Apple has released the latest update to their iOS mobile operator system for iPhone and iPad. This update fixes the Group FaceTime bug which was discovered a couple weeks ago. Please download and install this update on your iOS devices as soon as you are able.
For Apple fans around the world, this week is about as close to an international holiday as a non-religious event can get. The fun starts this Wednesday, September 19, as the latest iteration of the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad operating system, iOS 6, is made available for public download. As with each previous release of the OS, iOS 6 promises many new features and one interesting omission. I have had the chance to load the Gold Master of iOS 6, which is pretty much the final version of the operating system released to developers, on my iPhone 4 and have been playing with it for the past few days, so I can give you an idea of what to expect when you pull the trigger and upgrade your iDevice in the near future.
Tiger Woods has won a tournament for the first time since 2009 and is looking good heading into the Masters in just two weeks. You, being the golf fanatic which you are, HAVE to be able to follow Tiger, Phil, Rory, and all of your favorite golfers no matter where you are. Fortunately, the PGA has your back with excellent apps for both the iPhone and iPad chock full of features you can use to stay on top of their games.
The iPhone app (link) is your pocket PGA friend. You can check the leaderboard of the current tournament, marking players as favorites so their scores show at the top regardless of placement. The Media section offers video highlights, photo albums, and player interviews, as well as live video of certain tournaments. Push notifications are available for end of round and tournament alerts, live video availability, and standings updates. There are also customizable push notifications for up to three players. Information about players, tournaments, and the FedEx Cup are also available.
When the iPhone first came out, the functionality of the Calendar app was limited. You could track your calendar on the iPhone, but, since the iPhone couldn’t sync with an Exchange calendar at the time and, even if it could, Google wouldn’t release Google Exchange Sync for two more years, you could not sync your iPhone calendars over the air. Your only option was to plug your iPhone into your PC and sync with a desktop application like Outlook. Much has changed since then. Now you can not only sync your calendar wirelessly, you can do so with multiple calendars, whether they are with your work’s Exchange calendar, with MobileMe (now iCloud), or with Google. Still, there’s some room for improvement. For example, you can only look at your calendar in Portrait mode, not Landscape (this may change in iOS5). You also only have three calendar views in the default app. Fortunately, there are many iOS apps out there which can turn you calendar into the full fledged powerhouse that you need to keep organized. I’ve reviewed three of the best, although, in my opinion, one stands out above the others.
I don’t normally follow the NCAA tournament outside of the championship game, but this app makes it hard not to. The NCAA has released their own official March Madness app for iOS and it is chock full of awesomeness. If you own an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you could conceivably follow the entire tournament from your device. Even the casual college basketball fan will find this app useful.
The app is very informative, as one would expect from the NCAA. you get a full bracket of matchups, including seedings, game times, and TV channels for each game. When you first set up the app, in fact, you also choose who your cable provider is so you can see what channel number to turn to for each game. There is also the option for taking part in the CBSsports.com Bracket Challenge, although that was closed before I could join. If you already signed up, you can log into your account and see how your bracket is doing.
In the past, when I focused on iOS apps which added Outlook functionality to my iPhone, the one area I neglected to cover was that of note taking. The iPhone and iPod Touch both are able to sync with your notes in Outlook when you plug the device into your PC and perform an iTunes sync. My overarching goal, however, is to cut the cable, regardless of what device I’m using. While using the iPhone, I came across a free service called Evernote which fulfilled this goal while also adding functionality which Outlook notes just don’t do. Now that I’m working with both iOS and Android devices, it is definitely time to take a close look at the Evernote service and the corresponding mobile apps which sync with Evernote.
First, let’s look at the Evernote website, which can be found at http://www.evernote.com/. The site serves as a central repository for information. The premise is simple – Anytime you need to make note of something, whether it be text, audio, or visual, you create a note in your Evernote account and put the information there. With these notes stored in the cloud, you can access them from any computer with a web browser and an Internet connection, which is pretty much any computer on the planet you’ll touch. The free account has a set amount of monthly usage, based on the size of your notes, but I’ve yet to get anywhere near the maximum data cap for a month. You can also download and install a desktop app for your PC which gives you instant access to your notes as well as the ability to format them much like you would a Word doc.