Apple ‘tentatively’ plans mid-September iPhone event as iOS 8 nears completion

iPhone 6

Apple is gearing up for its first major hardware and software launches of 2014. The Cupertino-based company is “tentatively” planning a keynote address in mid-September to announce the iPhone 6 and provide final details on iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans.

These people say that the second and third weeks of September are the mostly likely weeks for the event to be held, but they add that manufacturing uncertainties could alter the event’s timeframe. A decision has not been finalized, and sources made it clear that the plans are in flux.

The event will showcase at least the new iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen, the sources say, but a final decision on debuting the larger, 5.5-inch “phablet” model at the event has not been made. The 4.7-inch variant of the new phone is farther along in both internal testing and manufacturing preparation, the sources added.

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iOS 8 beta 4 brings streaming voice recognition to keyboard dictation (Video)

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Toady’s new beta update to iOS 8 features a change to the way the built-in dictation system works. In previous versions of iOS, dictating text into an app would send your voice to Apple’s server once you finished speaking to be analyzed and return the converted text. Siri used to function the same way, but with iOS 8 Apple made changes that allowed voice input to be streamed to the server for conversion while the user was still speaking.

As of iOS 8 beta 4, the system keyboard’s dictation feature now works the same way. Just like in Siri, you can now see each word appear almost immediately as you speak. It allows you to catch errors more quickly as they happen and brings the various voice-powered features of iOS in-line.

Check out the video below to see it in action:

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Apple seeds iOS 8 beta 4 to developers with redesigned Control Center, Health improvements, more

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Apple today released iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. It is now available via Software Update in Settings for those running earlier betas of iOS 8 on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new update likely brings further design enhancements and bug fixes. iOS 8 comes out this fall and adds new features like health tracking, improved messaging, more efficient email management, and bolstered photo editing. We’ll be updating this post (below) as we discover new changes, and you can send us what you find to tips@9to5mac.com.

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Apple seeds Safari 7.1 & 6.2 with WebKit improvements to developers and AppleSeed users

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Apple has released a new beta version of Safari to beta testers in the AppleSeed program and Mac developers. The new version for Mavericks is 7.1, while Moutain Lion users will see version 6.2. The update includes several upgrades to the WebKit engine that powers the browser.

According to the release notes, the changes include support for WebGL, IndexedDB, and JavaScript tweaks, among other things. There is also apparently a change to the way the app handles extensions, as the beta disables all installed add-ons by default and the notes request that developers check for any compatiblity issues.

Version 7.1 will likely be the last major update to Safari for Mavericks before the launch of OS X Yosemite, which will include the all-new Safari 8. The full seed notes for this beta are below:

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OS X Yosemite introduces iMessage screen sharing, FaceTime Audio conference calls with iOS 8

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Apple has made a few new changes to its first-party voice and text services in the newest versions of its mobile and desktop operating systems. Some users are reporting that iOS 8 now features the ability to create conference FaceTime Audio calls. Previously FaceTime audio calls could only be made from one user to another, but now you can add additional users to a call in progress.

OS X Yosemite sports a new addition to its iMessage capabilities. While screen sharing has always been possible over alternative services like AIM, Apple now allows you to use the built-in screen sharing feature in the Messages app over an iMessage account. Unfortunately the feature seems to be broken in the first Yosemite beta, but it is expected to be functional by the time the software ships.

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Gallery: First look at iOS 8 with Health app, Notification Center widgets, and more

Earlier today Apple announced the next version of its iOS software, iOS 8, during the WWDC keynote today. Below you’ll find a gallery of all the new bells and whistles in the latest operating system. If you’ve got some screenshots you’d like to send us, you can send them to tips@9to5mac.com.

The new software includes features like iOS-to-Mac continuity, quick-reply for first- and third-party apps, a new predictive text keyboard, changes to the Mail appHealthKit framework and Health app, Family Sharing features, new Photos cloud storage, an updated iCloud pricing scheme, new commands for Siri, App Store changes including beta distribution, a Touch ID API, third-party keyboards, new iCloud management and development features, a home automation framework, and even support for a brand new programming language.

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