BGR: iOS 8.2 due next month, Apple Watch launch event planned

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2015

Tuesday, BGR said it’s learned from its own sources that Apple is shooting to release iOS 8.2 around March, ahead of the Apple Watch launch in April. “A trusted source” privy to Apple’s most recent roadmap told the technology blog that Apple isn’t planning to release iOS 8.2 this month.

In addition to general improvements and fixes, the headline feature of iOS 8.2 is official support for Apple’s wrist-worn device, which in all likelihood entails  a companion iPhone app for installing apps onto the Watch and managing various device settings. Read More

 

iOS 8 adoption jumps to 72 percent of devices

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2015

According to the official App Store Distribution data as of yesterday, iOS 8 is now running on 72 percent of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices in the wild.

That’s up notably over the 69 percent figure recorded just two weeks ago, when iOS 8 adoption rates were slowing in the post-holiday season.

By comparison, Google’s own Developer Dashboards webpage was refreshed yesterday and now shows Android 5.0 Lollipop as finally making a blip on the radar, with the operating system recording a tiny 1.6 percent share of the current Android install base. Read More

 

Poll: should Apple add multi-user access to iOS?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015

Yesterday, I stumbled upon an intriguing post over at The Loop which I felt raised a valid point about multi-user access in iOS, or the lack of.

It’s especially relevant in light of the fact that Android Lollipop enables multi-user support on phones.

Tablets, of course, have had this for nearly three years with Jelly Bean and up. Now, adding the ability to share your iPhone or iPad with someone else isn’t as trivial as it may appear at first sight as there are many technical hurdles to overcome.

On the other hand, can anyone imagine Apple not working on solving this pain point for its users? I mean, OS X supports multiple user accounts by design and iOS is basically a slimmed down version of OS X.

Anyways, is multi-user access one of those features the company should prioritize for the next major refresh of iOS, do you think? Read More

 

iOS 8 adoption slowing, now sits at 69 percent

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 20, 2015

The rate at which people are upgrading their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices to iOS 8 is slowing in the post-holiday season. As noted on Apple’s own App Store Distribution support page, though iOS 8 adoption is edging toward the 70 percent milestone it’s barely hit the 69 percent mark on Tuesday.

That’s a rather paltry one percentage point jump over an adoption rate of 68 percent as measured just two weeks ago. And by comparison, that figure was a healthy four percentage points increase over the previous December 22 update. Read More

 

This concept does an ambitious rethinking of outdated handling of contacts in iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2015

I’m very displeased and unhappy (and I’m putting it mildly) that innovation in the iOS Contacts department has stalled out.

Argue as much as you want, but there’s no denying that integration of contacts in Apple’s mobile software is a convoluted mess, one that lacks consistency and completely eschews any reasonable expectations of a unified communications solution.

Product designer Frank Costa felt the same way so he went about creating a smart concept that tries to reimagine the address book experience on iOS, by envisioning an Invisible Address Book of sorts.

The ideas he proposes are quite intriguing. His Medium post, for example, describes profile pictures of frequently accessed contacts right in Spotlight for effortless one-tap interactions. From there, a list of apps that use your address book would be one swipe away, along with a handy log of your interactions with a friend. Read More

 

Skype starts pre-release program for iOS, rolls out small 5.9 update

By Jake Smith on Jan 14, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype announced a new pre-release program for its iOS app on Wednesday, aimed at its most engaged users.

The company said in a blog post that users accepted into the pre-release program will get access to early versions of Skype in exchange for their regular feedback and NDA signature. Skype is limiting access to those 18 or older and who have a valid email address and Skype or Microsoft Account. Read More

 

Apple files another patent for Kinect-like technology for Apple TV, Mac

By Jake Smith on Jan 13, 2015

Apple was granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday that puts new motion-sensing hardware and software to use, much like the Kinect for Xbox One.

The patent describes “three dimensional user interface session control,” essentially, a software UI for use with PrimeSense’s motion-sensing hardware. Read More

 

Poll: should iOS 9 pause on innovation?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2015

Earlier in the month, Instapaper creator and Tumblr co-founder Marco Arment offered a scathing critique of Apple’s declining software quality. I generally disagree with Marco on most topics he blogs about, but this time he got me thinking that Apple’s “it just works” mantra no longer applies. And as software woes continue to persist, the problem clearly is much larger than the relatively benign Maps debacle.

