New apps share iOS 7-friendly interfaces
Corel has brought its previously iPad-only mobile video editing app, Pinnacle Studio, to the iPhone. The app allows for complex editing, including the ability to trim individual frames and insert elements like transitions, stills, titles, graphics, fast/slow-motion, and picture-in-picture effects. Quick clip arrangement can be done with the Storyboard, while the Timeline allows for more precise manipulation and trimming.
Feature tethered to cable providers
A&E has updated two of its iOS apps -- History, and the network's namesake -- with support for watching live TV. Previously users were able to watch clips and full episodes, but only after the fact. Like some other TV apps, gaining access to the live streams requires a cable subscription.
iPads and iPods
This week, Apple's online store has a wide selection of refurbished iPad and iPod models on sale. Right now, the refurbished 16GB iPad mini can be had for just $249 after a $50 discount. A $120 discount slashes the cost of the second-generation 16GB iPad 2 down to $279.
iOS home screen improvements
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss ways that Apple could change the home screen in iOS after "Hawykeye_a" noted that there hasn't been any real changes in the way that iOS works and provided some suggestions of things he thought could be modified. Today, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for a way to edit icons on their Mac, and turned to the forums for advice.
Might accompany rumored overhaul of iTunes Store
[Updated with Apple hiring details] Following on the heels of a claim that Apple is planning to "dramatically" overhaul the iTunes music store in the near future, a previous rumor that the company was considering offering "high-resolution" 24-bit music tracks has gained new currency. Apple has been reported to be looking for ways to boost digital music sales, which have seen a slump as users spend more time listening to on-demand streaming services like Spotify. The higher-quality music files would likely be offered in a lossless format.
iTunes Radio failing to convert listeners into buyers
Apple is considering a major overhaul of the iTunes Music Store in light of iTunes Radio failing to slow the decline of music downloads, say anonymous executives allegedly familiar with the company's plans. One of the key features of iTunes Radio, from Apple's perspective, is the ease with which it lets people by music from the iTunes Store. Only about 1 to 2 percent of people are actually tapping the Buy button though, and overall music downloads have declined by more than 15 percent.
Could have significant impact on iOS 9 and beyond
Apple's Human Interface VP, Greg Christie, will soon leave the company following a conflict with design lead Jonathan Ive, sources say. Ive assumed control of both hardware and software interface design after iOS head Scott Forstall was forced out. Until this week, however, Christie was more directly responsible for Apple software design, and is credited not only with helping to invent the iOS interface -- including patented concepts like slide-to-unlock -- but influencing the direction of app design via his WWDC presentations.
Includes 64-bit support
Aviary has launched a major update to its Photo Editor SDK for iOS, used by a number of photography-related apps. The SDK includes a new UI scheme, aligned with changes made in iOS 7. Developers can choose to customize the editor to suit their particular apps. Aviary has also improved the code's efficiency, for instance by shrinking the SDK, and boosting performance in finished apps through changes like 64-bit support.
Shows interest in Apple TV, MobileMe improvements
As a byproduct of the patent trial between Apple and Samsung currently going on in San Francisco, a number of previously-confidential Apple emails have seen the light of day. Some talk about how to react to Samsung's marketing bombardment, since it outspent all rivals but Apple combined on advertising its smartphones; others reveal additional details on things already known. A 2010 email from Steve Jobs, shown in court, reveals a little of how Apple works to improve itself.
Messages can be sent to non-Vine users
Twitter-owned Vine has updated its iOS and Android apps with a new direct messaging feature. The option lets people send videos privately, regardless of whether the recipient is a Vine user. People who don't have a Vine account will instead get the videos via SMS or email.
Delivers push notifications based on IFTTT conditions
Service-linking website IFTTT (If This Then That) has updated its iOS app with its first-ever iPad support, and more significantly, its entire platform with support for iOS push notifications. That means that any recipe can now trigger notifications on an iOS device. If a weather service is forecasting a storm for tomorrow, for example, the IFTTT app can display an alert. Most recipes are said to refresh every 15 minutes, though notifications should become faster as more people use them.
Web apps get Retina display enhancements, more
Apple has made some improvements to iWork for iCloud, according to pop-up messages. All three web apps in the suite -- Pages, Numbers, and Keynote -- have been given better support for Retina displays, a new editor tab, and upgraded sharing functions. The latter let people set shared documents as view-only, and open documents directly via iCloud Mail.
iPods and Mac Accessories
This week Apple's online store has a wide selection of refurbished iPod models on sale. They start at $99 for the refurbished seventh-generation 16GB iPod nano which comes in blue, silver, pink, green or purple. Save $40 on the refurbished 16GB fifth-generation iPod touch in black; it was $229, but has been cut to $189.
