iPhone 6 NFC and Wallet A Real Possibility

Next week all of us are anticipating the new iPhone 6 (or whatever Apple will call it) to be launched.  The September 9th event could prove to be a huge event for Apple with a new line up of iPhones being announced but also the much anticipated iWatch could be in the mix as well.  We will also get final dates for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite respective releases which shouldn’t be to far away on either.

When it comes to the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, there is an ever increasing rumour that we will also see a device with NFC (Near Field Communication) and a wallet like function for your credit cards to be stored on your iPhone.  For those who aren’t familiar with NFC, it is the technology of where you hold your device close to a NFC compatible payment terminal to pay for items.  Sometimes referred to as contact-less transactions, Android devices have had NFC functionality for quite some time with an appropriate electronic wallet to store your credit card information.

Apple has never had a NFC compatible device but as clear as it is that consumers want bigger screened devices, so to is it clear that being able to make purchases directly with your smartphone (not just with your smartphone) is becoming equally as popular.

As most of you know, I generally try to stay out of the rumour mill here on the site.  It is a constantly changing thing and while the rumours can be fun (and silly a times) I’d rather provide a different kind of content here.  However, on this one, I’m making an exception because I think it may actually have some truth to it.

Review of Camu for iPhone

One of the newest and brightest photo taking and editing apps in the App Store is Camu for iPhone.  Camu is a real time editing app that allows you to apply photo filters on-the-fly to the photos you are taking at the moment or add those effect to photos later.  It then allows you to post those creations to a wide range of social networks for sharing.  The beauty of Camu for iPhone is in its simplicity but don’t let that fool you:  This is a powerful photo editing application.

I’ve been using Camu now for a couple of weeks and I have to say I’m nothing short of impressed.  It has a nice selection of filters that you can apply to your photos (and not you don’t get nickel & dime’d to death with having to buy filters) but it is also completely gesture driven in using so there is virtually no learning curve.  This is one of those apps that truly anyone could pick up and figure out in about 5 minutes.  In fact my only real disappointment with the app is that there isn’t a native iPad version.

It is well worth your time and iPhone storage to take a look at Camu for iPhone.

Camu for iPhone – Free – Download Now

How We Make AlliOSNews Work

Editors Note:  Clinton’s comments are in Black while Tricia’s comments are in Red

Over the course of the past year there has been two common questions that have come up around this site.  There’s been plenty of others, but these seem to be the top two:

1.  How do you & Tricia coordinate your work on the site?

2.  Are you & Tricia married?

So let’s deal with the second one first.  No, we are not married.  Well technically we are both married but not to each other.  We have, to the best of our collective recollection never been married.  In fact Clinton has been married to someone other than Tricia for 25+ years while Tricia has been married to someone other than Clinton for 7 years.  We both have kids, not together, (Clinton’s kids could actually have their own TechTot age kids) and in fact our respective spouses are friends with each other.  So… no.

What we do have in common is a passion for sharing our experiences and trying to help you the readers of this blog.  Tricia is an award winning writer and in fact has her first children’s book coming out this September.  You can read about her daily antics with her boys at Stream Of The Conscious.  Clinton on the other hand is not award winning and generally brings the high quality of language Tricia brings to the site down to that of a potty-humoured 12 year old.

Everyone has a gift.

(Tangent: I am also quite well-versed in potty talk. TechTots are 4 and potty training was sent from Satan.)

That leads to answering the first most common question of how we make AlliOSNews work.  To be fair, it is tricky sometimes.  We

What Clinton Normally Sees of Tricia at Starbucks

What Clinton Normally Sees of Tricia at Starbucks

both have a busy schedule with our own families and work (yes, as a matter of fact, we DO work for the same company in our “day job.” I write stuff there too.).  Ultimately it leads to a lot of time communicating and we do that through a variety of tools because visiting 1:1 in person just isn’t really an option.  Clinton lives in England.  Tricia lives in California. (Because we have better weather)  That is roughly 5,360 miles and 8 timezones.  In the past two years we have seen each other in person a total of 9 days.  Nine.  And what did we do when we caught up, like first thing?  Go get coffee and talk Apple stuff of course!

(Damn skippy, that’s really my laptop. And for those wondering why Snow is wearing glasses – it’s because I wear glasses, so they obviously make her cooler.)

Communication for us is key in making sure we coordinate posts, particularly the TechMomTuesday posts.  To do this we leverage Messages heavily.  Both of us are Mac, iPhone and iPad users so getting Messages no matter where we are or which device is a huge, big deal for us.  Because of the timezone differences, it is usually the beginning of the day for Clinton & the end of the day for Tricia when we do catch up on Messages or vice versa.  For us, Messages is the quickest way for us to discuss story ideas, news or things we’ve seen Apple related and of course discuss our families and drink of the day.  Clinton likes Martini’s for those interested.  Tricia, she’s a whiskey girl.

Messages is probably the most crucial component of our communication as the majority of iOS discussion takes place not in set meetings, but in off-the-cuff snark or wonderment at “shiny object” moments during our days. You may have noticed this by the subtle series of conversation screenshots sprinkled throughout posts.

22 New Wallpapers for iPad

Today we have posted 22 all new wallpapers for iPad here at AlliOSNews.  The set of wallpapers are completely free for you to download and use on your iPad and all are sized at 2048×1536, perfect for your Retina display.

