iOS 8.2 Stories March 18, 2015

iOS 8 adoption 77%

Update 3/31: Apple’s latest data reflects 78% as measured on the App Store on March 30th.

Update 4/14: Two weeks and one iOS 8.3 update later, the App Store now reports 79% iOS 8 adoption.

Apple now says that 77% of active iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches are now running some version of iOS 8. The remainder of active devices running older software than what was released last September include one out of five devices still running iOS 7, and a small 3% running iOS 6 or earlier. The data comes from Apple’s App Store Distribution dashboard, which captured the adoption rate earlier this week.

While the information does show the steady climb of active devices upgrading to iOS 8 at a steady, gradual rate, it does not reveal how many users are running the very latest version, iOS 8.2, which is required for iPhone users to pair with the upcoming Apple Watch, which will be released on April 24th… expand full story

iOS 8.2 Stories March 10, 2015

Tim-Cook-gold-macbook

Apple’s Spring Forward event on March 9 was packed with news, including everything from expected Apple Watch announcements to the debut of the Retina 12″ MacBook, a price drop for Apple TV, the announcement of ResearchKit, and the release of iOS 8.2. Here’s everything you need to know.

First, the Apple TV dropped in price from $99 to $69, and got a three-month exclusive window to launch HBO Now, a standalone $15/month to HBO TV content and on-demand library.

Second, Apple announced ResearchKit, enabling iPhone users to opt-in to large-scale medical research studies using all-new apps to track and provide health information. Five initial apps were released, including heart, glucose, breast cancer, asthma, and Parkinson’s research tools.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bhsG8k7GvI&ab_channel=TechnoBuffalo]

Third, Apple officially unveiled the all-new 12″ MacBook, its thinnest and lightest Mac laptop yet, with a Retina display, single USB-C port, and Force Touch trackpad, starting at $1,299. A collection of new USB-C adapters are required to connect the MacBook to traditional USB devices and wired displays. It also updated the older MacBook Air and 13″ Retina MacBook Pro with faster Intel Broadwell processors, faster SSDs, and battery improvements.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjiZv0WBR0o&ab_channel=TechnoBuffalo]

Fourth, the Apple Watch finally got its long-awaited battery life (18 hours) and pricing ($349/$549/$10,000/$17,000) details, plus preorder (April 10) and launch (April 24) dates. Additional details on real-world Apple Watch 38mm and 42mm battery life, as well as warranty details, were quietly released online. A small collection of Apple Watch apps were shown off, and accessories including bands and chargers also got priced ($29-$449). One of the accessories actually includes two separate bands in one package.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDAP9OWtQro&ab_channel=Apple]

After the event, Apple released iOS 8.2 with Apple Watch support and Health improvements. It also published the official event video, as well as separate Jony Ive-narrated videos showing the aluminum, steel, and gold manufacturing processes for the Apple Watches. To help customers plan their Watch band purchases, Apple released a new band size guide showing the wrist sizes that will fit each of the numerous types of bands (in millimeters).

iOS 8.2 Stories March 9, 2015

The iOS 8.2 update released today introduced support for the Apple Watch to the iPhone and iPad. The app reveals some details about the device unmentioned at the keynote event today. For example, the app reveals how users will pair their watches with their phones using the iPhone’s camera…

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iOS 8.2 Stories March 5, 2015

Release notes from an internal iOS 8.2 build show more improvements coming to Health app

After several weeks of testing, Apple is expected to release iOS 8.2 next week as it puts the Apple Watch on stage one more time. We reported before the event date was announced that Apple has been targeting the second week in March for iOS 8.2 release and passed over BGR’s report that the update would be available as soon as this week (which didn’t pan out). Ahead of the update’s release, though, BGR has posted release notes for an internal release highlighting additional changes to the Health app and stability improvements and big fixes.

