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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Netflix has updated its iOS app to support iOS 6 and to provide support for the iPhone 5′s 4″ screen. The update also claims to improve the browsing, searching and watching experience.

Support for the iPhone 5′s taller screen is particularly useful in video/movie apps such as Netflix as it allows many widescreen movies to be viewed in their native aspect ratio. The Netflix app is a free download from the App Store [Direct Link] but requires a Netflix account.

Many popular apps are being quickly updated to support the iPhone 5′s larger screen. Yesterday, Instagram was updated, and several iOS games have also seen updates.

“The iPhone 5 went on sale in 22 more countries on Friday, making it now available in a total of 31 nations around the world, in Apple’s most aggressive launch schedule ever,” AppleInsider reports.

“The list of countries where the iPhone 5 launched on Friday is: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland,” AppleInsider reports. “They join the 9 countries where the iPhone 5 debuted a week ago: the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.”

AppleInsider reports, “As can be seen in the included videos [in the full article], customers queued up around the world to be among the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5.”

Read more and see the videos in the full article here.

Gibbits 2 is an innovative arcade puzzle game where you have to help someone who is hanging from a hangman’s rope.  While this may sound quite simple and straight forward, it is actually a bit more complex than that.  To free the hanging man you need to carefully aim your bow and arrow to cut the rope.  Of course, you have to be extra careful not to accidently hit the man causing him further injury, and if you take too long he will die from suffocation. 

The game may sound a bit gruesome at first, but it is actually quite a fun and challenging experience which will be great for just about any type of player.  While attempting to save the hanging man’s life you will have access to numerous different bonus items which you can pick up along the way.  These items will help you by allowing you to bounce the arrow off walls, use teleports and warps and many other fun things.  These items will allow you to save the man no matter how many obstacles seem to be in your way. 

On some levels there will be multiple men hanging and you need to rescue them all.  These are especially difficult because you have to be careful to keep your arrow from hitting one man after saving another.  These levels also give you the opportunity to score additional points by saving multiple men with a single shot.  This is just one example of the many different and challenging levels you’ll have to work your way through to win the game.  There are over 50 unique levels to play in Gibbets 2 which will help ensure you get hours and hours of fun game play from this app.

In the actual game play you will start out in one spot on the screen and one or more hanging men will be struggling in another location.  You must quickly determine which direction to shoot your arrow as well as how far to shoot it.  This is determined by simple hand gestures where you pull back the string on your bow and arrow.  You then let the arrow fly, attempting to free the hanging man.  You can also choose to shoot some power ups before or after attempting to save the man’s life.  These power ups will help you complete the level or future levels in the game so they are very important.

Despite the somewhat morbid theme of the game, it is actually fun for players of virtually all ages.  The cartoon style graphics ensure that the game is not disturbing and younger players won’t give any thought to the risk of the man hanging from the rope.  The game is fun for older players as well though as it provides a great challenge.  Mastering this game and completing all 50+ levels will take some time and patients, but it is definitely worth a try for anyone who enjoys this type of arcade style puzzle and shooting game. 

Download from App Store

Screenshots

 

 

 

After what feels like an eternity since Angry Birds maker Rovio teased that they were working on a game that was from the pigs point of view, Bad Piggies is finally here. I wouldn’t call it a “sequel” to Angry Birds, however, because it doesn’t feature the birds at all. Instead, it’s an entirely new game featuring only the pigs — and it’s awesome!

The objective of Bad Piggies is to help the pigs build modes of transportation to get them to the finish line. Each level also has the option of earning up to three stars, but unlike Angry Birds, these stars are not based off points and don’t need to be earned in a single attempt. In fact, you usually can’t earn all the star at once. Every level will give you one star for completing the level, another one for collecting the star icon, but the objective for the third star varies from level to level. For example, one level may have a time requirement, another may require that you not use a specific object in your machine, and another level may require you to get to the finish line without blowing up TNT. I’m a huge fan of this approach to earning stars because it fosters creativity since you usually have to change your vehicle’s design to earn all the stars.

If you get stuck on a level and need help with designing your vehicle, you can purchase the Mechanic Pig and he’ll build one for you. Although the Mechanic Pig’s design won’t necessarily earn all stars for you, he at least gets you started so that all you have to do is tweek the vehicle to help you get all three stars.

In addition to the 60 levels included, Bad Piggies also includes 4 very difficult “sandbox levels”, 30 puzzles that can be unlocked by earning three stars on levels, and an extra-special, super-secret level that will be revealed after collecting all the skulls.

Bad Piggies is availalble as separate purchases for the iPhone and iPad, but unfortunately, the iPhone version doesn’t support the iPhone 5′s larger display, yet. Another big disappointment about Bad Piggies is that, just like Angry Birds, there is no iCloud sync available to keep your levels in sync between devices. This is such a terrible decision by Rovio because it actually discourages people from purchasing both versions.

The good

  • Fun and addicting
  • Different than Angry Birds
  • 60 levels crammed with flying/driving/crashing fun
  • 30 additional puzzles unlocked by three-starring levels
  • 4 sandbox levels to stretch your creativity
  • Ultra-special, ultra-secret, ultra-difficult sandbox level to unlock by collecting all the skulls!
  • 33 objects to create the ultimate machine: motors, wings, fans, bottle rockets, umbrellas, balloons, and much more!
  • Purchase the mechanic pig and he’ll help you build your mode of transportation needed to complete the level Mechanic Pig

The bad

  • No iCloud sync between iPhone and iPad
  • iPhone version is not optimized for the iPhone 5

The bottom line

Rovio has done a great job with Bad PIggies and it was worth the wait. It’s a completely different game from Angry Birds that is challenging, fun, and addicting.

$0.99 for iPhone – Download Now

$2.99 for iPad – Download now

Deep in its lengthy review of the iPhone 5, iLounge has performed an analysis on the battery life of the iPhone 5. The site tested the device under a number of conditions, including both cellular and Wi-Fi web browsing, voice calls, FaceTime calls, video recording, and video and audio playback.

Iphone5battery

The phone performed fairly well but iLounge found battery life struggled when transferring cellular data or making voice calls, which they speculated was due to a weak signal:

if you’re using your iPhone 5 in places a with a very strong (4- to 5-bar) LTE or 3G signal, your cellular battery life may approach that number, but if not, the cellular antenna will struggle to maintain a signal, and fall well short. Because LTE and 3G/4G towers are in a state of build-out flux right now, our tests suggest that many LTE users won’t come close to Apple’s promised numbers.

Iphone5batterytesting

iLounge has the detailed results on its battery testing in its iPhone 5 review, but unsurprisingly, mileage will vary greatly depending on a number of factors including health of the battery, signal strength, screen brightness, and other considerations.

Instagram and Google Chrome get updated for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5

Instagram and Google Chrome have finally received updates for compatibility with iOS 6 and the iPhone 5′s larger 4-inch screen. When we say finally, it’s funny as the iPhone 5 has only been out for less than a week but it seems like if your app is not updated on the day of launch then it’s already late to the party.

Instagram, which has over 80 million users worldwide is updated to version 3.1.0 and includes iPhone 5 support, iOS 6 support, improved password recovery procedures and a redesigned registration flow.

Google Chrome’s update is equally as simple; it again includes support for iPhone 5 and iOS 6 as well as a few stability and security improvements.

There are still many apps that need to be updated for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5′s 4-inch screen but at least as every day goes by we can tick more and more off that wanted list. Which apps are you waiting for to be updated for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5?

Free – Instagram – Download Now

Free – Chrome – Download Now

“Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has listed the rollout of a national broadband network as one of the reasons he wants to become an Australian,” Negar Salek reports for The Australian Financial Review

“Mr Wozniak told The Australian Financial Review in Sydney that he had spoken to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and was in support of the federal government’s fibre rollout,” Salek reports. “‘I spoke to him and they plan to roll it out to everyone in the country,’ Mr Wozniak said. ‘I support it very much. It’s one of the reasons why I actually like this country and want to become a citizen. I live in a country where we don’t have any regulation of telecommunications.’”

MacDailyNews Take: Surely this is news to the U.S. FCC.

Salek reports, “In Australia for the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 last week, Wozniak told Brisbane’s 4BC breakfast radio that he was ‘underway to become an Australian citizen… It turns out I can keep my American citizenship. I intend to call myself an Australian and feel an Australian, and study the history and become as much of a real citizen here as I can.’”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Woz has had quite a 2012 so far (see below). You go do what you gotta do, Woz – we’ll always love ya!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers "Fred Mertz" and "Michael H." for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Woz in Brisbane, Australia with his iPhone 5 (with video) – September 21, 2012
Woz: I hate the Apple v. Samsung verdict; I don’t think it will survive appeal – September 13, 2012
Apple co-founder Woz appears onstage with liar Mike Daisey, predicts ‘horrible trouble’ for cloud computing – August 6, 2012
Woz on Microsoft Surface: ‘Steve Jobs came back reincarnated at Microsoft’ – July 10, 2012
Woz blasts U.S. government over attempts to extradite MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom – June 27, 2012
Apple co-founder Woz visits rescued horse named after him – June 13, 2012
Woz: I would invest in Facebook stock regardless of opening price; Zuckerberg like a combo of Jobs and me – May 14, 2012
Woz admits he doesn’t have broadband at home – May 11, 2012
Woz calls Windows Phone ‘beautiful; compared to Android, there’s no contest’ – April 28, 2012
Apple co-founder Woz in line for new iPad at Apple Store (with video) – March 16, 2012
Woz praises Android, mistakenly bemoans iPhone 4S voice commands – January 17, 2012

