces, height restrictions, and security arrangements. Park-Up London Parking is $4.99. It’s also a universal app, so it works on both the iPhone and iPad.

Boat: KPMG Thames Clippers

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needA great way to get from one side of London to the other is by boat. The Thames is full of clipper ships that ferry people up and down the river. Many times, if you have to travel a long distance, this is actually the best way to go. Using KPMG Thames Clippers by Seligman Ventures, users can enter their start and destination piers and view the official timetables from Thames Clippers. Do note, however, that these time tables are not updated in real time.

KPMG Thames Clippers is a free app for iPhone.

Bicycle: Barclays Bikes

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needCompared to cities in the US, London is extremely bike friendly (though it does have some catching up to do with its European neighbors). Chances are you won’t be bringing your bicycle to London, but that shouldn’t stop you from cycling around the city (which is probably the best, fastest, and funnest way to not only get around the capital, but to see it as well). Barclays Bank has a cycle hire program with the city. The program installed thousands of bicycles at spots around the capital that anyone can use. The first half-hour is free, and after that charges are relatively cheap.

If you are going to be hiring Barclays cycles, you’ll want to download the official Barclays Bikes app. The app shows you where the closest cycling docking terminal is, lets you calculate the cost of how much a bike hire will be (based on the time you plan to have it), and lets you plan your cycling route based on places, postcodes, or address. And the best thing about the app is it not only shows you how close the nearest cycling docking station is, but it also shows you how many bicycles are available at that station.

Barclays Bikes is a free app for iPhone.

Everything: Citymapper – London Transport

Going to the London Olympics Here are the transport apps you'll needAll of the above apps are excellent for their chosen mode of transportation. But what if you want to get from one place to another and choose your mode of transportation based on time or cost? That’s where Citymapper – London Transport by Citymapper Inc. comes in.

The developers call the app a “Super Router” and boy, are they right! Just enter your start and end locations and Citymapper shows you a list of all your transport options including walking, cycling, bus, tube, rail, and cab. For each option, they also show you how much the journey will cost (or for cycling and walking, calories burned) and also how long the trip will take.

Citymapper does note that the app is still in beta, but in my tests it works quite well. Citymapper – London Transport is a free app for iPhone.

Check out screenshots from each app below and drop me a line in the comments if there’s a London transport app you love that I didn’t list.

Gallery: The top London transport apps for the 2012 Olympics

Tube Map ProLondon Bus CheckerPark-Up - London parkingBarclays BikesKPMG Thames Clippers

Going to the London Olympics? Here are the transport apps you’ll need originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sat, 14 Jul 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TUAW Origin Stories: FlipBook HD

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

I’m a bit of an animation fan, both finished works and the tools that make them. iOS devices can come close to the old methods of drawing, moving and capturing animation because they can simulate “touching” the objects and moving them around as your would on a light table.

FlipBook HD is as much like an old light table as possible with the addition of a handy timeline and digital drawing tools. I spoke to the creator, Josh Anon, about why he created FlipBook HD. Josh also wanted to point out FlipBook HD was developed by MartianCraft, after he had created the iPhone version. Either version provides a fun tool for discovering the basics of animation while creating some of your own.


TUAW Origin Stories: FlipBook HD originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 13 Jul 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daily iPhone App: Photo Mapo turns your photo into a postcard-style map that you can share

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

The next time you go on vacation, you might want to install Photo Mapo from Ripe Bytes on your iPhone before you head out. The app is more than just a photo frame. It’s a photo-mapping app that will take your photo, display it on an attractive map and allow you to share the resulting composition with your friends and family.

The app lets you take a photo or use an existing image from your camera roll. It pulls the GPS data from the shot and finds the location on a map. You can customize the style and the zoom level of the map, add a description and then combine them both with your photo. In the end, you get an eye-catching composition that you can send to a friend. Photo Mapo has a fun, touristy feel that makes you want to go on vacation just so you can use it.

Photo Mapo is available for free from the iOS App Store.

Daily iPhone App: Photo Mapo turns your photo into a postcard-style map that you can share originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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