Proctele apps in the App Store

Proctele apps in the App Store
Click the picture to see Proctele apps in Apple's App Store

Monday, November 26, 2012

Proctele apps updated for iPhone 5


These apps have been updated for the new screen format of iPhone5:

  • GPS MegaTape - Tape Measure
  • Elephant Super Memory Challenge - Recall This!
  • Reverse Talk
  • Timestables on 3 Wheels
  • NumberWiz for Diehard Programmers
  • I Practice Plus And Minus (awaiting approval)

The SMS-Fast update is in the making.

The icons for "Elephant Super Memory Challenge - Recall This!" and "Timestables on 3 Wheels" have changed to:
 

Friday, November 9, 2012

The prices of iPod touch & iPad mini

The cheapest iPod touch now has 32GB storage. The cheapest iPad mini has 16GB. In my country Sweden, they are similarly priced. iPod touch for 2895 SEK and iPad mini at 2990 SEK. I suspect that will be a serious disadvantage for the iPod touch, which means a lot less iPods are going to be sold.
I guess Apple has thought of this and done their utmost to make the iPod touch as attractive as possible. They have introduced more colors, doubled the storage, iPhone 5's screen and most of iPhone5's apps except for Siri (the intelligent assistant).
But then there's the size. I look at the two products and I see that they can both do the same things, but the iPad mini has a larger screen. Never mind that it's not Retina quality. It's bigger! It reads more easily than the mere 4 inch screen on iPod touch. The movies are bigger. The sites are bigger. You name it and it's bigger.
Ok, they're made for different activities and different groups of people and there will always be many who prefer small to big, because for them portability is top priority. The larger storage is attractive too for music and movies.
I still think the price difference will have to increase. The iPad mini can't go up in price, because that would drive buyers away from it, to competitors or to the larger version. Hence I think the solution is to lower the price of iPod touch. I believe it's going to start edging down within six months.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple product torrential

Yesterday Apple showered us with new devices:

  • a full-size iPad 
  • a somewhat smaller iPad
  • a 13" MacBook with Retina display
  • 21.5" and 27" iMac.

The full-size iPad is the same size as the previous iPads (9.7"), but has doubled performance compared to generation-3, LTE and a new connector so-called Lightning. The new iPad has the Retina display like its generation-3 predecessor.
The somewhat smaller iPad called iPad mini is 7.9" without Retina display. Apple claims the new iPads have twice as fast WiFi. Both have Siri, the intelligent companion. iPad mini has an even smaller SIM-card, which is called nano-SIM. It is also 100% software compatible with previous iPads generations.
The iMacs are at least as good looking as the previous ones. It's so incredibly thin. I definitely want one of those, because this iMac is the most beautiful computer ever made. 
I'm sure the iPad mini will become a big hit and the main reason is price. I will stay with the larger versions though, because the larger the screen, the easier it reads.

Monday, October 15, 2012

6 billion mobile subscriptions

ITU, the International Telecommunication Union, says the worldwide number of subscriptions were 6 billion at the end of last year (i.e. 2011). As a comparison, at the end of 2010 there were 1 billion less. The number of people was 7 billion+. 

In my household of 4 people we have 3 subscriptions. While I think that's quite a lot, we're still being beaten by the world as a whole :-)

Some other news:
iPad mini will probably be released on October 23rd, according to AllThingsD. According to a leaked inventory from the german retailer MediaMarkt the cheapest model will cost €249, which will have WiFi and 8GB persistent storage, but not cellular. The WiFi + cellular and larger memory models will cost more, so the most expensive model will cost upwards of €650.

Apple has licensed the Swiss railway clock in iOS6. The reason is that Apple was approached by SBB after they found out the iOS6 clock looks remarkably like their clock. There's not supposed to be a lot of money involved in the deal, but the Swiss want some credit.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A defense for Apple's maps, and more

The maps in iOS6 have had some serious bashing recently. A lack of accuracy has been demonstrated in several cases. But Apple's maps are better in one respect at least: they consume less data, about 7 times less. 
The reason is that Apple's maps use vector graphics, while Google maps use raster graphics. That means when you zoom, the maps resize dynamically and iPhone doesn't download any more data! Google Maps downloads new maps when a user zooms in or out, and that's a whole lot of data. Read it all here:
http://gizmodo.com/5948066/there-is-one-thing-that-apple-maps-is-a-lot-better-than-google-maps-at


Google keeps improving its products. Gmail now searches text in attached files. 
This is very handy. You used to have to detach any attachments if you wanted them easily accessible and searchable. Detaching takes time: you have to select the attachment and select a sensible location to save it to. I think this is a major improvement! For the time being it only works for recent documents.

Google has been closing down many of its services this year; as many as 60 services. It seems they're focusing on quality rather than quantity. And that makes me wonder if they will be axing the 20% time slot that Google employees get to spend on pet projects. Improving existent products doesn't seem like a typical pet project to me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New iPhone/iPad app: MegaTape

The new app from Proctele AB will arrive in the App Store any moment now. 
It's called "GPS MegaTape - Tape Measure".

It is a tape measure and an odometer. It measures distances with GPS. Hence it's meant to be used outdoors. It has two screens.
The tape measure measures the distance as the bird flies. The odometer measures the distance along the path you're walking, cycling, driving etc. Here's its icon:

You'll find it among the utilities category and the lifestyle category.
It costs $0.99

Monday, September 17, 2012

iPhone 5 beats ancestors

Apple has confirmed 2 million pre-orders in 24 hours. That statistic more than doubles the pre-order record of approximately 1 million units held by the iPhone 4S. The corresponding number for iPhone 4 was 600,000.

I wonder if this suite will be continued by the next generation iPhone. 

