8.2 release enables testing of Apple Watch apps
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Rare hole in iOS security
A serious vulnerability in iOS, dubbed "Masque Attack," could result in malicious apps being installed, says security research firm FireEye. The flaw is said to have been discovered in July, and stems from iOS not enforcing matching certificates for apps with the same bundle identifier. This means that a person could theoretically be lured into installing an app that replaces and/or mimics an original -- even borrowing that app's local data -- and accidentally give up personal information, or even root access privileges.
Supports all recent iOS devices
Pangu's iOS 8.x/8.1 jailbreak tool has been successfully ported to the Mac, its creators have announced. As with the original Windows edition of the jailbreak, it supports all iOS 8-capable devices, including even the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. The Pangu team cautions that people should backup a device before beginning, and also restore if they've downloaded any over-the-air firmware updates.
Swype keyboard for iOS users now available in more than 20 languages
Nuance Communications has announced that its Swype keyboard app for iOS 8 has been updated, now featuring support for more than 20 languages. A keyboard app that learns how the user types, Swype now features QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard layouts, as well as a new layout specifically designed for iPad. Its new intuitive emoji input predicts when to insert an emoji graphic where appropriate. Currently available for $1, Swype requires iOS 8 or later.
Concentrates on bugfixes, speed boosts
In tandem with the OS X 10.10.1 beta, Apple has simultaneously released an initial iOS 8.1.1 beta to developers. The code is listed as build 12B432. So far, the update appears concentrated around bugfixes and performance increases, rather than adding new features, as in iOS 8.1.
Tool begins to reach masses
The Pangu iOS 8.1 jailbreak tool is now being bundled with Cydia, and will get an English translation within 24 hours, its developers say. Cydia is commonly used to simplify jailbreaking, partly by offering an easy way to install unapproved apps. When the Pangu code was released earlier this month, it was only in Chinese and in a rudimentary form intended for developers.
Company hadn't anticipated possibility
In another sudden turnaround, Apple has reversed a decision to block apps with calculator widgets from the App Store. An Apple spokesperson says that PCalc and other similar apps will be permitted in the store without changes. It's suggested that the company simply hadn't anticipated the possibility of widgets serving as calculators, hence reviewers being confused as to whether they can give the greenlight.
Change marks sudden policy reversal
Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets.
Blames distribution system, not code
Via Re/code's first annual Code/Mobile conference, Apple's VP for iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak, has apologized for the botched iOS 8.0.1 update in September. "It wasn't the software itself it was the way it was distributed," he explains in an interview. "We're very sorry."
Pocket Informant receives update, adds iOS 8 support, updated interface
Web Information Solutions has updated its iOS app Pocket Informant, a combined scheduling and task list manager compatible with built-in calendar data, Google, Toodledo, Evernote or Informant Sync. Free to download, by upgrading to its premium version ($15) users can sync with other calendars, utilize Rich Text Notes and Contact Management features, Task Smart Filters and more. Pocket Informant v4.5.1 integrates iOS 8 components like the Today Widget, TouchID Support, Alarm Actions, and the ability to create tasks and notes from Safari and the Notes app. Users can now log in to Google, Toodledo, or Informant Sync through the app using 1Password, and can now sync with Toodledo's latest API. Various fixes have been additionally included since the major update was launched. Pocket Informant requires iOS 7.1 or later.
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.
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.
Rewards and other perks will remain the same as if physical card had been used
Financial services and credit card issuer American Express has posted a new web page on its site, extolling the benefits of Apple Pay and instructing users on how to add their cards to the Passbook-based payment system. The mobile payment system is designed for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (now expanded to include the latest iPads for online or in-app purchases only) and will be formally rolled out on Monday, alongside the release of iOS 8.1.
Features also available to iPad, iPod owners
Although OS X Yosemite is out and most Continuity and Handoff features should already work, two important ones -- Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay -- won't function until iOS 8.1 is released on Monday, notes AppleInsider. The former automatically tethers a Mac, iPad, or iPod touch to an iPhone, while the latter lets people receive SMS/MMS messages from an iPhone on the above devices. Instant Hotspot requires the paired devices to be on the same Apple ID and the iPhone to have tethering enabled by a carrier.
Apple pitching tech to advertisers as an alternative to cookies
Something quietly introduced alongside iOS 8 has been the ability for advertisers to retarget iAds based on in-app browsing actions, a new report says. Apple is, in fact, said to be pitching this to advertisers as a way of circumventing the absence of mobile cookie tracking in iOS. In a given example, someone who adds a pair of shoes to a cart in a retailer's iPhone shopping app -- but decides not to buy them -- may later see an ad for that same pair of shoes from the same retailer, even in another app on his or her iPad. Tapping that ad might redirect the person to their abandoned checkout page and add the shoes back to it.
Disabling, re-enabling to happen through software updates
Apple is planning to temporarily disable blood glucose tracking in iOS 8's Health app, the company says in a new support document. It explains that the app is currently set to track glucose levels using mg/dL, a value adopted in the US and some other countries. But some regions, such as the UK and Australia, depend on mmol/L; the discrepancy can cause problems, even though iOS' underlying HealthKit platform supports both measurements.
