Alleyside Daily #3: 8″ iPad, Siri Shopping, Batman, Crates, Lost Car

iPhone Alley introduces a brand new way to stay up-to-date on all things happening in the world of iOS. Alleyside Daily is a roundup of news headlines, applications, and products delivered in a unique IM-style, opinionated format. The goal is for one article to provide everything you need to know about iPhone 5GS while also hyping up an amazing new time travel app and an indestructible case, along with everything in between – first. In addition, our seasoned editors’ knowledge adds insight. Interviews, giveaways, and special guests are coming very soon down the line. Keep in mind that the concept is very much still in “beta,” so we’ll need your help shaping Alleyside Daily into the ultimate collection of daily iOS information.

|News Headlines

Apple to Launch 7.85″ iPad

  So it is rumored that after the launch of the iPad 3 in Q1 of 2012, there will also be another iPad launched that will feature a smaller screen.
Michael:   A 7.85″ iPad would be, in a word: a stupid, fragmented move
Okay, that’s four words but same point
Nikhil:   True, very much against Steve Jobs’ will
Michael:   Stupid being the key
If apps are required to be optimized for different screen sizes, then the App Store will become quite broken-up
Nikhil:   It’ll just become another Android
Michael:   Not quite
Nikhil:   except without that same amount of phones
and devices
Michael:   Three different screen sizes isn’t going to ruin anything
But if the next iPhone has a bigger display, it will be a mess
A 7.85″ tablet is a more comfortable size but 10″ provides more room for apps and immersive experiences
Nikhil:   Well I was just using an iPad today, and I really would like a smaller size
Michael:   Apparently LG and AUO would produce them, both major players in MacBook screen size
Nikhil:   I don’t have the largest of hands, so it was quite difficult to type efficiently
Michael:   But it helps differentiate it from an iPhone
Nikhil:   There are obviously others like me who will warmly welcome the smaller screen
Michael:   Though the tablet market does seem to be moving towards smaller 7″ screens
Nikhil:   A smaller screen would be a good balance: not too small like the iPhone’s and not too large like the current iPad

Siri Now Flirting with Best Buy
Siri receives many of its answers from the info service WolframAlpha
Just today they have announced adding Best Buy shopping details to the service
Nikhil:   Many, which means little…but that’s for another day
Michael:   So a user can ask Siri about a product and find brand, rating, availability info, even dimensions
Nikhil:   Siri is limited, but it’s certainly a nice feature that has been implemented
Michael:   Of course price as well as a price comparison
Features list as well
It adds a very full-featured shopping functionality
Nikhil:   So, if I ask Siri right now, some device, it’ll do all of that?
Michael:   Yup
Go a head and let us know how it works
Nikhil:   Let me give it a go
Nikhil:   Well, after some prodding and experimenting, Siri gave me back all of the aforementioned info for the iPhone 4S
According to it, the median price for Apple is $800


Revised iOS 5.0.1 Update Fixes Sim Card Errors
Very small update for iPhone 4S
Nikhil:   Never got that error from my phone, but it’s still a welcomed update among the few people that probably did
Michael:   In fact, it’s so teeny tiny that it doesn’t even get a .0.1 increase
Apple quietly revised iOS 5.0.1 to remove the SIM Card errors
Nikhil:   Yup, no large news or anything
Michael:   Specifically, the “No SIM Card Installed”
Nikhil:   but if you experienced it, you can download the patch
Michael:   Well, let us know if it’s fixed

Possible Expansion of Steve Jobs’ Biography
Nikhil:   So, according to the author of the official Steve Jobs biography, there may be an expansion
Michael:   Where is he finding the additional information?
Extra interviews or penny-pinching illegal snooping?
Nikhil:   He didn’t so much find the extra information, but rather wants to write about his experience with Jobs for the two years he spent writing and compiling info for the bio
Michael:   Sounds like a way to further profit from this year’s top-selling book
Nikhil:   Yup, it does
It’s already got 630 pages of Jobs-filled info
Michael:   I do like how he compares the book’s cover to Apple’s design
Nikhil:   Yeah, apparently Steve Jobs jokingly threatened for it to make it as the cover!
Michael:   So basically, he says that this is “not the final draft.”
More to come…
Nikhil:   Not sure how he’ll do that though
Add on to the existing book?
Or a new book?
Michael:   He just has to dig up new information.
Nikhil:   I guess we’ll just find out…
Michael:   Probably add on, maybe create a “Deluxe Edition”

Robbers: “Only mugging you if you haz de iPhone”
Michael:   Say you were a mugger
Nikhil:   Wow, that’s sad. Not even robbers want blackberries.
Another sign that RIM is falling to the ground

Michael:   You would just be out to take anything, right?
Well, these aren’t in it for the money
Call them Apple fanboys
Nikhil:   While it’s sad for RIM, I have to laugh
Michael:   The muggers are only going after cash (fine, some money) and iPhones
Though skipping BlackBerry’s and Droids
“It’s insulting they don’t want my BlackBerry,” said a female student.
Nikhil:   How about iPads? Probably would leave all of the other tablets and take the Apple device
Michael:   The stupidest part?
Nikhil:   Yep?
Michael:   iPhone is the most easily-trackable of the three devices
Nikhil:   Yeah, didn’t think about that.
Michael:   Between Find My iPhone and iMessage, there are a lot of ways to potentially get it back.


