Tag Archives: iOS

Tuesday Talk ~ Moan fest


(Image from Apple Insider)

I feel Tuesday Talk has become a moan-fest about what Apple could be, its failings and what the Inc could do better. It didn’t used to be this way – when I used to write about Apple for the New Zealand Herald it was to continuously trumpet Apple’s successes. Apple is still ‘successful’ in that it has a global presence and makes tons of money, of course, but for the last two years Apple seems to have been focussing its energies and resources on … gosh, I don’t know what. Not tech and innovation anyway. At least not visibly.
Apple Watch just turned two, and I was always amazed by this product, mostly because it had serious competitors out there in the market place before it was even actually a product. Rumours of the Apple Watch sparked companies to create smart watches that would be ‘better’ than ‘anything Apple could produce’ … except Apple hadn’t produced anything. That’s pretty incredible power right there.
But was Apple Watch the last really innovative thing Apple did? The Watch is beautifully built, and much more useful than you’d think at first sight. But Apple lost control of the market for a device it hadn’t even released, then had to work to regain the market it had itself created. Apple did, eventually, but this was a bizarre situation that it inadvertently orchestrated for itself.

Since the Watch introduction, Mac lines have languished; iPhone has had some regular updates that haven’t been groundbreaking but definitely very good; iPad has had some regularising updates and its lineup has been refined. But for the rest, Apple now has to do something truly incredible at the World Wide Developers Conference in June on more than one front. The tech world will be focussed on Apple like never before.
But why has Apple been acting this way? That’s what I can’t work out. John Gruber, who I interviewed a few years ago in Wellington, reckons Apple’s team focus has been too much on iPhone.
Sure, under Jobs, Apple would focus its key team members on different projects one after another: a project would get the love, then the love would get moved on to another category. This approach made perfect sense when Apple was lean, a little desperate and lacked resources and power – but now that Apple has resources and power to burn, this approach no longer makes any sense. At all.
Frankly, I’m amazed Apple is still doing this. Indeed, Bryan Chaffin reckons Apple’s Achilles heel is the leadership team’s slavish devotion to maintaining a tiny executive inner circle. This appears to have led to positional nest-feathering and structured, impenetrable ennui. We are supposed to be impressed when Cook, Schiller et al even talk in public, when I’d rather see them releasing new products. I actually don’t care who these people are, they’re not my Apple rock stars. Apple’s products should be.

Even Virtual Reality … sure, I’m excited Apple has set up an AR/VR lab in Wellington, New Zealand. Who wouldn’t be? But really? Google, Microsoft and other big players have been exploring this space for years already. Does Apple really think a white headset with an Apple logo on it at twice the price is all Apple is capable of? All we expect? I really, really hope not. Apple needs to work hard to be a relevant player in this space if it’s going to enter it at all. Apple has been publicly ignoring virtual reality while hiring and acquiring experts at an impressive rate.
Meanwhile, Apple as a gaming platform has had some remarkable successes in iDevices, yet it’s still largely ignored on Mac as it has been for decades. This shouldn’t matter to people who use Macs for anything but gaming, but it does: Macs still have second-rate video cards compared to cheaper PCs largely because it can’t be bothered to attract decent games, which challenge and raise technical specs on PCs. This is galling – yet it has always been galling.
Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be changed. It’s also galling because virtual reality games will explode.

So I have one message, Apple: please, please get your sh_t together!
I’d much rather be writing positive commentary.

Stylus for any iPad, mobile AR, Samsung problems, Paris transport, Apple Watch turns two


The Pinpoint X-Spring Precision Stylus & Pen is a joy to use — Not everybody has an iPad Pro, but everyone can benefit from using stylus-enabled apps on any iPad. Today’s Apple World Today Deals Shop special is for a combination stylus and pen that you’ll find to be a joy to use. The Pinpoint X-Spring Precision Stylus & Pen from Joy Factory is available for $14.95, 57% off the usual price of $34.95.

Tractica: mobile AR markets to reach 1.9 billion unique monthly active users — Apple is almost certainly planning to enter the augmented reality (AR) market, and now is a good time. Between 2008 and 2015, augmented reality (AR) was a technology gimmick looking for a market.
Now, according to a new report from Tractica, the expanding use cases for mobile AR will lead to growth from 342.8 million unique monthly active users (MAUs) globally in 2016 to nearly 1.9 billion MAUs by 2022.  During this period, the market intelligence firm forecasts that worldwide mobile AR revenue will rise from $749.0 million to $18.5 billion annually, according to the market research group. [Except Apple use to lead tech, not come lately.]

