Posts with tag ios
Phones, Macs, and Watches - oh my
I’m a procrastinator. I have a tendency to wait until the very last minute to do anything, including publish these sort of What to Realistically Expect stories. Finally, my infliction has paid off – if I had written this even just last week, I would have jotted down new Apple TV hardware and software as a stone cold sure thing. Yet according to the ever reliable Brian X. Chen, Apple threw away plans to announce new Apple TV hardware and a cohesive developer ecosystem at WWDC at the very last minute because “the product was not ready for prime time”.
Given that I’m an avid user of the current iteration of Apple TV (I stream all my nightly television from there), I’m bummed to see this cut. I was hoping this would be when the Apple TV truly grew up and became a major player in the Apple line-up. Alas.
Time is short and things run behind schedule, and so it goes. There’s always September.
And in the spirit of that, we’re still on the verge of an entire week’s worth of new Apple products, platforms, and goodies. The Apple TV may not be there, but there’s still plenty left to cover. Here’s what you can realistically expect at WWDC 2015, starting tomorrow, June 8th.
Let’s, just this once, take some wild guesses.
Given the imminent release of the Apple Watch – come on, that can’t be a spoiler at this point – it’s all too appropriate to compare Apple to the clock. Like the clock we all live by day in and day out, Apple observes a fairly strict set of cycles and patterns. Springtime is quiet time, with all the cooks busy in the kitchen preparing the second half of the year’s goodies. With June comes WWDC, Apple’s first big event, alongside Mac notebook hardware and new major versions of iOS and OS X. Then September – iPhone time – and finally late October, the iPad.
This year had to be different. When Apple announced the Apple Watch at last September’s media event, it was also announcing its first new product category since the iPad in 2010. It was announcing a product unlike one ever to come out of Apple; intimately customizable, from watch face to watch band to watch price. Are you in the market for the potentially five figure Apple Watch Edition, by any chance?
The Apple Watch makes predicting Monday’s event impossible. Traditionally, anybody who knew how to read Apple’s product release cycle and what type of product they traditionally released could make fairly accurate predictions on what to expect – it’s why we’ve been correct in all but one of our nearly twenty predictions thus far. This time, the only thing we can know for sure is that the Apple Watch is coming. Everything else?
Let’s, just this once, take some wild guesses.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming industry events. This Monday’s event promises to be one of the largest Apple events in recent memory, making this one of the most difficult – and interesting – events to predict. Read more to hear what we think.
Bringing Smart Homes to life
I’ve been a fan of the Smart Home concept since I first saw the American classic movie “Smart House” by the Disney Channel, which means I’ve been waiting to talk to a robot house for the last 15 years. Finally, my time as come, and it figures it would be in part thanks to Apple to lead the charge; though Apple may not actually have any sort of presence at CES 2015, hardware supporting their HomeKit smart home ecosystem is absolutely everywhere.
iHome, manufacturer of an absolutely endless line of portable speaker systems that work well with iPhones, iPods, and iPads, came to CES with their first HomeKit accessory, the $40 SmartPlug. SmartPlug works as an intermediary between the electrical outlets in your house and whatever you plug into the wall, allowing you to turn nearly every piece of electronics in your house on and off, right from your iOS device. It even supports Siri, so if you’re really lazy, you could just say “Hey Siri, turn on my lamp,” and poof – lamp is on.
There’s also Switch by accessory manufacturer iDevice, another device that plugs into your wall outlets and devices to do the same. iDevice’s accompanying application allows you to set “schedules”, which work as advanced timers. Know you get home from the library at 3:00 PM every day? Switch will remember to turn on the lights before you even get home.
Next up – and most ambitiously – there’s the Elgato Eve, a complete line of HomeKit connected devices and sensors that do everything from determine how energy efficient your home is to the amount of water you consume in a given timeframe, to automatically turning the lights on and off like the aforementioned devices, and even the weather both in and outside your house. Elgato’s Eve iOS application then puts all of this data together to give you a ridiculously specific idea of every element of your living environment.