Super Crate Box Releasing for iOS on January 5th

Nikhil: Whether or not you’ve heard of this title before for your computer, which is really odd considering it’s one of the best games I’ve played to date on my laptop, you should look forward to its arrival on January 5th
Official developer Vlambeer teamed up with iPhone developer Halfbot to bring to you, Super Crate Box for iOS
Michael:   Heard the title, but I don’t know what it is
How does gameplay work?
Nikhil:   You play as a little character, I say that because I have absolutely no idea what it is, and run and jump across set platforms on the screen in attempt to collect as many boxes as you can
You’re probably sighing right now, passing it off as another average game
Michael:   Um, yes. Yes, I am.
Nikhil:   But, the gameplay is amplified by the addition of enemies that storm down from the top of the screen. If you let them fall off the platforms, they start raging and become harder to evade
Each time you collect a box, your weapon changes. You use it to gun down the enemies to collect more boxes
Michael:   There has been some difficulty with clones of Halfbot’s games
So they must be quite good
Nikhil:   And with Vlambeer’s, so I know that this is going to be one of the best games of 2012.

Batman Arkham City Lockdown
dun na na na dun na na Batman!
Nikhil:   Wow, that’s the most epic intro
Michael:   Warner Brothers released a Batman Arkham fix for iOS
Nikhil:   Anyways, this seems to be another one of the quality releases of the week
Michael:   And surprisingly, it is actually a very high quality game
Graphics are beyond great – almost comparable to the console versions
It’s another Unreal Engine game!
Nikhil:   So 3D gameplay, huh? How are the controls?
Michael:   Creativity is low considering gameplay is a rip-off of Infinity Blade
Nikhil:   Oh, just on-rails
and hitting buttons to kill people
Michael:   But still, it’s a fantastic ride
Swiping, a la Infinity Blade
Nikhil:   Well, it looks like it’ll provide a nice whiff of nostalgia for those who like the console games and the movies
Michael:   Very atmospheric, cinematic, and BATMAN! $5.99.

HourFace: 3D Aging Photo
Ya know, based on the title it sounds like just another average image-enhancement booth app
But we wouldn’t try to sell you on another, no
The one thing in the app that makes it a stand-out is this: it can take a static image of your face and animate

Nikhil: How realistically though?
I’ve seen programs that simply make your mouth move or some other animation of the same breed
Very generic and very much ugly
Michael:   So your eyes will blink, move and head will turn. It can follow your finger too
75% realistically, I’d say
Nikhil:   What’s the overall point?
Michael:   It looks creepy!
Nikhil:   Other than the aging factor
True that
Michael:   That’s it, animated face and aging
Animated face sold me just because it looks realistic


Gummy iPhone Case
Michael:   Umm…
Nikhil:   This is nothing new or revolutionary, but simply another possible Christmas gift (or April Fool’s Day)
Michael:   A bacteria-covered gummy iPhone case
Nikhil:   Exactly what I though when I saw it
See, it fooled you
It’s all just a joke
You could easily make your loved ones try it out
Michael:   You must have to read through the entire description to figure that out
Actually, it isn’t edible?
Nikhil:   How much would you pay to see your dad try and eat his phone case?
Priceless, right?
Michael:   He wouldn’t, I don’t think many would
Nikhil:   Nope, next to the icon ThinkGeek displays an April  Fool’s Day banner
Michael:   Would be on a prank
So buy it if you want to get sick and make your iPhone slightly sticky
Nikhil:   Well, you can’t actually bite it off
It’s undoubtedly made with a strong material able to take your teeth at their minimum force
and, ThinkGeek probably wouldn’t make it out of anything hazardous
Probably just stomach churning!
Michael:   Then nobody’s going to try to eat it unless they’re starving

Find My Car Smart
Michael:   Find My Car Smart is double-edged, as in it’s two things
a find your car-er-er-er and smart
The only thing missing is a valet feature
Nikhil:   Well aren’t there other things that provide the same kind of thing?
Michael:   It uses Bluetooth Smart in the iPhone 4S to remember your car’s location automatically
Which means it’s the low-power Bluetooth that allows it to run for hours
So, go in the parking lot, take out the app, and find your car.
Difference between this and a GPS-enabled app is that you don’t have to mark your location when you leave the car
Nikhil:   Tell me the app is password protected
Michael:   So it is much more convenient.
They will probably add it.
Nikhil:   Someone could easily steal your iPhone and then proceed to your car
Michael:   Though I’m sure each device only syncs with one iPhone.
Nikhil:   If they know that you’re not there
Although that would cause attention
It’s a possibility certainly. Robbers find all kinds of loopholes
Michael:   They’d have to know what the app on your iPhone is.
Nikhil:   But it’s an interesting, and definitely useful application
Which they could if this has the potential to go big
Michael:   They’re not as smart as Find My Car Smart.
It will be available sometime next year.
Nikhil:   For the iPhone 4S only!

Michael:   Three days in, we still want to hear more of your opinions!
Nikhil:   We haven’t got many, but they’re still being accepted.
Just comment below on what you think about this whole IM-styled conversation
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Okay, that’s not a real number (555)
Let us know though, we want to hear!