From that botched iOS 8.0.1 update, delayed improvements and an over-the-air iOS 8 installer requiring a whopping 4.6 gigabytes of free space to a bunch of issues plaguing OS X 10.10 Yosemite such as performance bottlenecks, its insatiable resource requirements, ridiculous Apple Mail hiccups, intermittent Wi-Fi issues and more – the firm appears to have “lost the functional high ground,” as Arment put it.

And with plenty of far-reaching technologies being introduced simultaneously — Handoff, iCloud Drive, custom keyboards, photo and storage extensions, new ways to share content, HealthKit, HomeKit, WatchKit and CloudKit, to mention but a few — small wonder Apple is finding itself in the middle of a pretty rocky transition, to say the least.

Throw in things like iCloud and CarPlay and suddenly diminishing software quality exhibited in the latest releases of iOS and Mac OS X becomes a major customer pain point. Apple is an aspirational brand so winning back user trust is paramount.

So, what should Tim Cook & Co. do? Do they continue to stick to the annual OS release schedule? Or should they give engineers enough time to smooth out the rough edges and ship software when it’s ready rather than for their marketing benefits, even if it means making us wait longer for latest and greatest software innovations? Read More

 

Latest iOS 8.2 beta adds pairing with Apple Watch, confirms dedicated Watch app

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2015

If you need more proof the Apple Watch is launching in March as recently reported, here it is.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac just discovered that installing a fourth beta of the upcoming iOS 8.2, which was seeded to Apple’s developers earlier today, enables Bluetooth connectivity with the upcoming wrist-worn device.

In addition, iOS 8.2 Beta 4 (build 12D5461b) makes it clear that the Cupertino firm is working on a dedicated app for setting up the Apple Watch and controlling it. Read More

 

Apple testing iOS 9 prototype builds, weblogs hint

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2015

Just as our own analytics showed a very clear spike of traffic emanating from devices running Apple’s unreleased iOS 8.1.3, now word comes that several publications are starting to see versions of iOS 9 showing up on web analytics for their sites.

Assuming version numbers have not been spoofed, this would indicate Apple may have begun testing first prototype builds of iOS 9, ahead of a developer preview expected at its annual developers conference in the summer. Read More

 

What would you like to see from Apple this year?

By Jake Smith on Jan 10, 2015

Apple blogger and Instapaper founder Marco Arment caused an earthquake in the Apple community when he released a blistering article on the current state of Apple’s hardware earlier this week. It’s not often you see Apple bloggers being critical of the company they’re usually so quick to praise.

“We don’t need major OS releases every year,” Arment wrote. “We don’t need each OS release to have a huge list of new features. We need our computers, phones, and tablets to work well first so we can enjoy new features released at a healthy, gradual, sustainable pace.”

So that left two questions: Is Arment correct in his theory? What do you want from Apple in 2015?  Read More

 

Piracy on iOS: 60% of Monument Valley installs on iPhone and iPad not paid for

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2015

Even though this particular data point is a few days old now, I think it’s highly relevant in light of Apple’s glowing App Store stats revealed yesterday.

According to developer Ustwo Games, its award-winning and incredibly successful Monument Valley, an atmospheric puzzle game in which you manipulate impossible architecture inspired by the works of M.C. Escher, has seen a significant chunk of its potential revenue lost to piracy because only 40 percent of the $3.99 game installs on the iPhone and iPad were paid for.

The vast chunk of the remaining sixty percent iOS installs were illegitimate, or to put it bluntly — pirated. On Android, the paid install base is a paltry five percent (you read that right), as a huge hunk of the remaining 95 percent of users opted to steal Monument Vally on Android rather than pay four bucks to enjoy it.