Samsung’s fix for red-tinted Galaxy S8 screens forces users to self-calibrate — With a growing number of complaints about a red-tinged screen in some owners with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the company is issuing a software patch allowing users expanded options for correcting the problem in software by placing the responsibility for colour accuracy even more in user’s hands – in other words, they’re being told how to colour-calibrate their own handsets.

Apple Maps has added transit directions for Paris, France — The apps, for both iOS and macOS, gained the public transit on the weekend, including both the city’s Metro subway and above-ground train lines like the RER and Transilien networks.
Station entrances are marked clearly, and a tap on any stations shows all connecting lines and information on pending departures. In addition to the train systems, Paris transit directions include buses, Autolib car sharing, and Velib bike sharing.

On its 2nd anniversary, Apple Watch settling into role as fitness & notification wearable with Siri, Apple Pay — Originally pitched as a multitude of things, including an intimate communication tool and new frontier for mobile apps, the Apple Watch has been refined and simplified in the two years since its debut, focusing on what Apple has determined to be the fledgling device’s core strengths.

Five Tip Friday ~ Five for iOS


1/ Print to PDF from any app from iPhone and iPad — This trick relies upon a hidden feature of the Share Sheet. To print from any app, such as Safari, you begin by tapping the Share icon. Next, tap the Print icon from the bottom row of the Share Sheet. Depending on what you’ve enabled, you might have to scroll to the right to find it. Now, to access the PDF view, simply 3D Touch (or pinch together two fingers to zoom out, in no0n-3D Touch devices) in the preview area of the PDF.
With that done, you should be in a PDF view of your document, web page, or whatever. Your next step is to share it. Just tap the Share icon, and choose where you want to send your PDF. You can share it via Messages or Mail, or any other app that supports the Share Sheet extensions.

Another great option is iBooks, if you want to keep all of your PDFs together, but there’s often a Share Sheet icon there to do that directly. But you can even save the PDF file to your iCloud drive or Dropbox.
Saving the web pages you’ve visited to PDF is a great way to keep notes when you’re researching. Other options for where to save those PDF files include Evernote and even the built-in Notes app.

2/ Use the Remote app to control your iTunes library in macOS Sierra with your iDevice — If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can use the Apple Remote app — free from the Apple App Store — to control your Mac’s iTunes library from a distance.
First, pair the app with the iTunes library (or libraries) you want to control. Your device and your computer must be on the same wireless network.
If you have Remote 2.0 (or later) and Home Sharing is turned on, you can set Remote to pair automatically with any of the iTunes libraries on your Home Sharing network. You can also pair Remote directly with iTunes libraries that aren’t in your Home Sharing network. To pair the Remote with an iTunes library: Tap Remote on your device’s Home screen.
Tap Add an iTunes Library.
A 4-digit code appears.
Open iTunes on your computer and click the Remote button .
Type the 4-digit code in the iTunes window.
iTunes pairs the library on your computer with the Remote app on your device.
Pair Remote with your Home Sharing network.
To use Remote 2.0 (or later) with Home Sharing, every iTunes library you want to control must have Home Sharing turned on.
Tap Remote on your device’s Home screen.
Tap Settings.
Tap to turn Home Sharing on.
Type your Apple ID and password, and tap Done.
Tap the iTunes library or Apple TV you want to control.

3/ Use Home Sharing to import items from another iTunes library — You can use Home Sharing to import items from up to five iTunes libraries on other computers on your home network? You can (assuming you have an Apple ID).
When you use your Mac on your Home Sharing network to download an item from the iTunes Store, you can have the item download automatically to other computers on your Home Sharing network.
Turn on Home Sharing. Choose File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing.
Type in your Apple ID and password, and click Turn On Home Sharing.
If you don’t have an Apple ID, click “Don’t have an Apple ID?” and follow the onscreen instructions.
To import items from other libraries using Home Sharing, choose a computer on your Home Sharing network from the Library pop-up menu. The library loads and a list of categories appears.
Choose a category (Music, for example). In the Show menu at the bottom of the iTunes window, choose “Items not in my library.” Select the items you want to import, and click Import.
To automatically import new iTunes Stores purchases from another computer, choose a computer on your Home Sharing network from the Library pop-up menu. Choose a category (Music, for example).
Click Settings at the bottom of the window. In the window that appears, select “Automatically transfer new purchases from Library Name.” Select the types of items you want to import. Click OK.
To turn off Home Sharing, on each computer, choose File > Home Sharing > Turn Off Home Sharing. If a shared computer doesn’t appear when Home Sharing is on, turn Home Sharing off, and then turn it on again.

