Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google
Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac, contributes to 9to5Google, and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast.
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This week Benjamin and Zac discuss their personal WWDC 2016 wish lists (not just expectations) for iOS 10, MacOS 10.12, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.
Yesterday in my WWDC wish list I included a request for pulling Apple’s podcast player out of iTunes and promoting it to a dedicated app on the Mac just like it is on iOS. iTunes in its current form can be a mess as a music player, but at least that tries to be its primary function; being a good podcast player is hardly the focus of iTunes. Aside from removing part of the bloat from iTunes, promoting podcast playback on the Mac to its own app would solve several existing problems.
Apple Pay may be about to launch in its seventh region as soon as next week, according to Swiss finance website Finews.ch. The report believes Apple will bring its mobile payment service to customers in Switzerland on Monday, June 13th, which happens to be the date of Apple’s next keynote event at the start of WWDC. Apple Pay potentially reaching Switzerland follows a recent promise from the company to rapidly expand into more markets across Europe and Asia as well as reports of slow adoption outside of the US.
Starting today, it’s now possible to share photos and videos directly to Instagram on iOS without having to first launch the app. Instagram version 8.2 includes an iOS extension that lets you share both photos and videos from Photos and other iOS apps directly to Instagram. The feature also lets you write a caption to accompany the photo or video, but filters and other editing features will still require launching the full app.
We know a fair amount about what to expect from WWDC next week — software heavy with Siri as a star and light on hardware — yet there is still plenty of room for surprises like HomeKit and Apple News from previous years. Expectations are especially light on watchOS and tvOS, the software that runs on Apple Watch and Apple TV, and there are plenty of new features that could improve the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Here’s my Feature Request for each of Apple’s software platforms, WWDC 2016 edition.
[UPDATE 6/7: iOS 9.3.3 beta 2 is also now available to public beta testers.]
Apple started testing iOS 9.3.3 with developers and public beta testers near the end of May, and today the second beta version of the pre-release software has been released for developer iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. The update marks the first iOS 9.3.3 beta available for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which missed out on the first beta version during the iOS 9.3.2 update bug.
Remember the ‘Can you hear me now?’ guy from those Verizon ads from the 2000s? This one:
The ads were pretty unforgettable at the time, and now Sprint is hoping to cash in on some of their magic … with the same ‘Can you hear me now? guy:
Clever! But Sprint is pretty well known for not having the best phone service out of the big four carriers so I can see how this could backfire. The ad’s claim is that Sprint is only about 1% behind Verizon in reliability (so Verizon is still better), and the whole ‘Can you hear me now?’ guy switching story isn’t super convincing. Also, wow is this guy chipper now!
That whole ad campaign sort of peaked during Verizon’s iPhone launch if you ask me.
It’s been a rough couple of days for Apple’s services. Apple Music took a lengthy hit on Wednesday with subscribers being signed out, then a widespread outage hit multiple services including iCloud on Thursday for several hours. All this during a quarter when Apple is selling itself to investors as a services company, not just the iPhone company, but these outages are way too common.
And it’s not just services. Apple had to re-release iOS 9.3.2 for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a minor bug fix update that bricked the company’s latest tablet for a lot of customers. Mistakes happen but it’s Apple’s response after everything is resolved that bothers me…
Apple has updated its WWDC app for iPhone and iPad with a new look and feel ahead of the annual conference later this month. The updated version of the app also includes tvOS support for the first time. This means video content and session information can be accessed from the fourth generation Apple TV.
Apple has re-released last month’s minor iOS 9.3.2 software update after pulling it due to customer complaints of bricking iPad Pros. The updated version features build number 13F72 and is available through official channels now.
For all of its shortcomings, the Apple Watch has redeemed itself for me with its fitness and health tracking features. I wear it primarily because it’s a watch but I like (the idea of) having Siri always there plus access to important alerts instantly. The sports watch part can be ignored if you’re not interested, but being one device means its still there if you decide to explore activity tracking later.
That’s been my experience. I generally ignored activity tracking for the first year, but decided at the end of March to use the start of April as a reason to pay attention. The Activity app uses week- and month-long streaks to mark achievements, so the start of a new month (like today) can be motivating.
My real goal was to lose weight using Apple Watch as a motivator. Two months in, I’ve been very happy with the results so far and have to give Apple Watch plenty of credit for pushing me forward. My routine also involves iPhone apps, smarter food choices, and some basic equipment, but closing the Activity rings is the most compelling part.
This week Benjamin and Zac discuss Apple Watch fitness, the latest Siri Speaker rumors, iPhone 7 and Thunderbolt Display 2, and much more. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.
Native Union makes some really well designed accessories for Apple products, and TAG is the latest to join its collection. TAG is a stylish Lightning cable meant to look attractive enough to carry on your key chain or loop around your bag.