Here's a schedule for the next release wave:
iPhone 5 will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Ref: http://9to5mac.com/2012/09/17/apple-announces-iphone-5-preorders-hit-two-million-in-24-hours

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New app in a week

Today a new Proctele app was uploaded to the App Store. It uses GPS. Further details will remain secret until shortly before the release.
If the App Store review goes according to plan, it's going to be released after next weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

iPhone5 - my predictions reviewed

I have been playing the game of predicting what iPhone5 will be like, since before the iPhone4S was released. The iPhone5 was announced yesterday and it looks very attractive. It's mainly a hardware update, but there are some new functions too, like fully automatic panoramic photo shooting.

In this blog I intend to go through my predictions point by point, and color-code them as follows: Good prediction Partly good, partly bad prediction Bad prediction


My predictions on Sept 5th 2011 ahead of iPhone 4S:
It will be lighter. 
The screen will cover much more of the device's front. 
The screen will be at least the size of the iPhone4's.
The whole device will be smaller. 
It will be thinner. 
Its profile shape will be similar to MacBook Air.
The new device will use the screen as its membrane.
It's going to cost less than iPhone 4. 
The name will not be iPhone 5.

My predictions on June 8th 2012:
Thinner.
Lighter.
It will retain its boxy shape and shiny body, because it still looks good and expensive.
The screen will be over 4 inches
Screen will perform very well in sunlight.
There will be two speakers and the sound will be much improved and wide.
There will be new stands for iPhones to make the listening position optimal.
Contrary to my previous name prediction, I think Apple will stay with the numbers.
The price will be somewhat lower than the 4S.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The missing dollar solution

Here's the riddle as presented in the last blog:

Three men go to a cheap motel, and the desk clerk charges them a sum of $30.00 for the night. The three of them split the cost ten dollars each. Later the manager comes over and tells the desk clerk that he overcharged the men, since the actual cost should have been $25.00. The manager gives the bellboy $5.00 and tells him to give it to the men. The bellboy, however, decides to cheat the men and pockets $2.00, giving each of the men only one dollar.
Now each man has paid $9.00 to stay for the night, and 3 x $9.00 = $27.00. The bellboy has pocketed $2.00. But $27.00 + $2.00 = $29.00. Where is the missing $1.00?

Something is wrong here. Let's change the story a little and assume the bellboy takes all $5.00. Then using the same logic would render:
Now each man has paid $10.00 to stay for the night, and 3 x $10.00 = $30.00. The bellboy has pocketed $5.00. And $30.00 + $5.00 = $35.00. Now $5.00 have come out of nowhere. It seems to be getting worse!

What's wrong in the original story is the equation we use. Here's what it should be.
"What the men pay" should equal "what the hotel gets plus what the bellboy gets". Hence the correct equation is:  $30.00 - (3 x $1.00) = $25.00 + $2.00 and we can rewrite that as:
$30.00 - $3.00 - $2.00 = $25.00. We can rewrite that once more to really spell it out:
$27.00 - $2.00 = $25.00. Now it's clearer what went wrong. 

We see that the originally used equation was totally wrong. The greatest fault is the loose use of the equals sign. We realize quickly that each man pays $9.00. Then we multiply by 3 and add the bell boy's $2.00 and forget about the hotel's $25.00, and we end up confused.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The missing dollar


I stumbled upon this riddle using StumbleUpon:

Three men go to a cheap motel, and the desk clerk charges them a sum of $30.00 for the night. The three of them split the cost ten dollars each. Later the manager comes over and tells the desk clerk that he overcharged the men, since the actual cost should have been $25.00. The manager gives the bellboy $5.00 and tells him to give it to the men. The bellboy, however, decides to cheat the men and pockets $2.00, giving each of the men only one dollar.

Now each man has paid $9.00 to stay for the night, and 3 x $9.00 = $27.00. The bellboy has pocketed $2.00. But $27.00 + $2.00 = $29.00. Where is the missing $1.00?

I found this riddle surprisingly difficult to solve by thinking only. I needed to put my reasoning in writing to see what was wrong.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Social media joke

Smartphones can give us the impression that we're really social while we're watching TV or doing nothing. That's what this commercial is really about. It presents iPhone5 and uses some well-known lines from Apple commercials, but it could otherwise be about any smartphone, or DSLR perhaps?
http://gizmodo.com/5936453/iphone-5-commercial-is-a-hilarious-parody-inspired-by-us-all

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good Game: Alcohol Check - Skills Test

This Proctele app is for checking your mental and physical abilities to see if you're fit to drive.  It tests these important abilities:

  1. The steadiness of your hand. This is tested by letting you drive a car from the bottom of the screen to the top, to the tune of a great V8 snarl. Easy though it sounds, this is quite a tough test. You have to park your BMW convertible first and that's not at all easy in this game. The steadiness test is my kids' favorite. The youngest one wants to crash as many cars as he possibly can. Quite contrary to the test's intention.
  2. Eye-hand coordination. Here you're supposed to puncture a balloon as soon as it appears on the screen.
  3. Visual clarity. This works similarly to the balloon test, except the difficulty is to actually see the dot you're supposed to touch. A true challenge if you've had a couple of drinks.
  4. Mental agility. Tests if you're still mentally agile enough. You'll see a digit on screen and the task is to input the next higher digit using a keyboard.
  5. Memory. This tests if your memory is working Ok. Works similar to the smiley-test in our Elephant Super Memory Challenge game.
If you don't score well on these tests, you probably should ask someone to drive you home. But it could also mean that you're nervous or have concentration problems, and that might be a reason not to drive either.

