Browsing articles in "iPhone"

iPhone 6 – our first 2 days

Oct 1, 2014
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You have heard of the iPhone 6 right? Yes, Apple’s new iPhone revision sports a new set of dimensions. Bigger. While Android users have had a large selection of small, medium, large & extra-large phones for the last few years – Apple users have been stuck with the small.

The new iPhone 6 sports a 4.7″ screen (up from 4″ iPhone 5) and the iPhone 6 plus has a 5.5″ screen.


We recently took delivery of iPhone 6 plus and have a few thoughts.

This thing is huge. If you thought the iPhone 5 was a big jump up from the iPhone 4 – then you have another thing coming. For the average user we suggest a good look at the iPhone 6 rather than the iPhone 6 plus. The iPhone 6 is a little larger than the iPhone 5 – but because it has lost its square edged design and is quite a bit thinner, it doesn’t feel too much bigger to use. You do get a lot more screen real estate. On the iPhone 6 plus you get an extra view similar to the iPad which gives you to use a split screen view when you turn the phone to landscape. For example, Mail shows the mailbox panel to the left and the message pane on the right. Far better than those silly little arrows at the top of the screen for message navigation.

There has been a lot of talk about the iPhone 6 plus bending – that seems like a very unlikely story to us. If you mistreat anything – it’ll break. Most of us take care of our stuff right?

It’s a great upgrade. If you are sporting an iPhone 4 or 5, then the iPhone 6 would be the best bet. If you envy the Samsung Galaxy Note – then the iPhone 6 plus will be for you. If you aren’t sure – go down to your nearest Spark shop and have a good look at the demo models before you place your order. For reference, check out the size chart. Note the 4″ iPhone 5 screen.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 9.58.33 am

Screen technology 101

Nov 14, 2012
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Retina display. IPS. Full lamination. What does all this new speak mean?!

Lets try to demystify the new screen technology a bit and see which actually improves the user experience.

The biggest mover in the screen technology is the legendary “retina display”. This first appeared on the iPhone 4 and was a huge improvement over the iPhone 3 screen. Retina is defined as a display which, at a normal viewing distance, does not show any pixels. If you get close to a normal display, you can make out the pixels, or dots which make up the display. An exaggerated example of this is getting up close to your living room TV – you will certainly see the pixels there! If you have a look at an iPhone 4, you can get very close to the screen and not be able to make out the pixels – it is pretty amazing. For a phone, a retina screen is around 326ppi. If you look at the specifications of many Android phones, you will see that they have around 280-300ppi screens. Whilst not 326ppi, they are still very high resolution. Are they retina quality? It depends how far away you have to hold your phone from your eyes…

For an iPad or laptop screen, the resolution is less. The reason for this is that you generally hold these further away than you do with a phone. The iPad retina is 264ppi. The Macbook Pro retina is 220ppi.

So, we have established that a retina display is a high resolution screen in which the pixels are so fine that the human eye cannot make them out. Great. But what does this mean for a user? Here is an extreme closeup example which might give you a good idea. The left shot is from a iPhone 3GS, and the right shot is from a iPhone 4 retina display:

You can see the difference immediately, especially in the text. For users who spend a lot of time working with photography or kerning type, a retina display is a hot ticket.

One caveat – your software needs to be retina “ready” to take advantage of the screen. So if you use iPhoto, Aperture, Pixelmater, Microsoft Office 2011 – these are all ready to go. Adobe have announced support in Photoshop, but nothing is shipping yet. Clearly (pun intended) having a retina display along with retina ready software is a benefit.

IPS (In-Plane Switching) is a technology which improves LCD displays overall. It improves the response time, offers clearer imagery and less colour distortion over wide viewing angles. The creative director sitting alongside you will see the colours as you see them. If your screen has it – good news!

For the new iMac, Apple used a new bonding technique which brings the LED cell right up against the glass plane. It is called “full lamination”. For a user, this means a sharper display and better colour representation, and it means a much thinner computer! Apple also fully calibrates each iMac screen. This is from the Apple website for the iMac: “We put every single display through an exacting colour-calibration process using three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers: one to measure gamma, one to measure white point and one to check the work of the other two. This equipment is tuned to meet colour standards recognised around the world for precision and accuracy.”

All in all it is a good time to retire your old workhorse and check out some of the new machines with the exciting new display technologies onboard.


iPhone 5 preview

Sep 18, 2012
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The iPhone 5 is coming to NZ soon (28th September) – and it looks great.

