Motivational app mixes virtual 'boss' with to-do list
For those who would welcome robot overlords, Carrot, by Grailr, promises to keep you on task! We've all been there; those days when absolutely nothing seems to get done. But what if there was a to-do list that actually encouraged the act of doing things. Wouldn't that be helpful? After all, most to-do lists are little more than polite and easily forgotten suggestions of what should be done. Supposing, however, that there was an app that actually pushed people to get out there and do them? Well, as it turns out, there is.
New entities handling submissions of bulk location data
Apple has added 10 new companies to the list of those providing it with data for iOS and OS X Maps, reports say. The parties are mentioned in a new email to businesses, asking about submitting bulk location information. The added firms include DAC Group, Location3 Media, Marquette Group, Placeable, PositionTech, SIM Partners, SinglePlatform, UBL, Yext, and Yodle. Apple asks for bulk content to be submitted to one of the entities on its partner list, rather than directly.
Match-3 game with RPG elements makes for enjoyable casual game
It's not unusual for games to try and break out of being confined to a single category. More and more, we find games that try very hard to incorporate the best of two or more types of games. We tend to see this in Real Time Strategy games (RTSs) a lot, as they combine rogue-like or RPG elements. But there are other games that are making headway in the cross-genre arena. Gunspell, by Ino-Сo Plus, touts itself as a cross-genre title, combining elements of both RPGs and puzzles.
Service likely to be rebranded under iTunes name
Apple is planning to bundle Beats Music as a native iOS app early next year, sources tell the Financial Times. The shift is expected to happen in the form of a firmware update, that could debut as soon as March. The Times has little other information, but argues that it's likely Apple will rebrand the service under the iTunes moniker, as other reports have suggested.
8.2 release enables testing of Apple Watch apps
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Encourages customers to download from trusted sources, notes software warnings
Rebutting advice from the Department of Homeland Security and other sources that have sought to sow fear in users with regards to the "Masque" malware attack, Apple late on Thursday issued a statement saying it is unaware of any actual cases of the malware attacking iOS users. The statement comes on the heels of fast action by the iPhone maker to stop a similar attack dubbed "Wirelurker," in which a now-revoked Enterprise Provisioning certificate was being used to spread potential malware. Apple has not specified if it has fixed the flaw the Masque malware exploits.
Augmented reality app cuts through clouds to expose the sky's full glory
Whether a person is an astronomy buff, or just someone who enjoys the feeling they get when they look up at a sky full of stars, there is something undeniably serene about stargazing. However, it isn't always easy to tell just what someone may be looking at what they look at the night sky. If you're looking for a way to make this activity far more enjoyable, we have found the ideal night-time companion. Star Walk for the iPhone, or Star Walk HD for the iPad, is the perfect guide to at-home astronomy.
Defenses relatively simply, agency says
The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a formal alert warning people about the Masque Attack security hole discovered in iOS. Although mostly reiterating claims by research firm FireEye, DHS describes the hole as allowing malware "under a limited set of circumstances," and sets forth three basic steps for dodging problems. These including avoiding apps from outside the iOS App Store or a person's own organization, not clicking "Install" on third-party webpage pop-ups, and tapping "Don't Trust" if launching an iOS app spawns an "Untrusted App Developer" warning.
Originally released one year ago, game offers new abilities, weapons, threats, more
One year after its PC release, the XCOM game expansion known as Enemy Within has arrived on iOS as a standalone "sequel" to the original title available on most platforms, and on OS X. Contrary to previous expectations, Enemy Within is not available as an in-app purchase for Enemy Unknown.
App makes it easy to turn the 'caption a picture' technique on its head
These days, graphic design is king (again). More and more people are looking to play around with typography and imagery, particularly using their own photos -- whether it be captions on photos or a Facebook graphic. Rather than shell out money or invest time in learning complicated programs like Photoshop to accomplish this, a visit to the App Store is a great way to get started. TextMask, by youthhr, is a pretty neat app that allows users to create impressive text-masking imagery in just a few taps.
Rare hole in iOS security
A serious vulnerability in iOS, dubbed "Masque Attack," could result in malicious apps being installed, says security research firm FireEye. The flaw is said to have been discovered in July, and stems from iOS not enforcing matching certificates for apps with the same bundle identifier. This means that a person could theoretically be lured into installing an app that replaces and/or mimics an original -- even borrowing that app's local data -- and accidentally give up personal information, or even root access privileges.
Supports all recent iOS devices
Pangu's iOS 8.x/8.1 jailbreak tool has been successfully ported to the Mac, its creators have announced. As with the original Windows edition of the jailbreak, it supports all iOS 8-capable devices, including even the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. The Pangu team cautions that people should backup a device before beginning, and also restore if they've downloaded any over-the-air firmware updates.