Enjoy the app, but always drive safely.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1984 is here again


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This is what iPad mini may look like

Here are pictures of what the new iPad mini might look like. The guys at Gizmodo.com have created these great pictures of an iPad & iPad mini. Their assumption in creating the pictures is that the two will have similar designs:























Here's the original story:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Microsoft's Surface Intention

Notebook PCs with Windows tend to be dull. There are exceptions, because the most attractive ones are colorful, some are wrapped in expensive feeling metal or plastic. So I say "tend to be".
Notebooks come in many sizes, storage capacities, connectors and CPU performances. The human interfaces are a screen and a keyboard with a touchpad in one packet plus a mouse. The concept has remained unchanged for about two decades, because it's so good!
Microsoft has long been interested in a touch interface and they seem to have thought there would be products if they put touch into Windows. With few exceptions that has rarely happened. The Windows PCs offering touch UI have not taken off, because the products were too expensive and didn't handle well. People didn't really know how to deal with them. Here's an example scenario: "I need to write a document, so I'll use the keyboard now. Where's the cable, ... type, type type,  ... Ok. Done. Turn it off.". Whatever the intentions were when turning the PC on, the user mostly ended up using the keyboard. Touch didn't add anything really. The graphics wasn't made for a touch interface and neither was the product as a whole. The price/experience ratio was poor.
Time went by, iPad came and Microsoft had to admit it seems to work fine and Apple had beaten them again. "Let's make our own touch PC, since no one else can be bothered to do it correctly", they must have thought, and Surface was born. (Surface is an iPad competitor: http://proctele.blogspot.se/2012/06/whats-microsoft-surface.html).
I think they are right about doing both the hardware and the software themselves, just like Apple. It's essential for getting it right. Microsoft have made some good mistakes along the way, so it's possible they've learned enough. Hopefully enough to make the Surface+Windows8 an excellent product. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Microsoft Surface available on October 26

This beautiful Microsoft device, which I hope will be as nice to use at its looks indicate, will be available to buy on October 26. 

At least that's what Microsoft says in its SEC-filing: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/789019/000119312512316848/d347676d10k.htm

Here's an earlier blog entry I wrote about the Surface: http://proctele.blogspot.se/2012/06/whats-microsoft-surface.html



New iPhone probably on September 12

It seems like it's going to happen on 12 September, the unveiling of the next iPhone. 
The first buyers will get their hands on it on 21 September. This is according to www.imore.com. A smaller type of iPad will also be unveiled. There might even be a new iPod touch too, but an iPod nano seems certain.
The new iPhone screen is likely to be 4 inches diagonally and have a 16:9 aspect ratio unlike the current 3:2 ratio. The whole device will be thinner and have a new smaller connector. The new software for it - iOS6 - has already been released, so at the moment we know more about its brain than its body. 
Here's a post about iOS6 I wrote earlier: http://proctele.blogspot.se/2012/06/whats-new-in-ios-6.html

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hey Facebook, here are some ways to make money

Facebook is not doing well economically, but they have an awful lot of users; probably a billion users soon. They can't survive indefinitely without making money. Here are some ideas for them.

  1. Facebook will not be able to get enough money from selling ads, the way they do it now. For research I clicked on four ads just to see what would happen. Two of them were probably from crooked companies, because they led me via strange links to gambling sites. 
  2. They could sell a different type of ad. Clicking on it would only lead you to the company's FB page and that page would of course give you the intended message. Any links from that page would be forbidden. This arrangement would increase user's confidence in Facebook ads and more of them would be sold. It would also keep users within Facebook. 
  3. Facebook should try to get a user fee from its users. It would be a small sum for private users and a lot more for companies. It would still be possible to get FB for free, but there would be a price tag on some things. One thing people value is privacy, so a lot of privacy would cost. Big corporations would pay perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars. 
  4. Facebook could create a FB app store. They might take 30% of earnings. 
  5. They could generate a summary of user posts (over some user-selected time-period) and friend's posts and sell it as a nice hardcopy to the user; a sort of photo-book with lots of pictures and text. I'd suggest they buy some existing photo service provider. 
  6. They could encourage schools to use Facebook for teacher-parent communication. Schools would have to pay for this service. Of course security would have to be much improved, because here it's essential. 



If you see some of this happening, remember you read it here first ;-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Google things you might not know

Here's a few things Google provides that you may not know about.

The search box can do more than just search. It knows some units you've never heard of.
Example: "1 smoot in meters" gives 1.7018 meters
It can calculate. "pi * sin(pi/12)" gives 0.813104011
It can translate: "the word house in spanish" gives: house - casa
Pacman game: http://www.google.com/pacman/
Donkey Kong game: http://www.google-pacman.com/77/donkey-kong/
Tetris game: http://www.google-pacman.com/39/tetris/

Try entering google into the search-box and you'll find a lot of fascinating google sites, like:
maps.google.com earth.google.com translate.google.com groups.google.com docs.google.com news.google.com images.google.com books.google.com mail.google.com sketchup.google.com google video google reader google apps for business google webmaster tools google alerts google calendar toolbar.google.com google webfonts google web-browser google wallet google trends scholar.google.com

If you're more keen on using the web through your mobile phone, then it's good to know that many of these Google services have their own API. That means programmers can create nice apps, which use the same data that the google sites use. Examples of this are feed-reader apps for the iPhone. Many of those use your Google Reader account and present it to you in a much better way than the browser does.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amazon smartphone coming?

There are rumors of an Amazon smartphone, so it seems Amazon think they have something new to offer in smartphones. What might that be?
Are they going to offer even cheaper or better Android phones? Probably not. A new mobile OS and an Amazon app store with apps for Amazon devices only, hooked up to their other business? Maybe. I think there's room for several mobile ecosystems. It has to be done well enough though. What's needed is great devices, an ocean of apps and good marketing. But has Amazon made enough mistakes to be able to succeed? Probably not. If I were Amazon, I would go for the tablets, because they're in the book business.

I'll finish by noting that iTunes is now available in Asia! Japan, Australia and New Zealand used to be the only Asian countries with iTunes. The new countries/territories are Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam. However, China is still not included.

Friday, June 29, 2012

iPhone's 5th birthday today

Wikipedia says: "The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007".

Happy birthday iPhone!!!

