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iOS 5’s App Shakeup is Nothing New
With its software-centric WWDC 2011 keynote, and none of the usual glittering hardware to covet, attention has swiftly turned to other headline-worthy Apple observations of note. In among iOS 5’s 200+ new features, it’s no surprise that functionality previously the preserve of third-party apps has now been brought in-house. The outlook for titles like Boxcar and Instapaper has changed significantly overnight, now that Apple has refreshed its own notifications system and added Read It Later support to mobile Safari. Yet, to paint this as “the iOS that ate developers” is disingenuous.
Each iteration of iOS has shaved away at what space is available for third-party apps to address. If your software plugs a hole where core abilities are missing, part of the risk you run is that, one day, an official plug will be released. The spoils are understandably greater if the hole you’re addressing is one suffered by many users – Boxcar has surfed the wave of iOS notifications malaise for some time now – but it also means you’re potentially closer to the in-house roadmap.
Meanwhile, third-party developers aren’t the only ones eyeing iOS 5 with a sense of familiarity. Microsoft’s Windows Phone lead got his digs in early, taking to Twitter to mention how flattered he was over all the “great WP ideas headed to iOS.” Android’s Andy Rubin hasn’t been quite so vocal, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he and the rest of his team were also picking through Apple’s developer beta and keeping a tally of where the overlaps lie.
It’s just the sort of thing that stokes the flames of fanboy arguments, and it’s also just the sort of thing that general, everyday users don’t care about. iOS 5’s new alerts may look a lot like those on Windows Phone, and the Notifications Center may be following in the footsteps of Android’s drop-down notifications bar, but regular iPhone owners aren’t bothered about inspiration, only usability. The modern smartphone segment is still in its relative infancy, and the paradigms of best-practice in UI are still being thrashed out.
That’s why Windows Phone can enter the market years after Android and iOS and, while perhaps not a runaway commercial success, still impress with aspects of its interface. None of the platforms, despite the hyperbole, have got usability sewn up: each has its frustrations and its head-scratching moments; each makes compromises along the way, suiting some and infuriating others.
That’s an argument for another time, however. It’s also not necessarily true that apps have been “killed”, even if their functionality now faces rivalry from iOS 5’s core abilities. There’s a lot to be said for a strong rival to baked-in abilities; just because there’s an official Twitter app, doesn’t mean there’s no market for third-party variants that bring something different to the table.
Meanwhile, it’s perhaps the biggest compliment of all to have your app functionality subsumed by the OS it previously served: recognition that you’ve come so far, become so popular among so many people, that Apple, Google or whoever else decides that all of their audience deserves to enjoy your idea. The lucky developers see their app – or their business – acquired; perhaps those even luckier have stronger ideas that ratchet up the pressure by again offering abilities beyond the core OS. Still, that’s nothing new. iOS 5 may change the game for iPhone and iPad, but the balance between Apple and its developer community is just as precarious, just as potentially rewarding, as it always has been.
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When Apple unveiled iOS 5 last Monday, Steve Jobs mentioned that their new OS for mobile devices included 200 new features. 10 of them were demo’d on stage, but what happens to the 190 remaining features?
