Quick Rant: The iPad’s Incredibly Vague Weather Widget

iOS 7 weather widget

This one’s been a pet peeve of mine for as long as iOS 7 has been out. The “Today Summary” section of Notification Center looks quite clean, and I like how it opts to use text over a set of weather icons, but here’s where it can be plain stupid: it doesn’t always show the current temperature.

Sometimes the summary does show info like “a high of 6, a low of –3”, but other times it just shows vague information like “partly cloudy conditions with low visibility”. Unfortunately, the thing about low visibility is that it doesn’t tell me anything about how many layers I should wear before stepping out the door.

This wouldn’t be as bad if I could simply tap on the iPad’s weather report as I do on my iPhone 5S, but I can’t. The iPad doesn’t come bundled with a Weather app, and I can’t link the widget to open any of the excellent third-party weather services on the App Store. This means that the only way to quickly check the weather on an iPad is to use Siri, which displays the proper highs and lows throughout the day. That can work, but Siri has its own issues when it comes to reliablity (sometimes it takes mini vacations and doesn’t respond to anything).

This is one of those details in which the devil lives. It’s an oversight in Apple’s major move from iOS 6 to iOS 7, and it would be oh-so-easy to correct, if only Apple could catch onto it.

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Siri Improved with ‘Manual Control’ in iOS 7.1

Siri in iOS 71

A couple days after the release of iOS 7.1 we’re starting to learn more about some of the improvements in the latest version of the iPad’s operating system.

One of these is a new ‘Manual Control’ method when using Siri – which is said to lead to faster and more accurate results when using it. This is easy to use. Instead of pressing and holding the Home button until Siri pops up and then releasing it, you continue to hold the button until you’re finished speaking.

I’ve tried this out a little this morning and Siri does respond a lot faster than before, and the accuracy does seem improved a bit as well.

I spotted this via Chris Meinck’s post over at  everythingiCafe.

Have any of you tried this out with Siri yet? If so, what do you think of the results?

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iOS 7.1 for iPad Is Faster, More Stable, And Ready For Download Now


iOS 7.1 is out today and you can update your iPad by heading over to Settings -> General -> Software Update. This dot update marks the biggest and bug-fixinest improvement to iOS since the release of iOS 7 last year.
The major features you’ll likely notice immediately are:

  • iOS animations are faster, which makes multitasking and returning to the home screen feel much more fluid on my iPad Air (this is a pretty big deal)
  • Siri has been given an extra set set of less robotic voices for certain Mandarin, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
  • You can now tap-and-hold the Home button to bring up Siri, dictate your commands, and then release the Home button to signal that you’re done speaking (though you can still wait for Siri to automatically detect that you’re done talking)
  • New dialogue and button designs (e.g. the new shut down screen, which you can see by holding the Sleep/Wake switch)
  • General stability improvements. The 64-bit iPad Air is definitely more crash prone than my previous 1st-gen iPad mini, and discussions of the beta claim that 7.1 is much better, even at memory management

In my brief taste of the update thus far, Safari tabs do seem like they stay in memory longer than before. I can get to about six or seven tabs (news sites and blogs) before any one of them has to reload. It also feels like switching between apps is a hair faster than before, which does make a surprising difference.

The only headline feature of 7.1 that isn’t available on the iPad is Carplay, which improves hands-free and car control integration … but only on iPhone 5 and up, and then only on certain new 2014 car models.

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Lovely iPad Rumor of the Day: iOS 7.1 Out Any Day Now, to Support iTunes Festival App

iTunes Festival SXSW

Well here’s a lovely little iPad rumor to consider this week – iOS 7.1 is said to be set for release any day now. Here’s the reason given by John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

Apple’s first iTunes Festival in the U.S. starts a week from today at SXSW in Austin. Apple is going to stream the performances to iOS devices using an app, but I’ve heard from a little birdie that the app requires iOS 7.1 (which explains why the app isn’t out yet). That means iOS 7.1 should ship any day now.

These shows start next Tuesday, March 11, right here in Austin. So perhaps a iOS 7.1 release on Friday?

iOS 7.1 is rumored to bring fixes for some of the crashing bugs and frequent Springboard resets that have plagued iOS 7 since its release.

I don’t fully understand why the iTunes Festival app requires an iOS update, as it has always offered a live stream plus highlights videos in the past as far as I can recall – but I’ll be quite happy if this rumor proves true and the app helps to push out the iOS 7.1 release.

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iOS 7.0.6 for iPad Released – Security Update

iOS 706

Yesterday Apple issued the latest update to the iPad and iPhone operating system, iOS 7.0.6. This update is primarily a security patch for a known vulnerability relating to SSL connections.

The update is available now and can be installed over-the-air (as in, directly from the iPad) via the Settings app. You’ll find it under Settings > General > Software Update.

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Facebook Sign In on iOS Demands Too Much

The screenshot above is of the advisory popup dialog you get when you’re about to sign in with your Facebook account in the iPad Settings app – to link your Facebook account more seamlessly throughout iOS. Here’s the big catch though: the dialog above lets you know that signing in will do this: Download your [...]

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iOS 7.0.4 Released – Fixes FaceTime Bug & More

Yesterday Apple released iOS 7.0.4 – the latest update to the iPad’s iOS operating system. The update is available via the Software Update (under General) section of the Settings app. This update is a minor one with mostly unspecified bug fixes and improvements, and a fix for a FaceTime issue with failed calls experienced by [...]

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iOS 7 – See Cellular Data Use by App

Here’s another neat little feature that iOS 7 has added for those of us who use an iPad with cellular data capability. You can now see cellular data usage for all your individual apps in the Settings app. This was possible before with a few 3rd party apps, but it’s handy to have this information [...]

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