Audi CarPlay rollout: 2015 models in Europe, North American vehicles in 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2014

Yesterday, luxury car maker Audi announced it’ll be integrating both Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto automotive software platforms into the Multimedia Interface for its premium lineup of vehicles. Today, the German car maker shared additional details pertaining to both the feature and the roll-out timeframe.

Coming to 2015 models in Europe and to 2016 vehicles in North America, CarPlay will integrate with Audi’s built-in controls and allow drivers to access apps through the car’s native controls and switch between CarPlay and Audi’s Multimedia Interface with a touch of a button… Read More

 

1Password with Touch ID authentication and Safari Share sheet support shown off

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2014

A big part of what makes iOS 8 so great is how Apple is finally opening up its mobile operating system to developers, more than ever before.

Take Touch ID, for example. With a little help from the iOS 8 SDK and the new Local Authentication Framework, third-party apps can tap Touch ID to authenticate a user in a safe manner as fingerprint data is protected and never accessed by iOS or apps.

Brands such as PayPal have pledged to update their apps with Touch ID authentication when iOS 8 gets released for public consumption this Fall and now a beta tester has posted screenshots and a short video of Touch ID integration in 1Password for iOS, the popular password management program by AgileBitsRead More

 

Apple adds MLB At Bat to its list of CarPlay-enabled apps

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2014

Apple’s in-car entertainment solution, CarPlay, features limited support for third-party applications, ranging from Stitcher and Apple’s own Podcasts to Beats Music, iHeartRadio and Spotify. Previously demoed at WWDC earlier this month, you can now put MLB At Bat on the list of officially supported CarPlay apps, according to Apple’s own CarPlay webpage… Read More

 

Photography apps can now tap the full range of manual camera controls in iOS 8

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2014

Don’t you hate it when your favorite camera app from the App Store is unable to provide the full range of manual controls supported by your iOS device’s camera hardware?

Responding to developer feedback, Apple has now addressed that particular customer pain point by opening up manual camera controls in iOS 8.

That’s right, developers of photography apps such as Instagram, ProCamera and Camera+, to name a few, can finally implement the full assortment of camera controls in their apps using the official iOS 8 SDK APIs… Read More

 

Video: hidden iOS 8 Maps feature – Flyover City Tours

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2014

There’s a nicely done new Apple Maps feature hidden in iOS 8 Beta 2. Called City Tours, it’s basically a set of manually programmed and scripted virtual tours of select major cities, rendered and animated in Maps’ three-dimensional Flyover mode.

Apple hasn’t talked about City Tours during its WWDC keynote (aside from a brief mention on one slide) and the feature couldn’t be found on the official iOS 8 webpage, in WWDC session videos or inside Apple’s official developer documentation… Read More

 

New in iOS 8: Request Desktop Site in Safari

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 19, 2014

Call me nitpicky, but there’s this tiny little feature in Google’s Chrome for iOS that I wish every mobile browser had: the ability to request a desktop version of a mobile site. Often times when you visit a website the server would detect your mobile device and automatically serve a mobile-optimized webpage.

For the most part, this works for the vast majority of normals. However, power users may have their own reasons for wanting to browse full-blown desktop websites on their mobile devices.

Responding to user feedback, Apple built a new Request Desktop Site feature into Safari on iOS 8. I quite like it and am positive that my Chrome usage will decrease as a result… Read More

 

Apple TV rumored to receive Continuity integration with iOS 8 and Yosemite Macs this Fall

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 18, 2014

iOS 8 and Yosemite come with Handoff, a particularly useful feature for completing tasks across multiple devices and seamlessly moving from one device to another. Part of the broader Continuity capability, Handoff relies on proximity sensing via power-sipping Bluetooth 4.0 to detect nearby devices which then broadcast user tasks.

Handoff lets you easily create an intelligent Instant Hotspot on your mobile device, start writing an email on your iPad and continue right where you left off on a Mac, receive and make phone calls and handle text messages on Macs and lots more.

