A Few Apple Leaks

So recently it seems Apple have decided not to worry about leaks anymore. Before nothing would ever be leaked before time. First of course was the infamous iPhone 4 loss, then just this week, two iOS leaks.

Of course it’s hard to keep everything secret but it’s almost like they want them to be found so they can gauge public reaction.

So first off was a panorama option found in the Camera app that will help you take a wide-angled picture. Below you can see the rough trials on 9to5Mac.

It still seems to be quite rough so may be ages away from being included in an iOS 5 update.

Then just today is what looks like an auto-correct typing bar to help with your spelling. From the screenshots it looks like it appears as you start typing and you can tap the word you want to complete it. See the picture below from TUAW.

To me this doesn’t seem like it would help much, unless you are typing a word longer than 5 letters. I think it would depend on how quickly the corrections appear though and if it learns your favorite words quickly. The auto-correct of the iPhone is pretty good to begin with so this just seems like an unnecessary feature.

So these are obviously quite small features and maybe it just goes to show how confident Apple are that they can have things leaked and it doesn’t matter.

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Siri Seems to be the Hardest Word

So I haven’t blogged in a while but recently I decided I should get back into it. This is mainly thanks to some wonderful podcasts I have started listening to by TWiT (standing for This Week in Tech). You can view all their podcasts on their website or through iTunes.

So without further ado with the iPhone 4S having come out I want to talk quickly about Siri, the main new feature. I’ve used it on a few occasions and it is great when you use it but I can’t help but think that it’s being limited by Apple right now but better to have something than nothing.

So my favorite use for Siri so far is for setting alarms and timers. The first day I had it, I just said “Wake me up in 8 hours” and it worked it out for me, then added the alarm. It didn’t even take much time to think about it.

Another use is just asking for a timer. Just saying “Set a timer for 10 minutes” creates a countdown for you. Perhaps this will become the cook’s best friend.

So far the most annoying part of Siri is that business listings aren’t currently supported outside the US. I imagine this is because Apple have not found a decent partner for this. In America it’s partnered with Yelp and as Siri is still in beta they are probably testing that their servers can cope with so many users requesting information all the time.

Which brings us to another problem with Siri; the need for a constant internet connection. If you have a bad connection or the server is busy then you get no reply.

It’s alright though, Siri is still in beta and you can see how it will eventually become integrated into everything Apple and every other company will be left trying to catch up.

Also make sure to check out S*** That Siri Says to keep you amused.

Apple’s Play for eBooks

Unfortunately I have been without internet connection at home and wanted to write about this sooner. Apple have recently just enforced their new rules for publishers. This means if you sell anything through your app you have to do through an In-App Purchase and give a 30% cut to Apple. I’ll put some links at the bottom of this post if you want to read more about it. Anyway my post will focus on why I think Apple are doing this and it’s mainly to do with iBooks.

1.  Apple want to become synonymous with eBooks

Amazon may have the biggest market-share at the moment but that’s not going to stop Apple. Look at how iTunes became associated with MP3 and this is what they will want.

2. Force publishers to let them release in other countries

Currently you can only buy from iBooks in 6 countries; USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain. While America is Apple’s biggest market (for now) I’m sure they will want to expand to the rest of Europe, South America and most importantly Asia. Seemingly this is all down to licensing agreements in other countries and this can force their hands.

3. They make 30%!

While eBooks are generally cheaper than their printed counterparts, many of the top-selling iBooks are still $9.99. So Apple get roughly $3.33 for just hosting the iBook and letting customers download it. Sounds like pretty good business to me!

So there it is, 3 simple reasons and for now they want mind about harming a small minority of consumers if in the long run they become the biggest eBook seller. They are looking to get the customers that have never heard of Kindle or downloading a book before. Will it work? I’ll tell you in a year!

Links:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/amazon-complies-apple-app-rules.html

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/apple-imposes-app-purchasing-rules.html

http://www.futurebook.net/content/d-day-bookselling-apps

Disclaimer:

I do not work for Apple but do write stuff that then goes in apps for iPhone and iPad and have four iBooks in the store. I try not to be biased.

iCloud and You – A Match Made in Heaven?

As well as iOS5, Apple announced iCloud at WWDC on Monday. While it wasn’t quite what people imagined, it shows the future of Apple and computing in general. So what does it mean for you?

Firstly the iCloud means you will be able to sync your songs, apps, and even iBooks between all your devices. So if you have an iDevice and Mac it means you can keep everything synced automatically. As soon as you buy something on one device it will appear on your other devices. Obviously this relies on you having more than one Apple device, but you do have more than one right?!

The second part of iCloud is iTunes Match. This service means you can take any songs you have ripped from CDs (or any other way of getting music) and iTunes will match it for you from their 18 million strong catalog. You will then be able to download it to all your devices and use it just like you downloaded it from the iTunes Store in the first place. The only catch is that it will cost you $24.99 a year to use this service.

The most useful feature of iCloud though will be the automatic backup of your iDevice. This means if your device goes wrong then all your data will be available to download anywhere you have an internet connection and get it working again.

What most people thought iCloud would bring was a streaming service similar to Spotify and allow you to play a certain amount of music for a monthly fee. While it didn’t appear at this WWDC perhaps the music labels are scared of giving too much away to Apple again and want to see how many paying customers they can get for iTunes Match before allowing open access to all their music.

So what do you think of iCloud? Were you hoping for more?