Coming to an iPhone Near You- iOS 9 Part 1

In a world where you know use your phone more than your PC, its important that the OS powering that device is solid. iOS is becoming more mature at time goes on. Its initial release was revolutionary. It is hard after a few releases to recreate that type of magic so companies fine tune their products (evolve) them to keep themselves relevant, and help their customers be more productive.

iOS 9 is a release that adds many new features to existing apps, and introduces new ones. Everything from built-in apps to, to the core of iOS 9 has been updated.  Improvement for apps include:

devices-650x434

Image Credit- Ctrlhelp.com

News

This is a brand new app that is embedded into your iOS device. This is a news aggregation app that you can customize to include the content that you are interested in reading. News pulls from leading publications, as well as indie ones. Unfortunately, you cannot delete this app because it is part of the OS.

Notes

The current notes app is REALLY basic. Apple has added a ton of useful features that will remind you of OneNote or Evernote. The most welcomed feature is iCloud synchronization that will keep all of your notes up to date through your iOS and Mac devices. This feature is awesome, because you no longer have to fumble between devices to find that note you need. You can also;

  • Turn lists into checklists
  • Sketch, and
  • Take notes on a picture.

Maps

For you few that use this app, there’s some handy new features coming. Like is OS X El Capitan, Maps in iOS 9 is getting public transit information. Another handy feature is that it will display near by restaurants, or attractions.

Wallet

Wallet is evolving, and your wallet is slowly gaining more room. iOS 9 hastens this by adding support for:

  • Discover Card,
  • Retail charge cards (JCPenny, or Kohl’s),
  • Loyalty cards! (Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks, MyPanera, and Walgreens Balance Rewards)

Yay!

I will have part 2 for you soon. We will explore enhancements to CarPay, and multitasking. Please let me know if you are enjoying the blog. It is fun writing it. Follow me on Twitter @delrealest for trending tech updates.

Office Mac 2016- A Long Time Coming

Since 2011 Mac users and lovers have been patiently waiting for a new version of Microsoft Office for Mac. We have seen releases for Windows, iOS, and Android come about while we raged with envy. Microsoft’s excuse for why they have waited so long to release a new version was because they had to pull that team away to work on mobile versions of Office. All this due to Microsoft’s ‘Cloud First, Mobile First’ strategy, and increased completion from Google.

microsoft-office-macImage Credit- Microsoft

There are alternatives to Office for Mac, but let’s be real; It is like stepping back in time to 1998. Even as outdated as Office for Mac 2011 is, it is years ahead of iWork, and Google Docs. Microsoft responded to out cried with a preview of Outlook that was released back in March. Aside from being really buggy, and offering no synchronizing capabilities with your online calendars (Google, and Outlook), the user interface was very polished and up to date. This has only improved though out the last few months, but still no calendar support! I do have to add that Exchange calendars are supported.

PMG_Image_Excel_860x503Image Credit- Microsoft

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have all been updated to look like their Windows counterparts. This is a very awesome thing, because no longer will someone switching machines have to deal with different ribbons, and locations of commands and features. With Office for Mac 2016, Mac users are no longer second class citizens to their Windows counterparts. We have Google and Apple to thank for turning up the heat with their own offerings. My only complaint is that the software is still really buggy.

PMG_Image_Word_860x503Image Credit- Microsoft

There is no target date for launch, but it is speculated that it will be in the second half of this year. I am sorry, I know that is VERY BROAD. An announcement was expected by the time Apples World Wide Developer Conference kicked off, but obviously nothing has surfaced. My prediction would be late summer/ early fall. I say thing only because of the bugs I’ve come across, although Microsoft has been quick to push out updates. We have waited long enough though. Microsoft please finish this!

