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events

Writing app reviews is a great gig, mainly because it gives me an excuse to “audition” apps on a constant basis. I have a need to research and find new apps, or test out the latest and greatest offerings, to determine if they fill a crucial need. Because of this, most apps don’t end up spending much time on my phone, as they’re often being replaced. I’ve used over a dozen notes apps, for example, which get replaced every other week or so (I’m currently using Simplenote, which may finally bring some stability).

With that being said, I’m always pleased when I encounter an app that stands up to scrutiny and outshines the competition. I shared a similar sentiment in my recent Pocket Casts review, which is by far and away my favorite podcast management app. Now, I refer you to my favorite calendar app–Sunrise. Redesigned and refreshed for iOS 7, let’s find out how this calendar app has progressed since my initial review in April. (more…)

So what happened at today’s big iPhone event? Let’s find out.

iTunes Festival

  • In its 7th year
  • 20 million people applied

Retail

  • New store in Stanford that’s 1,100 sq ft.
  • The Stanford store has glass on 3 sides. Looks amazing
  • Two rooms: One up front for demos, back room for Genius Bar, etc.
  • This month Apple will ship the 700 millionth iOS Device

iOS 7

  • More convenient search in iOS 7, right in Notification Center
  • Lots of edge-to-edge apps
  • New sound effects for calls and texts
  • Can search for tweets with Siri
  • New square aspect ratio camera
  • Built-in filters and more in the camera app as well
  • AirDrop showcased for iOS 7. Easier way to move photos and so on between devices. It works on P2P Wi-Fi.
  • iTunes Radio. All about discovering new music.
  • Over 200 new features
  • Comes out on Sept 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (5th Gen)

iWork/iPhoto/iMovie

  • All for iOS 7.
  • All Free for any new iOS device.
The iPhone 5C

The iPhone 5C

 

iPhone 5C

  • Comes in lime green, white, blue, red/pink, yellow
  • Entire back and sides are made from just one part. No seams.
  • Custom cases with soft feel silicone rubber. Circular cutouts to show the color underneath.
  • Hard coated polycarbonate shell
  • 4-inch Retina display and integrated touch layer on iPhone 5C.
  • A6 processor.
  • Slightly larger battery than iPhone 5.
  • 8MP iSight camera, backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, 5-element lens. FaceTime HD camera on front size with more pixels.
  • FaceTime Audio
  • Dual band Wi-Fi,
  • Bluetooth 4.0More LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world
  • Up to 100Mbps download speed
  • iOS 7 wallpapers complement the iPhone 5C colors
  • $99 for 16GB, $199 for 32GB
  • Cases are $29 each
  • Pre-order Sept 13
  • Buy in store Sept 20
The new Touch ID on the iPhone 5S

The new Touch ID on the iPhone 5S

 

iPhone 5S

Three colors: gold, white and black (or slate and silver, depending on your perspective)

A7 Processor

  • 64-bits, works with iOS 7
  • Backwards compatible
  • Almost twice as fast as A6
  • Amazing with games, such as the new Infinity Blade III.

M7 Motion Co-Processor

  • Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, all in one piece.
  • Enables a new generation of health and fitness apps.
  • Can tell if walking, driving, etc.

Battery Life

  • 3G talk time: 10 hours
  • 10 hours LTE browsing
  • 10 hours Wi-Fi browsing
  • 40 hours music
  • 250 hours standby

Camera

  • 5-element lens
  • F2.2 aperture
  • 1.5 micron pixels. Bigger pixels = better pixels.
  • iOS 7 takes advantage of new sensor
  • iOS 7 adjusts exposure and settings automatically to take a better pic
  • DSLR-level autofocus.
  • Auto image stabilization
  • Burst mode for multiple photos and it combines to get the sharper ones. 10 frames per second.
  • A7 determines best pic out of burst
  • 120 FPS slow-mo video.
  • 5S camera shoots 720P video at 120 FPS
  • Normal video is 1080P at 30FPS
  • 28 MP panoramic shots

True tone flash

  • Lights according to color temperature in the room
  • One is white, one is amber
  • 1,000 unique variations

Security

  • Fingerprint sensor — Touch ID
  • It has a touch capacitive sensor
  • 500 pip resolution
  • 170 microns thin, scans sub-epidermal skin layers. Can read in any orientation, embedded in the home button
  • Covered by sapphire crystal
  • Just touch the home button and it unlocks
  • You can use it for iTunes purchases as well
  • Can handle multiple fingerprints
  • Encrypted fingerprints
  • Never available to other software.