The most impressive phone at the time of iPhone's release, was Nokia's N95, see http://www.pcworld.com/article/130064/nokia_ships_its_first_gps_phone.html. The N95, a slider phone, was the first one to feature GPS. Some more highlights were: 5Mpix camera, VGA video @30 frames/s, 2.6" display 240 by 320 pixels, HSDPA (high speed internet) and Wi-Fi. The N95 contained 150 maps for cities worldwide. It cost US$732.

First reactions among people in the mobile business here in Sweden when iPhone was announced in January 2007, was that it looked good, but was clumsy and didn't feature 3G. Who would want such a brick stone in the pocket. A big format was a curse that had been overcome; small was the way to go as it had been for some years already. Not to worry. The N95 is the one to play catch-up with.

It's interesting to read this review of the first generation iPhone: http://ipod.about.com/od/iphoneproductreviews/fr/iphone_review.htm. Its frame of reference is Apple's iPod music player. The review sums up the pro's and con's:


Pro's:
  • Beautiful interface
  • Terrific integration on phone and with computer
  • Excellent Internet and iPod features
  • Near-revolutionary device


Con's:
  • Battery life needs improvement
  • EDGE network is slowish
  • Some program crashes
  • Incompatible with many headphones
  • AT&T customer service is lacking
  • High price ($399)

There was no App Store at the time, so the device only had built-in apps. The App Store opened on July 10 2008, about four years ago, a year after the iPhone.

On iPhone's 5th birthday it's safe to say that the device was revolutionary (not near-revolutionary) and that it wasn't overly expensive.

Here's to iPhone!




Thursday, June 28, 2012

iOS user interface enhancement: tips for Apple

I like the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch! They handle very well and they really put information at your fingertips, like Bill Gates used to say. Still, here are some UI enhancement ideas for these devices.

Suggestion: Automatically make the most used applications more accessible.
Comment: This can be dangerous if implemented in a wrong way. Currently the bottom row is intended to make some apps more accessible than others. The bottom row could be extended to two rows and the extra row would be housing the most recently used app-icons.

Suggestion: Empower the user to set the icon density on the screens.
Comment: Looking at the iPads icon-screens I think there's a lot of empty space there. That's good, because otherwise it might look cluttered. Some users might want to put more icons there and that would mean less room for each icon.

Suggestion: Some icons on the table behind the bottom row icons.
Comment: There's a surface on which the bottom icons stand. This gives a nice 3D effect, but doesn't enhance the usability. The idea is to add extra icons at the back of the table that would seem to be at a greater distance from the user. They would be slightly grey or blue and a bit smaller than those at the front of the table.

I just might blog once more about this issue.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's Microsoft Surface?

Here's the picture of Surface featured on Microsoft's site:
It looks very nice and Microsoft says it'll be on sale this year. The price will be similar to the ultrabooks. That means it's going to cost a good bit more than the lowest speced iPads, the ones with 16GB memory and WiFi only connectivity.
Made of magnesium it's extremely rigid and light, only 1.5 pounds, and thin. Screen size is 10.6" (16/9 format) compared to iPad's 9.7" (4/3 format).
Looking at the picture you might think it's an extremely thin ultrabook, which is a class of thin laptop PCs from the major PC makers. That's because the picture shows the Surface with one of the protective covers (can't see which one).
There will be two different protective covers, both with keyboards. One is the touch-cover and the other is the type-cover. They connect to the device via a magnetic connector. The touch-cover has a touch-sensitive keyboard while the (thicker) type-cover has a more traditional keyboard.
For hands-free viewing in landscape mode, Surface has an onboard stand, which is extremely thin (0.77 mm = 0.03 inches).
The covers seem to be important to the Surface designers. It seems they intend the device to be two things, namely a laptop and a tablet. With the covers it's a laptop and then you'll be using the onboard stand, which angles the device 22°. I wonder if 22° will suit every user or if there's some elegant way to modify the angle.
Microsoft will be making the Surface and the reason is probably that the Surface project is older than the partnership with Nokia. I suggest Nokia should be invited to join the Surface project. To many people that would amount to a guarantee that the hardware quality is Ok and say, thermal breakdowns wouldn't occur.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Angry Birds Theme Park!

Angry Birds is a set of apps for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad and you already know them, no doubt. They also exist on other platforms. They are successful enough to be featured outside of computers. There is a great variety of Angry Birds merchandise on sale here and there.
But you might not know there's an Angry Birds theme park in the game's native country Finland, in Tampere.
That's only the beginning they say @ http://www.angrybirdsparks.com. There will be more of them in Finland and the following countries are on the to-do list: Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.
I sometimes play the games myself on my Apple devices. I think iPad is the best platform for them, because there's more screen space. I should add that I only have the iPhone versions, which I play in pixel-doubling mode on the iPad.
I tried the games on my MacBook too. The Google Chrome browser has an app store called the Chrome Web Store, where the games are downloadable. That gives an even better gaming experience than the iPad, although I don't use it much. I rarely use the MacBook outside my office.
So once you've plucked the Disney-parks, Lego-parks and the like, there's still the Angry Birds-parks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's new in iOS 6?

Ok so there's no iPhone5 coming soon. "They seek him here, they seek him there ...". But there's new iOS 6 and it's got some very useful features.

