July 8, 2013

Back in April, we first reported that iOS 7 will feature much-enhanced in-car integration for Maps, Siri and other apps. This feature allows an iOS 7 device user to connect their iPhone to a car and an Apple-built “iOS in the Car” interface will appear in the center console display.

Since then, we have heard from the same sources that the feature is designed to work over AirPlay (in addition to USB/Lightning)…

expand full story

Two weeks following the release of iOS 7 beta 2 to developers, Apple has seeded a third beta to developers for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update is available via the Software Update function in the iOS 7 Settings application. It will be available soon to download from the iOS Developer Portal.

iOS 7 beta 2 brought several enhancements including new Voice Memos and Nike+ apps, improving messaging functionality, more realistic Siri Voice, tweaks to the FaceTime, Reminders, Music apps, new accessibility features, and various user-interface tweaks across the system. We previously detailed past changes to major iOS versions during the developer beta phase.

This third beta likely includes performance and bug fixes. We will update this post with a running list of changes discovered by users. If you spot anything new, you can reach us at tips@9to5mac.com. 

Find our running list of the iOS 7 beta 3 changes below:

expand full story

July 2, 2013

According to reports from Bloomberg, Apple is close to reaching a deal with Time Warner to offer TV shows on Apple TV, while also apparently recruiting Hulu exec Pete Distad to lead negotiations for content:

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

Distad is currently SVP of Marketing and Distribution at Hulu and in charge of content distribution and customer acquisition/retention on the company’s management team. According to his bio Distad’s current duties at Hulu include “subscriber acquisition and retention, paid, on-channel, and brand marketing, distribution and promotional partnerships, and content marketing.” expand full story

Apple presents itself as a company that ships hardware, software, and services that integrate together elegantly. While Apple makes the majority of its money from its hardware, Apple makes use of its free, popular internet services and software to sell their hardware. For example, the iLife suite of Mac apps that are included for free with new Mac purchases is a common reason that people choose to buy a Mac. On the iOS side, Apple offers free services like iCloud, iBooks, iMessage, Game Center, and later this year, iTunes Radio.

But on both the Mac and iOS Device side, one particular Apple service has stuck out as being a paid offering: Apple’s iWork suite that includes the Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet maker, and Keynote presentation creator. For years, Apple has sold iWork for Mac as a bundled suite, but with the Mac App Store, the company split the three programs into separate $19.99 downloads. On the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch side, the three apps are distinct $9.99 downloads. Apple, thus far, has kept iWork as a premium priced suite, but this fall, the company will introduce a free tier: iWork for iCloud…

expand full story

July 1, 2013

The introduction of iOS 7 brought forth a new era of iOS design: one that discards old thinking and draws little inspiration from past designs. While Apple’s included applications in iOS 7 have all been updated for the new design aesthetic, their App Store apps haven’t. Installing any of Apple’s other applications alongside iOS 7 reveals a huge discrepancy between the old, skeuomorphic design, and the new, flatter look. Obviously, Apple will have to redesign all of their App Store applications. So, what will they look like?

expand full story

June 30, 2013

When Apple announced the Retina Macbook Pro at the 2012 Worldwide Developer Conference, we noted how it seemed like the company was integrating the selling points from all of its devices into one, with the iPad and iPhone’s Retina display being the main point of interest. Fast forward a year and Apple has done something similar, but this time with the MacBook Air. One thing the iPad has always been praised for is its battery life. It almost always lives up to the expectations set by Apple and can often exceed the marks with lighter usage patterns.

With the mid-2013 Macbook Air, Apple has taken that amazing iPad battery life and stuck in a laptop. While it’s not the Retina Macbook Air many of us were hoping for and may look nearly identical from the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Assuming, of course, that it can live up to the hype. Keep reading for our full review of the mid-2013 Macbook Air. expand full story

June 29, 2013

This morning, a pair photos claiming to depict the backplate for Apple’s rumored upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared on the WeiPhone forums. The backplate, which is unverified to be legitimate, appears to be made of a plastic material and is shown in a green color. The overall design of the purported part lines up with past reports suggesting that Apple is developing a low-cost iPhone with a plastic-like-casing in a number of colors.

