Apple releases iOS 9 beta 2 to developers for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

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Two weeks following the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference and release of the first iOS 9 beta, Apple has seeded iOS 9 beta 2 for compatible iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches to developers. The update is available over-the-air via Software Update in Settings, and it will also become available via Apple’s developer portal on the web.

iOS 9, due to be released to all in the fall following a public beta in July, brings several under-the-hood enhancements to iOS as well as new features. The upgrade brings a new Proactive menu on the left side of the first Home screen, new features for the Maps app, an upgraded Notes application, and a redesigned app-switching interface.

Apple has also released Xcode 7 beta 2 alongside the new OS seeds. Some users of the first beta have complained about poor battery life and unsurprising system-wide bugs, and we’ll be tracking all fixes and changes in beta 2 below. Read more

CarPlay coming to Buick and GMC as CarPlay-equipped Corvette hits the road

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A day after the first CarPlay-equipped Corvette headed out to dealers and buyers in the form of the 650HP Z06, General Motors announced that it will be available later this year in two Buick and three GMC models. This adds to the 14 Chevrolet models scheduled to see some CarPlay love this year.

CarPlay will be available in an 8-inch display on the 2016 model Buick LaCrosse and Regal, together with the 2016 GMC Canyon, Yukon and Sierra. As usual with car year conventions, all five cars will go on sale later this year. All models will eventually offer the Android Auto platform as well, but only the GMC Sierra will support Google’s system at launch.

While there are many CarPlay-equipped cars on the way, only two have so far gone on sale …  Read more

Changing the conversation: How Apple could modernize iMessage to be more powerful and easy to use

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At this year’s WWDC, Apple devoted a lot of onstage attention to a revamp of the Notes app in both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. One of my favorite additions is inline web link previews. Just paste a URL, and Notes will turn the link into a preview bubble with a thumbnail for the page, as well as a title and description.

This got me thinking about the possibility of applying the same functionality to other apps. The most obvious place to start, in my opinion, is Messages. I’m constantly sending and receiving links through iMessage throughout the day, whether it’s to a web page, an image, or even just a tweet. Having to flip back and forth between Safari and Messages just to see what the link I’ve been sent is removes me from the conversation and slows down my workflow.

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Apple becomes Promoter Member of Bluetooth Special Interest Group, gaining more influence over the technology

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Earlier in the year, the Bluetooth SIG appointed an Apple employee as secretary of the board. The two institutions are developing their relationship further today with the announcement that Apple is now a Promoter Member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This is the highest level with the organization and gives Apple voting rights.

Promoter members get voting rights on Bluetooth corporate matters and a guaranteed seat on the board of directors. Current promoter members Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia and Toshiba ‘unanimously welcomed’ Apple to the position.

This means that Apple will now have significant influence over the technological roadmap for Bluetooth in cooperation with these other companies.

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TaiG jailbreak now available for iOS 8.3 – but Substrate and MS tweaks not yet working

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TaiG has released an untethered jailbreak for iOS 8.3 – but Cydia Substrate isn’t yet working, meaning that many third-party add-ons won’t run. MS Tweaks likewise don’t work at present.

The release notes suggest that the jailbreak installation may take several attempts.

If jailbreak failed, turn off WIFI and try again. If failed again, please use TaiG Pro to restore and try to jailbreak again.

If you’re not yet running iOS 8.3, TaiG Pro allows you to perform the upgrade as part of the data backup process …  Read more

iMessage suffering from a widespread outage, many users unable to send/receive messages

iMessage

Update: Reports of the outage are slowing down, although it’s unclear if issues are entirely resolved. Apple has yet to update its status page.

It appears that Apple’s iMessage is suffering from widespread issues this evening. While Apple has yet to acknowledge the issue on its system status page, users on Twitter have been reporting issues for the past hour, so much so that iMessage is trending on the social network right now.

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Taylor Swift says ‘1989’ is not on Apple Music because she is disappointed by 3 month free trial terms for artists

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Update: Apple has responded to Swift’s blog post.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Taylor Swift’s latest album ‘1989’ will not be available on Apple Music, Apple’s streaming music service launching on June 30th with iOS 8.4. She has written a blog post on Tumblr explaining her position.

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

Swift explains that she respects Apple for their innovation but says the terms associated with the Apple Music free trial are ‘unlike this historically progressive and generous company’. Swift says that under the 3 month free trial period, artists and rights holders are not paid at all for the duration and notes Apple has plenty of money to reimburse the artists for their work. Swift says that she is holding back 1989 not because she cannot support herself but as a retaliation for ‘the new artist or band that has just released their first single’.

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Two weeks with iOS 9 and El Capitan: Which new features stand out and which ones fall short

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It’s been two full work weeks since Apple released the first betas of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, and I’ve been using the software since day one. With a ton of new features from a revamped Notes app to a completely new Search system and new multitasking tools, both operating systems promise to make your life much, much easier.

But how much of an impact on your daily life can these new features have? I’ve compiled some thoughts after using them to help you get an idea.

Before we jump into anything, I want to point out that the purpose of this article isn’t to focus on the bugs or problems that (obviously) plague beta software, but rather to examine the usefulness of the features added in the most recent updates. For that reason, there won’t be much discussion of stability or other potential issues unless they directly relate to how the features work, and the impact they’ve had on my day-to-day usage.

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Developers currently unable to submit Watch apps due to App Store approval bug (update: fixed!)

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Update: The problem should now be resolved. Watch apps should upload as normal once again.

Developers are flocking to Apple’s developer forums today as the iTunes Connect submissions process is currently experiencing a glitch which makes it impossible for developers to submit apps that include Apple Watch extensions.

Rather than continuing submission process as normal, the system is incorrectly flagging up misuse of an Apple private framework called SockPuppetGizmo. Naturally, this is causing frustration in the developer community at the moment because it prevents apps from being submitted to the App Store.

Read more

Nest reveals new Nest Cam, 2nd generation Nest Protect, updated iOS app

Following the Nest Cam outed by Best Buy earlier this morning, Nest did in fact take the stage today to announce its new lineup of products. Besides the Nest Cam, Tony Fadell and company showed off the 2nd generation Nest Protect smoke detector, a new mobile app for iOS and Android that brings all of the company’s new products together, and more. Unfortunately, the company’s flagship Nest Thermostat didn’t get any hardware upgrades today, but here’s what’s new… Read more

Major zero-day security flaws in iOS & OS X allow theft of both Keychain and app passwords

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Researchers from Indiana University and the Georgia Institute of Technology said that security holes in both iOS and OS X allow a malicious app to steal passwords from Apple’s Keychain, as well as both Apple and third-party apps. The claims appear to have been confirmed by Apple, Google and others.

We completely cracked the keychain service – used to store passwords and other credentials for different Apple apps – and sandbox containers on OS X, and also identified new weaknesses within the inter-app communication mechanisms on OS X and iOS which can be used to steal confidential data from Evernote, Facebook and other high-profile apps

The Register says the team reported the flaws to Apple in October of last year. At that time, Apple said that it understood the seriousness of the flaws and asked the researchers to give it six months to address them before the exploit was made public. In February, Apple requested an advance copy of the paper, yet the flaws remain present in the latest versions of both operating systems …  Read more