  • Maps from TomTom give us turn-by-turn navigation, 3D flyover, but no street-view.
  • Siri can give us game scores, summaries and player stats, tweet our messages, understand 15 languages (but not Swedish), and become the next hands-free solution for some new cars. 
  • Facebook integration with contacts sync and calendar sync. Twitter was already integrated in iOS5.
  • You can now send a predefined SMS when you can't take an incoming call. Very nice feature.
  • Passbook can keep your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards. Passbook will alert you if your gate number changes. Great feature when gate numbers change at short notice and many of us know they do!!
  • Facetime is now available on mobile (cellular) networks.
  • Mail has been improved, but I think it was great already. Same thing with Safari browser.
  • These devices are compatible with iOS 6:
    • Iphone 3GS, 4 and 4S. 
    • iPod touch generation 4. 
    • iPad 2 and 3.
  • Support for iPad1 has been dropped, which is sad.
UPDATE:
To complete the above picture, here's more information regarding the availability of features in older devices, which I copied from http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/:
Features are subject to change. Not all features are available on all devices.
Some features may not be available in all countries or all areas. Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later. Cellular data charges may apply.
Siri will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad (3rd generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.
Shared Photo Streams requires iOS 6 on iPhone 4 or later or iPad 2 or later, or a Mac computer with OS X Mountain Lion. An up-to-date browser is required for accessing shared photo streams on the web.
FaceTime over a cellular network requires iPhone 4S or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability. Carrier data charges may apply. FaceTime is not available in all countries.
VIP list and VIP and Flagged smart mailboxes will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
Offline Reading List will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
Made for iPhone hearing aids require iPhone 4S.
Find My Friends and Find My iPhone enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan. Not available in all areas.






Friday, June 8, 2012

What will iPhone5 bring?

Apple's WWDC (developer conference) starts on June 11th. This is when product releases often occur. It may be time for another iPhone and this time it's likely to be called iPhone5.

This is my second blog on the subject. My previous try, which was ahead of iPhone 4S, went as  follows:

"It will be lighter. The screen will cover much more of the device's front. The screen will be at least the size of the iPhone4's and the whole device will be smaller. It will also be lighter and thinner. Its profile shape will be similar to MacBook Air.
The real revolution will be in sound. The new device will use the screen as its membrane, which will take its audio capability way beyond the competition. Headphones will no longer be needed, except for audiophiles.
It's going to cost less than iPhone 4. Of that I'm in no doubt at all!
The name will not be iPhone 5. I think Apple has way more imagination than that. My guess is they will at least stop using numerals from now and that the new device will be called iPhone Air or iPhone Aladdin or iPhone Sky."

The iPhone 4S was a minor facelift for the appearance, but much more happened on the hardware and software sides. This time it's the appearance.
I expect it to be thinner and the reason is Samsung's Galaxy SII, and the new SIII. Those attractive devices must have sent a message to Apple: It's time for some exercise, because you're too fat.
Same thing about the weight. It must come down. I think it will retain its boxy shape and shiny body, because it still looks good and expensive.
The screen will be over 4 inches and will perform very well in sunlight.
There will be two speakers and the sound will be much improved and wide; earphones will not be needed. There will be new stands for iPhones to make the listening position optimal.
Contrary to my previous name prediction, I think Apple will stay with the numbers. That's because of marketing: it's easier to remember numbers than names.
The price will be somewhat lower than the 4S.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eurovision Song Contest (ESC)

To my non-european readers, here's a short explanation of a European phenomenon. 


The ESC is a three hour TV-program, which is broadcast once a year. It's arranged by the EBU, which is a club of European public service broadcasters, the former TV-monopoly broadcasters.
The region of Europe has grown considerably since communism was defeated in 1989. There used to be some 15-20 contesting countries in the ESC, but now there are many more who would like to take part. There are so many countries in Europe now that their contributions can no longer be fitted within the three hour TV-show. That's why they must qualify for the 25- country final. Due to the qualifying rounds, called semi-finals, four hours have been added to the show, and the broadcast now covers three evenings.
The show is taken more or less seriously in different countries. Some countries sometimes just select some singer and a song behind the closed doors of its national broadcaster. That has been proven to be a good recipe for a disastrous result in the ESC. 
In Sweden we take the ESC very seriously and our scores are among the best in ESC history. We really try to select the best tune. This is done by having our own national competition well ahead of the big European show. Some 40 songs compete in about five qualifying rounds, followed by semi-finals and a final in the national sports arena in Stockholm, our capital. Those who get to the final are guaranteed considerable media coverage and the competition has created many artistic careers.
The songs competing in the ESC have changed a lot in recent years. Back in the 70's winners often came from France or Italy, with typically latin songs. This no longer happens. Recent winners are hard rockers from Finland and I can't really summarize the winning contributions. It seems any genre, except the traditional ones, can win.
The big final ends with the voting. This is the exciting part! Even those who hate the songs may actually enjoy the voting. All the competing countries are allowed to vote through a national jury. A videophone link is established between the program leaders on stage and a national jury representative. The voting part is always held in English and French, and has been the subject of many jokes through the years. There is a certain tension during voting. One reason is of course that the final result is unknowable. Another reason is that sometimes the link is weak and there are miscommunications, misunderstandings and blunders, causing some nervous tension in the program leaders. Everything still ends well and all is forgiven and forgotten.
Then there's corrupt voting or political voting. The existence of this is debated. Does Denmark score well in Sweden, because they're our neighbors or because we like their songs. Do the Greeks really think that Cyprus deserves their top score each and every time? And vice versa. It could be due to cultural similarities. Will we ever know?
At any rate, arranging next year's final goes to this year's winner. This is considered a great honor and an opportunity to promote the country. The TV audience is huge and stretches outside of Europe. The scene look more costly each year. The ESC is growing by any measure.
It has even been remarked that wherever the ESC stretches, the EU soon follows. That has often happened. However Israel, Azerbadjan or Russia seem unlikely ever to join the EU.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretty Windows 8