May include full-sized analog sticks
More information has reportedly leaked on Razer's upcoming iOS game controller, codenamed Kazuyo. The combination case/gamepad is expected to include features like pressure-sensitive buttons, and full-sized analog sticks, which should make some games easier to control. Since earlier incarnations, the device appears to have been given a more rounded design.
Prices dip in Israel, New Zealand
Apple is raising iOS and Mac App Store prices in several countries, according to an email memo sent to developers. The hikes will impact Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa. Apple blames the change on fluctuations in exchange rates, which the company adjusts for on a regular basis.
App aesthetics brought into line with iOS 7
Podcast streaming service Stitcher has released major update of its iOS app, v6.0.0. The app's interface has been redesigned not only to match iOS 7, but to streamline navigation. The front page, for example, now highlights new episodes from favorites, as well as headlines and other news stories. A new Mini Player provides constant access to what's playing, and the Now Playing screen has gained quick access to car mode and the sleep timer. Playlists can be accessed from anywhere in the app via a swipe gesture.
Tool aimed at non-developers
Service works as cheaper alternative to full New York Times app
The New York Times is preparing to launch a new iPhone/iPod app, NYT Now, on April 2. The app is in some ways a scaled-back version of the regular Times apps for the iPhone and iPad, but as consequence will cost just $8 per month for full access, versus the $45 for a regular Times digital subscription. People will be able to use Now for free, but only to read headlines, summaries, and a maximum 10 articles per month.
Nested folders still not officially supported in iOS
A bug in iOS 7.1 lets people place folders within folders, or even hide icons, users note. To pull off the folder trick, a person has to first completely fill an iOS homescreen with apps -- including both the regular grid and the dock, which in the case of an iPad can fit up to six apps. A user must then create a new folder by dragging one app on top of another. As the folder animation starts, though, a person has to quickly drag the folder they want nested into the new one.
Current character set limited by Unicode standard, Apple says
Apple is working with the Unicode Consortium on expanding the racial diversity of emoji characters in iOS, and by extension other platforms, according to a statement provided to MTV. "Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," Apple says. "There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard."
Promotes small developers and their favorite apps
Apple has launched a new section at the App Store, the Indie Game Showcase. As the name implies, the section concentrates on a specific title -- currently Simogo's Device 6, which was a runner-up for Apple's 2013 Game of the Year award. It also highlights other games by the same developer though, and titles that the development team enjoys.
Allegedly reported in December, app is still available
A Tor client on the App Store, Tor Browser, is actually a fake app saturated with adware and spyware, according to complaints. The app is said to have been reported to Apple in December; at one point the company suggested that the app's creator, Ronen, would be allowed to respond, but no news has emerged since, and the app remains on sale for $1.
Ode to iPad 2
This week in the MacNN forums, Clinically Insane member "subego" was praising the iPad 2, even though he initially wrote it off for not having a Retina display. He soon realized, however, that he had misjudged Apple on this one. Today, Mac Enthusiast "biscuit" started a thread looking for advice on the best way to migrate their data from their old MacBook to the new one.
Many changes still up in the air, sources say
On top of new apps, Apple is also considering a number of improvements to existing apps and under-the-hood technologies, sources claim. An example of the latter is Notification Center, where Apple is allegedly interested in simplifying panels from "Today," "All," and "Missed" to just "Today" and "Notifications."
iCloud storage tools might not ship
[Updated with alleged icons] If the ports are finished in time, iOS 8 may include versions of OS X's Preview and TextEdit apps, according to claims by questionable sources say. Unlike their Mac counterparts, the iOS apps reportedly won't be able to actually edit images, PDFs, or text documents. They are, however expected to support viewing OS X documents stored in iCloud; for management and editing, people will be directed toward existing apps like iBooks and Pages, says the rumor.
Change presumably meant to comply with FTC mandate
iOS 7.1 includes a warning about the 15-minute, password-free window after an initial in-app purchase in iOS, notes AppleInsider. The pop-up appears the first time a user tries to make an in-app purchase after installing v7.1, and points people to Settings if they want to undo the window. Under Restrictions, iOS can be set to require a password for every purchase, or block all in-app transactions.
Would be attempt at boosting usage
Apple is testing the idea of moving iTunes Radio into a dedicated app for iOS 8, sources say. At the moment, iTunes Radio is just another option in iOS 7's Music app. This may be hurting its adoption, since third-party rivals like Pandora and Spotify are separate apps and hence more visible. As a distinct entity, iTunes Radio would likely still come pre-installed with iOS 8.
