Thus, what I’d like to see is the ability to silence notifications permanently in specific apps. I can envision a few ways configuring such a setting might work: The mute switch could appear in Notification Center, perhaps only if—as on Mountain Lion—you scrolled up past the visible top of the list; if you’re in an app when you visit that switch, it could optionally be a setting limited only to the current app itself. Another option might be a listing of all your apps tucked away in the Notifications section of the Settings app; you could select the specific apps on that list in which you never want alerts to appear.
Whenever I play a game on my iPad – especially one of those that require attention and precision like Fruit Ninja – I always wish iOS had a simple setting to “mute all notifications”. Do Not Disturb has been a nice addition to iOS 6, but it hasn't made silencing all notifications while a device isn't locked any easier.
I see some pros and cons for wanting a) a setting that mutes all notifications at once or b) one to selectively mute notifications on app-by-app basis. The latter is admittedly more intriguing in its promise of granular control over the kind of apps that can display notifications (in my case, I'd mute notifications in Fruit Ninja, but I'd leave them while I'm in Google Chrome); however, we've already seen how the iOS Settings app is already complex enough. On the flip side, while being easier, the more general “mute all” option could become annoying over time (what if I forget to turn it off once I turned it on? Do I have to open the Settings app every time?).
It's difficult to imagine how Apple can keep adding controls to the iOS Settings app without substantially altering its presentation, choices, or, perhaps more importantly, quick access. Better control over notifications is another aspect I'd add to my iOS 7 wish list.
I made an outline which contains all iPhone 5 iOS 6.0.1 settings from the iPhone itself and from the preinstalled apps. I did this with the iPhone setup with English as the OS language and German for time formats and so on. I tried to write everything down, but I couldn’t write down some things, like Japanese characters and such. So the mind-map competition should be about 98 % or more.
The previous design ended up being overwhelming for normal users (and even some experienced ones) and became very confusing for people with multiple accounts since it was unclear which account was performing a search or looking at trending topics. There were also three different areas to set preferences and many of the options in the preferences were unnecessary and confusing to most users so they were avoided or left to defaults anyhow. So we took a leap and removed the preferences completely, only adding them back in when we found something that absolutely needed it.
I do have to admit sometimes I “get lost” in the iOS Settings app. I’m not sure there’s a need for a complete redesign — after all, there are options users haveto set on an operating system — but I wonder if Apple could make browsing Settings easier, more “compact”, with less choices in the future.
Just two weeks ago we covered iPhone URL schemes, those native URLs specific to iOS applications like Facebook or Twitter that can be used to launch an app’s section (Facebook’s Messages view, Twitter’s Mentions tab) with a single tap. As it turns out, however, URL schemes aren’t exclusive to third-party apps that have implemented them, as Apple is using the same system to assign a unique URL to specific sections in the iOS Settings app. Which means that, in theory, you should be able to easily launch Bluetooth settings or iCloud’s control panel by tapping on a link.
Of all the solutions that have surfaced in the past weeks to create Home screen shortcuts for Settings without jailbreaking a device, I’d say IconSettings is the most clever, nicest and easiest to use. As noted by Engadget, you just visit this webpage, decide which settings panels to turn into Home screen icons, and manually add a webpage to the Home screen using Safari. That webpage will turn into an icon, which will launch the settings panel you chose from the list. Quite simple.
There’s a catch: whilst jailbreak apps like SBSettings really put iOS Settings’ in another location (in SBSettings’ case, a dropdown menu), IconSettings simply creates visual bookmarks for URLs that redirect to the Settings app. And by “redirect” I mean that you’ll briefly notice Safari launching before you’re brought to the selected settings panel you need. This should be no big deal as the animation is very short, but this method will still leave an open tab in your Mobile Safari (remember, you’re still launching a URL). So yes, IconSettings is a pretty cool web-based trick to create Home screen shortcuts for commonly accessed Settings, but keep in mind that Safari will keep track of these URLs.
If you don’t have a jailbroken device and you’re willing to compromise to have Settings shortcuts on your Home screen, check out IconSettings here. Its icons are fairly good-looking, too.
While you might not be able to replace Siri’s voice with GLaDOS (yet), you do have control over how your iPhone notifies you of incoming calls and messages. New to iOS 5, the iTunes Store includes a special tones store where you can purchase new tones starting at $0.99 for alerts, and $1.29 for popular ringtones. The tones available feature everything from Star Wars sound effects to your favorite music from the 90s.
The iPhone 4S will be officially launched later this week on Friday, October 14th, but it appears someone has got access to a unit early and posted a video online showing initial browser benchmarks and Siri’s preference panel in the iOS Settings app. Siri’s preferences, located in Settings -> General, contain options to set the assistant’s language (English for Australia, United Kingdom and United States, plus French and German) and two menus for “Voice Feedback” and “My Info”. The video shows that these two options can be set to “Always” and “None”, respectively. Interestingly enough, Canada isn’t included in the list of English-supported countries, raising doubts as to whether it’ll be “officially” supported in Siri when the iPhone 4S comes out this week (Canada is a launch country, and it seems like Siri recognizes different accents fairly well). Last on the list is Raise to Speak — an option that should allow users to talk to Siri by simply raising the iPhone to their ear. Alternatively, Siri can be activated by pressing and holding the Home button.