Availability and Pricing

  • 16GB $199
  • 32 GB $299
  • 64 GB $399
  • All with 2- year contract
  • Purchase on Sept 20

Let’s be honest, the stock Calendar app on the iPhone isn’t that great. If it was everything some of us made it out to be, we probably wouldn’t go searching for alternatives like Fantastical or Horizon (my preferred app). But every calendar app I tried was still missing something that seemed like an intuitive addition to me: Reminders integration.

Every calendar app except Agenda, that it is. Agenda 4.0 is a rethinking of the popular app that includes integration with Reminders and a host of other features that’s going to keep app junkies really happy. In fact, I’d wager to say most app junkies already have it. But is it for everybody? Read on to find out. (more…)

For many people, the calendar is the most important productivity tool on their iPhone. No matter how busy you may be, it’s important to keep track of your schedule so that you’re prepared for what lies ahead. Between multiple work trips and planning for a wedding, there are number of appointments and events I need to keep straight, and I rely on my calendar to do so.

I’ve never cared much for the first-party Calendars app, and have jumped from a number of third-party apps such as Agenda, Fatastical and Calendars+ (a few of which I’ve reviewed on AppStorm). But since its release in February, I’ve been using Sunrise Calendar as my go-to schedule maintenance tool, which I’ve found to be an interestingly new take on how a iOS calendar app functions. (more…)

A few weeks back, I get this Facebook invite for a party held downtown. I’m all excited about going, so I RSVP via Facebook, and next thing I know I’m planning for the big event. Then I get an email. “If you’re coming, please RSVP using Eventbrite, that’s how we’ll know who’s coming.” Huh. Eventbrite.

Although I had heard of the app before, this was my first opportunity to try it out, so that’s just what I did. What were the results? Well let’s find out! (more…)

I have task management apps and shopping list apps and calendar apps, all in an attempt to keep me and my husband on the same page. The sheer number of apps we use to do all this almost guarantees someone’s going to get crossed wires somewhere. Avocado is putting all of that and more into a single app, designed for couples, to organize the business of being together. Is there enough in Avocado’s one app to keep us rolling, or are we going to end up driving off the rails? (more…)

I’m a calendar junkie. The way some people collect to-do apps, I tend to have lots of different calendars all over my iPhone, iPad and Mac, and very few stick. I’ll use one for a month or two, then off to the next or back to an old favorite. I have lots of different options.

But one that has stuck on my Mac is Fantastical. Not only is it quick and easy to use, but it’s just so natural. When I was contacted by the developers and given a sneak peek at the app, well I just had to jump on it. Will the magic transfer to my iPhone or is Fantastical a Mac-only purchase? Let’s find out after the jump. (more…)

There are a lot of calendar apps, but it’s hard to get all of your events in one place. Finding a single app that syncs with everything is a big enough challenge. Now try presenting all those events and information from all over in a truly meaningful way, and you have a real job on your hands.

More than just a calendar app, Cue: Know What’s Next will sync not only all of your events in one place but just about any information you could need during your day. What Cue does is give context to your events, turning a calendar reminder into a chance to connect and engage. (more…)

I don’t have to go into detail about how our lives have become much more social that it ever has before. With Facebook and Twitter taking over and a host of other social networking apps, we have been inundated with updates from friends far and wide, and ones that we haven’t talked to in years. We can debate about whether this is a good thing or not, but I know for me, I have really started to take a closer look as to what I choose to share and with who. It is not that I am becoming a social networking snob, but I just want to be careful and I don’t want it to consume my time.

With that being said, I have been able to play with an app called Quilt for the past couple of weeks, and the one thing that I really appreciate about it is the fact that it lets you decide how social you want to be. But, before you write this one off as just another social networking app, you need to know that there are some really cool features that make it one to seriously consider. In fact, as you will discover, there are a variety of ways to use Quilt that will appeal to a mass market. (more…)

While you can add all your friends’ birthdays to your calendar, if you just want to see a list of birthdays, your calendar app is going to make that a job of work, no matter how organized you are. Besides Notes or a good ol’ sheet of paper, organizing of all of your friends’ birthdays, your favorite team’s games or your work deadlines isn’t easy.

Pronto isn’t a calendar, though. More of a reminder app, Pronto gives you a place to organize all your big events. With the ability to create alarms and add to-do lists, this trimmed down little app packs a pretty big organizational punch. (more…)

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