Tag Archives: iOS

AirPods availability improves, HomeKit door latch, iOS11 Control Center, blocking unwanted calls

(Screenshot from Apple’s AirPods page)

AirPods ship times drop to 2-3 weeks from Apple amid immediate availability from resellers — AirPods ship times from Apple’s online store have dropped below one month for the first time since the popular headphones debuted more than eight months ago, though third-party resellers have stock available for immediate purchase. They cost NZ$159.

Apple alumni reveal HomeKit-compatible Latch C smart lock for business, apartments — Smart lock startup company Latch has unveiled the enterprise and apartment-oriented Latch C – its first smart lock certified to work with HomeKit. According to the company, the Latch C is the first “enterprise-certified” smart lock for HomeKit. The lock includes wi-fi, Bluetooth, and near-field communication for unlocking, and a wide-angle camera and a touchscreen. A conventional keyhole allows for physical access as well. [What happens when you get home and your iPhone is out of charge?]

Videos in iOS 11 beta show alternate Control Center, app switcher gestures on iPhone without Touch ID — A pair of tutorial videos found in Apple’s latest iOS 11 beta release depict what appears to be an alternate Control Center interface and app switcher swipe gestures never before previewed.

A bit radical perhaps, but here’s how to block all calls on your iPhone except those from your contacts — The Do Not Disturb feature Apple introduced a few releases of iOS ago lets you suppress most notifications, sounds, texts, and calls. However, you can choose to let certain things bypass that mode.

Apple Pay top, making the most of iPhone storage, iTunes U to migrate, Alpine’s iLX-107 wireless CarPlay, Footprint Diet by Nutrino

FoodPrint Diet by Nutrino assists diabetics manage their blood sugar

Apple Pay is the most tried and most used mobile wallet — The percentage of global point of sale transactions occurring through contactless payments accounted for about 15% of transactions this year, and will grow to 53% within five years, according to a new POS [point-of-sale] study from Juniper Research. Apple Pay had the highest usage rate among those who could use contactless payment for a transaction.

Making the most of your iPhone storage space — Apple offers a couple of great ways to make the most of your iPad or iPhone storage space.

Latest tvOS 11 beta points to HDR-equipped ‘J105a’ model for Apple TV — Further backing the impending arrival of a new Apple TV, the seventh tvOS 11 beta, released on Monday, makes references to a “J105a” model with support for HDR (high dynamic range). Apple likewise appears to be upgrading videos on the iTunes Store —a necessity if the company doesn’t want people viewing movies and TV solely through third-party services like Netflix or Vudu.

iTunes U Collections migrating to Apple Podcasts app in September — Apple is preparing to migrate iTunes U Collections from the iTunes U app to Apple Podcasts, with a warning to educational institutions advising the change will take place in September as part of the release of iTunes 12.7.

Alpine’s iLX-107 is the first, and best, aftermarket wireless CarPlay receiver — Alpine’s newly released iLX-107 is the first infotainment system to boast wireless CarPlay compatibility, allowing users to listen to tunes, navigate, interact with Siri and more without a Lightning cable. AppleInsider went hands-on with the receiver and came away greatly impressed.

FoodPrint Diet by Nutrino assists diabetics manage their blood sugar — Reach your health and fitness goals with your own personal diet and weight loss plan. Nutrino is the only app that gives you personalized meal suggestions. No pre-made meal plans. Nutrino’s suggestions are based on your tastes, health and fitness goals, other dietary needs, and even your physical activity throughout the day: allergies,  special diets, vegan or vegetarian …
Nutrino’s FoodPrint app connects diet, fitness and food, so diabetics can easily access their data from any activity tracker and management tool into one easy to use location. Nutrino has the ability to connect to Google Fit, RunKeeper, Moves, Jawbone, Withings, and Fitbit and draw the most important information automatically, enabling diabetics to live their lives as simply as non-diabetics. It’s a free app.

Tuesday Talk ~ Augmenting this reality

NZ developers Quiver created this tech that brings things alive on physical colouring pages

The problem with Augmented Reality is, simply put, processing power, but this is something all smart and tablet devices are steadily overcoming. That said, even ten years ago there were some genuinely interesting and effective examples of augmented reality. Indeed, it was the buzz back then, but what happened? Pokémon Go, if anything, is what put it back on the table.

Apple is taking it really seriously now, too, with the release of ARKit, which helps developers create augmented reality apps. Augmented reality places extra content over an overlay usually served by the device’s camera: hold your phone up, for example, over a street scene and see additional information overlaid, or a historic site as it looked in the 1880s. Or try new furniture in your own lounge, or impose fantastical storylines on existing scenes, or play dress-ups. Once again, apps like these were available ten years ago already. But releasing ARKit really boots along the whole franchise. New Zealand companies have long been strong in this realm too, for example Quiver which has been making strong, effective AR content from long before ARKit arrived.
(If you want to see if you can run ARKit on your device, here’s a list.)

Apple has made other interesting forays too, of course. Another developer kit is HomeKit, and we saw HomePod announced at WWDC. This little round speaker is easy to write off as ‘just another’ networked speaker, but we won’t really know its full potential until it’s released, of course. But what it will actually do is enable all your Apple devices: your iPads, iPhone, Watch and Mac, to be expressed audibly, tying them all together in useful ways. HomePod will also connect to door chimes, thermostats, garage doors, air conditioners, electrical outlets and more. Literally, you could soon be controlling everything you interact with via your iPhone in your pockets, and you may be able to say things like ‘Open front door’ to your HomePod as well. Perhaps most interestingly, HomePod will work with energy management technologies: imagine a future where your solar roof panels power all these devices and you interact with them via HomePod, including managing your Apple home battery (Tesla has already entered this field – a home battery stores the day’s solar energy so you can use it at night, and not just when the sun is shining).

So, what about Artificial Intelligence? A cuddly pod we can all understand: talk to it, and it responds, and plays music … Artificial Intelligence is another story. You know, it’s intelligent. I have always imagined, thanks to a steady diet of sci-fi growing up, that if anything with any power had the same or better intelligence the us, it would (very sensibly) want to get rid of us. Look at us! We’re idiots. We’re wrecking our home planet and voting for even worse idiots than us.

Am I being crazy? Facebook’s AI program developed its own language, and humans couldn’t understand it. This all went a bit sideways when Facebook’s scientists and engineers realized they couldn’t understand their own chatbots. So Facebook had to shut them down. Yikes!

New iPad ads, colours killed off, Secure Enclave hack, ARKit-supporting iDevices

Apple promotes iOS 11 for iPad in new ad series — Apple has published a series of six iPad commercials to its official YouTube channel, focusing on the new capabilities iOS 11 is set to deliver to tablet users this fall. The iPad spots are basically promotional content disguised as explainer videos. [There’s a pretty good explanation of how the file browser will work.]

Apple silently kills off some colours for iPhone, iPad & Apple Watch accessories — A variety of colours for official Apple accessories are reportedly vanishing from the company’s online and retail stores, suggesting Apple is phasing out some options, and/or allowing stocks to deplete before new devices arrive this fall.

Everything you need to know about the Apple Secure Enclave hack — Last week, a hacker by the name ‘xerub’ released a decryption key for Apple’s Secure Enclave Processor (SEP). This sparked fears that iPhone encryption has been compromised. It hasn’t, but there has been – as iMore puts it – fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding the issue. Here is everything we know about the Secure Enclave hack, and what it means for the security of the iPhone.
First, the iPhone’s encryption is as strong as it’s ever been. This hack doesn’t mean hackers can break into your iPhone or iPad and steal your data. The Secure Enclave is a coprocessor included in the Apple S2, A7, and later A-series chips, and was introduced in 2013 along with TouchID in the iPhone 5s. The SEP includes encrypted memory, as well as a hardware random number generator. It’s used as part of the secure boot process, and it’s responsible for processing your fingerprint data from the TouchID sensor, as well as keeping Health data and Apple Pay financial data safe. In short, it’s a very important part of hardware security architecture for Apple’s devices.
The Secure Enclave is isolated from the rest of the system. It’s like having a house where the windows are blacked out. The decryption means that now we can look through the windows, but we still can’t get in. And the decryption only works on the iPhone 5s, although it’s possible the code could be modified for other models.