While Apple has yet to officially launch HomeKit, and none of these devices have hit the market just yet, CES 2015 is the sign we needed that smart homes will finally become a real, honest to goodness thing this year. While we may be a little while away from talking to a holographic avatar representing your house complete with a unique, crazed personality – especially one with the likeness of famous actress Katey Sagal – I think this is close enough to count. Welcome to the future!
If you could even call it an iPad mini 3
At Apple’s usual October event held in Cupertino yesterday, Apple announced their new lineup of iPad tablets, including the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. Starting first and foremost with the significantly updated iPar Air 2, Apple’s 10-inch flagship tablet, the Air 2 gains both new internals as well as a redesigned exterior. The new full sized iPad is now significantly thinner than last year’s iPad Air, which already clocked in at just about half the width ads the previous, fourth-generation iPad.
Apple liked to say that the original iPad Air was as thin as a pencil, and now the company is really driving that home with the marketing of the new iPad Air 2. By using a pencil with just amount a third of it removed with a laser in an introduction video played at the event, Apple shows exactly how thin this new iPad is. And yet, despite all the design improvements, the new iPad features an all new A8X SoC, which pairs the improved computing power of the A8 – which launched alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last month – with an even beefier graphics processor. Given that the iPad Air 2 has the same HiDPI 2048 x 1536 display as its predecessors leading back to the iPad 3, this should result in better gaming performance. The iPad Air 2 also now includes Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint recognition technology that launched alongside the iPhone 5s last year. The iPad Air 2 is available for pre-order now in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB options in Space Gray, Silver, and the new Gold – all available in both Wi-Fi and LTE models.
The iPad mini 3, meanwhile, saw somewhat less of an update – in fact, it’s almost shameful that Apple is choosing to market the iPad mini 3 as a separate product at all. While the Air 2 gets improved internals and a new design, the mini 3 uses both the same design and the same A7 SoC found in the iPad mini with Retina Display (now dubbed the iPad mini 2). Literally the only addition here comes in the form of Touch ID and the new gold color. And for your trouble, Apple will also now charge you $399 for the iPad mini 3 – a $100 premium on top of the nearly identical iPad mini 2, which is now available unchanged for $299. The iPad mini 3 is available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB options – all available in, you guessed it, Wi-Fi and LTE models.
Bigger than better?
The iPhone 6 Plus is a jumbo, comically huge smartphone. If Apple’s product portfolio were a clown outfit, the iPhone 6 Plus would be the bright red, obnoxious oversized shoes. It doesn’t fit in some front pockets, it sticks out of nearly everyone’s back pockets, and people will notice it and it will illicit reactions, at least while it’s still new and kind of foreign looking.
In fact, I would say that the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than I expected. I’m even one of those guys who went ahead and made scale paper cutouts of each size iPhone 6. It’s certainly a larger smartphone than I ever expected to own, and the size did come as a bit of a shock at first. But once you get past the sheer largeness of the 6 Plus, you can begin to evaluate it on better merits- ones not impeded by the initial “oh my God this is ridiculously large”. After a couple of weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I think I have enough familiarity to say some things with certainty. This is the official Haverzine iPhone 6 Plus review.
Read more to hear my take on Apple’s ginormous, huge iPhone 6 Plus.
Just say no!
Well, this isn’t good. Hopefully you caught our update to today’s iOS 8.0.1 announcement post, but if you haven’t, we’ll say it again to save you and your precious iDevice any pain and suffering. Reports are flooding in that iOS 8.0.1 basically destroys your iPhone, completely breaking cellular connectivity as well as Touch ID on compatible devices.
Apple has yet to pull the update on affected devices, so you’re still free to update if you so choose – but don’t. Seriously, you really shouldn’t. Apple will likely upload a fixed version shortly, and until then it’s better to sit this one out and wait. If it’s too late, you might want to look into downgrading to iOS 8.0.0 or iOS 7.1.2 while you still can.
Update 09/24/14 @ 2:10 PM EST: It appears that these issues are limited to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, however it would still be wise to hold out updating no matter what model you have until Apple clears this mess up.
Bug fixes ahoy!