Apple didn’t give us a list of these 200 features, so it was left to beta testers to find them out by themselves. After spending almost a week with iOS 5, we’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of new iOS 5 features to date. This list counts 121+ new iOS 5 features, both documented and undocumented…
The way Apple counts “new features” can be a little redundant. For example, Twitter integration is not just 1 feature but it covers several of them (ie. Twitter for maps, Twitter for Safari, etc…), so technically, there aren’t really 200 new features.Notifications (full details)
Slide lockscreen notifications to open their app
In app notifications
Select what notifications appear
Select where notifications appear
Sort notifications manually or by timeTwitter Integration (full details)
Single sign on
Install Twitter from Settings app
Tweet a location in Maps
Tweet a picture from the camera roll
Tweet a link from Safari
Tweet a video from YouTube
Apply your friends’ Twitter usernames and pictures to contact
Special keyboard when using the Twitter integrationPC Free and iCloud
New welcome screen when you first turn on your device
Activate device without a computer
Update device OTA
Backup purchased music, apps, and books
Backup app data
Backup homescreen and app organization
Backup Text Messages and MMS
Restore from iCloud
Sync documents (ie Pages, Keynote, etc) across devices and machines
Check app usage
Option to buy more storageMessages
Set specific SMS ringtones to contacts
Text Messages show a green bubble
iMessages show a blue bubble
Send pictures and videos with iMessage
See when people are typing an iMessage
Enable Read Receipts for iMessage in Settings
Repeat alerts up to 10 times
Use Apple ID to activate Facetime and iMessages on iPhoneCamera and Photos Safari Email Weather
Weather hour by hour
Swipe the weather widget in Notification Center to see 5 day forecastPhone & Contacts
Select tone for new voicemail in Settings app
Unsecured Calls warnings
Edit your number in Phone settings
Delete individual calls
When receiving a call from a non-contact, area or country displays on your screen
Add “Related People” to a contact
Add social media services info to your contactsCalendar
Year view on iPad in landscape mode
Week view on iPhone in landscape mode
Tap to create a new event
Tap and drag to adjust time and duration of an event
Add, rename, and delete calendars from the device
View event attachments
In day view, swipe left or right to go to next or previous day
In month view, tap and hold a day to add a new event
Select tone for calendar alerts in Settings appGame Center
Add a profile picture
Make your profile private or public
New games suggestions
New achievements scores
New notification soundMusic App
New iPod Music icon
Slide to delete a song
Tap song to display info in Music app
New Genius presentation
Swipe left or right on the album cover to skip between tracks (iPad only)Maps New Apple Apps Accessibility
LED flash on calls and alerts
Larger text option
New speak selection
New assistive touch settings
Set Mono Audio left or rightMultitasking Gestures (iPad Only)
Swipe up with 4 fingers to show the app switcher
Pinch to return to home screen
Swipe left and right to switch between appsAirPlay Mirroring User Interface
New rounded toggles
Widgets (Stocks and Weather)
New Videos app and iconOther Features
If you love reading ebooks, did you know that your iPhone offers hundreds of apps that let you store and read ebooks, while some of them even let you buy or rent them? Here are five of the best ebook reader apps for iOS.
Note: Android users can check out the best ebook reader here.1. tiReader
Users just looking for a basic ebook reader app might be overwhelmed by everything. There’s a lot to tiReader, and if you don’t need all of its annotation power, the annotations can make the app feel cluttered. However, there’s another reason why we think tiReader is one of the best ebook reader apps for iOS. It lets you access over a million free ebooks in OPDS-catalogs and Calibre servers, which alone should persuade you to try it.2. Marvin 3 3. KyBook 3
KyBook 3 offers awesome integration with existing free ebook libraries, like Project Gutenberg and many other OPDS catalogs, giving you access to an endless library of electronic books. However, importing your ebooks into Kybook 3 is a tad complicated. The app seems designed primarily for hosted OPDS ebook libraries, so copying an ePub from somewhere like Dropbox is a bit complex (but doable, of course).4. Hyphen
The best thing about Hyphen is its sleek, modern interface. The app’s ebook reader is functional and pleasant. Adding books is easy with built-in support for OPDS and cloud services. The display can get incredibly dark with just the swipe of a finger. That’s perfect for late-night reading in low-light settings. Default color customization is virtually infinite, and power users can dig deeper with support for CSS stylesheets.5. Bluefire Reader
Bluefire Reader is our final recommendation in this guide to the best ebook reader apps for iOS. With functional annotation tools, built-in Dropbox connectivity, an attractive reading mode, and flexible text display options, Bluefire Reader promises a lot. However, keep in mind that we’re talking about an ebook reader app that lacks across many fields in comparison to our previous recommendations.
Still, that does mean that we don’t recommend Bluefire. On the contrary, if you’re looking for a one-time purchase, this app is a fantastic option. It covers the basics just right, giving you a bit of everything – without being overly technical. Of course, paying once means that you don’t have to increase your monthly cost, which is one of the strongest selling points of this app.Wrapping Up
Now that you’ve read about the five best ebook readers for iOS in 2023, we’d like to recommend a couple more resources. More precisely, don’t forget to check out the best ebook readers for Windows and Linux, that are sure to make your reading experience the best it can possibly be.
Isaac is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience covering the latest technological innovations. Mainly focused on Apple-related software and hardware systems, his aspiration is to explore all the ways today’s digital world intertwines with our everyday life.
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If you’re reading this, you’re probably an Apple user or fan or just interested in technology in general. Well, we’re excited to share that you can now access all our content in the super handy iGeeksBlog iOS app.