Who is the target audience for the Apple Watch?
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one long-time member made some interesting points about the most likely clientele for the premium editions of the Apple Watch that could be priced above $500, stating that a watch is really the only piece of "jewelry" a man can pull off with style, so some of the higher-end models would likely be very appealing to watch aficionados. More suggestions for the best free iOS 8 keyboards have been coming in one thread started late last week.
Should enable release of HomeKit products
Apple has finalized and released official specifications for HomeKit, the home automation platform built into iOS 8. Details were reportedly made available to Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) gear manufacturers last week. Apple mandates that any company wanting to build HomeKit-capable hardware apply for MFi certification.
Indicates iPads won't get retail purchase functions
As anticipated, the second iOS 8.1 beta includes more elaborate Apple Pay content. Coder Hamza Sood demonstrates that while the content isn't visible to the average user, it can be made to appear. The new material includes setup screens explaining what Apple Pay is and offering fields to enter credit/debit card details into Passbook. Those details can be entered manually, or by scanning a card with a device's camera.
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.
Private beta should allow early testing
Apple Pay will indeed launch alongside iOS 8.1, and Apple is currently targeting an October 20 date for the firmware, sources say. The people add that hidden code should allow Apple Pay testing via the 8.1 beta. It's not clear whether that includes NFC functions, or simply online-only transactions. Either way, testing will allegedly start early this month, supported by code rolling out to developers.
Apple developing fix
The current versions of iOS 8 is creating problems for people who pair their iPhones with Bluetooth devices, particularly car audio systems, according to complaints. In the case of cars, devices with the firmware may refuse to pair, fail to play audio, or disconnect when a phonecall comes in. The problem can't be solved with iOS 8.0.2, and is affecting many automotive brands, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, and others.
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.
Just-released beta confirms expected Touch ID and online Apple Pay support
Inside the just-released iOS 8.1 beta for developers are various clues to future Apple products and services, according to developer Hamza Sood. He uncovered settings menus for Apple Pay as well as references to an iPad that includes Touch ID -- both expected additions in forthcoming versions of iOS and iPad models, respectively. A further find of Apple Pay for the iPad appears to offer only online-buying or in-app purchasing support.
Holdup revealed to be privacy concerns by regulators, October 10 still rumored debut
[Update: Apple official announcement reveals China debut of iPhone 6, 6 Plus on October 17] The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have now finally been cleared by the country's regulatory agency for sale in China, and will formally debut on October 17, Apple says. According to Bloomberg, the holdup was apparently over some privacy concerns brought up by Chinese authorities. The company agreed to make some changes, which may or may not be included in the forthcoming iOS 8.1 beta, and received the clearance to use Chinese LTE and 3G networks.
Upgrade to iCloud Drive not recommended until after Yosemite official release
A newly-discovered bug in the "Reset All Settings" control in iOS 8 can cause documents stored in the new iCloud Drive to be permanently deleted. The feature is not recommended to be upgraded to until OS X Yosemite has been officially released -- which is expected to happen sometime next month -- but some iOS 8 users who have upgraded prematurely will be at risk of losing files, such as iWork documents stored in the cloud, if they use the "Reset All Settings" troubleshooting feature.
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.
Spec sheets belie just how powerful and efficient the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are
This is the second part of our two part combined iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus review. In Part 1, we took a look at the design and construction of the new iPhones, along with the new larger and much improved displays as well as the all-new front and rear iSight cameras. In each of these areas, Apple has continued to raise the bar with at least one or more significant improvements over the previous generation. In this second part of our review, we take a closer look at the performance of the new models, their connectivity options, Touch ID/Apple Pay, iOS 8 and weigh up which of the two new iPhones might be best for you.
iOS 8.0.2 update fixes some reported issues
Today in the MacNN forums, members are discussing the second update to iOS 8. Some report no problems as of yet, others are stating there are some things missing such as recent pics. One Junior Member was trying to figure out why it was that every time they used "Find My iPhone" on the iPhone 6, it erased all their music.
Cellular, Wi-Fi, Touch ID affected
Although iOS 8.0.2 appears to have solved the bulk of problems with v8.0.1, some people are still encountering issues with disabled cellular service and Touch ID. Many of the complaints appear to stem from Australia, but it's not clear whether the problems are actually regionally-based. Some users are also complaining about Wi-Fi going missing, but that was an issue touched off by v8.0 and tends to manifest occasionally in Apple firmware updates.
Apple testing policies may ultimately be responsible
A quality assurance manager responsible for this week's botched iOS 8.0.1 release was also in charge of QA for iOS 6 Maps, sources tell Bloomberg. The man is identified as Josh Williams, who is said to have been removed from the Maps team after the app gave people bad directions and/or mislabeled important scenery. He has however been with Apple since 2000, and has been handling quality issues for iOS since the early days of the iPhone.
