At last, Facebook Messenger gets native iOS 8 Share extension

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2015

Today, social networking behemoth Facebook issued a small yet important update to its mobile messaging software for the iPhone and iPad. Facebook Messenger version 22 is now available in the App Store and with it comes a much appreciated and long overdue iOS 8 extension.

With it, you can at last send pieces of content to Messenger without leaving other apps. Using iOS 8’s standard Share sheet, it’s simple to share photos, videos and links directly with Messenger contacts, without leaving context of the app you’re currently using. Read More

 

Siri learns eight new languages in iOS 8.3 beta 2

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2015

Apple today seeded new iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 betas to its registered developers and included in the former are more than half a dozen new Siri languages, 9to5Mac said.

When iOS 8.3 is released for public consumption this March, owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices will be permitted to converse with the voice assistant in Danish, Dutch, English for India, Russian, Swedish, Thai and Turkish. Read More

 

Apple releases iOS 8.3 beta 2 to developers

By Jake Smith on Feb 23, 2015

Apple has seeded iOS 8.3 beta 2 to developers, now available to download over-the-air or from the Developer Center. Along with the iOS software, Apple has also seeded Xcode 6.3 beta 2 with Swift 1.2 for developers to begin using with their apps and a new beta for the Apple TV. Read More

 

Good deal: over 30% off WALTR Media Converter for iOS and Mac

By iDB Deals on Feb 20, 2015

If your audio and visual files are an uncoordinated mess of formats and players, WALTR can bring some harmony to your life. Using a simple ‘drag & drop’ interface, this market-leading software for Mac and iOS offers you the ability to access your entire music and video collection – whatever the format – through a native iOS app.

Dedicated iDB readers and Apple news followers may remember the developer behind WALTR, Softorino. Last November, we covered an awesome story about Softorino’s discovery that the iPhone 6 can handle 4k video.

But you don’t need an iPhone 6 to use WALTR; it works with iOS5+ and Mac OS X 10.9+ operating systems. As long as you’re running any recent OS, it couldn’t be simpler to transfer media to your your iPad, iPod touch or iPhone. Read More

 

Apple reportedly launching iOS Public Beta program next month

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2015

“Multiple people briefed on the plans” told 9to5Mac’s well-connected Mark Gurman that Apple could soon launch the first-ever public beta program for its mobile operating system in an effort to help eradicate bugs that have traditionally plagued major iOS releases, especially iOS 8.

Tim Cook & Co. are said to release upcoming iOS 8.3 code-named Stowe as a public beta through the existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, matching the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers expected to release the same week. Read More

 

10 great ways to put Workflow to work

By Timothy Reavis on Feb 19, 2015

If you’re a fan of automation in iOS and continuously strive to make common tasks easier, you’ve probably already been introduced to Workflow, an incredible app that enables users to create workflows, or recipes of tasks for the app to perform when invoked. The potential of this tool is incredibly far-reaching, and this article explores a few ways in which Workflow can be a must-have app. Read More

 

Can you tell the difference between Siri’s voice in iOS 8.1.1 and iOS 8.3?

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2015

Improved Siri voice is reportedly among the under-the-hood improvements in Apple’s upcoming iOS 8.3 software update. Though a better-sounding Siri may not always be apparent to an untrained ear, Apple should be credited for consistently improving the voice assistant’s speech synthesis capabilities.

Quick comparison of today’s more natural-sounding Siri versus the original Siri from 2011 gives you a good indication of Apple’s advances in this area.

And now with iOS 8.3 in tow, Apple’s bound to boost Siri’s speech synthesis further. Listen to the new and improved Siri voice in iOS 8.3 relative to iOS 8.1.1 and let us know what you think. Read More

 

Foursquare gains iOS 8 widget, can now serve recommendations without logging in

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2015

After adding a widget to its check-in app called Swarm back in December, Foursquare’s main iPhone application today finally received a brand new Today widget for iOS 8’s Notification Center of its own.

Moreover, the latest 8.7 update added personalized recommendations while logged out, so you don’t need to even have an account with Foursquare to receive tips and recommendations about nearby places.

Just open the app to get started. Read More

 

Fleksy’s Valentine’s Day update brings Hotkey extensions, animated themes and more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2015

Yesterday, Fleksy announced a major Valentine’s Day themed update to its record-smashing software keyboard for the iPhone and iPad.

