Latest posts by Oliver Haslam

Popular mail app TL;DR to make the jump to the Apple Watch

We recently told you about a fun email app for the iPhone that aims to keep emails short and your inbox as clean as possible. The aptly called TL;DR app, free on the App Store, is an email app with a twist in a market where every other email solution seems to be rather, well, boring. Our very own Sébastien was rather taken by it, and that’s no mean feat!

So when we heard from the app’s makers that they were going to have an Apple Watch app ready on day one, our interest was peeked.

These are some of the Apple Watch apps you will be able to download on launch day

Now that the cat is truly out of the bag in regards to the Apple Watch, attention can finally turn to what we will be doing with the thing once we get it onto our wrist. Apple has updated its website to showcase its own in-house apps such as Messages, Maps and Mail. Beyond the Apple apps that we will be using day in, day out, it’s the apps that third-party developers create that will really decide whether the Apple Watch is a hit or a miss.

Apple knows this as much as anybody, which is why it has also pushed a new web page to its site that covers some of the biggest apps that we will probably be downloading come April 24th.

The number of apps that Apple has given some exposure to is quite large, so instead of going through them all here we’re going to highlight some of the apps that we are particularly looking forward to or just simply think look awesome. There are more on the way too, with developers working hard to be on the App Store come day one.

The stock Apple Watch apps you will be able to use out of the box

Apple’s big Watch event saw the arrival of a whole new MacBook as well as some Apple TV stuff and an entry into the world of medical research, but it’s clear which of these everyone was the most interested in. Having announced the Apple Watch during the iPhone event late last year, yesterday was when we got our best look yet at what the Apple Watch will be able to do as well as how much it will cost. We also now know when we will be able to get our hands on one – it ships April 24th.

Even though the Apple Watch had been outed before though, the most interesting thing beyond the price as far as we are concerned was always going to be what the watch was actually capable of and whether there would be any cool apps to play with. Apple has shared a collection of the Apple Watch’s built-in apps as well as some third-party offerings, and they look rather scrumptious.

Here’s a rundown of what included first-party apps you can expect to be tapping away at come the end of April. We’ll be covering third-party apps in a separate post.

iCloud Photo Sharing: one of Apple’s best kept secrets

If you’re a frequent reader then you may remember my thoughts on Apple’s iCloud Photo Library beta and my lack of faith in Apple and its ability to keep my photos safe. Nobody wants to lose photographs of their kids or loved ones because Apple’s cloud solution had a meltdown one day.

And I just don’t have any expectation of that not happening at some point.

During my time spent testing iCloud Photo Library I rediscovered one feature that I had actually forgotten about since the days of the iOS 7 betas. It was as feature that I never made great use of at the time because some key members of my family didn’t have iPhones, but now that they do, I decided to revisit it.

The feature I am talking about is iCloud Photo Sharing, and it’s really rather good.

Tim Cook: there is no reason why you would have to choose between privacy and security

Apple CEO Tim Cook is on the final leg of his tour of Isreal and Europe and has been speaking to UK publication The Telegraph about a range of things including Apple customers’ privacy and of all things, terrorism.

Known for his unusual stance on privacy – one which doesn’t jive with other high profile tech executives who are happy to share everything about you – Cook told the publication during an interview that he feels people’s information is being “trafficked around” in ways that they just don’t yet understand.

The case for user accounts on iOS: my two-year-old

Google just this week released iOS and Android versions of its YouTube apps that are specifically tailored for kids. On the face of it, and especially to those not in possession of a little bundle of joy or two, the move may seem a bit superfluous. If you do happen to have a two-year-old that’s obsessed with watching Thomas the Tank Engine videos though, it’ll make absolutely perfect sense.

In fact, mine loves using the iPad in general, not just for catching up on what latest shenanigans Thomas and his band of merry locomotives have managed to get themselves into. He has games that revolve around Thomas, or Peppa Pig for that matter. He likes to use the app that lets him tap parts of an image and paint it. Sort of like those felt-lined things we used to color in with markers when we were kids. Or at least we did in the UK.

Regardless of whether you had the pleasure of not having to worry about staying between the lines or not, there’s little argument that kids enjoy an iPad, and mine certainly enjoys the iPad 2. I didn’t buy it specifically for him by the way, I’m not that bad. It was handed down for his enjoyment and no doubt subsequent destruction at the hands of a cup of juice. He almost enjoys it too much, but that’s a discussion for another time.

What I want to discuss right now is the lack of user accounts on iOS devices.

Review: RHA MA750i earphones

Music can be a very personal choice, and the same goes for the hardware that we use to enjoy it.

Just take a look at the sheer number of options on the table when looking to buy a new set of earphones. Taking price out of the equation for now, it’s clear that everyone has different tastes based on what they are looking for from earphones. Do they want the best sound quality that money can buy, or do they want something with a logo on the side that is going to make them look cool in front of their mates? What about design – do they want bright colors and patterns or do they want something understated?

Since choosing earphones isn’t simply a case of picking the best sounding option at a price you can afford, just browsing the myriad of earphones on Amazon can be daunting to say the least, with many simply resorting to choosing something with a name they know or the best looking specifications. What they need is a good, solid recommendation.

So before we go any further, here it is. Buy the RHA MA750i.

You need to enable two-factor authentication everywhere right now

You just can’t take security too seriously these days, because even if you don’t think your personal information is all that interesting to others, you’re probably wrong. Whether it’s people selling your banking data or trawling your emails for ways to get into all of your social media accounts, you really don’t want anyone having access to your data when they don’t have your permission.

Recent high profile so-called hacks have highlighted the need for improved personal online security, with numerous celebrities having their personal photographs stolen and then leaked online. It transpired that the photos had been acquired via compromised iCloud accounts, and with the move to iCloud Photo Library and the soon to be released Photos app for the Mac, we’re likely to have more and more of our digital lives sat on Apple’s servers.

Throw the data Google has into the mix, especially if you use Gmail, and things can get scary, fast.

Strong passwords are obviously the way to go here, but that isn’t always going to be enough to stop bad people from doing bad things, especially if they manage to get that password via another compromised service. But you’re OK, because you don’t re-use passwords, right? Right.

Apple is right to ditch marquee features for stability and fixes

We reported a couple of days ago that Apple was set to launch iOS 9 with few, if any marquee features, instead focusing on fixing bugs and adding stability to a platform that has seen such rapid iteration over the last few years that it is almost unrecognizable from iOS 1.0. It seems, if reports are to be believed, that Apple is doubling down on stability.

And about time too.

Will you trust iCloud with your memories?

The big news around the Apple blogs right now is the arrival of the first beta of Apple’s new Photos application for the Mac. Coming as part of the OS X 10.10.3 beta of Yosemite, Photos is the long awaited replacement for the aging iPhoto and to some extent, Aperture. In a world where we create gigabytes of photos each and every year, in part thanks to our iPhones, having a way to keep those images organized is vitally important to many of us. Apple thinks Photos, in combination with iCloud, is how we’re going to do just that.

But is it right?

The iPad is a real computer

If anyone has been following along over the last few months then you’ll probably know that I’ve been having a bit of a love-in with my iPad mini. After initially suffering the same fate as my other iPads and being all but discarded after the initial novelty wore off, the iPad mini with Retina – now renamed by Apple as the iPad mini 2 – has become my main computer.

And yes, I just called the iPad a computer.

So when I started reading Federico Viticci’s iPad Air 2 review, I was already interested to read how he found the switch from an iPad mini to the iPad Air form factor. Turns out he likes it, and I find myself wondering whether my next iPad should be of the larger variety, too. I’m still not convinced, but with the Airs getting thinner and lighter and with ever decreasing bezels, it’s something worthy of serious consideration after falling in love with the mini’s super portable size.

Opinion: neither the iPad Pro nor 12-inch MacBook Air make much sense to me

There’s a lot going on at Apple right now. Record quarters aside, there is a lot to be hopeful for as 2015 gets into full swing, and not just because the fabled Apple Watch is finally on the horizon. If the rumors are to be believed we could see both the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air some time in the next eleven months, and both have plenty of people excited.

The iPad Pro story is one that has gone on for years now, and with photos of supposed parts for the new tablet starting to crop up, it’s looking more and more likely that not only is the thing real, but it’s not too far away either.

The same can be said about the 12-inch MacBook Air. Again, photographs of what it is claimed are parts for the unannounced product have started to circulate around the internet, and the noises that it might only have one USB Type-C connector rather than a MagSafe for power have meant that there have been plenty of column inches and podcast hours afforded to the subject.

But what is all the excitement really about, and more importantly, is it justified?