Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple is currently working on the best iPad accessory of all time

by Chris Smith,

June 12 03:30 PM
A new patent discovered by AppleInsider describes one way the iPad could get smarter, and that’s by using new Smart Cover accessories that would be able to display notifications, thus eliminating user’s need to continuously open the cover and check for emails, messagenotifications.

The patent, titled "Integrated visual notification system in an accessory device," describes various ways in which these new Smart Covers would work to show notifications.

Basically, the Smart Covers would incorporate visual elements, such as LED lights, in certain patterns that could light up to display various notifications related to incoming messages, apps or even battery status.

The Smart Covers could connect to the iPad with help of electric contacts or a cable for energy and data transmission, or could feature wireless inductive charging powers and connect to the device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for data exchange.

A third, more passive, option describes a Smart Cover that has transparent portions which would allow light to pass through. In such a case, the display of the iPad will turn on in those portions, creating a light-based notification effect.

Notifications can be displayed in form of words, shapes and symbols, and can appear in different portions of the Smart Cover. In order to make notifications quickly go away, users could use the existing power and volume rockers of the iPad.

Finally, the illuminated elements of the Smart Cover could be used for different purposes while the iPad is in actual use.

It’s not clear when, and if, such a Smart Cover would actually be launched. Earlier this year, a different Applepatent described a different direction Apple is taking with Smart Cover development, showing a touch-friendly full keyboard packed inside a Smart Cover concept.

For what it’s worth, the patent also includes images that seem to indicate a Smart Cover with the hinge along its width rather than its height is being considered by Apple.

Meanwhile, the competition has cases that allow notifications to pass through, especially on bigger smartphones such as the LG G3 or Galaxy Note 3 which have cases with cutouts that let the user interact with the device. A more passive notification-friendly case has been recently launched by HTC, the Dot View cover for the One (M8) handset.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Use Tech Like a Teenager

by Geoffrey A. Fowler,

June 10 07:05 AM

Enough with complaining that young people these days are addicted to their phones. The question you should be asking is: What do they know that you don't?

Believe it or not, there are advantages to using technology like a teen. I asked a handful of 11- to 17-year-olds to tell me what apps and gear they couldn't live without. They taught me to question my own habits: Why do I use email to talk with friends? Why do I only share my best photos?

Teens are among the most creative users of technology, in part because they don't have adults' assumptions about how things are supposed to work.

"I will just throw away the directions and see what I can make of it," Kapp Singer, a 14-year-old from San Francisco, told me.

Owning a smartphone, often a hand-me-down, means many teens can be pretty much always online, changing how they stay in touch with friends and express themselves.

Snapchat, the photo-messaging app in which images disappear after a few seconds, often puzzles adults who think of photos as formal, even permanent. But teens love it because of what can be said with instant pictures, especially disposable ones.

I'm not suggesting that everyone should immediately use Snapchat, but what if you tried it?

I did for a week, with my good-natured septuagenarian parents. After some trial and error, they were sending me "snaps": my dad struggling to pack a suitcase, my mom making funny faces. I shared a snap of tomatoes starting to grow in my garden.

My mom didn't like how quickly snaps disappeared. (A tip for Snapchatting moms: Press an iPhone's home and power buttons at the same time to save a screenshot of the snap.) But my dad thought it would be a good way to keep up with children and grandchildren. The ability to communicate with my parents in snippets meant I could keep up with them even when I didn't have time to call or write.

The experience mostly taught us we should share a lot more photos. The snaps we send aren't "important," but sharing those moments brings us closer together.

We can't just think of young people as future adults. Some of their habits are borne of uniquely teen circumstances, like not having a car. Yet from my conversations with them—and the social scientists who study them like a foreign culture—I found five practices that could change how you use technology.

Ditch Email

"Email is just where all the college applications go," says Ryan Orbuch, a 17-year-old from Boulder, Colo. (The only thing he finds more laborious is email's even more antiquated cousin, voice mail.)Only 6% of teens exchange email daily, according to the Pew Research Center. They reserve email for official communications, or venues like school where alternatives are banned.

Instead, he uses a fragmented set of messaging apps based on the people he wants to communicate with. For example, he uses Snapchat for one-on-one conversations, Facebook FB -0.03% Messenger to chat with groups and Twitter TWTR +0.93% to keep up with people he's never met in person.

For teens and adults alike, a message app is only as good as the network of people you can reach with it. The lesson for adults is that these newer tools, including apps like Apple's AAPL -0.42% iMessage, WhatsApp and Kik, drop the cumbersome formalities of email. There's no "Dear," no "Best Regards."

These apps also do a better job at managing conversations: Facebook Messenger lets you excuse yourself from irrelevant conversations, for instance.