4/ Disable homescreen rotation on Apple’s Plus-series iPhones — By default, Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, 6s Plus, and 7 Plus add an auto-rotating home screen to iOS, rearranging icons and the dock whenever a device is tilted sideways.
Aside from the Control Center orientation lock, here’s an indirect way of achieving the same result:
Within the Settings app, tap on Display & Brightness, then on “View” under the Display Zoomcategory towards the very bottom. Nominally this option just makes it easier to browse and tap on icons. As a consequence of using it, however, the home screen will no longer rotate.
To make the switch, tap on ‘Zoomed,’ then on ‘Set.’ Technically an iPhone has to reset to apply the change, but unlike a normal reboot this should only take several seconds.
That’s it — to reverse course, go back to the Display Zoom menu and select ‘Standard’ instead. The above method works in iOS 9 and 10.
Note that at least some apps, like Apple Messages, will continue to rotate their own interfaces even with Display Zoom on, and there may be no way of disabling this within an app’s settings. [From AppleInsider.]

5/ Using 3D Touch — If you have iPhone 6s or later, you may not be using 3D Touch, a more pressured press on the screen that releases a wealth of extra possibilities, for example when you are typing:
The first time you 3D Touch anywhere on the keyboard, you can start dragging the cursor around to place it in a specific spot. It’s a great way to get exact placement without fidgeting with your finger.
But, if you don’t lift your finger after that first 3D Touch and do it again, you’ll select the adjacent full word. 3D Touch one more time without lifting, and you’ll select the entire sentence surrounding the cursor. These extra actions take a little practice, but they’re darn handy once you get them down. [Here are a whole lot more handy 3D Touch features, from the Mac Observer.]

 

SearchAds to include New Zealand, Augmented Reality glasses interface


New Zealand will get SearchAds on ANZAC Day

Apple to expand Search Ads to three international markets, debuts new management tools — Apple on Wednesday announced Search Ads will arrive in three new countries on April 25 (our ANZAC Day), the service’s first expansion since a launch in September, and introduced a few ad management tools to streamline the process for developers.
Search Ads allow developers to purchase promotional ads that show up in iOS App Store searches. Available on devices running iOS 10, the feature uses special algorithms to ensure promoted apps relate to consumer queries, thus boosting app discoverability. Apple’s upcoming expansion delivers the service to users in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Apple’s Augmented Reality plans may include iPhone 8 Smart Connector for special glasses — Apple’s iPhone 8 will reportedly include an iPad Pro-like smart connector that may be the link up for augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. The report is tenuous, but the idea that Apple is ready to introduce its augmented reality platform this fall is interesting. [You know what? Apple’s future devices might include anything.]

Which iPad? Always Online, Chinese streaming, Wunderlist replacement, Note 8 copies iPhone 7


(Image from Apple Inc)

Which 9.7″ iPad is right for you? In the market for a new 9.7-inch tablet? Having trouble deciding between the all-new 2017 iPad and the older but more powerful iPad Pro? AppleInsider breaks down the pros and cons of each model in this video comparison.

AlwaysOnline adds 14 countries to iPad Apple SIM plans, cuts prices — On Wednesday, AlwaysOnline Wireless, one of several data carriers serving iPads equipped with an Apple SIM, announced its expansion to 14 more countries, as well as broad price cuts to attract users. The new regions are Armenia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Jordan, Morocco, and Uruguay. Overall, AlwaysOnline now has a presence in 88 markets. [New Zealand was already supported.]

Chinese regulators want to talk to Apple about live streaming titles on the App Store — Beijing’s Internet regulators plans to summon Apple and urge the tech giant to tighten up checks on software applications available in the Apple Store, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The report noted that officers with the law enforcement team met with company reps about the examination of live stream apps.

Microsoft debuts Wunderlist replacement To-Do on iPhone, Mac & iPad coming soon — Microsoft on Wednesday released the first edition of To-Do, an app that will eventually replace the popular multi-platform title Wunderlist, which it acquired back in 2015.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 to feature dual camera array ala iPhone 7 Plus — Looking to recover from last year’s exploding Note 7 fiasco, Samsung is expected to launch its first ever dual camera handset in the Note 8 later this year, according to a report from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. [I find this ‘flattery’ most insincere.]

