Rapid adoption means iOS more secure, easier to develop for
On Monday, Apple updated its iOS adoption statistics for developers to show that 87 percent of active iOS devices are now running iOS 7, with only 11 percent still on iOS 6 and a mere two percent (presumably devices that cannot upgrade, such as the original iPad) stuck on earlier versions. The figure was achieved less than seven months after the original release of the upgrade in mid-September. By comparison, only about 5.3 percent of Android users have or have been allowed to upgrade to last year's KitKat , which was announced around the same time as iOS 7 and debuted a month later.
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.
Previous release, iOS 6, now down to 12 percent
As of March 23, Apple says 85 percent of active users of iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) are running some version of iOS 7. This follows figures that showed a majority of users -- 52 percent -- had adopted iOS 7 just a week after its release last September. By Christmas, it was on 78 percent of compatible devices. Some 12 percent of users are on iOS 6, with the remaining three percent running older devices limited to older releases. The rapid adoption rate of iOS releases continues to be a major security and developer advantage over Android.
Current technique limited by processor
A hacker going by the alias "winocm" has demonstrated what appears to be the first untethered jailbreak of iOS 7.1. The hack currently works only with the iPhone 4 however, since it's the only iOS 7-capable device with an A4 processor. winocm and well-known jailbreaker iH8sn0w are said to be working on a jailbreak for A5-based devices, like the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and first-generation iPad mini. That could mean it will be some time before modern A7-based devices are cracked.
Apple forces users to pick carriers with official deals
iOS 7.1 appears engineered to block people from using the iPhone's Personal Hotspot (tethering) feature on carriers without official support, complaints on Apple's support forums indicate. Previously it was possible to manually edit APN settings to connect to any carrier. Since that editing is gone, though, tethering has been limited to the smaller number of carriers that officially offer Personal Hotspot.
May make iBeacons more practical
Yesterday's iOS 7.1 update also made changes to the way iBeacons work, reports say. Previously, an iPhone could only pick up notifications from an iBeacon if it had a supporting app open or running in the background; now those messages will appear even if the app has been completely closed (assuming the user has granted permission for push notifications). Alerts are also said to be more responsive, for instance reacting instantly on leaving an iBeacon's broadcast area by ceasing any notifications.
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.
Ironically patches loopholes that allowed Evasi0n jailbreak to work
In a backhanded compliment, the security notes accompanying today's release of iOS 7.1 thank the jailbreaking hacker team known as Evad3rs -- known for their jailbreaking software, Evasi0n -- for finding several security flaws, which iOS 7.1 patches. Ironically, these discoveries are also what made the Evasi0n jailbreaking software work, and thus iOS 7.1 "breaks" the software and un-jailbreaks any iOS devices using Evasi0n.
Units may just be subtle revisions
Separate builds of iOS 7.1, available from Apple's website, appear to reveal the existence of two unreleased iPads. The files are for devices identified as "iPad4,3" (link) and "iPad4,6" (link) respectively. iPad4,1 and 4,2 are known to be variants of the iPad Air, while iPad4,4 and 4,5 are Retina iPad minis.
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.
Users move to 7.0.6 quickly to avoid threat of SSL and VPN-based attack
Following the discovery of a dormant but serious flaw in iOS 6 and iOS 7's handling of VPN and SSL security and the release of a patch by Apple to handle the issue, advertising and content-presentation company Onswipe estimates that more than 50 percent of the entire iOS userbase has already moved to iOS 7.0.6 as of March 3, under two weeks since the update became available. The transition has set a record for the fastest in iOS history.
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.
Apple rolls out CarPlay, brings iPhones to cars with official interface
Apple has announced CarPlay, its automotive interface for iPhones running iOS 7 or later. "CarPlay" is the new official product name for its previously-announced 'iOS in the Car' initiative. Apple is touting CarPlay as a "smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car." CarPlay will make its debut at the Geneva Auto Show this week, with debuts from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.
Site gathers together previously disparate content
Apple is hosting a new webpage at its developer center, highlighting resources for designers looking to tailor their apps for the look and feel of iOS 7 and OS X. Although most of the page's content -- which includes videos and text documents -- was already available, it was previously scattered across pages devoted to different subjects.
Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.