I hope you are all enjoying my blog. Please remember to follow me in Twitter @delrealest, and comment on my blog. I would love to hear form you. If you are in the Reno, NV area, hit me up and we can grab a beer and discuss Trending Tech! 🙂

‘El Captain’ is Sailing to a Mac near You

Confession time; I used to be a diehard Microsoft fan boy, but over the last few years I’ve transitioned to the Apple Ecosystem. The continuity features in OS X Yosemite sealed my affection for OS X, and Apple. This simple yet powerful feature lets me remain on Mac, and with Microsoft Office for Mac finally being updated, I have no reason to go back to Windows. Apple’s new OS will only make my bond to it stronger.

At its WWDC in San Francisco this month, Apple announced their new OS, OS X El Capitan. Yosemite, and its wonders, seem to be the new naming attraction for Apple’s new OS’s. El Capitan is more an evolutionary update more than anything, and it is ultimately a refinement of OS X Yosemite. New features in El Capitan include:

topic-os-x-el-capitan-logoImage Credit – iMore

Performance

Apple promises across the board performance claiming:

  • Up to 1.4x faster app launch,
  • Up to 2x faster app switching,
  • Up to 2x faster display of first Mail messages, and
  • Up to 4x faster PDF opening in preview. Good!

Split View

This feature is reminiscent of full screen app splitting in Windows 8. The screen will be filled up with whatever two apps you choose, and you can resize the screen by moving the line that divides the apps either left or right.

Mission Control

For those of you who are not OCD about how many windows are open, enhancements to Mission Control, the F3 button on your Mac’s keyboard, are coming to El Capitan. According to Apple, Mission Control places your windows in the same relative location, so you can spot the one you’re looking for more quickly. it’s now even simpler to make more room for your windows now by just dragging any window to the top of your screen, and drop it into a new desktop space.

Spotlight

This is Apples awesome desktop search engine. In El Capitan, Spotlight will be delivering you results for weather, sports, stocks, web video, and transit information. You will also be able to ask Spotlight to find a file using natural language — so when you’re looking for something, just type it the way you’d say it. You will also be able to resize the Spotlight search window for your viewing pleasure.

Mail

I could care less for Apple Mail, but there are some handy new features coming down the pike that make me want to take a second look. Like its cousin on the iPhone, Mail will now let you add suggested events and contacts. Yay! This means that you click on an event in an e-mail, for example, “Meet me for dinner at 7 PM tomorrow.” and a calendar event will be added to Calendar. The same is true for contacts; someone’s contact information will be indexed by Apple to the appropriate fields, and you will be asked if you want to add them to your Contacts application. Nice. Now you can take care of emails with a swipe, just like on your iPhone. Swipe right to mark an email as read or unread, or swipe left to delete. You’ll be focused on what’s important in no time. All this on your trackpad of course.

Notes

The Notes app is getting a makeover. Now you can turn a list into a checklist, or add a photo, video, URL, or map location to a note. With iCloud integration, all your notes and everything in them are synchronized between your Apple devices. So you can create a note on your Mac and check it on your iPhone.

Photos

Support for third-party tools that will be available from the Mac App Store and accessible through the app. You will be able to use multiple editing extensions on a single photo, or use a mix of extensions and the editing tools built into Photos. New filters will also be added for all you hipsters.

Safari

The new Pinned Sites feature will let you Keep websites you visit often, such as your Facebook, or Twitter feed open, up to date. They’ll stay active in the background, and they’ll stay put on the left side of your tab bar. Airplay integration will allow you to share videos from a web page to Apple TV. This last feature proves that it’s the little things that matter; If you’re listening to audio in one tab and another website starts to play, you can mute the one you don’t want to hear. And if what you really want is silence, you can mute all audio from your browser, too. YES!

Other features include enhancements to Chinese, and Japanese fonts and inputs, and a public transit addition to Maps.

El_capitan_and_merced_river Image Credit – Wikipedia

I can’t wait for El Capitan. Again, it’s the little things that matter, and NO ONE does a better job at making these small, yet necessary additions than Apple. Please comment your thoughts about El Capitan, and remember to follow me on twitter @delrealest. If you’re ever in the Reno, NV area, lets meet up for a beer and talk trending tech!

