The long time network speed testing utility for iOS has been updated and it is beautiful. Speedtest.net is a service that allows you to measure your network throughput from your Mac or PC and has long had an app for iPhone in the App Store. This week the service updated their app with a completely new interface and full support for the larger iPhone 5 display.
The update brings a lot of updates beyond just the new UI but that alone is reason enough to get the Speedtest.net app.
Here is a rundown of the new features from the Release Notes
- Completely new interface with full iPhone 5 support
- Option to permanently remove advertising
- Easier result sharing
- Improved server selection and saving
- Sortable results
- See your testing location in results detail
An important note for this update is that it is in English only with the notes stating that additional languages will be supported in future updates.
There is now an in-app purchase option of .99 Cents to remove the adverts in the app if you want to do that but it is not necessary if the ads do not bother you. With or without the embedded adverts, the Speedtest.net app is fully functional.
The Speedtest.net app is free to download in the App Store and is for iPhone only.
Apple has released a couple of new television adverts today, the first being titled “Brilliant” which highlights the flexibility and power of the iPhone 5. As has become the custom, Apple has released the spot on their YouTube channel so everyone can easily catch it instead of having to wait around the telly for it to show up.
At the same time, Apple released another 30 second advert for the iPhone 5, this one titled “Discover”. This advert focuses on the knowledge and information you can use and/or learn using your iPhone 5.
As you see, both ads for this iPhone 5 follow the same general theme which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… but it is something we have seen before in previous adverts.
Regardless, enjoy the new ads!
As Apple continues the migration from the 30 Pin connector of the last decade to the new Lightning Connector, the challenge for finding the right cable for the right device will continue to be a struggle for users for some time. Take me and Tricia here at AlliOSNews as an example. We both own iPhone 5s. We both have iPad 3rd Generation. That means we have the need for both a 30 Pin connector cable and a Lightning Connector cable. In fact it is my wife who is the only one to have figured it out: She has an iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini so for her, this problem is resolved.
I suspect though she is the exception, not the rule.
So what can you do? Actually Apple has two Lightning Connector adapters that I think every iPhone 5 owner, every iPad 3rd or 4th Generation owner and every iPod Touch 4th or 5th Generation owner should have in their bag of tricks. Both are made by Apple and both are designed to make the transition from 30 Pin to Lightning easier.
Yes you have to pay for them. No I don’t like it either. But they are there and having them can save you a lot of heartache when you are desperately searching for power for your nearly depleted iPhone 5 – and we have all been there.
Apple Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter
Apple’s original 30-Pin Connector has been around a long time by any standard, particularly when it comes to smart devices. The connector made its debut in 2003 and has remained virtually untouched in that time. Compared to the raft of connector changes for other platforms – Android, Symbian, PocketPC/Windows Phone, Apple can hardly be blamed for saying goodbye to it. When the iPhone 5 was introduced in October 2012, the Lightning Connector made its debut and
the immediate reaction was as you would expect: NO!
Think about it: There are hundreds of accessories that leverage the 30-Pin connector from cables to cars. I own a brand new 2013 Mini Cooper. Guess what? The iPod Connector is a 30-Pin. If you have been a long time Apple user, this also means that you likely have dozens of 30-Pin cables laying about.
To help the transition Apple introduced the Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter. We’ve all read about it and voice our opinion about the $29.00 price tag. The reality is, after many tear downs of the adapter, it is clear that this is more than just a simple “converter”. The adapter has its own micro logic board. This is not a dumb connector.
That $29 is $10 more than simply going and buying a new Lightning to USB cable. But what do you do with all those 30-Pin cables you have in the drawer? That’s exactly the point. Apple actually did you a favour by NOT requiring you go out and buy all new cables at $19 a pop. Buy the adapter once and use the 30-pin cables until the die.
We can all debate if Apple is charging to much for this adapter and there are strong arguments for both sides. The bottom line though is the adapter is readily available and works with virtually every accessor that has a 30-Pin. I use one regularly to connect my iPhone 5 to my Pure Dock/Alarm/Radio as well as my iPhone to my Mini Cooper and it works brilliantly.
The good news: Apple releases a brand new advert highlighting the Do Not Disturb feature on the iPhone 5
The bad news: Apple releases a brand new advert highlighting the Do Not Disturb feature on a day when it failed for many
Yeah, so chalk this one up to someone not paying attention. Apple released a new advert for the iPhone 5 today featuring Venus and Serena Williams. It’s actually a great ad, one that makes you chuckle a bit, and it highlights how easy it is to use the Do Not Disturb feature. See for yourself
The problem is that many users experienced problems with Do Not Disturb not waking up properly with the calendar rolling over to 2013. The fix is easy: Just turn it off then back on again. But the timing of this advert was not so great on Apple’s part.
In their defence, Apple has not come out with any official statement regarding the Do Not Disturb issues on 1 January 2013 so from there perspective, no problem with iOS or this advert. Still, for many, this was a grown and #facepalm moment.
