The iPad Pro is the future of mobile computing -- get used to it
It surprises me that a lot of people have been quick to highlight what they think are apparently major shortcomings with the iPad Pro, seemingly writing it off before most of them have even seen one in person. While it may or may not be another hit product from Apple, there are a couple of aspects about it that have been widely misunderstood. One centers around the question of whether or not it is a genuine notebook replacement, and the other centers around its "inability" to run full desktop versions of apps, like Adobe Photoshop, for example. Have people learnt nothing from Apple's recent history?
Apple expanding Apple TV App Store with five new categories
Apple's latest addition to the App Store family, the Apple TV App Store, is growing again. On Tuesday, the company added five new categories to the store, including Games, Education, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, News, and Sports. The entire concept of categories in the store are new as of the beginning of this month, and are organized in the same manner as similar categories in the App Store or Mac App Store.
Some units become unresponsive after full charge, require restart to work
Following reports earlier this week that some iPad Pro units have a tendency to become unresponsive after charging -- requiring a hard restart to overcome -- Apple has issued a statement saying it is investigating the issue, and suggesting the force-restart procedure as a temporary workaround for the problem. Reports have indicated the issue happens on all models of iPad Pro running iOS 9.1, with the software now becoming the lead suspect as the root of the issue.
Apple nearing half Samsung shipments as Android leader stumbles
The latest report by analyst firm Gartner shows Apple's iOS platform increasing its worldwide share to 13.1 percent in the September quarter, an increase in percentage points of 0.6 year-over-year, while Samsung's larger share slipped 0.2 points to 23.7 percent. Though the Android platform as a whole continues to be dominant worldwide -- growing 1.4 percent over the past year to 84.7 percent share -- the rise is seen as having mostly come from Windows Phone losses.
Hints of long-awaited support for 'app folders' seen in 9.1 beta code
In addition to today's update of the iOS 9.2 beta, Apple has also released a developer-only third tvOS 9.1 beta. The upcoming update, expected to be released early next year, will add promised but thus far missing features such as Siri control of Apple Music (Apple has already added Siri control of general searches and iTunes Match support). Also found in testing was some support for "app folders" as seen in iCloud.
No new features uncovered as of yet, more fixes instead
A day "late" compared to last week's beta, Apple has launched a fourth developer and public beta of iOS 9.2. The new beta does not come with release notes indicating any new significant changes, but small incremental improvements have been implemented in previous betas of 9.2, including a change to the Safari View Controller for third-party apps, user interface tweaks to Apple Music, and other small changes.
Bug in iOS 9 blamed for removal of third-party software keyboards from Chrome
Google has released an update for Chrome on iOS, disabling third-party software keyboards from working with the mobile browser. The update, specific for the iOS version only and released through the App Store yesterday, removes support for third-party keyboards due to "crashes caused by a bug in iOS 9" related to the keyboards, though it is unclear when exactly support will be reintroduced to the browser in the future.
Downloads for sideloaded app against developer program agreement, Apple claims
The creators of F.lux for iOS have been asked to pull the download from their website by Apple, for violating its Developer Program Agreement. Previously only accessible on iOS for jailbroken devices, the app was recently made available to install via sideloading to normal iOS installations, but Apple objected and requested the app be pulled from view, preventing anyone else from being able to install it at all.
Latest iOS beta gives testers on AT&T ability to try out NumberSync feature
Following the developer release of second betas for OS X 10.11.2 and iOS 9.2, Apple on Wednesday (for iOS) and Thursday (for OS X) made public versions with the same build numbers available to pre-registered testers. Both releases are now available to registered accounts through either the App Store or the Mac App Store. The OS X beta, build 15C31f, does not mark any changes but continues to ask developers to focus on several key areas. The iOS 9.2 beta, however, introduces the ability to test AT&T's forthcoming NumberSync technology.
Unpublished iOS 9.1 exploit may be sold to government agencies
An unpublished jailbreak for iOS 9.1 and iOS 9.2 beta that works within the browser has allegedly been created, but is unlikely to be seen by the general public at all. Zerodium, an "exploit acquisition platform" that buys and sells methods to get around the security of operating systems and other software, claims its iOS 0-day bounty has been won by one hacking team, earning the creators of the exploit $1 million.