GrooveMaker 2 released by IK Multimedia
IK Multimedia has announced the release of its mobile loop based music-making app, GrooveMaker 2. Designed for iPad, the app offers users the ability to create professional quality grooves, beats and songs in real time. Its library features over 3,600 available loops and over 60 collections of music genres, including House, DubStep, Hip Hop, Techno, Reggae and more. GrooveMaker 2 can be utilized as a live DJ performance tool as well as a mobile composition app. Users can set the length of individual loops and grooves down to 1/4 of a bar, providing flexibility when building and layering a track.
Even patched versions of iOS 6, 7 are exposed, firm says
A vulnerability in iOS could allow remote hackers to log every keyboard and button press a person makes, says security firm FireEye. The exploit is only theoretical -- and would require a compromised app to somehow make it through the App Store review process -- but is said to have been tested and could potentially expose both software and hardware interactions. This includes Touch ID unlocks, although not the actual fingerprint data involved.
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.
Former jailbroken software bypasses App Store, poses security risk
A former "unofficial" app that required jailbreaking an iOS device to run its Game Boy emulator has attempted to "backdoor" its way onto non-jailbroken devices by hijacking a legitimate certificate, which has now been disabled by Apple. The app, GBA4iOS 2, offered emulation of Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games on iOS 7 devices, and included a built-in browser to allow users to pirate ROMs.
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.
Glitch devastating some developers
iOS 7.1 beta 5 appears to solve a problem that can kill all location tracking on a device, according to VentureBeat. In iOS 7.0.x, force-quitting an app that uses location services can also disable all location-aware functions, which were previously able to run in the background. This is said to be crippling some developers of location-based apps, such as Life360, which in the switch to iOS 7 saw drops in its userbase ranging from 30 to 50 percent.
Code buried in iOS 7 since firmware's September launch
The AirPlay configuration file in iOS 7 already contains a reference to a fourth-generation Apple TV, reports note. The device is formally listed as the "AppleTV4,1;" the most recent model is the "AppleTV3,2," a slight revision of the third-gen set-top that brought 1080p to the platform. The 4,1 mention appears to have been present since the first version of iOS 7 debuted in September, but the code went unnoticed until today.
Calendar, general interface tweaks only visible changes
As rumored earlier, iOS 7.1 will indeed not reach the public until March, new sources say. The people add that the update will also lack any "secret features," meaning items which Apple sometimes conceals from betas so it can make a splash when the software is finished. Instead the update is expected to concentrate only on the sort of things that have been seen so far, such as improved Phone and Calendar apps, speed boosts, and bugfixes.
Exploit blocked in iOS 7.1
A newly-discovered hack lets people disable Find My iPhone without first entering a password. Shown in a YouTube video (below), the exploit requires only making a few simple changes to a device's iCloud account. It's confirmed to work on iPhones and iPads running iOS 7.0.4, although it appears to be blocked in iOS 7.1, which is still in beta.
Continues minor interface tweaks
(Updated with evasi0n hack break, samples of new voices) Apple is now seeding a fifth beta of iOS 7.1 to developers. Changes appear relatively minor, but release notes mention "new natural-sounding Siri voices" for Japanese, the UK and Australian English dialects, and Mandarin Chinese. Apple also appears to be continuing visual tweaks to the OS, for instance by adding new Shift and Caps Lock buttons (below).
Fixes problems with Chinese cellular networks
Apple is now seeding a rare iPhone-only iOS update, v7.0.5. The release is intended exclusively for the iPhone 5s and 5c, and deals with unspecified "network provisioning" problems on some Chinese models. For people who already have iOS 7.0.4 installed, the download is just 35.4MB when fetched via Software Update.
Depicts voice, location-beaming features
New video from developer Steven Troughton-Smith shows iOS in the Car in action, running in iOS Simulator. The clip (below) shows Troughton-Smith going through some basic functions, including beaming a location from an iPhone to a virtual in-dash display. The dash also brings up a Siri prompt, asking people to speak a search term such as "1 Infinite Loop," "ice cream," or "San Francisco."
Continues to be world's most popular mobile operating system
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed on Monday during a conference call with analysts that iOS 7, the latest version of Apple's mobile platform, is now running on 80 percent of compatible devices. The milestone represents a two percent uptick since December, and prompted Oppenheimer to mistakenly proclaim it "the most popular operating system in the world," unintentionally dropping the qualifier "mobile."