NowhereElse found two more including red, yellow and green variants.

iphone_plastic_yellow_red_green expand full story

June 28, 2013

At WWDC earlier this month, Apple once again recognized some of the top designers of iOS and Mac apps with the annual Apple Design Awards. This year, one of the apps that won the student category was Finish, a unique task management app which we reviewed when it launched in January. Finish was created by Ryan Orbuch and Michael Hansen, a high-school duo from Colorado.

This week, we sat down with Orbuch and discussed the inspiration behind Finish, the ADA, and more. You can listen to the complete interview below the break.

expand full story

June 27, 2013

Craig-iOS7-WWDC-APIs-SDK-01

We’ve reported on a number of big improvements coming to iOS 7 for both app developers and accessory manufacturers already. Yesterday we reported first on the new blinking and smiling detection features available to camera and photo app developers, and earlier this month told you about some of the new Bluetooth related APIs coming this fall.

We previously walked you through some of the new APIs and features for gamers, but there is still a lot more coming to third-party app developers in iOS 7. A few big improvements: a text to speech API, background downloads for in-app content, motion effects, 3D maps, and much more.

Head below for details on some of the more notable new APIs available for developers to take advantage of in iOS 7: expand full story

Leading up to the unveiling of Apple’s new iTunes Radio service earlier this month at WWDC, we reported on some small details regarding deals Apple had reached with the major labels necessary to get bring its Pandora competitor to market. Earlier reports claimed that Apple was paying Warner around 10% of ad revenue— that’s around twice as much as Pandora reportedly pays. Today, The Wall Street Journal provides us with some in-depth info on what Apple is paying labels and publishers after taking a look at the terms of the deal.

Apple will in fact be paying well over the 0.12 cents per listen Pandora offers the labels, as well as a percentage of ad revenue, and the payout will also increase during the service’s second year:

During iTunes Radio’s first year, Apple will pay a label 0.13 cents each time a song is played, as well as 15% of net advertising revenue, proportionate to a given label’s share of the music played on iTunes. In the second year, that bumps up to 0.14 cents per listen, plus 19% of ad revenue.

However, there are some exceptions. The report notes that Apple won’t have to pay royalties for songs that users already have in their iTunes library. That will apparently extend to “songs that might be on an album that a listener owns just part of.” Interestingly, Apple also won’t pay for songs skipped before the 20 second mark and those included in special promotions, but it can only skip paying royalties on two songs per hour for each iTunes Radio user: expand full story

While there is no shortage of to-do lists or note taking apps on the App Store, it isn’t always easy to jump from one app to another and still stay productive. NoteSuite features note taking, task management, PDF viewing and annotation, and Office document management all in a single app, creating one digital briefcase of sorts.

I had the chance to meet Peter Tamte of Theory.io during WWDC week in San Francisco and see a preview of NoteSuite in person. Peter’s demonstration was very impressionable and left me with one particular thought: NoteSuite is entering a saturated app market, but should thrive as it does a few key things better than its competition.

Continue reading for specific thoughts and observations as I unpack the features of NoteSuite. expand full story

June 26, 2013

During the WWDC keynote, Apple introduced a new Safari 7 feature that allows developers to take advantage of native push notifications on their websites. Unlike HTML5 push notifications, which have been used by some browsers for some time now, native push notifications act like any other installed application’s notifications: they are branded for the web app rather than the browser, they can be used even when you aren’t on the website, and they can even pop up when Safari isn’t running.

Working with 9to5Mac, developer Connor LaCombe has developed the first public demo website that shows exactly how the feature works:

expand full story

Apple has expanded beta testing of its upcoming iWork for iCloud service to all Apple employees, according to an email sent to employees. Since the mid-June WWDC conference, iWork for iCloud beta testing has been limited to members of Apple’s developer program. Apple says that employees can use iWork for iCloud on their personal computers.

expand full story

June 25, 2013

Unknown to many people, Apple handed out devices running its latest OS X Mavericks operating system to select members of the press and media after announcing it back at WWDC, and early reviews and previews are starting to flow in.

As soon as the developer preview hit the web, we dove in and looked for subtle changes from Mountain Lion and found things such as LinkedIn integration, a Messages tab in Notification Center, an option in the menu bar to see what apps were draining your battery power, and much more. We also covered new dictation features in Mavericks. Via an option in System Preferences, there is now the ability to download a file and have offline dictation capabilities. One of the biggest selling points about Mavericks are the new multi-display capabilities, such as the ability to access the dock and menu bar across all of your monitors.