As MacRumors also notes, Sunspider benchmarks show a score of 2222.1ms and a BrowserMark score of 89567. The iPhone 4 with an A4 chip running iOS 5 is believed to score 44856 in BrowserMark, thus making the iPhone 4S from the video twice as fast as the old-generation iPhone. The iPhone 4S comes with an A5 chip for improved performances and faster graphics.
The iPhone 4S is set to come out in seven countries on Friday, October 14th, and pre-orders have topped 1 million in the first 24 hours. It’s unclear how the person in the video below got an iPhone 4S early, but it appears to be from China as the carrier’s settings show China Unicom. (more…)
A new option in the Accessibility settings of iOS 5 beta 3 allows users to set up a floating panel to access a variety of hardware controls and gesture-based commands without using an iPad or iPhone’s physical buttons. Once enabled in Settings->General->Accessibility->AssistiveTouch, the new menu will let you interact with four different sections: Home, Device, Gestures and Favorites. Whilst the usage of Favorites and Gestures is still unclear, users can set up custom gestures in the Settings and play with built-in gesture such as swipe and pinch. The Home tab in the floating panel (which can be repositioned on screen via drag & drop) will perform the same function of the Home button, and Device will open a sub-menu with other controls to increase / decrease volume, lock or rotate the screen, unlock rotation and virtually shake the device (to enable features such as “shake to undo” without actually shaking a device).
The new accessibility options aren’t of course meant for everyday usage (they need to be manually enabled deep down in the Settings, and they’re aimed at people having trouble using iOS’ traditional gestures and hardware buttons), but they’re rather interesting in the way they could replace hardware controls and switches on damaged devices, or provide shortcuts to areas and commands of iOS that would require a physical movement otherwise (such as the aforementioned shake gesture).
Dave Caolo at 52 Tiger shares a series of interesting tips to “child-proof” an iPhone (though most of these features are enabled on the iPad as well) to make sure kids using a device won’t get access to functionalities like deleting apps and pulling the trigger on in-app purchases. Something I never had the chance to play with is the restriction settings panel for location and email:
Next, exercise (limited) control over location services and email accounts. First, tap Location to see the locations options screen. You can disable/enable location services on an app-by-app basis or turn it off entirely. Once you’ve set this up how you’d like it to be, select Don’t Allow Changes. Likewise, tapping email accounts and then Don’t Allow Changes won’t let you modify existing email, contacts or calendar information or create new ones. Of course, Jr. can still read your mail (and reply to it), so this isn’t entirely useful.
You can read more at 52 Tiger by hitting the source link below, and enable restrictions under Settings->General on your iOS device. Apple has been criticized in the past for not offering the right tools to parents to prevent children from spending money in iTunes, though with iOS 4.3 they introduced a broader set of restrictions and brought the in-app purchase window (when a device asks for your Apple ID password) from 15 minutes down to 5 minutes.
If you’ve always been wondering why Adobe’s Flash Player don’t let you easily manage privacy and storage settings, then you must be pleased to know that’s about to change with the beta of Flash 10.3 for Windows, Mac and Linux. As noted by Lifehacker, version 10.3.180.42 (let’s just call it 10.3 beta) allows you to directly modify Flash Player’s cache, privacy and other settings (such as the microphone or camera) without having to visit a special web link to a webpage hosted on Adobe’s servers.
With Flash 10.3, it all (finally) happens with a settings window that appears to be accessible from the Control Panel in Windows, and a prefpane in your Mac’s System Preferences (see screenshots below). The panel has got a tabbed interface to switch between Storage, Camera and Mic, Playback and Advanced settings with lots of options to delete private data, de-authorize a computer from protected content, tweak the camera’s settings on a site-by-site basis.
Clearing out your Flash cache will be much easier in the new version, currently available for download and testing on Adobe’s website. These new user and OS-friendly settings will also be integrated into each browser’s own Preferences. Go download Flash 10.3 beta for Mac here. (more…)
A major update to OmniFocus for iPhone was released yesterday in the App Store, including support for new view settings that make it easier to switch between next, available and remaining actions or all items saved in OmniFocus. The OmniGroup developers also improved the design of the date picker (start and due dates) which now has a series of shortcuts to increment the start or due dates quickly by 1 day, 1 week or 1 month. Admittedly, being able to jot down a due date without having to manually scroll a list was one of the features I was really looking forward to have in OmniFocus for iPhone.
Other improvements in version 1.9 include a rewritten in-app browser (finally, it is much more stable and incredibly useful for those users like me that insert a lot of web links in tasks’ notes), Map mode available from the main screen and the possibility to view dropped contexts in the Context list.
OmniFocus for iPhone is available here. Check out the full changelog below. (more…)