OS X’s Aperture/iPhoto replacement ‘Photos’ appears to focus on iOS 8’s editing features, not pro tools

photos-mac-keynote-5

During the 2014 WWDC keynote, Apple demoed a very early build of its upcoming Photos application for Mac. The app will be available next year for OS X Yosemite, but for now all we really know is that its arrival will bring about the end of both iPhoto and Aperture. That news drew the attention of everyone who uses either of those applications, with many saying Apple no longer cared about pro-level users.

In an attempt to quell the outrage, Apple released a statement to ArsTechnica saying that Photos for Mac would still support pro features, but what exactly constituties a “pro-level” feature in Apple’s eyes? According to the statement, Photos will feature support for third-party plugins, library search, and advanced editing. If that sounds a little vague to you, it’s probably because Apple doesn’t really want to answer the question.

Read more

Apple announces iTunes U update with iPad Course Creation, Student Discussions & more

iPad_itunesu_Postbiology2

Screenshot showing new iTunes U “Student Discussions” feature

Apple today announced an update to its iTunes U educational app that includes a number of new features for iPad including course creation tools, a Student Discussions feature and improved management tools for teachers.

“Education is at the core of Apple’s DNA and iTunes U is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers and students,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “iTunes U features an amazing selection of academic materials for everyone around the world. Now, with the ability to better manage and discuss educational content, learning becomes even more personalized on iPad.”

The new features will begin rolling out July 8 with the ability for teachers to create and manage previously uploaded lessons directly from the iPad. Apple says the course creation features will let teachers grab content from iWork, iBooks Author or “any of the over 75,000 educational apps available for iPad.” It will also let teachers use the iPad’s camera to include shots and video of real-world items in courses. The course creation feature will be available to educators in all 69 with the materials they create distributed in up 155 countries. 

As for students, a new Discussions feature will bring a social element to the app allowing students and teachers to easily interact with one another: With Discussions in the iTunes U app, students can automatically follow classroom discussions and join conversations on new topics, or set up push notifications for when new topics are started or replies are added to active exchanges. Teachers can participate in forums too, and have the ability to moderate discussions by removing any off-topic messages or replies.

In its press release, Apple said “nearly 30,000 Multi-Touch™ books have been created by independent teachers and publishers worldwide.”

Read more

Apple now updating Maps data every day with user-submitted corrections

apple-ipad-event-maps

When Apple launched its first-party mapping software alongside iOS 6, users immediately discovered that there were a significant number of issues with the map data. Apple eventually issued an apology and said that the release was not up to the company’s standards. A new Reddit post today seems it point to the fact that Apple is finally ready to start making serious changes to how it corrects Maps data.

Ever since the app debuted, it has had an option to report incorrect POI data to Apple. Until recently, however, it seemed that those reports were simply going to an unmonitored inbox to make users feel like they’d done something to help.

Just over a week ago, Reddit user “heyyoudvd” noticed that a number of incorrect data points in his area had been corrected—more than had ever been fixed in the previous two years, and many of which he had reported. Now “heyyoudvd” says he’s noticed an even bigger change…

Read more

Apple releases updates for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, and MainStage

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 12.58.55 PM

Shortly after announcing that its pro photography app Aperture is being discontinued, Apple released a number of updates to its remaining professional desktop applications. Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, and MainStage on OS X all received updates via the Mac App Store today. See the changes for each professional desktop application below: Read more

Apple’s official Podcasts iOS app broken for many users (Update: Resolved)

Update: the app seems to be back to normal now.