Xcode 7.2 also gets beta, changes not yet listed
On Tuesday, Apple released the first beta of iOS 9.2 to developers, along with a warning that upgrading to the new release will prevent those devices from being downgraded to any previous version. The new build, numbered 13C5055d, comes less than a week after the release of iOS 9.1 -- which introduced support for Unicode 8, and sported enhancements to Live Photos on the new iPhones among other tweaks. In addition, Apple updated its beta of Xcode to version 7.2 to support the various new OS versions and devices.
Friend and family tracker now available on iCloud.com for greater access
Apple on Wednesday added its selective friends-and-family tracking service Find My Friends to its iCloud.com site, letting users sign in on any Internet-connected device to locate friends or loved ones who have the app on their mobile devices and have agreed to have their location revealed to the user. Participants can opt to change status at any time or enable (or disable) the tracking for select periods, such as when a family is visiting a theme park and wants to each go their separate ways.
Apple confirms problem, claims review process being evaluated
Following research by an analytics firm, Apple has pulled some apps from the iOS App Store that use private API calls to collect user data. Data collected by Chinese advertising company Youmi, in violation of Apple regulations, includes serial numbers of devices running iOS 7 and before, serial numbers of phone subsystems and components under all versions of the iOS, Apple ID emails, and a list of installed apps.
First iOS 9 jailbreak surfaces weeks after operating system ships
Pangu, a team known for its tools used to jailbreak iPhones, has released what is believed to be the first public untethered jailbreak for iOS 9. Usable on iPhones, iPads, and the iPod touch running the current generation of Apple's mobile operating system, the jailbreak tool allows device owners to bypass Apple's own App Store and associated security processes, in order to install apps from third-party stores, such as Cydia.
New beta is broken out with slightly different build for iPhone 6s line
On Monday, Apple seeded a new fifth beta of the forthcoming iOS 9.1 to both developers and beta testers, but with a small twist: the build number for the version for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is slightly different (13B5139) than the build for other devices (13B5137). The new update comes one week after the last one, and two weeks after the public release of iOS 9.0.2. It's not yet known if the new beta fixes issues many users with POP email accounts have been reporting about attachment downloading.
Thinking about OS X, iOS ... and beyond
In 2001, Apple introduced OS X: a completely revamped and UNIX-based operating system which gave the platform some much-needed technologies to the Mac that Mac OS couldn't. It represented a clean break from Mac OS 9, and it is what has kept me in the Apple camp. While OS X -- with its children and grandchildren OSes iOS, watchOS and most recently tvOS -- still forms the basis of Apple's OS strategy, given its age of 26 years (counting from the first public release of NeXTSTEP, which was fused with some Mac OS technologies to give birth to OS X) I was thinking: what would replace Apple's current OSes?
Titles pulled by accident or design are still a problem for users
Overnight, Apple at least in part is restoring users' iOS download histories. MacNN has checked 10 Apple accounts for missing files, and has found four completely restored, and six in the process of restoration. We spoke with our Apple contacts to find out what happened, and try to determine the source of the confusion and try to glean what any future path may be.
New iOS 9.1 beta released to both developers and public simultaneously
Cutting out the usual one-day wait between developer and public-tester releases, Apple on Tuesday issued a fourth beta of iOS 9.1 for both groups. While changes and updates are not yet known, there have been a series of small tweaks and polishes in recent betas, including new wallpaper options, the ability to disable contact photos in Messages, and other minor revisions alongside the usual bug fixes. In addition, the company released a new third betas of tvOS and Xcode 7.1 to developers.
App slicing issue with iCloud backups resolved
Apple has fixed an issue that prevented developers from taking advantage of "App Thinning" in iOS 9. Introduced in the latest version of the mobile operating system, the feature now allows for developers to produce apps for Apple's mobile devices that are custom for each hardware version, with applications downloading only the resources it requires and therefore using only a minimal amount of storage on the host device.
