iOS 8 Roundup: The latest apps with extensions and Touch ID support

Extensions

As part of iOS 8’s new Extensibility features, developers can now create app extensions throughout the system for sharing information and performing actions without actually launching their apps.

What this means for users is that the familiar action or share button (the upward arrow in a box) will now contain way more options than ever before. Remember when Apple added Facebook and Twitter sharing, for example directly to Safari and Photos on iOS? Starting with iOS 8, Apple is allowing all app makers to create similar buttons for sharing and actions. An example of an action (like copy or add to Reading List) shared by Apple at WWDC was native language translation directly in Safari using Bing Translate. Extension support also includes photo filters allowing photo editing apps that provide filter extensions to work inside of the native Photos app.

A year after introducing Touch ID, the secure fingerprint scanner first introduced with the iPhone 5s, Apple is also now allowing apps to take advantage of Touch ID for the first time. Touch ID users can now authenticate log-ins and more in supported apps using the secure fingerprint scanner. Below we’ll tell you about the latest apps already taking advantage of extensions and Touch ID support for iOS 8.

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iOS 8 Roundup: The latest apps with Today widgets in Notification Center

Notification Center widgets in Today view

Apple introduced a new concept for developers with iOS 8 called Extensibility. This allows users to use services from apps throughout the system without actually being in the app itself, and widgets in Notification Center’s Today view are a major example of this feature in action.

Widgets from supported apps can be enabled by swiping down to the Today view in Notification Center, scrolling down to the “edit” button at the bottom, and tapping the “+” icon next to any supported apps. When you install a new app that supports a Today view widget, a badge will appear on the edit button to subtly notify you of the widget. You can also rearrange widgets as well as remove Apple’s own Notification Center widgets.

Many of these widgets present up-to-date information like the number of steps you’ve taken today, upcoming tasks or events on your third-party task management app or calendar, and much, much more. Below we’ll show you several of the latest apps offering widgets right now in Notification Center’s Today view. Read more

Developers warn iOS 8 users not to upgrade to iCloud Drive before OS X Yosemite release

With the public release of iOS 8 landing today ahead of the new iPhone models shipping on September 19, developers are warning users not to upgrade to Apple’s new iCloud Drive feature just yet. The feature, which allows users to store and access files stored in iCloud on Mac, Windows, and iCloud-enabled iOS apps, is available to users on iOS 8 starting today, but won’t be available for Macs until Yosemite is released later this year. That means that upgrading today will cause syncing issues for apps that previously used other methods of syncing between Macs and iOS devices. The graphics above come from developers of iOS app DayOne, while developer Ginger Labs explained the problem in release notes for its popular iOS Notability app today: Read more

Paper by 53 introduces Mix, a community for sharing digital sketches & creations (plus a Pencil giveaway!)

Mix Paper FiftyThree

Paper by FiftyThree is getting a whole lot more social today as the popular sketching app for iPad launches Mix, a community platform for sharing creations made in Paper. Mix allows users to share and view other sketches made in Paper on the web or right in the app.

With Mix, Paper uses can follow other creators, adding sketches to your own journal, view iterations of sketches, “star” ideas for viewing in a collection, and open sketches on the web. Probably the best feature of Mix is being able to use someone else’s sketch for inspiration for your own. You can jump right into a sketch found on Mix and add your own ideas and creations.

As part of the debut of Mix, 9to5Mac and FiftyThree will be giving away two Pencils by FiftyThree, the company’s stylus made specifically for Paper for iPad with surface pressure detection coming with iOS 8, blending, erasing, and palm rejection. Read more about Mix in Paper by FiftyThree and how to enter the giveaway below. Read more

Smart driving assistant Automatic partnering with Ford Motors through its in-car Sync platform

All-New 2015 Ford Edge Showcases Technology, Design and CraftsmaAutomatic Labs and Ford Motors are announcing today a new partnership to bring the Automatic Link accessory to more people and add more functionality to the platform. Ford Motors and Automatic Labs will work together to develop features to both the Automatic platform and Ford Sync, the automaker’s in-car infotainment system.

By integrating with Ford’s Sync platform, for example, Automatic users will be able to connect the in-car Sync button to the popular If This Then That automatic service. This turns the push-to-talk button into a one push button for a variety of programmable automation tasks in the car. The two companies say more enhancements will roll out soon through the partnership. Read more

60 percent of apps fail basic privacy tests, finds international cross-governmental study

 

app store hero flat modernA review of 1,211 apps carried out by a coalition of privacy officials across 19 countries found that 60 percent of them failed at least one basic privacy test, reports the WSJ.

The officials found that 60% of apps raised privacy concerns, based on three criteria: They did not disclose how they used personal information; they required that the user give up an excessive amount of personal data as a condition of downloading the app; and their privacy policies were rendered in type too small to be read on a phone’s screen …

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Tesla iOS & Android app updated ahead of car’s 6.0 firmware

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 13.44.00

Good news and bad news for Tesla Model S owners: the iOS and Android apps have been updated to allow you to start the car without a key – but the matching firmware update needed by the car hasn’t yet arrived.

Version 2 of the iOS app also provides support for the new calendar function, where the car can pull in data from your iPhone calendar and offer to navigate you to the location – as well as providing several new alerts …  Read more

SwiftKey details its upcoming keyboard for iOS 8

SwiftKey screenshot 3

SwiftKey has long been known as one of the most popular third-party keyboards for Android, but the company kept no secrets earlier this year in announcing that the app would be making its way to Apple’s platform with the release of iOS 8. Today, the company has shared some more details about its features, and given us a first-look at the swipe-to-type entry method running on the latest build of iOS.

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Apple rumored to be in acquisition talks with Path for another attempt at social networking

ping

Apple tried to get social with the iTunes Ping network in 2010. Things didn’t work out so well. (Image via Wired)

Apple and social networking don’t have such a great history, but the Cupertino tech firm is ready to give it another go, if new rumors regarding a potential acquisition of the Path social app are true. According to PandoDaily, Apple is already in talks with the mobile social network and the merger is “essentially a done deal.”

Path, for the uninitiated, is a mobile-only social networking app launched in 2010 that features photo sharing, private messaging, and other features you’d expect from a basic social service. It isn’t as widely popular as something like Facebook or Twitter, but it’s estimated to have somewhere around 25 million users and could provide Apple with a decent platform to create its own network.

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Apple releases iTunes 11.4 update for OS X Mavericks, adds support for iOS 8

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 6.37.43 PM

 

iTunes 11.4 has been released following Apple’s announcement that iOS 8 will be available next week. The GM seed of the software is available now for developers, and the new iTunes update enables syncing with devices running the mobile update.

Many users on OS X Yosemite trying to install the iOS 8 GM seed have run into a serious issue, however. The current version of iTunes 12 crashes after erasing a user’s device, leaving them stranded in DFU mode with no way to actually get back to a usable state (unless they have a Mavericks machine handy). If you are running Yosemite exclusively, it’s probably best to wait for an iTunes 12 update before attempting to install the GM.

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WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone updated w/ photo captions, slow-motion video sharing, more

WhatsApp MessengerThe latest update to the popular, Facebook-owned WhatsApp Messenger app for iPhone hit the App Store with a long list of new features for users including the ability to share slow-mo videos from the iPhone 5s and trim clips down right in the app without having to edit the video in the Photos app.

Chatting with photos also received improvements with the ability to add captions and snap and share photos even faster added. Improvements and changes to location sharing, app wallpapers, and new notification tones are included. The latest version also allows users to move chat logs and contact groups away to an archive. Complete list of changes below… Read more