Apple copes with two simultaneous crises
[Updated: iOS 8.0.2 is now available, and Apple issues apology] The promised fix for iOS 8.0.1 will come in the form of an v8.0.2 download "as soon as it's ready in the next few days," according to a new Apple support document. In the meantime, the webpage offers instructions on how to downgrade to iOS 8.0 using iTunes and direct download links for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus versions of the firmware. The Health app won't work in iOS 8 after these steps. It will be fixed in our upcoming iOS 8.0.2 software update," the company continues.
Agency thinks Android L, iOS 8 security put consumer security ahead of law enforcement
Addressing reporters in Washington today, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey voiced his concerns over the recent shifts in security policy for Android and iOS 8. Specifically, Comey believes that the new security encryption measures that cannot be bypassed for law enforcement puts consumers before possible emergency situations.
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.
Hannover, Germany Apple Store to open Saturday
Apple's 14th store in Germany is set to open in Hannover this weekend. As has been previously reported, the planned location has been subject to delays due to building defects, with bad ventilation requiring additional attention. The grand opening is scheduled to begin the morning of Saturday, September 27.
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.
Figure represents doubling of users since Friday, but lags behind iOS 7 adoption
Apple has seen a near-doubling of user adoption of iOS 8 since it rocketed to 20 percent during its first two days of availability, and is now sitting at around 36 percent after the first weekend of iPhone 6 sales, according to figures from various aggregators including Mixpanel and Appsee. While still representing an astonishing uptake compared to any other computer or mobile platform, the figure is actually behind that of iOS 7 at the same point in its release.
new iPhone and iOS 8 first impressions
As the long lines outside of Apple stores world-wide finally start to move, and new iPhones start landing in the hands of Mac fans everywhere, MacNN forum-goers with phones in-hand begin to post their first impressions in the thread titled "Incoming iPhone" which was started late last week. Also today, reports are starting to come in that iOS 8 is a bit sluggish and buggy, with some even stating that it's the worst release yet. Of course, people always say that.
Update downloads peaked at 3Tbps
The deployment of iOS 8 on Wednesday was Apple's first large-scale test of its new content delivery network, or CDN, says research firm DeepField. At its high point, iOS 8 downloads reportedly consumed 3Tbps, comparable to about 25 HD movies being downloaded simultaneously by as many users. DeepField notes that at least in North America, the launch was almost entirely dependent on Apple CDN servers.
GarageBand for iOS updated, adds iOS 8 support
Music production app GarageBand has received an update for iOS, including support for iOS 8. Users can use their iOS device to "play" a collection of instruments and record musical pieces.
Should make it harder for government agencies to access user data
Part of Apple's strengthened approach to privacy involves stricter encryption in iOS 8, according to the Washington Post, as well as an Apple PDF document. The latter notes that Apple no longer stores encryption keys for devices as of iOS 8, meaning that even if a government agency has a search warrant, the company is unable to break past the security on a passcoded device. That should protect locally-stored content.
Dropbox updated to accommodate iOS 8
Cloud storage platform Dropbox has released an update for its iOS app, in light of the release of iOS 8. Dropbox allows users to store their files remotely, and its iOS app provides access to any file saved to one's cloud account. Dropbox v3.4 includes a restored automatic back-up functionality for iOS 8, which was briefly not working for those who installed the latest iOS release.
Official iPhone User Guide updated on iBooks for iPhone 6 line, iOS 8
Following the arrival of iOS 8 on Wednesday, Apple has updated its official iPhone User Guide (a free e-book download available from the iBookstore) to cover its release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as offer a tour of all the new and changed features of iOS 8. The e-Book can be read on the iBooks app for iOS, or on the OS X version of iBooks for Mavericks and later. The guide covers all iOS 8-compatible iPhone hardware, from the iPhone 4S to the latest iPhone 6 models as well as offering iOS 8 tutorials, including the new Health app.
Mavericks updated includes Safari 7.0.6, fixes VPN and SMB server bugs
In what is likely the final numerical update for OS X Mavericks, Apple has released version 10.9.5 just one day after it was seeded to AppleCare representatives. The release notes indicate that it improves the reliability of VPN connections requiring USB smart cards, and access to files on SMB servers. The patch also includes Safari 7.0.6, though it was released separately about a month ago, alongside v6.1.6 for older operating systems for security patches. The company also updated iMovie for iOS to add iOS 8 compatibility.
Compatible titles should return to App Store by end of September
Apple has confirmed the existence of a bug in HealthKit that resulted in the removal of related apps from the App Store. In an email to the Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw, the company states that it has "discovered a bug that prevents us from making HealthKit apps available on iOS 8 today. We're working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update, and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month."
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.
Update pushed to Dropbox, Carousel over automatic upload failure
Users of Dropbox on iOS are unable to back up data to the cloud storage service, due to a compatibility issue with iOS 8. The company claims the issue prevents users of the latest Apple mobile operating system from automatically backing up all of their photographs and videos to the service, with only a few of the latest files able to be uploaded successfully.