Should simplify sharing from Facebook-connected apps
Facebook has brought a native Share Dialog for iOS out of beta via an updated SDK, v3.5.1. The change means that third-party iOS 6 apps will be able to share activity to Facebook without always requiring a login first. People should also be able to tag friends from within those apps.
Mobile users spending tree times as much as portable console users
A report by market analysts App Annie and IDC continue to show that mobile devices such as the iPhone or the Nexus 7 control a clear majority of mobile gaming interest and dollars spent on purchases, with portable handhelds fading rapidly. The first quarter of 2013 saw another milestone achieved for the Android platform, with it seeing more downloads and consumer spending on games than iOS for the first time.
Shipments for iOS rises for the quarter, market share drops
Shipments of Windows Phone devices have overtaken those of BlackBerry phones for the first time, according to a report. Numbers from IDC places the Microsoft mobile operating system in third place, still a considerable away behind iOS and Android shipments, which are said to make up 92.3-percent of all shipments when combined.
All makers and platforms enjoyed growth in ad impressions in Q1
A new study by mobile advertising analysts Millennial Media finds that Apple's iOS is again the dominant platform for ad impressions, a measure of the effectiveness and engagement with in-app advertising. The report found growth in ad impressions across platforms and manufacturers, apart from BlackBerry which continued to shed users. Apple again swept the hardware results, taking the top manufacturer, top smartphone, and top tablet. Google's Android platform, however, continues to make great strides in growth.
JAYS updates a-JAYS Five with all-new design in three versions
Swedish audio maker JAYS has released the latest version of its popular a-JAYS Five series earphones. Unlike the previous model that came in one edition, the new lineup comes in three discrete models, each individually tailored to iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Each of the three models features its own three-button remote that supports all the remote functionality of each type of smartphone running each OS.
May carry over some Battlefield 4 technology
Games publisher EA is planning to bring the Frostbite engine to iOS and Android, according to the company's website. "One of our most exciting current projects is called Frostbite Go, a mobile division empowering EA game developers with Frostbite’s proven excellent workflows and features to bring true Frostbite experiences to all major mobile platforms," the site's History page reads. Switching over to the This is Frostbite page, EA mentions "diverse targets from XBOX360 and PlayStation 4 to iOS and Android."
Messaging system for BlackBerry phones will work on other platforms
BlackBerry will be expanding access to its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to new platforms this summer, in a move that has surfaced in rumors a number of times in the past. Users of iOS and Android devices will be able to download a free app for their device in order to use the service, with the core BBM functionality initially available and other aspects expected later in the year.
Would perform the same as current mechanical button, report says
Rumors that Apple was going to incorporate a fingerprint sensor in the home button of the next iPhone still have no evidence to support them behind Apple's acquisition of Authentec in 2012. A new rumor has thus appeared, saying that Apple plans to do away with the physical push-style home button entirely in the next iPhone release, replacing it with a capacitive touch area that would perform the same functions. The new "button" will be covered in sapphire glass to prevent scratches.
Updates could arrive on or soon after WWDC
Several recent Apple job listings may hint that the company is on the verge of updating both the OS X and iOS editions of iWork, reports say. Some of the listings date back as far as March; one of them, though, was posted on May 11, and specifically calls for an iWork QA tester, which could mean Apple is in the last phases of development. Another opening, dating back to May 7, asks for a "HiDP Image Specialist," tasked with bringing iWork visual designs to Retina displays.
Survey includes notebooks, tablets, phones, excludes actual sales
In its latest report, industry research firm Canalys is reporting on what it calls "worldwide smart mobile device shipments" for the first quarter of the year -- a term that includes smartphones, notebooks and tablets. Of the 308.7 million devices that fall under one of those categories that shipping in Q1, around 60 percent were said to be Android devices, reflecting the platform's strength in smartphones -- the fastest-growing area of mobile electronics. Apple's iOS placed second again, despite a dominant presence in tablets.