iOS 8.2 Stories February 2, 2015

iOS 8.2 beta 5

Apple has released the fifth beta to developers for the upcoming iOS 8.2 release. The update is available both over-the-air from the Settings app on iOS as well as through the iOS Dev Center. The release includes bug fixes and improvements.  expand full story

iOS 8.2 Stories January 13, 2015

Yesterday, we reported that the latest iOS 8.2 beta reveals that an Apple Watch application for the iPhone is in the works. Now, we have some more details. Within Apple, the application is currently called the Apple Watch “Companion” app for iPhone. This application manages settings for Apple Watch applications, as well as settings for iPhone/Watch interactivity. The Companion app’s settings reveal some novel new functions that are coming to the Apple Watch. Below, we highlight some of the most interesting new features and settings.

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iOS 8.2 Stories January 12, 2015

iOS 8.2 beta 4

Apple has released the fourth beta version of the upcoming iOS 8.2 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Previous builds include support for testing WatchKit apps for its upcoming Apple Watch release and changes to Apple’s Health app. We’ll update our coverage with what we find in the latest developer beta. expand full story

iOS 8.2 Stories December 18, 2014

In addition to supporting WatchKit and the Apple Watch, the iOS 8.2 software update will re-introduce some previously removed features in Apple’s Health app on iOS 8 as well as provide some feature enhancements. As discovered in the latest iOS 8.2 beta for developers, Apple is reintroducing support for blood glucose tracking through the iOS 8 Health app after an issue with which unit of measurement the app defaulted to presenting problems for international users of the feature. The somewhat intimidating Health app is also getting a little smarter with brief descriptions for the various data points tracked by the app listed under each section. expand full story

iOS 8.2 beta 3

Apple today released the third iOS 8.2 beta to developers for testing. The first iOS 8.2 beta was previously released alongside WatchKit to allow developers to test app functionality ahead of the upcoming Apple Watch release while the second release went out last week. We’ll update with any significant changes found in the latest iOS 8.2 beta release. expand full story

iOS 8.2 Stories December 10, 2014

iOS 8.2 beta 2Apple has just released the second beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, for testing, as an over-the-air update.  The beta can also be downloaded from Apple’s developer site. iOS 8.2 includes WatchKit, so developers can create apps and Glances for Apple Watch. You can read about how such apps work with our previous coverage of the WatchKit APIs. Apple released the first beta of iOS 8.2 a few weeks ago.

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iOS 8.2 Stories November 18, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 19.15.09

Apple has just released a flood of information about how apps on Apple Watch work, through the WatchKit framework. There are three types of integrations currently possible: WatchKit apps, Glances and actionable notifications. Although they sound similar,  the development process for WatchKit apps are actually very different to that of normal iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, as much of the computation is done on the connected iPhone rather than rendered by the watch’s hardware itself.

The interface elements and interaction patterns for WatchKit apps revolve around a core set of user interface components and layouts. Arbitrary views are not supported, which is a big departure from how iOS apps are constructed.

The constraints are in place because although the Watch renders the UI, any other coding logic is actually managed by the connected iPhone through a WatchKit extension, that silently runs on the iPhone. For instance, animations are pre rendered as an image sequence on the phone GPU before being sent OTA to the watch for display. Apple has announced that fully-native Watch apps will debut later in 2015, which will likely loosen these restrictions somewhat.

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Apple Watch press

Apple has officially announced the availability of WatchKit, the software tools that developers will use for creating software for the Apple Watch coming in 2015. The company revealed last month that the SDK, or software development kit, would be released sometime this month. Apple says WatchKit enables developers to “create innovative WatchKit apps, actionable notifications and Glances, for timely information accessible by an easy, quick look at Apple Watch.” Additionally, resources within WatchKit reveal the screen resolutions for both Apple Watch sizes. expand full story

iOS 8.2 Stories September 29, 2014

Screenshot 2014-09-29 11.00.43

Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

8.2 9to5iOS 8.2 visits to 9to5Mac

We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

8.3 9to5iOS 8.3 visits to 9to5Mac

While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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