Mere days after releasing the initial build of iOS 8.0 to the public, Apple has already released a minor update aimed squarely at squashing some pesky bugs. Dubbed iOS 8.0.1, the new version’s build number is 12A402 and is currently propagating through Apple’s servers and will shortly be available to all compatible devices.
iOS 8.0.1 features bug fixes for HealthKit, third party keyboards, the built in Photo application, Reachability, SMS/MMS messages, In-App purchases, iCloud, and Safari. It weighs in at under 100 MB for seemingly all devices. It is compatible with the iPhone 4s and up (including the newly release iPhone 6 series), the iPad 2 and up, the latest generation iPod touch, and the first generation iPad mini and up.
Update 09/24/14 @ 1:35 PM EST: You might want to hold off on pressing the “Update” button, iOS users, for it appears that a not small group of people are reporting some pretty serious issues with the update, including completely broken Touch ID functionality and an issue connecting to cellular networks. Abort! Abort!
Two iPhones, an iWatch, and a USB cable walk into a bar...
It’s almost here. Tomorrow, Apple is holding its first big special event of the year (excluding WWDC) – and we’re expecting it to be quite the doozy. Apple is certainly going to be using the event to launch its upcoming iPhone lineup, but what else could be in the pipeline? Last year around this time Apple announced not one, but two new iPhones alongside the announcement of the final build of iOS 7, and we’re expecting an equally – if not more – impressive showing this time around. So without further ado, this is what you can realistically expect at Apple’s special event tomorrow. No bullshit, just the good stuff.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming Apple events. We’ve got a pretty good track record here, with only one small miss with our iPhone 5s/5c event predictions. Read on to hear today’s expectations.
But not for the reasons you may think
You’re reading the headline right now and I bet I know what you’re thinking – this guy, he’s an Apple fanboy. He’s gotta be. I’m sitting here writing an article about why my switch to Android didn’t work out, after all. You’re probably betting that I’m sitting here with an iPhone next to me right now – and guess what, you’re absolutely right. But before I even start the meat of this article, I want to clear the air – I’m not back on my iPhone because I dislike Android. I didn’t even particularly dislike the Nexus 5 I was switching to. On the contrary, I quite liked both Android and the Nexus 5. So why am I back on my iPhone?
It turns out, the reason I went back is because at the end of the day – iPhone, Android, whatever – switching to Android just didn’t matter. It made nearly no tangible difference to my daily routines. Sure, there were some minor inconveniences – I missed iMessage terribly, and I couldn’t find an official version of the just fantastic TwoDots game on the Google Play Store. But really, for the most part, I couldn’t find a single tangible difference in the way I used iOS and Android.
Using Android was, to be honest, entirely enjoyable. Android is no longer the poorly designed mess that it was back when I last tried out the platform for real back in the Gingerbread days (over two years ago, for you non-geeky types). There’s an app for just about everything I wanted – Google Chrome is an excellent mobile browser, easily just as good as Safari on iOS 7. The camera on my Nexus 5 was fine – not iPhone 5s good, as I’m accustomed to, but certainly not bad in any sense of the world. Integration with Google Hangouts was beneficial, and I actually really liked the way that Facebook Chat Heads worked on Android – in fact, I wish Apple would let Chat Heads float above running applications and the home screen on iOS as they work on Android. While switching to Android, literally everything was fine or even great.
So why did I switch back to my iPhone? If I found my experience using Android just as good as my iPhone, why switching back? For me, it just turned out to make slightly more sense given my personal situation. The vast majority of my contacts use iPhones, so everyone I’m talking to just about is through iMessage when on my iMessage. Not a huge benefit over SMS in and of itself, but when you factor in the ability to chat with people via Mac and iPad – both of which I have and use regularly – that’s a huge plus on behalf of the iPhone. Then there’s the fact that the iPhone has a slightly better camera, I’ve put a ton of money into purchasing apps on the App Store, most of my music has been bought through iTunes, and even my iCloud calendars.