Other regions might also have new 3D terrain
Apple has extended Flyover coverage in iOS 6 Maps to Paris and several surrounding areas, reports say. Aside from Paris, other new detail regions include Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris, and L'Ha˙-les-Roses. Flyover renders scenery in a rough 3D state, clarifying maps and giving a better sense for what an environment will look like in person.
Could indicate new testing phase at Apple
Web traffic from iOS 7 users has surged in the last week or so, reports say. MacRumors notes that it saw iOS 7 hits on its website start to climb on April 29th. Those numbers fell over the weekend, but have risen even higher since. All of the hits are said to be coming from a block of IP addresses belonging to Apple.
Lets devs bypass Safari and use Chrome as default in-app browser
Shortly after updating its GMail iOS app to allow it to link directly to Chrome and other Google apps as needed, the search and ad giant is now offering Chrome for iOS integration tools to developers that allow them to specify Chrome as the browser to use for in-app web interaction, bypassing Safari unless Chrome is not already installed. The tools can give developers the option of using Chrome or asking the user if they would like to open a link in Chrome rather than Safari. It's not yet clear if the changes represent any breach of Apple's iOS guidelines.
A cryptographic component in iOS 6 has received FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 Level 1 security certification from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, says TUAW. In particular, the NIST says that when running in FIPS mode, iOS 6's CoreCrypto Kernel Module 3.0 "generates cryptographic keys whose strengths are modified by available entropy." The module is identified as "a software cryptographic module running on a multi-chip standalone mobile device and provides services intended to protect data in transit and at rest."
Apple pulls share from Android, smaller platforms
iOS made significant gains in US mobile web traffic during April, according to Investing Analytics data obtained by Piper Jaffray. The platform reached a 69 percent share, up from 66.4 percent in March. The growth primarily at the expense of Android, which declined from 28.7 percent in March to 26.5.
Trojan horse points to non-functional webpage, part of sound file
A bit of malware -- a Trojan horse file that tries to redirect to a website -- has been found inside an iOS app, but the code has turned out to be harmless. The app in question is called Simply Find It ($2) and comes from a legitimate developer that has produced a number of legitimate games -- suggesting that the malware was probably inserted into the app accidentally. The bigger issue (since there is no direct threat posed by the bad code) is how Apple's testing procedure missed it -- and how two well-known anti-malware scanners couldn't pick up on it either.
Continues trend of targeted iOS updates
In an unexpected move, Apple has released a new version of iOS exclusively for iPhone 5 owners. iOS 6.1.4 upgrades the audio profile for the device's speakerphone, and so far doesn't appear to make any other changes. The update applies to both GSM- and CDMA- equipped iPhones.
Ambitious update said to make over look, add features to mobile OS
Following on the heels of rumors that Apple reassigned engineers from other projects (including the next OS X release, 10.9) in order to help ensure completion, a new report from unnamed sources has said that iOS 7, the forthcoming major update to the company's mobile platform, will ship on time despite pressures. Anonymous informers told AllThingsD that while the extra help was needed, the update "will ship on time" and debut as scheduled at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC).
Platforms getting separate approval
The US Department of Defense should grant two separate security approvals to iOS 6 devices and Samsung Galaxy phones in the coming weeks, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal. Apple's iOS 6 is expected to be vetted as safe for non-classified data uses, namely email and web browsing. Galaxy phones, meanwhile, will allegedly be judged as conforming to the DoD's Security's Technology Implementation Guide, allowing use by some military agencies for sending and receiving internal email.
Development behind schedule
Sources for Bloomberg are backing claims that lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive is engaging in a major design overhaul for iOS 7. As has been reported previously, the sources say that Ive is avoiding the skeuomorphism favored by former iOS head Scott Forstall, for example ditching the shelving metaphor used by Newsstand. He is also allegedly pursuing "dramatic changes" to the Mail and Calendar apps, though what that means is unclear.
Special version of Maps may appear on dashboard displays
With iOS 7, Apple wants to deepen in-car integration options for iOS devices, sources claim. Currently such integration is limited mostly to things like iPod input or Siri Eyes Free, which makes it possible to issue Siri commands with a quick-access button. Sources tell 9to5Mac, however, that Apple is working with car companies on new center consoles that could dock an iPhone and output an optimized, car-oriented version of Maps to a dashboard display.