Can affect non-jailbroken iOS devices; currently distributed through unofficial Chinese store
A new malware threat to iOS has been discovered that can invade the normally well-protected mobile system through a flaw in OS X and USB that allows packages to be installed through enterprise provisioning. Called "WireLurker," the malicious OS X application (once installed) will monitor for new iOS package installs, and then exploits a weakness in USB to install malware into the target iOS device. Once it is installed, the iOS malware tries to harvest personal data like contacts.
Concentrates on bugfixes, speed boosts
In tandem with the OS X 10.10.1 beta, Apple has simultaneously released an initial iOS 8.1.1 beta to developers. The code is listed as build 12B432. So far, the update appears concentrated around bugfixes and performance increases, rather than adding new features, as in iOS 8.1.
Smartwatch, phone lock screen may be used to control music playback on Sonos speaker network
Sonos is looking to extend the usability of its audio products, by allegedly testing the ability to control its networked speakers using a smartwatch running Android Wear, as well as the iOS lock screen. A photograph shared by a supposed member of the company's beta program is said to show notifications on the Moto 360 and provide some level of control, while iOS users may gain a lock screen widget providing similar functionality.
Feature coming in 'the coming weeks,' features similar to Nearby, Bump
A new method of communications between Android and iOS devices might be available soon, as a sources indicate that the two device types could share photos, files, messages, directions and other content through Google's Copresence service. The service appeared in the latest version of the Google Play Services Android application package (APK), allowing some clues to be collected on how a service could tie the two operating systems together.
Zombie mashup of original Oregon Trail game works surprisingly well
Organ Trail: Director's Cut is a nostalgic game that promises to entertain both those who loved the original classic Oregon Trail as well as players who are simply looking for a surprisingly in-depth iOS game. Don't think that this game is simply riding the coattails of retro-gaming's popularity right now -- Organ Trail is an interesting game, even without the allure of the chiptune music and cutting-edge graphics circa 1985.
Tool begins to reach masses
The Pangu iOS 8.1 jailbreak tool is now being bundled with Cydia, and will get an English translation within 24 hours, its developers say. Cydia is commonly used to simplify jailbreaking, partly by offering an easy way to install unapproved apps. When the Pangu code was released earlier this month, it was only in Chinese and in a rudimentary form intended for developers.
Company hadn't anticipated possibility
In another sudden turnaround, Apple has reversed a decision to block apps with calculator widgets from the App Store. An Apple spokesperson says that PCalc and other similar apps will be permitted in the store without changes. It's suggested that the company simply hadn't anticipated the possibility of widgets serving as calculators, hence reviewers being confused as to whether they can give the greenlight.
Web image search engine with built-in editing tools and multiple saving, sharing options
PicTrove 2 Pro is an app that has taken the time-intensive act of image-searching on the web and streamlined it. Users are able to search multiple websites, including Google, Bing, Flickr, Pinterest, and more all at once, and compare them side-by-side. Tapping and swiping through allows a user to browse images one at a time from a specific search site. There is also the ability to refine searches per site, allowing a user to specify whether they would like photographs or clipart, or decide on the size or quality of the image. Even animated GIFs are fully supported within PicTrove 2 Pro.
Change marks sudden policy reversal
Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets.
Blames distribution system, not code
Via Re/code's first annual Code/Mobile conference, Apple's VP for iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak, has apologized for the botched iOS 8.0.1 update in September. "It wasn't the software itself it was the way it was distributed," he explains in an interview. "We're very sorry."
Said to support latest iPhones, iPads
The Pangu jailbreak team has developed a new hack for iOS 8 and 8.1 devices, reports and the team's website note. The initial release is said to be intended strictly for app developers, since it doesn't install Cydia or other services designed to make jailbreaking simple and practical. The public version is in fact waiting on those services being brought up to speed for iOS 8.
All iOS apps must support 64-bit code??
One headline on MacNN this week has caused a bit of a stir in the forums, when Mac Elite "WizOSX" pointed out that Apple has announced that all iOS apps must support 64-bit code by February. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is having trouble playing video with their Windows notebook computer, and is wondering if the MacBook Air would be able to handle it better.
Includes delayed SMS Relay tech, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes
As planned, Apple has released iOS 8.1 to the public. The main addition is support for Apple Pay, but a number of other important features are present. These include beta support for iCloud Photo Library, and the return of the Camera Roll to the Photos app. SMS Relay enables SMS/MMS messaging via a nearby Mac or iPad, and people can now force a device to use 2G, 3G, or 4G for data, instead of it selecting networks automatically. A minor photo-related improvement generates alerts whenever there's too little storage to start a timelapse video.