Read the most relevant and up-to-date how-tos, troubleshooting guides, app and game recommendations, product reviews, and more from the comfort of your iPhone.
We’ve also included features you’ll love like classic dark/light mode, secure sign-in with Apple, adjustable text size, a powerful integrated search tool, and more, all in one clean, clutter-free interface that makes reading a pleasure. Oh, and did I mention it’s absolutely free?
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You can enjoy all of our website content at your fingertips in the iGeeksBlog app. That includes:
The most accurate and latest how-tos for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and more.
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Insightful editorials by our team of tech experts and Apple aficionados.Secure Sign In with Apple
We care about your privacy just as much as Apple does. So you can securely and quickly sign in to the iGeeksBlog app for a personalized experience.
You will be prompted to sign in the first time you open the app.
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We recommend turning on notifications to stay updated about the latest content we post.Clean minimalist interface
You’ll love the beautiful clutter-free interface that offers a superior reading experience.
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Next, swipe left or right to browse more articles. Or tap the arrowhead on the left to return to the homepage.
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Tap How-To and then choose an operating system for which you want to see how-to articles. Or, tap Guides for comprehensive articles spanning all devices.
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Mehak has a master’s degree in communication and over ten years of writing experience. Her passion for technology and Apple products led her to iGeeksBlog, where she specializes in writing product roundups and app recommendations for fellow Apple users. When not typing away on her MacBook Pro, she loves being lost in a book or out exploring the world.
There are tons of accessories on the show floor at CES 2012 this year, many of which were designed specifically for our iOS devices. Earlier we brought you some of the best audio devices and accessories announced at the show, and now we have compiled all the other interesting docks, cases, and peripherals being unveiled for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Displayed below are a couple multi-docks that provide various methods of charging multiple iOS devices simultaneously, a new “wireless HDMI” solution for beaming content to the big screen, and a couple iPhone cases that do much more than simply protect your device.
Multi-docks: First up are a couple of multi-docks, including the InCharge lineup from XtremeMac (image above by way of MaxBorgesAgency). The company is launching three models from left to right: InCharge Duo Plus, InCharge X3, and InCharge X5. All docks are pretty much the same with 10 watts per dock, LED status indicator, rubber feet, and “case-friendly” charging cradles. However, the X5 holds up to five iOS devices, while the X3 holds any combination of three devices and the Duo holds just two. XtremeMac plans to launch the docks in 2012’s first quarter. iLounge said the X3 will be $100 and the X5 $150.
Another multi-dock charging solution is the Syndee from Kanex (pictured right). It is capable of charging up to four iOS devices at once through its built-in USB ports. According to the press release, it ships in black and white by the end of the first quarter. No word on pricing, but SlashGear said it is $150.
Atlona LinkCast Wireless HD Audio/Video System: Atlona is showing off a new product that it described as “wireless HDMI,” as you can see in the video from Geek Beat TV above. A peripheral plugs into your iOS device through the HDMI out, and another plugs into your HDMI input on a TV or projector. Then you can send content to the big screen wirelessly with support for 1080p uncompressed video (including 3D support) and Lossy audio formats with “a latency of less than one millisecond.” The Atlona LinkCast is coming in the first quarter for $300. The system can support up to five devices at once if you also buy Expander units for $120 each. Atlona has already won a CES Innovations Award for the LinkCast.
Celluon’s Prodigy case with infrared keyboard: Celluon released several different iterations of its infrared keyboards in the past, but this one builds it right into a battery pack-style iPhone case giving you a full-sized keyboard projected onto the nearest flat surface. Cult of Mac said it would land for $190 when it ships, unfortunately it does not look like the technology itself has improved much over previous designs.
Targus iNotebook: This product provides “accurate drawing and handwriting recognition,” allowing you to jot down something on the notepad and have it instantly transferred to your iPad. The iNotebook is still just a working prototype, but when it lands next year, it will look much nicer, according to Cnet who snapped the image above. It works with a free app that saves to iCloud and allows you to edit within the app using the pen’s integrated stylus. The iNotebook will launch in June for $150. Targus explained how it works:
The iNotebook includes a rechargeable, Bluetooth-enabled writing recognition receiver, which communicates with the enclosed pen allowing handwritten notes to transfer directly to the iPad. The pen includes an integrated stylus allowing the user to write directly on their iPad without smudging or scratching the screen. It uses a standard, user-replaceable 9 ½ x 7 ½ notepad. No special paper is needed. All of the iNotebook’s components are contained in a stylish, high quality leather portfolio case, which secures the iPad and allows it to be viewed in both landscape and portrait positions.
Griffin Kiosk for iPad: Obviously aimed at business customers, Kiosk for iPad from Griffin has an adjustable viewing angle, and supports both portrait and landscape mode. Griffin has a 50-inch floor mount option ($300), or a 12-inch table/surface mount ($199), and different faceplates to allow or restrict access to the home button and camera. For security, the dock connector is completely hidden and cables are run through the steel stand. It will also include hardware for mounting the base to a surface or floor when it ships in March.
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Guessing at a company’s roadmap is always a dangerous venture. In the case of Apple and its iOS family of products, it feels less like predicting a roadmap and more like computing a trajectory.
Apple’s fortunes have shifted from its traditional desktop market (Mac OSX) to its portable device market (iOS.) This began, innocuously, with the iPod and gathered major momentum with the iPhone, iPad and, most recently, the AppleTV.
The AppleTV was the really revealing move: in its first iteration it was based on OSX but in its second iteration it became an iOS product. Apple actually morphed a product from one line into the other. Very telling.
The most interesting piece of the iOS puzzle is the App Store. The App Store seems like little more than a neat way to funnel end user funds into Apple’s ample pockets and, on the surface, it certainly was a huge success in that area.
However, the App Store represents far more than a simple attempt at increasing profit margins. The App Store has brought a paradigm shift to the way that end users acquire, install and manage applications. This shift is nothing new to the technical world of Linux desktop users who have long had simple software acquisition systems (which the App Store mimics). The App Store brings the ease of use of Linux’s package management to the mainstream market and does so with a great revenue model.
The App Store solves the many issues surrounding software purchasing – compatibility, security, etc. – and makes finding new software much easier by offering a central repository. By doing this, Apple’s customers are purchasing software at an incredible pace.
Apple has many reasons to look more favorably upon its iOS product family than its more traditional products. The old Mac lineup is, in reality, just another PC in a commodity market. While OSX has some interesting features compared to Windows, it’s hardly a majorly differentiated product. And with Linux rapidly cutting into the PC market in the netbook and alternative computing device space there is less and less room for OSX to play in.
The iOS devices, running on Apple’s own A4 processor, enable Apple the unique opportunity to engineer their products from the ground up as a completely controlled vertical stack – they control every significant piece of hardware and software, giving them unprecedented control. This control can be leveraged into awesome stability and integration as well as profit. Few outside vendors are getting a piece of the pie.
A fully integrated hardware and operating system stack also gives Apple’s development partners an opportunity to leverage their skills to the fullest. This is analogous to video game console developers knowing that underpowered consoles will often outperform desktop PCs simply because the developers have an opportunity to really tweak the code just for that one, stable device.
iOS offers this in a different environment. Unlike developing for Android or Windows Phones, iOS offers a highly stable and well-known ecosystem for developers to code against – they can leverage more of the platform with less effort.
The power user market is all but lost and Apple quietly bowed out of their long-forgotten server market this past January. This takes Apple to the other side of the spectrum entirely, but one where Apple seems to really understand what’s needed and what their market wants. Rather than being niche, Apple is poised to be a dominant player. There’s no denying that lower power consumption “green” devices will only continue to be important in the future.
In short order, Apple is going to be in a position to control an entire ecosystem: mobile computing platforms, mobile telephony, fixed television-attached media devices and, with only minor effort, desktop computing.
Desktop computing may seem like an odd place for the iOS system to go, but if we really think about what Apple is developing here, it makes perfect sense. The transition won’t be overnight, but it is sure to come.
The first step of the transition is hard to see but it involved the AppleTV. The AppleTV 2.0 is an iOS device that is non-mobile, working its way into peoples’ homes. Currently it’s designed to function purely as a media center device, but all of the iOS functionality is there, dormant. It waits for the day when Apple decides to release an app interface and AppleTV App Store loaded with apps controlled via wireless remote, BlueTooth keyboard.
The only things keeping the AppleTV from becoming a full-fledged iOS-based desktop today is a lack of USB into which to attach keyboard and mouse, and Apple’s reluctance to provide a desktop environment and App Store for the AppleTV. The foundation is there and ready to be activated.