Learning curve expected to stay minimal
iOS 7 is codenamed "Innsbruck," and will use a "very, very flat" design, sources for 9to5Mac claim. The OS is reportedly jettisoning any signs of gloss or skeuomorphism, making it flat on a level nearing the look of the Metro interface used in Windows Phone and Windows 8. Apple has sometimes been criticized for using unnecessary real-world analogies in the look of iOS and OS X, for instance by making its Calendar apps resemble leather daybooks.
New OS expected to be evolutionary upgrade
The next major upgrade of OS X, v10.9, will concentrate on "power-user" features while bringing in more concepts from iOS, say sources for 9to5Mac. In the former category, several improvements to Finder are expected, such as tagging and tabbed browsing. Fullscreen apps should finally remain open on secondary monitors, and Safari is expected to get a new version with a new backend, improving performance and efficiency.
May be sign of behind-the-scenes talks with VirnetX
Apple has partially reversed course on its decision to change the way iOS 6 handles VPN connections, a modified Apple support document reveals. "Apple no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped. The 'Always' option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices," the company says.
New animation tools, page objects, per-page controls, more
Although it got off to a rocky start, Apple's iAd service is now the second-largest such service online, behind Google. The program has quietly but slowly improved over the years, and the improvements have now filtered through to a new major version of iAd Producer, the program that allows artist to create both typical iOS ads as well as the elaborate, beautifully-produced promotions that have become a signature showcase of Apple's approach to advertising. The new version, 4.0, improves nearly every aspect of the program.
Will feature new versions of OS X, iOS
Apple has formally announced the details of its 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference. The event will run from June 10 through the 14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Tickets will go on sale April 25 at 10AM Pacific time, and Apple is promising over 100 technical sessions presented by over 1,000 Apple engineers. As usual, the conference will focus on helping developers creating, deploying, and integrating OS X and iOS-based projects, and networking between fellow developers.
Apple to sponsor Lennor 'tour bus,' educational music clinics
Apple is now sponsoring the long-running "John Lennon Educational Tour Bus," a mobile audio and video studio on wheels that tours educational institutions, encouraging students to explore and produce their own music with free songwriting, recording and multimedia production workshops. Using Macs on board to help with production, children write, perform and record original music and produce music videos with the assistance of three on-board engineers. Most recently seen in Phoenix AZ last weekend, the bus is scheduled to be in Gulf Shores AL as part of the Hangout Music Festival. The non-profit organization has its own App Store iOS app (free) as well.
Puts items in Purchased queue for later access
Apple has quietly added a "Later" option for iTunes downloads, reports say. The feature appears in both iTunes 11 and iOS 6, and lets people buy larger files without immediately downloading them. Items then show up in the Purchased section of a person's iTunes account, where they can then be downloaded when a reliable Internet connection is available.
Twitter to kill off mobile Tweetdeck for good on May 7
Twitter, which has made something of a hobby of restricting, hobbling and subsequently killing off mobile Twitter clients, will be putting the well-received mobile version of Tweetdeck out to pasture on May 7, the same day that Facebook integration will also end. All iPhone, Android, and AIR versions of the app will cease to function on that day.
Voice assistant app for Android or iOS
Amazon has reportedly acquired voice-assistant app developer Evi Technologies, unnamed sources have told TechCrunch. The deal, which is said to be worth $26 million, is said to be focused on Evi's mobile apps for Android and iOS, which provide functionality similar to that of Apple's own Siri technology, though both parties have yet to make an official announcement.
Rancor over Android likely to keep
Google would like Apple to return to Google Maps in a future version of iOS, chairman Eric Schmidt said today at an AllThingsD conference. "We would still really like them to use our maps," said Schmidt. "It would be easy for them to take the app in the store and put it as their basic one." The executive declined to comment on why Apple went with a proprietary system instead of continuing to use Google code and data, or whether the two companies are in talks.