 

iWork apps become free, Condé Nast shoot, iPhone thief ‘found’, new fiery Samsung, Logitech HomeKit POP, Pornhub app


Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, GarageBand now all free for  iOS and macOS users — Apple is removing the price tag from its Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie and GarageBand apps and making ’em all free for macOS and iOS users.
Previously, all of these apps were available at no charge only for folks who bought a new Mac or iOS device. Now you can download ’em for free at the Mac App Store and Apple App Store even if you don’t have the latest hardware. [By coincidence, I needed Keynote on an older iPad at work but didn’t add it because it would have cost me NZ$14.95 just two days ago.]

Conde Nast uses Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus to shoot covers for Bon Appetit, Traveler [sic] — Publisher Conde Nast is continuing to use the powerful camera of the iPhone 7 Plus to its advantage in important areas of its publications, with two magazines using photographs generated by Apple-produced smartphone for their cover shots.

Apple’s Find my iPhone fingers a phone finagler — Over 100 attendees of the Coachella music festival in Southern California this weekend were separated from their mobile devices by a pickpocket working the crowds. Fortunately, Apple’s Find My iPhone feature saved the day by helping locate the pilfered phones, allegedly nabbed by Reinaldo De Jesus Henao of New York. Astute iPhone users ended up saving the day, not just for their fellow iOS users but also the Android victims at the event.

Teardown finds Samsung Galaxy S8+ battery ‘virtually identical’ to fire-prone Note 7 — Samsung is apparently confident that a rash of fires with its Note 7 phablet were caused by manufacturing errors, and not design or parts, as it has adopted many of the same features, down to one of the same battery manufacturers, with the ‘new’ Galaxy S8+.

Logitech announces the HomeKit-compatible POP Smart Button — Logitech has announced a new version of its POP Home Switch that works to turn HomeKit accessories or scenes on or off with the push of a button. The new POP Smart Button (US$59.95) and POP Add-on Smart Button (US$39.95) will be available at Apple stores and Apple.com stores (no date set yet) exclusively at launch, with expansion to other retailers at a later date.

Pornhub launches TrickPics for iOS, an AR photo filter for censoring nude selfies — Though its listing on the App Store is decidedly vague, a new app dubbed TrickPics is actually the creation of pornography streaming site Pornhub, allowing users to censor nude photographs on their iPhone with augmented reality [woa, who’d a thunk?!].

Apple’s GPU, tvOS rumour


A new tvOS might get picture in picture

One Apple GPU, one giant leap in graphics for iPhone 8 — Apple is building its own GPU architecture, but why? Rather than being motivated by simple cost savings, evidence points to the timing of a significant technical leap forward that could be as big of an advance as iOS was ten years ago. An Apple GPU could be designed to serve specific use cases Imagination Technology, which currently serves Apple’s iOS GPU needs, doesn’t have any reason to address.

Rumour claims Apple TV to get multi-user support, picture-in-picture with ‘tvOS 11’ — With tvOS 11, likely to be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the Apple TV will allegedly gain a pair of demanded features from the company’s other platforms. Multi-user support will tailor onscreen content to the active profile/Apple ID, Israeli site The Verifier said on Sunday, citing a “reliable source.” People should not only see their personal Apple Music, iCloud, and iTunes content, but also their own apps.

App Store China, Apple Podcasts


Apple now China’s largest Western software seller, thanks to booming App Store — Geographic app store estimates spanning multiple companies and platforms suggest that Apple’s App Store, buoyed by growth beyond just games, is the top individual seller by company in China, although not by platform.

iTunes Podcasts now called Apple Podcasts — Apple changed the name of its podcast app from iTunes Podcasts to Apple Podcasts. The move includes branding within iTunes, in the Podcasts app, and the Listen on Apple Podcasts badge that replaces Listen on iTunes Podcasts.

Five Tip Friday ~ Pages, Keynote, Numbers collaboration and more on macOS and iOS


Yes it’s Good Friday already in New Zealand, and yes I’m up, and yes I am going to work, as the museum I work at only closes on Christmas Day. Luckily I have time to add some tips for you.
By default, people that you invite can edit your document, but the initial sharer can change share options and limit who can access it (from Apple World Today).