David Pierce of The Verge says that in Mavericks, multiple display support works like it always should have:

expand full story

June 24, 2013

Over the past few days, a notable amount of users have complained about WiFi issues plaguing the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models released during the week of WWDC. Besides less-battery-intensive chipsets, the marquee feature of the new MacBook Air revolves around faster WiFi connectivity thanks to new 802.11ac cards. As with any new product, bugs are plausible. Earlier today, we noted that new reports claim that the MacBook Air WiFi issues are due to networking issues in Apple’s OS X software. Fortunately, we have now learned that Apple is not in the dark about this issue:

expand full story

Following its introduction earlier this month, Apple’s newest operating system has fallen under criticism and scrutiny from both designers and casual users alike. Due to both the tight development timetable and the new design direction under Jony Ive, following the removal of former iOS SVP Scott Forstall last fall, iOS 7 is, understandably, the most controversial and intriguing iOS version yet.

In response to much of the negative criticism directed towards iOS 7, some have suggested that iOS 7 will change substantially before it is released to the general public. Looking back at previous versions of iOS reveals a long trend of subtle refinements to the operating system during beta periods, not dramatic changes. Let’s take a look at how each version of iOS has transformed:

expand full story

June 21, 2013

Asymco analyst Horace Dediu has estimated that iTunes accounts for three-quarters of all digital music sales – $6.9b a year out of a total market of around $9.3b. He also noted that Apple had substantially exceeded his own expectations in video sales, with total sales to date of 380m movies and a cool 1b TV shows, but apps were where the real growth was seen …  expand full story

Apple thumbs nose at Google over Android fragmentation

After showing this pie-chart in the WWDC keynote, Apple has now added the graphic to its iOS developer website. Though it doesn’t include the Android version, which Google updates fortnightly, the intended audience for the website will be well aware of the contrast:

While Android has more devices, iOS has more of the revenue, Tim Cook pointing out in his keynote that Apple had paid $10 billion to developers.

June 20, 2013

New MacBook Airs experiencing WiFi connectivity issues?

Apple’s refreshed MacBook Airs introduced earlier this month at WWDC certainly bring some major improvements over previous generations thanks to Intel’s 4th gen Haswell processors, 802.11ac WiFi, and other internal upgrades. However, while reviews have been quite positive and focusing on the up to 12 hour battery life, it appears some users are experiencing teething issues with the new machines, which isn’t exactly something new for the first release of a refreshed Apple product.

A thread on Apple’s support forums (via Gizmodo) includes a growing number of customers complaining of WiFi connectivity issues with the new MacBook Airs that were just released last week. It’s worth pointing out that users have complained of similar issues with other MacBooks, and with WiFi there are always lots of variables, like the network and the user’s router, that could be causing problems.

The first release of a new or revamped product can often run into some issues early on that Apple attempts to work out in future firmware updates or hardware tweaks. We saw it with the Retina MacBook Pros, and it’s likely Apple will release updates to address some of the issues that users are experiencing with the new MacBook Airs.

Some third-party apps appear to have different icons between iOS 6 and iOs 7.

Some third-party apps appear to have different icons between iOS 6 and iOs 7.

Apple’s radically new set of default icons is probably the biggest point of contention surrounding iOS 7. Each new icon has been redrawn and features a new color palette that fits to a new design grid. While these new standards are not mandatory, most developers will likely want to rethink the way their icons are presented in a way that makes them coherent to the new user-interface of the operating system.

While looking around in iOS 7 and observing the redesigned user-interface, I expected third-party applications would feature the same familiar icons from iOS 6. This was the case in nearly every instance, aside from a few exceptions with icons that used the default gloss. Previous versions of iOS would automatically add a splash of glare to icons like most of Apple’s own apps, which adds a sense of depth to what otherwise is a two-dimensional plane.

Many apps already opted to manually remove the gloss effect as design trends moved toward the less ornamental look that led to iOS 7. It appears that the software automatically removes the gloss found in certain apps (e.g. Klout, Urban Dictionary), and I wouldn’t be surprised if the remainder of the gloss is removed by the time iOS 7 leaves beta later this fall. But what is most curious is a select few apps with entirely different icons between iOS 6 and iOS 7. expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP