Saturday, April 6, 2013

iOS 7 – What Apple Might Have in Store for US


Apple usually updates to the iOS platform once a year, though that might be reduced to 6 months this time around. The next version, iOS 7, is already due, considering the last time that iOS had had a significant overhaul was in 2012, with the final version launched on Sept 9th (it was previewed during Worldwide Developers Conference WWDC in June last year). iOS 7 is expected to feature a significant improvement over its previous iteration, which is supported by the recent appointment of the Apple hardware design chief Jony Ive as the head of the human interface team. A thorough overhaul of the user interface has been expected for some time now.

However, in the absence of hard facts, designer F. Bianco is relying on educated speculation. He has kept the same look and feel of previous iterations, though has stressed on improving the overall user experience with it. These include a new mission control interface, widgets, and lock screen, along with a few other surprises as well. For instance, a swipe along the side over the area showing time and date will reveal options for Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Airplane Mode, and Wi-Fi.  However, it is the quick reply feature that Bianco has proposed that seems to be the most useful. The best thing is that it works on the home screen as well as the lock screen, which means a quick reply can indeed be accomplished in the most hassle free manner.

Apple already has a number of launches up its sleeve. These include the new iPad 5, new ipad Mini 2, as well as iPhone 5. Of these, Apple is rumored to be launching iPad 5 this month, though it remains to be which of these will come running the new iOS 7 right out of the box.

Meanwhile, here is a video that Bianco has released containing details of the UI changes that he thinks will accompany iOS 7.

iOS 7 – What Apple Might Have in Store for US is a post from: E-Reader News

Pi-powered cat feeder

Mooncake, the Official Raspberry Pi Cat, is fed biscuits twice a day by an off-the-shelf cat-feeding robo-hopper that we bought before Raspberry Pi was a reality. (She also gets that horrible-smelling cat food in gravy from a packet, served up by real live humans.) I’ve just found out what to replace the robot with when it breaks.

Mooncake, well-nourished, “helping” us to dispatch fund-raising stickers

Dave at Twin Cities Maker has made a Pi-powered cat-feeding robot which dispenses two sorts of biscuits, so your fickle pet has a choice of different liver-flavoured kibbles throughout the day.

Dave’s cat feeder, with toaster for scale

It’s much more functional than the one I bought from the pet shop years ago; for a start, it’s wi-fi enabled, so it can be sent instructions remotely. And Dave has plans for making it even whizzier, with sound clips (Cat from Red Dwarf), a camera and a mobile webUI.

Work in progress: this is an Adafruit PermaProto with a couple of solder bridges at the top left. Instructions are on Dave’s blog.

There are full build details, code and a parts list over at Twin Cities Maker. Here’s the feeder in action:

We’re looking forward to see what additions Dave develops for the feeder. Seriously; if you can make this thing self-cleaning, Dave, you can sit back and never have to work again. Cat owners the world over will be banging your door down.