Windows 8 is now available in a "Consumer Preview" version. To stay nice and safe, Microsoft warns that this version isn't actually for everyone.
The Windows 8 screen looks much like the screen of a Nokia Windows phone. It begs to be touched, but it works fine with mouse and keyboard too. Touch is not new for Windows 8. It was already there in Windows 7 though I guess few knew about it. It didn't look like a touch operating system, as Apple has defined it for us. There weren't many notebook PCs that offered touch either, since touch isn't a notebook feature. It requires the screen to be right under your fingers and not  several inches away, like it is on a notebook. Windows 8 is an invitation to PC-producers to enter the pad-market.
Windows 8 is all about apps. The Windows Store is Microsoft's equivalent of Apple's App Store. The buttons on the screen are apps. The document-centric approach to operating systems is out! I couldn't agree more. Interacting with a document has to be a nice experience. The user must not be scared away by a minimalist user interface, or an over-done user interface. It should be up to the user to choose how he wants to create or interact with a document. He can do so by choosing an app he finds attractive. The move away from document-centricity is a major step forwards for user friendly IT.
The Cloud is part of Windows 8, or perhaps rather: Windows has entered The Cloud. That's good and I guess Microsoft's hope is that Windows is finally moving on to more user friendly computing devices than the PC, which never really became friendly enough to users. I hope it succeeds, because I do want to have a choice between at least two equally attractive devices the next time I buy a mobile phone. iPhone shouldn't be allowed to be the single most attractive mobile device, and neither should the iPad.
Rumor has it that Windows 8 will be released in Q4 of this year. I hope upgrading from Windows 7 will be made an attractive choice.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New app: Reverse Talk

The new app is now in the App Store.

The name is Reverse Talk and it's quite entertaining. You push the big red record button, talk or make some noise, and then listen to it. You can play it either forwards or backwards.
Playing something backwards really sounds quite different. Those of us who tried to find hidden messages in Stairway to Heaven and other masterpieces, will know what backward talk sounds like. It sounds weird, usually so weird that it's quite funny or perhaps even scary.
You can choose to record for a fixed amount of time, which is 2.5 seconds, or you can record for as long as the device's memory lasts. If the recording is less than about 10 minutes, you can email it to your friends, or to yourself to save it.

The localized app names are as follows:
EN: Reverse talk
SV: Backsnack
NL: Achteruit praten
DE: Rückwärts reden
FR: Inverser parler

Hope you'll buy it and enjoy it. Here is the app's page in App Store.

Update: We have discovered that babies have no need for the Reverse Talk app, because babies already know how to speak in reverse. See http://www.reversespeech.com/Children_Reversals.htm 
Their parents, however, might well want to use the app to better understand their babies' reverse speak.
Note: Proctele and reversespeech.com are NOT affiliated

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sony PS3 games

My kids bought a Sony Playstation 3 last week-end and two games for it: Call of Duty MW3 and Lego Batman. The graphics is very good, but more importantly, the user interface is good too. The so-called game controller is a handsome piece and I think that's what makes PS3 games better than the online PC games. Those use the keyboard's cursor keys and thereby kill much of the joy of playing. Many of the online games have such excellent graphics that I fail to see what more the PS3 has to offer.
That brings me to my favorite game thesis that games are not about graphics. True gaming joy comes from a good intrigue and the satisfaction of using a good user interface. A beautiful backdrop is fine, but adds very little to the gaming experience. A racing game with simple graphics, but with a steering wheel and pedals, is great fun. Pac Man played with a joystick is great. Frogger, Missile Command, Centipede, Tetris are all good games with no remarkable graphics.
How can this be? Once you've started playing, the backdrop just vanishes and all you see is the game character or car or whatever. There isn't enough time for admiring the fantastic landscapes that someone meticulously crafted for the game. You are trying to stay alive and score points. Who cares what color the mountain or the grass is? If you do start thinking about it, your character is probably finished within short. Be concentrated, stay alert, never mind the backdrop, prepare for the next assault. It's about attention. You can't score points and watch graphics. It's either-or.
Finally, games are about scoring well or winning. Graphics is for the photo album.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring has arrived in southern Sweden. At last!

When I'm sure Spring has arrived, it definitely has arrived. How can I be so sure then? The hedges are getting greener, temperatures are quite low, but slowly rising. The calendar says it too, because Walpurgis Night bonfires will be lit tonight.

A new Proctele iPhone app is being born these days. The finishing testing is all it's going to take before submitting to the App Store. The new app is all about laughing and having fun. Kids are going to love it, because so do my own kids. The icon's colors are somewhat Caribbean and it looks fantastic.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Timestables on 3 BIG wheels (v2.0) is ready for sale

The timetables app for iPad is now in the App Store. We hope you'll enjoy this new version.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Timestables on 3 BIG wheels (v2.0) has been uploaded

Today v2.0 of "Timestables on 3 big wheels" was uploaded to the App Store. That means the new version is on schedule. We hope everyone will upgrade a.s.a.p. and that those who haven't bought the app already will have one less excuse not to buy it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Timestables on 3 Big Wheels Update

Timestables on 3 big wheels is being updated. The new version will add a new way of testing your knowledge of the times tables. For this reason the home screen has been very much redrawn. It will however be recognizable to current users.
A graphics bug has been corrected.
The update is almost ready and is scheduled to be uploaded to App Store on Monday April 16th. It should be available for download 7-10 days later.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SMS-Fast, the app for fast AND SAFE messaging!

Yesterday I sent an SMS to the wrong person. The message was intended for my accountant, but it went to my mother. Here's what happened.
I opened the iPhone's standard message app and wrote my message. I then pressed Send and the message was sent. Unfortunately I was in the conversation mode, where I can see all messages from one particular person (my mother) and the messages I've sent back. Consequently the message automatically went to my mother, without any question.
This is not a mistake I'm supposed to be making, but it actually happened.
Today I realized this would never have happened if I had used Proctele's SMS-Fast app. There you always have to select the receiver, because SMS-Fast doesn't use conversation mode.
So to be on the safe side I'll completely stop using the standard app, before embarrassing things happen.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Where's Epson Scan for OSX Lion?

