How Apple can improve permission handling in iOS

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 25, 2014

Every so often, it helps to take a step back and examine the way things are being done. This applies to our day-to-day routine, or perhaps our workout regimen. I’ve also found that it applies to software.

iOS is no exception to this. Here is a software product that has been through vast changes since its creation. A good majority of the changes have been for the better, and iOS 8, which is mere weeks away, promises to bring more awesome goodies to the table.

But, from time to time, it pays to look at the way things are being done. We have to ask ourselves, “Is this truly the best way?”

I feel that we’ve reached that fork in the road when it comes to the way iOS handles permission requests for apps. As more features are added to our devices, more permissions are required for apps that wish to use these features. It’s gotten to the point that some apps require you to go through a whole checklist of permissions before you can even begin using the app.

The permission handling in iOS has become a frustrating affair. Not only do the numerous pop-up alerts annoy me, but it irritates me even more when I accidentally decline a permission because of speeding through the app setup process.

As discussed on today’s episode of Let’s Talk iOS, I’m convinced that there’s a better way to handle permissions in iOS. There’s a less intrusive, less frustrating way to handle requests for access to the various features on your device. Check out our video inside for an explanation of the problem, and a demonstration of the solution. Read More

 

California governor signs smartphone kill switch bill into law

By Cody Lee on Aug 25, 2014

A bill that requires all smartphones manufactured after July 1st of next year, and sold in California, to include a remote kill switch was signed into law this afternoon. Introduced in February of this year, the bill hopes to make mobile devices less attractive to criminals, as smartphone thefts have grown exponentially in recent years, in several major US cities.

Specifically, the new law requires that each handset prompt an authorized user during initial setup to enable a “technological solution” that, once initiated, can render the essential features of the device inoperable to an unauthorized user. The solution must be reversible, must be able to withstand a hard reset, and may consist of software, hardware, or both. Read More

 

Microsoft gives OneDrive new Photos view, multi-file selection and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

After launching the official Kindle Fire and Kindle Phone app about two weeks ago, today the Windows maker Microsoft gets to refresh the iOS edition of its OneDrive app.

FYI, OneDrive used to be formerly known as SkyDrive.

The official cloud-storage service client for the iPhone and iPad, the just-updated OneDrive version 4.4 comes with an updated Shared view and a brand new Photos view.

Acting as the Camera Roll folder on steroids, the Photos view collates all the photos in your OneDrive in one convenient place.

Other features included in this update are listed after the break. Read More

 

GhostPrefs adds tons of new features to Snapchat

By Alihassan Mahdi on Aug 25, 2014

The popular messaging app Snapchat allows users to share self-destructible photos, videos or message which disappear from the recipient’s device after a period of time. The whole point of the app is to ensure that the ‘snaps’ are not permanent, unless the receiver takes a screenshot. However, when a screenshot of a snap is taken, the other person will be notified and will also be informed how many screenshots were taken. To get rid of this restriction and enjoy new features, you might be interested in checking out a new jailbreak tweak known as GhostPrefsRead More

 

App Store Productivity Monday: automate iOS with these fine apps

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

Like any given Monday, Apple’s App Store editors today highlighted iPhone and iPad applications aimed at increasing your productivity by helping you get organized and keep pace with your busy life.

In this week’s edition of Productivity Monday, the App Store team is sharpening its focus on apps which help make the most out of iOS by automating the things that don’t need your expertise, so you can spend your time wisely.

Here’s a quick rundown of each featured app. Read More

 

True iRadio allows you to stream music in iTunes Radio without restrictions

By Alihassan Mahdi on Aug 25, 2014

iTunes Radio is a a great new app that Apple introduced along iOS 7 but it comes with limitations that might put you off. For instance, it allows you to skip a maximum of 6 songs per station every hour. Despite the limitations, a new jailbreak tweak known as True iRadio debuted on Cydia recently and promises to get rid of such type of restrictions in order to provide a seamless music-listening experience.

True iRadio is quite similar to other iTunes Radio tweaks that you’ll find on Cydia, but it comes with additional new features that is exclusively offered by the tweak. It allows users to scrub through iTunes Radio songs on the Lock screen, in Control Center or inside the Music app. This means that you can easily scrub through songs both backward and forward and move to a specific point inside the song from anywhere on iOS. Read More

 

Dropbox for iOS gains ability to search within Word documents and PowerPoint presentations

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

After introducing document previews and smarter search in its Android client two weeks ago, Dropbox today gave its iOS client a little love.