Here are the iPhones and iPads that Support iOS 11 ARKit — When Apple showed off iOS 11 at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this year one of the standout features was ARKit. Powerful augmented reality in the palm of our hand is pretty compelling, but it isn’t for all iOS 11-capable devices. Read on to see which iPhones and iPads support ARKit.

Touch ID Encryption key, new security features in iOS 11 and screen inversion

Encryption key for iPhone 5s Touch ID exposed, opens door to further research — Just prior to a hacker’s conference, a participant has revealed that the iPhone 5s Secure Enclave has been hacked, and the decryption key for it has been revealed. However, at present, there is nothing for iPhone users immediately worry about.

New security feature in iOS 11 will allow users to temporarily disable Touch ID, quickly call 911 — The latest beta release of iOS 11 includes a new security feature, with a few button presses making it impossible to unlock your phone with Touch ID, as well as giving a quick option to dial 911. Here’s how to use it. iOS 11 will also introduce a new Smart Invert viewing mode, which you can see in this video. It intelligently inverts all screen colours except for those in displayed media, such as photos, videos, and icons. The feature might be used to extend battery life on an upcoming OLED-equipped ‘iPhone 8.’

World’s most popular smartphones. Beijing transit blow, avoid iMessage scam, Cypress iCloud, Apple Pay extended

Apple’s iPhone 7 & 7 Plus top Q2 smartphone market, beating Samsung’s Galaxy S8 — The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus held on as the world’s most popular smartphones in the June quarter, according to research data published on Wednesday, handily relegating Samsung’s newer Galaxy S8 flagship to third place.

Apple was just shut out from Beijing public transportation mobile fares — Apple continues to face difficulties in China, as the company’s iPhone just got shut out of mobile payments for Beijing’s public transportation system. Yikatong, the payment card operator for that system, just launched an Android-only app for paying for fares and no plans for an iPhone app have been announced.

A new iMessage scam is going around; here’s how to protect yourself — A new iMessage scam has been going around in which the scammer sends a message with a URL, which is a malicious link that sends you to a fake website. This is called a phishing attack, and aside from not tapping on that link, there might be something else you can do.  A contact called ‘iMessage’sends people an SMS message that says: “Your iPhoneID is due to expire today. Tap <link> to update and prevent loss of services and apps.”
There is no such thing as an ‘iPhoneID’ of course, but some Apple customers may not know that. Additionally, Apple doesn’t text people with this sort of warning. The company has a support page in place for just this situation.

Cypress ads iCloud support to its IoT development platform — Cypress Semiconductor Corporation specialises in wireless connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT. Cypress has announced an updated version of its turnkey development platform for the IoT that simplifies the integration of wireless connectivity into smart home applications.

Apple Pay expands to 22 US banks, institutions in Russia, China and more — Apple this week updated its Apple Pay availability website for the second time in August, noting additional support has rolled out

Popin the service’s domestic US market, as well as in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Russia and the UK.

iOS Public Beta 5, locking down AirDrop, ARKit demos

Mac Observer has placed all the Apple ARKIt demos it can find in one YouTube List

Apple releases iOS 11 Public Beta 5, speeding up the release cycle — Apple has released iOS 11 Public Beta 5. Mac Observer noted earlier that Apple released developer betas just one week after the last developer betas. That, plus a same-day release of a new public beta shows that Apple is speeding up its release cycle. Apple release iOS 11 Public Beta 4 last Tuesday, just six days before.

How to secure AirDrop on your iPhone to prevent unwanted photos — Reports have circulated that miscreants are sending unsolicited, inappropriate images to people in US public venues. While Apple’s default settings prevent this, AppleInsider shows you how to check the setting, and lock it down, if you’ve changed it for some reason.