The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, longer, brighter, and faster than ever before. But is it louder? iPhones have always sounded good through headsets, and they can even pump out decent sound through Bluetooth these days. Yet year after year, iPhone after iPhone, little or no attention seems to get paid to the on-board speakers. While others experiment with everything from the solid Dolby to the silly Beats by Dre, the company that created the iPod + iTunes, has traditionally not devoted the Keynote-time to killer audio that they have killer camera optics. This year, however, my hopes were raised. Apple’s iPhone 5 event did indeed feature an entire segment on speakers — but only for the new EarPods. What about the on-board speakers?

As it turns out, and as you can hear — and see — there have been some minor improvement to sound levels on the iPhone 5′s on-board speakers as well. That said, and while there’s only so much you can do with a device as small as the iPhone, there’s no reason Apple shouldn’t be the absolute best-in-class device when it comes to all forms of audio. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be as innovative and industry-leading with sound as they are with optics, with speakers as they are headsets. Speaker quality matters, for everything from taking a hands-free or conference call, to using accessibility features like VoiceOver.

Next year I’d like to see Apple blow me away with not only how great the iPhone 5S camera is, or EarPods are, but how great the speakers are.

Until then, I’ll have to stick to my headsets and Bluetooth, and suffer the tiny, tinny speakers for another year…

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White has released a new report analyzing some launch-day iPhone 5 data based on a limited survey of 100 purchasers at Apple retail stores in New York City. According to White’s data, half of surveyed iPhone 5 were upgrading from the iPhone 4S, which itself was released only 11 months ago.

Given that the iPhone 4S was launched just one year ago and many consumers are locked into a two-year service agreement with their carrier, we thought the vast majority of the upgrades would come from iPhone 4, previous iPhone generations or non-iPhone users. However, our survey indicates the opposite. In fact, our survey found that 50% of the iPhone 5 buyers upgraded from the iPhone 4S, 11% from the iPhone 4, 3% for 3GS and 36% from non-iPhone users.

Among non-iPhone users moving to the iPhone 5, White found that Nokia and HTC were the most popular phone brands being abandoned for the iPhone 5. White also surveyed customers on their iPhone 5 color preferences, finding that 56% of surveyed buyers were opting for the Black and Slate” models over “White and Silver” models.

In a separate report, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster discusses his team’s visits to Apple’s Fifth Avenue and Upper West Side retail stores in New York City and the Uptown store in Minneapolis, where they found that lines were on average 83% longer for the iPhone 5 than they were for the iPhone 4S. Munster also had representatives counting customers at the Chestnut Hill and Bolyston Street stores in the Boston area, but with no prior-year data available for those locations, they primarily serve as a baseline for future analysis.

We believe that based on our count of 775 customers in line for the iPhone 5 at the flagship 5th Avenue store, demand for the iPhone 5 is higher than any previous launch. We believe the line for the iPhone 5 was 70% greater than the line for the iPhone 4S despite Apple taking 2x as many online pre-orders. The trend of Apple product lines at the flagship store had been decreasing, we believe, due to the company taking a greater number of online pre-orders. For the three total stores we observed with Y/Y comps, the average line was 83% longer. Given the strength of the line for the iPhone 5, we are incrementally more confident in Apple’s ability to sell 8 million phones in the launch weekend.

Many third-party retailers are experiencing very low stock of the iPhone 5, resulting in delays in availability even for customers who pre-ordered the device. Availability at Apple’s own retail stores appears to be remaining fairly high, although some locations are very low on or completely out of select models. Carrier availability has also generally been fairly good in stores, although Sprint is now running out of stock at its East Coast stores.

Update 11:45 AM: Munster has now released his own results on iPhone 5 customer profiles, painting a very different picture than that seen by White. Munster’s survey of 517 iPhone 5 buyers found just 26% of them upgrading from the iPhone 4S, compared to 50% in White’s survey. Munster’s survey found that 45% of customers were upgrading from the iPhone 4, while White pegged that number at just 11%. Finally, while White’s data showed 36% of customers were moving from a non-iPhone, Munster’s data put the number closer to 17%, with the vast discrepancies across the board illustrating the unreliability of such surveys.

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