After recently launching on the iPad, Airmail is back today with a free 3.0 update to the Mac version. The latest version adds a long list of features and improvements including smart folders for sorting out your email easier, VIP support for marking specific contacts, and much more.
The fourth generation Apple TV has even been on the market for less than six months and there’s already a massive update ready for it. The new tvOS 9.2 software update is now available and includes several features that previously hadn’t made it from Apple TV 3 as well as features totally new to the platform.
You can now use Siri Remote to dictate text for search queries, usernames, and even passwords, and Bluetooth keyboards are once again supported for easier text entry. Apple TV apps can now be grouped into folders so you can keep games together, and iCloud Photo Library subscribers can view complete photo and video collections on the big screen. Here’s the full rundown on everything new in tvOS 9.2 for the new Apple TV:
The man responsible for leaking explicit photos of dozens of celebrities back in 2014 has been formally charged today. According to a post on the Department of Justice website, a man from Pennsylvania has been charged with felony computer hacking after obtaining access to Gmail and iCloud accounts of more than 100 different people, the majority of whom were celebrities.
I’ve never been a Family Sharing user, Apple’s feature that allows families to share iCloud account access for things like photos and music on both iOS and Mac. But I recently decided to upgrade my Apple Music account to a family plan to take advantage of the discount as I encourage family members and friends to try out the service; that required me to activate the Family Sharing feature that Apple uses to manage family plans for Apple Music.
While you can choose to ignore most of the features of Family Sharing — photos, calendars, and reminders can be accessed through shared folders in their respective apps — once it’s activated, there aren’t any granular settings for each member to disable sharing on a per-feature/app basis. But the even bigger issue is that all purchases from any Apple ID in the family go to a single credit card of the admin (or parent) of the group. In other words, I’m now paying for every app, song, book, or anything else that my family group members purchase from Apple on top of the subscription costs for Apple Music.
Just over a week since the last tvOS 9.2 beta, Apple has released tvOS 9.2 beta 6 for developers with the fourth-gen Apple TV. Apple TV gains several new abilities with the upcoming release including iOS-style app folders, a redesigned app switcher user interface, voice dictation input for search and username/password entry, complete iCloud Photo Library support, and much more. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
In a conference call with reporters last week, an Apple exec said it was reasonable to expect the company to continue strengthening the security policies of its products in light of the Apple/FBI battle.
In complementary reports today, The New York Times and Financial Times are detailing that Apple engineers are now actively developing new encryption methods for iCloud backups and iPhone hardware, so that Apple couldn’t even hack itself … if it was asked to again like in San Bernardino iPhone backdoor/unlock case.
Not only would this counter the orders by the FBI in the current court case for future iPhone owners, it would also close a security hole in iCloud backups that various law enforcement institutions have exploited thousands of times before … expand full story
tvOS 9.2 beta 4 for the fourth-generation Apple TV is now available as an over-the-air software update for registered developers testing the pre-release version. Apple TV gains several new abilities with the upcoming release including iOS-style app folders, a redesigned app switcher user interface, voice dictation input for search and username/password entry, complete iCloud Photo Library support, and much more. We’ll check out the latest beta version of the upcoming release and highlight any changes below.
The FBI has released a press statement explaining its motivation for resetting the iCloud password in the San Bernardino iPhone backdoor/unlock case. It seems like a screw-up, which prevented Apple from extracting data from the phone via iCloud. However, the FBI says that the county did it, in collaboration with FBI, in order to gain access to the suspect’s iCloud account. It says it was able to successfully retrieve iCloud backups up to October 19th. However, the reason it wants Apple to create a backdoor into the locked iPhone is because it believes there is more data on the phone relevant to the case yet to be uncovered.
For unknown reasons, the iPhone did not backup anything to iCloud after 19th October. It is possible Syed Farook disabled the feature or the iPhone simply did not return to a known WiFi network whilst being plugged in. It is not known if a later iCloud backup would have yielded more information …
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.
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.