Watch lots of ARKit Demos in one place — ARKit, Apple’s answer to augmented reality (AR) on iOS, has become tremendously popular already. Folks have posted quite a few ARKit demos on YouTube since Apple’s announcement of of the software development kit at WWDC 2017. Mac Observer will add to it as more ARKit demonstrations come on our radar.

High-tech iDevice guitar, Smart Connectors, Sony CarPlay, Apple and Aetna

Self-contained, Smart Fusion guitar launches with iPhone/iPad integration — The line of US$1399 Fusion Guitars are now available online to musicians in the US. Billed as “the world’s most advanced electric guitar” they allow musicians to unplug, learn and create music just about anywhere. Incorporating a built-in amp, speakers and iPhone integration for access to tones, guitar effects and apps, these next generation musical instruments have lots of features. [Not exactly slim-line, though…]

Apple says more Smart Connector products for iPad Pro are coming — A recent conversation with manufacturers mostly points the finger at Apple for slow rollout of Smart Connector peripherals, but Apple itself says that vendors have products in the pipeline using the technology.
Apple’s Smart Connector debuted with the iPad Pro in the fall of 2015. At present, the connector is seen on the entire iPad Pro line, including the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. It has yet to debut on the iPhone, despite being rumored for inclusion in the iPhone 7.
The only peripherals for it at present are made by Apple itself, or Logitech.

Upcoming Sony in-car audio systems will support Apple CarPlay — Sony Electronics has announced its XAV-AX200 and MEX-GS820BT in-car audio systems, which include support for Apple’s CarPlay. Both will be available by year’s end, but pricing hasn’t been announced.

Apple, Aetna, major hospital chains allegedly teaming up for customer discounts on Apple Watch — Apple reportedly held a number of discussions with Aetna in the beginning of August to see how to best bring the Apple Watch to the 23 million customers of the insurer.

More about coming iOS 11, AirPods control expanding, silent song successfully expresses frustration, Watch GoT heart rate spikes

How to use Apple’s native Screen Recording feature in iOS 11 — One potentially useful feature coming to this next iOS 11 is a native Screen Recording option on the iPhone and iPad. Here’s how you will be able to make use of it, including embedding results into a video.

Also in iOS 11, AirPods controls will expand with separate left/right earpiece taps, skip track ability — Apple’s AirPods are currently limited to a trio of controls on both earpieces, but their functionality will be greatly enhanced this southern spring (northern autumn) with the release of iOS 11, giving users the ability to give each wireless pod a separate, customizable function with a double tap.

Song meant to spoof car audio systems climbs into top 50 on Apple’s iTunes charts — A track consisting of nothing but 9 minutes and 58 seconds of silence is currently sitting at 49th place in Apple’s iTunes charts, apparently out of frustration with the way many car audio systems work. Called A a a a a Very Good Song, the NZ$.1.79/US99-cent track released by Samir Mezrahi copes with the fact that many audio systems will simply play tracks in alphabetical order whenever an iPhone connects via USB. [The lyrics are very meaningful. Well, at least as meaningful as most of the crap available, anyway, while being easier to listen to.]

Apple Watch app tracks viewer heart rate spikes during Game of Thrones Fans of the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones are more excited by dialogue than by action scenes, according to a study by heart monitoring app Cardiogram of Apple Watch users. Four out of the top five scenes to cause high pulse rates in viewers centred around drama between characters, rather than violence, the Cardiogram app found. [I find that strangely encouraging!]

Five Tip Friday ~ for iOS and Apple Watch

1/ Change the Playlist pictures in iOS Music — By default, playlists within the Music app use the albums’ artwork as their identifying image. But you can take a picture to use or grab one from your Photos library: here’s how on iPhone/iPad.
Open the Music app, and then click on the Library tab to visit the Playlists section.
Touch the one you’d like to change the picture on, and tap the Edit button at top right on the subsequent screen.
In this editing mode, you’ll see a small photo icon appear on the playlist’s image at top left – tap that.
You’ll be given an option to either take a photo or choose one from your library.Choose, or take, and tap Done to finish the job.
The change will sync to your other devices if you’re using iCloud Music Library. Cool, right?

