4-year-old boy in UK uses Siri to get help for his unconscious mother — Siri is an AI with a lot of talents, and it teamed up with Roman, a 4-year-old boy in the UK, to help him get help for his mother. While kids in the UK are taught to dial 999 to summon emergency services, Roman used a different method to call: he unlocked his mother’s iPhone by pressing her thumb to her iPhone’s Touch ID home button, then asked Siri for help. [Smart boy!]
Apple will reportedly start assembling iPhones in India in the next two months — Apple will reportedly start assembling iPhones in India over next two months. The tech giant is said to be in talks with the Indian government for import-tax exemptions on components.
Google Maps gets location sharing for Apple’s iPhone & iPad — Google will soon start rolling out real-time location sharing for users of its Maps app for iOS and Android, offering a feature similar to Apple’s Find My Friends, or Google’s own defunct Latitude.
Apple acquires Workflow app and developers, makes Workflow free download — Apple recently acquired popular iOS utility Workflow, according to TechCrunch. The deal includes both the app and its developers. While many apps get pulled by Apple after an acquisition, Workflow remains on the App Store, and is now free instead of US$2.99. Workflow is a personal automation tool, enabling you to drag and drop any combination of actions to create powerful workflows for your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. (But some features have been cut from the app.)
Apple avoids (Product)Red branding in China for new red iPhone 7 models — Apple’s new red options for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which, through (Red), will contribute proceeds to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, lack that same charity branding on the company’s Chinese website. It’s unclear if the company is avoiding donations of Chinese proceeds, or simply concealing the fact that some of the profit is channelled to AIDS research. Chinese police have sometimes even engaged in crackdowns of organisations working in AIDS prevention, so openly supporting (Red) could theoretically be seen as confrontational. [Yeah, you don’t want to confront homophobia, right? Not when it might affect profits.]
2017 iPad vs. iPad Air 2 vs. iPad Air: What’s new and different in Apple’s latest tablet? — With the last update to the iPad Air line over two years ago, how does Apple’s new 2017 iPad compare to its predecessors? AppleInsider takes a look at the three statistically, to see how they stack up. The new iPad is a compelling, inexpensive upgrade for users of the iPad 4 and earlier which comprises 30% of the existing user base. However, the iPad Air and Air 2 owners hold a commanding 35% of iPad users who may be looking at the new iPad as well. [John Martellero thinks the mini will be deleted. I love my mini, it’s esier to read books on than a full-size iPad. I’m going to miss this format. I was just starting to consider a new one …]
iPhone 6s topped 2016’s list of top-selling smartphones — In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a “critical information, analytics and solutions” firm.
Looking at the fourth quarter alone, the new iPhone 7 was the 2016 best-seller, followed by iPhone 7 Plus. IHS Markit says Apple again demonstrated its new iPhones integrate enough innovations and new features to drive sales and remain successful in the market.
New 9.7-inch iPad features stunning Retina Display better — Apple has today updated its most popular-sized iPad. It has a brighter 9.7-inch Retina display and best-in-class performance at its most affordable price ever, starting at recommended retail price NZ$529 inc gst.
• iPad comes in silver, gold and space grey and starts at recommended retail price (RRP) NZ$539 inc. GST for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and RRP NZ$759 inc. GST for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model at Apple.com/nz. For more information, please visit apple.com/ipad/nz.
• iPad is available to order beginning Friday, 24 March from Apple.com/nz and starts delivering to customers and arriving next week through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers (prices may vary) in New Zealand and more than 20 other countries and regions.
• Polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad are available for RRP NZ$69 inc. GST in charcoal grey, white, midnight blue, pink sand and (RED) at Apple.com/nz.
• iPad mini 4, available in silver, gold and space grey, now offers more capacity for starting at RRP NZ$659 inc. GST for the 128GB Wi-Fi model and RRP NZ$879 inc. GST for the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model at Apple.com/nz.
• Every customer who buys iPad from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online5, to help them customise their iPad by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more. [Just to be clear, this is a new iPad, not a new iPad Pro or iPad mini. But this also means Apple has discontinued iPad Air andiPad mini 2. The new iPad replaces the Air 2 and offers a newer processor along with lower pricing.]
Apple adds a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 to the iPhone 7 lineup — Along with new iPad models, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus today. The new models are called (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and are available in 128 GB and 256 GB capacities.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at Recommended Retail Price (RRP) NZ$1399 inc. GST from Apple.com and from Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone joins iPhone 7 finishes in jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold.
