I’ve been in love with the iPhone for the past five years. I got the original as soon as it went on sale in the U.K. in November 2007, and I’ve had every model Apple has released ever since. My job has given me the opportunity to play with plenty of other devices over the years — including those powered by Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone — but I’ve always remained loyal to the iPhone and iOS.
That was until a couple months ago, when my contract ended and it was time to decide which smartphone I wanted for the next two years. I already have the iPhone 5 — I bought it unlocked when it was launched back in September — and I wanted an Android device to replace the Samsung Galaxy Nexus I broke late last year. So I decided to pick up the new LG Nexus 4.
I was lucky; I didn’t have to wait six weeks for the device to arrive from Google Play. My carrier had plenty in stock, so a unit was delivered to my door the day after I ordered it. I was looking forward to testing it out, but I figured I’d play around with it for a little bit, then switch straight back to my iPhone 5 for everyday use. Like the Galaxy Nexus, I thought the Nexus 4 would be mostly used for work — testing apps and writing the odd tutorial for Cult of Android.
One of iOS’s most limiting aspects is its icon-driven interface. iOS’s default interface, the homescreen, it simply a grid of equally sized icons, and while these icons are pretty, they all look pretty much the same. Worse, they are dumb: they can’t do anything cleverer than pin a badge to themselves to convey information.
Compare that to the way Android or Windows Phone handles the homescreen. In Android, you can pin intelligent widgets along with apps to the homescreen; in Windows Phone, the tiles operate not just as app icons, but as smart widgets that can convey to the user changes that are happening within the app, even when it’s not as open.
iOS users have been clammoring for Apple to figure out a way to make the iOS homescreen smarter for quite a long time, and this concept video describes one possible interpretation, which mixes up the iOS homescreen with Android’s widgets and Windows Phone’s Live Tiles.
So, when you use OS X Dashboard widgets for a while, chances are you’ll download a few of them that might fit together into categories. In OS X Mountain Lion, Apple set the “Add More Widgets” screen to look a lot like iOS, as we showed you in a previous tip. The cool thing is that you can create iOS-Style folders in here, too, and add a bunch of apps to one slot, thereby organizing your Dashboard in a similar way to that of an iOS device screen.
Widgets aren’t new to OS X Mountain Lion, but the way they are presented surely is. If you’re new to the OS X Dashboard, you’re in luck, because adding Widgets is a lot easier than it used to be, and there are a whole lot more of them to choose from.
Notice the screenshot above? That’s what the new Add More Widgets screen looks like. Here’s how to add to the list, until you have more than you can even handle on your Mac, and you need to use that handy-dandy Search field at the top just to find the one you want.
iOS 6 has some awesome new features, but here's 7 things it's still missing.
We’re super excited for iOS 6. Although it isn’t the complete iOS overhaul many users were hoping for, it does deliver a whole host of new features — like a new Maps app, user interface enhancements, improvements to stock apps, and Siri support on iPad — that we’re certainly looking forward to.
However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that iOS 6 still has some things missing. Things we’ve been waiting for for some time. Here are seven of them.
Analysts are offering last minute predictions before today's WWDC keynote
With just a few hours to go before Apple kicks off WWDC, some analysts are rushing to make predictions right up till the last few moments. London-based research firm Ovum, for example, delivered a list of three things that its Chief Telecoms Analyst Jan Dawson feels are essential announcements that Apple needs to make during the WWDC keynote later today.
Dawson’s assessment breaks ranks with many other analysts who have insisted that Apple must unveil its own HDTV at the event or sometime later this year but does think Apple needs to bring apps to the TV experience. The remainder of his comments focus on iOS and changes that a wide swath of iPhone and iPad owners, developers, and tech journalists have suggested since Apple released iOS 5 last fall.
Cult of Mac speculates about what to expect in Apple's upcoming version of iOS.
Apple’s unveiling of its next major operating system, iOS 6, is right around the corner. Scott Forstall and Co. are expected to announce the new OS to developers at WWDC next week. Very little is actually known about iOS 6, but there have been some rumors that made headlines over the last few months.
iOS 6 looks to be an evolutionary upgrade from iOS 5, rather than a revolutionary jump forward. Here’s what we expect to see.
When Apple introduced Notification Center in iOS 5 last summer, jailbreak developers immediately started creating third-party widgets to enhance certain functionalities and create shortcuts for iOS. Widgets for toggling system preferences, for instance, are now available in Cydia for Notification Center. What would happen if the idea of widgets left Notification Center and made its way to the iOS Home screen?
Prolific Cydia developer Ori Kadosh has released Dashboard X, an ambitious extension for adding floating widgets to your jailbroken iPhone and iPad’s springboard.
The first thing I disliked about Mac OS X Lion was the way it changed the Dashboard display. It’s nice to be able to see behind the widgets to the stuff I’m working on in the background. Especially if I’m using a widget like the Calculator, or the Weather, or the Conversion widget to see how much that import from Europe might cost me in US dollars.
Mac OS X Lion, however, puts the Dashboard into it’s own separate space, complete with opaque background that looks like an odd mix of linen theme and bubble wrap. Or maybe a non-skid floor tile from a spaceship? I dunno. Regardless, not being able to see through the background was an issue, until now. I no longer have to launch the stand alone Calculator app to do a quick sum, and can go back to enabling the Dashboard, using the Calculator widget, and dismissing it just as quickly.