WWDC Recap: All the Major Announcements at Apple’s Annual Developer’s Conference

Like Apple or hate them, one thing you sure cannot is ignore them. And WWDC event at San Francisco was no different. Arguably, this was the most important WWDC held in years because Apple had to answer the questions posed by both Android and Windows in the phone and desktop market respectively. So, what happened at the conference and what were the major announcements, did we see the new Mac laptops, or a new iOS 7 or even new music streaming service? Let’s recap WWDC 2013.

WWDC

Numbers, Numbers and few more Numbers

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Every time someone from Apple takes the stage you can be guaranteed a huge set of numbers. And this was no different. After a brilliant opening montage, Tim Cook took no time in announcing that WWDC this year has been bigger than ever with people from over 60 countries in the audience. He also alluded to the fact that WWDC was the longest of the running developer conferences as the 24th edition of WWDC rolled on. There were details about the new Apple Store in Germany and updates on the App Store numbers. It was a matter of great pride for Apple that over 50 Billion apps have been downloaded and over 900,000 apps are available on the App STore. Over 10 Billion US Dollars have been paid to developers, which showed how committed Apple remains to the dev community.

Refreshed Mac Lines

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Apple introduced brand new Macbook Airs 11 and 13 inches. These devices although have no design changes from the current line, but promise a much longer battery life. The battery life on the 11 inch Air is around 9 hours while the 13 inch one will last you a good 12 hours. It would be interesting to put these claims to test. The new Macbook Airs are powered by the Haswell CPU’s and would be available starting today.

There was also sneak peak into a refreshed Mac Pro which pretty much stole the show, yes, even ahead of the iOS 7. The new Mac Pro has an incredible design and looks right a thing from outer space. It would be available starting this fall and is powered by 12 Core Intel Xeon E5 CPU.

New OSX

OS X

Apple also introduced an all new OS for their Macs in the form of OSX Mavericks  Mavericks brings with it a redesigned Finder app with tabs, ability to add tags to any document as well as true Multiple Display support where you can independently control the external display. The new OSX also promises better battery management and hence a better battery life for your Mac. There was also a newly redesigned Calendar app for Mac as well as Maps. The notification center gets an update so you can now reply to a notification right from the popup. These notifications will be visible right from the lockscreen and the app updates will take place in background without you having to initiate. Another feature that really caught our eyes was the iCloud Keychains which basically is a very well done password keeper for your Mac. Safari also was updated with ability to read articles continuously in your reading list without having to click the links and a cleaner start page. Overall, plenty of new awesome features to what was already pretty much the best OS for PC’s. Mavericks will be available for users starting this fall.

iCloud Can Do So Much More

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iCloud is the most popular Cloud storage service out there and it got a whole lot better. Now iCloud is integrated with Pages, Keynotes and Numbers. this allows you to edit your presentations or documents right from the browser of the PC instead of having to open the application physically. iClou allows the user to now run iWorks even on a Windows PC within the browser.

iOS 7 is Finally Here

iOS 7

The star of the show without any doubt though, was the latest iOS as Apple announced the iOS 7. Time Cook announced the iOS 7 to be the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone and he was not wrong. The iOS 7 looked stunning to the eye and pretty much bough the best of the mobile world to the table. The OS is designed from the ground up and has the fingerprints of Design Guru Jonathan Ive all over it. So what all is new in iOS 7, let’s quickly list them down.

