Facebook launches Camera app for iPhone

FacebookCamera

Facebook wastes no time to launch its own Camera app, closely followed by an yet finalized purchase of Instagram for $1 Billion that shocked the tech world. Many in the industry are wondering why Facebook launches an app that seems to be a competitor to what they’ve just bought.

Facebook Camera is decidedly different from Instagram, it is a standalone extension of the stock Facebook client similar in fashion to Facebook Messenger app. Facebook Camera is a convenient viewing and uploading app for your photos in Facebook photos.

Facebook Camera app on App Store

App of the week: Screens VNC

ScreensVNC

If you rely on VNC protocol to access your desktop computers remotely on your iPad or iPhone, then Screens VNC is as best an app you could get. Screens VNC is pricey at $19.90 for an iOS app, but the app gets it right by implementing features that make it easy to use touch based interface to maneuver the cursor on the desktop. Screens app is an universal app with iCloud and AirPlay integration. And a free Screens Connect helper app enable you to access your desktop from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Screens VNC on App Store

iOS 5.1.1 is released

iOS5-1-1

Apple has released iOS 5.1.1, which contains mainly of bug fixes. Among them are reliability improvements to HDR in Photo app, AirPlay video playback and Safari bookmarks and Reading List syncing. The update is for iOS 5 devices, which include iPhone 3GS and above, iPod touch third-generation and above, and all iPad. You can update iOS 5.1.1 directly on your iOS device from Settings app->General->Software Update.

App of the week: iTunes U

iTunes

Apple released a new iTunes U app for iPhone/iPad as part of its educational event on Jan 19. iTunes U is a free app that allows you to access the educational audio/video podcast of iTunes Store on your iDevices. With the release of iTunes U app, Apple is transforming iTunes U into an educational platform allowing teachers to include course syllabus, handouts, assignments and other materials. As part of the launch, there are already over 100 courses optimized for iDevices from universities such as Yale, Duke, MIT, Stanford etc.

iTunes U on App Store

App of the week: Words With Friends

Words With Friends

Words With Friends is social gaming at its best. Similar to an electronic version of Scrabble, you can play Words With Friends against a friend from your contact list, find a friend or play from a random opponent from its more than 20 million users. There is an HD version for iPad and ads supported free versions as well.

Words With Friends

Words With Friends Free

Words With Friends HD

Words With Friends HD Free

8 ways to save battery life on your iPhone and iPad

For its iOS devices, Apple is striking a good balance between hardware features and usability. Having good battery life is one essential usability feature high in Apple’s design agenda. Thus you do not find battery draining LTE components in iOS devices, as Apple is awaiting for those technology to mature.

Battery life on iPhone or iPad are acceptable and is the best among smartphones. You should not have to turn off features in order to get reasonable battery life. The following tips are just to highlight areas that impact battery life on your iPhone and iPad.

1. Display Screen. The screen is one component that uses much battery juice. By default, screen Auto-Lock is set to one minute on your iPhone and 5 minutes for iPad.  Make sure you know what you are doing if you choose the “Never” option. You can save on battery life by lowering the Auto-Lock minutes for iPad. To adjust, go to Settings app, select General > Auto-Lock.

2. Auto-Brightness. When the screen is brighter, more battery is required. Make sure Auto-Brightness is turn on to let iOS adjusts the display’s brightness according to your current environment. To adjust, open Settings app and select Brightness.

3. Location Services. With location service turned on, the GPS component in your iPhone or iPad is working, thus is draining the battery. Nowadays it seems like almost every apps wants to use your location. You can turn off location service from Settings > Location Services. It is advisable not to shut down location service for all apps as it is useful feature for some essential apps such as Photos, Reminders and Find My iPhone. Instead turn off location service for apps that you do not use for their location aware feature.

4. Bluetooth. The settings for Bluetooth is under Settings > General > Bluetooth. Turn off Bluetooth when not in use will save some battery life.

5. Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is another radio component that uses battery as it searches constantly for Wi-Fi network around you. You can turn off Wi-Fi from Settings > Wi-Fi. Turning off Wi-Fi is not recommended if you use Wi-Fi a lot, nothing beats the convenience of having access to the network automatically wherever you are.

6. Fetch New Data. For mail, contacts and calendars, you can disable Push to saw battery life under Settings > Mail,Contacts,Calendars > Fetch New Data. It is not recommended to turn Push off if you use iCloud for mail, contacts or calendars and require up-to-date data to be always available. If you do not use Push for mail, contacts or calendars, you can setup to a lower fetch frequency to save battery life. Instead of fetching every 15 minutes, set it to fetch hourly for example.

7. Vibration. If you receive a lot of calls, alerts or messages, you can save battery life by turning off the phone’s vibrator. Go to Settings > Sounds for the settings.

8. Equalizer. The Music app has an EQ equalizer feature which adjusts music on the fly and uses battery while doing so. Make sure it is off if you do not use it. The settings is under Settings > Music > EQ.