Future of iPad: Dual-app viewing mode, then J98/J99 ‘iPad Pros,’ multi-user support

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Facing slowing growth for the first time since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple is working on several significant software and hardware updates to reinvigorate the tablet over the next year. Apple is developing a dual-app viewing mode, 12-inch iPads codenamed “J98″ and “J99,” as well as support for multi-user logins, according to sources briefed on the plans. First planned for debut last year, the split-screen applications feature for the iPad could be introduced as soon as June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, while multi-user login support and the 12-inch iPads will apparently arrive later…

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Apple readies Transit subway, train + bus guides for iOS 9 Maps, deploys robots for indoor mapping

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Having originally planned to add a new transit directions feature to Maps last year, only to pull the feature before WWDC 2014, Apple now hopes to launch its Transit service with iOS 9, according to sources. Apple currently plans to debut bus, subway, and train route navigation as the central upgrade to the Maps app in iOS 9 at WWDC, using a user interface similar to the one intended for last fall’s launch, as depicted in the screenshots above…

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KGI makes unlikely claim that Apple will launch iPhones in August, on sale in September

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In what seems an unlikely idea, a research note from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple could first show this year’s iPhone models in August, before making them available for sale in September, reports The China Post.

Kuo said that Apple is expected to unveil the next iPhones in August, a month earlier than the market had widely anticipated. The new devices are expected to hit store shelves in September.

While Kuo has a good track-record at forecasting what Apple is planning, his record on when things will happen is less reliable, so we view this prediction with caution …  Read more

Apple’s planned iOS 9 ‘Home’ app uses virtual rooms to manage HomeKit accessories

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Apple’s plan to manage upcoming HomeKit-compatible accessories could revolve around a new iOS app called “Home,” according to sources familiar with the app. Introduced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, HomeKit is an Apple initiative designed to encourage accessory makers to integrate “connected home” accessories such as Wi-Fi garage door openers, smart thermostats akin to Nest’s Learning Thermostat, and wireless door locks with iPhones and iPads. Using Siri or the Home app, users will be able to remotely control parts of their homes directly from iOS devices…

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Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font

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Apple is currently planning to use the new system font developed for the Apple Watch to refresh the looks of iPads, iPhones, and Macs running iOS 9 “Monarch” and OS X 10.11 “Gala,” according to sources with knowledge of the preparations. Current plans call for the Apple-designed San Francisco font to replace Helvetica Neue, which came to iOS 7 in 2013 and OS X Yosemite just last year, beginning with a June debut at WWDC…

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Olloclip unveils new iPhone 6/6 Plus Active Lens, an ultra-wide + 2x optical zoom telephoto lens combo

Shortly after announcing its lens accessory-compatible Ollocase for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the popular Olloclip lens maker is out with a new Action Lens for the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones. Olloclip Action Lens combines an ultra-wide lens for capturing action shots with a telephoto lens that adds 2x optical zoom to the iPhone camera. Using Action Lens with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, you can create shots like these: Read more

Review: Apple’s iPhone Lightning Dock plays nice with iPhones, cases, and even iPads

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Four years ago, I wondered why Apple sold such seemingly simple plastic docks for $29, so I cut two of them in half to see what was inside. I was impressed: in addition to a larger-than-expected collection of electronic components, they were filled with substantial zinc plates that kept Apple’s devices standing safely upright, no easy feat since the docks kept shrinking every year. The only problem: most (but not all) of Apple’s docks have been model-specific and case-unfriendly, issues that were particularly pronounced in the official iPhone 5s Dock and iPhone 5c Dock. When Twelve South released the handsome multi-device and case-compatible HiRise and HiRise Deluxe, many people — including me — had no need for a more limited, Apple-designed alternative.

Somewhat belatedly, Apple has just released the iPhone Lightning Dock ($39), its first docking solution for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It’s not clear why Apple took its time releasing this accessory, which uncharacteristically has a 2014 date on the back of its box. But it’s the dock Apple should have released three years ago, delivering case compatibility, multi-device support, and the expected Apple minimalism. It has no back support for your iPhone, instead relying on a stiffened and modestly padded Lightning connector to hold your device on the traditional Apple light recline. And it also includes an audio-out port, which has been absent from all of its third-party rivals. Now that Apple has released the right sort of dock, should you consider buying one?…

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Tylt’s Energi Sliding Power Case for iPhone 6 Plus, RIBBN charger satisfy larger devices’ battery needs

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While two dozen battery cases have been released for the iPhone 6, only a handful have become available for the larger iPhone 6 Plus, which can run longer without assistance. But there are definitely situations where even the iPhone 6 Plus can benefit from extra battery life, including international travel and occasional emergencies. And that’s why Tylt has released the Energi Sliding Power Case for iPhone 6 Plus ($100). It’s a true rarity due to its Made for iPhone certification, some unique features, and much better performance for the same price as Mophie’s Juice Pack for iPhone 6 Plus.

In what may well be a first for iPhone battery cases, Energi is actually being offered in two different widths, one billed as “2.9-inch” and the other as “3.3-inch.” They’re both sold for the same $100 price, but the 2.9-inch version has a 3,200mAh battery and the 3.3-inch model has a 3,500mAh battery. Another surprise: the model I tested with the 3,500mAh battery unusually boasts 2.1-Amp power output, which means the iPhone 6 Plus will recharge at its top possible speed. There’s more, too…

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Apple releases its first official iPhone Lightning Dock for iPhone 6/6 Plus

In addition to launching a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch and a cheaper 27-inch Retina iMac, Apple has also introduced its first official iPhone Lightning Dock with compatibility for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Of course, being this late to the charging dock game means a number of fine solutions already exist at competitive prices. Read more

Apple Pay adds over 30 new banks & credit unions

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Apple Pay on Apple Watch

A number of additional banks and credit unions across the United States have now turned on support for Apple Pay including Synchrony Bank which backs Walmart and other retail credit cards, NASA Federal Credit Union, and many more. Earlier this month, Apple Pay went live for the popular mobile-based Simple Bank for the first time. You can find the full list of new and existing banks with support for Apple’s mobile payment service below: Read more