Features also available to iPad, iPod owners
Although OS X Yosemite is out and most Continuity and Handoff features should already work, two important ones -- Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay -- won't function until iOS 8.1 is released on Monday, notes AppleInsider. The former automatically tethers a Mac, iPad, or iPod touch to an iPhone, while the latter lets people receive SMS/MMS messages from an iPhone on the above devices. Instant Hotspot requires the paired devices to be on the same Apple ID and the iPhone to have tethering enabled by a carrier.
Apple pitching tech to advertisers as an alternative to cookies
Something quietly introduced alongside iOS 8 has been the ability for advertisers to retarget iAds based on in-app browsing actions, a new report says. Apple is, in fact, said to be pitching this to advertisers as a way of circumventing the absence of mobile cookie tracking in iOS. In a given example, someone who adds a pair of shoes to a cart in a retailer's iPhone shopping app -- but decides not to buy them -- may later see an ad for that same pair of shoes from the same retailer, even in another app on his or her iPad. Tapping that ad might redirect the person to their abandoned checkout page and add the shoes back to it.
Disabling, re-enabling to happen through software updates
Apple is planning to temporarily disable blood glucose tracking in iOS 8's Health app, the company says in a new support document. It explains that the app is currently set to track glucose levels using mg/dL, a value adopted in the US and some other countries. But some regions, such as the UK and Australia, depend on mmol/L; the discrepancy can cause problems, even though iOS' underlying HealthKit platform supports both measurements.
Should enable release of HomeKit products
Apple has finalized and released official specifications for HomeKit, the home automation platform built into iOS 8. Details were reportedly made available to Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) gear manufacturers last week. Apple mandates that any company wanting to build HomeKit-capable hardware apply for MFi certification.
Indicates iPads won't get retail purchase functions
As anticipated, the second iOS 8.1 beta includes more elaborate Apple Pay content. Coder Hamza Sood demonstrates that while the content isn't visible to the average user, it can be made to appear. The new material includes setup screens explaining what Apple Pay is and offering fields to enter credit/debit card details into Passbook. Those details can be entered manually, or by scanning a card with a device's camera.
Square updates its Cash app, introduces Nearby Payments feature
Square has released an update for its Cash iOS app, including a new Nearby Payments feature. Cash allows users with a US bank account to send or request money via text message or email, free of charge. Payments are deposited to one's bank account in minutes, using an existing Visa or MasterCard debit card, and payments that are not claimed within 14 days are automatically refunded to the user.
Technology too complex, non-intuitive, company says
Even though Apple's Siri is meant to simplify smartphone commands and in some cases enable hands-free control, it's in fact a severe distraction for drivers, according to a study from the AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety. The group studied 45 drivers, asking them to accomplish various tasks using native in-car voice systems as well as Siri. Real and simulated cars were used; for Siri, people were given an iPhone 5 with iOS 7, as well as a microphone. Siri users were asked to make phone calls, send and receive texts, update Facebook and Twitter, and check their calendar. Other voice systems were tested with tasks like adjusting the radio, listening to and composing messages, and navigating simple and complex menus.
Could enable Apple Pay testing
Apple is seeding a second beta of iOS 8.1 to developers, users note. The contents of the code are unknown, but it likely builds out upcoming Apple Pay support, references to which were found in the first beta. If recent rumors are true the new beta may enable Apple Pay testing, and prefigure a public launch of v8.1 on or around October 20th.
Figure just 1 percent higher than post-iPhone 6 launch data
Adoption of iOS 8 has slowed dramatically, having only gained a single percentage point between September 21 and October 5, according to new App Store tracking data from Apple. The company's iOS 8 and iOS 7 are now in equal use. In fact, use of pre-iOS 7 firmware has somehow increased from five to six percent, even though Apple no longer supports it on any substantial level.
Private beta should allow early testing
Apple Pay will indeed launch alongside iOS 8.1, and Apple is currently targeting an October 20 date for the firmware, sources say. The people add that hidden code should allow Apple Pay testing via the 8.1 beta. It's not clear whether that includes NFC functions, or simply online-only transactions. Either way, testing will allegedly start early this month, supported by code rolling out to developers.
Apple developing fix
The current versions of iOS 8 is creating problems for people who pair their iPhones with Bluetooth devices, particularly car audio systems, according to complaints. In the case of cars, devices with the firmware may refuse to pair, fail to play audio, or disconnect when a phonecall comes in. The problem can't be solved with iOS 8.0.2, and is affecting many automotive brands, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, and others.
Apparently tied to iOS 8
A bug involving the iOS App Store is causing it to display inappropriate apps under the various Kids categories, according to complaints. Browsing those categories' Top Charts sections, users can currently spot many apps that would normally fall under the All Categories umbrella. This includes obvious mistakes, such as gambling and dating apps.