According to one blogger, Apple will be bringing Continuity to its Apple TV media-streaming box when iOS 8 launches this Fall, resulting in a much tighter Apple TV integration with Mac and iOS… Read More

 

Out now: iOS 8 Beta 2, Yosemite Developer Preview 2, new Xcode and Apple TV software

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2014

Two weeks after releasing the first beta of iOS 8, Apple today seeded it developers with the second beta of both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

The Yosemite Developer Preview 2 (Build 14A261i) for Macs and a pre-release version of iOS 8 Beta 2 (build 12A4297e) for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices are available for download through Apple’s Dev Center.

The betas are available standalone or as over-the-air downloads via the Software Update mechanism… Read More

 

FiftyThree teases Surface Pressure coming to Pencil this Fall with iOS 8

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 17, 2014

Fans of the awesome Paper drawing app for the iPad by FiftyThree and owners of the startup’s companion Pencil stylus will no doubt be looking forward to upgrading to iOS 8 in order to take advantage of a new Surface Pressure feature coming to Pencil and Paper this Fall.

Billed as an industry-first feature, Surface Pressure taps iOS 8′s variable touch sizing and leverages Pencil’s uniquely-designed tip to vary the pressure, thickness and width of lines you create, mimicking the behavior of real-life artistic drawing tools such as dry pastel chalks and charcoals… Read More

 

Unicode 7.0 includes 250 new emoji icons that could come to future iOS update

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 16, 2014

The Unicode Consortium announced today that Unicode 7.0 is now available, adding currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat, historic scripts and other new symbols. But as reported by MacRumors, the bigger news for iPhone and iPad users is the addition of approximately 250 new emoji icons. Before you get too excited, Apple still has to update iOS to support the new Unicode standard first…  Read More

 

Apple wanted to buy Parse for iOS 8 CloudKit

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2014

CloudKit, one of the few platform-enhancing features Apple rolled out at WWDC, had to be created entirely from scratch because the Cupertino firm has failed at buying Parse, a startup that provides much of CloudKit-like functionality.

CloudKit frees up programmers from needing to devote their resources toward building server-side application logic themselves. It does so by providing a common set of APIs for server-based authentication, private and public database, structured and asset storage services and much more.

According to a scoop by The Information, a technology website by former WSJ writer Jessica Lessin, the iPhone maker considered purchasing Parse before Facebook… Read More

 

WebMD launches Healthy Target, its own health-improvement platform

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2014

Ahead of iOS 8′s public launch this Fall, WebMD today introduced Healthy Target, its own health improvement program for the iPhone that aggregates data from various biometric sensors and makes it understandable and actionable.

It sounds much like HealthKit, Apple’s new platform in iOS 8 which gives makers of health/fitness apps and accessories official APIs to store users’ performance metrics and health data into a system-wide database accessible by the stock Health app and third-party software… Read More

 

Yosemite’s Handoff feature may not be compatible with all Macs

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2014

Handoff, arguably the coolest feature of the upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite, may not be available to all Mac users. In case you’re not familiar with Handoff, it’s part of Continuity, a new feature designed for seamless transitioning between iOS devices and Macs.

“Now your Mac knows the last thing you were doing on your iOS device and vice versa,” Apple’s Yosemite webpage explains. “So you can start something on one device and instantly pick it up on another.”

As noted by a German blog, Handoff relying on short-range Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity is a strong indication that you’ll need a relatively new Mac model in order to take advantage of the feature… Read More

 

Microsoft mulls porting Cortana assistant to iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2014

Microsoft has wont to arrive late to parties: following Siri’s introduction nearly three years ago, Redmond in April of this year has finally gotten around to unveiling a personal assistant of its own, Cortana, at the Build Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Originally conceived as a Windows Phone 8.1 exclusive, the Windows giant is now reportedly considering bringing the virtual assistant to rival platforms, namely to iOS and Android.

