iCloud Drive enables non-Mac App Store apps to use iCloud document storage

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Prior to OS X Yosemite and Apple’s new iCloud Drive announced on Monday, Mac developers were explicitly required to succumb to the restraints of the Mac App Store to allow their customers to use iCloud file storage within their apps.

Now with the introduction of iCloud Drive, which gives users much clearer access to content stored in iCloud, developers can distribute their apps outside of the Mac App Store and trust that their users can opt to use iCloud for document storage as if they were sold in the Mac App Store… Read more

Opinion: Has Apple finally promoted iCloud from a hobby to a serious service?

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I wrote a piece last month arguing that it was time for Apple to up its iCloud game, showing that the company is serious about cloud storage by focusing more on fast, reliable syncing, and by matching the functionality, storage capacities, and pricing of Google Drive.

In the WWDC keynote, Apple did exactly that. MobileMe may not, in Steve Jobs’ words, have been Apple’s finest hour, but it did at least include iDisk – an online drive we could access directly to store anything we liked – not just documents created in Apple’s own apps. It’s been a long time coming, but iDisk is finally back in the form of iCloud Drive.

The new iCloud pricing, too, looks set to be exactly what I asked for – comparable to Google Drive…  Read more

Polls: What are your first impressions of iOS 8 and Yosemite?

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Now you’ve had a chance to catch up on our coverage of the main new features of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and seen our hands-on videos (iOS 8 overview, OS X Yosemite overviewiOS 8 Spotlight and iOS 8 interactive notifications), we’d like to hear your first impressions of each.

Whether you’re blown away by all the new features, disappointed by things you wanted but didn’t get, or just a bit underwhelmed, here’s your chance to let us know.

We’ve summarized the features Apple has chosen to highlight, and there are separate polls for each platform …  Read more

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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Apple now stores ‘every photo you take on all of your devices’ with new Photos app

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With iOS 8, Apple will now backup of all your photos. The limitations of Photo Stream seem to have gone away. Apple will now store all of your photos in iCloud, regardless of what device you take them on. iPhones and iPads can view these entire libraries, without having to download them to local storage. The photos stream in as you scroll.

Storage is only limited by your iCloud Storage. Apple has announced new cheaper storage plans to go along with the new philosophy.

Apple is also adding a whole host of color and other editing features into the Photos app. This includes things like color correction, brightness, cropping and more. These edits automatically sync across devices.

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Apple improving cross-platform integration between iOS and OS X, cross-platform AirDrop, Handoff, instant hotspot and more

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Apple wants users to be able to smoothly move between their Macs and iOS devices. AirDrop now interoperates between Mac and iOS devices. However, it goes further. Handoff allows you to send a document from your Mac to your iOS device, just by being in close proximity to each other.

The Mac also notices when an iOS device is nearby for Personal Hotspot. The phone appears in the WiFi menu, shown above, and with one-click the phone connects to the Mac and the devices start tethering.

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WWDC 2014 Roundup: Enhanced iOS 8, redesigned OS X 10.10, new hardware (plus fresh details)

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Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook teasing that Apple would introduce new products “across 2014,” so far this year the company has simply released a cheaper version of the iPhone 5c in select markets, marginally faster MacBook Airs, and the 2012 fourth-generation iPad at a lower price.

But on Monday, June 2nd, Apple will make major announcements that will indicate the immediate future of its two major platforms: iOS and OS X. The Cupertino company will share details behind the changes in iOS 8, a redesigned Mac operating system, and perhaps even new hardware.

Over the past several months, we have exclusively reported the majority of the news to expect next week and you can find our extensive roundup (along with new details) below:

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Apple denies iCloud breach was responsible for device lockout attack, advises users to change passwords

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Last night we reported that several Mac and iOS users were finding their devices remotely locked by hackers who had gained access to the users’ Find My iPhone accounts and demanded a ransom to return the devices to a working state.

Today Apple issued a statement on the problem, noting that—as suspected—the iCloud service itself was not actually breached, but individual user accounts may have been compromised through password reuse or social engineering:

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Vesper 2 for iPhone adds sync support for backing up notes (Vesper for Mac next)

Update: Brent Simmons write on his blog that Vesper for Mac is indeed next.

Vesper received a major feature update overnight bringing one of the most requested features to the note-taking app: support for sync. Vesper, the project of John Gruber, Brent Simmons, and Dave Wiskus under the name Q Branch, was released almost a year ago for the iPhone and decidedly lacked iCloud sync (due to reliability) or any alternative. Simmons has since been journaling his experiencing with building an in-house sync solution for Vesper on his Inessential blog if you are interested in reading the behind-the-scenes work that goes into such a project…

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Australian Mac and iOS users find devices remotely locked, held for ransom (and how to keep yours safe)

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The Sydney Morning Herald reports that several Australian Mac, iPhone, and iPad users are finding that their devices have been locked remotely through Apple’s Find My iPhone service by someone using the name “Oleg Pliss.” The hacker (or hackers) then demand payments of around $50 to $100 to an anonymous PayPal account in order to restore the devices to their owners.

An active thread on Apple’s support forum was started yesterday as users started to discover that they had been targeted by the attack. According to that discussion, users are finding all of their devices locked at once rather than a single device per user. Based on that report and the fact that Find My iPhone is being used to hold the devices hostage, it seems likely that the perpetrator has gained access to these users’ iCloud accounts—possibly through password reuse by those users—rather than some device-specific malware or hack.

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