Apple just released iOS 9.3.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update weighs in at around 80 MB, although there are seemingly no new features. The update, as indicated by the version number, includes various bug fixes and security enhancements for iOS. Check Settings to update now. iOS 9.3.2 includes a critical bug fix for iPhone SE users with Bluetooth accessories; users were reporting audio quality issues. This is fixed with the new update.
Google has been making great efforts lately in bringing virtual reality to anyone with a smartphone, and the latest update to its YouTube app makes finding VR content super easy. YouTube for iOS now includes a dedicated Cardboard button, which automatically transforms any video into VR mode for watching with Google Cardboard.
Maintaining a high level of consumer security on iOS is a huge cornerstone to what makes Apple the company it is. Tim Cook believes that we’re at the ‘golden age of surveillance’, and that Apple’s level of encryption impacts the wellbeing of U.S. citizens. It’s no surprise that users who care about security want to be up to date on the latest practices and methods that guarantee that. That may just be one of the reasons Stefan Esser’s timely app, System and Security Info, is climbing the iOS App Store’s Top Charts (all the way to the top of the paid apps chart in the US).
As someone keen on recording voiceovers and podcasts from an iPad, I needed a Lightning-enabled microphone that could handle such a task. While it’s true that Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter allows iOS to interface with a variety of microphones that it wasn’t able to before, I like the idea of keeping my setup as minimal and as dongle-free as possible.
Enter the Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone. This is a MFi-certified Lightning-enabled microphone that works with the iPad or iPhone using a single microUSB to Lightning cable. By switching out the Lightning cable for a traditional USB cable, you can use the same microphone with your Mac or PC.
This microphone is a digital condenser that can be powered via Lightning or USB. It doesn’t require any special adapters or power supplies to work, just plug it in, launch an app, and start recording.
Since HomeKit was introduced with iOS 8, one major missing piece from Apple’s home automation effort has been a built-in app that provides a user interface to the underlying framework. Interacting with Siri is the only Apple-supplied HomeKit UI; users rely on third-party apps instead for all visual HomeKit management.
The downside to this approach is that there isn’t officially one HomeKit app to rule them all, and companies that make great smart home sensors and accessories don’t necessarily make great software. Compare that to Apple’s HealthKit framework which connects various App Store apps to a single dashboard in the built-in Health app. The approach isn’t perfect, but a similar effort for HomeKit would be welcomed.
The good news is Apple’s been developing a built-in HomeKit app for a while now, and a rumor surfaced over the weekend that such an app could finally be ready for iOS 10. As a close HomeKit follower, I’m very curious to see what iOS 10 may have in store for Apple’s home automation effort, but my first thought is that there are a few gems among the current crop of HomeKit apps that Apple may not compete with well even from its position as the platform owner…
I addressed one big issue with Apple Music last week – and was very surprised to see from the poll results just how widespread the issue was. But while discussing that issue, we happened across a Reddit thread that I thought contained a really great idea: give the iOS app Smart Playlist functionality via Siri.
I may complain a lot about the bloated nature of iTunes, a single app that tries to do way too many different things, but I do really like it as a pure music player. One of the features I love is Smart Playlists, which you can use to do all kinds of funky things.
For example, maybe you have some music you really love but haven’t listened to for a while? Create a Smart Playlist where Rating is 5 and Last Played is not in the last year. Been listening to the same stuff too much lately? Create a playlist where Last Played is not in the past month. Feeling nostalgic? A playlist where Year is a particular year …
And other top shared stories include Apple’s announcement of a new enterprise-focused partnership with SAP, news of a couple high-profile hires and departures from the company this week, and much more. Head below for the usual handy links to all this week’s top stories and videos:
Live tweeting aficionados and tweet storm lovers may welcome Tweetbot’s latest update for iOS, and coming soon to the Mac. The app has introduced ‘Topics’, an intuitive way to link tweets together with an optional hashtag without having to reply to each one of your previous tweets. A very small, but welcome feature for those who find themselves easily surpassing Twitter’s 140-character limit.
Apple Music Connect, a social interaction feature between artists and listeners that was a cornerstone of the Apple Music launch last summer, will be demoted in an iOS 10 overhaul this fall. Apple Music Connect was designed as a major component of the Apple Music service that would spur usage by allowing artists to share photos, videos, and audio while on tour in addition to allowing Apple Music listeners to comment and like posts. Instead, the feature has been lightly used in comparison to other Apple Music features, and some users have even discovered ways to disable the Connect feature.
[UPDATE: Users in comments and elsewhere are reporting similar issues with books and music, and Apple has now updated its status page.
Users are experiencing a problem with the App Store. We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.]
[UPDATE 2: Apple says the issue is now resolved.]
A number of Reddit and Twitter users are reporting problems searching both iOS and Mac App Stores, with major iOS apps like Star Wars, Spotify and Google Apps failing to show up in search results – and even Apple’s own Xcode failing to show in searches of the Mac App Store. I’m seeing the same issues myself …
Nearly a year after Apple Music’s debut, Apple is preparing to announce its streaming music service’s first end-to-end overhaul, according to multiple sources familiar with the changes. The changes are expected to be shown off at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in mid-June, and Apple currently plans to launch the updated service across its product lines that currently support Apple Music this fall as part of new operating system versions. The updated version of Apple Music has been in the Apple product development pipeline since the end of last year, and work in earnest on the updated service began at the end of February, according to sources.