  • iOS 7 has an all new set of icons. These icons are flatter in nature and mimic real looks, but some of the icons such as the Safari icon or even the Mail icon for that matter look s little cartoonish. It is worth remembering though that iOS 7 is still in Beta though so maybe things would be a lot different when the final release is ready.
  • iOS 7 brings with it Control Center which basically allows the users to quickly toggle settings such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or slide Brightness quickly. A swipe up gesture brings the Control Center from any screen you are in. Control Center also has other useful things such as a flash light and space to add your favorite apps.
  • Folders now support unlimited applications in iOS 7 and you can add more than the limit of 16 apps. These apps are added to new pages within the folder as more and more apps are added.
  • The messaging and mailing applications have been updated too and you now can peek your entire inbox by a simple swipe to right gesture. The conversation screen too has a new colour scheme and a neater look.
  • The keyboard looks a little different too and has a more translucent background to it, allowing users to see the underlying documents.
  • Apple announced Air Drop for iOS 7 which allows the users to transfer files and documents via Wi-Fi using P2P to a fellow iOS device. This pretty much makes sharing of images very easy across iOS devices.
  • There is also a brand new weather application on iOS 7 which has a very neat UI. The app also mimics real life like conditions such as thunder or showers on screen and gives information such as weather forecast etc.
  • The lock screen is also redesigned on iOS 7 and the fonts look a lot bigger and the slide to unlock border has gone giving it a cleaner look.
  • All the apps have an edge to edge display making sure every single pixel on the device is being used and you do not see those annoying black bars at the edge of the screen.
  • iOS 7 also brings a redesigned Safari app which takes cues from the desktop Safari App. It now allows you a full screen mode, and the reading list can be scrolled through without having to click to the next article. Tab browsing has also been changed and the tabs look a lot neater and dare we say pretty.
  • Multitasking on iOS 7 is truer than ever before and also has a brand new interface. The card like UI of multitasking is very similar to the ones seen on WebOS or more recently on Windows Phone.
  • The Camera and Photos application have been redesigned for iOS 7 as well. Now you have filters in built into the camera app so you can easily apply effects on your images. You can also share these images straight away thanks to Air Drop. The photos app also categorizes your pictures based on periods such as years. Not just this, but you can also create shared photo streams allowing your friends to add images to your photo stream.
  • The Music App received a massive update too with a new Now Playing Screen. You can also tilt your device in landscape mode to see all the albums on your device and select one to play. Apple also announced iTune Radio which is the music streaming service everyone was talking about. It allows you to play stations and discover music, you can also purchase music straight from within the application. It also keeps a track of all the music you have heard making sure it knows your taste just right.
  • Not just this, other services such as Call over Facetime, Notification Sync, Activation Lock and Blocking person on iMessage and Mail were also announced by Apple for iOS 7.

iOS 7 will be available starting this fall on iPhone 4 and above, iPad 2 and later and iPod Touch 5th generation and above. Although, iOS 7 does look a treat to the eyes, you have to wait and watch how things pan out in reality when the update hits the device. Just like any tech enthusiasts, we cannot wait to try it out.

If you have any queries or comments regarding iOS 7 or any other major announcement made at WWDC, feel free to fill the section below or Tweet in to us at @Blogtechnika or @arp1tV.

(Image Credites: Techcrunch, Cult of Mac)

 

iTunes Genius: Macintosh Music Genius At Your Assistance

If you are a music freak then it is quite obvious that iTunes must be your favourite place to hunt on your MacBook. iTunes is absolutely a near perfect software which takes the magic of music to the next level. iTunes has a lot of features which makes it numero uno in the world of music. iTunes Genius is one such feature. In this post I have made an effort to describe this brilliant applications.

iTunes genius – A part of iTunes which provides three main features: creating playlists from your existing library, creating genre-specific mixes and suggesting new music as per your favourite numbers in your library. Genius works on the basis of sharing iTunes library by users like the songs in library, playcounts, star ratings, etc. This information is then compiled into a database of all iTunes Genius users by Apple to discover relationships between songs, artists, and musical tastes. With this enormous set of data, Genius automatically groups and recommends music based on your tastes and preferences to you.

Genius Playlists

This feature has been designed in such a way that it creates the playlists of songs automatically which are already existing in your librar, which sound good together. You just have to select one song to begin the playlist, then the Genius starts its work by building a playlist of all the complementary songs from your iTunes library. Reminding you, this very different and more involved process as it just not only sort the songs but also puts them in the correct and suitable order, the way they will sound fabulous together.

Genius Mixes

Genius Mixes may share a little bit of similarity with Playlists, but they group the songs based on genre or theme rather than a beginning song provided by the user. It again accesses the Genius database of your songs to create mixes that will sound amazing together.

Using Genius to Discover New Music

This is an advanced feature of Genius and its functionality to quite similar to Pandora. This feature works in a unique way by suggesting music or bands to you that you may like, as it has the access to your shared information. So, Genius is quite generous keeping in consideration your choice. Adding to it, it also integrates with iTunes Store to help you to buy the new music.

So all you are one click away from having fun with iTunes. Turn on your Genius and get ready for the party or like they say partaaaaaayy. For any more assistance feel free to fill the comments section below.

 An extended thanks to Ms. Devyani Kapoor for her insights without which this post would not be complete.

iTuner: An iTunes Manager app for Windows

iTuner is an app that has some essential tools that iTunes itself doesn’t have but are necessary for a media player. It attaches itself to the system tray and monitors your playlists accordingly. iTuner comes with an interface which is meant to be operated from the system tray and you can navigate through the iTunes library easily with this app.

ituner

iTuner comes in an installation file. Install the app and run the exe file. When the app is run, iTunes is automatically started. You can play, pause, proceed to the next track,set shuffle on/off, open the iTunes window, rate your songs and even control the volume from this app. iTuner is a light utility which, even though it attaches itself to the startup menu, will not use much of your computer’s resources.

hotkeys

You can even set hotkeys with the app. Select the operation whose hotkey you want to edit and change the keyboard shortcut. You can then operate iTunes using these shortcuts. You don’t have to always maximize the iTunes window to change the track or pause it. Simply use the keyboard shortcuts to do that.

iTuner also runs a number of tasks like checking for duplicate tracks, checking for dead or deleted tracks and even monitors the iTunes folders for changes to make sure iTunes is up to date with your music folders and changes made to them.