In reality, we are early on in the iOS lifecycle. While the platform that Apple has chosen is very mature for mobile devices it is extremely underpowered for a desktop experience. But each generation brings more computing power to the platform. Soon, a desktop based on a later version Apple processor and iOS may easily exceed the average user’s desktop expectations.
The second step is in the newly added App Store appearing in Mac OSX. The addition of the App Store to the Mac platform means that the beginning of the transition is underway.
The plan, as I see it, with the Mac-platformed App Store, is to begin centralizing critical apps for the Mac ecosystem into the App Store. Over the next two to three years this process is likely to see all major apps move in this direction. Only smaller, less popular apps will be handled through the traditional purchase and install system.
Once a critical mass of apps has been reached and the iOS hardware platform has matured to a point where the speed is adequate for daily desktop computing tasks, Apple will flip the switch and change out the Mac OSX desktop for a new iOS desktop.
This will either be a sister of the AppleTV or, potentially, Apple will simply use the AppleTV device itself encouraging Apple users to see the world of desktop computing and media delivery as one. This vision is not as unlikely as some might think given the combination of the two so common on iOS mobile devices today.
An iOS desktop could be very attractive to home users. Many businesses might be willing to jump at the chance to move to well-polished, low-power consumption devices for their non-power user staff. And those needing more power might look to use them as little more than thin clients.
There are many options around such a low cost device – low cost to purchase and low cost to operate. And with many companies already forced to implement iOS management for their existing iPad and iPhone devices, adding in iOS desktop devices might be a trivial matter.
Apple has conquered many of the hurdles that it faced with Mac OSX for the iOS platform before they’ve even announced plans to make such a desktop device.
The laptop space, where Apple has a strong foothold today, is possibly the easiest platform to migrate. The iPad is almost a full-fledged laptop today. All Apple needs to do is to add a hinge and a keyboard and they’d have a device that works like an iPad but looks like the Macbook Air. An easy transition likely to be heralded by enthusiastic users.
Apple excels at subversive technology. The iPod and iPhone and the iPad, snuck into the market as media players or phones but emerged as highly mobile computing devices used for all sort of tasks, spurred on by the success of social media. But they sneakily did one more thing. In only a few years the iPod Touch went from being a MP3 player and email device to being one of the most popular mobile videogame platforms – making Nintendo shake and basically removing Sony from the sector altogether.
No one bought the iPod Touch with the intent of making it their new, primary videogame device. Yet it happened and the iPod is an excellent video game platform that’s only just beginning to see its own potential. The iPad is following close in its stead.
It is not necessarily that the iOS platforms are the best possible mobile videogame devices. But they are purchased for other purposes and are “good enough” for most of the gaming population. What the Wii wanted to be for consoles, the iPod truly did for mobile gaming.
The AppleTV is now perfectly poised to do the same thing for the console market that the iPod did for mobile gaming.
As more and more game makers focus on the iOS platform it will become increasingly apparent that the AppleTV, sitting already attached to many television monitors all over the world, is a video game console already purchased and ready to go.
What the Wii did in the last generation for the console the AppleTV is ready to do for the next. Nintendo already proved that the largest segment of the video gaming market is primarily casual gamers who are not significantly concerned with having the latest, most powerful platform or the best games.
The AppleTV could provide an even less expensive gaming console with more features than the Wii. It could be far more attractive for developers who can utilize the same resources that they use to make games for all of Apple’s other iOS platforms.
Almost overnight, Apple has made the basis for a video gaming ecosystem that can rival nearly any in existence today. And, of course, in time the AppleTV platform will get more and more powerful. It will catch up to the more expensive video game consoles, making it increasingly eligible as a serious platform contender for hard core console gamers.
Apple has a lot of pokers in the iOS fire but, if executed correctly, the potential is immense.
It will take a few years for Apple to completely phase out the long standing Mac family and users will be resistant, if only for nostalgic reasons. Apple has a few versions of Mac OSX up their sleeves yet, but I believe that the march towards a unified platform under the iOS banner is inevitable.
iOS represents the future, not only for Apple but for much of the industry. It offers lower power consumption, ease of use and a minimum of different parts between many different devices. I, for one, am very excited to see what Apple can do with such a tightly integrated ecosystem. I believe that Apple has more opportunity to do great things with iOS than it ever did with the Mac platform. This could truly be a dawning of great things for Apple and a paradigm shift for end users.
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