Want to Hide Newsstand on iOS6 Without Jailbreaking?

If you’re like me, you don’t use Newsstand and think it’s a waste of space. With iOS 5, it was easy to exploit a glitch and hide it in a folder. That glitch is gone on iOS 6 and we’ve been stuck with Newsstand since. I even downloaded empty magazine covers just so it wouldn’t look empty and useless.

But rejoice, here’s a solution! It’s called Stiflestand. Download, unzip, plug in your iPhone, click ‘Hide Newsstand’. That’s it. Hooray for technology!

Why Apple Maps Isn’t Up to Par Yet

Kontra:

Unfortunately, like dialect recognition or speech synthesis (think Siri), mapping is one of those technologies that can’t be fully incubated in a lab for a few years and unleashed on several hundred million users in more than a 100 countries in a “mature” state. Thousands of reports from individuals around the world, for example, have helped Google correct countless mapping failures over the last half decade. Without this public exposure and help in the field, a mobile mapping solution like Apple’s stands no chance.

So yes, Google Maps is years ahead of Apple’s and they’ve got a huge head-start. The more it’s used, the better it gets. I guess the only thing we can really do is wait for the maps to get better and use what we can.

Quantifying the Impending iOS 6 Maps Backlash

Michael Degusta, The Understatement:

In iOS 6, Apple no longer uses Google’s traffic, transit, or street view features, switching instead to their own traffic data, and adding turn-by-turn navigation and a 3D Flyover view. As a result, features will be lost in dozens of countries. […]

In total, 63 countries with a combined population of 4.5 billion people will be without one or more of these features they previously had in iOS. Apple is risking upsetting 65% of the world’s population, seemingly without much greater purpose than speeding the removal of their rival Google from iOS. Few consumers care about such battles though, nor should they have to.

Wouldn’t be a problem if I were in Brunei. But since I rely on the bus here in Honolulu, transit directions are the one thing I’ll miss. Here’s hoping Apple comes up with a solution sooner rather than later. Or that Google releases a dedicated maps app. In the mean time, Google’s web app will have to suffice.

Tweetbot 2.0

Federico Viticci, MacStories:

I have tried many Twitter apps in the past years, as you may know, and I’ve never seen a third-party developer as committed to making their client great as Tapbots did with Tweetbot for iPhone. Iteration. Tapbots listened to feedback, and managed to pull the old trick of implementing features without turning your original vision into a piece a software it wasn’t meant to be. With version 2.0 of Tweetbot for iPhone, Tapbots has improved almost every aspect of the original experience, adding features, bug fixes, and refinements that still make Tweetbot the finest Twitter client available on the iPhone. Now faster, smoother, and more intuitive.

I’ve tried many iOS Twitter apps and some are quite good, but Tweetbot is by far my favourite. With v2.0, they’ve raised the bar.

Seriously, if you’re an avid tweeter and you have an iOS device, do yourself a favour and give Tweetbot a try. You won’t regret it.

Misconceptions About iOS Multitasking

I keep mentioning this to many of my friends, but if you’re one of those people obsessively “closing” apps in your multitasking tray, you can stop doing it. iOS multitasking is designed in such a way that you rarely, if ever, have to go into the multitasking tray and manually close apps.

Fraser Speirs:

Let me wrap this up by giving you a quick summary:

  1. If someone tells you that all the apps in the multitasking bar are running, using up memory or sucking power, they are wrong.
  2. When you hit the home button, an app moves from Active to Background and quickly to the Suspended state where it no longer uses CPU time or drains power.
  3. An app may request an additional 10 minutes of Background running to complete a big task before becoming Suspended.
  4. If memory is becoming scarce, iOS will automatically move Suspended apps into the Not Running state and reclaim their memory.
  5. Five classes of apps – audio, GPS, VOIP, Newsstand and accessory apps – and some built-in apps such as Mail may run indefinitely in the background until they complete their task.

Put simply: you do not have to manage background tasks on iOS. The system handles almost every case for you and well written audio, GPS, VOIP, Newsstand and accessory apps will handle the rest.

iOS OTA Updating Is Awesome

I just updated my iPhone to iOS 5.01 “over the air” without connecting it to a computer. Besides the new notifications, OTA delta updates are probably the most brilliant feature of iOS 5. Score another point for “PC free”.

For those who need directions, just go to Settings > General > Software Update. I think you may also need to be connected to Wi-Fi. Before you download, you will be reminded that it’s best to make sure your iPhone is connected to power, just in case it’s low on batt and dies during the installation process.

Once the update has been downloaded, it will install itself and your iPhone will auto-restart.

How To Put Newsstand in a Folder on iOS 5 (Without Jailbreaking)

The Coding Massacre:

Simply follow these steps:

  • Take two apps and go to create a folder
  • The second the apps are in the folder and it’s doing the folder creation animation, drag Newsstand into the folder
  • As long as you’re quick enough Newsstand will go into the folder!

If you open Newsstand while it’s in a folder your springboard will crash. If you want to use Newsstand at some point just take it out of the folder and you’re good to go!

As John Gruber mentions, it’s clearly a bug so this little hack-fix may not work when the next update comes. Either way, it’s brilliant. Newsstand was driving me crazy. I’m pretty obsessive about keeping my iPhone apps organized; I only have one homescreen.

iPhone 4S Feature Rundown

So, the Let’s Talk iPhone event just ended. And what did we get? An iPhone 4S, which I’m sure is a disappointment to those who were hoping for a 5. It seems Apple stuck to its own natural release progression — iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and now iPhone 4S.

But here’s the thing — despite being similar on the outside, on the inside it has got significant improvements.

  • Speed. The A5 chip has made its way into the iPhone 4S. And it’s dual-core, which means it’s twice as powerful, with dual-core graphics, meaning it’s 7x faster than its predecessor. Oh, and also much faster data speeds.
  • Camera. The iPhone 4S has an 8-megapixel (up from the 5MP in the iPhone 4). Better light-handling, a third faster when shooting photos, image resolution now up to 3264X2448, and now shoots 1080p HD video.
  • Siri. This voice-activated intelligent assistant was quite the showstopper. You can ask it anything, conversationally, and it’ll react in realtime. Ask, “What’s the weather like tomorrow?” and it’ll show you a forecast, or “How do I get home from here?” and it’ll bring up a route in the Maps app. You can ask Siri to read messages, and even dictate and send replies. It can look up contacts, create notes and e-mails, set alarms and reminders, check and create calendar appointments, check time in different countries, and even search Wikipedia. This is probably iPhone 4S exclusive though. Bummer.
  • Battery. Even with all the new improvements, the iPhone 4S actually has better battery life.
  • Storage. Along with the usual 16GB and 32GB, it now comes in 64GB.

It’ll be launching on October 14th, and is schedule to be released worldwide by the end of the year.

Honorable mentions: iOS 5 will be released on October 12th. Yay!

Apple Holding iPhone Event on Oct 4th

So, after all the rumours, the word on the Web is that Apple is announcing the next iPhone next week. I’m inclined to agree with John Gruber’s prediction that there’ll be only one iPhone, not two.

In any case, the iPhone event will be held next Tuesday, Oct 4th, at 10am Pacific Time. If my timezone calculations are correct, I’ll be staying up in the wee hours of the morning live-tweeting the event.