Apple has released the third tvOS 9.2 beta software update to registered developers for testing. Previous versions of the pre-release Apple TV software update have added major changes to the new device including app folders similar to iOS and OS X, Bluetooth keyboard support, a redesigned app switcher, and even full iCloud Photo Library support. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
Apple has quietly added a server-side API to CloudKit, following an announcement on the developer news blog. This will enable developers to add a lot of functionality to apps powered by CloudKit, enabling developers to interact with the iCloud CloudKit database outside of user interaction with iOS, Mac or web apps. The web service API enables developers to run independent code on servers that can add, delete and modify records in the CloudKit stack.
Until now, interaction with CloudKit has been limited to the APIs Apple provided in apps. Although this was useful, it lacked the options for more advanced use — most modern apps rely on servers to perform tasks whilst users are away. With the addition of the web API, developers can create many more types of applications using CloudKit as the backend. For instance, an RSS reader app can now add new feed items to the CloudKit stack from the server. Before, this action could only occur when a user opened a CloudKit-powered app, which was essentially impractical and meant developers had to use other tools.
Airmail, the popular third-party email client for the Mac, has landed today on the iPhone for the first time. The brand new Airmail for iPhone app works with various email services including Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, and Exchange, and even features iCloud sync to keep the mobile and desktop preferences on the same page. Airmail also includes modern features for the latest iPhones, third-party app integration, and email management features missing after Dropbox retired Mailbox.
Earlier today, Apple rolled out the second beta of tvOS 9.2 for the fourth-generation Apple TV. The original beta included new features such as folder organization and Bluetooth keyboard support, but one highly requested new feature has been added today with the second beta. With tvOS 9.2 on Apple TV, users can now access their full iCloud Photo Library.
I’ve been all in on iCloud Photo Library since Apple replaced iPhoto with the new Photos app on the Mac last year and I haven’t looked back since. I pay $2.99/month to sync my 13,206 photos and 1,087 videos (plus iOS device backups) with iCloud, and this allows me to take or save photos and videos from any device and have them appear across the others including the web, edits, albums, and all. I even have a system to help ensure to if something in the cloud gets hosed that everything will be fine at home (and if the house burns down hopefully the cloud is still there).
This also enables me to access my 155 GB photos library in the Photos apps on iPhones and iPads that otherwise couldn’t fit that much content. Thumbnail previews are available at all times, and full resolution versions download on the fly as needed. When you’re iPhone, iPad, or Mac needs more local storage, Photos can remove full-res images and downloaded videos to make more space using an optimize storage option. This works pretty well especially on higher capacity devices, but there’s one problem…
December 17, 2015
iCloud came out in October 2011 replacing MobileMe. There is not doubt the platform evolved considerably over the years adding features. The service was not revolutionary, but was one of the best at syncing photos and seen a rapid expansion. Now just over 4 years later, there is no doubt a lot of change happened, but if you compare to other cloud services iCloud is starting to lag behind.
Yes! You can get an email @icloud.com, but it still requires you to have an alternate email address. Most people have more than one email address and we know that, but what about the new users on the system. The only way to get an iCloud address without and having an alternate one is to create an Apple ID when setting up a new iPhone, MacBook, etc. In these ages, children generally get their first electronic devices at a really young age and they are more likely to stay with the brand then an adult adopter. There is need for improvement too on the email service itself with the other big names offering automatic filtering iCloud seems to lag behind most likely for privacy reason.
Sure! Pages, Numbers and Keynote are free for everybody who want to use them, but there is no dedicated app for any Windows, Android or nothing. Pushing people to buy Apple products at all cost is again blocking features for the rest of the users and it should not happen. Google Docs is free and Office kinda, but they are primarily available on virtually every platform. Under downside of Apple’s productivity suite and it might not be your opinion, but i don’t find it as intuitive and as complete as other productivity suite. One of the feature missing is the ability to work multiple people on one document at the same time and there is no reason nowadays for it to be missing.
Backup and Photos are great! When they work those features are truly great, but to many time issues arise. Multiple time my iPhones or iPads would stop backing up with iCloud because of errors and photos can be slow to show from one device to the other. Too many times people have lost pictures taken because of photos corrupted into iCloud. It’s seem clunky to use and again it is not available on other platform besides Windows if you don’t use the wed version.
5GB of free storage! Wow! Isn’t that crappy in 2015, but the price for a 1TB is not so bad. So what is Apple doing? Trying to make money or not to lose money. The storage tier are not the greatest and the free 5GB is better than nothing, but they should offer free unlimited devices backup at least considering Apple makes most of their money on devices sold.
All of those little issues make for me an experience that is at the same time good and bad when regarding to iCloud. Instead of relying on iCloud to provide the basic services between devices, Apple in my opinion should use it as a major plus and stay to the forefront of the technology to bring people into the ecosystem and that would start by providing a little more on rival platform like they did with Apple Music and capitalize on the fact that people will upgrade their storage plan if they use iCloud intensively instead of partially using it like it is right now for most people.
What do you think?
December 15, 2015
Over the weekend a good friend of mine shared a screenshot of a really scary error message from Photos for Mac. Every photo and video taken over the last two weeks failed to open, saying instead that ‘An error occurred while downloading a larger version of this video for editing.’ The solution? ‘Please try again later.’ and press OK. What’s worse is he was relying on the app’s Optimize Mac Storage setting to fit the library on his local storage and trusting iCloud not to screw things up along the way. And he didn’t have local copies backed up, a mistake he for obvious reasons regretted.