1/ Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps for macOS and iOS allow you to collaborate — You can invite others to your documents and work on them together in real time. Here’s how to use iWork collaboration on a Mac with macOS Sierra and Pages 6.0, Numbers 4.0, or Keynote 7.0 or later;
An iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 10 and Pages 3.0, Numbers 3.0, or Keynote 3.0 or later;
A Mac with Safari 6.0.3 or later, or Google Chrome 27.0.1 or later;
and even on a Windows PC with Internet Explorer 11 or later, or Google Chrome 27.0.1 or later.
To invite others to collaborate you must be signed in to iCloud on your device and have iCloud Drive turned on. If you’re using a web browser, sign in to iCloud.com and open the iWork app you want to use.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with earlier versions of iOS or iWork apps, or if you have an Android device, you can view documents but can’t edit them.
When you invite people to collaborate on a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, the app creates an iCloud.com link for you to send to them. If you limit access so that only people you invite can collaborate on your document, they must sign in to iCloud or iCloud.com with their Apple ID. The name of the document is included in the URL. If the title or content of the document is confidential, make sure to ask participants not to forward the link to anyone else.
Here’s how to invite other people from your Mac. From Pages, Numbers, or Keynote, open the document you want to share. In the toolbar, click the share icon — a head with a checkmark by it.
Tap Add People to add people. Tap your preferred method for sending the link. If you choose to email your invitation, type an email address or phone number for each person you want to invite. Add any other information, then send or post the message.
The share icon — a head with a checkmark by it —  indicates that a document is shared. The checkmark changes to show how many people have the document open (not including you).

 

2/ Collaborating in iOS — Here’s how to invite other folks from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch: if your document is already open in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote, tap the three dot icon, then tap Collaborate With Others. If you’re in the Document Manager, tap the share icon,  then tap Collaborate With Others. Tap the document you want to share. If the document you select hasn’t downloaded to your device, it downloads now.

3/ Protect with a password — If you set Who Can Access to ‘Anyone with the link, and you want to add a password, tap Add Password. Type your password and hint. You and other participants need this password to open the document.

4/ Invite other people from iCloud.com — If your document is already open in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote for iCloud, click the share icon in the toolbar. If you’re in the Document Manager, select a document, then click the icon that looks like a gear. Now choose Collaborate With Others.

5/ Password protect iWork documents anyway — Here’s how to password-protect Pages, Numbers, Keynote docs in macOS Sierra: From Pages, Keynote or Numbers, open the document that you want to secure with a password.
Go to the File menu and choose Select Set Password.
Enter a password and a hint.
That’s it! As you set a password, a small lock icon will appear on that particular document indicating that it’s secured with a password. The next time you need to access the doc on any Apple device or via iCloud, you’ll be asked for a password.

Diabetes team, 64-bit Earth, hovering selfies, iPads and iPhones in service


Hover Camera Passport has gone on sale in Apple Stores (image from Tech Co)

Apple has team of biomedical engineers working on diabetes treatment technology — Apple has had a small team of biomedical engineers working on a secret initiative to develop non-invasive glucose sensors in what it hopes would be a game-changer for diabetes treatment, CNBCreports. [Can’t really call it ‘secret’ any more then, can we?]

‘New’ Google Earth may usher in much-needed 64-bit iPhone & iPad app — Google will announce a “brand new experience” for Google Earth on April 18th, something which could simultaneously signal a much-needed upgrade of the Earth iOS app to 64-bit code.

Remarkable Hover Camera Passport arrives at Apple retail stores and Apple.com — Have you ever wanted your own personal camera drone, but found that the devices on the market were too expensive and/or had a difficult learning curve? Last fall, the Hover Camera Passport (US$499) was introduced and it changed the world of photography forever with a small, lightweight, flying high-definition camera that is primarily self-flying.
Now Zero Zero Robotics has announced the flying travel-friendly camera is available exclusively on Apple.com and in Apple retail outlets [although I don’t see it in the NZ online Apple Store, although it does appear available from this link for NZ$599].

NHL coaches provided with iPad Pros during Stanley Cup Playoffs — Coaches in the NHL are going to be given more help in analysing their team’s performance during hockey matches, with the league reportedly providing iPad Pros to teams and officials in time for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Motorola Solutions to equip Victoria Police with 10K iPhones, iPads in A$50M deal — Motorola Solutions has signed a deal with the police in Victoria, Australia, which will provide 10,000 frontline officers with access to iPhones and iPads, in order to provide real-time information to officers and help improve their productivity. The deal is worth A$50 million.