One patent includes unused 'folder creation region' idea
Apple has won two US patents on the iOS folder system. The first is titled Device, method, and graphical user interface for managing folders, and specifically documents the way iOS users can create folders by tapping and holding an app icon, which triggers a "jiggle mode" that lets people rearrange apps. Dragging one app on top of another puts the two items into a new folder. Alternately, tapping X on an icon lets people remove an app from a device entirely, and icons can be dragged out of existing folders.
Info, photo match earlier leak
An iPhone 5S expected this year will use a quad-core 1.2GHz A7 processor paired with PowerVR's quad-core SGX554MP4 graphics, and 2GB of LPDDR-800 RAM, says a DroidGator source allegedly working for Apple. The person has also supplied a photo of the device's motherboard, and claims that improving Siri will be a major focus of iOS 7. Every iPhone upgrade has been accompanied by a major iOS release.
Update gives developers just three weeks to update their apps
Google has finally released an update for its AdMob advertising SDK for iOS developers that leaves those reliant on it just three weeks to update affected apps before Apple's hard deadline for rejecting apps that still use Unique Device Identification (UDIDs) to track app usage and advertising effectiveness. The new version, 6.4.0, retires the UDID scheme (which had emerged as a potential security and privacy risk that could compromise personal information) and adds support for test ads, along with some bug fixes.
Favored paying 'partners,' used push notifications for promotion
Apple has removed the app-discovery program AppGratis from the iOS App Store, saying in a statement that the company behind the app violated two developer rules, one of which was only recently added. Originally thought to have gotten in trouble for breaking a rule that said that apps that promote other apps "in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected," Apple later clarified that AppGratis was promoting apps whose developers had paid for them to do so, and were also abusing push notification rules.
New firmware expected later this month
A forthcoming version of iOS will change the way the OS handles VPN connections, according to a support document on Apple's website. On devices with VPN On Demand, the "Always" setting will instead behave as if it were "Establish if needed." In essence, VPN On Demand will only be established if iOS can't resolve the DNS name of a host. The new firmware is scheduled to appear sometime this month.
Tweaked in response to growing need for parental awareness
Possibly in response to a growing number of stories of inept or naive parents who have inadvertently allowed their children to run up huge bills through in-app purchases (IAPs), Apple's App Store now puts the age recommendation of a given app directly below the title and author credit. The move effectively relocates the age recommendation to the first thing a buyer will likely see after the title. The change may also help parents who fail to activate parental controls to ferret out more adult apps that are not appropriate for a given child.
Survey credits iPad dominance, US iPhone sales for engagement
Another survey, this time from Piper Jaffray tech sector analyst Gene Munster, adds to a number of other surveys of the US mobile web traffic landscape and finds that the iOS platform both dominates and is growing its share of user engagement in Internet-related mobile use. As with the other studies, Munster's analysis of a hand-picked list of 10 of the top 100 mobile websites found that iOS traffic accounts for around 65 percent of mobile visits during the past two months, while Android made up only 30 percent of mobile traffic.
Engineers being pulled off OS X 10.9 to help, report claims
iOS 7 represents a "rather significant system-wide UI overhaul," Daring Fireball's John Gruber claims to have learned. The blogger also says he has heard the same thing as Rene Ritchie, who alleges that "[Apple lead designer Jonathan] Ive's work is apparently making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad." Engineers allowed to have the OS on their iPhones are even rumored to be using polarizing filters to make it harder for passers-by to see the interface changes.
SCSI drive for an old Mac IIcx
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "Doc HM" was looking for a SCSI drive for a Macintosh IIcx, but has yet to find a solution. Junior Member "Harvey" is having trouble syncing his iPad 2 with his iPhone 5 even though both are running iOS 6.
Jailbreak devs targeted, reveals flaw in Messages app
A flaw in the Messages application used widely on iOS devices has been revealed through a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on a group of jailbreak app developers. The program is subject to simple "flood" type attacks in which an attacker automatically sends messages incredibly rapidly, effectively rendering an account useless. Grant Paul, who goes by "chpwn" on Twitter and was one of the half-dozen victims in the attacks, said that the problem is that "Apple doesn't limit how fast messages can be sent," thus filling up the inbox and requiring the user to clear notifications and text in order to use the app.