So that’s why I went back to my iPhone. Not because Android is bad – on the contrary, I enjoyed my time on Android. But just because it didn’t offer me anything significantly good enough to pull me away from my years of iPhone use. Proponents of Android will say that customization and extensibility of Android is a huge plus, but to be honest, I tried a bunch of different keyboards, launchers, etc. etc – and I went back to the stock Android setup every single time.
Oh, but lest I forget – I am super pumped about the thought of a Swype-like keyboard being available on iOS 8.
Hath Hell frozen over?
Steve Jobs didn’t quite care for IBM back in the 1980s, but that means nothing today as both Apple and IBM have announced a new global partnership to “transform enterprise mobility”. According to a joint press release published just a few minutes ago, the companies claims that the new partnership aims to “redefine” the way businesses get work done, as well as address key challenges in the mobile enterprise category.
The centerpiece of the deal appears to be a new lineup of enterprise mobility applications powered by IBM’s “big data and analytics capabilities” coming soon to the iPhone and the iPad, as well as bringing IBM’s cloud services to the platform allowing for device management and security. Apple will also be beefing up their AppleCare service and support to meet “the needs of the enterprise.”
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had the following to say about the news, “iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today… for the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”
The two companies are calling all of this IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions, and it will “totally transform how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and consumer satisfaction” – all according to the press release, of course.
No word yet when we’ll see all of this in action, however Apple does note in the press release that iOS 8 will improve enterprise support over previous releases of the software by “improving of the way users are informed of how their devices are configured, managed, or restricted, with expanded security management and productivity features.” iOS 8 was, of course, announced at Apple’s WWDC conference in San Francisco just a few short weeks ago.
We have published to Apple and IBM’s full press release after the break.
It's early, but it works
A couple of days ago we reported that popular iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith had uncovered evidence that iOS 8 beta build released at WWDC last week does indeed include the ability to split-screen multitask applications on compatible devices (note: iPads), despite a lack of confirmation from Apple itself nor any obvious way to enable the functionality. But today we’re getting our first look at the functionality as Mr. Troughton-Smith has managed to unlock the hidden capability, posting a video of what it looks like on YouTube.
The video, seen above, was captured from Mr. Troughton-Smith’s Macintosh Mac and enabled on iOS 8 beta 1 running on the iOS Simulator – that means to say, not honest to goodness iPad hardware just yet. What we’re looking at here is an incredibly early look at a clearly unfinished feature.
Apple likely never intended for us to know this was in the works just yet, as it appears that the feature is still fairly early in development. In the video, we see Safari running on a simulated version of the iPad hardware being dynamically resized via a two-finger swipe gesture.
As for how he did it, Steven tweeted the following: “I had to byte-patch UIKit to turn that on. It checks for an Internal install and also the titular plist key in com.apple.UIKit.”
Source: Steven Troughton-Smith (YouTube)
The rumors were true... kind of
Going into WWDC last week, one of the biggest rumors regarding what to expect in iOS 8 included Split-Screen Multitasking support on the iPad, a la how Microsoft multitasks applications on Windows 8.1 and Windows RT. Though we didn’t expect to see such a feature going into WWDC – and indeed, Apple hasn’t mentioned the inclusion of such functionality nor does it seem to be present on iOS 8 Beta 1, enterprising developer Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered that iOS 8 beta 1’s application launcher actually does include hidden support for split-screen multitasking, specifically allowing users to run two applications on the screen at once in multiple sizes – 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4.
Though the functionality appears to be disabled at the moment, that means that Apple actually is considering launching support for the feature at some point in the future, likely sooner rather than later. It isn’t at the moment directly obvious if such functionality will make it into the final iOS 8 release, or if Apple is saving it for a future release, such as iOS 8.1 – and that’s if it’ll make it at all.
Split-Screen Multitasking would likely be limited to the iPad Air initially, however Apple is rumored to be launching a so called iPad Pro option which would be the perfect fit for such a feature. Due to the smaller screen size, it seems somewhat less like that Apple would be bringing the functionality to the company’s iPad mini line of devices.
No word yet on if there’s any way to unlock this hidden nugget of functionality, but if there is we’ll let you know.