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Henry Ford may famously be thought to have said, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black,” as he invented mass production, but now it looks like the veteran auto company has an iPhone fixation, revealing support for the Apple device in future generations of its vehicles running the Ford Sync AppLink platform.

Some may note my determination that Apple has a story to tell in the automobile industry — perhaps partnerships will make this story thrive. So, what will this mean?

Simply put: plug your iPhone into your car and control your iPhone and its apps with your voice. Respond to texts, listen to Pandora, and more. In future I can imagine Apple’s gentle move to offer turn-by-turn based driving instructions.

The first SYNC-enabled apps to market are Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak for listening to Twitter posts. Once the AppLink upload is complete, customers can then visit their phones’ respective app store to download the latest SYNC-enabled Pandora, Stitcher or OpenBeak app to their smartphone as they would any other app.

Ford Sync AppLink already works with BlackBerry and Android: iPhone support’s on the way in 2011.

Via: Engadget, press release follows


· Ford announces that Apple iPhone will be compatible with AppLink, along with initially announced BlackBerry by RIM and Android-based smartphones

· Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak are the first SYNC-enabled mobile apps, some of which can be downloaded today from Android Market and BlackBerry App World, and soon from Apple App Store

· SYNC AppLink comes first to 2011 Ford Fiesta owners, with more SYNC-equipped vehicles soon to follow

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 22, 2010 – More than 14,000 owners of SYNC®-equipped Ford Fiesta vehicles can start celebrating the holidays now by treating themselves to the gift of AppLink, a free software program that gives SYNC users voice control of apps stored on their smartphone.

“More and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car,” said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services. “With AppLink, SYNC is a smarter solution for these drivers who choose to use these apps while driving – making it the only connectivity system available that can extend app functionality to the car using both voice and steering wheel controls.”

Ford is also announcing a surprise new member to the AppLink family: the Apple iPhone. The popular smartphone makes for a powerful addition, and will be joining Android and BlackBerry smartphones as compatible devices with the software that allows apps to be controlled through the SYNC voice recognition system – a smarter alternative to manually controlling apps while driving.

Recent studies indicate 46 percent of adult smartphone users have apps on their phones and 36 percent of those admit to using those apps while commuting. Moreover, the 2010 study “Staying Connected on the Go: A Look at In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration Systems” conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association reports that 55 percent of smartphone owners prefer voice commands as their user interface for in-car smartphone integration, making the business case for SYNC and AppLink even more compelling.

“SYNC and AppLink work hand-in-hand to answer consumer demand for safer, smarter control of smartphones while in the car,” said VanDagens. “Ford has worked hard to be a step ahead or at least in step with the speed of the consumer electronics market, and to leverage the technologies, features and services we know our customers want to be connected to while driving.”

2011 SYNC-equipped Ford Fiesta owners need to log in to their account on chúng tôi to access the free AppLink download in the Update & Customize section.

As with any typical download, the AppLink software can be stored on a USB memory stick, and then inserted and uploaded to the vehicle via the SYNC system’s USB port. In-car installation takes less than 10 minutes.

The first SYNC-enabled apps to market are Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak for listening to Twitter posts. Once the AppLink upload is complete, customers can then visit their phones’ respective app store to download the latest SYNC-enabled Pandora, Stitcher or OpenBeak app to their smartphone as they would any other app.

Current availability of SYNC-enabled apps:

– BlackBerry: Available now (Version 1.1.6 or higher)

– BlackBerry: Coming late 2011

AppLink makes the connection between app and SYNC fairly seamless and simple, using Bluetooth streaming on paired Android and BlackBerry smartphones and the USB port for a connected Apple iPhone.

To access a mobile app with a SYNC-paired phone, the user simply has to press the VOICE button on the steering wheel and say the command, “Mobile applications,” followed by the name of the app he or she would like to launch.

“Where before users would pick up their phone, taking their eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel while driving to select a station and hit play, AppLink makes all of that functionality available through voice control, just like managing AM and FM radio or your MP3 player through SYNC,” said Julius Marchwicki, SYNC product manager.

Similar voice command pathways and functionality exist for the Stitcher and OpenBeak apps. With Stitcher, for example, you can say the command, “Play station news” to listen to your favorite news radio or “Play station sports” to hear on-demand sports programming. Other popular Stitcher features such as skip station, thumbs up/down and “Add to favorites” are also available via voice.