Looks to improve global accuracy of Maps
Apple has begun hiring for Maps "ground truth" workers in several more regions around the globe, expanding beyond recent Australian recruiting. The new regions include the US, eastern and western Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and the Middle East and Africa. In each case Apple is searching for a manager whose team is expected to test new code and data, comparing remotely-collected maps against "known truths" about a region's geography, as well as content in rival mapping applications. In the US, a team must use "local expertise" to gather additional feedback.
Audible, lympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn now supported
Just a day after Chevrolet debuted a commercial promoting its Siri "Eyes-Free" integration, BMW on Tuesday added support for integration of four iOS apps in new BMW models. Audio books app Audible, Internet radio tuner TuneIn, subscription music service Rhapsody and location-sharing crowdsource app Glympse now work with selected BMW entertainment systems, bringing audiobooks, subscription and Internet radio stations and other functions to the automobiles. BMW first began iOS integration in model year 2011.
New Sonic allows voice-activated calls, songs, texts, calendars
Chevrolet, the first automaker to bring Apple's Siri Eyes-Free feature to market, has debuted a new TV commercial that showcases the feature as an integral selling point for the forthcoming 2014 Chevy Sonic. The Sonic, the second production model with the feature behind the Spark, has an integrated steering-wheel button that activates Siri to allow voice control of several functions of iOS devices without ever activating the screen or relying on visual feedback. Nine other automakers will also be bringing out models that feature Siri Eyes-Free.
Free voice calls via Facebook lands in Europe
Facebook has enabled Voice Over IP (VoIP) in its messaging app for users in the United Kingdom, and possibly other areas of Europe. After being launched in Canada in January before rolling out to the United States, the iOS version of Facebook Messenger allows users to call each other through the service instead of passing voice messages to each other as previously offered.
Progress made from standoffs with former iOS head Forstall
Following his promotion to head of both hardware and software design at Apple, Sir Jonathan Ive is said to be regularly meeting with Human Interface head Greg Christie and the mobile software teams and is said to be favoring a more cohesive "flat" design for the overall look of the next generation of Mac and iOS software. Ive's efforts will likely be seen in the next major revisions of the two operating systems, and are not expected en masseanytime soon -- but subtle hints of change in the air can be seen even now.
New version adds 'shake to undo'; no Android version yet announced
Following on the heels of its acquisition by cloud storage provider Dropbox, the iPhone-only app Mailbox (free) has announced that it has reached the one million user mark as part of its slow rollout of the application, which organizes email using a "to-do" style approach that essentially turns email into a checklist, with a variety of options to date or put off a window when the email will be replied to or acted on. To celebrate the user milestone, the company issued a minor update to the app that adds a "shake to undo" feature.
Also requires that all new Retina apps must support iPhone 5 display
Beginning May 1, Apple will automatically reject any app updates or new applications that access Universal Device Identifiers, or UDIDs. Apple deprecated the method of tracking user statistics with iOS 5 and has been previously rejecting apps that read the UDID without user permission for at least a year, but the new deadline is seen as a hard limit that will require developers and advertisers to use other measures, such as the Vendor Identifier or Advertising Identifier introduced in iOS 6. Most apps have already changed over.
Apple fan iOS 7 concept video shows minimalist touches
An Apple fan, Mohamed Kerroudj has posted a couple of concept videos on where Apple could take its UI in iOS 7. Looking reminiscent of the flat Windows Phone design language combined with elements of Google Now and the new popular new Mailbox app for iOS, Kerroudj’s approach has a minimalist style. Kerroudj’s version of iOS 7 would have a much more functional lock-screen, while also removing the skeumorphism apparent in native iOS apps like Calendar.
Only affects iPhone 4
A new lockscreen bypass has been discovered in iOS 6.1.3, notes iPhoneinCanada. Unlike the tricks discovered in iOS 6.1, the new one appears to affect only the iPhone 4. It also, unusually, involves popping out an iPhone's SIM card while using Voice Control to dial an emergency number.