Some performances to be available for later viewing
All of the video streaming at this week's iTunes Festival SXSW in Austin, Texas is being handled by Vevo, the online music service has announced. Live streaming starts tonight and runs through March 15th. To view a concert, people must have a Mac, an Apple TV, or an iOS device with the Vevo or iTunes Festival apps. Mac owners must visit vevo.com/itunesfestival using Safari.
iOS 7.1 is out
This week saw the introduction of iOS 7.1, and yesterday Moderator "P" took to the MacNN forums to get the conversation started, saying that he hopes this fixes the issues some iPad owners have had with iOS 7 Safari. "Will Apple release a 4K Thunderbolt Cinema Display soon?" asks one Fresh-Faced Recruit who is wanting to replace their 10-year-old Apple Cinema Display.
May better compete with Google Maps
Apple is working on a number of major improvements to Maps for iOS 8, sources say. These include using assets picked up through acquisitions of companies like BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop to make data more reliable. Apple is in fact said to be planning to insert more points of interest, and new labels, making it easier to find places like airports, parks, bus stops, and highways. The look of maps has reportedly been cleaned up in general, making streets easier to spot.
Remote gains Apple TV upgrades
(Updated with Logic Remote news) In the wake of iOS 7.1 and Apple TV 6.1, Apple has released updates to Remote, Podcasts, and GarageBand for iOS, as well as Xcode and iAd Producer for desktops. While the Podcasts and GarageBand updates merely include bugfixes, Remote can now control iTunes Radio on an Apple TV. Apple TV owners have also gained the ability to browse purchased video through the app.
Available for all iOS 7-compatible devices
After a lengthy development and testing period, Apple has released the finished version of iOS 7.1 to the public. The code makes a number of improvements to iOS 7, for instance enabling CarPlay support in yet-to-be-launched vehicles. Siri will now let users hold down the Home button to decide how long a device should listen, instead of having to wait for the system to decide no one is talking. More naturalistic voices have been supplied for Japanese, British and Australian English, and Mandarin Chinese.
App visible in US, but downloads may be broken
[Updated: US version of the app now downloading normally] Apple appears to have released an updated iTunes Festival app, v5.0, with content support for next week's SXSW concerts in Austin, Texas. So far, though, mostly people outside the US have successfully downloaded the software; Americans trying to download it via iTunes are encountering errors saying the app is "unavailable." Likewise, the title doesn't appear in US App Store searches.
Changes could be wedged into iOS 7.1
Apple is "scrambling" to make changes to the way in-app purchases work ahead of an FTC deadline, a source tells ZDNet. As a part of its $32.5 million settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, Apple must fix flaws in the App Store that have allowed people -- mostly children -- to inadvertently rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in iTunes charges. The deadline for those changes is just a few weeks from now, March 31st.
Breaks down another distinction of iAd
Beginning sometime this year, companies advertising via iAd will be able to use fullscreen, auto-playing interstitial video ads on the iPhone/iPod touch as well as the iPad, according to Advertising Age sources. At the moment, a person has to tap an iAd banner to get a video to play. As interstitials the videos will likely play after certain in-app actions have finished, such as reading an article or finishing a game level.
Brings CNN content into Flipboard
iOS- and Android-based news reader service Flipboard has bought its main rival Zite from CNN, the company and reports have confirmed. The deal is worth about $60 million, and beginning today has allowed Flipboard to integrate tailored CNN content into its news feeds, including not just general news but feeds from shows like Anderson Cooper 360, Crossfire, and Inside Politics. Some celebrities from the network, like Jake Tapper and Fareed Zakaria, are launching their own Flipboard magazines.
App will allegedly require iOS update
A public release of iOS 7.1 may be imminent, says John Gruber. The tech commentator says he's learned that the app Apple will use to stream iTunes Festival SXSW will require v7.1. Since the festival starts next week, that means that v7.1 would have to be ready in a matter of days.
Europe asks for safeguards to prevent accidental purchases
Apple and Google will soon be meeting with the European Commission to talk about problems with in-app purchases, according to a press release from the political body. The two companies will be asked to provide measures to protect customers, primarily parents, from accidental in-app purchases. A number of game developers publishing to the iOS App Store or Google Play have been accused of marketing "free" games that lure and/or deceive kids into buying digital items and currency; Apple and Google have sometimes been blamed as lax about putting up barriers to those purchases.