There's also value in not having every single message stored on an email server. The idea is to just enable a regular conversation. "If someone was recording us as we were walking down the street, that would be weird—not because we have something to hide," Ryan says.

Express Yourself Through Images

The lesson for adults is that you can express things in images that would be time-consuming to write out, or read. "I couldn't scan 50 people's posts and texts as quickly as I could 50 people's posts on Instagram," says Kapp, the San Francisco 14-year-old.Today, 91% of teens post a photo of themselves on social media sites, according to Pew. Photos and short videos shared on Instagram or Vine can capture a funny moment, or say something that might offend (or anger parents) if it were written out.

But who wants to see all of these images? Oversharing can annoy teens, too. Instagram and other photo apps are actually an antidote: Instead of filling everyone's inbox, people share an image widely, while viewers choose whom they want to "follow." If people have too much to say, you can simply unfollow or mute them.

And don't just limit yourself to photos. Colorful hieroglyphics called "emoji" are available for the iPhone and Android keyboards, and many people use them to highlight messages. If those are too tiny, try the cartoonlike "stickers" found on Facebook, Kik, WeChat and other messaging services. Feeling frustrated? Send a sticker of a dog chasing its own tail.

Hide in Plain Sight

"Teenagers are growing up in a world where they assume surveillance," says Danah Boyd, author of "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens."Adults assume that young people don't care about privacy. But look closer: Some 58% of teen social-media users say they cloak their messages, according to Pew, using inscrutable pictures and unexplained jokes to communicate in code.

Natalie Jaffe, a 17-year-old from Pittsburgh, says she adjusts what she shares based on who may be able to see it. "I just make sure what I post is appropriate," she says, knowing that her 600 Instagram followers include both friends and parents.

The lesson: You can be "public" without having embarrassing things on the permanent record.

This could involve carefully managing the flow of information, through using disappearing-message apps or Facebook audience-privacy controls. It could also mean posting publicly about something without specifically naming it, known as subtweeting.

But take it from a teen: Subtweets can backfire. "That can always cause drama or confusion," Natalie warns.

Find Your Own Server

That's one reason playing the online game Minecraft has caught on like wildfire among teens, particularly with middle schoolers who have limited ability to gather on their own in the real world. Minecraft is like a gargantuan virtual Lego set you can work on together, without having to go to anyone's house.The Internet is a big public square. But it also has neighborhoods where you gather with friends and just hang out.

After school, San Francisco 11-year-old Traylor Smith-Wallis logs into Minecraft and a group Skype chat with as many as 18 buddies.

When they gather online, it's often on a server Traylor or one of his friends runs—that is to say, creep-free. "It's our virtual world, and you can make it whatever you want," he says. (His parents usually listen in the background, he adds, just in case one of his friends curses.)

The Internet has long had equivalents to Minecraft servers for niche communities. Even in the age of social networks, adults often form groups or discussion boards for their neighborhoods, hobbies or health interests.

Throw Away the User Manual

Teens think, "How can I test and experiment and bend this thing to my will, and make it do what I want?" says Pew Research Center's Amanda Lenhart, who studies how youths use tech.The reason teens are such avid early adopters isn't that they have an innate knowledge of tech—it's that they aren't afraid to break it.

(Of course, there are also adults with this mind-set. They're called hackers, and some of them are billionaires.)

Sometimes, they'll even invent new uses. Teen users of Venmo, an app for exchanging small amounts of money, have begun to pay friends $1 or another token amount, just to say "thanks" or "high-five." It's like a Like button with monetary value. Part of the reason may be that Venmo makes transactions public, though not the amounts.

The lesson: Experimentation is just as important as instructions, and don't despair if you don't have instant competence. Talk about new technology with your friends.

And when all else fails, flag down a teenager—you'd be surprised what you can learn.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Apple Hopes to Debut Wearable in October

Code/red: Yes, Apple’s First Wearable Device Is Slated for October

June 6, 2014, 9:58 AM PDT

By John Paczkowski

By John

October. That’s the tentative launch date Apple has set for its first, long-in-the-offing foray into wearable devices. People familiar with Apple’s plans tellCode/red the company hopes to schedule a special event that month to show off the device, which is designed to make good use of the HealthKit health and fitness information-gathering app it recently showed off at WWDC. Could things change between now and fall? That’s certainly possible. But right now October is the target date. The Nikkei is hearing the same thing and its sources say that Apple is so confident in the gadget that it’s looking to produce three million to five million units per month. Which may explain not only the company’s latest ad, but Apple VP Eddy Cue’s heady optimism at our Code Conference last week. “Later this year, we’ve got the best product pipeline that I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple,” Cue said.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great changes coming

Here is a video update on the new iOS and Mac OS X . Great stuff.!E9A12671-D3FF-4D8D-B5BF-C60E14411CC9