Random three- 5G, Witchcraft, and a Free Game!

The end of the week, as well as the weekend seem to be slow news days for tech. Usually, this is when tech blogs, and articles highlight emerging technologies, or other random stuff. Well, I am here to bring you three that I found to be interesting this week. I will give you the short and sweet version.

5G

roadrunner-5g-720x364 Image Credit – Tech in Asia

With each new standard that has rolled out, we have seen a significant change from one to the next. 3G was faster than EDGE, and 4G is WAY faster than 3G. One would assume that whatever the next standard happens to be, 5G, will offer a nice speed bump. Wrong! Its going to be MASIVE. An article by The Korea Times, The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has agreed on the definition of fifth-generation (5G) networks, a key technological requirement and its schedule to commercialize the technology by 2020.

That is 19 times faster than Google Fiber, and way faster that the fastest internet speed available in my city, Reno, NV, which is 60 MBPS through Charter Spectrum. Commercialization is currently being targeted for 2020, but a showcase will be made available at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.

It is hard to imagine what those speeds will allow us to do. I can’t wait to find out.

Angry Witches

post-41091-Game-of-Thrones-melisandre-mem-LOcB Image Credit – The Key Play

According to the The Daily Dot, Etsy has banned the sell of spells. I know right?! I had no idea intangible items such as this were available for sale. Etsy is following the lead of Ebay who banned the sale of spells, and other witchcraft in 2012. The sellers are angry because they were given no warning, and are also claiming discrimination. I’d write a conclusion, but The Daily Dot summed it up perfectly, “Discrimination or not, if you’re looking to hex your ex-girlfriend, you’ll have to start looking elsewhere. Or alternatively, you could always band together with these witches and cast a spell on Etsy.’ Lol.

You Pick the Game!

940X520_V8_1TBImage Credit – Major Nelson

Microsoft has been making some great moves as of late. The latest, according to Major Nelson, is that Starting Sunday June 21 through Saturday, June 27, when you buy any Xbox One, you’ll get to choose any Xbox One game of your choice for free from participating U.S. retailers.  There are some conditions, kids. This offer is valid with all Xbox One 500GB consoles, in addition to our recently announced Xbox One 1TB console. First backwards compatibility, now this? Watch out, Sony; Microsoft is coming after you.

Please be sure to comment with your thought, and if you would like me to discuss a particular topic. Follow me on twitter @delrealest, or come have a beer with me if you’re in the Reno, NV area :-).

Go Go Gadget Apple Watch 2!

Another day another Apple product rumor. This one revolves around the Apple Watch. Can I at least enjoy the one I just bought after missing out on the preorder train and having to wait for it to finally launch at my local Apple Store before you tease me the Apple Watch 2’s supposed features?! The short answer is no. The long answer is HAHAHAHAHA, no. Anyhow, lets dive into what features we can ‘expect’ from the Apple Watch 2:apple_watch_chicago007

Photo Credit- Cult of Mac

  1. FaceTime camera: This feature, currently under consideration, would allow users to make and receive FaceTime calls via their Apple Watch 2. Currently, Apple is planning to allow you to answer and disconnect these calls from your Apple Watch when watchOS 2.0 rolls out. This is kind of annoying because of the back and fourth between the iPhone and Watch. This feature would we well received by yours truly, and you a well I would imagine.
  2. Added Independence from iPhone: The idea here is to allow greater freedom from the iPhone. Today your Watch doesn’t require an iPhone to track activity, make mobile payments, and playback music. Supposed additions include a Wi-Fi chip to allow for functionality such as messaging, emailing, and receiving updated weather data. This new Wi-Fi chip will also allow for a Find my Watch feature. Having been the victim of theft recently, this feature was paramount in recovering my stolen MacBook Pro.
  3. Batter Life: The battery life will remain about the same, as Apple wants to focus on hardware features.
  4. Additional Options in Design: Apple wants to be able to target those customers not willing to buy a Watch Edition model, but willing to spend more than the stainless steel model. These price points are about $1,000 to $10,000 respectively. What is not clear is if there will be a new lower edition model.