I’m a big fan of Siri. Although it is still technically a beta from Apple, Siri has grown by leaps this past year with the improvements and expanded abilities in iOS 6. You can get anything from a stock quote to making a reservation at your local restaurant all with a tap-and-hold of the Home button on your iPhone 4S/5 or iPad 3rd/4th generation. The tricky bit comes in when you need Siri and you are in a crowded, noisy location. Sometimes Siri picks up the background noise, making it almost impossible to get it to understand what you are asking. Fortunately there is a way to make it easier for Siri to understand you in these situations and in this How To I’ll show you how to enable the Raise to Speak function of Siri.
Like many things in iOS, this How To highlights a functionality that is already built in but is rarely used or mentioned – but there a lot of good nuggets of usefulness in iOS if you look around. To enable Raise to Speak, go into the Settings of your
iPhone then go to General. About midway down the list you will see Siri listed as the settings that you can adjust. Tap on Siri and here you find all of the settings such as the language used, feedback of information and your personal information (so it can link it up in contacts). The last setting is an on/off toggle for Raise to Speak. Turn it on then tap the Home button to get back to your Home screen. Now hold your iPhone up to your ear as if you are making a phone call. Immediately you will hear to double-tone of Siri being activated. Now you can speak to Siri just as if you are making a call. When you pull your phone away from your ear, Siri deactivates.
Using Siri with the Raise to Speak feature enabled has dramatically improved the responsiveness of the service for me when I’m in a noisy situation such as in the middle of London, on a train, etc. It still has a higher error rate than when I’m in a quite room but it is usable now where as in normal mode that was often not the case. Your mileage will vary but give it a try and see if this mode works better for you in noisy places.
As a final point, you will not find this setting in iOS for iPad – it is an iPhone only functionality. It does however work on both the iPhone 4S and 5 as both of those models have Siri enabled.
If you have an iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, Apple has released a minor software update for you today. The new iOS 6.0.2 update specifically address a bug that impacts WiFi functionality on the latest devices from Cupertino. The update can be done via iTunes or it can be done over-the-air from your device. To get to software updates on your iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, go to Settings>General>Software Update and if your device is eligible, the update will the there to download.
No word on if there will be any updates to the 3rd or 4th generation iPad with this update but in checking my 3rd-gen I see 6.0.1 as the latest update.
With 3 weeks to go before Christmas, Apple has just made it easier to order a new iPhone 5 with the confidence it will be there for the holiday. In the Apple online store, stock of the 16, 32 and 64GB versions of the latest iPhone are now shown as “In Stock”, meaning they will ship to you within a day or two, not a week or two.
The news is welcome to many as Apple has struggled to keep up with the demand for the iPhone 5. Since its release in September, shipment times have been as long as 3-4 weeks but have averaged around 1-2 weeks. Timing wise, it couldn’t have gone better for Apple as they will likely be able to sell more units with people knowing they will get them prior to 25 December.
Finally, equally as important, the stock levels are independent of particular carriers in the US. The iPhone 5 is in stock regardless if you chose AT&T, Verizon or Sprint as your carrier.
The Apple online store in the United States is now offering unlocked iPhone 5s for purchase. Up until now you were required to commit to a two year contract from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon if you wanted the latest iPhone in the US but that is now no longer the case.
The prices for the unlocked iPhone 5 are similar to those of the iPhone 4S when it was released:
- 16GB – $649.00
- 32GB – $749.00
- 64GB – $849.00
If there was one feature that was suppose to be “killer” in iOS 6, it was Maps. Apple had turned away from Google Maps and developed their own solution and all of the hype leading up to the release of iOS 6 pointed to it being great. The demos, after all, were awesome.
But as we all know by now, Maps was a flop. A large flop. So large in fact that it had a significant role in the dismissal of Scott Forstall from Apple. Apple publically apologised for the Maps app, promising to double efforts to make it everything that it should have been from launch. Requisitions on the Apple site indicate that Cupertino has and continues to look for mapping expertise to bring in house to help solve some of the issues.
So here we are, three months after launch. Has Maps improved. The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding yes. So much so that it has become my sole navigation app on my iPhone 5. Risky? Some thing so but I’m not one of them and I’ll tell you why.
I did, past tense, because I’ve updated to the iPhone 5 and my BookBook for iPhone didn’t fit it. Fortunately the good folks at Twelve South have solved this with the release of the BookBook for iPhone 5.
And it is just as beautiful as the first version.
The new BookBook for iPhone 5 comes in the Vintage Brown and Classic Black colours as before with your iPhone 5 now snapping firmly into the case instead of slipping into a leather sleeve inside it. This should keep your iPhone 5 more securely in place than the previous model. The inside also sports a 3rd card slot, taking full advantage of the increased height of the iPhone 5 over the 4/4S.
Probably the most wanted feature of the BookBook for iPhone 4/4S was a camera cutout in the back of the case. In the previous version of the case you had to physically move your iPhone partially out of the case to snap a photo with the rear facing camera.
The new BookBook has a cutout on the back for the rear facing camera of the iPhone 5 to make photos quicker and easier than before. It is a function over form issue in my mind: The camera hole does distract from the overall look and feel of the case but it will make photo taking much easier.
The BookBook for iPhone 5 is available now directly from Twelve South. It is $59.99 with free shipping within the United States (flat rate for international buyers). I have not been able to find the new BookBook in the Apple stores here in London but they may be in the US stores. Best bet for now is Twelve South directly.