Several users have reported that Apple’s official Podcasts app has suddenly stopped working on iOS. Users experiencing the issue report that the latest version of Apple’s Podcasts app, version 2.1.2 released on May 29th, no longer launches or functions on iOS 7.1.1, the latest stable version of the iPhone software.  While the Podcasts app will download from the App Store, opening the app quickly crashes it after a few seconds as seen in the video above. Read more

Rap Genius now lets you annotate, copy, and paste lyrics and news from your iPhone

The popular lyrics and annotation site Rap Genius launched its iPhone app earlier this year, and today it released a big update. The latest version of Genius by Rap Genius, version 1.5, now lets you create annotations to content directly from your phone. Previously you could only view annotations from the mobile app. The update also adds another desired feature: copy and paste support. Now you can finally highlight lyrics, copy them, and paste them somewhere else on your iPhone as you would expect. Read more

Apple said to be working on ‘mainstream’ Smart Home hardware

HomeKit-WWDC-03

With iPhones in pockets, Macs on desks, iPads in bags, and iWatches soon coming to the wrist, Apple is said to be eyeing another category for continued growth: Smart Home hardware. The Cupertino-company is said to have assembled a team to work on various hardware products for the home that deeply integrate with the existing array of Apple devices on the market…

Read more

Google Drive 3.1 for iOS released with activity stream, sharing enhancements, more

In addition to previewing the next version of Android dubbed “L”, Android Auto, Android TV, new Chromecast features, and more, Google released an updated version of Google Drive for iPhone and iPad. The new version brings enhances to file sharing giving users the ability to allow files or folders to be viewed, commented, or edited by anyone with a link. The update also adds a new incoming view for seeing files that have been shared as well as an activity stream for seeing changes you and others make to files and folders in one place. Read more

Apple adds MLB At Bat to list of CarPlay-supported apps

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 12.51.42 PM

(Screenshot from USA Today demo)

We already saw MLB.com At Bat make an appearance in USA Today’s demo of CarPlay during Apple’s WWDC developer conference earlier this month, and today Apple has updated its CarPlay microsite to include the baseball-dedicated app to its list of apps that support the feature. In the shot above and below you can see the icon for At Bat as well as a preview of the CarPlay specific user interface from USA Today’s demo. The app is expected to support streaming audio from baseball games for MLB.com At Bat subscribers.

MLB At Bat is the first app to join the CarPlay compatible apps announced earlier this year with major third party apps like Google Maps and Pandora Radio notably lacking support. As it stands currently, though, Apple is the gatekeeper for integrating CarPlay support as it decides which apps it wants the feature to support.

Read more

Apple TV adds ABC News, AOL On, PBS Kids, Willow TV, and redesigned Flickr app

Apple-TV-June-2014

After adding the Watch ABC app to Apple TV late last year, today ABC News arrives as its own channel on the device offering users access to a lot of the network’s content free of charge. While the WatchABC app provides full TV shows from the network and requires a cable subscription, the new ABC News app offers mostly news, clips of new shows as well as the same live stream that is also accessible from ABCNews.com. The new ABC News app comes alongside PBS Kids, Willow TV, AOL On, and a redesigned Flickr app.  Read more

Box adds secure collaborative notes to its iPhone and iPad apps

Box Notes

We showed you Box’s big 3.0 rewrite of its iPhone and iPad app earlier this year and today the cloud service is adding a major feature for its users: Box Notes. Box introduced its Notes feature to users last month, and now it is extending support for Box Notes to iPhone and iPad users.

The company says it’s focus on security for business users makes its approach to collaborative note capturing and sharing differently than other offerings. Box’s new Notes feature on iPhone and iPad is presented in the same app as other media stored in the cloud service as it’s a single app to know and manage.

Read more

Why won’t Microsoft give iOS users access to their Skype voice messages? (Updated)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Skype may have recently launched a major update to its Skype for iPhone app, but one rather basic feature went missing – the ability to listen to voice messages. A subsequent update to Skype for iPhone 5.1 still hasn’t fixed the problem.

In a support thread on the Skype site, community manager Claudius provided what must qualify as one of the most unhelpful response ever to complaints by users:

Voice message playback is not supported in Skype 5.0 for iPhone. Please use Skype on another platform to listen to your voice messages …

Read more