2/ Use your Apple Watch to auto unlock your Mac — Apple added a feature in macOS Sierra and watchOS 3 called Auto Unlock. This lets you automatically unlock your Mac by waking it up. It’s handy to use and easy to set up if you have an Apple Watch running watchOS 3 and a mid-2013 or newer Mac running macOS Sierra 10.2 or newer.
First you’ll need to set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, as this doesn’t work with two-step verification. Apple has a support page to switch from verification to authentication (Mac Observer has an article on setting up 2FA here).
Once that’s set up, turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your Mac. You’ll also need to be signed into your Watch and Mac with the same Apple ID and your Mac can’t be using Internet Sharing. Check to make sure in System Preferences > Sharing. Next, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
Both your Mac and Apple Watch need to be set up with a passcode. On your Watch, go to Settings > Passcode > Turn Passcode On. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Change Password.
Now on your Mc, click on the Apple icon () in the upper left corner of your screen.
Click System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.
Check the box next to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.
It will take a couple of seconds to activate. Now, the next time you need to wake up your Mac, Apple Watch auto unlock will automatically unlock it. It’s just magic.

3/ Ditch the Honeycomb App Grid in watchOS 4 — Along with the Developer Beta 1 of iOS 11, Apple also recently released the first preview version of watchOS 4. This developer beta (so still not generally available to everyone) brings some under-the-hood enhancements, new watch faces and more intelligence and fitness features. It also includes something that wasn’t announced – you can now ditch the awkward honeycomb app grid and instead get a list of your installed apps:
Press the Digital Crown to get to your Apple Watch Home screen. Then, Force Touch the screen and a brand new configuration panel shows up.
Choose between grid view or list view.
Once you’ve made the switch, you can scroll normally through your apps in a list, sorted alphabetically. You can also rotate the Digital Crown to move through your apps, which are sorted alphabetically.
There isn’t any way to rearrange your apps in List View, at least for now. Bear in mind, though, this is still only Developer Beta 1 of watchOS 4 so more changes may be yet to come in future beta versions of the wearable operating system. The developer beta is available now, and the full release is expected in northern autumn 2017.
(It’s also worth noting that watchOS 4 will leave some iPhone owners out in the cold. It requires a paired iPhone 5S or later with iOS 11 to download and install. This is because Apple has removed 32-bit device support in iOS 11. Devices like the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5C are only 32-bit devices, so they aren’t supported by the latest version of the operating system.)

4/ iMazing — You know how getting files off an iPhone or iPad onto a Mac can be a mission, mostly because AirDrop only works sometimes? An app for macOS called iMazing changes all that. It’s not cheap though: a single license for iMazing costs US$39.99, a universal license is US$49.99, or you can get five licenses US$69.99 (for both Windows and Mac). all you need to do to unleash this power is plug your iPhone/iPad into your Mac with the charge cable (since it’s USB at the end that goes into the power charger). For example, via iTunes, it’s easy to transfer music from Mac to iPhone or iPad. What if you want to export tracks off your iOS device? That’s not possible in iTunes, but it’s a snap with iMazing: select the media files you want, whether they’re songs, movies, TV shows, podcasts, or audiobooks, then click Export to Folder, and iMazing will happily transfer them to your hard drive. It’s even smart about it, recognising the tracks you already have in iTunes and leaving them alone.

5/ Archive and even print Messages — If you want to save your text messages and iMessage conversations to your desktop, or even print them, with iMazing you can. It doesn’t matter if you want a PDF, text document, comma-separated values (CSV, like a spreadsheet) file, or a full printout of your messages, this app can handle it. You can also export attachments separately, for those times when you want to get a bunch of images out of your text message history.

There’s lots more about this app at Mac Observer.