Through the OpenBeak app, drivers can simply say the SYNC command, “Read timeline.” In seconds, their feed is read aloud using the SYNC text-to-speech engine – a very similar experience to listening to talk radio.

Additional SYNC-enabled apps and smartphone integrations are coming soon, said Marchwicki. AppLink will also be introduced on other SYNC-equipped new model vehicles in 2011.

Ford will feature demos of AppLink at the Pepcom Digital Experience media event in Las Vegas on Jan. 5, 2011, and then at the 2011 International CES consumer technology trade show in Las Vegas between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9, 2011.

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The Importance Of Ces And What To Expect In 2011

The importance of CES and what to expect in 2011

Next week, over 110,000 people from all over the world will head to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics show, (CES) the largest gadget show in the US. I attended my first CES in 1976 and in those days, this show had everything from watches to refrigerators on display besides TVs, stereos and car audio systems.

Over the years this show has evolved dramatically. For about a 20 year period they even had two shows a year, including a summer show in Chicago that had a heavy focus on digital gaming systems.

But, during the heyday of the PC, and especially when PCs took aim at consumers, CES started to decline, the Chicago show was cancelled and the January show’s crowds went down. But as the PC industry changed and consumers showed strong demand, and its big show Comdex bit the dust, CES became the only serious place for vendors to show their wares. By 2002, consumer-based PCs became a real interest to CE retail buyers and industry folks.

At its height, CES drew over 140,000 to the show in January of 2008, but then the recession hit later that year and the next two shows barely hit 110,000 attendees. But even with the decline in crowds, CES still remains the most important consumer-focused gadget show in the world and has become a key place for companies to show off their new products for the coming year.

Interestingly, the timing of the show is actually problematic for a lot of vendors. In the early days of CES, the lead time for showing off a product behind the scenes and actually getting it to market was 9-12 months. So showing products in January that would be available for the holiday season made sense. This way the buyers could put their holiday orders in place at the CES show and expect them in time for the Christmas buying season. But now the cycle for showing a product to getting it to market, because of competition, has decreased dramatically and products shown at CES are now expected to be in the market no later then Q2. That means any products that will hit the market for the holidays are only shown in back room meetings now.

Another thing to keep in mind about the show is that it is sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association. That means that this is an industry show whose sole purpose is to promote the consumer electronics industry and its members. And its HQ is based in Washington, DC so it is also a lobbying group for the interests of this industry. For example, CEA was a major champion of the analog to digital conversion, since it meant that the industry would benefit greatly because of this transition and now be able to sell millions of new digital TVs to consumers.

The hottest product this year will be tablets. We have counted at least 47 new tablets that will be introduced at CES next week. Of course, most of these will be not be from name-brand vendors and all aim to ride Apple’s iPad coattails into what is perceived to be a hot market for tablets in 2011. But some of the big players, such as Dell, RIM, Motorola, HTC and Microsoft and some of their partners will use this show to place a stake in the ground in this tablet space. And there will be extra interest in Motorola’s tablet since they have sent to the media a teaser suggesting they will have the first tablets based on Android’s Honeycomb OS, which is a version of Android optimized for tablets. Also, we believe Motorola has another product they will show off that could be groundbreaking so keep an eye on anything Motorola says, as this struggling tech giant seems to have found new life and could be one of the most powerful players in smartphones and tablets next year.

Last year’s darling of CES, eBook readers, will also be there in large numbers and in much improved designs and formats. In fact, the NOOKcolor is perhaps the most important of the recent devices since it is really a mini-tablet disguised as an eReader. Current eReaders, like Amazon’s Kindle, will still have a place in the market but I think that the NOOKcolor represents the real future of eBooks.

Since I have been to all but three CES shows since 1976, I have had a chance to see this show develop, grow and change over this time period. While its core products will still be TVs, stereos, audio and mainstream CE products, its focus on mobile computing and communications is starting to make it a most important place for anyone in the mobile space to show off their newest products. It is true that CTIA and the Mobile World Congress will still be the shows most focused on smartphones as mobile computing platforms. However, CES is starting to come into its own as a significant mobile showcase, and if it continues to make mobile products of all types a major focus, its importance as a mobile show will only grow.

