Testing pool limited to 1,000 users per developer
Following a soft rollout to internal testers a few weeks ago, Apple has fully opened its TestFlight beta-testing service. "You can now invite up to 1,000 testers to beta test your iOS apps by simply sending them an email invitation through iTunes Connect," the company says on its developer portal. "Once they accept your invitation, testers can install your beta app on their iOS devices, get updated builds, and provide feedback, all within the TestFlight app."
Said to support latest iPhones, iPads
The Pangu jailbreak team has developed a new hack for iOS 8 and 8.1 devices, reports and the team's website note. The initial release is said to be intended strictly for app developers, since it doesn't install Cydia or other services designed to make jailbreaking simple and practical. The public version is in fact waiting on those services being brought up to speed for iOS 8.
Company's performance generally healthy
In the wake of its official announcement, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its Q4 financial results. On a regional basis the company did well in most cases, for instance increasing Americans revenue 17 percent year-over-year to $16.247 billion, and European revenue 19 percent to $9.535 billion. "Greater" China -- including Hong Kong and Taiwan -- advanced 1 percent to $5.778 billion, and Japan was up 5 percent to $3.507 billion. Only the rest of the Asia Pacific region saw problems, with revenue dipping 3 percent to $1.923 billion. Global retail sales rose 15 percent to $5.133 billion.
Should improve performance on more recent devices
As of February 1st, all new or updating iOS apps must not only be based on the iOS 8 SDK, but contain 64-bit code, Apple is informing developers. At the moment developers are still being allowed to submit 32-bit-only apps or universal binaries. The problem is that more recent iOS devices -- namely those based on 64-bit A7, A8, and A8X processors -- have to load extra resources into memory to handle 32-bit code, taking a toll on performance.
Relative handful of third-party apps currently showing support
The official Apple Store app has been updated to v3.1, enabling support for online Apple Pay transactions. Shoppers can now also make NFC-based payments at the company's retail outlets, but this doesn't require an app update; in either scenario, users must have a compatible device running iOS 8.1, which was released earlier today. Online payments are supported by the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. Only the 6 and 6 Plus can be used at retail.
Includes delayed SMS Relay tech, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes
As planned, Apple has released iOS 8.1 to the public. The main addition is support for Apple Pay, but a number of other important features are present. These include beta support for iCloud Photo Library, and the return of the Camera Roll to the Photos app. SMS Relay enables SMS/MMS messaging via a nearby Mac or iPad, and people can now force a device to use 2G, 3G, or 4G for data, instead of it selecting networks automatically. A minor photo-related improvement generates alerts whenever there's too little storage to start a timelapse video.
New iPads for sure, but invitation may hints at a surprise or two
Many sites, pundits and people think they have a sure grip on what's going to be announced later today at Apple's press event, which begins at 10AM Pacific time (1PM Eastern time) and is being held in Apple's own community town hall theatre at the company's headquarters. This generally means a smaller affair and a strictly press-only audience, and on tap for the event is the expected announcement of new iPad models. But what else is likely to happen? We weigh up the rumors and make a few wild guesses.
Paper, mobile phone industries in Finland damaged by iPhone, iPad, leader claims
Apple may be partially responsible for the economic troubles of two major industries in Finland, the country's Prime Minister has claimed. Alexander Stubb suggests Apple's products have impacted its mobile device and paper industries to such a level that it caused an economic downturn, and also caused the Nordic country to endure a sovereign debt rating downgrade.
MacBook Air, Mac Pro and iPod touch
Amazon has slashed the price on the previous generation 13.3-inch MacBook Air from $1,099 down to $908 with $7 for shipping, for a savings of $191 off the list price. Even with the shipping charge, that is about $130 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This MBA configuration features a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Could enable Apple Pay testing
Apple is seeding a second beta of iOS 8.1 to developers, users note. The contents of the code are unknown, but it likely builds out upcoming Apple Pay support, references to which were found in the first beta. If recent rumors are true the new beta may enable Apple Pay testing, and prefigure a public launch of v8.1 on or around October 20th.
Figure just 1 percent higher than post-iPhone 6 launch data
Adoption of iOS 8 has slowed dramatically, having only gained a single percentage point between September 21 and October 5, according to new App Store tracking data from Apple. The company's iOS 8 and iOS 7 are now in equal use. In fact, use of pre-iOS 7 firmware has somehow increased from five to six percent, even though Apple no longer supports it on any substantial level.
