iOS 8: Lock screen app shortcuts, iPhoto changes, & App Store reviews

Update: Explanation of lock screen apps after the break…

Since Apple previewed iOS 8 yesterday during the keynote at WWDC, we’ve been continually trying out the new iPhone and iPad software to get familiar with the changes coming to users this fall. First up is a new way for apps to be promoted on the iPhone using subtle location-based prompts. Similar to how the lock screen features an icon and a swipe up gesture from the lower right corner of the display to quickly access the Camera app, several users are reporting a variety of apps are being featured on the lower left corner prompted by being near a relevant venue.

For instance, in the screen shot displayed above on the left, the user is visiting an Apple Store and an App Store icon appears in the lower left corner. Swiping up from the bottom acts as a shortcut to quickly access the Apple Store app within the App Store. Once installed, the Apple Store app icon then appears on the lock screen when visiting the retailer. While it’s not certain which specific perimeters must be met for this functionality to work, the commonality between other supported App Store apps including Starbucks and ShopSavvy is location. Read more

Photos+ debuts on iPhone with EXIF info support, improved grid view, more

Way back in May, Justin Williams’s Second Gear teased an unannounced app via Passbook using an in-house system called Pit Pass. The Passbook pass updated to reveal the icon and name of the app released by Second Gear today: Photos+.

What the app does is really simple but useful in a big way. Photos+ displays your images from your Camera Roll and other albums found in Photos.app, but it takes a different approach to displaying thumbnails and most importantly includes EXIF info like timestamp and location hidden in the native photo browser…

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Is iPad photography finally gaining social acceptance?

It’s no secret that people love taking pictures with their iPad, but it has always been a somewhat out of the ordinary behavior publicly considering the sheer size of the tablet in general.

It’s also true that Apple has made great improvements to the camera system on the iPad, and its large, vibrant display makes for one heck of a view finder when capturing an image.

Based on anecdotal evidence, various scenes from Apple’s iPad event yesterday, and data collected by photos shared on Flickr, I think it’s finally time we accept iPad photography into our lives with open arms. Responsibly, of course.

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New iOS iWork & iLife icons/features appear on Apple’s website, GarageBand going free with in-app-purchases

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On the ‘Built-in Apps’ page in the iPhone 5s and 5c section of Apple’s website, although the actual app screenshots look the same, Apple is using new (flatter) iOS icons for the iLife and iWork suites designed to match the style of iOS 7. The iPhoto and GarageBand icons are identical to the ones that were leaked last week in the iCloud Storage preferences.

However, this is the first time the new iOS 7 style iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote icons have been seen. Although iMovie looks relatively similar to its skeuomorphic counterpart, the other icons look drastically different featuring bright gradients and white icon glyphs.

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Tune in Oct. 22 for new iPads, Mac Pro details, MacBook Pros, and Mavericks

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Apple’s next event is upon us, and it’s likely to be action-packed. As Apple says: it has “a lot to cover.” So besides the speculation that rings in from the word cover (new Smart Covers, anyone?), Apple has some new tablets, computers, and software to discuss. Read our full roundup of what to expect (and not expect) on Tuesday, October 22nd, from Apple:

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Redesigned iPhoto & Garageband iOS icons appear, indicate likely makeovers next week

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Redesigned icons for iPhoto for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and Garageband have appeared in the iCloud Storage Management function in the iOS Settings app. The new icons are simpler, flatter, and is designed with iOS 7’s new icon grid system in mind. They are a stark contrast from the colorful, 3D-like icons used in the current versions of the apps.

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In line with the app redesigns for all of Apple’s bundled iOS 7 apps, it is likely that the new icon will come as a complement to a completely redesigned version of the iPhoto app. When Apple released iOS 7 last month, the designs to Apple’s App Store apps went noticeably unchanged. Besides iPhoto, Apple has a slew of other App Store apps (like iWork’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote & iLife’s iMovie). However, there are yet to be any solid indications of redesigns for the other apps…

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Apple crediting eligible iOS users who paid for iWork, iLife after September 1st

 

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During Apple’s September event, the Tim Cook announced that all new iOS devices purchased after September 1st would be given the option to get iWork and most iLife apps for free. Some users who had purchased iOS devices after the first of the month, however, had already paid for those apps prior to the announcement, or paid for them after the announcement due to confusion about how to claim the free versions.