Fleksy Keboard 5.2, a free update for existing users, brings out a myriad of new features, including animated themes through an Energy Theme Pack, a slew of customizable Extensions, Valentine hearts animations upon each key press, custom phrases or email addresses and much more. Read More

 

Apple could bring new music service to iOS in coming months thanks to iOS 8.4

By Jake Smith on Feb 9, 2015

Apple plans to release iOS 8.4 in the coming months, and it could include Apple’s new music streaming service, 9to5mac wrote in a report on Monday.

While iOS 8.3 hasn’t even hit the public scene, iOS 8.4 is currently in development at Apple, and is codenamed Copper after a popular ski resort in Colorado. Read More

 

Apple seeds iOS 8.3 Beta 1: wireless CarPlay, 2-factor Google Accounts, new emoji layout, more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 9, 2015

Monday morning, Apple somewhat unexpectedly seeded the first beta of iOS 8.3 to developers. Registered iOS developers can download the software through Apple’s Dev Center portal.

The first beta of iOS 8.3 arrives just a week after seeding the fifth beta of iOS 8.2, which is also currently in testing and due for release soon.

BGR said recently that iOS 8.2 will arrive ahead of the Apple Watch launch in April so it’s unclear what new features iOS 8.3 brings to iOS. Read More

 

New report says iOS 9 to focus on stability and performance improvements

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 9, 2015

A new report by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman alleges that iOS 9 will mark a Snow Leopard-style release, one said to pause on innovation in order to focus on stability and reliability improvements.

A “huge” focus of iOS 9 is on fixing bugs, maintaining stability and boosting performance “rather than solely focusing on delivering major new feature additions,” writes the author.

iOS 9 is reportedly codenamed Stowe after a ski resort in Vermont. Selling stability as a tentpole feature isn’t that peculiar in light of Apple’s recent software woes that have culminated with a botched iOS 8.0.1 release, a plethora of bugs and various user complaints about iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite feeling unfinished and rough around the edges. Read More

 

How to free up your iPhone and iPad storage space by removing unwanted books

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 6, 2015

Our previous how-tos shared tips on saving storage space on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad by removing photosvideos, songs and apps. And last week, we shared an excellent tip on clearing ‘Other’ storage occupied by Safari’s Reading List, app caches and temporary data.

With that in mind, you’d be surprised to learn that electronic books can take significant amount of storage space.

While a typical book found on the iBooks Store is about two megabytes in size, a textbook with enhanced features like audio and video will typically require anywhere between a few hundred megabytes to up to two gigabytes of storage, per textbook.

Now, if you’re anything like me, your devices are stuffed to the gills with multimedia-rich smart reads. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to identify the amount of on-device storage consumed by iBooks content, teach you how to reclaim storage space by removing books and PDFs you’ve read and share a few useful tips along the way that I bet you didn’t know about. Read More

 

Emojis to get more diverse in OS X 10.10.3

By Jake Smith on Feb 6, 2015

Apple is bringing several enhancements to emojis in OS X 10.10.3, as placeholder emojis indicate we may see more diverse characters when the update is released to the public in the coming months.

Following word from the Unicode Consortium in March of 2014 that more diverse emojis are coming, there are now multiple versions of the same emoji character under a sub-menu.

Given the beta state of OS X 10.10.3, the menu is currently non-functional, but it does show the selected emoji followed by five instances of the emoji paired with a number one inside a black box, MacRumors first noted. This indicates we may see different skin tones for the “man” emoji and others. Read More

 

SwiftKey gains iPad gesture typing, 800+ predictive emojis, key click sounds and more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2015

SwiftKey, the popular third-party keyboard for the iPhone and iPad, has received a nice refresh today. The new version brings out support for eleven more languages, enables gesture typing on iPads, implements a new picker which provides access to more than 800 emoticons along with emoji predictions, adds the option to accompany each tap of a key with a click sound and other goodies. Read More

 

With UXKit, Apple has devs jumping with joy

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2015

Photos for OS X, releasing this Spring, could quietly signal a much welcomed change in direction for Mac development. That is, if Apple decides to let programmers access the same private framework it tapped in constructing the clean and elegant user interface seen in a developer beta of Photos for Mac.

As SixColors pointed out, several prominent developers took to Twitter to share their excitement about the framework Photos for Mac uses, currently available only to Apple. It’s called UXKit and appears to be an OS X version of the UIKit framework on iOS.

What does this have to do with you? Read on… Read More

 

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