It's been more than 6 months since I migrated my MacBook to OSX Lion and I'm quite happy with it. After I doubled its memory to 4 GB I was even happier. I use a lot of memory, because I tend to have lots of Safari-windows open and some other applications too.
However migrating to Lion cost me one important application: Epson Scan. It doesn't seem to have been updated to run on Lion. That's a disappointment. I miss being able to scan several pages and put them all into the same pdf-file. And of course the good picture scanning.
What I have replaced it with is the Mac's own preview application, which offers only jpeg-pictures as output; no pdf. With that I can get by, but there's no multi-page option.
If anyone reading this blog can point me to a better solution I'd be grateful.
While I'm complaining, I might as well mention the weather too. When is spring coming to Sweden? Yesterday's visit to the driving-range nearly killed me, because weather looked reasonably warm, while in fact the strong wind was freezing cold.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

iOS 5.1 niceties

It's about a week since I migrated my iPhone from iOS 5.0.1 to iOS 5.1. Similar experience as when migrating from 5.0 in that battery time has improved again. I'd say it's about 100% better, which means battery time has become acceptable. That means a lot to most of us, i.e. those of us who are old enough to have owned a stupid phone (= not smartphone) with battery times of a week or more.
The second most popular feature is probably that the camera is available straight from the lock-screen. There's an icon to hint at how to open the camera: you can simply sweep the screen in the vertical direction to open the camera app. That's a typical Apple solution: simple and elegant and obvious. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Smartphones are fantastic

The smartphone has become many people's companion. Whenever there's dead time, we pick up our smartphone and do something with it. While waiting we read news feeds and even books, play games, watch short movies, browse our picture album, update and browse Facebook and Twitter, search for new apps or some other content. We did this even before the smartphone, but the experience wasn't as rich in those days. We would listen to music, which was stored on the device, or the FM-radio, maybe even read news feeds, call someone, send SMS, browse through the settings and set another ring tone.


Smartphones are indeed fantastic versatile devices, but there still is one important feature missing from them: payment. There are payment methods based on SMS, but they are limited in scope. 
Payments have been moving away from cash for about two decades and therefore payment terminals have had to be exchanged once in a while. That's costly for small traders, who aren't keen on ever fancier payment solutions. Consequently, the smartphone as wallet is not going to happen very quickly. I expect within seven years the smartphone will be as good for payment as a credit card is now in 2012.

When cultural history is written in about 50 years, I think the smartphone and the pad-computer will be seen as particularly important devices, the devices that changed the world. Wireless technologies will be seen as the enablers that made the lift-off possible.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Elephant Super Memory Challenge v2.0 is in the App Store

The new version has been reviewed and is now ready for sale. We changed the names slightly, though not for all languages, as follows:


  • Dutch: Olifant geheugen: Kunt U dit memoriseren?
  • French: Challenge Elephant Super Memory: pouvez-vous mémoriser cette?
  • Swedish: Elefantminne: Kan du memorera detta?


The names were kept unchanged for the English and German versions.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Elephant Super Memory Challenge, v2.0

The app "Elephant Super Memory challenge: Recall This!" is being updated. The new version will be called 2.0.
It has one more challenge: to remember the position of X-es in a grid. There is no keyboard involved, because there's just one character involved.
It works as follows:
-You press the Start Game button.
-The app puts randomly distributed X-es into the grid.
-The app hides the X-es after a while.
-You simply touch the grid to show where you think the X-es were.
-You press the "Done"-button.
-The app shows you what you did right or wrong.

The new version will be in the App Store within about 10 days. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The New App is in the App Store

This is a short post to tell that the new app for restaurant owners is now in the App Store. The localized names are:

  • English: Our Restaurant Menu
  • Swedish: Vår restaurang meny

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our New App

It's time for a new app from Proctele. It will be in the App Store in a few days.
This one is mainly for restaurant businesses and it's only for iPad. It allows you to show off your menu in the most flattering of ways, with picture and text on an iPad, the most attractive piece of hardware known to man.
It's not only for businesses though, but for anyone who wants to present their menu in the best possible way.
We also imagine it could be used by someone who needs to present a portfolio of some kind.
All data in the app can be exported through email.
There will also be an accompanying free app that lets users who receive the exported data view it on their iPhone or iPod touch. So exporting the data from the new iPad app will enable restaurant owners to send out their whole menu to customers.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Web and Facebook

First came the Internet, then came the World Wide Web (WWW). Then ... I'll come back to that.
To most of us Internet means the WWW. We tell our browser to go to a site where we want to do something, say, read news or pay the bills.
Let's look a few years into the future ...
... But maybe that's not so convenient anymore, because there are alternatives that are more convenient. Why should I need to remember addresses or store bookmarks. Ok, so I don't really need bookmarks thanks to Google's fantastic search, but I still have to type in a few characters just to get to do something. Why go through the trouble when I can simply go to one site to do anything I need: Facebook. Most of my friends are within easy reach by chat, voice, mail, messages and the usual status updates on the walls. All my pictures, party memories, addresses, notes, blogs, news, games and banking services are there. I can do hotel and ticket reservations, make phone calls of unlimited length free of charge, broadcast or just record my whole life from my flat or my car, have a book read to me. All these things are so easy to do that anyone, really anyone can do them, because the user interface is so logical and clear. You're never afraid of destroying anything. Almost anything can be undone.
Back to the present. That's quite a site, the Facebook site, and currently there's not much missing compared to what I described above.
Having built this fantastic do-everything site, Facebook can't risk something like a new browser war jeopardizing it. That's why we might see another browser, a Facebook-mostly browser. This browser handles Facebook really well and other sites half-heartedly.
It is quite interesting to look at the WWW and compare it to Facebook. In WWW each site owner has lots of freedom in choosing site-provider, site-layout, tools and most importantly: content. Do (or will) Facebook pages and groups give as much freedom? No they don't, but they might.
It's the networking effect that drives people towards Facebook. It's how well Facebook serves them that keeps them there. The world keeps changing though and at some time users might stay with Facebook, because of other considerations. It may be time to spread our social networking over more social networks.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twitter and Facebook differ, part 3

