Apple opens cryptographic libraries used to protect iOS and OS X to app makers

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2015

Apple yesterday announced it’s opened up its cryptographic libraries, the same ones used to protect iOS and OS X, to third-party developers. As reported by VentureBeat, the move is significant in that developers can now implement advanced security features into their apps, for free.

In addition to open-sourcing the cryptographic libraries, Apple back in the summer promised to open source its Swift programming language by the end of the year. Read More


Google launches YouTube Red, charges iOS users Apple tax

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2015

Following its official announcement less than two weeks ago, Google today formally launched a new music and video subscription service—YouTube Red.

In exchange for a monthly fee of $9.99, Red provides ad-free access to videos across all of YouTube, the ability to save clips and playlists for offline use and support for background playback. All these perks are available to Red members users across desktop, mobile and the web.

Due to Apple’s 30 percent cut on In-App Purchases, Google has decided to raise Red’s subscriptions on iOS devices to $12.99 per month in order to compensate for the Apple tax. A free 30-day trial of YouTube Red (US only) is available to those who want to try out the service and see if it’s worth the asking price to them. Read More


How to disable suggested contacts on iOS and Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2015

Smart technologies Apple built into iOS 9 and El Capitan, collectively referred to as Proactive, can conveniently suggest contacts from data found in Mail and use them to great effect in several places.

Incoming call from an unknown number? If Proactive sniffs it out in an email and guesses who might be calling, it’ll put that info on the calling screen.

But some folks find iOS’s proactivity a little bit on the distracting side with unconfirmed contacts popping all over the place. Thankfully, you can turn them off with just a few taps, and here’s how. Read More


iOS 9.1 enables quick-replying from notifications in WhatsApp for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2015

At long last, iOS is allowing app makers to implement text replies in notifications, a feature Apple used to reserve exclusively for its Messages app.

Twitter was the first App Store app to gain this great time-saver of a feature. On iOS 9.1, WhatsApp for iPhone now supports a handy text field for quickly replying to incoming messages without leaving the app you’re currently using.

This feature requires an iPhone with iOS 9.1 or later. Read More


Chrome picks up iPad split-screen multitasking support in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2015

Google today pushed a small update to its Chrome mobile browser in the App Store. The new edition, officially bumped to version number 46.0.2490.73, brings support for iOS 9’s new Split View multitasking mode on the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro.

Moreover, Slide Over multitasking view and Picture-in-Picture video mode are supported in this Chrome edition as well. These are certainly welcomed additions for those of you who do a lot of research online as you can now browse the web with Chrome and run another app like Notes side-by-side. Read More


Fleksy keyboard introduces custom theme photo builder in new update

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2015

Fleksy Keyboard, one of the most popular software keyboards in the App Store, has received a major update this morning. The update to the freemium app strives to solve the problem of users constantly demanding that developers add an ever-growing collection of new UI themes to the app, so they’ve added a new custom theme photo builder feature to Fleksy Keyboard 7.0.

The ability to personalize the keyboard has been one of the top requests from users, Fleksy says, and has prompted the company to come up with a system for users to build exactly the keyboard that suits their liking, and even share their creations with friends and other Fleksy users. Read More


How to share Reminders lists

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 21, 2015

Although not apparently obvious, Apple’s Reminders app on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and lets you share to-dos and checklists with friends and family.

Sharing a reminder list with, say, your girlfriend (or wife) is particularly convenient as you’ll both be able to add, delete and check off items as completed, and all changes will instantly appearing on everyone’s devices thanks to seamless iCloud syncing.

This isn’t just great for grocery lists, shared to-dos and interactive lists among family members, but for business, too. For example, you could share a to-do list with team members to keep everyone apprised of what needs to be done on any particular day.

In this post, we’re going to show how easy it is to create a list in Reminders and invite others to participate across iOS, OS X and the web. Read More


iOS 9 now powering 61 percent of devices

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 21, 2015

Apple’s latest iOS 9 mobile operating system is now powering a total of 61 percent of active iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the wild, according to Apple’s official numbers published on its portal for developers.

By comparison iOS 9 was found on 57 percent of devices just two short weeks ago. The latest data point was calculated by monitoring  App Store access on October 19, 2015. Read More


How to create shopping lists, to-dos and other interactive checklists in Notes app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 17, 2015

A much-improved Notes application is one of my favorite features of iOS 9 and El Capitan. With it, you can now draw sketches with your finger, enrich your thoughts with photos, maps and web links—and even create a checklist of to-dos.

Checklists work perfectly for stuff like grocery lists, wish lists, quick to-dos and what not, and they’re interactive so you can tick off individual items to mark them as completed. And with iCloud, changes to your notes are automatically pushed to all your devices.

In this post, we’re going to demonstrate how easy it is to create interactive checklists in Notes on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and Read More


Google Translate gains Split View multitasking

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2015

Google’s native translator app in the App Store has received a productivity-focused update earlier this morning. The free of charge software was bumped to version 4.2 and the big news in this edition is support for iOS 9’s side-by-side Split View multitasking mode on supported devices like the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 and the upcoming iPad Pro.

In addition to Split View multitasking, Google Translate 4.2 for iOS has picked up camera translation from German and English to Arabic, joining other language packs. Read More


New in iOS 9: scrub through your photos quickly

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2015

On the surface, the refined Photos app in iOS 9 hasn’t changed much from the previous release. But scratch a little deeper and you’ll discover a few gems that might not be readily apparent but will leave you wondering how you lived without them.