Bumped to version 3.3, Dropbox for iPhone and iPad has brought out an enhancement to the built-in search feature allowing you to search within Word and PowerPoint documents with “higher fidelity previews”.

By the way, those who love to create memes will be pleased to know that Dropbox now syncs larger animated GIFs than before — my life will never be the same again! Other features included in this update are listed right after the jump. Read More

 

Amazon has acquired Twitch for $970 million

By Jake Smith on Aug 25, 2014

Amazon has acquired Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, both companies announced in a statement after the market close on Monday. Google’s YouTube was thought to have originally been the winning bidder, but that has changed after Amazon stepped in to close the deal. Read More

 

Google launches Slides for iOS, completing its document editing app line-up

By Jake Smith on Aug 25, 2014

Google announced on Monday it’s rounding out its Google Drive app lineup on iOS, by releasing a Slides app alongside updates to its existing Docs and Sheets apps. The Slides app, now available to download on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad, allows users to create, edit, and collaborate with other users on presentations. It’s a great competitor to Apple’s Keynote application, and once again highlights Google’s commitment to the App Store.  Read More

 

Scratch that: iPhone 6 ‘Phosphorus’ component likely barometric pressure sensor

By Jake Smith on Aug 25, 2014

An eagle-eyed member of the MacRumors forum says the “Phosporus”component destined for the iPhone 6, leaked on Monday, isn’t a next-generation version of Apple’s M7 co-processor, but instead a barometric pressure sensor. It makes sense given the several rumors that have cropped up in recent months with word Apple plans a barometer used to measure atmospheric pressure in the iPhone 6. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger update prevents scammers from racking up your phone bill

By Jake Smith on Aug 25, 2014

Facebook has begun rolling out an important update to its Facebook Messenger application on Monday, after it was found the app was susceptible to a security flaw forcing users’ iPhones to place expensive calls automatically – racking up a large bill.

Developer Andrei Neculaesei was first to identify the issue last week, saying scammers use the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme called ”tel” to trigger a call without a user knowing. Usually clicking on a link containing a phone number will take a user to Safari and then prompt them to confirm the call. However, apps like Facebook Messenger, Google+, Gmail, and FaceTime, make the call without asking the user. Read More

 

Poll: would you buy a notebook, a tablet, a phone and a watch?

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

We’re living in a multi-device world. Taking into account the never-ending stream of both existing form factors and new-category products, small wonder that the line is blurring.

I’m of course referring to ultra-thin notebooks, smartphones, tablets and wearables that perform functions of smartwatches, fitness trackers, health bands and what not.

But do we really need all this hardware in our lives? And even more to the point, can anyone in today’s multi-screen world safely do without owning all types of mobile gear?

That’s the question I’d like to pose in today’s poll. Assuming you have enough spare cash lying around somewhere, would buying a notebook, a tablet, a smartphone and a watch benefit your mobile computing, do you think? Read More

 

Spotify now lets you save whole albums to Your Music and access more album info

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

Spotify, arguably the most popular subscription-based music streaming service, on Monday refreshed its free iOS client with a few improvements.

In addition to adding Finnish language support that recently appeared in Spotify’s Android client, the updated software now makes it possible to save albums to Your Music, from any album page. Moreover, you can now easily check out album release dates and total play time, too. Read More

 

T-Mobile announces $5 per month option quadrupling Simple Starter LTE data to 2GB

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

Beginning September 3, T-Mobile customers in the United States will be able to boost their Simple Starter plan via an additional $5 per month option giving them a total of two gigabytes of high-speed 4G LTE data.

That’s in addition to unlimited talk and text included in the Simple Starter plan, the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier said Monday morning.

In other words, in exchange for five bucks on top of your $40 per month Simple Starter charge (for a total of $45 per month), the wireless carrier will quadruple LTE data.

The new option goes into effect on Wednesday, September 3. Read More

 

Rumor: low-powered M7 successor code-named ‘Phosphorous’ to collect health and fitness data (Updated)

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2014

An Apple chip internally code-named ‘Phosphorous’ has been identified on leaked schematics and thought to replace the M7, a motion coprocessor which debuted inside the iPhone 5s last Fall. (Update: It’s looking like a barometer pressure sensor instead.)

It’s said to include the M7′s motion tracking functions and thought to be able to collect a number of health and fitness data from various health and fitness accessories and specialized medical devices.

This apparently includes heart rates, calories burned, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and more. It’s believed the chip works in tandem with iOS 8 and the new Health app, which allows users to enter a number of health and fitness-related data manually, or automatically collect these from various HealthKit-friendly accessories and wearables. Read More

 
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