Posting on Twitter and Facebook differs a lot, not just because of the different maximum message lengths.
When you post on Twitter, your message is available for anyone on Twitter to read. This is an obvious advantage compared to Facebook. When I post on Facebook only my Facebook friends will read the message. If I want a lot of people to read my message I need a lot of friends. I might also have a Facebook page and try to get lots of people to like it. Whatever way you choose, it may take a long while to get enough friends. If I search on Facebook all I get is people or pages whose names include my search, when in fact I would like to find key-words in messages.
If you have something to say, Twitter is probably the better alternative. However there are more efficient ways of using Twitter. Your message is likely to benefit from including some tag, which is the #-sign immediately followed by a word. Any word will do, but it's better to use some word a lot of other people have already used. To get some tag-tips, see http://hashtags.org/. There you'll also see how often and recently they've been used.
If you're looking for a new job, you could search Twitter for #job or #freelance and many more tags. If you're looking for celebrities, you could look for #charliesheen or #ladygaga.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The App Concept


What's so good about apps? Let's look at them from the buyer's perspective.
Buying an app is quite similar to buying stuff on the Internet. Buying on the Internet is a bit similar to buying in a store. It's entertaining and exciting and safe if you choose a good vendor. It's shopping and most of us like it, unless we actually love it.
When you're done, you have another nice icon on your favorite device and some great functionality that can bring pleasure for as long as the device lasts and even on future generation devices. You can use the app whenever you like and as often as you like. It doesn't wear out and it won't cost you extra. Thanks to how mobile your device is, you can take it with you when going on holiday, going to work or going to the bathroom.
As if the above wasn't enough, apps are cheap and even free of charge.
What can you do with apps? Short answer is: anything you can do with a computer. What can't you do with apps? Anything you can't do with a computer. That includes brushing you teeth, walking the dog and doing the dishes.
The future for apps looks great. Future Internet browsers mated with lots of attractive web-apps is the only visible challenge. The future for smartphones looks great too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Twitter and Facebook differ, part 2

A while ago I wrote about one difference between Twitter and Facebook: The way you select or make contacts on each of the services.
Another big difference is what you can write in a posting. On Twitter it's 140 characters maximum, but on Facebook it's 420, three times as many.
How many posts (status updates) are that long? Only a small percentage to my knowledge. In fact lots of the posts on Facebook would fit within a Twitter message. But there's more than status updates on Facebook. There's the Notes section too with much more space for expression.
Then there's Facebook's Like-button, which applies to single posts as well as for whole Facebook pages and groups. This is a great feature. It's so great that Google has copied it to its search results and more places in the hope of making its users interact more. You can also comment on posts, and sometimes it's so fast it's almost like chatting. BTW there's a separate chatting function too. And email.
Looking at Facebook and Twitter you notice that Facebook is a lot more comprehensive service. It's a universe. Twitter isn't. Within Facebook you have your wall and your friends' walls. You have the notes section and games and other applications that need Facebook's environment to function. You have events. You can have Facebook copy all your blogging onto your Facebook wall. You can do the same for other services like Bambuser (your private online TV station). You can be member of secret societies through a secret Facebook group. Due to all the above, I say Facebook is a universe.
Twitter does not have these aspirations, which lots of folk like. Twitter is for those who don't want to bond too much, and that includes many Facebook users. Twitter is somewhat more anonymous, while Facebook is anything but.
If you got this far: Thanks for reading! :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Right on the spot

Here's some really funny stuff I found on the net.
John Gruber explains what happens when different smartphone producers negotiate with the carriers. It shows the negotiation power that Apple has, due to its very desirable products.

- Android handset makers: Here are our phones. How would you like us to change them so that you will sell them?
- Microsoft: Here’s $200 million. Please sell our phones.
- Apple: Here is our new phone. It comes in black or white. We will let you sell it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

NumberWizFP sum: E46. Solution

Hi NumberWizards,

The question was: how do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 5 8 a 40 80 c0 to get e46 ?

There is no exact solution. The best one is e45:
e45 = (40 x 8 - 80) x a - (c0 - 5)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NumberWizFP sum: E46

Here's another hexadecimal sum for number wizards:
How do you add, subtract, multiply and divide 5 8 a 40 80 c0 to get e46 ?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Twitter and Facebook are quite different

Twitter and Facebook share a few characteristics. They are networks of people and companies. Each user has an identity and a feed or wall where he gets some news through the actions of his contacts. With Facebook the user selects his contacts by requesting friendship and accepting requests. With Twitter the user selects his contacts by following. And here the important similarities end.
The way you select your contacts is very different. The result is that users tend to have different contacts on the two networks. On Facebook your contacts are people you have met and perhaps meet with outside Facebook. On Twitter your contacts are people you most probably never met, but you find interesting. Another important difference is the way contacts are made. If your Facebook friend request is ignored, your friendship with that friend outside Facebook may cool down or worse. This does not happen on Twitter, because there's no mandatory reciprocity in following someone. I can follow anyone I like and they usually don't care much, and may not even notice me if they have many followers.
Twitter is open and Facebook is closed. I have to have friends to gain from Facebook. On Twitter this is not necessary. Following someone is a convenience rather than a must.
Much due to the contacts I have on both networks, I find them useful in quite different ways. Facebook gives me access to what my friends are doing or thinking. Twitter gives me access to what complete strangers, including celebrities, are up to.
A skilled twitterer producing many tweets can be great fun. Such a person can indeed wield quite some power: if someone with millions of followers endorses or rejects something, it's going to have noticeable consequences, and the results will show up quickly. I often click on a link that one of my contacts likes.
This is an interesting theme, which I'm sure I'll come back to. But enough for now and I wish You, valued reader, a prosperous 2012.