First beta version iOS 8.1 hits Apple’s developer center with design tweaks and bug fixes

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Apple has just released iOS 8.1 beta 1 on its developer center. The update has a build number of 12B401. As we reportedly earlier, the company is also working on iOS 8.2 and 8.3 for release in the future. The release is available for all iOS 8-compatible devices, including the Apple TV.

We’ll keep this article updated with any new changes discovered in the beta.

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Can’t wait for Photos for OS X? Photos app likely coming to iCloud.com for desktop viewing

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With Photos for OS X not being released until early next year, it seemed like there would be no way to view your photos backed up in iCloud Photo Library away from an iOS device for Mac customers. However, screenshots and error messages from iCloud.com show that a Photos app is in development for the website, so that users could access their pictures in some fashion on a computer. This will likely act as a stopgap before the official native client is ready.

The above screenshot is captured from an Apple help page, clearly showing a Photos app in the menu, which is currently absent from the public site. The app features the same icon as the Photos app, but its unclear what exact functionality it will bring. Poking around a bit, we discovered something that means it is unlikely the screenshot is simply a Photoshop mistake.

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

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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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Apple seeds OS X 10.9.1 beta build 13B35 to developers, includes release notes; Safari 6.1.1 seed also updated

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Apple has just released an update for the developer seed of OS X 10.9.1. The new version has a build number of 13B35 and includes fixes for the Mail app, VoiceOver, Safari, and VPN server support. The presence of the release notes indicate that the update is nearing completion and will be available to the public soon.

This update comes just a few weeks after updates to the Mail and iBooks software were released to resolve issues with those apps. Despite the Mail app having been updated to resolve Gmail-related issues, many users are still experiencing problems. The 10.9.1 appears to contain fixes for the remaining bugs.

Apple has also issued a new beta version of Safari 6.1.1 for Lion and Mountain Lion users. This version of Safari is curiously absent from the Mavericks beta that was seeded today.

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From beta 1 to release: how each major iOS version has transformed

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Following its introduction earlier this month, Apple’s newest operating system has fallen under criticism and scrutiny from both designers and casual users alike. Due to both the tight development timetable and the new design direction under Jony Ive, following the removal of former iOS SVP Scott Forstall last fall, iOS 7 is, understandably, the most controversial and intriguing iOS version yet.

In response to much of the negative criticism directed towards iOS 7, some have suggested that iOS 7 will change substantially before it is released to the general public. Looking back at previous versions of iOS reveals a long trend of subtle refinements to the operating system during beta periods, not dramatic changes. Let’s take a look at how each version of iOS has transformed:

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Apple releases iAd Workbench, shifting iAd’s focus towards app developers rather than large brands

best-screen_2xWith the latest changes to iTunes Connect, Apple has clearly changed its approach to mobile advertising. For the last three years, Apple has targeted large brands with minimum buy-ins ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, uptake of iAd does not seem to have been at the level Apple expected, which has had a negative impact on developers, who have commonly observed low fill rates for their ads.

In mid 2010, Apple allowed app developers to participate in the advertising side of iAd program, by showing banner ads that link directly to their apps. With newly announced changes to iAd, which have been discussed in-depth at WWDC, Apple has furthered this push.

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