Don’t worry if you are frustrated that you just bought an Apple Watch without these cool features, because the Apple Watch 2 will likely launch next year. Until then, we have watchOS 2.0 to look forward to! My suggestion to you is to start saving your dollars now.

Please let me know if you are enjoying my blog, or if there is a specific topic you would like to me to blog about. Your suggestions are always welcomed! You can also follow me on Twitter @delrealest, or grad a drink with me if you are in the Reno, NV area. I can talk about tech all day :-).

360 Cheers for Backwards Compatibility!

Hip hip! Hooray!

Okay, that’s enough. Something magical happened at E3 this year that has many people excited, and some furious. During their E3 press conference, Microsoft announced one of, if not the most, anticipated feature for the Xbox One console (wait for it) … Backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games! According to Microsoft’s Xbox website, “Now you can play a growing number of your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One at no additional cost. With over 100 titles slated for this fall, and hundreds more added every month, Xbox One is now the best place to play your Xbox 360 games. Experience the greatest games lineup in Xbox history—exclusively on Xbox One.”

Xbox

Image credit- Microsoft

The feature is currently in beta starting June 15th, and a full release can be expected this fall. The current list of games includes:

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Defense Grid
  • Geometry Wars Evolved
  • Hexic HD
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Kameo
  • Mass Effect
  • N+
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: TIP
  • Zuma

Obviously more games will be made available as time goes on. Additional features also include:

  • Keeping your game saves, game add-ons, achievements, and Gamerscore,
  • Enjoying the features of your Xbox One like Game DVR, Screenshots and Windows 10 streaming,
  • Ability to play multiplayer with your friends no matter which console they’re on, and
  • Available at no additional cost, so you don’t have to pay to play games you already own.

Bravo, Microsoft.

This is all will and good, but what about those who sold their Xbox 360’s to upgrade to an Xbox one who had a massive collection of games? Those people, unfortunately, got screwed over. If you happened to listen closely during Microsoft’s E3 press conference, you could have heard both cheering, and screaming. My heart goes out to you on the latter. Overall, this is welcomed, and frankly, overdue news.

I understand that the current list is limited. Halo isn’t even on the list! Luckily Microsoft is allowing you to vote for which games should be added to the list of backwards compatible games. They are not promising every title will be made available, so if you want any hope of being able to play your favorite games,  I urge you to go out and vote for them!

Ask No More

The purpose of this blog is to share my passion of technology; Most notably software, and hardware from Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other big players in the field. I will add a touch of my personality through the expression of my feelings towards whatever I happen to be writing about. My hope is that this can bring me down to Earth in your mind, and to let you know that I am a tech fan boy. I will post regularly, and welcome your suggestions on what topics I should be coving.

While scrolling through some of my favorite websites, I came across some much overdue good news coming out of Microsoft. They recently have been cleaning up their Windows Store to make room for quality apps. One such item that was cleaned up was older versions of the Ask Toolbar.

According to Microsoft Malware Protection Center website, “Older versions of software can restrict or limit your control over your search provider. It can prevent you from disabling or modifying your search provider.” Much to my shock, this is one of the most popular toolbars in web browser history, even though they command a miserable 2 percent of the online search engine market share in the US, according to comscore.com. The toolbar comes as an optional ‘feature’ when installing Java.

Why anyone would add on the Ask toolbar to their installation of Java is beyond me. I blame a lack of knowledge of the end-users. Most of us, myself included at times, rush these types of installations to that we can get back to being able to watch that video of a cat continuously flashing a toilet on YouTube. It would be interesting to see what their number one search is on Ask; I would assume it is ‘Google.’ With the impending release of Windows 10 on July 29th, Microsoft must make sure that all of apps in their store are not a filled with crapware. This is a step in the right direction.