Clip marks first attempt at iOS-based video editing
Adobe has updated its suite of iOS apps, launching several new ones in the process. The most significant of these may be Premiere Clip, the company's first effort at mobile video editing. The title can be used independently, or in tandem with Premiere Pro CC; projects started on iOS can be automatically synced with Premiere Pro by way of Creative Cloud.
iOS and 'free-to-play' game blamed
A 15-year-old from Antwerp, Belgium has managed to accumulate over 37,000 euro ($46,000) in iTunes charges on a credit card through in-app purchases, according to local publication Nieuwsblad. The teenager was reportedly playing a free-to-play iOS game called Game of War: Fire Age; several months in, his mother asked him to buy some e-books using her credit card. The boy then discovered he could buy virtual gold in-game using real money, greatly accelerating his progress. The title even has a casino minigame.
Users can enter IMEI to learn more; technology is on by default in iOS 8
Users who are unsure if their iOS device has the anti-theft feature Activation Lock turned on can now easily check through a new page based on Apple's iCloud site. While the page is currently not linked to the main menu on iCloud.com -- suggesting it may still be undergoing testing -- it offers users a chance to input the devices serial number or IMEI identifier, and returns information on whether the device is protected.
Apparently tied to iOS 8
A bug involving the iOS App Store is causing it to display inappropriate apps under the various Kids categories, according to complaints. Browsing those categories' Top Charts sections, users can currently spot many apps that would normally fall under the All Categories umbrella. This includes obvious mistakes, such as gambling and dating apps.
Apple may have unjustly denied repairs for older iPhones, iPods
Participants in a class action lawsuit regarding liquid damage indicators for the iPhone and iPod touch are beginning to receive settlement checks, accounts say. In April 2013, Apple agreed to pay $53 million to compensate people who may have been denied warranty coverage because of the indicators. Their maker, 3M, admitted that they could be tripped simply by humidity. Apple later adjusted its policies to require additional checks before blocking repairs, but the lawsuit continued.
Judge rules 'battle between the economists' needs a jury
The new judge on the Apple versus Real anti-trust case has declared that there is enough evidence to go to trial, after nine years of litigation and a judge's retirement during the process. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ordered a trial, after an earlier pre-trial conference finding that Real attorneys have presented enough evidence to show that Apple created a monopoly with its FairPlay DRM, which then allowed the Cupertino manufacturer to overcharge customers.
May signify more intense update schedule
[Updated: iOS 8.1, Xcode 6.1 beta 3, Apple TV beta made available to developers] Apple is already testing iOS 8.1, 8.2, and even 8.3, sources say. The information has also reportedly been verified through website analytics, showing visits by devices with the firmware. Hits from v8.1 devices are said to have registered before 8.0 launched on September 17, but 8.2 and 8.3 traffic only began escalating post-launch.
Allowed users to create app, task shortcuts
Apple has removed an app called Launcher from the App Store, citing "misuse" of iOS 8 Notification Center widgets, says developer Cromulent Labs. The app lets users create create shortcuts for various tasks, such as calling a specific person via phone or FaceTime, navigating to a location, or simply opening an app. These shortcuts then appear in a widget.
Firmware still available for download by iPhone 4
Apple has officially stopping signing iOS 7.1.2, reports say. The move means that people who already have iOS 8 installed won't be able to downgrade. The v7.1.2 firmware can still be downloaded by iPhone 4 owners, however, since their devices are incompatible with iOS 8.
Solves glitches with Photo Library, Reachability, more
(Updated with warnings about potential iPhone problems, a fix for those who updated, and news of withdrawal of the delta update) Just a week after having released iOS 8.0, Apple has begun seeding iOS 8.0.1 via iTunes and as an over-the-air update. The most prominent change is a solution to a HealthKit bug that led Apple to pull apps using the platform from the App Store. Those apps are now cleared to return.
May also fix Wi-Fi, battery problems
As predicted, iOS 8.0.1 is now in the hands of carrier partners for testing, a source says. The person notes that the update fixes a variety of bugs left in the OS for its debut last week. For example, it copes with glitches in the Phone app, which can affect call forwarding, and cause freezes when accessing Visual Voicemail.
Figure significantly higher than unofficial tracking
New data from Apple -- based on Sunday traffic at the App Store -- indicates that iOS 8 adoption is actually up to 46 percent of iOS devices, despite lower numbers tracked by third-party firms. Apple's figures put iOS 7 at 49 percent, and iOS 6 or earlier at 5 percent. iOS 8 became available for compatible devices on September 17th, and is pre-installed on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which launched Friday.