Let me get this straight. Beats updates Android appMicrosoft launches Office for iPad before even releasing a touch-optimized version for Windows 8 tablet. Apple reportedly mulling iTunes for Android

What a difference a few years make, eh? Read More

 

iOS 8 lets native apps tap into Safari’s AutoFill & Passwords for frictionless login experience

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2014

In addition to using your device’s iSight camera to scan in credit card information, Safari in iOS 8 makes it easy for third-party apps to tap into the browser’s AutoFill & Passwords feature for hassle-free logins.

Provided a user has previously saved their username and password for a specific website using Safari’s AutoFill & Passwords feature, a native iOS app is now permitted to retrieve this information and re-use it to authorize a user quickly and securely, bypassing the login screen altogether… Read More

 

New in iOS 8: reply notifications for Mail threads

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2014

Apple really seems laser-focused on further removing communication hurdles and friction in iOS 8 by advancing Mail and Messages stock apps in ways more than one.

For the most part, the changes in these two apps are for the better: Apple hasn’t cluttered their interfaces nor has it changed the familiar design.

Apple’s thinking and consideration for the end user is especially evident in how iOS 8 handles group chats in Messages and email threads in Mail.

While you can now finally leave a group chat in Messages, Mail in iOS 8 sports a really useful feature where you tell it to issue a push notification each time someone has replied to a designated email thread… Read More

 

TouchPal video shows off upcoming iOS 8 keyboard with sliding text entry

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 11, 2014

You already know Apple at last week’s WWDC gave its developer army the tools to build custom keyboards for iOS 8. It’s all part of making the mobile operating system extensible, customizable and more open to developers than ever before.

We also know that Swype, Fleksy and SwiftKey, as well as KeyPoint and Whirlscape, are all building their iOS 8 keyboards and now TouchPal has demoed its upcoming TouchPal X keyboard running on iOS 8.

Billed as “the first iOS 8 keyboard with gesture/sliding input,” next word prediction and other features, TouchPal X allows you to slide over letters for a word, up for a number and down for a symbol.

Check it out in action in a video included right after the break… Read More

 

Skype 5.0 now available on the App Store

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 10, 2014

Just one day after teasing a brand new design for Skype for iOS, Microsoft has released the updated app on the App Store for iPhone. Our own Christian Zibreg walked through several of the new features, ranging from a sleeker user interface and faster performance to cross-platform read receipt syncing and the ability to start group chats from the hub. Details ahead…  Read More

 

Traces of Preview, TextEdit, standalone iTunes Radio and Siri API discovered in iOS 8 code

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2014

As a prominent iOS developer noted on Twitter, looks like Apple is actually toying with a standalone iTunes Radio app, as previously suspected.

In addition, Apple looks to be prepping new stock iOS 8 apps - TextEdit and Preview – as well as potentially enabling third-party Siri access.

Code hooks and hidden assets discovered in the iOS 8 Beta code seem to support these findings, largely corroborating much of the earlier findings by prominent Apple blogger Mark Gurman.

Note that this is no guarantee that Apple will roll out these features – that is, it will only introduce them when they’re ready for prime time. For example, The New York Times previously reported that split-screen functionality didn’t make the cut in iOS 8. With that in mind, it’s fairly safe to speculate that Preview, TextEdit, third-party Siri access and a standalone iTunes Radio could be slated for the iOS 8.1 updateRead More

 

Apple could be laying the groundwork for custom UI themes in iOS 8

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2014

There’s no doubt that Apple for the first time in iOS history is opening up its mobile operating system by giving developers the tools to create previously unheard-of features like custom iOS 8 keyboards, new filters for the Photos app, custom Share sheet actions and several other types of App Extensions.

It would also appear that Apple is testing a feature that would allow end users to choose alternate looks for the iOS 8 user interface with different font types, custom color schemes and more.

This could be a huge boon to tinkerers and a great selling point because never before has Apple allowed people to customize the iOS look and feel without jailbreaking their devices… Read More