For example, images taken with your iPhone’s front-facing camera automatically go into a new ‘Selfies’ album.

Similarly, screenshots taken by simultaneously pressing the power and Home buttons get saved into a new ‘Screenshots’ album. Today, I want to talk about another new feature in iOS 9’s Photos app: quick photo-scrubbing. Read More


Apple seeds iOS 9.1 beta 5 to developers

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 12, 2015

Less than a week following iOS 9.1 beta 4, Apple on Monday issued a brand new, fifth beta of what would become iOS 9’s first major software update.

iOS 9.1 beta 5 (build 13B137) for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available to both members of the Apple Developer Program and public beta testers.

In addition, the software is available as a standalone download through Apple’s portal for developers. Read More


iOS 9’s Wi-Fi Assist, fully explained and demystified

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 12, 2015

Wi-Fi Assist, a new feature in iOS 9, was initially met with some skepticism as Apple did a lousy job detailing how it works beyond stating that Wi-Fi Assist automatically uses cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor.

“With Wi-Fi Assist, you can stay connected to the Internet even if you have a poor Wi-Fi connection,” the iPhone maker said somewhat critically.

However, inexperienced users might encounter some unwanted effects when using their devices in areas with low Wi-Fi signal because Wi-Fi Assist will activate their carrier’s mobile data network and therefore possibly lead to increased data consumption and unwanted overage fees on the wireless bill.

Here’s what Apple is saying how Wi-Fi exactly works. Read More


Google launching deep integration between search and iOS 9 apps by month’s end

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2015

Google announced today that Apple fans who are running iOS 9 on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices will soon start seeing app content in their search results in the Safari browser.

The company’s so-called App Indexing feature is now compatible with HTTP deep link standards for iOS 9. Owners of iOS 9 devices should expect app content to begin surfacing in search results by month’s end. Read More


iOS 9 adoption hits 57 percent after three weeks

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2015

According to Apple’s own data, the adoption rate for iOS 9 has reached 57 percent of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the wild after three weeks of availability, as measured by the App Store on October 5, 2015. By comparison, it took iOS 8 nearly six weeks to zoom past the 50 percent barrier.

A total of 33 percent of iOS devices running iOS 8 visited the App Store on October 5, while earlier version of the mobile operating system accounted for the remaining ten percent of hardware in the wild. Read More


Fantastical gains iOS 9’s productivity-enhancing features, Apple Watch complication and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2015

Hot off the heels of its big Mac update, developer Flexibits today issued an update to Fantastical for iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. The new software takes advantage of the new productivity-enhancing features provided by iOS 9 and watchOS 2.

These include 3D Touch support for iPhone 6s owners, a dedicated Fantastical complication for Apple Watch wearers, Slide Over and Split View multitasking modes on the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 and much more. Read More


What to know about ‘YiSpecter,’ new malware targeting all iOS devices

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 5, 2015

Just as all the hoopla surrounding the XcodeGhost attack appears to have died down, security researchers over at Palo Alto Networks have identified a new type of harmful malware.

Dubbed YiSpecter, it can install itself on both jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices and is the first iOS malware that exploit Apple’s private APIs to implement malicious functionalities.

Here’s everything you need to know about this new type of attack, what Apple is saying about the malware and what you can do in order to protect your devices from becoming infected with YiSpecter. Read More


Apple promises to open up universal search on Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 5, 2015

When the new Apple TV launches toward the end of this month, it will allow viewers to use their voice to search movies and television shows across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO. Fans of the device were initially concerned that the new box would offer preferential treatment to the aforesaid services. Thankfully, that won’t be the case.

As CEO Tim Cook noted in an interview this weekend with BuzzFeed News’s John Paczkowski, the new box will allow apps beyond launch partners to expose and make their content discoverable and searchable via iOS 9’s universal search feature.

It’s a crucial confirmation: content from other broadcasters and studios such as NBC, Disney and CNN must be exposed through the Apple TV’s Siri-based search if the device is to streamline the user experience. Read More


How to quickly access Wallet and Apple Pay on the Lock screen

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2015

Those who have tried Apple Pay can attest that paying with your iPhone couldn’t be simpler. You just hold your device near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID to pay for the goods or services you bought.

But wouldn’t it be great if you could choose any provisioned card from your Apple Pay account on the Lock screen, without having to unlock your iPhone?

Thanks to iOS 9, you can make your purchases by double-clicking the Home button to access Wallet without unlocking your iPhone, a feature partially borrowed from the Apple Watch. You then simply choose a card and authenticate your purchase via Touch ID.

Here’s how you can enable Wallet access right from the iPhone’s Lock screen in iOS 9 with just a few taps. Read More


How to save your iPhone voicemails as notes or voice memos, or share them with others

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2015

If you updated your iPhone to iOS 9 or later, you have gained the ability to save voicemails as notes or voice memos, or share them directly as audio files with Messages, Mail or Airdrop.

This can prove quite useful, if you ask me. Before iOS 9, your voicemails were confined to the Phone app as there was no way to get them out of there.

In addition, saving voicemails as voice memos lets you trim the audio in the Voice Memos app before sharing them with others. Read More