Hoping one day I can download iOS apps without returning home

by Justin Horn on Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:26 am

Does it annoy anyone else that every time you buy and app it takes you out of the app store and back to the home screen to watch a progress bar? No? Well what’s wrong with you, it’s super annoying? If you answer yes, there is some hope that this may change in the future (probably not though).

I hadn’t downloaded Purchased apps for the app store in a while, but when setting up my new iPad (since I did it as new) I was downloading my apps using this method and to my surprise I was able to quickly go through the list tapping the download button next to each app while staying in the app store. The icon just changed to [Installing] then [Installed], making it quite easy to get all my old apps back on my new iPad.  Sadly updating and installing first time downloads still takes you back to the home screen.

Why does Apple do this? My guess for new apps is to see where your new app’s home is on the home screen.  I think it’s unnecessary, but what do I know?  Why they do it for updating apps is anyone’s guess, although it’s not quite as annoying for updates as it is when you are shopping around in the app store.

What do you think about this? Piss you off or you couldn’t care less? Comment or Tweet me @justin_horn


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iOS 5, iOS apps, iPad, iPhone, iPod

iOS 5.1 released to developers

by Justin Horn on Nov 28th, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

That is all…for now.

So far, don’t see any noticeable changes from iOS 5.0.1.

I got this error when first getting back on the phone. Not sure if this is referring to CDMA / GSM or something with the Dual Antenna.

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iOS 5, iOS 5.1

Siri makes sending group messages a bit easier

by Justin Horn on Nov 18th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

If you’ve ever tried to send a group message to more than a couple friends with the built in Messages app, you know it’s not very convenient. You have to type each persons name or hit the add contact button, add one person, then repeat. It would be great to hit the add button, select multiple recipients, and then return back to the message screen, but so far Apple is saving that for a future update. This could possibly be the breakthrough feature of iOS 6, you heard it here first.

All jokes aside, I discovered, by accident1 of course, that you can create a group text by separating people with “and”, like this:

Siri: Do Do
Me: Send text to Girlfriend and Chiyin and Jason and Miguel and Tom and Monica
Siri: What do you want to say to these six people?

It has worked well for me on my test, getting all the names right, but if you aren’t sure, you can just tap the message inside Siri to open up the Messages app with all the names populated.

1. I was trying to text my girlfriend Nicole, “Mother nature cleaned my car”, but instead Siri understood, “Text Nicole, And mother nature cleaned my car” as ” Text Nicole and Mom, Nature cleaned my car”.

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iOS 5, iPhone, iPhone 4S, Siri, Tips

Twitter highlights iOS 5 built in and 3rd party app integration

by Justin Horn on Oct 25th, 2011 @ 10:30 am

Twitter has created a page, ios.twitter.com, discussing the new iOS 5 baked in Twitter integration.

They also discuss some third party iOS apps that integrate well with Twitter:

  • Flipboard
  • LivingSocial
  • Instagram
  • Words
  • SoundTracking
  • Chomp
  • Showyou
  • PopSugar
  • MadPad

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iOS 5, iOS apps, iPhone, Twitter

With the iPhone 4S (and iPhone 5) improved camera and 1080p HD video, should I go 32GB or 64GB?

by Justin Horn on Oct 5th, 2011 @ 10:41 am

UPDATE Although the iPhone 5 camera is improved, the file sizes should be the same. So everything below should apply nicely if you are trying to decide on the iPhone 5 size

UPDATE Results confirmed for 1080p!  Also, please note that the iPhone 4S does not let you record in a 720p mode, it’s 1080p or nothing!

Last year I calculated how much space you need for taking pictures and shooting 720p HD video on the iPhone 4. Now I’m going to revisit this with the iPhone 4S, which takes the camera to the next level.

The iPhone 4 at 5MP has an average file size of about 1-2MB. Looking at the sample photos on the Apple website the iPhone 4S 8MP camera brings the size up to about 2-3MB. So using the same estimate as last year, storing 500 pictures on your camera roll, it would take about 500 MB more than the iPhone 4. It’s a respectable increase, but that’s based on a lot of photos, so not really worth the upgrade from 32GB to 64GB.