2012 Ford Svt Raptor: Updating An Off

2012 Ford SVT Raptor: updating an off-road icon [Video]

In Texas, trucks are a big deal. Texans buy about 1-in-5 out of every truck that Ford sells. When you combine Dallas and a few other major Texas cities, the individual cities alone sell more trucks than many states do in their entirety. This is why when a new truck is being unveiled, Texas is the place that Ford comes to. At the 2011 Texas State Fair yesterday Ford pulled the covers off the new 2012 SVT Raptor off-road pickup. The truck has some interesting updates for this year that will make Raptor fans happy.

One of the key updates to the car comes in a new Torsen differential in the front. The official press release on the truck doesn’t mention the ratio in the front differential, but I believe it was said to be a 4.10 ratio in the front. The Torsen differential is the same type of diff used at the rear of the 2012 Boss 302. What the Torsen differential brings is a better ability to put the power down in instances where one tire has more traction than the other tire does.

On the outside of the new Raptor truck key styling changes for the 2012 refresh inside a new side graphic that says Raptor. When I drove the 2011 Ford Raptor with the graphics designed to resemble digital dirt on the side the thing most people asked was if you could get the truck minus the graphics. I think the new graphics are much more attractive than the old version and buyers will like them on the truck much more.

The other big exterior change is the addition of a new wheel style that looks a lot better than the wheels on the 2011 Raptor. The new wheels are a Euroflange design that put the weights on the inside to protect from the bumps and debris that comes with off roading. The new wheels are shod in SVT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. The suspension remains the same with internal triple-bypass FOX racing shocks. The big tires and special suspension give the Raptor 11.2-inches of suspension travel in the front and 12.1-inches of rear suspension travel on both SuperCrew and SuperCab versions.

The engine under the hood is the same 6.2L as last year packing 411 HP and 434 lb-ft of torque. One of the key new tech features of the 2012 model is the addition of a front camera in the grill area. This camera is angled down and is made to allow the driver to see what is in front of them even when the grade they are climbing means they see nothing but sky. The front camera shows what it spies on the LCD in the center cluster of the truck and has an integrated washer to keep the lens clear of mud and dust. The screen has graded lines to show distance to go and when in use it has blue dynamic guides so you can see what the truck is headed towards.

Inside the new 2012 Raptor, you can now get heated and cooled seats as an option. In previous models, the seats offered heat only. The seats are also now trimmed in blue thread with the same leather and mesh design that the 2011 models had, but with more color. The dash area also gets a blue anodized trim package option. The Raptor will be offered in a new Race Red color, which will not get the blue interior trim package option.

Pricing on the new 2012 Raptor hasn’t been announced at this point, but Raj said the increase wouldn’t be large since it’s an incremental upgrade. During the unveil the speaker noted that Ford is selling every Raptor it can build and has traditionally offered its dealers only a 14-day supply of the trucks. The supply will be increased in 2012 to meet the market demand for the Raptor. Check out our exclusive video below to see the new 2012 Raptor for yourself.

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Closing An App In Windows 8

Windows 8 does a good job in managing apps. When you switch to another app, the current app will go into hibernation and the system will release it to free up memory resource if another running app requires more resource. However, if you are determined to close the app, here is how you can do so:

1. In the app, move your cursor to the top of the screen and wait until it turns into a hand.

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut key “Alt + F4” to close the app.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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Rype Go App For Iphone

You may have tried learning a new language as part of your hobby, or maybe it was the demand of the situation. Whatever may be the case, learning a new language isn’t easy, and you may have experienced it already. On top of that, the working professionals do not get enough time to learn from a professional tutor.

There are many language learning apps on the App Store that promises to teach you a new language within a couple of months. You may have tried some already and realized that none of them help. The core reason why these apps fail is that they try to teach a language by flashcards, images, or videos. You cannot learn a language by reading or watching it; you need to interact with a living person to learn the language.

Rype Go aims to target this limitation with its app for the iPhone. Unlike many other language learning apps, Rype Go has an innovative approach towards learning, and if you wish to grasp the new language quickly, read here how to do it.

Rype Go Language Learning iPhone App Review

One of the best things I liked about Rype Go is that they have designed the language learning experience from the ground up. Most of the content available on the internet is either outdated or boring. To overcome this, Rype Go uses three steps of learning: Watch, Speak, and Chat.

If you noticed that there is no grammar, no mugging the vocabulary, or any typical language learning mechanism, Rype Go takes you directly to interaction by watching the videos. Science has proved that the human brain learns faster with visualized content. Let’s dive in a little deeper and understand all three strategies in detail.