While there are a few who say it isn’t innovative or it is just an iPhone 4 with a larger screen – we aren’t going to be lazy and say that. Lets have a closer look.

Starting with the exterior, the iPhone 5 is made from Aluminium and Glass. The front glass sits over a new 4 inch display and has the “touch sensor” layer built into the LCD giving a brighter display. This also means that it helps with battery life as you can run the screen at a lower brightness setting without compromise. The sides and back are made from aluminium with a small glass window top/back and bottom/back to keep the signal strength up. Overall it is 7.6mm thick and weighs 112grams. That’s crazy!

On the inside, they have used a custom Apple A6 processor, put in a better 8MP camera, and basically shrunk everything internally to fit it in. Overall, the device feels solid, yet very light.

The items to note before you jump in: The bottom connector is not the 30 pin connector you are used to. It is a new “Lightning” connector. Don’t worry, there is an adapter to the 30 pin which you can buy. The other thing is the nano-sim card. Make sure your provider has the nano-sim ready and waiting before you jump into your iPhone 5. Those of us who are brave will be able to cut down our micro-sims probably…time will tell.

Overall it is an amazing piece of engineering which we’re sure the competition are crying about!

What’s cool:
Design, Quality, AppStore, Screensize, Lightweight, Fast

What to watch out for:
Make sure you get a “plastic film” for the back of the black model BEFORE you put a case on it. The black model has been reported to scratch easily, and putting a case on it will scratch it too. The only solution is to get white, or put on a back protector film.
All your 30 pin dock connector stuff, The Nano-sim, Your very jealous & abrasive Android friends – their Galaxy S3 is just an S2 with a bigger screen ;)
(Just kidding, although we prefer the Galaxy Nexus…)




New Apple products unveiled at WWDC

Jun 12, 2012

Tim Cook and his merry elves at Apple have delivered a flurry of updates, upgrades and new products.

iOS6. Coming out later in the year, iOS6 will feature an upgraded Siri that can recognize more commands, knows more about restaurants and sports results, understands more languages, Siri will also be able to tweet for you. Apple is also working with car manufacturers to bring a Siri button to their cars.

Facebook will also integrate into iOS6, much like Twitter does now. The Maps App will have the existing Google Maps replaced with Apple’s offering that includes turn-by-turn navigation. Passbook is a new App that will replace all of your loyalty cards, coupons, movie tickets and boarding passes.

More info here.

OSX Mountain Lion. Most features have already been announced, however a “Power Nap” feature will allow compatible Macs to run backups and software updates when the Mac has been put into sleep mode. Also expect a greater set of voice for commands and dictation as well as Facebook integration.

More info here.

iCloud. Apple’s iCloud has a few new features including the ability to synchronise your open tabs in Safari between iOS and OSX and will also be able to synchronize documents. Expect more features to appear in iCloud with the release of OSX Mountain Lion.

MacBook Pro with Retina display. Most interesting of the new hardware released is the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, basically a beefed up MacBook Air. It will feature an amazing display, thin design, flash drives, but will come without a Superdrive or ethernet (though these can be purchased as external add-ons).

More info here.


Apple has revised it’s existing notebook range with upgraded processors, USB3 and Thunderbolt ports across the range. The Mac Pro even received an upgrade with improved processors, including an option for two 6-core processors. The Airport Express has been given a make-over, it now looks like a white AppleTV. The 17-inch MacBook Pro has quietly left Apple’s product line.

iOS 5.1.1 Software Update now available

May 8, 2012
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Apple has released iOS 5.1.1 Software update for compatible iPhone and iPads. This update fixes numerous annoying bugs related to HDR photos, AirPlay playback, Safari syncing and App Store purchases.

You can install the update ‘over the air’ now by tapping on Settings, then General, then Software Update and tapping Download and Install. The update takes about 10 minutes to download and install, make sure your device has plenty of battery charge left before running the update.



iOS5 and caller ID on Telecom XT

Oct 13, 2011
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Apple has released iOS5 today for compatible iDevices, it’s a great update with lots of new features such as the notifications, iCloud integration and wireless syncing with iTunes.

If you are using Telecom XT with your iPhone or iPad be sure to update your carrier settings via iTunes after applying iOS5, you can do this while you still have your iDevice plugged in via the USB cable. If you don’t apply the carrier update you will find that the caller ID doesn’t match up with your contacts.