Download iTuner.

How to Create Ringtones For iPhone Using iTunes

There are several tool available to create ringtones for iPhone. But most of them are not free and comes with a poor interface. Now if you have iTunes installed in your computer you can use it as a free iPhone ringtone creator. This guide will show you how you can create up to 40 seconds ringtone by following some simple instructions.

Open iTunes.

Select any music you want to convert into ringtone. You can create ringtone of 40 seconds duration and it is not necessary that your ringtone starts according to song. You can cut a portion of song to create it. Play the song and note down the start and stop time.

Now right click on the song’s name and click on “Get info”.

itunes-song-info

Go to Options tab and select the Start time and End time of the ringtone. Click OK.

iTunes-options

Now again right click on the song name and select “Create AAC Version”. It will create an AAC version of the song. You can note that AAC version song has a song duration you selected in the previous step (35 seconds).

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Right click on the AAC version of the song and select “Delete”.

delete-AAC-Version

Click “Remove”.

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Don’t move the song to Recycle Bin. Click on “Keep File” button.

keep-file-itunes-folder

Now you have to go to the folder to locate the AAC version of the song. Click on “Start” button and then click on the “Music” folder given at the right.

windows-user-music-folder

In the music folder go to C:\Users\Username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music\Artist\Song Name.

You can notice that the extension of the file is .m4a. You have to change it to .m4r. Right click on the file and select “Rename” and change the file extension.

change-extension-m4a-to-m4r

Now double click on the changed ringtone file. It will be automatically added on your iTunes Music Library. You can click on “Ringtones” at the left to see the file.

Sync the iTunes with your iPhone to get the ringtone on your mobile.

That’s how you can create and transfer ringtone to your iPhone using iTunes. It removes the hassle of using third party tool and also it doesn’t charge anything. Which tool do you use to create ringtones?

How To Remove/Delete Applications in iPad

Last night while searching for a nice browser for an iPad, I installed Opera browser on it. While Opera is one of the finest browser, but by mistake I installed Opera for iPhone app. Due to the small resolution, I was unable to browse properly therefore I decided to uninstall the app from the iPad. Here’s how I did that:

1. Tap your finger on the application icon, hold it until all the icons of the iPad starts to shake or wiggle.

2. Tap the cross “X” in the upper left on the icon of the application you want to remove.

iPad-applicatio-delete

3. Tap the “Delete” button.

iPad-icons

4.  You can rate the app by giving it stars. If you don’t want to rate the app then click on the “No Thanks” button.

iPad-application-uninstall

After removing, you can always reinstall the app by visiting to the app store. If you connect your iPad to your computer, go to iTunes –> iPad –> Application tab. Uncheck the box next to “Sync application list”. This will prevent your iPad to sync applications with iTunes.

How to Upgrade iPhone to The Latest iPhone OS Firmware

Apple recently updates its firmware which is known as iOS 4. This firmware is available only for second and third generation phones (iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS) and iPod touch. The latest iPhone 4 comes preloaded with this new firmware.

iOS 4

Here are some important features present in iOS 4:

  • Multitasking
  • Folders
  • Better email
  • iBooks
  • Create playlist
  • 5x digital zoom
  • Tap to focus video
  • Faces and places in videos
  • Home screen wallpaper
  • Gift apps
  • Spell checking
  • Wireless keyboard support.

If you want to load new firmware on your iPhone or iPod touch sets then you need to download the firmware first on your computer.

You can download the iOS 4.O via iTunes 9.2 by pluggin the iPod touch or iPhone inside the computer. Apple has a nice demonstration of the process.

Step 1: Download the latest version of iTunes. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB cable.

ios update

Step 2: Open the iTunes. Select your device under devices section in the source list in left.

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Step 3: In the summary pane, click check for update.

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Step 4: Click Download and Install. Do not disconnect your iPhone until the update has finished.

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That’s it. Your iPhone or iPod touch device is update with the latest software.

Note: If you are using first generation iPhone or iPod touch then it can’t be update to the latest firmware.

Download latest version of iTunes.