Tuesday, 21 October 2014

still Killing the cable TV... Netflix and Hulu.

So i was at my homes +Sanjay Gayadeen house last night with +Jefferson Edwards who i help set up his UnBlock-US, talking the normal mac talk and i must say, i miss having mac ppl to talk too. That said, i must say "thank you" sanjay for reintroducing to Hulu...
As most of you all know, i am cord cutter and i have been using Netflix for 99% of my TV time.
Now two days ago Sanjay mentioned to me that he uses Netflix for Movies and Hulu for TV shows. In my mind i was like, "dude really, Hulu". but this is Sanjay, so i decided to give it a second look. I know that we more or less see the world with the same eyes.

On my first try, my account was sync with my iTunes account that now has 95 cents on it, so i had to make a new account and added my Credit Card to it. I have also been using UnBlock-US for well into 2 years now with Netflix, and i am very happy with it. In short, UnBlock-US hides your "location" so that online services think that you are surfing in the US. So after signing up for that new Hulu Account and opening the up on my AppleTV, the first thing i saw was "Gotham" take my MONEY. then i saw "Flash" and then when i saw "24"... That was it there... sold...

So those of you with a AppleTV.
(1)Sign Up on the web site first
(2)Next, if you don't have  IP blocker, just one, i use Unblock-US
(3)Jump on your AppleTV go to Hulu

(4)Then log using "already a Hulu Plus Subscriber? Log in"

Ok so i am going get ready for my next post... MacMini and the new iPadAir...
but first... Gotham.... wait kids are still up...

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

WWDC 2014 yes, OMG

So yesterday Apple had its Developer Keynote, and for the first time since Steve's passing, I am full of hope. To me, Apple was more than just its hardware and software, it's more about the way it's able to mesh the two together in a seamless way. To me, this way the core driving feature that's been missing since Steve. Maybe not missing per se, but it no longer looked like this was a core factor in it's development.

However, I am by far no expert, and I AM definitely a fan boy. Apple is one of those companies that I love, and yes, I do see that they can mess things up (for example iCloud). If a company makes ten decisions and gets two wrong, and still manages to make a billion, okay, I can forgive that. However let's get into why this keynote was such a big win for me and by me I mean me.

Let's start with iCloud:
Now iCloud, as far as a normal iPhone user is concerned, comes down to an iPhone back-up and photo storage. Apple starts you off with 5GB, and we all know that there's very little we can do with that. If the smallest iPhone starts at 16GB, after a few months you can't back-up your phone at all. (udated: as i was reminder by one of my readers +Jefferson Edwards , the 15GB plan will back up a16GB iPhone as 2+GB is taking up for the IOS, this part of the drive is not not backed upped to iCloud. thanks jeff)  Now you can upgrade to the first paid plan with its 10GB @ $20/year and then 15GB for $20/year. Now why Apple would choose to go with 15 and not 16, I don't know, but one can speculate , that this is where Dropbox and others like it come into play. Now the real world application of iCloud storage, that is the same size of your phone means that if anythings ever happens to your phone, you will get it back the same way you last left it. If you buy a new phone, you can now setup that iPhone with everything the old phone had, and all this with one click, and with the user non the wiser, because it works in the back ground and the user don't even have to know how or why. Now you may say, so what, I can re-download my apps, if I use iTunes music I can re-download the music, but photos can't be re-downloaded. This is one of those things that if you don't back up you will never get back. You can use Google and/or Flickr. but you miss that "integration". and this is what Apple wants you to buy into. Now think of this, you add your desktop mac and ipad to the mix; you are now "forced" to back up the devices to the desktop. Now we know as "real" mac users, we don't want to DO anything; we believe that it should just be done for us because this is how things work in the Apple world. All my devices should be up- to-date, and backed up without my having to look at it and i buy a other device and i sign in, i just want my stuff to be there.

This is what the new iCloud storage will bring to us. Apple has added iCloud Disk. Now all will TRULY be in sync with each other. Apple stills starts off at 5GB for free, but let us compare the new pricing.

Dropbox @ Free: 2GB, $10/month: 100GB, $20/month: 200GB $40/month: 500GB
Google Drive @ Free: 15GB, $2/month: 100GB, $10/month: 1TB
iCloud Drive @ Free: 5GB, $1/month: 20GB, $4/month: 200GB
iCloud @ Free 5GB,
$1.66/month: 10GB, $3.33/month: 20GB, $8.33/month: 20GB

So if you are already someone who pays for the seamless life, this will prove to be a big upgrade, should it work; it will be what iDisk was promised and what Dropbox is. All you devices, with all your files, and you don't even have to think about it.

The next big thing "Health" and "Healthkit"
Where to start...
So I like going to the gym, but I LOVE going to the gym with my iPhone. Why? Cuz there is an App for the gym machines, I can play out a workout at home; walk into the gym, plug in and start, how cool is that?! I love Nike running shoes, guess what? There is an app for that too! I go running, the app knows how far, number of steps, and all the other relevant health stuff. I have a blood pressure unit, and yes, there is an app for that, when I take my blood pressure, it knows. Now, let's say you have seven odd devices that know things about your well being, yes, that's good, but now Apple comes and says, you know, you don't have to read from the seven apps you have in order to know what's going on with you, why not just take this one app, and tell your other apps to feed it the information. Do you understand what just happened there?... It's like the Hobbit all over... the best thing about these, for the people with other devices, the manufacturers can still build their devices to other platforms, nothing is "forced" on anyone. All Apple is saying is build your devices, build your apps, and we will have this app on the sideline that will pull it all together. So it does not matter to Apple who the maker of the device is, once there is an IOS app for it, we are happy. This opens the door to any player.
Have a read from 9to5mac. This brings us to Homekit.


Now this is what I've been waiting for. Let me restart.
Drives up to my gate, "Hi Siri, I am home with one guest car."
The drive bay for my car opens, along with the bay for the guest car, because I fix cars, and I have an area for them. Because, I don't use the front door when I have a guest car, the side door unlocks. Now before any of this happens, I have to use touchID; the AC comes on, and the GE small fridge, drops the temperature 15 degrees for when I offer my guest a cold coke.
Not too long after, my wife comes home with the kids. As she enters the yard, the front door unlocks, the AC in the bedrooms turn on, and the water heater turns on. And that people, is just for starters. My word, I hope Apple does right by this. Just like Health, there are 100's of apps which offer to control some devices, but again, what we are missing now is the integration, and this is what Apple is looking to do. Let the manufacturers do what they do best, we trust that Apple will just tie it all in.
This is what Apple says in its site:

"Home Kit provides seamless integration between accessories that support Apple's Home Automation Protocol and iOS devices, allowing for new advances in home automation. By promoting a common protocol for home automation devices and making a public API available for configuring and communicating with those devices, Home Kit makes possible a marketplace where the app a user controls their home with doesn’t have to be created by the vendor who made their home automation accessories, and where home automation accessories from multiple vendors can all be integrated into a single coherent whole without those vendors having to coordinate directly with each other.
  • Home Kit allows third-party apps to perform three major functions: 
  • Discover accessories and add them to a persistent, cross-device home configuration database. 
  • Display, edit, and act upon the data in the home configuration database. 
  • Communicate with configured accessories and services to get them to perform actions, such as turning on the lights in the living room." 

Some things that already work:

Netatmo Weather Station

Haier Tianzun Smart Air Conditioner

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Philips hue -- Personal Wireless Lighting

August Smart Lock

No I am not done...
Continuity... Now if nothing else works in the set, being able to answer my iPhone from any other IOS device. Too Long.. Too Long... Take my money Apple. Again this is talking to the person that is quite literally, a part of the Apple lifestyle. Everything thing just works... Only, being able to move from the Desktop to the iPad to the iPhone... love it! That is something you should expect from Apple Products. That is they flow seamlessly into one another.

Now you need to understand that they is one fundamental, background here, that is Trust, people that use apple products, really do trust them. So when you pass your figure over the TouchID you KNOW that no one but the phone knows that it you, not even Apple. So people know that when they have all this data synced, it is with that trust in mind that no one else other than who you say can see the information, is really that.

Again these are the main things for me, i don't know how our local banks will handle TouchID for or when they do make the move to iPhone apps. Metal for gaming, that to me is icing on the cake. the new programming language, Swift, if this works like it should, this is bring a younger generation, into programming, more so if Apple makes its push into the education market. nothing beats "writing code" and seeing what it does as you write it.

Ahhhhhh one more thing...
Family Sharing... this like when Netflix give us "profiles". as it is now, My son, my wife and i and are the main users. i am two accounts, one US that i use gift cards with and one local that is linked with apple and my CC. Now, my son needs to try every app, i mean really, my wife, i don;t understand, she never goes into the app store, so i am guesting that it must be my son. Now i no longer have automatic downloads on because i would have 10 free apps every week, that i never picked. Music, my wife love music, now if you know my wife she is more black than me, the first thing she would download is 2pac, now we have 3 kids, Dear mama, can only play that number of times. so now that every one can share music books movies or download their own and have their own profile, all i need to do is approve stuff when someone tries to buy something. I really really like that. 

Some quick links:
MacBreak Weekly 405
Apple IOS 8 Preveiw
Apple Swift

"Hi Siri you may now prepare my bath"