Appears to affect machines when battery is low
Apple has acknowledged a problem with iOS 7 that can cause devices to randomly crash and reboot, an issue most commonly seen when power levels on the device dip below 30 percent. While the company had not previously acknowledged the issue, it confirmed on Wednesday that it is working on a fix that will appear in an upcoming software update. The problem is not currently believed to affect all users.
Devs also begin Xcode 5.1 beta 4 testing
Apple has released the fourth betas for iOS 7.1 and Xcode 5.1, enabling developers to continue testing the software ahead of a public release. The iOS beta is said to fix a bug related to outgoing messages, however other issues from earlier betas have yet to be resolved, according to an AppleInsider report.
Private social networking app receives iOS 7 design revamp
Second Gear has released the latest version of Glassboard this week, offering users a redesigned aesthetic to accompany iOS 7. A private social network tool for teams, Glassboard consists of multiple 'boards' that each represent a specific grouping of people. Within each board, users can share messages, photos, videos, files and location privately and securely. Second Gear recently acquired Glassboard from NewsGator, and with the change Glassboard 3.0 now offers a layout that reflects the design language of Apple's iOS 7.
Uninstalled updates currently consuming large amounts of space
iOS 7.1 beta 3 allows users to delete the installers for unused over-the-air firmware updates, reports note. The option can be found under the General/Usage menu under Settings, where the installer is treated like any other file. Automatic over-the-air updates have been possible since iOS 6, but people who choose not to install them have been forced to keep installers on their devices, losing space ranging from hundreds of megabytes to several gigabytes.
Public release may still be some distance away
Apple has released a third beta of iOS 7.1 to developers, accounts say. The code was seeded to select testing partners on December 23rd, but at the time, not the general developer community. The beta is said to make a number of adjustments and bugfixes, bringing v7.1 much closer to its finished state. Some fixes deal with listening to audiobooks, creating a new iCloud account during device setup, and errors seen when enabling iCloud Keychain.
iOS 7 jailbreak, problems with Mail and more
This week in the MacNN forums, users discuss iOS 7 jailbreaks, problems with Mail and more. One Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums today looking for help with the iOS 7 jailbreak on an iPad mini, so far no assistance has been provided. Yesterday, one Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with Mail after realizing they were missing the send button, and had to resort to hitting "cancel" and then "save" in order to get a "send" button.
4 percent still using iOS 5 or earlier
Among iOS users, iOS 7 adoption rose 2 points to 78 percent between December 15th and the 30th, according to official Apple data for developers. Correspondingly, iOS 6 usage dropped two points to 18 percent. A consistent 4 percent are still using iOS 5 or earlier, despite many apps now requiring at least iOS 6. They may however be running older hardware not compatible with iOS 6 or 7.
Taig now hosting unofficial version of jailbreak
Evad3rs -- the team behind the evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 7 -- has issued a second open letter, admitting that it "dropped the ball" on investigating whether Taig's app store contained pirated content. The evad3rs team recently acknowledged benefiting financially from its work. Around the same time the team severed ties, pulling Taig's store from evasi0n completely. In the new letter, evad3rs states that "after investigation and after notification from the community," it found examples of piracy such as "pirated tweaks, Apple App Store apps, and even pod2g's PodDJ app."
Tour takes Apple engineers around the world, focuses on new technologies
Just a week after the conclusion of the 2013 tour of Apple's Tech Talks, a series of seminars on iOS development, the company has posted the videos and slideshows of the topics on its developer website. The presentations, which began in San Francisco on October 8 and included stops in New York, London, Tokyo and Shanghai, focused on integrating new iOS 7 technologies into apps, UI design and App Store distribution as well as gaming design.
