Apple releases iOS 8.4 beta 2 to developers with revamped Music app

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A couple of weeks following the first beta, Apple today released iOS 8.4 beta 2 to developers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 8.4 beta 2 is available via Software Update for those running the first beta, and it should be available for download soon via the Apple Developer Website. Apple has also released the iOS 8.4 Public Beta 1, which corresponds to this second developer seed, and Xcode 6.4 beta 2.

As we first reported, iOS 8.4 brings a revamped Music app to iOS with a new design, a Mini-Player feature, improved search, and a larger focus on album artwork. At WWDC, Apple will announce the new Music app and its integration with a new Beats-based streaming music service. We’ll update this post live as new features in the second beta are discovered.

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Apple releases iOS 8.3, including new emojis with diversity, new Siri languages, more

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Following the release of OS X 10.10.3 to the public, Apple has also released iOS 8.3 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update, which has been in beta for several months, brings over 300 new emojis (including diversity options) as well as a new keyboard for inputting the symbols. The new keyboard features a scrolling UI, rather than the old page metaphor, to better accommodate the wider range of emojis available in the update.

iOS 8.3 also includes a whole host of new Siri languages, so more international users can benefit from Apple’s virtual personal assistant. The update adds Siri in Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Swedish, Turkish and Portuguese. Siri’s voice has also been tweaked in this update.

Full change list included after the break:

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Video: See Apple Watch animated emoji and Companion app Home Screen rearranging in action

Here’s a couple of fun Apple Watch tidbits: for those wondering what the animated emoji look like that you can create on the Watch and send to your phones, we have been sent two examples … one of a smiley emoji and one of a ‘love’ emoji.

This feature was first shown in September as part of the Watch’s unveiling, although interestingly Apple did not show it again at the March Spring Forward event. Users can use touch to adjust the expressions and make ‘custom’ emojis to send to friends.

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iOS 8.3 brings wireless CarPlay, improved Google login, new Emojis, China Apple Pay

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Earlier today, Apple seeded the first iOS 8.3 build to developers alongside Xcode 6.3 beta with Swift 1.2. Readers have discovered that the new operating system brings a new wireless CarPlay feature to the iPhone. This means that users can now wirelessly connect their iPhone to the car to bring an iOS-like experience the dashboard. Previously, users would have to connect their iPhone to the car via a USB Lightning cable. We first reported in March 2014 that Apple has been working on wireless CarPlay. It’s yet to be seen how long the wireless CarPlay rollout takes and which cars support it in the future. The new update also, like with OS X 10.10.3, brings easier Google login functionality for users with two-factor accounts:

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More diverse Emoji characters likely coming with OS X 10.10.3

While the highlight of the OS X 10.10.3 pre-release seed yesterday was the iPhoto replacement app simply called Photos, the beta version of the OS X software update also contains changes to how and which Emoji characters are presented.

First, the new Emoji picker found in the OS X 10.10.3 beta has been redesigned with a new window that allows you to scroll through each category of Emoji characters. The new design is similar to some third-party Emoji keyboards for iOS 8 including Emoji++ as sections no longer require choosing between various pages of characters.

Next, it appears Apple is preparing to include more diverse Emoji characters in the next OS X release as various place holders have been spotted on the beta’s current character picker. Read more

SwiftKey keyboard for iOS adds Emoji picker & predictions, iPad gesture typing, 11 new languages, more

SwiftKey, one of the more popular third party iOS 8 keyboards on the App Store, is out with a new version today adding both new features and additional languages.

Since iOS 8, SwiftKey had been able to replace the standard Apple iOS keyboard, and the new version also packs in the complete Emoji keyboard in one package. This makes it even more simple (👌) to find that smiling pile of poo (💩) or slice of pizza (🍕) when you need it without having to toggle between system keyboards. Similar to Apple’s QuickType predictive text feature, the latest SwiftKey update also adds Emoji predictions to the word suggestion area. Read more

Emoji Type keyboard brings predictive emoji typing to iOS

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If you’re a fan of emoji, you’ll want to 👀 at Emoji Type, a new third party predictive keyboard for the 📱. Emoji Type comes from the iOS developer of Product Hunt. Like with any iOS 🎹, installing the Emoji Type app prompts you to enable the keyboard in Settings. Once you’ve done that, you can switch to Emoji Type by hitting the 🌐  icon on the keyboard.

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New third-party keyboards for iOS 8: Emoji++ & Character Keyboard

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With iOS 8, Apple now allows developers to create alternative keyboards on iPhone and iPad that can be used almost anywhere to replace the system keyboard. We told you about several third-party keyboards for iOS 8 including when the major operating system update was released last month, and a few more interesting third-party keyboards have since been released. The first is an Emoji-only keyboard called Emoji++ that makes finding the right Emoji character much faster, and the second is both a language and symbol keyboard called Character Keyboard for typing out special characters. Read more

Apple kicks off iPhone 6 sales in 20 more countries starting w/ New Zealand

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NZ carrier Spark offers customers life-sized cardboard emoji characters to reserve their spot in line for iPhone 6

Apple’s second wave of iPhone 6 sales has just kicked off with customers in New Zealand getting access to the device through retail stores and online as we roll into the morning of September 26 in the country. We’re also approaching the launch in a total of 20 countries today as the device goes on sale the morning of September 26 local time in the following locations: Read more

Keymoji keyboard for iOS 8 translates everything you type into emoji

The Apple Watch may be able to share your heartbeat with someone across the world, but I think we all know that the future of communication actually lies in those little smiling faces called emoji that are usually tucked away in a secondary keyboard on our phones. To ensure that the future of interpersonal conversation is not hindered by the relative difficulty of tracking down just the right icon to express your feelings, one iOS development team has released a keyboard that translates everything you say into emoji.

The keyboard is called Keymoji, and it uses a crowdsourced database of emoji combinations that can then be substituted for words in your text messages, emails, tweets, and other communications (via Re/code). As you type, Keymoji will figure out what you want to say and translate it into a collection of icons that properly convey your message.

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