Apple knew streaming would eventually replace product in 2003
In a new interview for the magazine Fast Company, former Apple executive and head of the original iPod project Tony Fadell, now CEO of Nest at Google, mentions his sense of loss that the last large-capacity iPod, the iPod classic, has been discontinued by Apple. While lamenting the passing of the unit that modelled most closely the design of the original iPod, Fadell notes that Apple began thinking about what would kill the product within two years of it emerging.
iTunes U gets ability to add deadlines to Calendar
In tandem with the release of iOS 8, Apple has also begun updating its optional first-party apps with fresh support. These include Podcasts, iTunes U, Remote, and Find My iPhone. Other apps should be updated shortly.
Over-the-air updates may be impossible for some users
As planned, Apple has released iOS 8 via iTunes and as an over-the-air update. The latter may be difficult or impossible for some users, as it requires roughly 5.7GB of free space on an iPhone, and 6.9GB on an iPad. In any event, users must have at least an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or fifth-generation iPod touch.
Institutions aim to improve speed, accuracy
In the next few weeks, two major US hospitals -- linked with Stanford University and Duke University, respectively -- are embarking on medical trials using Apple's HealthKit platform, according to Reuters. Doctors at Stanford say they're working with Apple on tracking blood sugar for children with diabetes. Duke, meanwhile, is planning a pilot to track blood pressure, weight, and other statistics for patients with cancer or heart diseases.
Features relegated to October
Two key iOS 8 features -- SMS Continuity and iCloud Photo Library -- have been pushed to October. The delay was quietly mentioned in a press release from earlier this week. Even when Photo Library does appear, it will only be in beta form. The feature has meanwhile been removed from Apple's iCloud marketing page, and it can't be found in the iOS 8 gold master.
iPads from $249 and iPods from $99
Apple's Online Store currently has a wide selection of refurbished iPads and iPods on sale for bargain prices. Save 37 percent on the refurbished iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 16GB of storage space for $249, which is a savings of $150 off the original price. Get special limited-time pricing on the refurbished iPad mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular for AT&T; it was $429, but has been cut by $110 to $319.
May require iOS 8, hardware upgrade in order to play true 24-bit audio files
Audio and video equipment maker Philips has debuted a new headphone set for iOS devices that offers a pair of distinct differences: it features 24-bit digital-to-analog conversion and amplification built right within the headphones, and it uses a Lightning connector rather than a standard 3.5mm connector. The Fidelio M2L headphones are said to the first to use the Lightning connector.
Formerly Mac-only app makes use of iOS 8 Extensions
Panic will be bringing its Transmit FTP file manager to iOS with the release of iOS 8, according to an announcement. The new app is currently in beta, and will be able to handle both FTP and local files. Apple's forthcoming iOS 8 is essential, because the app will make heavy use of Extensions; separate apps will be able to save files to a local Transmit folder, or else use Transmit to upload to FTP/SFTP, WebDAV, and Amazon S3 servers.
Exploits hooks in new OS
The system-integrated version of SwiftKey's mobile keyboard will be coming to iOS next week with the launch of iOS 8 on September 17, the developer has confirmed. A SwiftKey iOS app -- Note -- already exists, but is largely self-contained. The new app will take advantage of iOS 8's support for system-wide third-party keyboards.
Likely to be final pre-release versions of each
Apple has started seeding the gold master versions of iOS 8 and Xcode 6 to developers. The former is build 12A365, while the latter is 6A313. Both should be the identical to the versions that reach the public, barring the discovery of serious bugs that might prevent the software from working, or create serious security issues.
Removal of iPod classic from range after seven years of availability
At the same time as introducing new iPhones and the Apple Watch, Apple has apparently stopped selling the iPod classic. The long-running music player is no longer visible in Apple's online store, suggesting the company has finally retired the device after seven years, and almost 13 years after the first version of the iPod went on sale.
Two days ahead of new iPhones
During today's Apple press event, the company quickly mentioned that iOS 8 will be available to download free starting on September 17. The oldest devices compatible with it will be the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and fifth-generation iPod touch. It will come preloaded on Apple's newest devices, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Small, handy mic add-on enhances iOS recordings
Blue Microphones, a company that makes some of the most popular digital USB microphones among podcasters and musicians, has for some time made a Mikey clip-in microphone for 30-pin iOS devices that significantly enhanced the sound quality of recordings. The company has now brought out a new model -- the Mikey Digital -- designed for Lightning-based devices, and introduced a few new tricks in the process. While not the equal of Blue's more expensive desktop mics, it is a godsend for on-the-go recording. Is it right for you? Check out our review for samples and insight on this little wonder.
References to service appear in iTunes Connect
As it prepares for the launch of iOS 8 later this month, Apple has made public its official TestFlight app. The software requires iOS 8, but lets owners participate in beta tests via email invitations from developers. The app's interface is relatively simple, used mostly to fetch available updates and launch existing downloads. Notes for each app explain changes, what a developer wants to test, and when a release is set to expire.