Portrait mode, Titanfall Assault, Ristar, AirPlay 2, Wicked Brainstorm allows brainstorming within Messages

Apple’s Portrait Mode in iPhone 7 Plus and iOS 11 exits beta, allows effect to be turned off after the fact — In the latest iOS 11 beta, Apple has taken the Portrait Mode camera setting out of beta, and has altered how the camera roll handles the pictures to allow for the effect to be removed from a picture using it at any time.

Titanfall: Assault real-time strategy title lands on iPhone, Sega Forever drive expands with Ristar — Two major titles have arrived on iPhone and iPad as free-to-play titles this week, with Nexon’s Titanfall: Assault introducing real time strategy to the battlefield-based franchise, while Ristar has been ported to iOS a full 22 years after its first release on the Sega Genesis.

Watch: AirPlay 2 delivers speaker integration with HomeKit, Siri support, more — When iOS 11 launches this fall, Apple will roll out a revamped version of its AirPlay protocol featuring speaker support for HomeKit, multi-room audio, shared up-next playlists, Siri integration and more, as you can see in the video at this link.

Wicked Brainstorm lets you brainstorm up a storm in iOS Message — It can be very handy to be able to brainstorm with folks. However, it hasn’t been practical using Messages on your iPhone or iPad.
Now it is, thanks to Wicked Brainstorm. Before using the app, brainstorming buddies would see all ideas mixed in with every other text message. With Wicked Brainstorm, those ideas are gathered together, yet still kept within Messages. When you’re done, you can turn the brainstormed list into a checklist and even vote as a group on the best ideas. It’s a free app, too.


Unreal for ARKit in iOS 11, Carpool Karaoke, Kanex GoPlay uses Lightning, 4K and TV terminology

Unreal Engine updated with preliminary support for Apple’s ARKit in iOS 11 — The new version of Epic’s Unreal Engine provides basic ARKit support for iOS, developed in collaboration with Peter Jackson’s Wingnut AR.
The updated version of Unreal Engine, version 4.17, was released on Monday. Alongside improvements in virtual reality creation and presentation, the update includes an “early, experimental” implementation of Apple’s ARKit.

Apple’s Carpool Karaoke: The Series now available for streaming on Apple Music — As promised, Apple on Tuesday released the first episode of Carpool Karaoke: The Series to Apple Music subscribers, the firm’s second attempt at original episodic programming.
Karaoke’s 16 episodes are slated to feature a laundry list of celebrities including Metallica, Shaquille O’Neal, John Legend, John Cena, Ariana Grande, Game of Thrones co-stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, the Cyrus family, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Joe Jonas, Ice Cube and more.

Kanex GoPlay Sidekick pocketable MFi gaming controller recharges via Apple’s Lightning cable — The new Kanex GoPlay Sidekick is the second Made for iPhone gaming controller on the market to feature a licensed Apple Lightning port. But it stands out from the competition with an ultraportable design and carrying case that doubles as an iPhone stand.

Apple TV, 4K Mania: HDR10, Dolby Vision & HLG Explained — Now that we’re fairly certain Apple is planning a 5th generation 4K Apple TV, it may be time to brush up on some terminology.

New Betas, iOS 11 Beta 4 changes

Fourth public betas of iOS 11, tvOS 11 — Apple has issued a fourth public beta of iOS 11, available to anyone with a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Also out are fourth public betas of tvOS 11 for the Apple TV. The iOS 11 update should be an over-the-air download for users of the third public beta, or available fresh by enrolling in Apple’s Beta Software Program. As with the fifth developer seed, the Messages in iCloud feature, which syncs conversations between devices, should be missing, but Apple has promised to restore it in a later update.

Video tour of changes in newest iOS 11 Betas — Cult of Mac and YouTube channel EverythingApplePro have released videos highlighting the changes between iOS 11 beta 4 and 5. I thought I was quick to update. These guys must have been up all night comparing the two versions of the beta software. Let’s take a look at what they uncovered in iOS 11 Beta 5.