Apple updates iPhone 7 silicone & leather cases with new colours — In tandem with its new (Product)Red iPhone 7 models, and new seasonal band colours for Apple Watch, Apple has also released silicone and leather cases in a small collection of new colours.
The new silicone cases come in azure, camellia and pebble.
The leather cases include sapphire, taupe [bletch! Every bloody new house in Auckland is this godforsaken colour! LOL, sorry] and berry options.
Apple targets social media crowd with new Clips app — Apple teased a new video capture and editing app called Clips today that targets social media app users. The app lets users snap videos, apply effects and edits and upload their creations to popular social networks and video sharing sites.
Clips includes video filters, background posters, stickers, animations, and titles that can be added during recording or later when editing. Video can be captured in the app, or you can use videos you previously recorded and stored in Photos.
The app will be free, and available in April.
Rugged case for schools — Logitech has already introduced a case, add-on keyboard for the new 9.7-inch iPad. The Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case is for Apple’s new, just-announced 9.7-inch iPad.
Swift Playgrounds available in five additional languages — Apple’s Swift Playgrounds for the iPad is now available in five new languages: Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German and Latin American Spanish.
Apple’s online store will be in ‘maintenance mode’ Tuesday morning, fueling talk of new products — New iPads tomorrow, perhaps? Apple has updated its System Status page, noting that its online store will be “updated and unavailable” for “maintenance” tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, between midnight and 5:30 a.m. (US Pacific Time – this is tomorrow for New Zealanders, please note, as we’re already on Tuesday 21st over here).
Turn any Mac into a Touch Bar by plugging in Duet — For users who use their iPad to draw, the Touch Bar is one of the most compelling features. It allows you to change brush size, colours and much more without having to go back to your keyboard or computer. The software Duet now lets you do this for any Mac with an iPad.
‘iPhone 8,’ growing services business predicted to increase shares of Apple by 10% — Wall Street forecasts for Apple stock are climbing, with another report claiming that the stock will hit US$155 over the summer of 2017 on pre-release hype of the ‘iPhone 8’ and continued expansion of the Services division that includes the App Store, Apple Music, and AppleCare.
Apple’s iPhone slipping in China because company won’t adapt, says Oppo & Vivo founder —Apple’s decline in Chinese iPhone shipments during 2016 can be blamed on the company refusing to adapt its tactics to the local market out of fear of risking its business elsewhere, according to Duan Yongping, the founder of Chinese smartphone brands Oppo and Vivo.
WebMD’s Pregnancy app and study will use Apple’s ResearchKit — WebMD, a provider of health information services, and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) have announced a new investigative study designed to improve researchers’ and health care professionals’ understanding of what contributes to healthy pregnancies and positive pregnancy outcomes.
Apple may be extending AppleCare+ purchase deadline to one year for iPhone, report says — According to a recent report, Apple appears to be bringing its AppleCare+ plan for iPhone more in line with offerings for the Mac and Apple TV, which means it might start allowing users to purchase the AppleCare plan up to a year after initial device purchase. The current limit is 60 days.
Four of the best casual photography and filter apps for iPhone — If you’re a seasoned iPhone pro, or a new user, the vast amount of simple photography apps can be staggering: AppleInsider picks out four cheap or free ones for you to try.
Indonesian iPhone sales to resume on March 31 after Apple R&D investments — Apple is on track to resume iPhone sales in Indonesia toward the end of the month, a report said on Friday, following a roughly two-year period during which sourcing requirements kept the device off the local market.
Hands On: Google Calendar on iOS continues the trend of ‘fiddly but powerful’ — Google Calendar could be better designed but it’s hard to beat on features. AppleInsider investigates how well Google’s calendar integrates with Apple’s own.
AR/VR headset market expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 58% — Who knows if Apple will ever release an augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR headset, although there have been patents for ‘iGlasses’. However, new device launches, an expanding array of content for both consumer and enterprise users and lower price points will propel the worldwide augmented and virtual reality headset device market at a breakneck pace, says the IDC research group.
Nearly half of iPhone users are uncomfortable storing personal data on iCloud — Nearly half of iPhone users have little or no confidence in storing their personal information on iCloud, according to a survey of 1001 iPhone users conducted by Clutch, a business-to-business (B2B) ratings and reviews firm. [I have lots of confidence in Apple’s capacity and security, but very little confidence in using a service connecting to New Zealand by a cable coming in from the west and another from the east under the sea in a country prone to volcanos and earthquakes. So I stick to my free iCloud 5GB, which I carefully manage, and only use it for the basics like Contacts, which iCloud handles automatically.]
8 things to love about Apple Watch — John Martellaro really, really loves his Apple Watch (42 mm, stainless steel, sapphire, leather loop band). “Thinking back, I wonder how I ever got along without it. Here’s my somewhat random collection of thoughts; a list of things that are essential to my life now.”
FlipaClip is a very popular mobile phone animation app — The Android version has had over 4 million downloads. FlipaClip places full animation capabilities in the hands of any mobile phone user and now there’s FlipaClip an iPhone version of the app along with a competition to help launch it for iOS.
iMazing 2.2 finally makes it easy to swallow photos between iOS and macOS —The iPhone is great for taking pictures, and the iPad gorgeous to showcase them. But Apple provides no easy way to transfer pictures from your PC or Mac onto your mobile devices. But with iMazing 2.2 it’s finally dead easy: drag and drop a folder or image file to the Photos section in iMazing, enter a name for your new photo album, and… that’s it. Done.
Concept imagines Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ with Siri-based augmented reality — A new set of concept renders of Apple’s possible ‘iPhone 8’ — sometimes called the ‘iPhone X’ or ‘iPhone Edition’ — envisions the device making use of augmented reality technology to let Siri and widgets connect with the outside world. [Please note, these are not images from Apple, but someones concept of what might be. And while this year’s new will technically be the 8th iPhone, it also marks the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iPhone introduction.]
Hacker, iOS researcher Jonathan Zdziarski hired by Apple’s device security department — As part of Apple’s continuous quest to keep us safe, security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has accepted a position within the iPhone manufacturer’s Security Engineering and Architecture team.
Mazda says Apple CarPlay support coming soon, including retroactive upgrades — Apple’s CarPlay will be coming to Mazda vehicles sometime in the near future, the Japanese automaker revealed on Monday, taking it off the list of major holdouts in CarPlay support. Mazda also revealed that any vehicle sporting a Mazda Connect system will be “retroactively upgradeable,” with “a potentially minimal hardware addition needed.” [Hey Mazda, I have a Mazda!]
Asthma study using Apple’s ResearchKit proven accurate when compared to existing research — A study reports ResearchKit is an extremely effective way to conduct medical research, with patient data collected from asthma sufferers via Apple’s framework found to correlate with the results of similar studies using established data collection methods.
Apple’s new Sticker Fight ad for iPhone 7 emphasizes iMessage feature — The latest in Apple’s advertising campaign for the iPhone 7 and iOS 10 brings Apple’s “stickers” feature into the real world in a playful and colourful manner.
Apple’s new iPad Pros could debut next week, with or without an event — With new iPad Pro models expected soon, a new rumour claims Apple is set to unveil new products as soon as next week, even though no event invitations have been issued to the press.
The sources didn’t disclose which products it expects Apple to announce, but high on the list is a trio of new iPad Pros, including an all-new 10.5-inch model with slimmer bezels and updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions. and to strengthen the rumours, data suggests new models have been undergoing testing around Cupertino.
Apple’s iOS 10.3 transition to APFS will be (mostly) fine — iOS 10.3 is coming soon, and the beta track indicates that all iOS users will be migrating to Apple’s new filesystem, APFS. That’s fine, and that’s actually great progress. The problem is that there seems to be a lot of clickbait out there lately saying negative things.
Google launches Uptime collaborative YouTube viewing app exclusively for iOS — Google’s ‘Area 120’ incubator project has developed Uptime, an iPhone app for watching YouTube videos collaboratively with other users of the app.
Wikileaks giving CIA’s iPhone Spy Code to Apple — Apple may have patched most of the security flaws that Wikileaks revealed the CIA is exploiting, but not all of them. Apple has been scrambling trying to learn more about the remaining exploits and it looks like the help it needs is coming directly from Wikileaks. The organization said it plans to share everything it knows about the hacks with Apple, and will do the same for other tech companies the CIA targeted.
Exchange encrypted emails from iPhones and iPads — Apple hasn’t made it as easy to send and receive encrypted email from Mail for iOS as it is on the Mac. The whole process is cumbersome and often doesn’t work, but here are the options that do work.
Microsoft revamps Cortana for iPhone in renewed bid to take on Apple’s Siri — Microsoft has released a promised overhaul of its Cortana iPhone app, simplifying the way the AI assistant works on iOS and making it more practical as an alternative, or to complement, Apple’s native Siri.
How to take screenshots from a fourth generation Apple TV — Sometimes, you’ve just got to get proof of the high score you just got on that Apple TV game, or if you’re like us, you’ve got to take a screenshot to show something off. AppleInsider shows you how to take screenshots from your fourth-generation Apple TV without breaking out the camera.
PlayDoh has an app that brings creations to life — The Play-Doh Touch app lets you shape a Play-Doh creation, place it on the Shape to Life Studio and scan it with your tablet or smartphone. The creation comes to life on screen, ready to explore. [UPDATED: This is now available in New Zealand, it’s at Farmers, Whitcoulls, Toyworld, Toyco, MightyApe, and Warehouse Stationery shops at at MightyApe online, or from the Apple Store NZ.]
With the dearth of iDevice news today, here are five tips for iPhone.
1/ Use the full-screen camera — When you’re messaging with someone from your iPhone, you can tap the arrow next to the typing field to access your pictures with the little camera icon that’ll appear.
Once you’re in that camera mode, though, all you’ll see is a few of your recent images and a tiny viewscreen on the iPhone.
That small little viewfinder panel, however, lets you swipe from left to right (see that little left-punting arrow on the left, above?) to reveal another couple of options: a full-screen camera viewfinder and access to your whole Photos library (below). Now you can use your full-screen camera within Messages or look through your entire photo library on your device, so if there’s a picture from a few months back, you don’t have to switch apps to find it.
2/ Share your location — There’s a really quick way to share your location with someone you’re messaging, so he or she can route to where you are or know how long it’ll take to get to you. To do this, tap the small ‘i’ at the top of any Messages conversation…
Tapping the Info button in a chat reveals the Send My Current Location feature. That’ll immediately pass along your location info into the chat, and your recipient can then touch that map to get directions right to where you are.
3/ Draw on videos — To add lines, circles, arrows etc within Messages to videos and images, tap the arrow and then touch the heart icon. Tap the Video Camera button, and you can draw on your screen to highlight whatever you like.
You can either draw before you start taking a video, which will superimpose your drawing over what you record, or you can draw during video-recording to highlight something at a specific moment.
4/ See which number someone used — If you’re not sure which number or email address is the correct one to use for texting with a contact, you can tell within the Messages app by seeing which one he or she has used recently. Start by tapping their name at the top of your conversation to access their contact info.
When that appears, look for which number is marked Recent.
[These four tips came from Melissa Holt at the Mac Observer – this link has more pictures than I have published.]
5/ How to still check an iPhone’s Activation Lock — Apple deleted its iCloud Activation Lock status check tool from its website earlier this year. That tool was a simple yet effective method of checking whether a used iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Watch was stolen. But a newly discovered workaround promises an alternative online resource for buyers in the market for secondhand iOS devices [AKA iDevices].
Apple’s online checker involved entering an IMEI, so the tool served as an ideal source for generating valid serial numbers. It has been theorized that Apple scrapped the online resource to better protect its customer base.
But owners or potential buyers can still check Activation Lock status by IMEI through Apple’s own support pages. Be forewarned: the workaround’s success is spotty and it might be completely removed from Apple’s website at any time.
First, visit Apple’s Support website and select iPhone. Click on a search category related to hardware, for example Battery, Power & Charging or Repairs & Physical Damage, then select a specific problem like ‘Buttons not working’.
On the next page, you should see an option to Send in for Repair. If the item is not listed, go back and select a different device problem from the previous screen. Clicking through Send in for Repair will retrieve a page that allows users to ‘Enter your serial number, IMEI, or MEID’. [These numbers, by the way, are in on your iPhone and iPad and iPod Touch under Settings>General>About. You should record these or take a screenshot of the page by pressing the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time and emailing the image your iDevice records to your Photos library to your Mac or PC.]
Enter the IMEI of a target device to check its Activation Lock status. It should be noted that the described method is not always successful. In some cases, Apple’s website will direct users to sign in with their Apple ID, which the company normally uses to facilitate service with linked iCloud devices.
The workaround seems to be a carryover from the days when iCloud Activation Lock status was a thing. It remains unclear how long the loophole will remain active in its current form, as Apple appears to be — slowly — transitioning the entire Support website to lead directly to users’ Apple ID accounts.