Stories like these aren’t rare, which is why my colleague Jeremy wrote earlier this year that “iCloud Photo Library still isn’t worth the hassles,” despite Apple lowering iCloud storage costs. But I still recommend Photos and iCloud Photo Library, new features that topped my “favorite new Apple things from 2015 that will last for years” list, just not with the default setup. As with any cloud service, the one major caveat is ensure you have a reliable local backup (followed by plenty of patience at the start).
While there’s no turning back data loss, I shared my personal Photos plus iCloud Photo Library setup with my friend, which he’s moving to now for a hopefully better experience. Below I’ll detail each step, which required a little research before I figured it all out, so you can hopefully have a positive experience with Photos and iCloud Photo Library as well.
December 6, 2015
As promised by Eddy Cue earlier in the year, Apple has now raised the limits on iTunes Match and Apple Music library for matched songs from 25,000 to 100,000 songs.
Cue had previously announced on Twitter that Apple was aiming for 100k for iOS 9 and just in time for the holidays, that promise has been fulfilled. This means users with larger music libraries can now enjoy the benefits of matching songs in the iTunes Cloud to make them available on all their devices. Matching songs gives another option for people who cannot afford the more expensive 64 GB and 128 GB iPhone models by offloading local music storage to the cloud.
October 22, 2015
Apple added 4K editing to iMovie for iOS last month, but only on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro. In version 2.2.1, iMovie for iOS expands 4K editing to also support iPad Air 2 so you can shoot video on your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus and edit it on the latest 9.7-inch tablet. expand full story
October 21, 2015
Following a slew of updates for iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS, Apple has also given its web portal iCloud.com some love too. Last week, Apple took iWork for iCloud out of beta. Today, Apple has added the Find My Friends web app to the site.
Mirroring the app for iOS, the web app shows a map of friends who have opted in to sharing your location with them; pins for each person are displayed on an Apple Maps map.
October 16, 2015
September 30, 2015
With OS X El Capitan releasing today, Apple has also updated iOS to version 9.0.2 with an over-the-air software update. This bug fix update marks the second release since iOS 9.0 launched earlier this month. expand full story
September 24, 2015
Apple has announced that one of iOS 9’s big new features, App Thinning (or “app slicing”), has been delayed due to an issue with iOS 9. App Thinning was announced at WWDC as a way to help trim down the size of large applications by letting developers mark assets for each specific type of device. When users download the app, the App Store will determine which device they have and only require them to download the assets necessary to run on their device.
While TestFlight has supported the feature for a few weeks, Apple says the public version of iOS 9 will not support it until a later update due to a problem with the way iCloud handles backups.
September 23, 2015
Yesterday, a reader named Lesley asked me for an update on my earlier opinion piece, “Google’s new Photos may just have won my library away from Apple.” As you may know, Apple considerably lowered its iCloud storage prices last week. Consequently, the choice between Apple’s paid and Google’s free photo syncing services has become more difficult than it was when I wrote that article.
Lesley wrote, “I read your article on Google Photos possibly stealing you away from iCloud photo sync, and I would love an update to that article – if you chose to migrate, how did it go, and how is it functioning so far?… I am teaching a class on photo management in a retirement community – I am deciding which to recommend for cross-platform syncing, and which service to recommend for lower income seniors who are Apple based.”
I would much rather not share this particular tale of woe, but the topic of digital photo storage is important to me, and as Lesley indicates, many other people. What happened with my photo library turned out to be my biggest computer-related headache of the past year. So to help spare you a similar set of experiences, I’ll tell you what happened, so you can decide whether to pick Google Photos, Apple’s iCloud Photo Library, or — as I’ve reluctantly decided — neither…
September 16, 2015
Apple has now activated the new iCloud Storage tiers, as announced last week at Apple’s September event. The new tiers do not bump the free tier — it remains at 5 GB. However, for $0.99 per month you now get 50 GB of storage, up from 20 GB. The 200 GB plan is now cheaper at $2.99 and the 1 TB plan is now half the price at $9.99 per month.
September 9, 2015
Apple shared today that the upcoming iOS 9 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be released to everyone in one week on September 16th. Alongside the official iOS 9 release date, Apple also introduced new price tiers for iCloud storage upgrades. expand full story
August 14, 2015
Apple has quietly added a new data restore feature to iCloud.com, enabling users to rollback accidentally deleted documents, calendar changes and contacts. The new ‘Restore Files’, ‘Restore Contacts’ and ‘Restore Calendars’ features are hidden in iCloud.com Advanced Settings pane.
Seemingly unrelated to iCloud backup, Apple shows snapshots of your recently deleted documents and lets you put them back onto iCloud Drive. This means there is now a way to recover accidentally deleted iCloud documents for the first time, because there is no equivalent to the Trash folder in iCloud.
Similarly, Contacts restoration shows timestamped snapshots of your iCloud contacts database. Restoring to an earlier version reverts all changes made since the backup date. Unlike with files, you cannot individually restore single contacts. The same is true for Calendars.
July 12, 2015
Earlier this month, Greece instituted new regulations amid the country’s financial crisis that blocked users from renewing iCloud subscriptions and buying from iTunes and the App Store. At the time, this left many users wondering what would happen to their iCloud data, seeing that they legally couldn’t pay to keep their subscription alive. Now, however, it appears that Apple is stepping up to ensure that user data remains intact during Greece’s financial crisis.
July 6, 2015