Tag Archives: Siri

iPhone 5: It Just Works?

With record sales since its release a couple of weeks ago, the iPhone 5 is the new must-have gadget. But is it worth the hype?

I’ll be honest, I’m not a Mac acolyte. I grew up on Apple products, switched to PCs in the late 90’s, and I’m still trying to get back up to speed on the Macintosh computers of today. I do perhaps love my iPad a little too much, but I still mainly use PCs and my phone is a Droid. So I don’t really have the user experience that Mac fans do.

Those Mac fans are saying that the iPhone 5 delivers a lot of features they’ve been wanting for a while. The screen is larger; the 4G is faster. The new design is sleeker and lighter than the 4S. iPhone 5 has built-in turn-by-turn navigation and a “smarter” Siri (though guys, she’s just a search engine with voice recognition). The headphone jack has been moved from the top edge to the bottom. The camera has been improved, and includes a panoramic photo option. And most importantly, you can get one plated with gold!

On the down side, you may have heard about some issues with the maps (released to compete directly with Google Maps…by the way, I adore Google Maps). Apple actually issued an apology for this flub, though not, as yet, a solution.

Also, since the new phone is shaped differently, customers will have to repurchase all of the accessories that they used with previous Apple products (chargers, docks, cases, etc.) Some iPhone 5 owners report wishing the phone was a bit more substantial; this is a complaint I would probably have since I’m very hard on my gadgets and I try to only buy technology I can’t kill. The case scratches easily, and some users report light leaking out from the screen through the power button or cracks in the case.

I don’t think the iPhone 5 is either the newest big thing or a flop. Should you buy one? If you like Apple products, go for it. If you want to see what having an iPhone is like, go for it. Just don’t leave that gold one sitting out anywhere.


What’s New With Apple

If you’re a geek like me, you know that today was the keynote speech from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2012, and perhaps you watched one of the live streaming webcasts for up-to-the-minute coverage. But maybe you aren’t a geek (actualIy I hope you aren’t; otherwise this post might be very boring) and you’d just like to know, in plain English, if anything big went down today at Apple.

The main questions first: Did they announce a new iPad or iPhone or iPod? No, they did not. iPhone 5 should be coming our way soon, but not yet.

So what did they announce? The biggest deal, in my opinion, that came out of the keynote speech is the introduction of the new MacBook Pro. It seems like a hybrid between the former MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, and the iPad 3. It’s super thin (.71 inches), light at just under 5 lbs, and it has Apple’s spanking new retinal display on a 15.4 inch screen, which means that the display looks absolutely gorgeous. There’s no optical drive though, which means you can’t stick any discs in there…it’s all Flash memory. But that’s how they got it so thin. Apple calls the “most beautiful computer” that the company’s ever made. Oh, and if you really want one, the price point is a staggering but Mac-standard $2,199.00 (that is the STARTING price), and you can buy one right now at the online Apple Store.

When the new iOS6 (the operating system used to power your mobile Apple devices) is released, our Apple friend Siri can now give you more information about movies, sports and restaurants  (I’m no Siri follower but apparently these things gave her issues before) and she can update your Twitter and Facebook, as well as open apps for you on your iPhone. I don’t use an iPhone, but these improvements will probably make heavy Siri users very happy. And Siri will be integrated into certain automobiles over the next 12 months. Siri will be available on iPad, too. While we’re talking mobile, FaceTime has been upgraded so that it will work on a cellular connection rather than just over wi-fi.

And speaking of Facebook and driving, Apple’s new OS, rolling out this summer, will integrate with Facebook, which is something Apple users have been requesting for awhile. And Apple is rolling out their own map service as a competitor to Google Maps, with live traffic updates and turn by turn navigation, which dovetails nicely with the car integration.

The new OS for Mac desktops is also coming out soon, and will include features such as Power Nap, which will sync your computer to any clouds you might be connected to (say, iCloud) and update software in the background, and voice recognition and dictation. Mac’s browser, Safari, will include a new search bar that can be used both to search the internet and enter URLs of sites you want to visit…exactly like Chrome and Firefox already do.

There are some other features, but I’ve listed what I think are the highlights. More details, if you want them, can be found here: