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Set Up iOS 5 Notifications

Notification Center is a sweet new feature in iOS 5.  Just swipe down the from clock and you can access it from anywhere.  But in the beginning it will probably be overwhelming.  That's because we've had all our notifications preferences set up around the old system - when we got a message, we could just read it, and then hit close and never see it again.  

In the new system, they start to pile up in the Notification Center if you don't maintain it.  Clearly, we don't want to have to "maintain" anything.  That's why we got an iPhone, not an Android.  Go now and spend 10 minutes and set up your notifications in Setting > Notifications.


Over the next couple days, when you get an notification you don't want or care about, just hop back in there and change your settings.  It's always best to learn by just getting your hands dirty, but if you need help getting started here is a guide


Best new "small" features in iOS 5

Apple says iOS 5 has 200+ new features, and after playing with it for a week I have no doubt there are endless improvements that I'll continue to stumble upon. Here are the 5 that I'm using on a daily basis:

  1. Bold, Italic, and Underline - press and hold on the word, in the popup click the right arrow and you'll see "B, I, U" which you can use to select your emphasis
  2. Dictionary - press and hold on any word in any app, click Define
  3. Photo albums - in Photos, click "edit" and you can move pictures between albums
  4. Edit photos - in Photos, click a photo, you can crop, remove red-eye, and enhance photos
  5. Camera - pull your phone out of you pocket, double tap the home butto - and presto - a Camera Icon appears. This allows you to temporarily bypass any passcode so that you can quickly take a photo. Bonus: pressing the volume up button will take the photo now!

If you like those, Chris Hebert at Macstories has a great list of further Tips, Tricks, and Hidden features.


The Complete Guide to Updating to iOS 5


With the flurry of features and updates being dropped today and yesterday the whole thing can be a confusing mess. Here's the best way to get up to speed and enjoy Apple's latest iOS.

I'll admit it, it was really hard to figure out what to download in what order.

You update your computer software, then iTunes software, then iPhone software, then some computer software again (iPhoto), and check some boxes...basically it's a LOT of updating.  What this should tell you is that iCloud is no small update - which is obvious when you remember that it is a entirely new way of storing your files.  

These updates will make subsequent updates, backups, and restores more or less painless, so it's worth the pain this one time.  But the process is still not very Apple-like.  So here's the complete guide from Gizmodo.


Preparing for iOS 5 & iCloud

iOS 5 - the software that runs on your iPhone and iPad - and iCloud will be released tomorrow.  There is no doubt that they will be a great improvements, and that's saying something because iOS 4 was no slouch.  To get an overview of the changes watch this 5 minute video from Apple.  

Here's how to prepare for it:

- Update iTunes: Open iTunes, click "iTunes" from the menu bar on top, then click "Check for Updates". Follow the steps on your screen (basically hit "next" and "accept" continually).

- Backup your iPhone: Plug in iPhone.  Open iTunes. Right click your iPhone's name on the left bar and click "Backup".

This may seem easy since there are only two steps, but for those of you that haven't updated in a while, it could take upwards of an hour to backup your iPhone.  You definitely don't want to be worrying about this tomorrow when iOS 5 is released.  Do it tonight so you can Google any problems that arise. 

Tomorrow when the software is released, all you will have to do is plug in your iPhone and iTunes will tell you that new software is available.  Now go watch that video again and remember that's just a taste of the improvements! Here's another one. And another one. And another one...


Steve Jobs Biography moved up to Oct 24th

The only authorized biography, which was scheduled to debut in November, has now moved up to October 24th.  It is written by Walter Isaacson who also wrote the famous biographies on Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein.  Jobs agreed to the biography after much hesitation and the 40 interviews are certain to provide a rare glimpse into his otherwise very private life. 

Get a hardcopy, audiobook, or kindle version here for $18: Steve Jobs Biography


Steve Jobs' Greatest Invention

Adam Lashinsky writing for Fortune in an article called "Inside Apple":

Steve Jobs hired dean of Yale School of Management Joel Podolny to run the Apple University, an internal group also featuring business professors and Harvard veterans that are writing a series of case studies to prepare employees for the life at Apple after Jobs. These case studies focus on Apples recent business decisions and internal culture, they are exclusive to employees and taught by top executives like Tim Cook and Ron Johnson.

Steve's greatest invention was Apple itself.

Full article: Fortune


Why was there no iPhone 5?

Horace Dediu is an Apple blogger analyst. But that title does him no justice at all. He routinely beats the big banks/analyst with Apple projections and his critical thinking on Apple is second to none.

