iOS 5: Know when wife is calling – customize vibration patterns


Custom vibrations in Settings (left) and the new interface to customize vibration patterns (right)

iOS 5 comes with a bunch of accessibility improvements, like the AssistiveTouch feature that lets you use your device with adaptive accessories and even create your own gestures. Another easily overlooked addition: Custom vibrations, on a per-contact basis, as pointed out by MacRumors. This is kinda cool, not just for the hearing impaired but for the rest of us as well. Example: If you’re in a meeting and your device is in silent mode, you can tell when your wife is calling based on a vibration pattern – how cool is that?

But why stop there? Combine custom vibrations with LED flash on incoming calls, ringtones, the iTunes Tone Store where you can buy custom alert sounds and deep Twitter integration which automatically adds Twitter user names and photos to your contact cards and suddenly iOS 5 looks pretty strong in the customization department. Here’s a quick guide to customizing vibrations for your contacts…

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Cool iOS 5 trick: Swipe for camera roll

This is a pretty cool trick that works in the Camera app on iOS 5: Simply swipe your finger from left to right to bring the camera album roll up. Continue swiping from left to right to flip through your images. If you go too far, tap once to reveal the on-screen toolbar with image controls and hit Done to immediately return to your camera. Pretty neat. Thanks, Jared!

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Standard Emoji keyboard arrives to iOS 5, here's how to enable it


Because Emoji is now a standard international keyboard in iOS 5, you can easily add some mood to your iMessages and liven up any text entry with emoticons without having to download a bunch of apps from the App Store to access it

One of the little things appearing briefly in a slide during Apple’s keynote talk Monday was the Emoji keyboard in iOS 5. Originating from Japan, the emoji picture characters are standardized and many phones support them without requiring a Japanese operator (heck, even Gmail supports emojis). The Emoji keyboard is not new to the iPhone, but those who’ve used it in iOS 4 are painfully aware it has never been designed to work like a normal keyboard for the rest of us. You either had to use third-party Emoji apps from the App Store to access it or use emoticons via the clunky Japanese Romaji keyboard. Not anymore, Emoji is now a standard international keyboard accessible in any app. Here’s how it is enabled…

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iMessage: What you need to know

Apple’s iOS software wizard Scott Forstall saved iMessage as the last of the ten big iOS 5 features in Monday’s WWDC keynote talk. We’ve shown iMessage in action in our eleven-minute overview of iOS 5 features and the iOS 5 features page teases with some interesting capabilities promising to override costly text messages whenever possible:

With iMessage, we’ve created a new messaging service for all iOS 5 users. You can send unlimited text messages via WiFi or 3G from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to anyone with one of those devices. iMessage is built into the Messages app so you can send text, photos, videos, locations and contacts. Leep everyone in the loop with group messaging. Track your messages with delivery receipts and optional read receipts, see when someone’s typing and enjoy secure encryption for text messages. Even start a conversation on one of your iOS devices and pick up where you left off on another.

That pitch leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For example, do iMessages count against my text messaging plan? Where do I sing up for iMessage? What if the person on the other end cannot receive iMessages? What about sending iMessages to non-Apple devices? Here’s what we have found out so far…

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Apple's iMessage takes its toll on RIM

Well, what do you know, it looks like Apple’s ambitious messaging service unveiled Monday as part of the iOS 5 software is seen as a threat to Research In Motion’s popular BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging protocol for BlackBerry devices. According to TechRadar, investors punished the BlackBerry maker’s stock Tuesday as they digested Apple’s iMessage:

iMessage announced by Apple on Monday will challenge RIM’s highly popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant chat service which has given the Canadian company an edge over its rivals. The Apple announcement made investors more jittery, plunging RIM stock on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and Wall Street Tuesday. It slipped more than three percent in Toronto to close at $36.92, and 2.8 percent on Nasdaq to close at $37.82.

Why are investors worried about iMessage affecting RIM’s chat service?

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Not sold on iCloud yet? Download WWDC 2011 keynote and lose yourself in high-def reality-distortion field


As soon as he took the stage, Apple’s boss noticed someone dear to him in the audience.