El Capitan, iOS9 and more
Now that OS X 10.11 El Capitan is available for the general public to install, MacNN forum-goers have been quick to begin discussing the changes in this most recent update. Along with the release of El Capitan, members continue to talk about the changes to iOS 9.
Cloud storage company announces alternative camera app for secure shoots
Enterprise-focused cloud storage company Box kicked off its BoxWorks 2015 conference with a pre-keynote chat with Apple CEO Tim Cook before announcing a new, iOS-only app called Box Capture that works as a substitute for Apple's own Camera app by automatically sending snapped images securely to private Box storage for team members, who can comment on the images directly. Cook focused his "fireside chat" with Box CEO Aaron Levie mostly on enterprise topics.
Updates policies on News, ad-supported services, iOS 9, OS X services
Apple A9 SoC as fast as Intel Core M, opens up possibility of OS X on iPhone
Early benchmarks show that the third-generation, 64-bit ARM-based Apple A9 SoC powering the new iPhone 6s offers performance in line with the x86-based Intel Core M processor used in the 12-inch Retina MacBook. This is not surprising, as the second-gen 64-bit Apple A8X that was the heart of the iPad 2 was not far behind in our GeekBench 3 cross-platform benchmark testing as part of our 12-inch Retina MacBook review from earlier this year. What this means is that the iPhone 6s is capable of running Apple's full OS X, which powers its Macs -- but just because it can, should Apple release mobile devices powered by OS X?
Second betas for iOS 9.1, tvOS, Xcode 7.1 issued to developer accounts
One week after it unveiled the public release of iOS 9, Apple on Wednesday issued version 9.0.1, which addresses a few security and bugfix issues. The update fixes issues where alarms and timers might not play and where some users could not complete the setup assistant after updating, among other issues. In addition, the company issued new second developer betas of iOS 9.1, tvOS, and Xcode 7.1 for testing.
smoking iMacs, iPhone folder questions and more
Today in the MacNN forums, Posting Junkie "Luminar" posted a rather alarming story about smoke suddenly pouring out of his iMac -- with plenty of pictures included -- and wondered what the odds are that it was his new hard drive. Mac Elite "jeff k" has a question about a new folder called "selfies" in the latest version of iOS, which turns out to be part of Photos.
The arrival of iOS 9, and the pointlessness of user app reviews
This week, the MacNN Podcast takes a good look at some of the burning issues of the past week, including of course the release of iOS 9. We talk both about the entire downloading experience -- one of the smoothest we've seen in a long while -- and our first impressions on some of the new features and optimization of the release. We also talk about two of Apple's biggest court cases, the Move to iOS app on Google Play, and how useless most app store reviews are.
Upgrade must be installed through companion app on iPhone
On Monday, Apple released the slightly-delayed watchOS 2 for Apple Watch, following the discovery and fixing of a "critical" bug that prevented its release alongside iOS 9 last Wednesday as originally planned. The new upgrade has a new build number to reflect changes made to fix the undisclosed error in the "golden master," and is now available for download through the Apple Watch companion app on iOS devices.
iOS9 discussions and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members began to discuss what problems -- if any -- they have had with iOS 9 after Mac Elite "Cap'n Tightpants" asked if anyone has installed it yet. One forum-goer was looking for advice for a friend about how to read an OS X GUID HFS+ formatted drive on a Windows computer, and users provided some helpful tips which could prove useful to anyone else needing to do this.
Clear the decks, batten the hatches, its going to be a moderate-to-very bumpy ride
As it is coming round once again to the time when major OS X and iOS upgrades are due (iOS 9 out now, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan is coming at the end of the month -- watchOS 2 has been slightly delayed due to the last-minute discovery of a showstopper bug), it seems like a good time to review tips on how to smoothly transition from one version of an Apple OS to the next without undue pain and gnashing of teeth.
Stop reading now and go buy it
Okay, no messing: this is a gorgeous keyboard that we were instantaneously smitten with, and then came to like more and more in our testing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a simply superb piece of work, and a pleasure to write on. Fair warning: with a few mild caveats, the rest of this entire Hands On is going to be in much this same style -- so if you're already convinced, just know that it's available on Amazon for about $70, and away you go.
