Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

8 Helpful Tips for Updating Your iPhone Software

Updating your iPhone Software8 Helpful Tips for Updating Your iPhone Software

I want to start this off by admitting I have an iPhone 3G. It’s true.   Working at a tech company, I feel like admitting I have this version is like carrying around a Zach Morris phone. Truth is, I hardly ever plug my iPhone into my computer and when I do, it is just to upload music. But sometimes, you are forced to update.

Recently, I headed to the gym and started my Netflix app, only to find out it wasn’t working. When I tried to download my new update, a tiny box popped up saying, “requires iOS 5 or later.” I knew it was time.  I had seen the nightmares on Facebook of people losing contacts, pictures, and even their email set-ups. I couldn’t stand to part with my pictures of my beloved beagle or lose the phone numbers of friends I plan on calling (sometimes).  In order to avoid losing your precious memories, here are some quick tips to remember when running updates.

  1. Make sure you are running the most recent version of iTunes.  Ensure that you have the most recent version of iTunes for compatability.  The most current version to date is 11.0.2. If you are not sure which version you have, go to the top bar in iTunes, click “help,” and then select, “Check for Updates.” If there is an update available, iTunes will locate it here.

 Check for Updates

2)      Make sure to back-up your phone.  If you are in more recent versions, you will be able to do this in the cloud. I did mine manually by plugging my phone into a computer. Once you’ve plugged your phone in hit “File,” then “Devices,” then choose “Back-Up.”  Backing up is different than syncing, so be sure to hit the right tab.

 Back up your iPhone

3)      Check to make sure your applications and music are synced. From what I understand, there is really no way to see if your contacts, messages, and photos are synced, but you can see what time it was when you last backed up on your “Summary” page in iTunes.

 

4)      Use a solid wifi or internet connection. When I tried to update my phone on my computer at home, I kept getting errors regarding my network connection. Despite my numerous troubleshooting attempts, I was unable to get the connection strong enough to download. Wherever you choose to download, you should have a strong enough connection to fully finish the download.

 

5)      Make sure your phone is fully charged. If you choose to download your update through the cloud, be sure to charge your phone.  Having the phone die in the middle of an update could mean big trouble. If you really want to be on the safe side, plug your phone into a charger.

 

6)      Read any and all pop-ups before you update.  iTunes is pretty good about telling you the possibilities of what could happen if you haven’t backed up your phone or transferred your purchases. Make sure to read all of your pop-up messages before you update to avoid any mishaps.

 

7)      Do not unplug your phone or disconnect.  The time it takes to download a software update can vary.  Make sure that you allow plenty of time for your phone to update. Depending on the amount of files you have and network speed, it can take up to a few hours. From what I’ve read in other forums, it usually takes about an hour on average.

 

8)      The software update will only download your most important applications. In order to get the rest of your music and applications you will need to sync with your computer.  If you backed up before you did your update then you should have no problems.   In order to sync your music, apps and movies, just scroll through the summary bar and select.

 How to sync music

 

 Now, I’m sure that we can have tips for days, but these are just a few of the most common mistakes people make. If you have any helpful tips for updating your iPhone, please feel free to comment below!

 

Unidev’s Favorite Fitness Apps of 2013

On January 1, 2013, I grabbed a notepad and (like most) began scribbling down goals for the New Year. Eat healthy, workout more, drink more water.  My first two weeks were great. I hit the gym and cooked healthy meals.  By week three, I began feeling burned out. Not wanting to quit, I turned to my trusty iPhone for some much needed motivation. There were so many fitness apps, that I didn’t know what to pick.  I asked around the office and researched a few of the Unidev Favorites!

 

CaitlinCaitlins Favorite App

Favorite App: Fitocracy: The Fitness Social Network 

Price: Free

Fitocracy is an application that helps you track your workouts and compete head-to head with users around the world.  Need to find a new workout? Never fear. Fitocracy has them preloaded. If you are up to the challenge, you can master one of their many “quests,” to “level up,” and earn points. While friends keep you accountable, the countless workouts make sure you are always challenged.  For a real calorie burner, try the Widowmakers under the “Quest” Function.

 

 

Amanda: 

Favorite App: MyPlate by Livestrong.comAmanda's Favorite App

Price: $2.99

Livestrong.Com currently has a calorie tracker, that helps you track your fats, carbs, and protein intake with just a click.  According to the iTunes stories, this app boasts over 1.3 million food and restaurant items.  MyPlate comes with functions to track your weight and water intake, and also allows you to join support communities for extra motivation!

 

 

JamieJamie's Favorite App

Favorite App: My RunKeeper

Price: Free

 My Runkeeper is a GPS Personal trainer that tracks your runs, walks, bike rides, and hikes using the GPS on your phone.  With a dual function, it allows you to still listen to your music while you are running. When you finish it allows you to post a map of your run  Facebook as well as take notes for next time!

 

 

Chelsea

Favorite App: MyFitnessPalChelseas favorite app

Price: Free

Why she loves it: My Fitness Pal is an application that allows you to track your meals and exercise.  The function ensures you are eating the optimal amount of calories for a healthy lifestyle.  With a “calories in versus calories out,” model, you can gain extra calories to use for eating out or after work happy hours. Accessing your meal plan is easy on-the-go and Chelsea finds it essential as she plans her upcoming wedding!

Mobile Payment Movement Leads to Concerns Over Security

Earlier this month, Starbucks bet big on mobile payment company Square, investing $25 million in the rapidly growing startup and adding its CEO Howard Shultz to Square’s Board of Directors. August also brought an announcement from Google that their mobile payment solution, Google Wallet, now works with any major credit card. These major changes indicate the rapidly growing mobile payment movement, an industry some experts predict to reach $74 billion dollars by 2015.

Google Wallet Mobile Payment

Google Wallet interacts with the Mastercard PayPass system.

But the convenience of mobile smartphone payments have many concerned over security issues with the new payment platform. Both technical and personal concerns have arisen, and the companies heavily invested in mobile commerce are making efforts to ensure consumers stick around.

Many personal concerns stem from a fear that easy payments mean easy money for criminals who get their hands on consumer smartphones. However, most mobile applications that process payments have built in features to make them possibly more secure than traditional credit cards.

First, most mobile commerce apps require a pin number to activate the NFC (near-field communicator) antennae. Coupled with pin-based locks screens on smartphones themselves, consumers often have two layers protecting their digital wallets. Also, stolen smartphones can be tracked with the built-in GPS capabilities and shut down remotely. While these features aren’t universally true of all mobile payment applications, major players like Google and Square lead the market with these security features.

From a technical standpoint, things get more interesting. With a new transactional platform, new methods of exploitation arise. Indeed, Square has already been hacked twice since 2011. However, it seems that these breaches in card security aren’t significantly different from fraud issues facing credit cards.

Some experts even feel that mobile payments are safer from exploitation than traditional 16-digit credit card accounts. Because credit cards have been in use so long, much more developed and sophisticated methods for cracking these accounts exist. Mobile payment systems may have the added security benefit of simply being new.

While valid concerns surround this new method of payment on the go, the security issues currently facing mobile payments seem manageable at this point. With the continued rapid growth in market share, it seems that the mobile payment movement will continue to march onward.

Stay in touch with all things mobile, tech, and software with the Unidev News.

 

5 Bold Moves Microsoft is Making with Internet Explorer 10

In May 2012, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer lost its long-reigning position at the top of the browser usage charts to Google Chrome. While no longer the world’s most-used browser, IE is not content to stay in second place for long. With IE 10 this Fall, Microsoft is making bold moves to stay relevant in the fast-moving “browser wars”. Here are 5 big changes in IE 10 that are sure to make an impact:

1. Speed and Performance

When it comes to web browsers, speed and compatibility are of utmost importance. With improved HTML5 functionality and a sped up Javascript engine (a new iteration of IE 9’s “Chakra” Jscript engine), IE 10 is Microsoft’s fastest browser yet. Preview releases of IE 10 have already impressed reviewers with Javascript speeds on the Metro version, optimized for Windows 8 on tablets.

2. Web App Focus

Microsoft is betting big on the future of web applications, particularly those using HTML5. IE 10 is incorporating major updates to its HTML5 functionality, allowing video with links to specific times and embedded captions. With these updates, advanced web applications can be optimized for IE 10, allowing for complex browser games and applications, like Office 365, to run smoother than ever. Web developers and designers can take advantage of this improved horsepower with more robust sites.

Internet Explorer 10 Bubble Test

Internet Explorer 10 flexes its muscles with high performance benchmarks.

3. Touch-first

Announced last month, the Microsoft Surface tablet demonstrated the company’s commitment to mobile browsing. The new hardware, along with Windows 8’s “touch-first” design standard, means IE 10 is built from the ground up around touch screen interaction. With a rapidly growing smartphone and tablet market, Microsoft saw the need for a browser that is truly mobile. Fluid design and a tile-based interface for favorites and tabs are key components of the touch-first standard.

4. Windows 8

Microsoft is tying the fate of IE 10 closely with that of its new Windows 8 operating system also releasing this Fall. Finally shedding its older operating systems, IE 10 will not run on Windows XP or Vista. Even its support for Windows 7 is suspect, as recent preview builds have only been made available for the Windows 8 developer’s preview build. Microsoft is completely changing their model by charging only $40 for their latest OS upgrade.

5. Do Not Track

Perhaps most controversial is Microsoft’s decision to enable their “Do Not Track” setting by default in IE 10. This represents a strong stance in favor of consumer privacy from Microsoft. However, it has certainly angered online advertisers who rely on tracking technology to deliver targeted ads. The effects of this change are still unknown, as some critics believe the do not track setting won’t even help consumers protect their privacy. Regardless of the outcome, Microsoft aims to be on the forefront of evolving web standards.

 

With these significant upgrades to their browser, Microsoft is making a major push to get back on top of the browser usage charts. But will it pay off? We’ll find out when IE 10 and Windows 8 launch this Fall. For up to date web applications and technology information follow @Unidev on Twitter.

 

Google Brings New Mobile Opportunities for Developers and Users

Late last month Google I/O 2012, the company’s annual developer conference, streamed out live to over 3.5 million people in over 170 countries. Since its inception in 2008, I/O (short for input/output and “Innovation in the Open”)  the place to hear the latest announcements and innovations on Google’s platforms, including Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, and many others.

This year’s conference brought many significant announcements for the mobile space, promising new experiences to users and new opportunities for mobile developers. Google stands strong in their 2012 mobile strategy with  announcements of a new tablet, mobile OS and many other mobile browser and app updates.
Of course, the most notable announcement from Google was their first foray into the tablet market, the Nexus 7. At $199 and with a 7-inch display, Google’s new tablet should be a fierce competitor with the Amazon Kindle Fire, an already popular Android tablet released at the same price point late last year. With full integration to Google Play, developers maintain an easily visible means to deliver now apps, games, and other content to users.

 

google mobile tablet nexus 7

Google’s tablet runs fast with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor.

Photo by Google

The new Nexus 7 also ships with a distinct advantage in the tablet market, as the first device to ship with Google’s latest version of their mobile OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.  Developers can interface with the new features of Jelly Bean, such as improved camera functionality, voice search, and customizable widgets. For the users, this update is the fastest Android UI yet.

Google also expanded its mobile software and application offerings during I/O 2012. One significant announcement was the release of Chrome for iOS, allowing iPhone and iPad users to utilize Google’s web browser on the go. Users can sync tabs using their desktop Chrome account, so it’s simple to transition from mobile to desktop browsing. Unfortunately, due to Apple’s restriction on apps mimicking default iOS apps (in this case Safari), Google Chrome can’t make full use of the iOS Javascript engine. This makes Chrome for iOS slightly slower than the default Safari application.

Google also announced Chrome for Android devices moving out of beta and introduced a Google+ app for the iPad and Android tablets. Overall, at this year’s I/O Google continued to engage users by expanding its mobile product and software base. Likewise, mobile developers will certainly be busy designing around Google’s new OS and hardware specification.

For the latest on mobile technology, software development and other happenings in tech, follow @Unidev on Twitter.