Likely to fix leftover glitches
Even though iOS 8 has yet to be released, Apple is already on the verge of seeding iOS 8.0.1 to its testing partners, sources say. The firmware is expected to be seeded shortly, and carry unspecified enhancements to iOS 8.
May have shot special video for the introduction, Bono could make appearance
A variety of rumors have surfaced suggesting that U2 -- the legendary Irish band whose members have close ties to former and current Apple executives -- may be involved in some manner with the launch of the iPhone 6, which is expected to happen at a scheduled press event next Tuesday, September 9. Reports range from Bono (and perhaps the rest of the band) performing at the end of the Apple event to the possibility that the group's new album would be pre-loaded onto the iPhone, though the latter seems highly speculative.
PayPal offering discounted UK iTunes cards at 25 percent off
PayPal is currently offering digital iTunes cards at 25 percent off for UK customers. Users can purchase iTunes codes to redeem for music, films, TV programs, games, apps and more from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store and the App Store. Content purchased can be accessed on iOS devices and Mac or PC computers. The discount offer is available until tonight at 11:59 BST.
Fills out iOS productivity suite
Google is today launching a new iOS app, Slides. Much like Microsoft PowerPoint, Slides lets people create and edit presentations. Because these files are stored in the cloud, users can start work on one device and continue on another, including via the Slides web app. Collaboration features let several people work on a presentation simultaneously; any changes to a file are saved automatically, and the app can work both on and offline. Offline changes are uploaded after reconnection.
Slight change could make cables more convenient
A new photo (below) from well-known leak source Sonny Dickson shows what's said to be an Apple Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector. While current official cables are reversible on the Lightning end, the USB connector can only be facing a single direction when it's plugged into a computer. Dickson isn't the first person to show images of updated Lightning cables, but a leak from last week came from a more questionable source, especially since third parties manufacture Lightning cables with and without Apple's permission.
Last prong of three-spoke trial initial hearing held in front of skeptical judge
A nine-year-old lawsuit over Apple's digital rights management in the iTunes Music Store and on the iPod rages on. Lawyers for the complainants continue to claim that changes in iTunes blocking other companies' music stores from functioning on the iPod allowed Apple to raise prices. The $350 million lawsuit against the Cupertino manufacturer had a hearing earlier this week, following the retirement of the first judge in the case.
Title appears as official Apple app
People setting up an iOS 7 device for the first time are now seeing Beats Music among the list of recommended Apple apps, according to anecdotes. The App Store splash page is otherwise full of titles like iBooks, Podcasts, Find My iPhone, and the iWork suite. Notably Beats Music is the only one to require payments, since it's based on monthly subscription plans.
iPods, iPads, and Mac accessories
Right now at Apple's online store, chose from a selection of refurbished iPod touch models -- starting as low as $129 for the fourth-generation Touch with 8GB of storage. A $100 discount drops the cost on the refurbished fifth-generation iPod touch with 32GB of storage in black and slate down to $199.
Clear, Notability, Fantastical 2 among notable entries
On the iOS App Store, Apple is now running a "limited-time" sale on 20 productivity apps. Most of the titles are well-established, such as Realmac's Clear, Ginger Labs' Notability, and Flexibits' Fantastical 2. Some lesser-known examples include Andreas Karlsson's Tydlig and Ten Touch's Grafio.
Full access limited to monthly subscribers
As anticipated, NFL Now apps have been launched for the iPhone and iPad and the Apple TV. The titles promise "hundreds of new videos daily" connected to teams and players; users also can get a non-stop stream based on preferences learned over time.
Many changes simply UI refinements
Users are beginning to discover some of the changes in iOS 8 beta 5, which was released earlier today. Many of these appear to affect the Health app. On top of supporting spirometry data, there are for example several new icons, and users can now export the app's information. Privacy settings for the app have appeared within Settings.
Apple TV, OS X Server, Configurator get matching updates
Apple is now seeding its fifth betas of iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and Xcode to developers, as well as a preview of OS X Server 4.0, and fourth betas of new Apple TV firmware and Configurator 1.7. Relatively little is known about their content so far, although notes for the iOS 8 beta add that "spirometry data types are now available in HealthKit;" spirometry is the measurement of lung capacity. Xcode has received Swift-related improvements involving ranges and easier scripting.
Usage begins mirroring device ownership
For the first time, global usage of Android devices has surpassed that of iOS, according to Net Applications tracking data. iOS slipped from 45.61 percent in June to 44.19 percent in July, while Android advanced from 43.75 percent to 44.62. Windows Phone has made some more marginal progress, growing from below the 1 percent mark in April to 2.49 percent.