Posts in iPhone

HomePod Follows in iPhone 4’s Steps

The HomePod firmware that was accidentally posted last month by an Apple employee has led to a wealth of knowledge about Apple's upcoming iPhone.

Most leaks in recent years have come from Apple's expansive supply chain. A rear shell here and a camera component there slowly fill in the details about unreleased hardware. It's a slow process normally, but one the rumor cycle has become accustomed to over the years.

The HomePod is obviously different. While the accidental leak contained just software, inside its depths were details about all sorts of unannounced features. Developers even found icons depicting the next-generation iPhone.

Whoops.

This isn't the first time that Apple has leaked from the top about an upcoming iPhone.

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NotePlan Calendar + Markdown + Notes Comes to iOS

When I first heard about NotePlan, I was intrigued. It was a Mac app that used a text format (Markdown) as a calendar-based system, a note for each day, allowing you to easily create tasks and take notes, then see it all in an organized calendar. NotePlan for iOS was released today, and it's enough to sell me on the idea.

I have a lot of side projects (I suppose my whole life is side projects these days), and organizing todo lists is vital. I love using the TaskPaper format, with TaskPaper on Mac and Taskmator on iOS, to track action items for individual projects. I also have a calendar, and a bucket of notes. Combining all of this in one place is appealing to me, and being able to use it on both Mac and iOS makes it truly useful.

In NotePlan, tasks are created as Markdown lists. You can have it recognize any list item as a task, or tell it that only lines with a checkbox (- [ ] Thing to do) are action items. There's an extra keyboard row available when editing that makes it easy to create items, complete or cancel them, or even schedule them for a future date.

Tasks can sync to Reminders lists as well, so it can incorporate into other workflows (and even shared lists). In the calendar view you can tap a day to see the note and associated task lists for that date.

Each day on the calendar gets a note, and you can add freeform notes in the All Notes area. A note can be bits of information, its own action list, or both. You can use #tags anywhere in the notes to organize, and wiki style links ([[title]] or [[YYYY-MM-DD]]) to reference other notes. Tasks added to freeform notes can be scheduled to the calendar with a tap, so you can use notes as a central project repository and schedule out the day's (or week's) tasks as you're ready to tackle them.

NotePlan on iPhone

NotePlan on iPhone

On the new iOS version, you can drag and drop tasks around by pressing a text block until it turns blue and sliding it into place. You can also press and hold until it turns blue, then release and press another one to expand the selection between them, at which point NotePlan will offer you a toolbar to allow batch completion, rescheduling, etc.

I'd label NotePlan as a day planner, not a task manager like OmniFocus or Things. It's ideal for planning out your day, Bullet Journal style. You won't find extensive project management features or perspective overviews, but the combination of scheduling, tagging, and (plain text, portable) notes in one place makes it a true productivity tool.

If words like productivity, GTD, Markdown, TaskPaper and Bullet Journal cause a stirring within you, you're probably the right audience for this one. Check out NotePlan for iOS, and then try out the Mac version for fully-synced productivity. Today and tomorrow, NotePlan for iOS is $11.99. After that, the price will be $14.99. NotePlan for Mac is $16.99.


HealthView Review: Your Customized Health App

When it comes to health information on my iPhone and Apple Watch, I’m about as mildly interested as it comes – while I enjoy glancing at the metrics and measurements displayed on the Apple Watch, I usually stay away from the iPhone’s Health app.

There are two primary reasons for this: the Health app is pretty cluttered; and Health often gives me information that I really don’t care about. I’d like a “less is more” approach.

HealthView offers exactly that – rather than providing you information scattered throughout the app, you choose what you want to see, how you want to see it, and when it appears. Although it’s not as robust as Apple’s Health, HealthView may just be a better fit for your needs.

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Television Time Review: A Modern Guide to TV

Many years ago, weekends at my grandparents' went like this: flip on the TV, peruse through all the channels hoping to find something I like, and eventually hand over the remote to my grandfather, when he would then search the paper TV guide for that night’s programming.

The days of using those guides are long gone, but the need to see what shows are coming up is still relevant. For that, I’ve been using Television Time, a beautiful TV guide for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

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Partly Sunny Review: Weather Reimagined

When Apple introduced the App Store in 2008, much of the excitement spanned from the opportunities and functionalities these new apps would bring to the iPhone. Many of the first apps were forays into markets untouched by the stock apps – games, social networks, and read-it-later services.

Eight years later, the trends are different; with millions of apps covering almost every genre imaginable, a lot of this year's best apps are refinements or new takes on the same functionalities some of Apple's stock apps offer.

That's where Partly Sunny comes in – it's a weather app that, at first glance of its icon, looks almost identical to Apple's Weather. But after tapping into it, Partly Sunny shakes the similarities and introduces a robust, beautiful new way to view weather information.

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iPhone 7: Our Complete Overview

Today during Apple's keynote event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, the Cupertino company announced the latest iteration on their most successful product. Despite rumors of a mostly laid back upgrade year, the iPhone 7 did not disappoint. While only minor changes have been made to the enclosure, there are significant upgrades to almost every other aspect of Apple's flagship iPhone.

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How Apple’s Smart Battery Case Recharges Your iPhone

Good point by iLounge's Jesse Hollington, writing on Quora, about the difference between third-party battery cases and the way Apple's new battery case has been designed to recharge an iPhone (via Zac Cichy):

Notice the missing step? You're only recharging your iPhone battery once instead of twice. The fact that Apple's case doesn't have a switch means that you don't really have an option to turn it on when you need it or off when you don't — if your iPhone is inside the case, it's being powered by the case. If you do this at the beginning of the day, as soon as you disconnect from the charger, that means that the iPhone remains at 100% until the case battery is depleted, then the iPhone gets powered from its internal battery. The fact that the case is integrated into iOS to provide power status is an added bonus as you get a clearer view as to what your overall battery capacity is.

If you remember to have a fully charged iPhone before putting it into Apple's case, then it'll run off the case's battery instead of draining its own. Thus, if you always keep it on and charge both overnight, the iPhone will always start using the case's battery first in the morning. That's smart indeed – too bad I can't try it on the iPhone 6s Plus.

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iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Opening Weekend Sales Hit a Record 13 Million

Apple announced this morning that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has sold more than 13 million units over its opening weekend. The new iPhone went on sale last Friday in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the UK.

“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”

13 million units sold over the opening weekend is a new record for iPhone sales. Last year Apple sold 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, whilst in 2013 Apple sold 9 million units of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. In fact, Apple has consistently beaten their opening weekend iPhone sales every single year.

Second Wave of iPhone 6s Launch Countries Announced

Apple also announced today that the second wave of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus launch countries will get the device on October 9 and 10. Over those two days, the new iPhones will launch in 42 countries in this second wave, including Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Taiwan.

The full list of countries:

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will roll out worldwide to more than 40 additional countries and territories beginning October 9 including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. On October 10, countries include Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

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