First beta version iOS 8.1 hits Apple’s developer center with design tweaks and bug fixes

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Apple has just released iOS 8.1 beta 1 on its developer center. The update has a build number of 12B401. As we reportedly earlier, the company is also working on iOS 8.2 and 8.3 for release in the future. The release is available for all iOS 8-compatible devices, including the Apple TV.

We’ll keep this article updated with any new changes discovered in the beta.

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iHealth’s nine iPhone-connected healthcare accessories now work with iOS 8’s Health app

iHealth, maker of various iPhone connected healthcare accessories, today announced that its iOS apps are being updated with HealthKit integration. That means that the users of the company’s Wireless Blood Pressure Monitors, Blood Glucose Meters, Wireless Scale, and other health tracking accessories will be able to sync data with the new iOS 8 Health app. Read more

Apple developing iOS 8.1, 8.2, & 8.3 in shift for 2015 launches

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Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

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We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

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While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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Apple and French fashion retailer Colette teasing one day in-store ‘experience’ on September 30th

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On its website, French fashions retailer Colette is teasing a ‘one day only experience’, taking place at its stores on September 30th. The event runs from store open to 7 pm local time (via MacGeneration). Other details are unknown.

The invite image sort of resembles the Apple Watch home screen, so maybe this is some sort of special demonstration of the upcoming product. There is a possibility that Colette will sell the device in its store when the Watch is released ‘early next year’. Although this would make sense due to the connection with fashion, it would still be weird for the company to demo the product in public when it is still many months off release.

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More details on how iOS 8’s MAC address randomization feature works (and when it doesn’t)

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A few days ago Apple published a new privacy page on its website that detailed the various measures it has put in place to protect Mac and iOS users’ personal data. One of those features, which is new in iOS 8, is the automatic randomization of MAC addresses when the device is searching for a Wi-Fi network. This makes it much more difficult to track a device by seeing which Wi-Fi networks have spotted its unique identifier.

A new two-part study by AirTight Networks into how well this security feature works has turned up some interesting results, including several conditions that will stop the phone from randomizing a MAC address. Part one of the study breaks down what exactly needs to happen in order to start this function…

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Review: Worried about iPhone 6/6 Plus bending in your pocket? This might be the perfect case for you

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This holster case from Toronto-based LD West seems completely ridiculous at first glance, but it starts to make a lot more sense when you realize your oversized iPhone 6 or 6 Plus might no longer fit in your pants pocket. Strapping my phone to my side with what looks like an over-the-shoulder gun holster doesn’t exactly vibe with my usually minimalistic approach to iPhone cases. But it turns out the product is much more than just the gimmick I thought it was. Read more

Apps with HealthKit integration start appearing in App Store following iOS 8.0.2 fixes

After a series of botched updates, which meant HealthKit apps could not launch alongside iOS 8’s release, Apple has finally started allowing apps that integrate with the Health app into the App Store. The first of many is FitPort, which acts as a replacement dashboard for Health information, with all data being synced back into the Health database.

On opening the app, the Health permissions screen opens which asks users to individually enable access to health statistics. This allows users to be very selective about what information they share with third-party apps. Users have to explicitly enable read and write capabilities for every health data type the app wants to integrate. Just like asking for location access, this sheet is presented by the OS, meaning all apps benefit from this level of privacy.

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Apple releases iOS 8.0.2 to address cellular and Touch ID issues in previous update

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Apple has finally released iOS 8.0.2 to address the issues discovered in yesterday’s 8.0.2 update on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The new release includes all of the HealthKit and keyboard fixes, among others, as well as the ability to actually make phone calls and connect to a cellular data network.

Apple said yesterday that the update was coming “in a few days” and instructed users to downgrade to version 8.0 while awaiting the fix. The new update is rolling out now and can be found in the over-the-air software updater built into iOS.

Apple told CNBC that “less than 40,000 devices” were affected by the buggy release. The change log is below:

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Apple kicks off iPhone 6 sales in 20 more countries starting w/ New Zealand

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NZ carrier Spark offers customers life-sized cardboard emoji characters to reserve their spot in line for iPhone 6

Apple’s second wave of iPhone 6 sales has just kicked off with customers in New Zealand getting access to the device through retail stores and online as we roll into the morning of September 26 in the country. We’re also approaching the launch in a total of 20 countries today as the device goes on sale the morning of September 26 local time in the following locations: Read more

Apple invites AppleSeed users to participate in AirDrop ‘test fest’ in preparation for Yosemite release next month

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Apple has invited a number of non-developer users to participate in what it’s calling an “AirDrop Test Fest” to help fix bugs in the over-the-air file sharing system, according to users who have gotten the invite. Users who have been invited will find a notice inside the Feedback Assistant application included with the public beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite.

Users who have been invited to participate are provided with a set of guidelines for testing the feature. According to the notice, users will need two Macs capable of running Yosemite and AirDrop, or one Mac running Yosemite and one running Mavericks to test the “legacy” feature. An iOS device isn’t required to participate, indicating that the focus will be on Mac-to-Mac transfers rather than cross-platform ones.

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App developer warns not to enter personal info using in-app browsers due to security issue

App developer Craig Hockenberry has published an article today titled “in-app browsers considered harmful” warning both devs and users of security issues related to apps that take advantage of the feature. “Would it surprise you to know that every one of those apps could eavesdrop on your typing? Even when it’s in a secure login screen with a password field?” Read more

Apple releases iOS 8.0.1 with fixes, but many users reporting it breaks Cellular + Touch ID

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Update: Many users are reporting that cellular functions and Touch ID are no longer working post update, so we would recommend holding off until further notice. Many who have updated their iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5s are reporting no problems, so it appears this problem is likely confined to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Update 2: The update has been pulled. Apple has issued a statement to Re/code:

Apple has released iOS 8.0.1 to the public, and it’s rolling out now OTA to all devices capable of running iOS 8. The update’s build number is 12A402, and it packs fixes for a variety of bugs that have plagued users of version 8.0. Most notably, the new version includes a fix for the bug that was keeping HealthKit apps from the App Store. Furthermore, the update addresses a plethora of other problems including an issue with apps accessing photos from the Photo Library, a bug involving 3rd party keyboards, an issue that caused unexpected data usage when receiving SMS and MMS messages, an issue involving ringtones not being restored by iCloud, and more.

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