Allows streaming movies purchased elsewhere for free
Disney has launched a new iOS app, Movies Anywhere, with unusual hooks into the iTunes Store. The app lets people access Disney, Pixar, and Marvel videos from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The iTunes integration means, however, that it can stream or download videos already bought through the iTunes Store; each movie page also includes links for a preview and buying a movie via iTunes. The app can further be used to redeem digital copies included with Blu-ray and DVD versions of releases.
Companion app adjusts settings to different locations
GN ReSound has officially launched the LiNX, its promised MFI-certified hearing aid. The unit connects wirelessly to an iPhone (or other iOS device), which with a companion iOS app can serve as a remote controlling volume and EQ settings, including presets. A unique feature is geofencing, which can automatically switch presets based on location, such as home or work. A Find My Hearing Aid option can help retrieve a lost LiNX.
Cross-device access costs $10 per month
As predicted, access to the WWE Network has launched on the Apple TV, as well as other iOS devices via the WWE app. Subscription signups are handled through iTunes or the WWE website, and cost $10 per month plus tax. Buyers can purchase time in six-month blocks for $60.
Includes unusual iPhone mount
Accessory maker Mad Catz has announced the C.T.R.L.i, a new wireless gamepad for iOS devices. The controller connects via Bluetooth, and works with any device capable of running iOS 7. It comes with a spring-loaded mount, however, specially tailored to hold an iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c at a convenient viewing angle.
iOS 7 update deals with SSL connection problems
Apple has released a pair of new iOS updates, iOS 7.0.6 and 6.1.6. Release notes indicate that the former deals with a problem in "SSL connection verification." 6.1.6, meanwhile, eliminates several bugs experienced by iPhone 3GS and fourth-generation iPod touch users.
SurveyMonkey releases new app for survey tools on iOS
Online survey tool provider SurveyMonkey has launched an app for mobile creation and monitoring of surveys. Currently only available for iOS devices, the app features an intuitive user interface that facilitates the writing and designing of surveys and polls, as well as the sending of completed surveys to anyone via the Web, email or social media. Users can keep track of survey responses as they are received, and SurveryMonkey's analytics tool can organize, compare and filter data results. SurveyMonkey is a free download through iTunes, with Pro subscription options available ($24 monthly, $200 annual) that allow users to personalize the app with one's company logo, have access to more templates, and more.
Supporting regions still under a dozen
Apple has brought its two-step verification process to several more countries, the company's support pages show. Until today, only the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand were supported. Now however the list also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
iOS' first wide-release third-party keyboard
Developer Fleksy has released the completed SDK for its iOS keyboard, following up on an original announcement in December. Although it can't replace iOS' own system-wide keyboard, owing to limitations from Apple, the Fleksy code can be integrated into third-party apps, and offers advanced options like prediction, gesture commands, and different color themes. Adding the app to a keyboard requires minimal work on the part of developers, but users must have the Fleksy app installed, which carries over settings and dictionaries between apps.
Bought up 'entire three-year supply' of 4.5-inch super-tough material
Ubuntu developer Canonical has told investors and analysts in a conference call that part of the reason it had been unable to produce a planned 4.5-inch smartphone running the Linux-based OS was because (in addition to financial issues) Apple had "scooped up" the entire three-year supply" of sapphire screens the company had planned to use. While not a confirmation that Apple plans to create a 4.5-inch display in a future iPhone, the quote seems to reaffirm that Apple is planning to incorporate the practically-unscratchable material in its future products.
Changes won't affect most of the public
iOS 7.1 should ship "around March 15," and incorporate an overhaul of Apple's existing mobile device management (MDM) platform, a source tells AppleInsider. The company is said to be working with several MDM vendors and institutional clients on the overhaul. It has already launched a new Volume Services website, which is reportedly still in testing but includes options like "Automate MDM Enrollment" and "Buy Apps and Books in Volume." The new tools are expected to go live around the same time as iOS 7.1.
Company said to be suffering from low production yields
(Updated with LTE chipset claims) Apple has dropped Samsung as a manufacturer of the A8 processor in 2014, a TechNews Taiwan report claims. Samsung is said to be having trouble manufacturing the chip using its 20nm process. TSMC, though, is allegedly capable of meeting Apple demands, and is predicted to take on all A8 production this year.
Canada, UK, New Zealand rumored to be coming soon
iTunes Radio is now available to people in Australia, Apple has announced. There the service is functionally identical to its American sibling, in that it's primarily supported by advertising, but free to people who have an iTunes Match subscription. To listen, people need a Mac or Windows PC with iTunes, an Apple TV, or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.