Is the 60 percent piracy rate on iOS a worrying number for Monument Valley developers and a bad sign for Apple’s mobile platform? Read on for the full reveal. Read More

 

Apple to reportedly expand iOS beta testing to include retail employees

By Timothy Reavis on Jan 7, 2015

Breaking the long-held tradition of restricting iOS beta releases to developers and select Cupertino campus employees, Apple has plans to expand pre-release mobile software testing to select retail employees, according to a report today by Mark Gurman. The program is set to commence soon with a beta version of iOS and comes nearly half a year after Apple’s introduction of public betas for OS X Yosemite, its desktop operating system. Read More

 

Here’s a look at Apple Japan’s 2015 ‘Lucky Bags’

By Jake Smith on Jan 1, 2015

Apple kicked off its 2015 annual “Lucky Bag” promotion in Japan on Thursday, giving customers big discounts on Apple products and accessories. A “Lucky Bag” is a Japanese New Year tradition, also known as a Fukubukuro, that offers a bag for a set price filled with unknown random items, sold for a discount. Read More

 

iOS again beats out Android in Christmas Day mobile shopping

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2014

Just like last year, Apple’s iPhone and iPad again dominated online shopping traffic and online mobile sales during Christmas Day, according to an IBM survey first shared by VentureBeat.

Based on data from IBM’s real-time Digital Analytics Benchmark, which tracked approximately 800 retail websites in the United States, iOS devices were responsible for an average of $97.28 per order spent online versus $67.40 for Android users, a difference of 44.3 percent.

In other words, a commanding 57.1 percent of online shopping via mobile during Christmas Day was carried out using an iPhone or iPad, an increase of 8.3 percent versus the previous year. Read More

 

Apple Japan sets “Lucky Bag” New Year promotion for January 2nd

By Jake Smith on Dec 26, 2014

The Japan arm of Apple announced on Friday that it’s once again bringing back its “Lucky Bags” promotion on January 2nd, 2015. A “Lucky Bag” is a Japanese New Year tradition, and also known as a Fukubukuro. Read More

 

Elcomsoft’s Phone Breaker can now help access iCloud data protected with 2-step verification

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Moscow-based Elcomsoft, which produces a mobile forensic tool used by law enforcement around the world to gain access to a suspect’s iOS devices, has updated its Phone Breaker application which now makes it easier to bypass Apple’s two-step verification for Apple ID accounts in order to access underlying iCloud data, Engadget reported Thursday.

Not only does this include iWork documents stored in iCloud, but also data in third-party apps such as WhatsApp communications, 1Password password databases — even user dictionaries that may contain secret words and phrases — provided a user has enabled the app in question to sync data with iCloud.

Although hackers still need both your Apple ID username/password and a two-factor code sent to your trusted device (or a digital token stolen from your computer), once they do gain access to your account Phone Breaker can then create a digital token granting them permanent access to iCloud data, no two-step verification code needed — until you change your Apple ID password, that is. Read More

 

Good deal: name your own price on this iOS designer bundle

By Cody Lee on Dec 10, 2014

Are you or someone you know interested in mobile app design, but unsure how to get started? If so, you’re definitely going to want to check out this new promotion from StackSocial. The deals site is offering 4 iOS design classes and hundreds of assets right now at a staggering discount.

The package, which includes over 15 hours of design and marketing instruction, and more than 150 UI elements, is valued at more than $1,400. But thanks to StackSocial’s Name Your Own Price promo, you can get all of the courses and graphics for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee. Read More

 

IBM and Apple launch first batch of enterprise ‘IBM MobileFirst’ iPhone and iPad apps

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 10, 2014

Following their major enterprise mobility partnership which was announced this summer, Apple and IBM this morning launched the first batch of MobileFirst apps for enterprise iOS users. The new suite of business-focused apps are available exclusively for the iPhone and iPad starting today and include apps for insurance, retail, telecom, government, travel, transportation, banking and more. Read More

 

Apple releases iOS 8.1.2 with fix for missing ringtone bug and more

By Cody Lee on Dec 9, 2014

Apple has released iOS 8.1.2 this afternoon with a handful of bug fixes and other improvements. Specifically, the release notes say the update addresses an issue where ringtones purchased through the iTunes Store may have disappeared from users’ devices.

You can access the new firmware over the air via Settings > General > Software Update, or via iTunes by connecting your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to a computer. But as usual, we recommend that users who are jailbroken, or plan to jailbreak, avoid the update for now.
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