Learn by Watching videos

To start with, let me tell you that these are not random language learning videos created just like that. There are 250+ carefully produced videos that help in learning the language quickly and to the point. Besides, all videos have a 4K resolution that you can watch on bigger screens as well.

Now coming to the content of these videos, they are interactive, informative, and engaging. None of the videos has a typical tutor lecture that bores you after a certain amount of time. As mentioned earlier, professionals have a tight schedule to learn new things. Keeping that in mind, the videos are sized hardly at 5-minutes.

Once you finish watching a video, you can practice what you learned by speaking. Let’s understand how speaking works with the Rype Go app.

Speak and learn

It’s human nature that we are afraid of people judging us all the time. Especially when learning something new, people tend to be a bit nervous. To eliminate this, Rype Go has developed an AI-based speech recognition module that tests your speaking abilities.

You can practice speaking after watching a video, and the virtual teacher will test your skills in real-time. As there is no human intervention, you can be sure that you aren’t judged. This will create a positive mindset and help you learn the language faster compared to speaking in front of a human.

No matter how smart the virtual teacher is, we will need to interact with people at some point in time. Once you are confident that you have mastered the lessons, you can move to the last and final step, i.e. Chatting. Let’s see how it works.

Chat and learn

In the final step, you can book an appointment with professional teachers and have a 1-on-1 live session. These sessions are of 30-minutes, and you can book an appointment anytime. When I say anytime, I mean 24/7, 365 days. Whether it is a weekend or midnight, there are professional tutors at your help anytime.

These live sessions focus on polishing what you have learned so far and receive feedback from the professionals. When an expert tells you that you have made good progress, it will boost your confidence. That confidence works as a motivation to learn further and master the language. There are many other features of the app; let’s check them out below.

Other features

One of the best things that I noticed about the app is that it doesn’t teach you spellings, grammar, or vocabulary. Frankly, we don’t generally focus on any of them when interacting on the phone, having a friendly conversation at a party, or asking someone out.

Rype Go does precisely that. It prepares you to start a conversation with anyone in the real world. The learning topics include – expressing your feelings, ordering at restaurants, phone conversations, small talk at parties, etc.

Also, there are many other topics like chatting with your rideshare driver, Airbnb host communication, making a respectful complaint, buying transportation tickets, and going to the pharmacy.

As you can see, all the topics included in your learning are used in day-to-day life. Another thing to note is that no app or tutor can teach you everything. The human brain learns much more from the first-hand experience. So once you are good at regular interactions with people, you’ll further learn and start speaking like a native person.


Rype Go is a Kickstarter campaign, and like every campaign, there are different perks with different prices. You can choose the one that suits your requirement. Below is the link to the campaign page.

Read more on Kickstarter

That’s all there is to it!

Wrapping up…

There are many ways to learn new things. One strategy may work for a few people, while for others, there’s a different strategy to get the task done. There’s no universal process to learn the language. In the end, it comes down to your passion, but apps like Rype Go travels an extra mile to make sure that they keep the fire burning inside you while leaning.

Did you learn any new language in the recent past? If yes, how did you learn it? Comment below and help fellow users.

Author Profile


Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

Flock Team Communication App For Iphone

Flock Team Communication App for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux is one of the finest and robust communication tools that helps you be a part of a team and work together. It lets you create channels for group conversation as well as integrate popular services like Dropbox, Google Calendar, and more. Excited? Here is my take on Flock as a team communication app.

Before we begin, please know that in my review here, I have focused on the Mac app.

Flock Team Communication App for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux Initial Setup Process

The set-up process for Flock App is straightforward. On the initial set-up screen, Flock lets you create your team or find team to join an existing one. To be a part of a current team, you can ask the admin for a URL, or you may even input the name and search for it.

Finally, a notification is sent to existing members when a new person joins the team. They may say ‘Hi’ and welcome the fresh entrant. If you ever feel you receive too much of these, you have the option to hide those messages.

Design, Colors, and Layout of Flock App for Mac and Windows

After set-up, you are treated with a clean and polished design. On the left side, you have two sidebars – one very thin that has a list of Accounts (or workplace), and the second normal-sized sidebar has open chats, pinned chats, and more.

In the middle, you have your central column. On the top right of this, there are clean, separate icons for audio calls, video calls, and creating a private channel with invited members to have a private group discussion.

On the right, there is another organized sidebar that boasts options for search, files, to-do, calendar, Google Drive, and more.

The green, white, and gray color scheme imparts a neat look and feel, and it is comfortable on the eyes. On Mac and Windows, the Flock app also supports dark mode.

Flock Channels for Group Communication

Flock app gives you the option to create infinite specific channels for focused communications. If your workplace is a media house, you may have multiple channels for writers, digital marketing professionals, HR department, and finally a channel for memes too. You can also create a channel for temporary projects or for a small group of certain employees.

A unique feature that Flock has is Smart Channels. They let you predefine membership rules, and when in future, any new employee matches the set criteria, they will be automatically added to the channel.

Audio and Video Calls on Flock

Now when we talk about audio calls, it is a bit complex. Currently, Flock allows you to make audio call from its smartphone app. You require a SIM card. When you initiate a voice call, you and the participant get a number that needs to be dialed. Further, there is a Moderator PIN and a Participant PIN to input. In short, the experience is doable but cumbersome. I contacted their support (more about it later), and one solution they provided is to make a video call and turn the camera off. Well, for the time being, I see no harm in this.

Collaboration and Working Together with Flock

Collaboration tools on Flock are plenty. Realistically chat, calls, creating and getting answers via polls, writing plus sharing notes and code snippets are all collaboration tools. You can use them in private chats or channels with multiple people.

The quick to-dos built right into the app has options like adding due date, and assigning it to a person. The Shared To-dos bot reminds you in the morning of the to-dos you have for that day. Overall, Flock works as a great task management app.

In addition to these, you can also invite guests to work with you. They can be customers, vendors, freelancers, etc. Flock only lets them access specified channels and contacts. I believe this excellent option will be super handy in situations when you need an external perspective from someone outside your workplace, like a knowledgeable friend.

Flock also lets you access your entire company directory. This means that you can quickly begin a chat and collaborate with just about anyone.

Flock Chat with Polls, Notes, Google Drive, and More

To start a chat, you may select a person from the list. Additionally, you may invite a colleague with their email address to start a conversation. The clean chat screen lets you collaborate one to one or in team/group via channels.

Good old emojis and big stickers enable you to say more with less. They are beautiful to look at, and it is fun to share them.

My experience with Poll: I created a Poll, shared a few programming code snippets, and also shared a note with one of my fellow workers. The practice is quick and impressive. If you are familiar with Slack, you would know that poll and notes, along with some other features that are in Flock, aren’t available by default on Slack.

One neat thing is that when you create a poll, you have the option to turn on ‘vote anonymously.’ So, if you want honest feedback about something, from people whom you pay, this feature is a must-have.

Third-Party App Integrations

Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Analytics, GitHub, Dropbox, Trello, Twitter, Giphy, One Drive, Pingdom, and more play nicely with Flock app. Currently, it has integration with over 60 top chosen productivity apps.

So next time you have to access GitHub, do it from within the Flock app. There is no need to switch apps or worry about sharing rich GitHub content. Flock ensures that you have everything in one place and focus on growth than utilize time elsewhere.

Pro Tip: Flock also provides you with the freedom to build your apps and integrations via the Flock API.

Flock Support

I had a confusion with audio calls, and I sent a message to Flock Support right from the app. Sending them a message is the same as sending a message to a coworker.

I hoped the customer care would take time to reply. But within a few minutes, I heard back from a human support representative. The person was kind enough to address my issue and also note my query for future product development. Overall the experience was quick, effortless, and fantastic. If you wish for a personalized demo, you can get that here as well.

Other Features Ease of Use and Verdict

After having used Flock for some time on multiple devices, I can conclude that the service is easy to use for people of all kinds. Everything is standard and beautiful. Within some minutes, you can explore the app and get to business.

The look and design screams ‘work’ from the first glimpse. App integrations, organized sidebars, availability on all major platforms including web, the attention to design, a plethora of collaboration tools, easy adding to calendar or setting a reminder, and top-notch security are things that make me recommend this over the competitors.

A successful company begins with happy and productive people. Flock is here to ease the way you communicate among one another. It is built with creativity and fluidity in mind. Flock will assist you and your coworkers to talk, share, collaborate, and save time.

Availability: Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Web, iOS, Android


Basic: Free

Pro: $4.50 per month per member

Enterprise: $8 per month per member

Download Flock

You may also like to read…

Author Profile


Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

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