Just-released beta confirms expected Touch ID and online Apple Pay support
Inside the just-released iOS 8.1 beta for developers are various clues to future Apple products and services, according to developer Hamza Sood. He uncovered settings menus for Apple Pay as well as references to an iPad that includes Touch ID -- both expected additions in forthcoming versions of iOS and iPad models, respectively. A further find of Apple Pay for the iPad appears to offer only online-buying or in-app purchasing support.
May signify more intense update schedule
[Updated: iOS 8.1, Xcode 6.1 beta 3, Apple TV beta made available to developers] Apple is already testing iOS 8.1, 8.2, and even 8.3, sources say. The information has also reportedly been verified through website analytics, showing visits by devices with the firmware. Hits from v8.1 devices are said to have registered before 8.0 launched on September 17, but 8.2 and 8.3 traffic only began escalating post-launch.
Firmware still available for download by iPhone 4
Apple has officially stopping signing iOS 7.1.2, reports say. The move means that people who already have iOS 8 installed won't be able to downgrade. The v7.1.2 firmware can still be downloaded by iPhone 4 owners, however, since their devices are incompatible with iOS 8.
Cellular, Wi-Fi, Touch ID affected
Although iOS 8.0.2 appears to have solved the bulk of problems with v8.0.1, some people are still encountering issues with disabled cellular service and Touch ID. Many of the complaints appear to stem from Australia, but it's not clear whether the problems are actually regionally-based. Some users are also complaining about Wi-Fi going missing, but that was an issue touched off by v8.0 and tends to manifest occasionally in Apple firmware updates.
Apple testing policies may ultimately be responsible
A quality assurance manager responsible for this week's botched iOS 8.0.1 release was also in charge of QA for iOS 6 Maps, sources tell Bloomberg. The man is identified as Josh Williams, who is said to have been removed from the Maps team after the app gave people bad directions and/or mislabeled important scenery. He has however been with Apple since 2000, and has been handling quality issues for iOS since the early days of the iPhone.
Apple copes with two simultaneous crises
[Updated: iOS 8.0.2 is now available, and Apple issues apology] The promised fix for iOS 8.0.1 will come in the form of an v8.0.2 download "as soon as it's ready in the next few days," according to a new Apple support document. In the meantime, the webpage offers instructions on how to downgrade to iOS 8.0 using iTunes and direct download links for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus versions of the firmware. The Health app won't work in iOS 8 after these steps. It will be fixed in our upcoming iOS 8.0.2 software update," the company continues.
Bug-finding and reporting emphasized, event runs through Sunday
Developers and AppleSeed testers working with the latest beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite are receiving email invitations from Apple to join in on a focused "test fest" that concentrates on one particular feature -- AirDrop, which allows wireless transfers of files between Macs and iOS devices. This is the first time in recent memory that Apple has opened up a "test fest" to users outside Apple for this level of focused feature examination.
Solves glitches with Photo Library, Reachability, more
(Updated with warnings about potential iPhone problems, a fix for those who updated, and news of withdrawal of the delta update) Just a week after having released iOS 8.0, Apple has begun seeding iOS 8.0.1 via iTunes and as an over-the-air update. The most prominent change is a solution to a HealthKit bug that led Apple to pull apps using the platform from the App Store. Those apps are now cleared to return.
May also fix Wi-Fi, battery problems
As predicted, iOS 8.0.1 is now in the hands of carrier partners for testing, a source says. The person notes that the update fixes a variety of bugs left in the OS for its debut last week. For example, it copes with glitches in the Phone app, which can affect call forwarding, and cause freezes when accessing Visual Voicemail.
Figure significantly higher than unofficial tracking
New data from Apple -- based on Sunday traffic at the App Store -- indicates that iOS 8 adoption is actually up to 46 percent of iOS devices, despite lower numbers tracked by third-party firms. Apple's figures put iOS 7 at 49 percent, and iOS 6 or earlier at 5 percent. iOS 8 became available for compatible devices on September 17th, and is pre-installed on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which launched Friday.
Update downloads peaked at 3Tbps
The deployment of iOS 8 on Wednesday was Apple's first large-scale test of its new content delivery network, or CDN, says research firm DeepField. At its high point, iOS 8 downloads reportedly consumed 3Tbps, comparable to about 25 HD movies being downloaded simultaneously by as many users. DeepField notes that at least in North America, the launch was almost entirely dependent on Apple CDN servers.
Should make it harder for government agencies to access user data
Part of Apple's strengthened approach to privacy involves stricter encryption in iOS 8, according to the Washington Post, as well as an Apple PDF document. The latter notes that Apple no longer stores encryption keys for devices as of iOS 8, meaning that even if a government agency has a search warrant, the company is unable to break past the security on a passcoded device. That should protect locally-stored content.