Today Apple began sending out emails to eligible users who paid for the apps informing them that their iTunes accounts would be credited for the software they should have gotten for free. The amount listed in the tips we’ve received varies from customer to customer, so it appears the credits are only for the apps that were paid for, not the total price of all five apps.

The refund can be claimed via an iTunes Store redeem code included in the email. You can read the full message from Apple below.

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Flickr iOS 7 auto-upload app with 1TB of storage blows Photo Stream out of the water

Photo: engadget.com

Photo: engadget.com

Today’s update to the iOS Flickr app offers auto-uploading of full-res photos to your private Flickr gallery. Couple this to the 1TB of free storage available and you effectively have a Photo Stream style service that can store over half a million photos, rather than simply the last 1,000.

Flickr introduced the 1TB capacity back in May (with parent company Yahoo offering the same free storage to email users yesterday). If you sync iPhoto with Flickr, you effectively get all the benefits of Photo Stream but with 500 times the capacity. You do need to be careful with this, however: the sync is two-way, so if you delete photos from Flickr, they will also be deleted from iPhoto …  Read more

Some surprises we might see at WWDC 2013 next week

(Preparations for Apple’s 2013 WWDC developer conference / Image via Nick)

There’s a lot we already know about what we’ll be seeing next week at WWDC– we’ve already brought you exclusive details on iOS 7, OS X 10.9, a MacBook refresh, Apple’s new Radio service, and much more. What else might we see Apple show off next week? Below are a couple of our best predictions based on what we think Apple is most likely to show off as well as few things we’ve been hearing: Read more

Apple updates iPhoto and Aperture for Mac with Photo Stream improvements, bug fixes, Safari and Java

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Today, Apple has released software updates for the Mac version of iPhoto and for Aperture. The updates both focus on bug fixes and improvements.

Notably, both apps were given improvements and fixes for Photo Stream integration. iPhoto now has easier image deleting and exporting from Photo Stream, while Aperture has a bug fix related to Shared Photo Streams.

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Safari and Java were also updated with improved security (release notes below). Notably, the new update introduces controls to specify which websites can use Java – something that should help prevent malicious websites from exploiting the never-ending stream of Java exploits.

Full release notes below:

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Review: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11

Adobe recently announced the latest Mac versions of Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11, and I had a brief opportunity to glance at some of their shiny, new add-ons. Version 11 of both programs notably boast new looks, new experiences, new features, and new functions; but more importantly, they effectively tout prosumer video- and photo-editing solutions for the average consumer.

For those unaware, Adobe Photoshop Elements essentially provides iPhoto users with a Photoshop or Aperture-ish editing experience without the hefty price tag; and similarly, Premiere Elements gives iMovie users the more pocket-friendly bells and whistles of Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X.

Go below for the full review.

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Twig: the most versatile iPhone charging cord/tripod hits Kickstarter

Apple’s medium-length, white docking cable is widely known for its, how would one say, cumbersome functionality when attached to iDevices.

It comes in every iPhone, iPad, iWhatever box, and it is in desperate need of an update. Sure, reports show the next iPhone will sport a mini-dock connector, so maybe a new charging solution is already around the corner. But, in the meantime, third-party firms are thankfully developing interesting alternatives. Twig, for instance, is a newly launched Kickstarter project that certainly caught our eye.

Jason Hilbourne created a docking cable—err thing—that lacks a cord, can fit into a pocket, bends like Gumby, and sports a variety of color options. No tangle, no mess, and no headache. Oh, and the best part is that this little doohickey also doubles as a tripod. Go watch the video on the Kickstarter page to see how Hilbourne developed the product before deciding upon the last iteration. Those who are interested can get Twig at the $18 contribution level.

In related Kickstarter/docking cable news, Dave Hakkens has developed the Plugbook. Yes, it is in the shape of a book, so it can hide between other books. However, 10 feet of cable hides inside. Interesting, eh?

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