Third beta now seeding to testing partners
The finished version of iOS 7.1 probably won't be released until March, despite expectations, a source claims. Beta 2 was recently seeded to developers; the source says that beta 3 is now being distributed, but only to a closed network of testing partners. That suggests that the code is still unstable, and won't reach a broad base of developers until the new year, or at least after the Christmas holiday.
iOS 7 jailbreak finally arrives
Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system has officially been jailbroken, as a new tool from the Evasi0n team has appeared online. The jailbreak is compatible with all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini models running iOS 7.0 through 7.0.4. It requires a computer running Linux or at least Windows XP or OS X 10.6.
iPhone 5s bests all previous iPhones in running iOS 7
A new comparison video that hit the Internet last week shows off the degree to which the iPhone 5s is faster than its predecessors. TheUnlockr took each of the iPhones that is capable of running iOS 7 and put them against each other in a speed test. Apple's newest smartphone, the most powerful to date with a 64-bit processor of course bested all of the previous models. The video, though, demonstrates the progress Apple has made with its handhelds, as the difference in speed between the older devices and the newer models is more than apparent.
Guideline enforcement begins February 1
Apple has notified developers of new guidelines that require all new apps and app updates submitted to the App Store to be optimized for iOS 7. The company is preparing to enforce the new rules beginning February 1, giving developers a few weeks to download the latest version of Xcode 5 and make any necessary changes before submitting their updates or new titles.
Public release expected soon
(Updated with additional details) Apple has seeded the second iOS 7.1 beta to developers, nearly a month after the first beta was released for testing. The company has yet to publicly detail any changes to the second release, which was spotted by 9To5Mac, though the first beta was primarily centered around bug fixes and performance enhancements.
Three months in, almost all users on iOS 7 or iOS 6
A new report posted by Apple itself on its iOS developer portal says that, less than three months after its debut, iOS 7 is now on 74 percent of all the company's mobile devices -- an astonishing adoption rate unrivalled in the industry. Users still on iOS 6 make up about 22 percent of the base, meaning 96 percent of iOS users are running OS versions no more than a year old. By comparison, only around half of Android users are on a 4.x version (first released in mid-2012), with only 1.1 percent on the latest iteration.
Timely app allows logged hours to be scheduled in advance
New time-tracking app Timely has been launched this week on iTunes. Aiming to minimize the effort involved with logging one's work for invoicing, Timely allows users to schedule and plan work while simultaneously logging the hours. Its layout is like a calendar, though simplified to not display time stamps.
Tumblr app gives visual overhaul, new UI for user interaction
Visual blogging service Tumblr has updated its iOS app for iPhone and iPad to version 3.5, bringing with it a complete overhaul of the look - now using the iOS 7 design language - as well as a handful of new features. Users will discover a completely new user interface for composing, reblogging and post style selection, alongside the redesigned Dashboard. The reblogging feature is now faster as well, and the update also offers tagging auto-completion.
Find My Friends gets flattened with new look
Apple has pushed out an update to its Find My Friends app, giving it a new look that is more in line with the flat aesthetic of iOS 7. Version 3.0 of Find My Friends bears little, if anything, else in the way of changes. The app still allows users to locate friends on iOS devices based on their Apple IDs.
Will allow more precision in compatible games
Accessory maker MOGA has formally revealed the Ace Power, a game controller for the iPhone and iPod touch. The device is the first to take advantage of iOS 7's GameController API, standardizing controller support. It includes two sticks, a direction pad, four main buttons, and shoulder triggers. It clamps around the top and bottom of an iPhone or iPod, also plugging into the Lightning port. This lets the accessory supply extra battery life.
Release notes only hint at bugfixes, performance boosts
Apple has begun seeding the first beta of iOS 7.1 to registered developers. Release notes suggest that the update will mainly focus on bugfixes and performance improvements. There are some minor cosmetic differences, such as new text after clearing entries in the Notification Center, and the inclusion of an updated Yahoo logo that first appeared in iOS 7.0.4's Settings app.
Apps adopt look similar to Newsstand redesign
Following long after its iLife and iWork refreshes, Apple has updated the mobile iBooks and iTunes U apps to suit the look of iOS 7. Both apps have jettisoned the skeuomorphism of previous versions in favor of designs similar to the iOS 7 Newsstand. This includes elements like "flat" shelves, although iBooks continues to sport page-turning animations.
Addresses flaw that caused debugging crash with iOS 6 devices
After sending a "Golden Master" version to developers last week, Apple has updated Xcode to version 5.0.2, which adds support for iOS 7.0.3 (the current version of iOS). It is also largely a bug-fix release from the 5.0.1 version, which was released alongside OS X Mavericks on October 22. The new update fixes problems that caused occasional hangs in the iOS simulator during app install or when debugging, as well as during debugging iOS 6 devices.