Android keyboard maker Minuum previews variable-height keyboard for iOS 8

e228a480-e440-4062-950a-c74a672d2526Minuum, which has existed on Android for a while now, has announced that it is bringing its custom keyboard  to the iPhone with iOS 8. Minuum is trying to stand out from the crowd with a particularly novel gimmick — you can change the height of the keyboard to save space or expand it to return to a familiar QWERTY layout.

In the mini-mode, keys bunch into groups of three. An autocorrection system then picks what word you meant to chose out of the possible options, similar to the word prediction systems of Fleksy and other custom keyboards.

How well applications will respond to the dynamically changing height is yet to be seen, as many apps in the store have been coded assuming fixed screen sizes. Over time, though, as developers update their apps, these issues should go away.

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Apple posts job listing for VoLTE-experienced engineer ahead of expected voice-over-LTE support

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A new set of job listings noticed by LightReading continue to show Apple’s focus on implementing VoLTE, or voice-over-LTE, support for including high quality call quality on new iPhones.

Specifically, the job listings seek both a Cellular Systems Protocol Engineer with hands-on experience in wireless technologies including VoLTE and an iOS Wireless Communication Software Engineer with “SIP, RTP, and VoIP related protocols”, showing the company is continuing to beef up its expertise around the technology.

9to5Mac first reported that Apple is targeting voice-over-LTE support for iOS 8 and future iPhone models earlier this year in April:  Read more

Here are the release notes from a new carrier iOS 8 build

iOS 8 hero

Apple released a new version of OS X 10.10 to testers yesterday with Yosemite Developer Preview 6 bringing various UI tweaks and a new set of system wallpapers. However, an updated build of iOS 8 was not released to developers just as 9to5Mac had previously reported to expect. A report from BGR this morning claims that an updated iOS 8 build has been distributed to carrier partners for testing and approval, though, and includes internal release notes (below) for the carrier version. Apple released the final developer beta version of iOS 8 earlier this month on August 4th. Read more

Apple tests Family Sharing notice on App Store pages ahead of iOS 8 launch

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According to a new tag discovered on iOS App Store pages by iFun, it would appear that Apple is testing a new label for applications that work with the upcoming Family Sharing feature in iOS 8. The feature, which was announced at WWDC, allows a family to share a single list of purchased music, movies, and iOS apps, all charged to a single credit card. It also includes parental controls so that purchases require permission from the card holder.

Apple has given third-party developers the option to opt-out of this program, however, which would require users to purchase such apps once for each member of the family, rather than once for everyone. To ensure that there’s no confusion among those looking to buy apps for a whole family, it looks like Apple will be labeling apps that support the feature the same way it highlights apps that Game Center, in-app purchases, and other iOS features.

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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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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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iPhone app Numerous previews iOS 8 Notification Center integration

We’ve already seen a few developers preview how new technologies introduced in iOS 8 make new features possible. Last month we saw 1Password’s iPhone app take advantage of the new access developers have to Touch ID and systemwide Extensions with their iOS 8 beta, and a number of health and fitness app developers have discussed their excitement for Apple’s new HealthKit tool. Today the developers of the fairly new iPhone app Numerous have previewed in a blog post their plans to include an app widget for presenting numbers from the app in the new Today view in Notification Center coming to the iPhone and iPad in iOS 8… Read more

Apple brings iTunes Extras to Apple TV, HD Extras to Macs today & iOS 8 in fall

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Apple today released iTunes version 11.3 and with it is making its iTunes Extras feature available for HD movies on Macs.  Apple also announced today that the feature is now available for Apple TV with update 6.2 and will arrive on iOS 8 this fall.

While we’ll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8 this fall, the Apple TV OS 6.2 update rolled out late last month to users alongside iOS 7.1.2.

iTunes Extras offers an interactive experience for some video content on iTunes that often includes behind-the-scenes videos, image galleries, commentary from the creators, cast interviews, exclusive clips, short films, and more. Content creators decide whether or not to offer the iTunes Extras feature and create the experience using templates provided by Apple. Apple also notes that “new iTunes Extras will be automatically added to your previously purchased HD movies as they become available- at no additional charge.”

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Fleksy keyboard for iOS 8 set for fall release with support for over 40 languages

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The popular Fleksy keyboard for Android will be making its way to iOS 8 this fall, according to the company behind the software. While the keyboard isn’t quite ready for a public beta, the developers say it will be ready by the release of the next-generation mobile OS.

Keeping in line with today’s update for the Android version, the iPhone version is on schedule to ship with support with over 40 languages.

The Fleksy keyboard has been available on iOS in the form of a standalone app for some time now, but with iOS 8’s support for third-party keyboards, it will finally be available systemwide. The native keyboard has already been demoed by the Fleksy developers earlier this year.

Why Apple switched from Yahoo to Weather Channel for Weather data in iOS 8

When Apple unveiled iOS 8 earlier this month, it didn’t take long for beta testers to notice it had replaced Yahoo with The Weather Channel as the source of data in the stock iOS Weather app. While recent reports suggested Yahoo was trying to get Apple to put even more of its services on the iPhone including search, we now have a bit more of the story behind why exactly Yahoo got the boot for weather in iOS 8. Re/code reports that the deal was made by Weather Channel CEO David Kenny who also happened to be a former Yahoo board member:

The situation Yahoo finds itself in is due to a very crafty deal engineered by former Yahoo board member and Weather Channel CEO David Kenny, who has essentially shoved Yahoo off the key smartphone to be replaced by a new offering that he has been developing since he took over the weather news and information service last year. With it, he has unseated Yahoo from its important perch.

It’s worth pointing out that Yahoo has always powered its weather services with data from The Weather Channel. With that in mind, it’s unclear if Apple possibly had plans to drop Yahoo and go straight to the source before Kenny started developing the new and improved weather service referenced above. More from Re/code on why Apple made the switch: Read more

Apple TV software beta brings iCloud Family Sharing and Photos to the big screen

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The latest beta software for the Apple TV brings one of iOS 8’s headline features to the (former) hobby device: iCloud Family Sharing. While the feature isn’t yet functional, it’s expected that users will be able to log into one account and access purchased music and movies, shared photos, and more from other devices on the same family sharing account…

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