The wallpapers for iPad are mostly original photos but there are some that I’ve managed to find over the years.  I’ve tried to give credit where credit is due.

You can find all of the wallpapers on the Wallpapers for iPad but I’ve created a gallery that will allow you to preview all of them.  Just read on after the break to view the gallery so those who aren’t interested can keep reading along.

OneDrive for iOS Update Brings Photo Viewer

Microsoft continues to show they are serious about being a mobile and cloud centric company through their nearly universally supported OneDrive service.  The OneDrive for iOS app is no exception and yesterday received a healthy update that brings a new photo viewer to the application for your iPhone and iPad.  Now you can have a timeline-like view of all the photos that you have stored in OncDrive in one, easy-to-navigate page.

OneDrive for iOS (Universal App) – Free – Download Now

Will We See The iWatch on 9.9.2014?

In case you missed it somehow, Apple has sent out the invitations for the next big Apple event.  September 9, 2014, 9 September 2014 or 9.9.2014.  However you want to put it, this could very well be one of the single biggest launch events Apple has had in a long time – perhaps since the original iPhone.  Why?  Two reasons.

First, Apple hasn’t had a major product release since October.  That’s a long, long time.  Given that Samsung is seemingly coming out with a new Android device every-other week, Apple’s once a year cycle is making these events bigger and more important all the time.  Frankly a year between these is too long in my opinion and while Apple can innovate, the cycles are just to long in this rapid, mobile world we live in.  So that makes the 9.9.2014 event even more important because Apple basically has to hit it out of the park with Every. Single. Thing. they announce.

iOS Fragmentation Low Compared to Android

OpenSignal, the app and service that helps locate the best areas for signal coverage for various network providers, has published a great visual report on just how significant a problem fragmentation is for Android when you compare it to iOS fragmentation.  Effectively, for iOS, there isn’t any.

Take a look at this chart from the OpenSignal report:

iOS Fragmentation versus Android

iOS Fragmentation versus Android

It is a pretty amazing view of how little iOS fragmentation there actually is today.  An amazing 91% of iOS users that OpenSignal has tracked through their app are using iOS 7.x..  And in fact, if you take in consideration iOS 6, an astonishing 99% of users are in the last two versions of iOS.  Part of this of course is the fact that Apple pushes, for free, iOS updates and does so to a very wide swath of the devices that are out there.

This is in stark contrast to Android who by every measure, have a significant problem when it comes to fragmentation.  I’ve said before that this will ultimately spell trouble for Google and Android.  The question, in my mind is when.  It may be sooner than I think.

Star Wars Commander for iOS Review

Star Wars Commander is the latest in the Star Wars franchise of apps from Lucas Arts that brings a tower defence style game to the Rebellion versus Empire universe.  Like many such games, the object is to keep your own base safe and secure while also leading attacks on your enemy bases to collect currency and materials to further upgrade and build your own base.

This is where the game takes a twist.  In Star Wars Commander you can choose if you want to fight for the Rebel Alliance or if you want to take up arms for the Galactic Empire.  Depending on the site you select will determine the weapons at hand and your mission objectives.

I have to say that personally I’ve grown a bit tired of the tower defence style games as there are so many of them.  But Star Wars Commander, while certainly in the genre, has been a great amount of fun to play partly because it is in the Star Wars universe (and really, what’s not to love about that?) and the fact I can pick my side in the game.  It’s kinda nice being on the Empire side and commanding TIE Fighters. :-)

Star Wars: Commander (Universal App) – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Vivino Wine Scanner App for iPhone Review

I love wine but I fully admit that I’m a bit of a neanderthal when it comes to being able to pick a good wine from a not-so-good wine.  As I have discovered, price isn’t necessarily a reflection of a wine that is good and there is certainly an element of personal tastes that come into the picture.  Compounding my problem is when I go to my local grocer or “bottle store” (AKA Liquor Store), there is a dizzying number of wines of all times and all price ranges.  Regardless of your wine selecting skills, there is a great app that can help you find that perfect wine as you stand there looking at a wall of bottles.  The Vivino Wine Scanner app allows you to scan the label of any wine and instantly get peer ratings, price ranges and reviews of that wine.  It helps eliminate the guess work so you can find wines you like at a price that is right.

The Vivino Wine Scanner app is one of those apps that just makes life easier.  It works amazingly well and I’ve yet to find a bottle of wine that it didn’t recognise.  Literally all you do is snap a photo of the label of the wine bottle and it does all the work of giving you information about that wine.  It has become my favourite app to use while I’m stood in my grocer trying to find that bottle of wine that goes with that meal.

Vivino Wine Scanner – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Vivino Wine Scanner Pro – $4.99 – Download Now

OS X Yosemite Public Beta 2 Now Available

Apple has released the 2.0 version of the OS X Yosemite Public Beta to those who have joined the program.  It appears to mirror the Developer Preview 6 release that was made to the developer community earlier in the week and it is evident that Apple is nearing completion of the OS as it appears to be stable and fully functional.  I’m personally at the point where I have loaded the beta onto one of my Macs which I use heavily to put it through it’s paces and so far, so good.

I’ll remind everyone that it is still beta code so you do use it at your own risk but I think the risks are lower than ever at this point.

For those interested in joining the beta, go to the OS X Beta Program page from Apple.