Tag - TvOS
As expected, Apple on Tuesday released the public-tester versions of its latest OS X and iOS betas -- the third round of OS X 10.11.6 and iOS 9.3.3 betas for testing, alongside a developer-only version of the forthcoming tvOS update, v9.2.2. The two major-platform 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.
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.
Developers and other testers have gotten their hands on the preview releases of the next major versions of each of Apple's four platforms -- the newly-renamed macOS Sierra (formerly OS X 10.12), iOS 10, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10. Beyond the announced feature set seen during the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, there have been a number of discoveries of unannounced changes, additional (minor) features, and other small tweaks and surprises. While they may change (or even be withdrawn) before the final release, here are some that caught our attention.
As it does every year, Apple has announced the winners of the 2016 Apple Design Awards for student and professional apps made for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS -- the first year that all four platforms offered awards. An emphasis this year was on apps that were compatible with multiple languages as well as being accessibility-friendly. One student-made app, Dividr, was already available on the iOS App Store, and offers a twist on the rapid-runner scenario by allowing the character to be split into two that can be controlled independently to help pass more blocks and gather more coins. Among the other honorees were creative writing tool Ulysses for Mac (and now iOS), video collaboration app Frame.io for iOS, and music creation app djay Pro for iPad.
Taking to the stage, Eddy Cue presented upcoming changes to the Apple TV and the tvOS operating system, coming to consumers this fall. Multiple smaller updates are arriving in the update, with the fourth-generation set-top box now having over 6,000 native apps in total available to download after just seven months, and over 1,300 video channels available for users to view through the device.
Equinox, the developer of LiveTV (German TV streams) claims that a new Apple tvOS App Store algorithm is hiding apps from its Top Charts once a user installs the app. The developer spotted the change after it released an update to its app. Where it had been listed in the number 42 slot prior to making the update available, Equinox noted that following the update, it had apparently vanished from the charts completely.
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.
Having missed its usual beta cycle last week, Apple on Monday updated all of its OS platforms alongside a potential bug-fix release of iTunes, which also incorporates some design tweaks to the venerable media-management program. Updated today is OS X (to version 10.11.5), iOS (to 9.3.2), tvOS (9.2.1), watchOS (2.2.1), and iTunes for OS X has been bumped to version 12.4, which addresses a potential risk of accidental music deletion for a small number of users.
[Updated: public-tester versions of OS X 10.11.5 and iOS 9.3.2 have now been issued] One week after the previous releases, Apple on Tuesday released developer versions of the fourth betas for iOS 9.3.2, OS X 10.11.5, and tvOS 9.2.1. A new release of the developer-only watchOS 2.2 is still missing from the lineup, and no third beta for the wearable's OS version appeared last week either. It is possible that Apple has opted to bring the watchOS beta in-house again in order to prevent leaks of any notable changes, or it could signal that the minor 2.2 update is imminent.
On Wednesday, Apple issued the public-tester version of yesterday's iOS 9.3.2 developer beta, and also updated developer accounts with the third betas for OS X 10.11.5, and tvOS 9.2.2. In addition, Apple updated its Safari Technology Preview browser to a third beta, which is now available for public testing alongside the current stable release of Safari. The Safari TP version is meant to showcase features and speed improvements coming with the next release of OS X. It's unclear if a developer-only third beta of watchOS 2.2.1 will be issued soon.
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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