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Your Guide to iOS 9

Your Guide to iOS 9

Wednesday marks the release of Apple’s next generation mobile operating system with the launch of iOS 9. Many of you may totally unaware of the release, but we’ve been anticipating this for months since Apple announced iOS at their summer keynote at the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

 

Interested in learning more about iOS 9? Click here to read the post.

VIDEO: The New iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s

While there are plenty of features to get excited about with Apple's new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, we wanted to show you what WE are looking forward to most! Be careful, you just might have to bite the bullet and upgrade this year...

We'd love to hear from you too. What are you looking forward to most? Will you be upgrading this year? Let us know in the comments just after the video!

 

VIDEO: Our favorite Apple announcements from WWDC 2013

Just in case you’ve been under a rock, Apple held their annual World Wide Developer’s Conference this week. On Monday, they announced a few new products, as well as new versions of their iPad, iPhone, and Mac operating systems. In this video, we’ll show you our six favorite things we’re looking forward to most.

Apple Answers Questions About MobileMe Transition to iCloud

We've been getting a good amount of questions from our friends and clients about the new iCloud service Apple announced in June. (Yes, we're excited too!) As it turns out, along with iCloud, Apple will be discontinuing the MobileMe service. What does this mean for current MobileMe users? We figured it would be best for you to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

In a nutshell, iCloud is better, free, and Apple will be transitioning MobileMe users this fall. If you choose not to transition, you will have until June 30, 2012 to transition yourself. Why would you want to wait? You'll see in Apple's FAQs that three main MobileMe services will not make the cut: iWeb Publishing, Gallery, and iDisk.

We're looking forward to iCloud's debut this fall! Head on over to our Facebook page to join our poll by answering what your favorite iCloud feature is. While you're there, "Like" us to be notified of other fun stuff in the future!

Leaving Clear 4G for the iPhone's Personal Hotspot

hostspot

A good amount of our business is done on the road. Whether we're between cross-town projects, or in dark attics we need to have an Internet connection to use many our our tools. For example, we use many of 37signals.com's products, as well as Onsip.com for our phone service (both highly-recommended), which all require an Internet connection.

Until recently, we've relied on Clear's 4G service. For the most part, we loved it. It's fast, and has decent coverage around ATL, albeit not as good as our AT&T iPhones. We decided last month to try the new Personal Hotspot feature from AT&T to see how it compares. Keep in mind the Personal Hotspot feature requires the iPhone 4, not any of the previous iPhones.

We just cancelled our Clear accounts today and I'll tell you why:

  1. The AT&T 3G connection has surprisingly decent speed. Not as fast as 4G, but decent.
  2. It's actually cheaper. Clear's services are around $40/mo per user, whereas the Personal Hotspot only adds $15/mo to a typical iPhone plan.
  3. Less devices. No more USB dongle that sticks out of our laptops, getting Internet is built into the iPhone.
  4. We can share the connection. Yes Clear has a hotspot service as well, but not for the $15/mo you'd be paying for AT&T. BTW, AT&T allows 3 devices to be connected to your phone simultaneously.

Of course, your city may vary on connectivity, and your iPhone plan may not be just like ours, so I'd call AT&T to get your specific rundown (Dial 611 from your AT&T iPhone). One downside to "upgrading" to the Personal Hotspot service is that we lost our unlimited data plan. We're now capped at 4GB per month per user. It turns out, I was only using about 1GB/month on average on my iPhone, and I've yet to get near the new 4GB limit. (Your online AT&T account can show your monthly data usage on a graph.)

What are you currently using? Do you like it? We'd love to know.

The Ultimate iPad Stylus

Although I do about 90% of my iPad tasks with the ten styli God gave me, sometimes using a stylus is the perfect tool for drawing out ideas, or taking scratch notes. Unfortunately, even after using the highest rated styli like the Pogo and Targus Stylus I've been left dissatisfied. The main reason: using the stylus on a touchscreen doesn't feel natural, and I'm always tempted to rest my palm on the screen... which doesn't work on a touch screen device. Instead of explaining the Cosmonaut, I'll just let you watch their video. They began as a Kickstarter project, which was hugely successful, and they will begin manufacturing their idea this summer. If you didn't help fund their Kickstarter project, you'll need to sign up for email notifications to find out when it will go on sale to the public.

I'm looking forward to receiving mine next month. Do you have a stylus you love? Let us know below!

Business App Review - Files HD

The iPad has become a vital part of our business so we have decided to begin a weekly spotlight on business apps for the iPad and iPhone. This week we're talking about Files HD (link to App Store). Files HD adds a very useful and important feature to the iPad. It gives us a file browser where we can store any type of file right on the iPad. It does more than just storage though, it also allows for viewing of the files right within the app. It's kind of like using the Finder and Quicklook on your Mac.  If you've used Dropbox or iDisk before, Files HD is very similar. One difference with Files HD is that you can pre-load  files directly to the iPad using the iPad's USB cable, instead of having to access the files through the Internet like iDisk and Dropbox. This is a great feature if you have a Wi-fi only iPad, or if you're concerned about running up your AT&T 3G bill from accessing larger media files.

Anytime we meet with a client we bring our iPads along. Instead of printing out a bunch of documents to show clients we can just pull them up in Files HD and put the iPad in their hands. If we want to let a client keep the file, we can email directly from Files HD. iPad lacks the ability to download a file from a website but with Files HD you can download any file just like you can on your Mac.

There are a few ways to get your files into Files HD:

1. Load files from iTunes under the "Apps" tab when your iPad is plugged in.

2. Upload files through your computer's browser (like Firefox or Safari) by visiting a web address assigned to your iPad when Files HD is running.

3. Connect to the shared Files HD server through Finder on your Mac.

4. Download files from the app's built in web browser.

Files HD is available in the App Store for $2.99 for the iPad. The non-HD version is also available for iPhone and iPod Touch. We highly recommend Files HD if you need to store large files on the iPad and have access to them when no Internet connection is available. Do you use Files HD, Dropbox, iDisk, or something else for file management? How does it compare?

Business App Review: Dragon Dictation

I remember using Dragon NaturallySpeaking many many years ago on my old Windows (that's right, I said it) machine. I recall it being a pain to use and it didn't work very well. Well, it looks like they've really improved the software and have made a nifty little iOS app called DragonDictation.  It's a free app available in the App Store that allows you to speak anything and it transcribes this speech to text for you. It does a surprisingly good job. When you've said everything you want to say just hit the e-mail, text, copy, Facebook or Twitter button to send the transcription to the corresponding app. The only cons about the app that I find are that it doesn't do punctuation so well and that it's not already integrated into the iOS. 

I would for sure recommend this to anyone who types emails on the iPhone, or likes to make voice memos. At the very least, it's a fun app to try and it's definitely going to stay on my iPhone. In fact, this entire blog article was written by using DragonDictation for iPhone!