Pencil for iPad Pro will work with new inking tools in Office apps
Following after the company's surprise appearance during the launch of the iPad Pro in yesterday's Apple special event, Microsoft has revealed more information of what to expect from its Office apps when iOS 9 ships. Multitasking, inking, extended wireless keyboard support and intelligent search functions have been outlined in an official blog post, alongside some updates that will affect the Apple Watch when watchOS 2 is released.
First beta version of iOS 9.1 also distributed to developers
Following its media event in San Francisco, Apple also released a slew of final betas for its three leading operating systems: iOS 9, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and watchOS 2. The iOS 9 "golden master," which will be identical to the released code unless major bugs are found, also includes the first developer beta of iOS 9.1. In addition, Apple has notified developers that they may obtain the revamped Apple TV units in advance of the general public for testing the new tvOS and features of the device.
'Confirmed' reports take cues from previous leaks, speculation
A pair of new "confirmed" rumors regarding accessories and devices that might be revealed at the September 9 Apple event are based on either previous leaked images or an "echo chamber" of cross-reported stories on the next Apple TV, though they may or may not come to pass. As widely predicted, the first of the reports says that Apple will debut new bands for the Apple Watch. While not unexpected, the report is based on a leaked image of new Sport colors shown by Sir Jonathan Ive at a show in Italy last April.
Works with Intel-based Windows versions only at present, ARM-based version coming
On Thursday, Microsoft released and open-sourced an early version of a previously-announced tool now called Windows Bridge, which allows iOS developers to easily convert iOS apps to be able to run natively on Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 10 Mobile. While calling the early version "clearly a work in progress," the company asked that the "interested and curious" help improve the program by beta testing and filing reports on it.
Vox straddles the thin line between brilliant and unusable
This is the most beautiful, even mesmerising app and where you always want to shout loudly about great software, we wanted to stand on desks and bellow that Vox 2.5.1 is a gorgeous music player and service. Unfortunately, we more stood by desks arguing over it. It was 50/50 between one side of MacNN saying it is stunning with some problems and the other half saying those problems were just too much. Both sides are right: we long to recommend this to you but if we do, we have to prepare you for frustrations.
First password manager to allow changing of passwords from Watch, company says
Dashlane, a password manager for OS X and iOS that MacNN recently reviewed, has announced that it has brought its Password Changer feature, which makes possible extensive password management on iOS devices, to the Apple Watch. The new 3.1 version for iOS includes the feature, and also offers notifications of a security breach on monitored websites, and improves Touch ID support.
Bug fixes and updates in preparation for fall's launch of iOS 9
While attention and development focus continue on the upcoming iOS 9 major upgrade expected to be delivered in September or early October, Apple on Thursday also updated its ongoing iOS 8-based improvement set of updates with a second beta of iOS 8.4.1, now available through an update directly on iPhones associated with developer accounts or through the iOS Developer Resource Center.
Releases follow latest developer betas, still have plenty of issues
As predicted yesterday, Apple has created public beta versions from the latest developer betas of OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9 for testing with registered testers. The betas are the second public incarnation, but are actually based on the fourth developer betas. Both upgrades, available to the public for free this fall, are still in early stages, and still have a long list of problem areas and issues. Testers are strongly cautioned to heed Apple's warnings about beta software.
New pop-up notice warns iOS 9 beta users they cannot add App Store reviews
In a move likely to please app developers, users of the beta for iOS 9 are no longer able to add their reviews to the App Store. The latest build of the mobile operating system removed the ability to post the reviews, with a new pop-up window appearing on beta versions stating "This feature isn't available. You can't write reviews while using a prerelease version of iOS" whenever a user attempts it from a device with iOS 9 installed.
Podcast audience overwhelmingly on iOS, use default player
A new report by audio platform Clammr that pushes the notion that podcast listening is on the verge of breaking into the mainstream of American culture (due to popular podcasts such as Marc Maron's WTF and Welcome to Nightvale) reports that the vast majority (66 percent) of podcast listeners are on mobile devices, and that 82 percent of that audience are using iOS devices -- with 78 percent using the default Apple player.
