iOS 7 Will Make It Possible To Roam Between Open Wi-Fi Networks Without Your Data Ever Dropping.

ios7-hidden-features

Wandering between public Wi-Fi networks and never having your service interrupted, the same way you can walk in and out of the range of local cellular towers and never have your signal drop. That’s the dream for Wi-Fi, and with iOS 7, Apple’s going to help make it happen.

 

The eagle-eyed folks over at Ars Technica noticed a slot in Apple’s keynote on Monday that iOS 7 will support Hotspot 2.0.

What’s Hotspot 2.0?

Hotspot 2.0 is the technology specification behind the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Passpoint certification program. As we wrote last year, the goal of Passpoint is to create a Wi-Fi extension of cellular networks, making it easier for service providers to offload traffic and give users faster Internet connections. Instead of typing in a password, a user could authenticate to the network automatically by virtue of owning a device with a SIM card. Passpoint-enabled devices within range of a Passpoint-supporting hotspot would automatically join it and get the benefit of WPA2 security.

The problem is adoption, not just by manufacturers like Apple, but by carriers and providers like AT&T, Verizon, Boingo, Comcast, Time Warner and more. Let’s hope they feel a bit more encouraged to do so now that every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will ship with the ability.

 

Source: Cult of Mac.

Comparing Apple’s old and new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Comparing Apple's old and new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule

To accommodate newly introduced MacBook Airs that ship with 802.11ac “Gigabit WiFi” capabilities and Apple’s forthcoming redesigned Mac Pro, Apple also introduced a new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule at WWDC. This is the first update to the AirPort Extreme in several years and the first complete redesign since Apple moved from the UFO shape of the original to the Mac mini-like beveled rectangle, so it’s worth taking a closer look at what makes the new products worthwhile.

First, let’s start with the name: “Base Station” has been excised; Apple now calls it simply “AirPort Extreme” (perhaps to simplify and better align with the AirPort Express, which remains unchanged – it’s still an 802.11n-capable box that can hook up to a stereo system and stream audio as well as route data for a small wireless network group).

It’s been two years since the AirPort Extreme was last revised, and it’s undergone some major changes – the flat box style, cribbed from Apple’s Mac mini and measuring 6.5 inches on a side, is gone, and replaced with a smaller but taller cuboid design – 3.85 inches on a side and 6.6 inches tall. It’s also about half a pound heavier, weighing in at 2.08 pounds.

The biggest difference, outside of the industrial design and name, is the new networking technology that’s under the hood: AirPort Extreme supports 802.11ac, backwards compatible with earlier WiFi protocols but on its own capable of transmitting up to 1.3 gigabits per second – almost three times faster than the rating for its predecessor. Inside the box are six antennas, which Apple describes as a “beamforming antenna array.”

The antennas can broadcast simultaneous dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, just as before. And Apple says the AirPort Extreme can support up to 50 users simultaneously, just as before. Also unchanged are the ports on the back of the device: A Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, and one USB 2.0 port, to support a printer or external hard drive.

The price has risen for the new device by $20, to $199.

Just as with the previous generation, the new AirPort Time Capsule uses the same industrial design as the new AirPort Extreme. The Time Capsule is designed for users who want to easily backup data from their Macs over the network using Time Machine, OS X’s built-in backup software.

The networking specs and interface port array of the AirPort Time Capsule is identical to the AirPort Extreme; what’s different is the hard drive inside. Just as before, the AirPort Time Capsule is available in 2TB and 3TB capacities, but there’s been a price realignment: the 2TB model is still $299, but the 3TB model has dropped $100 to $399 – a better value for users looking for maximum Time Machine backup storage capacity.

Even if you haven’t put in an order for a new MacBook Air yet, if you haven’t jumped on the Time Capsule bandwagon, now’s a better time than ever because of the cheaper big version. It’ll work with all the older WiFi gear you have in the house, plus you’ll be future-proofing yourself a bit for 802.11ac when you’re ready.

Source: iMore.

10 Awesome iOS 7 Features That Apple Didn’t Mention.

iOS-7-lock-screen

I’ve given iOS 7 a lot of hate — just because I hate its icons — so I thought it was about time I showed it some love. It may not look the best, but the next-generation of iOS is packed full of awesome new features that should greatly improve the user experience.

A lot of those were detailed during Apple’s keynote at WWDCy, but some got left out. So here’s ten awesome features in iOS 7 that didn’t get a mention at the event.

Notification Sync

iOS-7-notifications

Finally! This is a great addition to iOS 7. With Notification Sync, you’ll no longer have to trawl through the same notifications on several iOS devices, because once you’ve read them on your iPhone, they’ll automatically be marked as read on your iPad — and vice versa.

Turn-by-Turn Walking Directions

walking-directions

Maps doesn’t just provide you with voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation in the car now, but also when you’re on foot. Just select the walking directions icon when planning a route.

Night Mode for Maps

night-mode-maps

Turn-by-turn walking directions aren’t the only improvement in Maps, either. Apple has also added a new Night Mode, which will mean Maps is easier on your eyes when you’re driving in the dark. What’s more, it’s automatic, so when your iPhone recognizes it’s night time, it’ll load the darker theme all by itself.

Scan To Acquire Passbook Passes

IMG_0009

You can now scan QR codes to quickly add digital cards, passes, and coupons to Passbook.

FaceTime Audio Calls

FaceTime-audio

FaceTime doesn’t just support video calling anymore, but also good old voice calls, too. This is great if you’re out of the country and you want to make free calls over Wi-Fi, but you don’t want anyone to see your ugly, sunburnt face.

Flickr & Vimeo Integration

IMG_0001

Facebook and Twitter integration has been joined by Flickr and Vimeo in iOS 7. You can sign into your Flickr and Vimeo account inside the Settings app, and then it’s super quick and easy to upload photos and videos from from your camera roll and albums.

Customizable Subtitles

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 15.31.08

You can now customize the subtitles shown in supported movies and TV shows within the accessibility settings. Apple provides three default options, but if you want to, you can create your own, picking your own font, its size, and its color.

Spotlight From Any Home Screen

spotlight

Spotlight no longer has its own page on your home screen. Instead, you simply swipe down on any home screen to access the search box. Don’t swipe down from the top or you’ll just get Notification Center — try swiping down from the center of the display instead.

Inclinometer

iOS7level

In iOS 7, your device can use its built-in sensors to provide you with an inclinometer, which is why the new Compass app has a level built in.

‘Activity’ Stream In Photos & Shared Photo Streams

IMG_0014

Inside your Photos app, there’s a new “Activity” stream under the “Shared” section that provides you with updates on all your photos. You can see how many images you’ve taken today, who’s added photos to your shared Photo Streams, and who’s left comments or likes.

In addition to this, you can now upload images and videos to shared Photo Streams that you’ve been invited to.

Source: Cult of Mac.

Steve Jobs’ Personal NeXTcube Shown at Cartoon Art Museum Fundraiser.

Monday evening following Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Pixar’s Michael Johnson hosted a fundraising event for the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, where he serves as a board member.

As noted by The Mac Observer, one particularly interesting part of the event was a display of Steve Jobs’ personal NeXTcube, loaned for the event by Pixar.

Speakers this year included Wil Shipley, Andrew Stone, and Dr. “Wave” Johnson, and James Dempsey performed two songs from his catalogue of catchily-written, Objective C-focused tunes.

There was also some NeXT gear on display, and this year that included the NeXT Cube used by Steve Jobs mentioned above. While the folks on hand – many of whom knew and worked closely with Mr. Jobs – might have considered such an artifact old hat, I thought it was very cool and figured many of you would, too.

steve_jobs_nextcube
The NeXT cube arrived as the NeXT Computer in 1988, with the machine quickly gaining the informal “cube” name due to its design based on a one-foot magnesium cube. The Cube name became official in 1990 with the release of an updated version named NeXTcube.

Source: Mac Rumors.

Aviation Pilot Duty and Performance Calculator app is for serious flyers.

The iPad has had a big impact on aviation. iPads are holding charts and other vital information for professional pilots eliminating thousands of printed pages that used to be pushed into heavy black flight bags.

Now, a pilot has written an app called the Aviation Pilot Duty and Performance Calculator to assist pilots operating under Part 135 (commuter and on-demand flight operations) that does a lot of the calculations that are laborious and time consuming. The app helps pilots compute things like Departure Gradients, Climb Performance, Approach Planning, keeping track of flight time and more.

Pilots operating under FAA part 91 (general aviation) and Part 121 (commercial pilots) will also find many of the features built into the app helpful.

The Aviation Pilot Duty and Performance Calculator is a reasonable US $4.99 and is a universal app that is optimized for the iPhone 5 and requires iOS 6.1 or later.

This app is not for the casual flyer, but if you make a living in the air it is an invaluable time saving tool.

Source: TUAW.

Matias Brings the World a Smaller and Wireless Keyboard.

 I have a serious problem in my life that I would rather not admit to (or deal with). My obsession with mechanical keyboards is unparalleled. Since trying my first one around a year ago, my collection has grown to include many different brands. I’ve just added the newest member to my family. After waiting for over a month on pre-order, my Matias Laptop Prokeyboard came in the mail. It’s not cheap by most standards, but is it worth the $170 I spent on it?

Abso-freaking-lutely.

Mechanical? Check

First off: why buy a mechanical keyboard? They have a great tactile feel to them, as well as improved accuracy, which this keyboard has in spades. The keys have a similar feel to the popular Apple Extended II Keyboard from the early 1990s. Matias prides itself on the fact that this keyboard, as well as other keyboards they make, has this type of feel to them.

The Laptop Pro has different switches compared to the Extended II, as the former uses “Matias’ ALPS-inspired Quiet Click mechanical key switches” compared to the Extended II’s most common switches, the Cream ALPS. The feel is a little different because they use different switches, and I prefer the Laptop Pro’s switches, as they are easier to type on and require less pressure. Not having to use as much pressure is good as it requires less force to hit a key, leading to faster typing. 

Key Icons Fade With Use? Nope

Each key is laser etched, so the lettering is burned in and will not wear down. I have had problem with keys wearing with other keyboards I have used, especially both Das Keyboards that I own. Apple’s own keyboards, both builtin and standalone, have a similar problem.

There are also symbols located on the keys that are activated when hitting Option or Option-Shift. All the keys you want are here, from F1 to F15, directional keys, page up and down. Special function keys are here too, including Brightness, Mission Control, Dashboard, playback, and volume.

Easy On The Ears

The keys are very quiet and easy on the ears. On the product page, you can compare its sound to other mechanical keyboards. I have used some loud mechanical keyboards, and it is really distracting for other people around you. The Laptop Pro doesn’t have that problem. 

How Long Does It Really Last?

The battery life that Matias claims under normal use is quite good:  6 months to a year on a single charge. Considering how frequently I have to charge the other devices in my life, this bit of news is comforting to hear. The keyboard hasn’t been out for 6 months, so I am not able to verify Matias’ claim.

Downsides

There are a few downsides to the keyboard. There is no number pad, though that can be seen as a benefit as many people do not use them and you can keep your mouse closer without it there. It would be still nice to use the number pad though. If the option were offered, I would choose the one with a number pad over not having it. Also, while it is a portable keyboard, it could be a little too big to bring places to use with your iPad or other on-the-go devices.

Final Thought

Is it Laptop Pro worth the money that Matias is charging? If you absolutely have to have Bluetooth and do not want to deal with cords, while having a smaller mechanical keyboard that takes up less space, it is definitely a must. It is one of my favorite keyboards but does not beat out my Das Keyboard. It wouldn’t be disappointing to have this as my only keyboard. The keyboard is not available from Amazon currently, but you can pick it up directly from Matias.

Source: Macgasm.

Sophistication Meets Functional Design With The Leverage Case For iPhone 5.

CoM - Leverage

Functional iPhone cases are a dime a dozen, but the latest Cult of Mac Deals offer features the Leverage case – a case that is so much more than functional. Sporting a clasp locking system, it not only looks great but it can survive even the clumsiest iPhone owner.

With its understated yet elegant design, this case will make your phone pop.

The unique clasp locking system is what makes Leverage great. Inspired by high-end watch clasps, the metal latch and lever system are built to last. Plus, with its integrated buttons, the Leverage iPhone Case never gets in the way.

Now if black isn’t your colour – or if you’re still carrying around an iPhone 4 or 4S, then Cult of Mac Deals has a few other options available:

If you’ve been on the hunt for an iPhone case that is both stylish and secure, then you can’t go wrong with the Leverage .

Source: Cult of Mac.