Here is the same formula as last year for calculating the size in kilobytes (KB) of one frame of uncompressed video:

Frame size K = ( [Pixel Width x Pixel Height x Bit Depth] / 8 ) / 1024

Where 8 represents an 8-bit byte, and 1024 equals the number of bytes per kilobytes.

To determine the file size of one second of uncompressed video, multiply the image size by the number of frames per second (fps).

To determine how compression affects file size, divide the file size by the compression ratio.

Last year I used a final estimate of 60:1 compression ratio. This turned out to be very close to actual video. My estimate for iPhone 4 720p HD video was 79MB a minute and real videos came out to about 83MB. About 1 MB of this difference could be the audio recording, so only about 3 MB off. This little amount could easily vary depending on what you are recording and how well the compression can work. So I’m going to go with the same 60:1 compression ratio for calculations this year.

iPhone 4S video size per 1 min of video at 1080p (1920 x 1080):

( [1920 x 1080 x 24] / 8 ) / 1024 = 6075 KB / frame

6075 KB/frame x 30 frames/sec = 182250 KB/sec

182250 KB/sec  /  60 compression ratio = 3037.5 KB/s compressed

3037.5 KB/sec compressed * 60 s / min * 1 MB / 1024 KB = 177.98 MB / min

Comparing the iPhone 4S 178 MB / min number to the iPhone 4 calculated number of 79MB / min, the iPhone 4S 1080p video takes up about 2.5 times as much space as the iPhone 4.  So using a more moderate estimate of keeping 60 minutes of video on your camera roll you are looking at 10.4 GB of storage vs 4.6 GB for the iPhone 4, so that can add up quick.

Just like last year, pictures aren’t going to push you over the edge, but the HD video definitely will. You can see from the title of this article, I don’t even consider the 16GB model. If you really want to take pictures and shoot video, you simply can’t get away with 16GB unless you constantly move the data from the phone to computer. Just 60 mins of video alone (no music, pictures, etc.) would take up about 65% of the 16 GB model.

If you plan on shooting a decent amount of video, then there is no doubt you should just spend the extra money and go with the 64GB model. It’s really not that much more when you divide it out over 2 years. At $4 / month, that’s a tiny percentage of your monthly phone bill.

What about iCloud you ask? Yes, you could give iTunes Match a try to save on music storage space, but so far in my testing I don’t think the 3G networks are really ready. Listening in the car the other day, songs would stop and start (almost like buffering), when it had to download songs I didn’t already have on my iPhone 4. Also, it seems once you listen to a song it is then stored on your phone, just as if you synced with iTunes, so this isn’t a streaming service (yet). Over time this could take up more and more space, although this is so new maybe the iPhone will start removing old music download to free up room and just download again when needed.

So can you get away with the 32GB model? Sure, but you’ll be a much happier camper with 64GB.


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iOS 5, iPhone, iPhone 4S

iOS 5 betas home button unresponsiveness fixed in iOS 5 GM

by Justin Horn on Oct 4th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

UPDATE Very frustrating the my home button is slowly getting less and less responsive again. Think I’ll try a restore as new iPhone, instead of loading my backup and see what happens.

I’ve had issues with the home button on my iPhone 4. A first I thought it was software related as later version of iOS 4 seemed to fix the issue. Then it reappeared with iOS 5. The button seemed a bit off and not as smooth so over the time of iOS 5 beta released I fully believed it was a hardware issue. It would just not recognize some clicks at all. For example, double tapping a lot of time would bring me to the search screen instead the bring up the multitasking bar. On the lock screen I got in the habit of using the lock button to bring the phone to life intead of the home button. It was bad and made me want to smash my iPhone 4 into pieces.

Luckily I didn’t do that…after installing iOS 5 GM, the home button seems to have come back to life!  So now I don’t have to get an iPhone 4S, I can wait for the next one.

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iOS 5, iPhone

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