No new changes listed at present, bug fixes and tweaks continue
Apple on Tuesday released new betas for the next updates to the present iOS and OS X versions, even as it concurrently tests its next major upgrades to both. The updates, iOS 8.4.1 and OS X 10.10.5, are likely to arrive before the major grades OS X 10.11 and iOS 9, which are anticipated for the fall. The new betas, intended only for developers, do not list any new changes, but the seed notes for 10.10.5 suggest it "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac."
Flash, Microsoft Office, Apple Watch deprivation, tales of woe
It's Monday, and that means time for another episode of The MacNN Podcast! This week, as usual, we cover a range of topics from around the Apple and general tech world, and we throw in a cruel experiment in Apple Watch deprivation, mercilessly conducted on one of our own staffers. We also mourn the passing of Electronista, note the release of MS Office 2016 and the OS X and iOS public betas, and more. Show notes after the jump.
Improve your spacial reasoning with this layer-based puzzle game
One of the reasons we love puzzle games so much is that they make us feel like we're getting a real mental workout when we play them. We especially love lateral-thinking puzzles, as well as puzzles that require us to use our spacial-awareness reasoning. One such puzzle that gave us quite the mental workout was OverColor Pro, a geometric puzzle that forces you to rethink the way you solve puzzles.
Public beta begins despite long list of issues, problems
Apple has made available public betas for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan, according to reports. The new software, based on the issue-laden third developer beta released yesterday, is available to users previously registered with the company's Beta Software Program. While the company normally waits until there is a fairly stable developer beta existing before issuing the first public beta, today's releases are fraught with issues and missing functionality.
Get out all of your road rage in this endless arcade racer.
It's rush hour on a Friday afternoon and you're staring down a highway full of Sunday drivers and who are bent on eating up your precious weekend. What do you do? You put the pedal to the metal, and you don't stop until you're home or you're in the hospital. At least, that's the concept behind Road Rush Racer, an endless arcade racer by KM Games.
Stolen computer prompts Dominican rapper to seek help from Apple Store
A struggling artist with a run of bad luck turned to the SoHo Apple Store in Manhattan to complete, in a piecemeal fashion, a full-length album on the store's Macs -- with some help from some employees. Following a computer that broke down and another that was stolen, Dominican immigrant and rapper Prince Harvey told his story to some sympathetic Apple Store employees, who assisted the young artist in completing his album.
Analysts predict trouble for rivals during three-month free Apple Music trial
Just a week after its release, the iOS 8.4 update has already been adopted by 37 percent of all active iOS users, an above-average rate for an incremental upgrade that may be driven in part by desire for access to the free trial of the new Apple Music service. While the numbers are on par with the growth seen in the first week of iOS 8.0's release, point updates are generally incorporated more slowly.
Virtual music storage locker hit with problems; workaround revealed
The launch on Tuesday of Apple Music appears to be wreaking havoc with existing users of iTunes Match, the company's virtual music cloud storage service. Reports beginning yesterday and worsening today indicate that users who have not or are unable to currently update their iOS version to the just-released 8.4, as well as Apple TV users, are seeing issues including duplicate entries for artists and playlists, inaccurate album art, and a general inability to download or stream songs.
New multitasking features inject new life into iPad
Although there have been some clues that Apple has been planning to introduce split-screen multitasking on the iPad, it was still something of a surprise to see the feature finally debut at WWDC. The feature will make its debut in iOS 9, which is due to officially land sometime in the fall, likely around the time we see the next generation of iPhones and iPads. Similar functionality can be found in Windows tablets and some Android tablets, so what is it like on the iPad Air 2?
Second betas feature tweaks, but still have numerous bugs, issues
[Updated with new info on watchOS 2 beta, hidden feature in iOS 9 beta] Apple on Tuesday launched the second betas of its next major OS upgrades, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, iOS 9, and watchOS 2.0. The developer-only betas still have a long list of issues, and do not include any new features compared to the first beta, issued two weeks ago during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. All three betas offer some fixes for issues seen in the first betas, but continue to have problem and non-functional areas.