March 26, 2012
In addition to the pleasures of reading sharply detailed text via the Retina display on the new iPad, iBooks 2.1 adds several new features for all iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users. To highlight text in iBooks 2.1 simply touch and hold the word you want to start with and then drag your finger across the rest of the passage. When you release, a popup dialog will appear to let you pick your color, enter a note, and define what's selected or search for the text elsewhere. To search for a particular page number in a book, tap the magnifying glass on the upper right and type in the page number you want to go to. If you see the words "tap to show page number" at the bottom of the table of contents page, you can tap there to switch between the page numbers on your device and the corresponding ones in the printed book. And iBooks 2.1 now also lets you move among the collections in your library with a swipe.
March 19, 2012
Movies have joined music, TV shows, books, and apps in iCloud, which means that iTunes movies are as easily re-watchable as your DVDs, even if you need to remove a movie from a device for awhile for space reasons. iTunes stores your movies in iCloud, and they can be downloaded again to your various devices at any time. For owners of Apple TV (2nd generation and later), it also means your movie selection has just substantially increased: you can now browse movies for purchase as well as rental. Movies are stored in iCloud, no hard drive required.
To see the movies you've already purchased that qualify: on your computer click the Purchased link in the Quick Links section on the main iTunes Store page or main Movie page; on your iPhone and iPod touch, tap the Purchased tab on the lower right, then Movies; on iPad tap the Purchased tab on the lower right and then use the View button on the upper left to select among Music, TV Shows, and Movies; on Apple TV select Movies and then Purchased on the upper left.
The iTunes store now includes HD movies at 1080p resolution. As you browse individual movies on your devices, the accompanying text describes what HD resolutions are available and what will be downloaded or streamed when you purchase. iTunes on your computer provides a convenient way to see all the HD movies currently available via the All HD Movies link in Movies Quick Links on the main Movies page.
iTunes 6 is required to download 1080p content to computers, and the default is set to 720P. If you always want to download to your computer at 1080p, select Preferences in the iTunes menu and then the Store tab in the panel that will appear and use the popup menu to set the the default to 1080p. If you've previously purchased 720p content, check the Purchased button for 1080p availability and if it's there you can download it to replace the 720p version. The new iPad and third generation Apple TV will play the movies with the stunning clarity of 1080p video by default.
March 5, 2012
Want to assign just the right ringtones for the friends who call you most? Or alerts that lighten problems by making you laugh (or at least smile)? Browse the Tone Store in iTunes on your devices and sample the possibilities. To get directly there on iPhone and iPod touch, tap More on the lower right in iTunes and then Tones. In iTunes on iPad tap Music on the lower left, then Genres on the upper left, then Tones (just below All at the top). Once in the store you can freely browse through and sample the possibilities -- ringtones long enough to give you the chance to answer, alert tones short enough not to try your patience, and yes they can be used interchangeably. New possibilities (like the recently announced exclusive Beatles Ringtones) appear regularly.
You can also browse the Tone Store by starting from what you want to use the sound for. In the Contacts app, for instance, you can customize ringtones for your friends by editing their cards in the Contacts app and picking new ringtones and alert tones for them. When you tap one, a list of what's already in your library will appear with a Buy More Tones button at the top that will take you to the Tone Store to look for new ones. Likewise for sounds you want to apply by default for general situations. Tap General and then Sounds in the Settings app and pick what you want to change, and again, scroll to the top for a Buy More Tones button that will take you to the Tone Store.