How-To: Prepare your iPhone, iPad or Mac for iOS 9 + OS X El Capitan public betas

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Up until recently, unfinished “beta” versions of iOS and OS X were only officially available to registered Apple developers, enabling companies to make their apps compatible before the operating systems were publicly released. But to increase openness and expand its pool of beta testers, Apple decided to offer “public betas” of both iOS and OS X to interested users, starting with iOS 8.4 and OS X Yosemite. Very soon, both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan will become available as public betas under the Apple Beta Software Program, which you can sign up for here.

Should you install these new and unstable betas on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac? What can you really expect after doing so? Below, I’ll provide you with some guidance so you can make an informed decision to participate in the public betas, or hold off…

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iOS 9 follows OS X in dropping discoveryd for mDNSResponder to improve network stability

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Xcode listing running processes on an iOS 9 iPhone.

When OS X 10.10.4 betas dropped discoveryd a couple of weeks ago before iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 were announced, there was some speculation about whether it was just a temporary intermediate fix until Apple reworks discoveryd for the next generation operating systems. Using Xcode’s Instruments developer tools for iOS and Activity Monitor on the Mac, we can confirm that Apple has also dropped discoveryd on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

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Opinion: These were the 10 game-changing WWDC 2015 announcements

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There were so many announcements during the WWDC keynote yesterday that even people who follow Apple for a living (and expected most of the details) were overwhelmed. New versions of iOS, OS X, and watchOS were only three of the biggies, alongside the official debut of Apple Music and a lot of small but interesting new details.

Since the keynote ended, I’ve been sorting through all of the stories, as well as all three new operating systems. What follows are my picks for the ten most game-changing WWDC 2015 announcements, some of them requiring more explanation than others. They’re not in rank order, but there’s definitely one that I thought was the biggest of the bunch. Share your picks in the comments section below…

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OWC’s upcoming MacBook USB-C desktop dock provides 10 ports in one color-matched unit

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The 12-inch MacBook is the ultimate portable Mac, but that single USB-C port feels a lot less convenient when you want to connect to a bunch of devices at home or in the office. We covered a $79 portable hub yesterday, and now OWC has announced its $129 desktop model, available for pre-order today for delivery in October.

Available in silver, space gray and gold, to match your MacBook, the OWC USB-C Dock provides a total of 10 ports in a unit designed to remain on your desk, allowing you to instantly connect and disconnect via a single USB-C cable …  Read more

Apple providing retail employees with OS X 10.11 El Capitan beta for testing

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At WWDC earlier today, Apple revealed Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan with a handful of new features, including improvements to Safari, new Spotlight capabilities, side-by-side window functionality, performance improvements, and more. Apple released a developer beta of El Capitan today via its developer portal, while also noting that a public beta will come in July. We have learned this evening, however, that Apple has also seeded a beta version of El Capitan to retail employees for testing.

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Apple combines iOS and Mac developer programs into single Apple Developer Program

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Apple has ended its separate iOS and Mac developer programs that required software makers to buy two different memberships in order to publish across the company’s various platforms and replaecd them with a single combined Apple Developer Program.

The $99 program will allow developers to have access to the SDKs for (and prerelease builds) of OS X, iOS 9, and watchOS 2. Apps can be distributed in App Stores across all platforms through this new program. A support page detailing the transition process for existing members has been created but is currently unavailable.

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Apple introduces split view for full screen apps on Mac in OS X El Capitan

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Apple has just announced a new feature as part of the El Capitan software update that will allow Mac users to use multiple applications simultaneously using a split view. The new feature will let users run two Mac apps side-by-side and share content between them. Users can create new split views by dragging apps onto each other in the Mission Control view.

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Apple announces revamped Spotlight search in OS X El Capitan

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As first predicted by 9to5Mac, Apple today announced a revamped version of ts Spotlight search software that will be included in OS X 10.11, called “El Capitan.” The new search system allows users to resize and move the Spotlight window, which presents new types of content.

Sports scores and other Siri data will be suppoted, and natural language search allows users to track down mail messages and documents easily. The search upgrades are also available in apps like Mail and Finder.

Keep reading for a full feature list of the new Spotlight

Apple reveals OS X 10.11 El Capitan with refinements to performance and stability at WWDC

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Keeping with its recent annual update cycle, Apple showed off the next version of the Mac desktop operating system at WWDC today. OS X 10.11, the latest system version, carries the name El Capitan following Apple’s pattern of using names of prominent locations across California including Yosemite and Mavericks in years prior. Full details below: Read more

WWDC News Hub/Live Blog: Apple announces iOS 9, OS X 10.11, Apple Watch SDK & Apple Music

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It’s Monday, June 8th and nearly time for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. We’ve already run down what we’re expecting from the conference, ranging from a significant iOS 9 update for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches with a focus on quality, an upgraded version of OS X with the same core focus, the new Apple Music streaming service along with the new iTunes Radio, and the native software development kit (SDK) for the Apple Watch. We’ll be following the news closely from before the keynote, during the event, and after the event, and we’ll be live updating this post with the latest information out of the WWDC Keynote.

You can find our live updates and analysis below, as we get closer to show time.

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Simple geometric banners depicting iOS, OS X and ‘watchOS’ spotted at WWDC

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MacStories’ Federico Viticci has posted an interesting image of WWDC banners from the second-floor of Moscone West, the WWDC event venue.

These images show Apple highlighting its three platforms: iOS, OS X and watchOS. These banners do not follow the same pattern as previous years with dramatic photography in rectangular banners. These are more like full-height wall posters with simpler geometric logos. Each image has the name of Apple’s OS written in a light font-face (the image is not clear enough to see whether this is Sans Francisco) on a simple background of multicoloured translucent shapes.

What’s particularly striking about this photo is that it confirms a rebranding of Apple’s smartwatch operating system. On Apple’s current public marketing, the Apple Watch is described as running ‘Watch OS’. By these banners, it can be seen that the new name for this platform is actually ‘watchOS’. Read more

Review: Incase’s DSLR Sling and Pro Packs are durable, versatile MacBook/camera bags

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Eventually, pocket-sized cameras will compare in low-light performance to today’s large and expensive DSLRs. Although pro photographers will have moved on by then to even more powerful large cameras, the vast majority of people will see no need to carry big, heavy lenses and camera bodies around. The iPhone’s ascendance demonstrates that “eventually” is at least foreseeable, even though it’s not happening in the near term.

Serious photographers won’t be giving up their DSLRs any time soon, and in fact will be toting plenty of camera hardware — many times, along with a laptop — to any event or destination important enough to photograph properly. Over the years, I’ve learned that the “ideal bag” for my personal needs is one that can hold my camera, several lenses, and whichever MacBook I’m using. Having hunted for the ultimate carrying solution for both computer and photo gear, the best solutions I’ve found are made by Incase.

The bag I’ve used actively for the last three years is Incase’s DSLR Sling Pack ($90, above left), and incredibly, it looks virtually identical today to when I first started using it. The DSLR Sling Pack is perfect for 11″ MacBook Airs and 12″ MacBooks, plus a big camera body with three lenses. But since my 13″ MacBook Pro barely fits inside its zippered compartment, I’ve been struggling with whether to replace the bag. That’s why I’m checking out two larger models today: the DSLR Pro Sling Pack ($170, middle), and traditional DSLR Pro Pack ($150, right). They’re large enough for up to 15″ MacBook Pros and have more room for DSLR gear, as well. Which is right for you?…

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