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PVR Panel 2.1.1 Available Soon!

Due to recent updates to the Videotron website, you may have noticed that PVR Panel is unable to sync your recordings at the moment. Well, we have just submitted an update to the App Store that should fix this issue. On a side note, as you may know, we originally created PVR Panel since there were no alternatives to managing your PVR remotely from your phone. Well, that too has changed. Videotron now provides its own Illico for iPhone app that allows you to browse the TV guide and record your shows. So you do have an alternative if PVR functionality is all you need. With this alternative now available, we will have to evaluate if it still makes sense to continue development of PVR Panel. read more


Comments Off on iOS7: Matt, Monochromatic, with few innovations (IMHO)

iOS7: Matt, Monochromatic, with few innovations (IMHO)

icon-ios7 Yesterday, at its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple announced iOS7 and highlighted its new UI redesign and features. Unfortunately, there was almost nothing new or original. Almost every new redesigned element or feature was something that was already introduced by other mobile operating systems already (some years earlier). Worse yet, Apple’s Craig Federighi went out of his way to bash the old design on multiple occasions, and the worst part? Looks like devs will have to do more work to make sure their apps look good in iOS7 while supporting older versions of iOS. So what’s the real story? iospress13-1370892975

Dated design?

Was the existing iOS UI really dated? Perhaps! The UI had not changed dramatically since it was introduced in 2007 and a change was due. But, the main issue here however is not with why Apple redesigned the UI, but how they did it. It is true that a lot of the UI was wasted on leather bound calendars and torn paper notes, but the high detail of the design was on par with Apple’s philosophy and while “dated”, it was not ugly. The new UI, as leaked by 9to5mac, looks cheap. Most of the UI blends to the point that you cannot tell a navigation bar, from a tab bar, from the main content of the page and that is going to be more confusing to many existing iPhone owners. homescreen-dock Obviously, the new redesign has not grabbed me and I could go on about its loss of contrast and how depending your choice of background reading some text could be very hard, but I may have already tainted your opinion and there are enough other articles and tweets to get you tainted.

Innovative or Copied?

So, with such drastic changes, how much of what has changed or new features that were introduced is actually new? The answer is very few. It seems like Apple’s Jonathan Ive, while great at designing hardware, is not the most original when it comes to User Interfaces (UI). iOS7 looks like a combination of:
  • The Windows 7 blurring effect of elements behind the current window
  • The Windows Phone chromatic UI
  • Palm OS’ multi-tasking UI
  • Android’s new back button, window transitions, and quick access to some features

The final word?

That remains to be seen, once iOS7 has gone public and we have all had enough time to let it grow on us, and there is still time for Apple to actually listen and update some of the shortcomings (mostly icon redesign). The most disconcerting part is that there were a lot of expectation from Apple from the new iOS (and iPhone hardware later in the year), and Apple seems to have missed it completely. And if this is any indication, it is safe to expect an iPhone 5s instead of a major new redesigned iPhone. Sure, you can share files (Airdrop) , and integrate with LinkedIn. There are even live/animated icons (Look at the clock icon in the demo videos online), but Apple did not introduce any major new API for developers to integrate better with iOS at it core. The background services have been improved, but devs can still not provide anything close to HTC’s BlinkFeed for a more immersive experience and that leaves iOS still behind other mobile operating systems. read more


Comments Off on Is Mountain Lion Worth The Upgrade? (Updated)

Is Mountain Lion Worth The Upgrade? (Updated)

OSX Mountain Lion was released yesterday and it brings with it many new features and add-ons which is a great offer at $20 for the upgrade, but there are a few catches:
  • You have to have a relatively recent Mac to get all the features.  For example, AirPlay screen sharing is only available if you have an early 2011 Mac Book Pro or later.
  • You lose some features that you may have depended on.  My pet peeve here is Web Sharing which I used all the time.  OSX still have Apache with it, but the web sharing feature which allowed for user based folders is gone.  To bring it back, all you need to do, is find your old user conf file (from a time machine backup) and add it back to /etc/apache2/users/.
  • Looks like you can also only enter Time Machine if it is enabled.  I typically turn it off and do manual backups using its menu bar option and I do not recall having issues with Lion in getting into time machine while automatic backup was not enabled.
Had I known this yesterday, I may have held off for a bit, but it is still worth the $20 upgrade. read more


Comments Off on Does inconvenience give you security and peace of mind

Does inconvenience give you security and peace of mind

Recently, a YouTube video went viral showing how easily the airport body scanners can be fooled. The TSA has now responded to that, but it basically says: “Don’t ask us how it works, just trust us that it does. You are safe now.” It reminds me of the Knight and Day movie with Tom Cruise where he is talking about words and sentences to watch out for…..”you’re safe now”……”it’s for your safety”… I personally always go early and go through the pat down and avoid the machines. Besides being an invasion of my privacy and exposing me to more xray, I have never felt any safer. Now, this Gizmodo article only reinforces my choice. It is an interesting read. read more


Comments Off on Did you get your pre-ordered iPhone 4S?

Did you get your pre-ordered iPhone 4S?

Or are you sitting on the side lines watching those who had not pre-ordered enjoy their new iPhones? The latter situation seems to be more common than I would have thought, with myself counting amongst them. Many people rushed to pre-order the iPhone 4S to some extent due to the shortage experience with the iPhone 4 when it first came out or perhaps due to the fact that they had waited since the iPhone 3GS, or worse 3G. In fact, this was Apple’s most successful pre-order iPhone yet. But what ended up happening is that not everyone got their pre-orders on the 14th, and instead had to watch others walk into an Apple store and purchase one with relative ease. I even heard of cases where folks purchased an iPhone in stores despite having ordered it online with the intention to return the pre-order once it arrives. I think this is a case where Apple could score extra browny points for awarding those early pre-orders with a free bumper or some other small gesture of thanks, but it won’t. It won’t because it know it had us at Siri. As for me, my iPhone sits idle in a UPS warehouse close by only to be delivered to me on Monday so i am living vicariously through internet reviews till then. I hope you already got yours. read more


Comments Off on Steve Jobs: Creator of the PC and post PC era dies at 56

Steve Jobs: Creator of the PC and post PC era dies at 56

He was a rare CEO who truely loved the products he created and was infamous for being involved in every aspect of their production. He gave us some of the most amazing technologies and devices that have become nearly essential to our everyday lives, and he delivered them all in his own style. He managed to turn Apple into a Hollywood star, complete with fans, copiers and paparazzies. Though he may have passed, his impact on the world will be felt for generations to come. He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family! read more