Happy Hour Podcast 010 | WWDC 2015 details, new iOS 8.4 Music app, and Apple Watch try-on experiences

happy-hour

WWDC 2015 has been announced at last, but what can you expect to be unveiled this year? Apple has released iOS 8.4 beta to developers and it comes along with a compete revamp of a critical app. Along with that, we get into Apple Watch try-on appointments and our hands-on experience at the Apple Store. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the episode embedded above.

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Apple previews revamped Music app with iOS 8.4 beta ahead of WWDC streaming service launch

Apple has just released the first iOS 8.4 beta, which includes Apple’s upcoming revamped Music app. The seed for developers is available via the Apple Developer Center website.

As we reported earlier this year, iOS 8.4 includes an all new Music application. The new software design is present in this beta, while Apple is expected to announce the streaming service component in June at WWDC.

Here are the release notes from Apple for the new app:

– All-New Design. Music app has a beautiful new design that makes exploring your music collection easier and more fun. Personalize playlists by adding your own image and description. Enjoy stunning pictures of your favorite artists in the Artists view. Start playing an album right from the album list. The music you love is never more than a tap away.

– Recently Added. Albums and playlists you’ve recently added are now at the top of your library, making it effortless to find something new to play. Simply tap play on the artwork to listen.

– Streamlined iTunes Radio. Discovering music with iTunes Radio is easier than ever. You can now quickly return to your favorite stations in Recently Played. Choose from a selection of hand-curated stations in Featured Stations, or start a new one from your favorite artist or song.

– New MiniPlayer. With the new MiniPlayer, you can see what’s playing and control playback while browsing your music collection. To open Now Playing, just tap on the MiniPlayer.

– Improved Now Playing. Now Playing has a stunning new design that showcases your album artwork the way it was meant to be. In addition, you can begin wirelessly streaming your music using AirPlay without leaving Now Playing.

– Up Next. It’s now simple to find out which songs from your library will play next — just tap the Up Next icon in Now Playing. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.

– Global Search. You can now search from anywhere in the Music app — just tap the magnifying glass. Search results are conveniently organized to help you quickly find that perfect song. You can even start an iTunes Radio station right from Search.

iOS 8.4’s Music application includes revamped search, the UpNext and MiniPlayer features from iTunes on the desktop, improved iTunes Radio functionality, a new Recently Added page, and more on top of the new design. On the iPad, there’s a new split-screen interface on the iPad, as seen in the screenshots below. On the iPhone, the landscape interface has been removed entirely. The icon for the app remains the same, however. We have a hands-on gallery of several more screenshots below:

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Apple seeds new OS X 10.10.2 beta with build number 14C99d to developers

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Apple has released a new beta version of OS X 10.10.2 to developers through the App Store’s software update mechanism and the Mac Developer Center. The update, which has a build number of 14C99d (compared to 14C94b in the previous release) is not yet available to AppleSeed users.

The 10.10.2 update will include fixes for common Wi-Fi problems, issues with the built-in Mail app, VoiceOver, and more. With only one week passing between pre-release builds, it seems the patch is getting closer to completion, and could be expected for public release soon.

Skype for iPhone updated with UI improvements, limited pre-release program now available

Microsoft is rolling out a new version of Skype for iPhone today, version 5.9, which brings enhancements to the user interface making communicating faster and easier. The latest version adds contact suggestions to the dial pad when entering a number making the process of finding the right person to dial quicker. The update also adds shortcuts for starting video or audio calls from Skype’s chat picker window.

In addition to introducing the latest Skype for iPhone user interface improvements, Microsoft announced a limited pre-release program for testing early versions of Skype in exchange for sharing feedback and ideas… Read more

Apple seeds first beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with build number 14C68k

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Apple has pushed the first beta build of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 out to AppleSeed users and developers. The update has a build number of 14C68k and weighs in at 422 MB. Last week the company released version 10.10.1 to the general public.

Apple hasn’t provided any indications of what’s new in this beta and has not listed any particular focus areas, though it’s possible this could be a hotfix update to address any lingering Wi-Fi glitches that didn’t get fixed in the most recent patch.

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iCloud.com Photos beta gains image uploads, iMovie for iOS gains iCloud Photo Library support

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Apple has updated the beta version of its iCloud Photos web app with support for uploading images to a user’s iCloud Photo Library. The feature will likely roll out soon to everyone on the public version of the service soon, but for now is limited to the beta site.

The change adds a single “Upload” button to the upper-right corner of the page, which shows a standard image picker when clicked. From there, users are presented with the progress indicator seen above, and the image becomes available on all of their devices. At this time, video uploads don’t appear to be supported.

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Apple seeds first iOS 8.1.1 beta: bug fixes and performance boosts for older devices

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Apple tonight has released the first beta of iOS 8.1.1 to developers. This update is packed with bug fixes, according to the release notes. Most notably, “this release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.”

This marks the first time in recent history that Apple is seeding a beta for a patch update. A new seed for the Apple TV is also available. Apple released the first OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 beta earlier today. iOS 8.1.1 is the follow-up to iOS 8.1, which includes Apple Pay support, SMS forwarding to Yosemite, and iCloud Photo Library Beta.

Apple is also developing iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 for release next year.

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Apple seeds beta of first OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update to developers and AppleSeed users

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Apple has just seeded the very first beta of what will become the first update to the redesigned OS X Yosemite that was launched last month. The update to version 10.10.1 has a build number of 14B17.

The change notes indicate that Apple is making improvements in the areas of Wi-Fi connectivity, Exchange support in the Mail application, and the Notification Center, which gained support for widgets in the new operating system.

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Apple releases fourth beta of iTunes 12 to developers and AppleSeed users on Yosemite

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Apple has pushed out the fourth pre-release version of iTunes 12 to users running the developer preview or public beta of OS X Yosemite. The update weighs in at 214 MB, but the seed notes don’t list anything new in this build. There do appear to be some new icons in the preferences screen, but for the most part it’s the same as the other betas we’ve seen.

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Yosemite GM includes support for SMS Forwarding when paired with iOS 8.1 beta

When iOS 8.0 launched, it shipped without support for SMS Forwarding, one of the many “Continuity” features that were demonstrated to work between iOS devices and Macs running OS X Yosemite. The reason for this was fairly simple: there was no need to include the feature if Yosemite was not yet available to the public.

Earlier this week Apple delivered the first beta version of iOS 8.1 to developers. Aside from a few design tweaks, not a whole lot of changes were visible, though there were references and initial support for Apple Pay, indicating that this would be the update to enable that feature. Now it seems the update will also activate the SMS Forwarding function.

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