His thoughts on the smartphone market this year:

The market for the new iPhones could then be summarized as follows: 70 million early generation iPhone users who are eager to upgrade (with 90% probability) plus a subset of a billion buyers of new phones next year who are looking for their first smartphone.

And next year:

The question will be very different a year from now when most early Android buyers will be looking for a new phone and when most iPhone 4 users (all 70 million of them) will be looking for a new iPhone. That would seem like a good time to introduce a new iPhone “5″.

Effectively Apple can easily "win" right now with the iPhone 4S, and then next year when the real battle begins they can drop the iPhone 5 "bomb".


How to Pre-order the iPhone 4S

Preordering starts at 12:01 EST on Friday, October 7th which guarantees delivery on October 14th. While you can also preorder through AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint - I highly suggest ordering through Last year there were massive issues with AT&T's website including canceled orders, lost orders, and security issues.

By opening preorders at midnight they are effectively telling us that they expect massive demand.  (Less people will be ordering at that time then say 7am.)  While I don't think it absolutely mandatory that you wake up in the middle of the night - I would do it before 8am at the latest.

If you currently own an iPhone, go here to find out how much the iPhone 4S will cost for you. The pricing could potentially be higher if you have not had your current phone for long enough (typically 20+ months). For example:

If you do not currently own an iPhone, log into your carrier website (Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint) and look for "Upgrade Eligibility". If you have AT&T you can also call " *NEW# " and they will text you back with details.

If you can't get to a computer you'll have three options: use the official Apple Store App, use AT&T's app called "AT&T Upgrader" (not yet released), or call 1-800-MY-APPLE. Remember, if at all possible, order from Apple.

I'll see you at at 12:01 EST on Friday!


iPhone 4S

Apple took the best phone the world has ever seen and improved every single aspect. That's not a hyperbole either - it's a fact. To see a list of the new stuff in the iPhone 4 revisit my predictions from this morning, since they were spot on. Make no mistake, this is the best phone in the world. Watch the official video on to see the top new features.

With that said, I can completely understand that people wanted a new looking phone. That did not happen, Apple stuck with the iPhone 4 design. Seeing as the iPhone 3GS followed the iPhone 3G, this does seem to start a precedent that an "S" model with be every other year.

Pre-orders: Oct 7th.
iOS 5 software release: Oct 12th.
iPhone 4S release: Oct 14th.

I'll gather all the details and be sure to let you know how and when to pre-order.


Happy iPhone Day

It's Christmas morning!   Here are the last minute predictions, the day's schedule, and closing thoughts.


  • iPhone 4S

    • 2x faster processor than iPhone 4
    • 9x faster graphics than iPhone 4
    • 2x faster 3G download speeds than iPhone 4
    • slightly better battery life (maybe 5-10%)
    • 8MP camera as compared to 5MP on the iPhone 4
    • very advanced voice control and voice input (borderline artificial intelligence)
    • storage capacities of 16, 32, & 64 GB at $199, $299, & $399, respectively
    • available on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T
  • iPhone 4

    • addition of an 8 GB model thats price drops to fill the $99 spot


At 12pm CST sharp the event will start.   Apple does not allow video coverage, so if you want to follow it live, watch here.  If you just want the highlights, watch here.  The event will basically have three parts 1) here's how amazing we are 2) here's the new software 3) here's the new iPhone.  More specifically:

1) Tim Cook will cover recent sales milestones, such as "100 million iPhones sold".
2) They will recap the new sofware, that was already revealed, but they'll mention any secret features they withheld. Such as the advanced voice control.
3) They will hold up the new iPhone and discuss the specific features that make it new and unique.
4) Bonus! Apple sometimes has a surprise called "One more thing" at the end of the presentation. So it's not over until it's over!

After the event is over, full details will be at and then about 2 hours later the full presentation video will be at the bottom of

Closing Thoughts:

Each year Apple has a huge innovation.  The first iPhone was revolutionary in and of itself.   The iPhone 3G added very fast internet speeds.  The iPhone 3GS added graphics that took gaming to the next level.   The iPhone 4 redefined the look and quality of the phone.

This year, on the surface, it appears that they don't have a huge innovation because the iPhone 4S is similar looking to the iPhone 4.  But don't let the looks fool you.   These are massive internal improvements we are talking about to the best selling phone of all time.  With that said, I believe the big innovation this year will be their entry into new markets...

By keeping the actual phone similar, they will get the costs down and possibly even knock $100 off the prices I predicted above (this would be huge).   Also, they are adding Sprint as a carrier, expanding into the largest untapped market in the world - China, and possibly even making the iPhone 3GS free (this would be even huge-er).

Simply said, by the end of the day, Apple could be selling an upgraded version of the most popular phone of all time, at every price point, in every major market.