If you wanna learn more about iCloud but hate the idea of streaming the WWDC 2011 keynote via Apple’s site due to interruptions and varying image quality, you can now download the entire presentation to your computer and sync it to your favorite iOS device for offline viewing anwyhere, anytime (see the irony of that?). The keynote video is available as an iTunes podcast or as a direct download here. Weighing in at a cool 1.22 gigabyte, the MP4-encoded file in 640-by-360 pixel resolution is probably the highest-quality Apple keynote we’ve downloaded from iTunes to date. If you were wondering why all the fuss about Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud, grab the episode and enjoy in nearly two hours of the uninterrupted reality-distortion field.


Apple’s chief walked on San Francisco’s Moscone West stage yesterday to a noisy applause. Check out journalists and developers in the audience snapping the charismatic CEO using their iPhones and iPads.

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Cloud music showdown: Apple vs. Amazon vs. Google


Chart courtesy of paidContent.org

With all three players having introduced their respective cloud music offerings, we can now pit them against each other. The above chart is from paidContent which opined that “Apple doesn’t always get it right the first time”. Author Amanda Natividad observed that in iTunes “syncing should be faster and easier” while “song quality may get a boost”. She obviously wasn’t paying attention to yesterday’s unveiling of iTunes Match, a new iTunes feature that works in conjunction with Apple’s upcoming online service dubbed iCloud. iTunes Match scans your music tracks (regardless of their sources), making matching songs instantly available to all computers and mobile devices without you having to spend weeks to upload gigabytes worth of music to servers. Jobs said yesterday:

With 18 million songs we’re most likely to have what you got.

Apple’s boss also noted that his company will automatically upgrade all matching songs to 256Kbps AAC. On the downside, you cannot stream songs via iCloud – yeah, you read that right. Instead, you are required to manually download iCloud songs that aren’t stored on your iOS device by tapping a tiny cloud icon next to each missing song in the iTunes app before you can actually listen to it in the iPod app. Great, what else should you know?

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Another casualty of iCloud transition: MobileMe email aliases

If you’re a MobileMe subscriber, prepare for some inconveniences while Apple moves your stuff to its humongous North Carolina datacenter. Between yesterday and this fall, when iCloud becomes available to everyone with iOS 5, some services won’t be available and other may need your attention. Apple outlined what’s to be expected in both a support document and an unreleased guide we uncovered. We’ve spotted another support document, this one related to MobileMe email aliases. So, what’s the deal?

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AirPlay Mirroring in action (video)

One of the new iOS features that has been met with great enthusiasm from journalists and developers attending yesterday’s WWDC keynote is AirPlay Mirroring. Apple’s iOS software head honcho Scott Forstall only briefly described it during the keynote talk:

AirPlay Mirroring, you can now mirror your entire iPad 2 right to your television, wirelessly, using Apple TV

Sounds pretty cool and here’s a video of AirPlay Mirroring in action. Check below for more information from Apple and a video showing lag time.

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The guide to migrating personal data from MobileMe to iCloud

Yesterday, Apple killed MobileMe and replaced it with the iCloud online services suite which will be available free with iOS 5 this Fall. Apple has published a nice Q&A explaining what the transition means to MobileMe subscribers and how the company plans to go about it. Additionally, a notice at http://www.me.com/upgrade says that “you’ll be able to upgrade your account to iCloud soon”. With that in mind, you may want to prep your migration ahead of the Apple-imposed June 30, 2012 cut-off time when the MobilMe service will no longer be available. Wondering how? Turns out there’s a leaked document for that!

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What is iTunes Tone Store?


iTunes Tone Store has been outed on this slide from yesterday’s keynote.

In addition to the big ones, iOS 5 includes dozens of nice-to-haves that have been given little air time during Apple’s WWDC keynote talk yesterday, excluding passing mention on a group slide. So, what do you see in the above snap? Yeah, it’s Apple’s iOS software chief Scott Forstall zipping through the iOS 5 segment of the keynote. See the iTunes Tone Store mention on the slide? Given Apple already sells 99-cent ringtones on iTunes and they let us create our own 30-second snippets from iTunes purchases, we can’t help but wonder – why do we need yet another store? Plus, a Paal, Belgium-based reader creates a YouTube video as a comment to this article, found at the bottom.

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Here's your Lion wallpaper


This is the new default wallpaper in Lion (click for larger)

Yesterday’s on-stage demos of OS X Lion (what, you haven’t heard? They dropped the Mac from OS X) included a fancy new default wallpaper that follows the space theme introduced with Leopard. Want it? Get it here (thanks, Benjad). Matter of fact, you can get all Lion wallpapers as a downloadable ZIP file from It’s all tech.

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