Tag - Beta
In a bid to boost the discoverability of new apps, Apple announced earlier that it would launch a test program for Search Ads, a forthcoming feature to the App Store that offers -- for the first time -- paid promotions on one of Apple's storefronts. Previously, Apple staffers have picked items to received promoted status at will, resisting efforts at putting advertising in the search results for fear that big players would dominate and further obscure up-and-coming, smaller, and new releases.
TestFlight, Apple's platform for developers to try out their apps in a group beta test, has been updated to support the operating system changes announced by the company earlier this week at WWDC. Following after the release of the developer beta of the company's operating systems, Apple has upgraded TestFlight to work with apps created for the iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3 betas, including new features announced during the developer conference.
As expected, Apple on Tuesday released the public-tester versions of its latest OS X and iOS betas -- the second round of 10.11.6 and 9.3.3 betas for testing. The two betas, now available to pre-registered public testers, offer no notable changes or major bug fixes, but instead focus on minor bugs, security enhancements, and performance or interface tweaks. Apple on Monday released developer versions of the updates, as well as developer-only betas for tvOS 9.2.2 and watchOS 2.2.2.
With just one week to go before its major Worldwide Developers Conference that is -- among other things -- expected to show off the next major upgrades to OS X, iOS, and various other software (and potentially hardware) items, Apple has released second betas of OS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.3, and tvOS 9.2.2, along with a first beta of watchOS 2.2.2 for developers, with public-tester versions of the OS X and iOS betas expected to arrive tomorrow. While no user-facing changes have yet been revealed, each beta brings with it small tweaks and changes to improve stability, performance, and security.
On Monday, Apple seeded to registered developers the first betas for new updates to OS X, iOS, and tvOS. The latest updates begin their beta cycles just weeks before Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, and could conceivably be released on or around that conference, which is expected to offer a sneak preview of the next major upgrades of OS X and iOS, respectively known as OS X 10.12 (though the "OS X" nomenclature may well be dropped in favor of simply "macOS" or "MacOS") and iOS 10.
[Update: added detail to iOS 9.3.2 beta] On Wednesday, Apple issued the second developer beta for OS X 10.11.5, iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, and tvOS 9.2.1, all coming two weeks after the previous betas. The updates are all bereft of any immediately-obvious changes, though some notable tweaks may be discovered later by testers. As with this entire update cycle, the focus with the releases has been on bug fixes and performance and stability improvements. One significant improvement in the iOS 9.3.2 is a possible fix for a long-standing Game Center bug that sometimes results in a blank screen, preventing users from playing the games involved.
Breaking with the recent tradition of multiple beta releases on one day, Apple has released a new version of OS X 10.11.4. Beta 7 of the forthcoming OS X patch is now available only to developers, eschewing last week's developer and public release on the same day, at least for now.
Following the release on Monday of the sixth betas for OS X 10.11.4, iOS 9.3, and watchOS 2.2, Apple has now released a sixth (developer only) beta of tvOS for the fourth-generation Apple TV. No reason was given for the delay, and the latest beta's build number is 13Y5232a. The forthcoming update, expected later this month, brings a few new features to the developer operating system, including support for home-screen folders, a redesigned app switcher, restored support for Bluetooth keyboards, and more.
On Monday, Apple updated its various OS platforms to a sixth developer beta for most of its respective systems, with public-tester betas of OS X 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3 also seeded simultaneously. As usual, Apple has not listed any notable changes from the previous beta, though small updates, tweaks and other changes are usually reported by developers over the first few days in the process of testing. While small "fit and finish" issues are often the most notable changes, the focus of all the betas is concentrated on fixing bugs.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE