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Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

Whilst my iPhone is downloading iOS 7 right as I type, I wanted to go through the features that will make it brilliant. This is my personal opinion so disagree if you like.

Control Center

Control Center is like the Notification Center but for controlling your device. Swipe up and access all of your settings easily, much like Android's Quick Settings (it's getting a bit copy-cattish here now). Control Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, a handy torch and more.


Us Mac users have had AirDrop for about 2 years, but it is the most used part of OS X that I use on a regular basis. Send files between Mac and Mac to make an easy file transfer. Now iOS 7 brings the same feature. You can easily share a photo with a friend who is running iOS or Mac OS X without the need for third party applications.

Notification Center

It's just so beautiful. It loses it's silly tweed background and goes for the full on iOS 7 design. The Today feature will be useful for me as I can check the weather, stocks (and yes, I constantly check stocks, mainly because I'm interested in the computing industry stock) and more.


Lord Siri will be updated as well. Apparently more voices are coming with it, but that's not what I am excited about. iOS 7's version of Siri will bring the ability to control the device much more. For instance, you can ask him to turn on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Great for when you are on a hands free like I am sometimes.


Safari has better performance. It also looks more attractive and the tabs are organised in a neater way that will suit every device. Tabs are shown from above, a bit like a magazine rack. It all looks awesome.

But to finish

I never mentioned how I do like the consistency of the new user interface. It is so much more consistent and coherent that iOS 6 and before. I am excited a lot about the interface and the new design is a change I will have to get used to, but it will be great to try something new, hopefully.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

In what I would personally say was a good move, Steve Ballmer is to step down as the CEO of Microsoft in the next 12 months, announced earlier today. Steve Ballmer has been running the company as CEO since 2000 and has been a key part of the company.I'm not fond of Ballmer and some of his work with Microsoft, but lately some of the companies failings have been pointed at Ballmer.

Ballmer leaving this role has made share prices rise, put confidence back into those of us who follow Microsoft and allows for new marketing strategies to be applied in relation to the company.

We shall see how this pans out in the future.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

It has been long known as the business oriented phone company but today RIM (Research-In-Motion) and latterly, BlackBerry Ltd. went up for sale. BlackBerry has dropped to as low 2.9% of the phone market this year, whilst Google's Android phones take around 80% of the market, you would imagine figures like this make the company directors at BlackBerry Ltd. slightly concerned.

In the same way we lost Palm, a company who pretty much got the touch devices out on the market in the first place, BlackBerry were one of the first smartphone manufacturers for business users. It's a sad fate, but Android and iOS are in control of the smartphone market with the others trailing behind.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

As if Instagram could get any more controversial, the Facebook owned photo sharing service is now deleting any photos that are uploaded by apps on Windows Phone 8 such as Instance.

Instagram is an app that does not feature on Windows Phone and it apparently is now deleting the user's photos uploaded from any Windows Phone device. This is apparently a security issue more than anything. I've never ever used Instagram because I know the ins and outs of photo sharing through these services and realised that it's not a good idea. Instagram at one point could even sell your photos according to this source, although since then have backed down.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

Apple is supposedly testing a new size for the iPad - although this time it is said to be larger rather than smaller. The iPhone with a larger screen size is not new information, in fact, I posted about it a month back.

The rumour suggests a 13? iPad, which is the size of the smallest MacBook Pro (the one I use by the way) and slightly larger than my current Windows laptop. To me this seems too big, I prefer small tablets and small laptops. When I come home, I dock my devices to my monitor (23? display) and enjoy the big screen of that.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

It saddens me to know that AltaVista, which Yahoo acquired back in 2003, which was one of the first search engines I used (because yea, I'm that bit old enough to remember the days before Google was even around) is now being shut down. We got our first Internet connection with Freeserve just before Google came out in 1997 and by that time I would have been eight years old so I had owned a computer for one year and of course all of our searches were done with AltaVista or Yahoo. Although I also remember using MSN as well. But anyway, it's very saddening that Yahoo is closing down AltaVista after 18 years running on July 8th.

Here's the source.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

Not that I had not mentioned it already, but Apple were supposedly getting ready with the launch of a new product range. It has now come to light that it could in fact be a games console, evidence suggests based on new features brought to iOS 7.

Posted from my Wii U.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

Whilst it is not like Apple to admit they are wrong, they will have to now. They are now trying to get into the larger and even larger phone market which is already crowded with other large phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4. Now Apple is looking for a potential 5.7" display for their iPhone line up.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news

Yesterday, at WWDC, Apple announced iOS 7. As always, a new version of iOS creates a spark that brings a new feature to it. Well 7 brings a new interface. The new interface is set to look flatter.

The beautiful new interface is similar to Android

One of the features I have constantly jailbroken my device in the past in order to use is the new Control Center. This is similar to the Android Notification Center which permits the changing of settings such as Bluetooth, Wifi, NFC, Airplane Mode and Do Not Disturb. There is also the possibility of adding things like a torch to it.

The new Control Center

There is also a new multi-tasking engine. This makes multi-tasking more responsive and overall better. Two taps on the Home button is all you need and you will get all of the running apps at the bottom.

Multitasking is smart looking

Full screen support is added to Safari as well as a new Quick Search. The most important change is the fact that they have removed the 8 tabs limit (finally).

Full screen Safari experience

Other great features brought to it include the App Store automatically updating apps, a new voice for Siri that sounds more human (we shall see) and with better services such as Wikipedia, AirDrop and a new car interface.

A really important new feature to come to iOS 7, iTunes and Apple TV is iTunes Radio, Apple's new music streaming service designed to compete with Spotify (never liked these services myself anyway). However, iTunes Radio is free with advertisement included or paid for to be ad-free.

iOS 7 works on iPod 5th generation or later, iPhone 4 and later (finally the end of the 3GS) and iPad 2 and later.

All the photos in this blog post are from Lifehacker and I referenced them in this article.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news


June is the month that all Apple-interested people out there get to find out what Apple has in store for us in the next year. That's because they hold their annual WWDC (World-Wide Developer Conference) where they do a few samples of products that are going to be released throughout the year. Normally we see a release of iOS and Mac OS X and this year is no different.

Apple released their app for iOS which explains the event lineup for those who attend and it gives us an idea as to what is going to be released. iOS 7 is the obvious one, as Scott Forstall once mentioned that Apple releases a new iOS every year and it is always announced at WWDC. According to Gizmondo, iOS will be flatter, following the same pattern Microsoft have gone with for Windows 8.

iOS 7's flat appearance

The new look is flatter and less colourful

The images are from Gizmodo and show how it will change. I'm particularly fond of one theme for all, rather than different themes everywhere (just look at Painter Pro) and I read the Guardian's article and quote this one important line:

The death of skeumorphism (seen in apps such as Find My Friends, which suffers faux leather stitching for no obvious reason, and Find My iPhone, which displays a bizarrely flickering compass needle while it "looks" for your device, and so on) will be widely celebrated. Scott Forstall, the former chief for iOS software, was known to be a fan of skeumorphism; Ive isn't.

Mac OS X 10.9 (speculation about the codename being Lynx seemed spot on, but due to the Unilever brand also sharing the name they chose not go down that route) also will be revealed. Will it move one step closer to being iOS in a Mac body? Who knows.

Other things that are expected are hints at some new Haswell hardware in the Mac lineup. Perhaps including that desirable Mac Mini, Mac Pro and Thunderbolt Display that have been long awaited. There is still that possibility of a full on television set coming from Apple and being announced at WWDC, that way apps can be developed ahead of the launch.

There may be an iPad 5 being announced and perhaps also an iPhone 5S (maybe a smaller iPhone). This is because the iPhone 5S may be released before the next model which is normally released in October. The iPad could be released because normally the release is around March and they did not release a new iPad this year.

I'll be following Redmond Pie for information when it get's released. You can read more here.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Tech news
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