Let’s talk iPhone – The Apple iPhone 4S

Oct 5, 2011
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Apple announced the iPhone 4S today at its rather appropriately named “Let’s talk iPhone” event. Apple’s latest iPhone is an upgrade of the existing iPhone 4, keeping the same shape and size. The new iPhone features a Dual-core A5 chip that is up to two times more powerful and up to seven times faster for graphics display, a new 8 MegaPixel camera that can take photos faster and can record video at 1080p, it also has a redesigned antenna system for better performance.

The iPhone 4S will also come with iOS5 that features the new Notification Centre, iMessage, Twitter Integration and iCloud Integration.

The biggest surprise for some was the new voice command system named Siri. By using Siri on your iPhone 4S you can send messages, schedule meetings, set reminders, play music, answer your questions and run other functions just by using your voice. Siri is an intelligent system and is location aware so you can check the traffic or weather based on your current location.

The iPhone 4S will be out in 7 countries (including Australia) in mid October, with 70 countries (very likely to include New Zealand) by the end of the year.

You can watch the Siri video here.

The iPod Touch (now available in white) and iPod Nano also got a minor updates today, the iPod Classic and Shuffle remain unchanged.


WWDC 2011 Wrap up

Jun 19, 2011
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The World Wide Developers Conference has been and gone – and as long time Apple Development Partners, we were very impressed with the announcements and future direction of Apple Software. OS X Lion brings the best from the iPad to the stable OS X Snow Leopard underpinnings to create an operating system that will be very comfortable for those who like trackpads – especially the Magic Trackpad! Using gestures on the trackpad (or even the Magic Mouse surface) signals to the operating system that you want to bring up your Launcher, or move between Applications. For more information, there is a OS X Lion page up at Apple.

iOS 5 will be the next iteration of software for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It builds on the power of iOS 4 and incorporates features from lots of different sources and ideas. One of the best is the new notification center which allows you to manage the notifications you get on the lock screen – we have all been screaming out for that one! Now you don’t need to unlock to see if you have got email, missed calls, txts etc – and you can jump to those screens from the lock screen easily. We won’t list every feature here – but it has a large number of features like this which you can read about here.

Now as a lot of you know the “cloud” is the next big thing. Apple are jumping into the cloud computing model with its iCloud offer and they say it is going to be great. We here at Digital Arena agree because 10 years ago we released our first cloud based product to the market – the all powerful Helium Digital Asset Management and Automation system. Since then we moved Spark, our class leading Job Management system into the Cloud (in 2003) and launched Pageproof to the world for online approval in 2005. And as many of you know we have some new category redefining products being launched into the market (call Neil McGowan if you want to know more) – and they are cloud based too.

Back to Apple.

iCloud will replace MobileMe and will truly bring the “my stuff everywhere when I want it” idea to your Mac, PC or iOS devices. For example, if you purchase a song on your iPhone using Apple iTunes, that song will be synchronised through to your other iOS devices – and into you iTunes on your computer also. You don’t need to push any sync buttons – it just works (like magic). App purchases, documents, photos, calendars etc will all use the iCloud service. Apple say it will be free for 5GB of data – not including your App or Music purchases. More info can be found here.

iCloud and iOS 5 will ship sometime around September/October this year. OS X Lion will be out in July.

Apple iPad 2 – v2

Mar 13, 2011
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Now that iOS 4.3 has shown it’s head on our devices in NZ, we can now confirm that the iPhone 4 on XT or Vodafone can use the new Personal Hotspot feature to share your phone’s data plan with your laptop or iPad using wifi. (It lets 3 devices work over wifi)

So this makes purchasing the iPad 2 a little harder. If you have an iPhone 4, then the wifi model is all you need. Just turn on the iPhone 4 Personal Hotspot feature, connect your iPad 2 and browse. But if you don’t have an iPhone 4, then you will either need to upgrade your iPhone – or get the iPad 2 with wifi+3G.

Gizmodo has a great article on this, so have a read and see where you fit – otherwise have a chat with one of the Digital Arena team!

Apple introduces iAd Producer

Dec 21, 2010
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Apple has introduced iAd Producer to help you create advertising for the iAd network. iAd Producer contains a visual designer, page templates, a component library, prebuilt animations and effects so you can easily create rich media and interactive content for your iAd project.

The iAd Producer also includes a simulator and validation tools so you can test out your iAd projects before submitting it to the iAd network.

iAd Producer is part of the iOS Developer program. More information here