Apple’s iPhone 7 keynote boiled down to less than 10 minutes [Video]

Presenting the abridged version of the iPhone 7 keynote, which includes all of the important details and none of the fluff. If you’re pressed for time, but want to see all of the major announcements from today’s event, check out our distilled video.

If you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on all of our coverage of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus announcements, the Apple Watch Series 2 announcement, the new wireless AirPods, and much more.

As expected the new iPhones received storage bumps across the board, two new colors—Jet Black, with a glossy finish, and a matte Black color—along with massively improved cameras.

The biggest announcement, at least from my point of view, is the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual camera feature. This lends users a wide angle and telephoto lens on the same device. The dual camera feature, as we speculated a while back, allows users to take advantage of a new optical zoom feature, and makes it easy to acquire shallow depth of field in portrait shots using a clever mix of software and hardware.

But, of course, that’s not all. If you’re pressed for time, be sure to have a look at the 10 minute distilled version of the keynote embedded below. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more upcoming coverage of all of the new hardware and software revealed at today’s event.


Apple introduces new $29 screen repair tier to AppleCare+, raises fee for other repairs to $99

Buried inside all of Apple’s announcements today were some notable changes to the company’s AppleCare+ repair program. While Apple has long charged $99 for repairs of current-gen devices and $79 for previous-gen repairs, the company today announced that there is now a flat $99 charge for all incidental repairs under AppleCare+. For one of the most common repairs, however, there’s a nice pricing improvement…

Perhaps most notably, however, there’s a new fee that applies exclusively to screen repairs for AppleCare+ customers. Instead of having to pay the full $99 amount, users looking for screen repairs will have to pay a more reasonable $29 fee.
For Apple, the new $99 flat rate for all devices was likely necessary to offset the $29 screen repair offering. For users, however, the $29 screen repair fee will likely be seen as an improvement as cracked screens are one of the most common repairs made via AppleCare+ plans.

Here’s how Apple describes the AppleCare+ program changes on its website:
Every iPhone comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support. AppleCare+ for iPhone extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $29 for screen damage, or $99 for any other damage, plus applicable tax.2 In addition, you’ll get 24/7 priority access to Apple experts via chat or phone through
With today’s changes, the overall idea of AppleCare+ remains the same. For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, AppleCare+ is priced at $129. For that one-time charge, users get two incidents of accidental damage coverage. Screen repairs will run $29 under the new pricing structure and all other repairs will run $99, no matter what device it is.
You can catch up on everything Apple announced on stage at its press event today in our live news hub and be sure to check back as we continue to dissect everything that’s new.

Apple updates iPad lineup with increased storage across the board, iPad Pro gets a price cut

Although the focus of today is on the iPhone 7 and the new Apple Watch, the company has refreshed its iPad lineup slightly. It is updating storage SKUs across all iPads to mirror the iPhone 7: with 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB tiers. This means all iPads have an effective price cut with further savings for the 9.7 inch and 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro has had the biggest shakeup with pricing on higher storage tiers falling. The 9.7 inch iPad Pro costs $599 for 32 GB, $699 for 128 GB, and $799 for 256 GB. The 12.9 inch iPad Pro costs $799 for 32 GB, 128 GB for $899 and 256 GB for $999.
The iPad Air 2 is now available in 32 GB and 128 GB storage options, priced at $399 and $499. The iPad mini 4 is the same storage options and the same price points.
iPad mini 2 appears to be being slowly deprecated, now offered in a single 32 GB configuration for $269. Truly new iPads are not expected until 2017 but at least Apple is bringing minimum storage in line with its other iOS devices.

There are also a slew of new colors for the iPad Silicon cases and Smart Covers.

macOS Sierra GM version is now available for Mac

macOS Sierra has been used by developers and public beta testers all summer, and today the Mac software update is available in GM form as Apple prepares it for primetime. The latest release is available now through the Mac App Store. macOS Sierra’s headlining feature is Siri on the Mac with other features like Auto-Unlock which lets Apple Watch users skip the password login screen. Apple Pay is also coming to Safari with macOS Sierra, although we haven’t seen the feature live on the web yet.

Testing macOS Sierra currently requires a new promo code for registered developers that you redeem through the Mac App Store. If you’re just jumping in to macOS Sierra testing with the GM or you’ve already been testing Sierra betas, head to Apple’s developer page to find the promo code associated with your account.
We’ll update with any notable changes found in macOS Sierra release candidate, and catch up on our macOS 10.12 coverage below for all the details:



Apple seeds tvOS 10 GM for the Apple TV to developers

Just a few moments after the September iPhone event keynote ended, Apple has started seeding out the golden master release for tvOS 10 today to all current testers and developers. To update to the final build, developers can check through the Software Update section on the Apple TV, or grab the Configuration Profile from Apple’s Developer center if you’d like to install it for the first time.

Apple’s newest tvOS software introduces Dark Mode, Single Sign-on, HomeKit, and YouTube search to the latest Apple TV. tvOS 10 beta 3 brought in more language support with Siri, and some improved functionality within the Music app. tvOS 10 beta 2 brought in an entirely new UI for Apple Music with a Library view inspired by the iPod Classic’s UI. tvOS 10 looks to be focused primarily on small changes to improve the whole system, where as iOS 10 and watchOS 3 have gone through some radical changes themselves.

For screenshots of the new Music UI introduced in tvOS 10 beta 2, check back on our previous article. To see our breakdown of tvOS 10’s changes, take a look at some of our recent articles:
Our latest coverage of tvOS 10 can be found in its guide.

Developers wanting to install the tvOS 10 GM for the first time onto their devices can take a look at Apple’s developer center to grab either the Configuration Profile, or restore image to be installed via iTunes. Developers already on a previous tvOS 10 beta can check through their device’s Software Update section to grab the latest release.

Once updated, the latest release notes for tvOS 10 GM will be found here.

Apple seeds watchOS 3 GM for the Apple Watch to developers

Following this year’s September iPhone event, Apple has begun seeding out the final builds for watchOS 3. This golden master release can be downloaded as an update from the Watch app on an iPhone, or its appropriate configuration file can be downloaded from Apple’s Developer Center. watchOS 3 GM should be the final release we see before an official release of watchOS 3 is made public. watchOS 3’s public release date is set for next week, September 13th.

With the previous update, watchOS 3 beta 3 brought in new fixes in areas like Activity Sharing and the Clock face layouts. In an earlier release, watchOS 3 beta 2 saw the introduction of Auto Unlock alongside the macOS Sierra beta 2, Emergency SOS for contacting emergency services in the local area, locking workouts without using Force Touch, and Activity Sharing began working for some. Our previous coverage of watchOS 3 beta 2 with a list of discovered changes can be found here. For more information about Auto Unlock on the Apple Watch, be sure to catch Jeff Benjamin’s video and FAQ posts as well.

The upcoming watchOS, expected to be released later this fall, brings major speed improvements and new user experiences to the Apple Watch. We’ve spent the past few weeks diving into watchOS 3’s features; take a look at the links below to get caught up:
To stay up to date with all of our watchOS 3 coverage, be sure to follow up on our watchOS 3 guide.

Developers looking to install the watchOS 3 GM for the first time on their devices can grab the appropriate Configuration Profiles for watchOS 3 on Apple’s developer center. Current testers and developers looking to grab the latest watchOS 3 update can navigate to the Watch app on their iPhone and check under the Software Update section.

Once updated, the latest watchOS 3 GM release notes will be found here.

iOS 10 GM seed is now available for developers, released publicly on September 13

Apple has just dropped the iOS 10 GM seed for developers, including all the new features and changes that will be available to the public next week on September 13 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The update weighs in at 1.7 GB. Apple calls it the biggest release of iOS ever.

Changes spotted in the GM:
  • Health app now has working videos for each of the four categories; Activity, Mindfulness, Nutrition and Sleep.
  • Version number is actually iOS 10.0.1, unclear why Apple is already on a bugfix version number.

Apple expands iPhone Upgrade Program to UK and China, announces U.S. pricing

Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, which provides a new iPhone every year for a fixed monthly fee, is being expanded to the UK and China. It was previously available only in the USA …

Apple introduced the program a year ago as a way to encourage annual upgrades rather than the more traditional two-year cycle. In the U.S. pricing starts from $27/month for the iPhone 7 and $32/month for the iPhone 7 Plus, with lower prices for older models.

macOS Sierra will be released on September 20 for free to Mac owners

Apple has announced that macOS Sierra will be released to customers on September 20, as part of its media event currently going on. The update is (naturally) free and incorporates several new features, like Siri for Mac, Apple Pay for websites and more.

Owners of compatible Macs can upgrade for free by checking Software Update when the new OS is available.

For those completely out the loop, macOS is Apple’s new branding for OS X, Apple’s desktop and laptop operating system. This brings the Mac in line with Apple’s other platforms, that use the lowercase nomenclature like iOS 10, tvOS or watchOS. The new name is interesting but does not signify major changes to the platform with Sierra being a largely-incremental release with a few headline additions like Siri.

Apple announces iPhone 7 pricing & availability, pre-orders start Sept. 9, available Sept. 16

Following its unveiling of iPhone 7 today, Apple has now announced pricing and availability for the device.

Head below for all of the details on pricing for the various models and country availability.
  • Pre-orders start Sept 9. 
  • iPhones will ship/go on sale Sept. 16
iPhone 7 will start at $649 for the entry-level 32GB model and move up the usual $100 premium for 128GBs and the new 256GB high-end model:


iPhone 7 Plus will be priced at its usual premium starting at $769 (32GB) and up from there for the 128G, and 256GB models. The new Jet Black iPhones will only be available in 128GB and 256GB storage options.

The new iPhone 7 models will go up for preorder on Friday, Sept 9 and launch on Sept 16 in the following 25+ countries:
A week later it will arrive in a second-wave of countries, including:
Apple will keep the 6S and 6S Plus models around alongside iPhone SE. This is what the iPhone lineup will look like post-iPhone 7 launch:

WWDC 2016: everything on the 'gigantic' changes Apple announced


One of the biggest dates in the Apple calendar has arrived. WWDC 2016 has kicked off in style in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and TechRadar was among the 5,000 people there to witness Cook and co reveal the latest Apple wares.
This is the 27th WWDC. Apple has currently 30 million registered developers and the conference sold out in minutes. This year, Apple has awarded 350 scholarships to make sure it is investing in its devs and over 100 attendees at the conference this year are under 18 - the youngest is nine.
It's working: there's now over 2 million apps on the App Store, which has been downloaded 130 billion times.
As with all of Apple's developer conferences, there was a massive amount of speculation before the event as to what was going to be announced. Last year, the big reveals were iOS 9Apple MusicwatchOS 2 and everything we needed to know about OS X El Capitan.
The usual BIG rumors for 2016 focused, as usual, on hardware. The world wanted news on Apple CarApple Watch 2, new MacBooks and finally a real, physical, 'going to cost more than my house' Apple Television.
Given WWDC's focus is, for the main, on developers and software, we didn't actually see any of this. But what we did see impressed us.

WWDC 2016

WWDC major announcements


watchOS 3

Last year, watchOS 2 was announced, improving on the original Apple Watch operating system and zapping some of the annoyances users had with the watch.
This time around, watchOS 3 is all about speed and refining the operating system so users will use Apple Watch more and more.
watchOS 3 allows you to keep favorite apps in a new Dock system, has background updates and quicker refresh times. In fact, there's a 7x faster refresh rate than watchOS 2 which looked lightning fast in the demos we saw at WWDC.
Another interesting new feature is that you can press the side-button below the crown to access the Dock, much like what you have in iOS, where you can swipe through different apps to use.
This increased performance allows easy access to favorite apps and to make controls even easier, Control Center is now on your Apple Watch. You just swipe up from the bottom, like in iOS.
Apple has also made it more powerful to reply to messages. You don't need to press reply anymore, just scroll down for an automatic response. If you don't like any of the responses, then you need Scribble.
With Scribble, you can write what you like, drawing the letters of the message right there on the screen.

Apple Watch

Apple has also added a Minnie Mouse face, a new Activity face in both analog and digital, and a face called Numerals - you can have different fonts for this one to match your style. You can now just swipe to switch a watch face, you can also customise them better.
The new watchOS update introduces Activity Sharing - you can see what activity your friends are family are up to and you can share yours as well. You can get an up-close look of their activity range and see how they are working out. This also works with certain third parties. There's also the ability for wheelchair users to share their fitness as well.
The preview release is available today and upgrades are coming to all users this Fall.



Apple TV is getting a small but fairly significant update.
It's good news for those who don't like the Apple TV remote - Apple has developed a new version of the remote app for iOS so you can use your iPhone as a remote and you can use your phone's gyroscope to play games on Apple TV.
Siri on Apple TV has also been approved. You can now search movies by topic on Apple TV. For example, you can search for 'high school comedies from the 80s' and Siri will find movies in this genre for you. Siri searches 650,000 movies and TV shows to make this happen. And that's not all, you can now you can also search YouTube this way as well.
Apple TV is also adding more live channels and making it much easier to use video channel apps on your Apple TV. Usually when you launch a video channel app for the first time you need to authenticate each and every app. Apple is changing this with something called Single Sign-up - sign in once and you get access to all the apps.
Apple TV is also getting a color makeover. It now has a dark mode, in case Apple TV is too bright for you in a dark room.
You can also automatically download apps to your Apple TV - get an app on your iPhone and it will download on to the big screen for you as well.
Developer preview for tvOS is out today in beta form and will come to everyone else in the Fall.
Read more: Apple TV review

macOS Sierra

macOS Sierra

OS X is been around for 15 years but at WWDC 2016 it disappeared. It is now called macOS. OS X may be gone, but Apple is still naming its operating systems and the first macOS is called: macOS Sierra.
In macOS Sierra, there's a nice big focus on Continuity, iCloud and Siri. That's right, Siri has finally come to the Mac.
Continuity allows you to now Auto Unlock your Mac. So if you are near your Mac and wearing an Apple Watch, then it will be able to automatically unlock it when you get near it. No more passwords.
Apple is also adding universal clipboard functionality. It is taking on Evernote with the ability to copy and paste information between the iPhone and the Mac.
Apple is also bolstering its Tabs on the Mac experience. Apple is bringing tabs to all multiple windows that you have on your Mac. The idea is no matter what window you have up, you can make them cleaner by tabbing them.

macOS Sierra

Picture-in-picture is also something that is coming to macOS Sierra - you can watch video PiP on whatever screen you are using,
And, finally, Siri is coming for macOS Sierra. It's taken five years but Siri is finally on the Mac. Siri will be on the dock, press it and you can use your voice to find things like files.
You can also pin your Siri results to your notification centre. You can also take results out of Siri and drag them into your documents. You can use Siri to send messages and find out what movies are on. Essentially, it's the Siri on your iPhone finally in your Mac.
Sierra is available to developers today, with a public beta out in July and full release in the Fall.

iOS 10

Apple Music

In iOS 10 news, the lock screen has been redesigned, expanding the use of 3D Touch. Now, you can raise your wrist and the phone will wake up - new notifications are interactive through 3D Touch. Hard press on a notification and you can deal with them before you have even unlocked your phone. You can even message on the lockscreen.
If you don't want your notifications, you can get rid of them quickly now thanks to 3D Touch. Control Center has been improved and there's now a bigger area for music on the lockscreen, easier access to the camera. It's also easier to see your widgets.
Siri is being opened up to develops, which is massive news for third-party apps. You can now send Whatsapps through Siri, as well as Slack. Uber and Lyft are also supported, as are apps such as Pinterest, MapMyRun, Runkeeper and Skype.
QuickType has also been improved. It's just got a lot more intelligent as Siri is a lot more baked in, offering up things like location information and pre-filling calendar events.
Photos now gets facial recognition and can pin your photos to a map, so you know where your photos were taken. It will also allow you to search your photos by looking at what is in the photo - so if you are near a mountain, you will be able to search for a photo that way. All this comes wrapped in a brand-new interface called Memories.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps has been given an upgrade as well. Adding features already seen on Google Maps, it will allow alternate routes if there is traffic, contextual information about restaurants around you and turn by turn right into Apple Car Play. Maps has also been opened up to developers so third parties can bake their information into Maps.
Apple Music has been improved as well. It has been redesigned from the ground up, with Apple trying to make it look simpler. Apple wants 'music to be the hero'. It emphasises the features you use everyday.
Apple News has had a bumpy start but Apple is hoping to make this better, with big changes coming. Stories have been put into clear sections, enhanced the topics and added subscriptions, so you can add your subscribed content through the app.


HomeKit has also not had the greatest start but Apple has changed this with updates to the service. It has rounded out the accessory types so there are now door locks and cameras within the service. The biggest change, however, is that it has been renamed as Home. Here you can find all your accessories that you have linked to it and personalise the app.
There's now something called Scenes - so you can have a bedtime scene and it will turn lights off etc. Siri is also baked into this as well. HomeKit is also now in Control Center.
Home is also accessible on the go and is geo-ready so if you are getting close to your house, it can turn things on for you before you even get in the door.
A big new feature when it comes to calls is voicemail transcription - it will transcribe your voicemails so you don't have to listen to them. It will also label spam. Messages has also been given something of a spruce. Links have now been made into rich links, so video can play right inline and other links will have images pop up.
And perhaps the biggest iOS 10 news: Emojis are now THREE TIMES BIGGER and there's also predictive emojis. It will also highlight the words that can be turned into emojis. Amazing.
Oh, and you can also keep private messages private - where they are only seen when the other person swipes over them. We are not sure why you want to use that, though.
Nope, not at all.
As with all the announcements today, iOS 10 is out in the Fall and a preview is available now for developers. A preview beta of the operating system will be out in July.
Update: The Apple WWDC keynote is today, and there's more evidence suggests the change from OS X to MacOS while the MacBook Pro may be getting an OLED touch bar. Read on to find out more!
WWDC is Apple's annual Moses moment: it's when developers gather to see what Tim Cook's got on his tablet, and that gathering starts today.
Specifically the WWDC keynote begins at 10AM PST (1PM EST, 6PM BST), and it promises to be one of the more interesting ones for the Cupertino company.
Not only will we likely see new versions of Apple's OSes, but we're expected to be treated to important new hardware refreshes. Here's what we expect to see at WWDC 2016.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro

The MacBook has just been refreshed, so the MacBook Pro is next for an update - and where better to unveil a new Pro laptop range than at your annual developers' conference?
The most obvious update for the MacBook Pro 2016 is to use Intel's Skylake processors, which are already in PC rivals. The move to Skylake is more dramatic than the move to Broadwell processors, which were mainly about improved battery life; Skylake delivers significant speed improvements, plus support for WiGig and WiDi wireless data transfer and wireless charging, although we don't expect to see those features this year.
A redesign might be on the cards too - the design hasn't changed much in eight years - although many Pro users are rather keen on their expansion ports so we might not see a razor-thin MacBook-style Pro just yet (although the rumoredmetal injection molded hinges should cut down on the size). Thinner with USB-C ports and an OLED touch bar, yes. Razor-thin with just one port, probably not.

MacBook Air 2016

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is overdue an update: it's still on Broadwell processors while rivals run faster, more efficient Skylakes, so the announcement of a MacBook Air 2016 is likely.
Multiple reports late last year predicted a "significant refresh" of the Airs in mid-2016 with Retina displays, USB-C, Skylake processors and the end of the 11-inch model, but there's a great deal of uncertainty over the Air's future: does Apple really need to make the Air when it has a range of super-portable Retina MacBooks alongside refreshed MacBook Pros?
We're hearing conflicting reports on this: some say a refresh, the end of the 11-inch and the introduction of a 15-inch Air; others say that the Air is going to be grounded.

Apple Watch 2

Apple Watch

A new version of Watch OS is inevitable, but leaks suggest that a new, thinnerApple Watch 2 is on the cards as well. That makes sense, as a June announcement would give developers several months to work on apps for an Autumn release.
We don't expect it to look significantly different - there's already an ecosystem of screen protectors, stands and expensive straps, and it's a bit early for Apple to junk that in favor of a new design - but the internals are expected to be significantly improved. The most tantalizing rumor comes via the Wall Street Journal, which says that the Apple Watch 2 will have its own cellular modem.
If true, that means the Watch will become approximately eleventy billion times more useful. We already know that Apple wants all third party apps to run natively on the Watch rather than on the iPhone, something that should make apps run significantly faster; giving those apps a phone-free data connection too would significantly boost their powers.
It's also been rumored that Apple will base its Watch 2 processor on the ARM Cortex A32, which is 25% faster than the current ARM-based processor and offers vastly improved battery life, addressing one of the Watch's biggest issues. The current Apple Watch uses a System on a Chip (SoC) based on the ARMv7 architecture, but the Cortex A32 is based on ARMv8 and was designed specifically for wearable devices.
The Apple Watch 2 may get an improved set of sensors too. Apple has been busily hiring health experts and medical sensor engineers, although Tim Cook has specifically ruled out an FDA-approved Apple Watch. He hasn't ruled out an FDA-approved Apple Watch strap, however, and both patents and rumors say Apple has been working on the idea of sensor-packed Watch straps for greatly improved health monitoring.
The big question over the Apple Watch is whether Apple will release a brand new, significantly improved version this year, or if it'll do an iPhone and release aslightly improved S version - possibly with a FaceTime camera - as a stopgap before a more exciting new model next year. With so many Watch owners getting them as Christmas presents just a few months ago, it may be too soon for Apple to launch a dramatically different model.rt

iOS 10


iOS 10 will get the usual WWDC launch, late Summer beta and Autumn release, and we'd expect it to drop support for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, not least because we thought they'd get the bullet last year.
Rumored new features include iCloud Voicemail, where Siri can handle incoming calls and apologise if you can't take them; 3D Touch in a refreshed, customizable Control Center; a Health-style Home app for HomeKit; and possibly multi-user support for iPads.
Our favorite rumor is that in iOS 10 we'll finally be able to remove the stock Apple apps that everybody keeps in a junk folder. The App Store is also getting a revamp to make decent apps easier to find.
iOS 10 could be bad news for jailbreakers and the FBI: Redmond Pie reports that the OS has a new "rootless" security system that will make iPhones and iPads impossible to jailbreak. Apple is also working on stronger iCloud security and encryption and bringing as much as possible of its cloud infrastructure in-house.
Of all the Apple products at WWDC 2016, iOS 10 will be the one getting the most attention: Apple watchers will be checking iOS 10's tea leaves for signs of what's coming in the iPhone 7.

macOS / OS X 10.12


Are we seeing the end of the OS X name? Apple has trademarked lots of Californian place names so it isn't short of successors to El Capitan, but code buried deep inside a file that's been in OS X's System folder since 2015 refers not to OS X, but to macOS - the name Apple used to use for its operating system.
It seems to be more than a retro flashback; OS X doesn't fit with the current Apple OS convention that spans watchOS, tvOS and iOS, and Apple's latest update to its environmental page described MacOS, not OS X. Not only that, but Apple referenced macOS a second time on a developer FAQ page, albeit this time having the moniker begin with a lowercase 'm'.
Whatever it's called, Siri on the desktop is the most likely headline feature in OS X 10.12, with the personal assistant getting a Spotlight-style button on the menu bar and his or her own preference pane. Photos may be getting a revamp too, but most of the changes are under the hood, with Apple focusing once again on performance and battery life.
As with iOS 10 we'd expect Apple to announce OS X 10.12 at WWDC 2016, make it available as a public beta shortly afterwards and release it in the Autumn.

Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple's long-rumored streaming TV service might actually be ready for prime time this year, with Apple doing a Netflix and making some of its own programs.
The service is expected to be available across Apple TV and iOS devices, with an announcement at WWDC 2016 and a launch in September. tvOS isn't due any dramatic updates, although bringing Siri Remote to the iOS app is likely.

Beats Radio

Apple Music

Hands up who wants more Beats radio stations? Apple has trademarked Beats 2 through 5, although as ever with trademarks that doesn't mean it has any plans to use them. Some non-music programming would be interesting, though: we quite fancy an audio equivalent of Apple's News app.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay

Apple Pay has been doing some big numbers, and Apple is keen to expand its allure. A person-to-person payment option is apparently in development, and Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo have been working on Apple Pay support in their ATMs. That's potentially huge, because Apple Pay is more secure than a PIN and can't be captured by card skimmers.

iMessage on Android

It may sound insane, but there are Android and iPhone users in this world who are friends and talk with each other. But because iMessage isn't compatible on Google's platform, problems arise. Messages go unseen, group chatter vanishes out of thin air.
During Tim Cook's recent interview on CNBC, he focused on the importance of Apple's popular services for part of the talk, one of which is Apple Music. To take on the other, well-established music streaming services, like Spotify and Google Play Music, it had to try something new: create an Android version.
There's no word on how well the app has performed, but it was certainly a good test bed for future Android applications to come.
Currently, there are over 60 Google-made apps on the App Store and only three made by Apple on the Google Play Store. Maybe, come WWDC, that number will increase ever so slightly with iMessage.

Mac Pro

Mac Pro

Remember Darth Vader's dustbin, the inimitable Mac Pro? It's been two years since the last update, and it's looking as if Apple doesn't love it any more. For many people the iMac with Retina 5K display is more than adequate, and much cheaper than a Mac Pro plus a third-party 5K display.
However, the Mac Pro remains Apple's most powerful computer, and for the professionals whose apps can use its horsepower a speed bump courtesy of new, Skylake Xeons would be welcome. We're hoping that the lack of Mac Pro updates is because Apple's working on a really amazing new one, not losing interest in it altogether.

New iPads, new iPhones and the Apple Car

Apple Car

Nope. Apple has just launched the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro 9.7, and while Apple's Project Titan car is the worst kept secret in tech its car plans are targeting a launch date of 2018/19 at the earliest: while Tim Cook has promised amazing innovation from Apple this year, we don't think that means he'll come screaming onto the stage in an Apple Car, pulling handbrake turns and speaking like Jeremy Clarkson. Although it'd be funny if he did.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

Related product: Apple TV


  • Very easy to use and set up
  • AirPlay streaming rock solid
  • Movies in 1080p HD quality
  • AirPlay Mirroring with iOS devices


  • No TV tuner
  • Still no iPlayer app!
  • AirPlay is locked-down
  • Movie rentals are expensive

How-To: Hide the menu bar in OS X [Video]

If you’re running OS X El Capitan, it’s possible to hide the menu bar on your primary display. Hiding the menu bar works very much like a hidden Dock in OS X, in that when you move your cursor to the edge of the screen, the menu bar reappears from its hidden state. In this post we’ll show you how to hide your menu bar, and why you might consider doing so.

How to hide the menu bar on your Mac

Step 1: Open System Preferences
Step 2: Click General
Step 3: Check the check box next to Automatically hide and show the menu bar

Hide menu bar Mac

Once you check the box in step 3, you’ll notice that the menu bar immediately hides from view. It won’t reappear until you move your cursor to the top of the screen where it normally resides.


Why would you want to hide the menu bar on OS X? There are a couple of valid reasons that I can think of. For one, it provides you with additional precious vertical real estate, because a hidden menu bar, when exposed, overlaps content instead of pushing it down.
Menu bar real estate
Notice the extra bit of vertical real estate (right) acquired by hiding the menu bar
A hidden menu bar also simplifies the look of your Mac’s desktop, especially if you use it in combination with a hidden Dock. Overall, it just makes for a cleaner look, especially if used in combination with an aesthetically pleasing wallpaper.

Search problems in iOS & Mac App Stores, with major apps failing to show & incorrect results [Updated 2x]

[UPDATE: Users in comments and elsewhere are reporting similar issues with books and music, and Apple has now updated its status page.
Users are experiencing a problem with the App Store. We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.]
[UPDATE 2: Apple says the issue is now resolved.]
A number of Reddit and Twitter users are reporting problems searching both iOS and Mac App Stores, with major iOS apps like Star Wars, Spotify and Google Apps failing to show up in search results – and even Apple’s own Xcode failing to show in searches of the Mac App Store. I’m seeing the same issues myself …

Others are reporting incorrect search results, such as iPhone apps being shown in iPad-only searches and vice-versa.

App Store searches are pretty broken at the best of times, but this does appear to be a specific glitch. At the time of writing, Apple’sstatus page is not yet showing the issue (update: it is now), but it’s typical for the page to be updated some time after users report problems. However, Apple Support has stated that it is aware of an ongoing issue with search and is working to resolve the problem. It has confirmed that no apps have been pulled from the store.

Siri creators developing powerful new personal assistant ‘Viv,’ will reveal it next week

The original minds behind the iOS virtual assistant Siri have a new project in the works. A new report from The Washington Post details that Siri’s creators are working on an artificial intelligence technology called “Viv” that does more than Siri or any other virtual assistant currently available.
Siri was originally co-founded by Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, both of whom are now working on Viv. In fact, one-third of the team that worked on Siri is now working on Viv, having left Apple after disagreements regarding the functionality of Siri.
Viv in many ways is what Kittlaus and Cheyer originally wanted Siri to be. The first work on Viv actually began in 2003, prior to work on Siri. Viv is able to do a wide variety of things that Siri cannot. In the Washington Post report the example given is ordering a pizza through Viv without ever typing anything or downloading an app.
“Get me a pizza from Pizz’a Chicago near my office,” one of the engineers said into his smartphone. It was their first real test of Viv, the artificial-intelligence technology that the team had been quietly building for more than year. Everyone was a little nervous. Then, a text from Viv piped up: “Would you like toppings with that?”
The engineers, eight in all, started jumping in: “Pepperoni.” “Half cheese.” “Caesar salad.” Emboldened by the result, they peppered Viv with more commands: Add more toppings. Remove toppings. Change medium size to large.
About 40 minutes later — and after a few hiccups when Viv confused the office address — a Pizz’a Chicago driver showed up with four made-to-order pizzas.
Viv works thanks to deep integration with a variety of third-party apps. And it works for much more than ordering pizza. For instance, you could also say “Order me a car” and be presented with options from Uber. In total, more than 50 different apps offer functionality similar to ordering a pizza or ordering a car, including SeatGuru, Zocdoc, Grubhub, FTD, and Ivee.
Interestingly enough, many of these features were baked into the initial version of Siri before Apple greatly simplified it. The initial goal with Siri, according to today’s report, was “to reinvent mobile commerce itself.” Kittlaus and Cheyer never intended for Siri to simply be a “clever AI chatbot.” When it was first launched as a third-party app, Siri supported integrating data from 42 different services to give it functionality similar to what Viv is now offering.
In many ways, Viv appears to be similar to Amazon’s Alexa platform. Both rely on third-party service integration and bypass the use of any third-party apps in favor of direct communication with the service itself.
Facebook and Google have both already attempted to acquire Viv, but nothing has come of those talks. Viv will be shown publicly for the first time this coming Monday at a “major industry conference.”

This week’s top stories: WWDC, iPhone rumors, 12-inch MacBook updates, Apple Car & more

In this week’s top stories, the iPhone rumor mill was in full effect as reports surfaced claiming Apple could introduce an new all glass design for a next-generation device. That news was accompanied by Apple’s 12-inch MacBook refresh, an official announcement for WWDC, and the latest Apple Car news. Head below for the quick links to all of this week’s top stories and much more:

iPhone |

We start off with iPhone rumors while Zac argues why his new iPhone SE might tempt him to actually skip the iPhone 7. Chance,on the other hand, broke down what the iPhone 7 will need to be upgrade-worthy, and Apple released the second iOS 9.3.2 beta to developers and public testers.
While likely not something we’ll see for iPhone 7, analysts at KGI claimed Apple could drop its current aluminum iPhone casing in 2017 in favor of new ‘all glass’ enclosure with an AMOLED screen:

Mac |

Apple’s refresh of its 12-inch Retina MacBook with new processors, improved battery life and performance, and a new rose gold color was one unsurprisingly one of the top Apple stories of the week. We detailed how Apple’s refreshed 12-inch MacBook compares to last year’s model, and noted that Apple quickly dropped the prices on previous-gen refurbished 12-inch MacBooks. Also in Mac news, Apple this week released OS X 10.11.5 public beta 2.


Dates for Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference became official this week as Siri (and Apple) confirmed the event will be held June 13 through June 17. We shared all the details on everything you need to know about this year’s WWDC, including everything Apple could announce at its upcoming event.

Apple Car |

And finally we move on to the latest Apple Car news before finishing with this week’s latest apps, reviews, and top video. We broke the news that a former Tesla VP and Aston Martin Chief Engineer was headed to Apple’s secretive car team and also noted the company appears to be prototyping car parts with new hires from Tesla & Andretti Autosport. And a German report this week claimed Apple Car could be manufactured in Austria by BMW/Mini maker Magna as a separate report claimed Apple’s negotiations with Daimler & BMW for the project have ended.

Reviews |

Apps |


This week’s top video |


Opinion: How Apple could tempt me to upgrade to an iPhone 7

After reading Zac’s opinion piece on how the iPhone SE could actually tempt him not to upgrade to the iPhone 7, I realized that I hadn’t even begun to think what Apple could do to get me to want to upgrade to an iPhone 7. Overall I’ve been happy with the iPhone since its iPhone 5 iteration. It was the device I felt Apple really hit its stride with the hardware. I only upgraded to an iPhone 6 because I wanted a better camera and needed more storage space, but the larger form factor was a serious drawback for me. So what could possibly make me even want to upgrade from my current iPhone 6 to another phone later this year?

Now, of course I realize the discrepancy in even bringing this up.How could you know you don’t want to upgrade when nothing has even been officially announced? That’s just it though. I don’t know what’s going to be in the iPhone 7, but I also don’t know what more I could want from my phone. I loved the iPhone 5 design, and the iPhone 6’s camera is great enough for me to use daily. I didn’t really care about battery life at that point (even though I frequently carried a mophie juice pack plus around just in case), because I had to understand that the battery tech in Apple’s iPhones has never been particularly good.
None of the hardware upgrades in the latest revisions were “revolutionary” to me, but I was never one to upgrade just for the next big thing. I always upgraded because I was able to justify the upgrade from some need or additional benefit the device would bring. 3D Touch is a great example; I like 3D Touch, and really think it will be successful if more and more developers work towards building creatively on it. Though, in its current state I just don’t see it as a reason to want to upgrade my device.
After some time breaking it down, and not being able to come up with a good list of potential iPhone 7 upgrade temptations, I realized I could take a look at Apple’s biggest competitor: Android devices. After some research I decided on a few hardware specific upgrades I would love to see in an iPhone 7. I don’t imagine all of these to be built into a single device for this year’s iteration, but a mix of at least two from the list below would be great. Building these features into the iPhone would not only bring it up to its competitors’ levels, but also make the iPhone feel a tad bit “fresher”.


I’ve never been one to care about waterproofing/water-resistance in phones. I’ve only had one incident in my entire life where a phone got wet and destroyed. I just find it strange that phones have been able to go on so long, without coming with some form of marketable water resistance built in. Having a water-resistant phone may not be a priority in my life, but it sure would add a small peace of mind while I’m washing dishes.
I love listening to podcasts while cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. Sometimes I need to jump back just fifteen seconds to catch a missed phrase, and in those moments I love having my Apple Watch. As I use my Apple Watch less and less, I’ve taken more care when touching my phone’s display with wet hands and I’d love to remove that worry even if it only comes up once a day or so.
I’m a fan of the way Samsung’s Galaxy S7 handles its protection against water and would love to see that implemented into a future iPhone. I’ve even grown to love their ridiculous Galaxy S7 commercials, although I’m not too sure I trust that I could spill an entire bottle of champagne on my phone and still have it function.


Apple has introduced more and more features into iOS and their devices that have slowly pushed the need (but not convenience) of the home button away. Honing in on three major functionalities seen in the past few years, we can tell that Apple is at least toying with the idea of removing a physical home button. Specifically the features include the 3D Touch behavior of invoking the multitasking switcher, and how you can activate Siri.
With the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, Apple introduced the ability to use 3D Touch at the edge of the display to “pull in” the multitasking interface. This removes the need of having to move a finger down towards the bottom of the device and then double-clicking a physical button. Because of the iPhone 6s’ M9 motion coprocessor, Siri can now be activated using Hey Siri even on battery power.
The only major functionality I can think of that still relies on the home button is when taking screenshots. Even that behavior can be replaced by simply making it so that a screenshot can be taken with a combination of the sleep/wake button and a volume button.
With this slow fade of the home button, the precedent appears clear for Apple to introduce some form of removing the physical home button. TNW reported last year about a technology that would allow fingerprints to be read through Gorilla Glass. A month prior, reports had come in that Apple wasworking on a similar idea already. The question then arises how would iOS understand that a finger is attempting to press on the display to launch an app, to activate Touch ID, or to simply “press” the home button. Luckily with 3D Touch’s introduction, Apple already showcased a way that the display can detect different points and levels of display pressure.
Adding on to that, building a home “button” with Touch ID directly into the display opens up the phone to having an even larger display without having to physically increase the phone’s size. The home screen dock as we know it could move lower down, introducing enough room for even another row of icons, while still keeping everything in a nice reachable range.


When I moved from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6, the biggest benefit I saw was the camera upgrade. For a long time Apple had been ahead of the game with cameras in their mobile devices, but nearly everyone seems to be catching up (if not surpassing them) now. Even Justin Bieber has compared the latest iPhone and Samsung cameras head to head, and felt the latter was better.
The introduction of 4K video support was nice, but didn’t feel like a significant improvement. It felt more like “the next step”, instead of a leap into the mobile camera world. I’d love to see better low-light support, and better contrast handling. I don’t know what is but with the iPhone 6, even when using manual controls in third-party apps, I notice the contrast can get all out of whack depending on the lighting of the scene.


This is a “small”, but definitely important feature I’d like to see. I don’t always wear my Apple Watch anymore, so it’s been easy to miss notifications as they come in. I’d love for Apple to bring in some form of an always-on display. Whether through OLED or another creative mean, having a display that can quickly tell me the time and what’s going on with my phone would be great.
I always question how much battery life it takes whenever I pull my iPhone 6 out of my pocket, turn on the display, only to turn it off a second later. I don’t need the full display to show me everything, I just need to see if there is anything new worth taking action on.
LG G5’s intelligent always-on display is a great example of this. While it is “always-on”, it knows to disable itself when set face down on a table, or within a pocket. It’s a small feature that I would get an extremely large use out of.


This final one really just feels like a cop out. I long for the day that I can use my iPhone for at least a day and half straight without having to worry about charging it. I own an Anker iPhone 6 Battery Case, but I tire of having to worry about charging that or even holding on to it.
While understandably consumer-level battery tech hasn’t seen massive scales in innovation lately, I’d still love to see Apple come to some sort of solution. I’d much rather have the battery life increase, versus the phone possibly getting any thinner at all. Android devices really nail the battery life nowadays, and Apple just continously looks like they’re struggling to even maintain the previous year’s stats.


The iPhone’s been around for nearly a decade now, and while it helped raise all mobile phones to a new level, it’s starting to feel like it’s lagging behind. I don’t really expect that Apple would choose to introduce any more than one of these items in the list into the next iPhone, but I can hope.
Whenever I think about a new product and whether or not I would even want it, I’m reminded of Henry Ford’s quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Steve Jobs also publicly seemed to align with this when releasing products.
What about you? What features would the next iPhone have to have to make you really want to upgrade?

iOS 9.2.1 released to all, here’s what’s new

Apple just released iOS 9.2.1 for iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch. It’s available for all right now, and follows in the footsteps of the last major release back in December. iOS 9.2was released last month with plenty of brand new features, and today’s iOS 9.2.1 update seems to just build a bit on that.
The official changelog from Apple is brief, and simply states: “This update contains security updates and bug fixes including a fix for an issue that could prevent the completion of app installation when using an MDM server.”
An MDM server is otherwise known as a “mobile device management” server, usually used by enterprise and education institutes to deploy apps across multiple devices at the same time. That fix might not be big for most of us, but it’s a big deal for folks who rely on that technology.
You should find the update available in your device’s settings menu now.

Here’s how Apple Pencil beats other iPad styluses, and your best alternate picks

Since the Apple Pencil is two to six times as expensive as some other options, I wanted to spotlight its key strengths and weaknesses relative to rivals, all of which are more broadly compatible and readily available to purchase. During testing, I discovered that the Apple Pencil actually benefits from a surprising little Apple software cheat to make an ultra-fine first impression…

Apple Pencil: Fantastic If You’re Willing to Spend $99, Give Up Buttons, And Recharge Often

Once you’ve used the Apple Pencil, you’ll have no doubt that Apple’s first iPad stylus was worth the (very long) wait. Despite the fact that it’s unapologetically and almost entirely plastic, it’s unusually long and perfectly weighted to feel great in an adult hand, benefitting from excellent palm rejection so you can write or draw naturally as your wrist rests on the iPad’s screen. While including pressure and orientation sensors that help the iPad determine how forcefully and on what angle it’s being used, Apple has completely stripped it of buttons, removing the need to manually power it on. And rather than demanding disposable batteries or a charging cable, it has a hidden Lightning plug that lets it recharge directly from the iPad Pro it’s used with. Even if you (reasonably) question the wisdom of some of Apple’s design decisions, they collectively make the Apple Pencil a dead simple writing and drawing tool to use… assuming it has a battery charge.

The iPad Pro screenshot below shows how writing with the Apple Pencil (in Apple’s Notes app) differs from other styluses. What you can easily see is the tighter, thinner, and more detailed writing Apple Pencil delivers, but less obvious are the added hand comfort delivered by palm rejection, or the impact of pressure sensitivity, which makes some of the Apple Pencil writing look darker or lighter based on the way the stylus was applied to the screen. These features are found in a handful of rival styluses, but rarely supported by third-party apps.

Apart from the price tag, which is higher than almost every other iPad stylus, Apple Pencil’s key limitations are in run time and buttons. Apple promises 12 hours of battery life per charge, which isn’t terrible in concept, but becomes a more serious issue than with other styluses because there’s no way to manually turn the Pencil off. Additionally, the iPad Pro’s Bluetooth remains on to maintain communication with the Pencil, modestly impacting its battery life as well. Add to that the Pencil’s lack of control buttons — say, an undo or eraser button — and it’s clear that Apple has left room for improvement in a future sequel.

If you want to skip the Apple Pencil, there are four broad categories of iPad stylus alternatives out there, differentiated by two factors: the presence/lack of a fine-point electric writing tip, and the presence/lack of Bluetooth support. Some styluses have both a fine-point electric tip and Bluetooth, while others have one feature or the other, and many have neither. Here’s how the Apple Pencil compares to each category.
1. Apple Pencil Versus Adonit’s Jot Dash (And Other Electric-Tipped, Non-Bluetooth Styluses)

Shorter by an inch but otherwise wonderfully designed, Adonit’s Jot Dash ($40-$50, shown above in gunmetal) can be had for under half the price of the Apple Pencil, and is easy to recommend as an alternative for earlier iPads. Made from anodized aluminum and built with a shirt clip, Jot Dash has an electronically-powered 1.9mm fine tip and a very subtle but wonderfully implemented button — on the back, in the same place as the retracting mechanism of a ballpoint pen, you can press down to turn Dash on or off, conserving its battery. So while it promises 14 hours of run time, those hours don’t evaporate while Dash is actually sitting unused, which happens with Apple Pencil. Dash also includes a magnetic USB recharging base, and works with multiple iPads, through it seems to have some sensitivity issues with the iPad Pro.

In real world use, Jot Dash has three primary disadvantages relative to Apple Pencil. First, it doesn’t have palm rejection, which in most cases means that you’ll need to hover your hand over the screen to write with it. Second, while Dash’s tip can be precise when writing on screen, Apple’s Notes app cheats a little, automatically giving Pencil a thinner version of whatever pencil or pen other styluses are using. That makes Pencil’s output look crisper — a difference Apple might attribute to increased pixel-level confidence in Pencil’s location compared with other styluses. (In other apps, the results of Dash and Apple Pencil look far more similar.) Third, Dash doesn’t use Bluetooth, and so can’t share pressure sensitivity or orientation data with the iPad. As more developers start to support these features in the Apple Pencil, the gulf between Pencil and rivals will grow.

Jot Dash is noteworthy because it’s so small and wonderfully designed, but there are a bunch of other capacitive non-Bluetooth styluses out there. The Joy Factory’s AAAA-batteried Pinpoint ($30) and rechargeable Pinpoint X1 ($50) work with pre-iPad Air 2 models, while Lynktec’s Apex Rechargeable($55) is a little larger, but works with all iPads, and is micro-USB rechargeable. Just Mobile’s AluPen Digital ($49) has one of the nicest designs but is quite thick to accommodate a AAA battery. Overall, I’d pick Jot Dash as the winner in this batch, but you may prefer the design of another option.

2. Apple Pencil Versus Wacom’s Intuos CS2 (And Other Electric-Tipped Bluetooth Styluses)

Several of Apple Pencil’s super powers are attributable to its use of Bluetooth hardware, which enables the stylus to wirelessly communicate tip pressure and angle data directly to the iPad Pro. Thus far, this data can be used to make writing look light, medium, or dark depending on how hard you’re pressing, or make thicker pen strokes, or simulate how the edge of a drawing tool adds thicker bars of color when raking across a surface. Apple Pencil isn’t the first iPad stylus to offer these features, but earlier rivals had to lobby third-party developers to support their tools, individually. App support barely materialized for third-party styluses, an issue the Apple Pencil certainly won’t have to worry about.

Perhaps the best-known of the electric-tipped Bluetooth styluses is Wacom’s Intuos Creative Stylus 2($61, shown in silver above), sequel to the earlier, rubber-tipped Intuos Creative Stylus ($17-$22, shown in black). Both Creative Styluses make a great first impression as they arrive in hard plastic boxes with replacement tips and power accessories, sporting pressure sensitive tips, side shortcut buttons, and the promise of palm rejection support in software. Stylus 2 added a micro-USB 22-hour rechargeable battery and finer tip to the original model. Unfortunately, less than 20 apps were compatible with each of the new Styluses, and some only supported one or two of the Bluetooth-enabled features.

Adonit’s Jot Script ($35) and Jot Script 2 ($65) start with the 1.9mm capacitive tip of Jot Dash, but add Bluetooth 4 support to provide tip angle and palm rejection-assisting location data. Script is AAA-powered; Script 2 has a 20-hour rechargeable battery. The hitches are that the palm rejection and angle features are only supported by a handful of apps, and many people have found the palm rejection to be of limited value — in my testing, it’s certainly not as good as the Apple Pencil’s, and in most cases, not close. Adonit also makes a step-up model called Jot Touch with Pixelpoint ($75-80)that includes a 3.18mm capacitive, pressure-sensitive tip and two shortcut buttons. These features are compatible with a few apps — not enough to justify the expenditure, in my view, and Jot Touch doesn’t work properly with the iPad Air 2.

3. Apple Pencil Versus Ten One’s Pogo Connect 2 (And Other Non-Electric-Tipped, Bluetooth Styluses)

Perhaps the best known examples of Bluetooth styluses with non-electric tips are Ten One Design’sPogo Connect 2 ($40) and Adonit’s Jot Touch 4 ($60). Both are sequels to earlier Bluetooth styluses, sporting data-driven features: Pogo Connect 2 includes pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and a location beacon to help you find it if it gets lost. The software features all depend on third-party app support, which with just over 50 apps (albeit with varying levels of feature support) is stronger for Pogo than most Bluetooth styluses. Jot Touch 4 debuted as a palm-rejecting, pressure-sensitive, and twin shortcut button-laden version of Jot Pro (discussed below), but has vanished from Adonit’s site. It promised that nearly 20 apps would support the stylus, but compatibility status is presently unclear. Pogo Connect 2 is clearly the better pick overall.
Pogo Connect’s other special feature: it actually supports replaceable magnetic tips, including finer-point rubber nubs and paintbrush tops, all of which are sold separately. It’s going to be interesting to see whether Apple “borrows” this feature for the Apple Pencil in the future.
4. Apple Pencil Versus Hundreds Of Non-Electric-Tipped, Non-Bluetooth Styluses
The easiest sort of stylus to make is one with a non-electric tip and no Bluetooth functionality; almost always rubber-domed, these styluses have been flooding the market for years. Their major differentiators are the material used for the shaft of the stylus (typically metal, sometimes plastic), whether or not they have a shirt clip (most don’t), and their length (most vary from around 3″ to 5″). In terms of accuracy, you might as well be using your finger to write or draw with one of these, but if you use your iPad with gloves on in cold weather, or prefer to hold something rather than using your fingertip, these aren’t terrible options. They are also compatible with all iPad apps, and all iPad models, with no restrictions; the iPad treats them just like fingers.
Lynktec’s TruGlide Pro ($15) is the rare stylus of this sort with a mesh rather than rubber tip; it doesn’t wear down as fast, but requires a little extra pressure. Nomad Brush’s FleX ($30) and Compose ($32)are even rarer variants, with capacitive synthetic paintbrush heads that can be used in painting apps; FleX has one head, Compose two, while a Mini 2 ($34) version has a retractable brush on one end and a dome on the other. The other standout is Adonit’s Jot Pro ($22-$30, color-dependent), which uses a special pivoting hard plastic and metal tip rather than a rubber dome; some people love (and continue to rave about) the accuracy of this tip, but I’ve never been a huge fan.
My Advice
Thanks to the Apple Pencil’s release — and its complete incompatibility with all iPad models besides the iPad Pro — the stylus market will be changing over the next couple of years. If you have an iPad Pro and are thinking of getting a stylus, don’t hesitate to (try and) get the Apple Pencil; it delivers the best overall experience, even though it’s certainly not cheap, and presently difficult to find in stores.
For non-Pro iPads, my personal suggestions would be Adonit’s Jot Dash if palm rejection and pressure sensitivity aren’t important to you, Ten One Design’s Pogo Connect 2 if you need those features (with respectable app support), or a more basic non-powered stylus such as Jot Pro if you need the slightly improved writing precision you’d get from holding a pen-like tool. Their prices are all reasonable at this point, so you’ll certainly get your money’s worth from any stylus you use while the dust from Apple Pencil is settling.

Report: Apple to begin shifting iPhone displays from LCD to OLED in 2018

Apple is expected to begin shifting iPhones from LCD displays to improved OLED screens starting in 2018, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Currently the display technology is only used by Apple to produce Apple Watch displays while iPhones and iPads use older LCD technology. OLED benefits from greater contrast levels and much deeper blacks as the display only illuminates to present color. This offers energy efficiency that leads to improved battery life compared lighting up the entire display each time.

Nikkei claims that Apple has notified its suppliers that it wants to move to OLED iPhones in 2018, but adds that a mix of LCD and OLED iPhones are expected initially due to iPhone demand and OLED production limitations. The report also says Apple is weighing how well OLED displays hold up over time versus LCD displays before committing to the switch. Both Samsung and LG, which currently produce OLED panels, are expected to be primary suppliers of OLEDs for iPhones, which would negatively impact current LDC display partners Sharp and Japan Display.
The report follows a recent research note from reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI, which similarly concluded that Apple will not be switching from LCD to OLED displays in iPhones in 2016 or 2017. KGI noted that iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has invested $4 billion into a new LCD display plant, and low yield rates currently prevent Apple from making the jump any time soon.
Given Apple’s tick-tock behavior of introducing redesigned iPhone models one year, then improving on that design with advanced hardware the following year, the two reports suggest LCD screens will stick around for the next couple of iPhone 7 models, then possibly be replaced by OLED screens for the iPhone 8 or possibly iPhone 8s at the earliest. It’s also worth keeping in mind that OLED rumors have been brewing for a while now, and plans could change over the next several years based on a number of factors.
The iOS interface would also likely need to shift from a mostly white to a black-based version design similar to Apple Watch for iPhones to benefit from the energy efficiency gains. We know Apple’s Design chief Jony Ive would like to make the switch, however, based on comments comparing the “old” iPhone display on current models to that of the Apple Watch in an interview earlier this year.

Early version of Cortana for iPhone reportedly available for some beta testers

Microsoft has reportedly begun closed beta testing for its Cortana digital assistant app for the iPhone. The beta is being distributed by Apple's TestFlight beta software system.
According to leaked screenshots from the app, Microsoft says that Cortana on the iPhone can be set up so that it can help with organizing meetings during the day, set up reminders on a Windows 10 PC that can be replayed on the iPhone and more. One tester has already posted up screenshots from the Cortana iPhone beta on the Warenotice site.
Cortana iPhone screenshots
Since Testfight is designed to only offer up to 2,000 testers for an iOS beta app, it's likely that only a few people have gotten access to try it out. There's no word yet if Microsoft plans to release a more public version of Cortana for the iPhone before it is officially launched.

iPad Pro diary day 2: The good, the bad & the two issues that concern me most

I posted my first impressions of the iPad Pro yesterday, and having spent much of the past 24 hours mostly using it rather than my MacBook, I now have more of a sense of why Tim Cook thinks it could be a laptop replacement.
While most reviewers dismissed that, and I would certainly join them in doing so when thinking of you or I, it’s easy to forget that we are not normals. We want the power of pro apps, and the ability to do plenty of multitasking. We’re a very different user case to the average non-tech user who rarely ventures further than email, web, chat and a bit of light photo-editing.
I’ve said before that when non-tech friends ask me for advice on which laptop to buy, I quiz them on what they want to do with it and often end up recommending an iPad and keyboard instead. With the increased screen size of the iPad Pro, I can see myself doing that even more often in the future. Sure, it’s expensive for what it is, but it’s a hassle-free, flexible device with the option of built-in LTE. For many, that makes it a better option than a MacBook.
In my usage so far, I’ve been impressed by quite a lot, have some grumbles – and have two key concerns about the possibility of the device replacing my much-loved iPad Air 2. Let’s start with the good news … 
Considering that it’s just a bigger and faster iPad, it’s amazing how different it feels to a standard iPad – even one with a keyboard. The size really does make it feel like a different category of device.
That’s partly just the sheer expanse of that gorgeous screen. It’s pretty much the same size as a 13-inch MacBook, and a very common size for non-Apple laptops. It doesn’t feel in any way constrained.
And it’s partly that, for the first time, I feel like an iPad is a viable device for multitasking. Sure, I can useSlide Over and Split View on my iPad Air 2, but I rarely do. The screen just feels too small for that. But Split View on the iPad Pro is great. Extremely usable. You have a decent view of both apps, so for the first time reading from one app while writing in another doesn’t feel cramped.
Granted it’s limited to two apps, but this is almost Mac-standard multitasking.
Anything involving photo or video is fantastic. Netflix addicts will love it. Not only is the screen a great size for personal viewing – and for two at a push – the speakers are loud. Really loud! And stereo makes a big difference for some movies.
While the speaker volume is a massive improvement, the quality is still just in the ‘ok’ range. You’re never going to get great sound out of such small speakers when it comes to listening to music, but for movies they are more than good enough.
Oh, one small niggle in the Music app: the now-playing bar and controls are still really tiny, and look even smaller on this size screen. Apple really needs to take advantage of the screen size to make them bigger.
I absolutely love how good photos look on this screen. The size means that showing someone a photo on this is exactly like handing them a 10×8 print in the old days – you feel like they’re seeing it properly.
I’ve played with Lightroom on my iPad Air, but never really seen it as anything but an emergency option. But on the iPad Pro, it really feels like a viable option for the first time. I’m certainly going to try it.
A4/US letter documents may not have the wow factor of photos, but it’s terrific to be able to view them at almost full size. No scrolling, no zooming, just comfortably read an entire page at a time.
The screen size also makes a big difference with maps. On a standard iPad, I find myself doing quite a lot of scrolling around once I’m zoomed in close enough to see the street names, while the Pro lets you see a lot more at a time.
Finally, I don’t do many games, but X-Plane is really something at this size (though iOS 9.1 did kill the audio, something which will hopefully be fixed soon). I’ll let others more into games say more about this, but my guess is that if you’re an iOS gamer, you’re going to adore the iPad Pro.
The niggles
I have a few complaints aimed directly at Apple. A very minor one is that the iPad Pro doesn’t get the new super-fast Touch ID fitted to the iPhone 6s. I don’t really care, but it does feel a bit off that the latest shiny new piece of kit – given a Pro label, no less – gets old tech. However, Benjamin hassuggested this may be for supply-chain reasons, that Apple simply can’t make enough of them to meet demand for the news iPhones, and that seems plausible to me.
Far less forgivable, in my view, is that the iPad Pro lacks 3D Touch. That’s a feature that makes a massive difference to iOS, and it really ought to be there in the latest top-of-the-range iOS device.
I mentioned yesterday my biggest complaints about the iPad Pro: the ridiculous waste of space on the Home screen, and the fact that many apps – even some of Apple’s own – are not yet properly optimized for it.
Take the email app, for example:
The body of the email looks like it has been copied directly from the iPad Air and just pasted into the center of the iPad Pro’s much larger screen. There’s little point in having all that lovely real estate unless apps allow us to use it, and to see this in one of Apple’s own on-board apps is really very poor.
Other apps just look absurd, like some kind of child’s toy. I love PopCalc, for example, but you need the scale provided by the iPhone 6s in the above photo to see just how ridiculous it looks at this size.
I’m really not a fan of touchscreen keyboards. The standard iPad one was a good effort, but I still hated using it. But the combination of the physical size, and constant number/symbol row, makes the iPad Pro version incredibly usable. I wouldn’t want to be writing this piece on it, but for emails and the like, it works well.
Which is another complaint about apps: so far, only a handful are using the new keyboard – many call up the standard iOS one, and that one not only looks silly but has such over-sized and widely-spaced keys that it’s actually harder to use than on standard iPads.
Apps in general need to think about how to use the extra space – but as I mentioned yesterday, developers may well take the view that it’s such a small market it’s not worth the effort. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
The two issues that concern me most
I love, love, love the size of the screen. As I said in the intro, it really does make it feel almost like a whole new category of device.
But of course that comes at a price – and not just a financial one. My iPad Air 2 slips very easily into my smallest bag, and even with the Brydge keyboard that goes with it, I scarcely notice it’s there. That’s not true of the iPad Pro. I need to use the same bags I currently use for my MacBook Air 11. Not only that, but the combo of the iPad Pro with Logitech CREATE keyboard is actually heavier: a total of 3lb 4oz versus 2lb 6oz for the MacBook.
So the first question I have for myself is: do I want to sacrifice that much portability? Given that my iPad goes everywhere with me, it limits my choice of bag and weighs me down more.
The second issue is the unwieldiness of the Pro in some uses. I already mentioned yesterday that typing on the handheld device really is horrible – you definitely want to put it down somewhere to do that. With my iPad Air 2, I frequently hold it in my left hand by the left-hand edge while I use my right hand to touch the screen, and that’s perfectly comfortable. With the iPad Pro, it’s really not!
You might think the extra weight is not that big a deal – after all, the first-gen iPad actually weighed almost the same as the naked iPad Pro (quite an amazing thought in itself!) – but there is the small matter of Archimedes. The lever principle very much applies here: holding the iPad Pro in one hand in landscape mode, all that weight is trying to lever its way out of your hand. The iPad Air 2 feels truly featherweight in comparison.
The unwieldiness also really makes itself felt if you use the device in bed, for Netflix or to read books. It’s far too heavy to hold up in the air above you, and even lying on your side – with the iPad’s weight taken by the bed – it suddenly does seem very big. It feels a bit like you’re in bed with a laptop rather than a book.
So, these are the two factors I need to balance out: my love of that big screen versus the reduced portability and clumsier handling. In a perfect world, I’d want to keep both devices, switching between them depending on what I’m doing. But having that much money invested in iPads, especially when I already have (with rather dubious justification) both a MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air, would be truly nuts. So I am going to have to choose, and I’m not sure yet what that choice will be.

Microsoft is now seeking beta testers for Cortana on iOS

Cortana is Microsoft's personal assistant available for Windows and as beta for Android. The company is now seeking testers for an initial Cortana beta release for iPhone and iPad. Those of you who have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Master Chief's trusted ally will now be able to enter the program, which has a limited number of spots available.
The company has noted already that some features available on Windows are not yet implemented on the iOS version – including "Hey, Cortana" to wake up the assistant – but the team will work on ensuring the experience is solid when used within a Windows ecosystem.
For the time being, this initial public release is available in China and the US only, and as aforementioned, access will be limited. Download links will be fired out to accepted applicants in the coming weeks.

Apple releases iOS 9.1, gives its customers the middle finger (...and 150 other emoji)

It's been just over a month since Apple released iOS 9, the latest and greatest version of its mobile OS. So far, it's also been Apple's most successful rollout ever, reaching a remarkable 50% of all eligible devices in the first three days of its release.
The company has now pushed out its latest update, iOS 9.1, following various beta releases in recent weeks. The public release of 9.1 follows on from the 9.0.1 release last month, which brought a range of bug fixes for the new OS.
As BGR reports, there are various bug fixes and security updates in iOS 9.1 too, as well as a minor refinement to the new Live Photos feature.
But along with these nice-but-dull improvements, it also comes with a juicy update for emoji fans. Apple says that there are over 150 new emoji in the update pack, including the long-awaited 'middle finger', several months after it first arrived on Microsoft's Windows 10.
The update is rolling out now over-the-air, and is available for all devices that were eligible to install iOS 9.

Apple releases OS X El Capitan, available to download now

September has been a pretty exciting month for Apple, and it ends today on another high note for the company, with the release of the latest OS update for its Mac line.
OS X El Capitan (10.11) was first announced in June, and various beta releases since then have helped to iron out bugs and add more polish to the user experience ahead of its full release, which begins today.

El Capitan introduces a wide range of improvements, including these highlights:
  • Safari enhancements, including pinned sites
  • Better search in Spotlight
  • More window management options, including new Windows 8 'Snap'-style window alignment
  • Major performance boost
  • New Notes app
  • Improved full-screen support and swipe gestures in Mail app
  • New third-party editing extensions in Photos
This isn't a complete list of new and upgraded features in El Capitan, by any means - but you can find out more about it over on Apple's site. And if you install the free update on your Mac, be sure to let us know how you get on!

Via WSJ: Apple is building an electric car - and it's coming in 2019

Rumors have been circling for some time claiming that Apple has been developing its own car, but more substantial reports began to emerge from credible sources earlier this year. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported in February that Apple's automotive plans were real and advancing, and a report from Bloomberg a few days later hinted at a possible launch in 2020.
Today, the Journal has reported further details on the project, revealing that Apple is now committing serious resources to its efforts to bring an electric car to market. Project 'Titan', as it is known internally, is said to have been staffed by around 600 people so far, including experts and senior engineers from across the auto industry - but according to unnamed sources, the personnel count will now triple, as Apple pushes ahead with development.
Unlike Google's vehicular aspirations - which are reliant on the company's self-driving system - Apple's car is not believed to be autonomous, although it's said that self-piloting vehicles are on its long-term roadmap.
Significantly, Apple is now said to have internally targeted a "ship date" of 2019 for the new car - but some working on Project Titan reportedly have concerns about how realistic that date might be.

Apple says iOS 9 is now on 50% of devices - the fastest iOS rollout ever

This Friday, Apple's newest iPhones will go on sale with the latest version of its mobile operating system pre-installed. iOS 9 has been available for existing devices (going back several generations)since last week, but it's already made a big impact.
Apple announced today that between September 16 and 19, over 50% of devices were upgraded to iOS 9, making it the fastest iOS rollout ever. The company's Phil Schiller said that it's "on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple's history."
While iOS 9 took just 72 hours to reach 50% adoption, this stands in stark contrast to the rate at which its largest rivals have rolled out their major OS updates.
Over eleven months after Google first announced Android 5.0 Lollipop, the newest versions of its OShad reached just 21% of active devices. Meanwhile, it's been almost two months since Microsoftbegan to upgrade PCs to Windows 10, but strangely, the rate at which it's rolling out the update has evidently slowed down.
Whichever way you slice it, Apple's latest rollout is hugely impressive - and not just in comparison to its rivals. After all, it took Apple itself a full year to reach 87% adoption of iOS 8, but at this rate, iOS 9 could catch up with it pretty quickly.

iOS 9 software update failed error message: how to fix it

iOS 9 failed update error message fix news

Apple's iOS 9 update launched today, which is good news for iPhone and iPad users who are looking for the new operating system version - unless they can't install it.
Like the iOS 9 became available at 10:00 PDT (San Francisco), 13:00 EDT (New York), 18:00 BST (London) and 03.00 AEST (Sydney, Sept 17), and, again, like clockwork, some people ran into problems.
"Software Update Failed" is the current unwelcome error message greeting folks in the midst of downloading the software, reverting them back iOS 8.
Like Siri, we're here to help. There are some simple tricks if you're running into this problem updating to iOS 9.

How to fix 'Software Update Failed' error

There are two ways we got around the "Software Update Failed" error message when updating to iOS 9 today. The first is try, try and then try again.

iOS 9 failed software update error message news
If this is the iOS 9 error message you're seeing, don't worry

Apple's servers are currently under a lot of pressure, rolling out today's operating system change to millions of iPhones and iPads worldwide. That's a lot of required bandwidth.
The second solution is to go old-school by manually downloading the software to your phone or tablet. This requires a USB lightning cable, a computer and iTunes. Yes, you have to boot up Apple's old music software, the one that isn't Apple Music.
Manually updating to iOS 9 always works better than over-the-air updates when I have problems getting the fresh coat of paint for my iPhone and iPad. It's the best fix to get your iOS 9 fix right now if you're getting that non-fatal failed update error message.

Apple's ‘Move to iOS' app has released, easing transition from Android to iPhone

Cupertino continues its aggressive efforts to win over Android users. Coinciding with today’s release of iOS 9, Apple has released 'Move to iOS' on Google's Play Store.
The app transfers Android data over a private WiFi network directly to an iPhone or iPad, bypassing the cloud. A unique code is provided during the process to establish a secure link between the two devices.
Here's how Apple describes the specifics of what will be transferred:
No need to save your stuff elsewhere before switching from Android. The Move to iOS app securely transfers all kinds of content for you: Contacts, Message history, Camera photos and videos, Web bookmarks, Mail accounts, Calendars.
In addition to transferring data, the app will take note of which apps a user has on their Android device and then add those apps to the user's iTunes wish list. Users can then download those apps later on their own, but account information from those apps will not be transferred.
Apple unveiled the app at WWDC 2015 in June. The company has set up a marketing page describing the transfer process where they encourage users to visit the Apple Store to complete the transition in case there are any issues.
Apple hopes to continue its gradual increase in U.S. market share as it continues to pressure Android's dominant position, while across Asia the company has increased its market share more aggressively. The app is currently available from Google's Play Store and is compatible with Android devices running at least Android 4.0. Apple will release its next iPhone, the 6s and 6s Plus, on September 25th.

iOS 8 reaches 87% adoption rate prior to the release of iOS 9

Apple has announced that iOS 8 is now installed on 87% percent of devices. The new data comesahead of the release of iOS 9 later today.
The company has often made note of its adoption rates, comparing them to their competitors, most notably with Android Lollipop, which currently is in use on 21% of devices. But of course, Android is deployed very differently to iOS, with carriers choosing when to distribute updates, but also due to the fact that many Android devices are cheaper, less powerful handsets, and do not support the latest releases.
As we’ve noted before, iOS 7 had a much faster adoption rate, reaching milestones much quicker than iOS 8. This could, however, be attributed to the new design of iOS 7, something which came with a lot of anticipation and with users eager to install it on their devices.
iOS 9 will be released at around 10 am P.S.T today, if previous releases are anything to go by. The new version will be supported on all iOS devices as far back as the iPhone 4s and iPad 2 from 2011, and is said to include improvements to the overall efficiency on such older devices.
Alongside iOS 9, Apple will also release a new version of its ‘watchOS’ later today. That update is said to be quite a substantial one, and will allow the use of truly native apps on the smartwatch, hopefully providing faster loading times and apps that are able to make use of the variety of sensors included with the device.

Apple delays watchOS 2 launch due to bug

watchos 2

iOS 9 will still roll out today as planned.

Apple will not be releasing watchOS 2, its next-generation Apple Watch software, today as planned.
“We have discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 that is taking a bit longer to fix than we expected,” the company said in a statement to the press. “We will not release watchOS 2 today but will shortly.”
Apple didn’t specify what the problem was, exactly, and didn’t give any further detail on when Apple Watch owners can expect to upgrade.
The delay has no effect on iOS 9, which will roll out today as scheduled and has already been thoroughly beta-tested by both developers and the public in the three months since it was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The next-gen watchOS software was not open to public testing.
We will update this story when we have more information on watchOS 2’s release date.

Getting started with "Hey Siri" in iOS 9

Did you know that you can activate Siri with just the sound of your voice when your iPhone is plugged in—no Home button needed? Here's how to set up this "always on" feature.

9. siri

One of iOS 9’s capstone features is an update to an old friend: Siri. Our built-in personal assistant just got smarter, thanks to its proactive intelligence that promises to anticipate our needs a bit better. Another new-ish thing Siri can do? Launch at the sound of your voice, instead of waiting for you to hold down on the Home button. Apple calls this feature “Hey Siri” (since you have to say the phrase “Hey Siri” to activate it) and you can use it any time your iOS device is connected to a power source.
True, Siri could do this in iOS 8, but the feature is turned off by default in iOS 9 and also offers better voice-recognition technology—meaning, presumably, that Siri won’t start listening if someone else grabs your iPhone and says “Hey Siri.” If you decided to turn this feature on, iOS 9 walks you through a quick setup process to help Siri learn your voice tone a bit better. 

First, you have to activate this feature. Go to Settings > General > Siri, and then toggle on “Allow ‘Hey Siri.’” The next time you summon Siri with a command—either by holding down on the Home button or by calling out “Hey Siri” when your iOS device is plugged in—you’ll be prompted with a setup screen. 
Then, you just follow the onscreen instructions. The setup simply requires you to say “Hey Siri” three times to detect different variations in tone you may use.
It’s similar to setting up Touch ID, where you lift your finger up and down repeatedly on the Home button so that it detects your prints from various angles. It also asks for you to say two commands—“Hey Siri, how’s the weather?” and “Hey Siri, it’s me!” 
...and that’s it! Now, Siri will be ready to listen in whenever your iPhone is plugged in—perfect for hands-free use in the car, or if your iPhone is charging across the room.
Have any questions about this feature? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll try to address them. 

Some iOS 9 downloads are failing

Every year Apple releases a new version of iOS to every iPhone and iPad owner at a single moment, and every year there's a bit of trouble getting through to Apple's busy servers to download it if you go right away. But this year, the problems appear to be more widespread. Across Twitter — and The Verge's Slack room — people are complaining that their iOS devices are returning an error when they attempt to download iOS 9. After seeing the update and agreeing to Apple's terms of service, a popup immediately appears saying, "Software update failed. An error occurred downloading iOS 9." iTunes also seems to have some issues.
It's likely enough that this error will subside as Apple's servers get it together, rather than this being a sign of a deeper bug. Some people have been able to download and install iOS 9 successfully, so the update does work. Really, this is only a minor frustration for early adopters — Apple just happens to have a lot of them. In the meantime, feel free to read our review of the new OS.

iOS 9.1 beta is now available

Last week Apple had a lot to announce, with new iPhonesApple TV and the iPad Pro taking center stage at their 'Hey Siri' event. Something that didn’t get a mention on stage, was the beta release of iOS 9.1. While tomorrow, we will see the public and final release of iOS 9, Apple are hard at work on the next iteration of their mobile platform.
Now available to developers as well as public beta testers, the changes in iOS 9.1 are minimal at this stage. For developers there are new APIs that allow the manipulation of Live Photos as well as the ability to incorporate 3D Touch support. While for emojji fans, there is the inclusion of new emoji sets, including the long awaited middle finger.
Emojipedia have detailed the new emojis available in iOS 9.1, while we have included a handful of the new emojis below.

Those who have a current iOS 9 beta should be able to get iOS 9.1 as an Over The Air update, by heading into the Settings app, then to the General menu and finally by tapping Software Update. Whilst developers can head over to the Apple Developer website to get the latest build.
If you want to sign up for the public Apple Beta Program you can do so on the Beta Program website.

Xcode reveals new iPhones have 2GB RAM, iPad Pro gets 4GB

When it launched the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year, Apple ignored the cries of those desperately calling for a bigger battery and more RAM. With its new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, launched last week, Apple actually made the batteries even smaller (!) - but as 9to5Mac reports, both handsets have finally got a boost in RAM.
Not much of a surprise but Xcode confirms 2GB of RAM for the 6s (and 6s plus), and 4GB for the iPad Pro

Developer Hamza Sood sifted through the Xcode 7 GM asset catalogs to uncover details of how much RAM is inside the new iPhones, as well as the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. He discovered that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus each has 2GB of RAM - up from just 1GB in their predecessors - while the giant iPad has 4GB.

The image asset is chosen based on the memoryClass key in the simdevicetype’s capabilities.plist. 0 = <1GB, 1 = 1GB, 2 = 2GB, 3 = 4GB.

As we noted in our Specs Appeal showdown between the iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 last week, Adobe was first to reveal that the new iPad has 4GB of RAM, but now Apple's own code has confirmed this to be the case.

AppleCare+ for the new iPhone 6S/6S+ gets a price hike

It's been a big week for Apple with the announcement of several new devices, which includes the new iPhone 6S and 6S+. Both devices look sharp and carry some nice improvements over previous generations of iPhones, like 3D Touch and iOS 9. Should you intend to order Apple's new flagship smartphone, then you should know that adding the Applecare+ coverage plan is going to require more cash than usual.
According to Apple's own website, the price of AppleCare+ is getting a bump up. AppleCare+ offers an extended warranty for iPhones, adding in a damage protection plan that covers everything except theft for 2 years. With prior generations of the iPhone, you'd be set back $99 for AppleCare+ and would see a $79 charge when turning in a damaged phone for a new one. Now, when you purchase the Applecare+ for the iPhone 6S or 6S+, you'll be paying $129 for the coverage and $99 each time you turn in a damaged phone for a new one.
The plan is still worth it if you think you're prone to accidents with your smartphone, but it's a bit odd that AppleCare+ continues to increase in price since its original launch back alongside the iPhone 4 when the iPhones aren't increasing in price. If you're not certain you want the coverage plan at the time of purchase of your new iPhone, Apple will allow you to add on AppleCare+ within 60 days of purchase, as long as you bring it into a local store and prove the device isn't already broken.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now available for pre-order

As announced at Apple’s “Hey Siri” event, pre-orders for the latest iPhone have now begun. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now available for pre-order across the several launch countries. These countries include Australia, United States, Canada, China, Singapore, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the UK.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB configurations. Each of these models are available in a range of colours including Silver, Space Grey, Gold and the newly announced Rose Gold. Speaking of colour additions, Apple have also updated their official leather and silicone case range to include several new colours.
The new phones retain the same exterior as the previous generation, as is typical for an ‘s’ generation, but with a few additions. These additions include a stronger aluminum shell, the new Apple A9 processor, a pressure-sensitive display dubbed “3D Touch”, and a new 12MP camera capable of shooting 4K video.
We have heard rumblings of a few issues accessing the online Apple Store, but at the time of writing it appears to be up and working well. However, as stock levels dwindle the shipping times are slipping, so get in quick if you want your new toy on launch day – 25th September.
Have you pre-ordered the new iPhone? Let us know in the comments!

Siri can now recognize your own voice in iOS 9

Image via 9to5Mac

As part of Apple's Fall launch event, which unveiled a slew of new products, such as the iPad Pro,iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the company has also unveiled an update for its mobile operating system, iOS. The OS has recently seen a number bump to iOS 9, with plenty of new features in tow.
Aside from new capabilities brought into the system, especially multitasking, the update also brought a significant change to the company's voice assistant, Siri. It seems that the computer assistant can now listen to commands exclusively from the device's owner, by recognizing his/her voice.
Apple already included a "Hey, Siri" feature back in iOS 8. This is similar to Microsoft's "Hey, Cortana," where the assistant can be brought up by only your voice, without tapping the screen. It was only by iOS 9 that an exclusive listening feature was included.
To set the feature up, simply head to the Settings app of your device, then tap on General, tap on Siri, and enable "Allow 'Hey Siri.'" Once allowed, the user will be taken through a voice training process, in order for the system to recognize the owner's voice. The user is then tasked to say "Hey, Siri" three times. Right after, he/she is also told to speak commands like "Hey, Siri, what's the weather today?" and "Hey, Siri, it's me."
Once completed, the device's system is now programmed to listen to only your voice while waiting for commands. This implies that Siri cannot be activated by just anybody, only its owner.
The update will be available worldwide, when iOS 9 is released this September 16.

Apple will launch OS X El Capitan on September 30

Apple announced all sorts of stuff yesterday - iPhoneswatchOS 2iOS 9Apple TV, and of course, a very big iPad. The event was never intended to be about the company's Mac line, but Mac owners may be interested in a bit of info that Apple quietly revealed yesterday.

Until yesterday, the main page for OS X El Capitan stated that the new operating system update was "coming this fall". However, as Ars Technica spotted, Apple updated the page, so that it now reads: "Coming September 30."
El Capitan - known also as OS X 10.11 - was announced back in June, when Apple said the new release would focus on improving performance and the overall user experience. As many users have already seen in El Capitan's public beta, it includes changes to the UI, along with new security features and access to new APIs.
El Capitan will arrive exactly two weeks after the release of iOS 9, the latest version of Apple's mobile OS, which will roll out on September 16.

Siri only works on Apple TV in eight countries; other markets get 'onscreen search app'

Yesterday was a pretty big day for Apple, as the company hosted its Fall 'Special Event' at which it unveiled a range of new products ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.
Among them were the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and the gigantic iPad Pro (all running the latest iOS 9 release); a big update for watchOS; and a new version of the Apple TV. However, one key feature on that last device won't be available in many parts of the world.
There's a lot to like about Apple's new multimedia box. It features a new remote with integrated touchpad, designed to make it easy to navigate the overhauled UI. The new 'tvOS' that runs on the device also introduces an App Store, which will enable third-party developers to bring their software to the Apple box.
Another Apple TV feature that the company showed off was its new support for Siri voice interactions, including a dedicated Siri button on the remote. However, as TechRadar points out, the developer notes for the device reveal that "the Apple TV Remote comes in two flavors - one with Siri built in and the other with onscreen search capabilities".
The notes clarify that 'the Siri Remote' will only be available in these markets:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
...while "Apple TVs in all other countries are packaged with the Apple TV Remote." The different remotes offer slightly different user experiences, as the company explains:
3. Siri/Search. Press and hold to talk in those countries that have the Siri Remote. In all other countries, press to open the onscreen search app.
It's likely that Apple will already be planning to expand availability of Siri on the Apple TV to other markets. But if you were planning to buy the new device in a country not listed above, you'll have to keep waiting for that Siri support to arrive.

Apple's 'iPhone Upgrade Program' offers subscribers a new iPhone every year

Following the announcement of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple introduced a new subscription service for the iPhone, that will allow users to get a new device yearly. The "iPhone Upgrade Program" will initially roll out in Apple retail stores located in the United States.
Apple will roll out this subscription upgrade plan in the United States with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.As a member of the service, you will be enrolled in a monthly installment plan that will start at $32 a month. In exchange for the monthly due, subscribers will receive a new unlocked iPhone annually and will also have accidental protection via Apple's AppleCare+.
The pricing tiers for the program are as follows:
  • iPhone 6s (16GB) - $32.41/mo
  • iPhone 6s (64GB) - $36.58/mo
  • iPhone 6s (128GB) - $40.75/mo
  • iPhone 6s Plus (16GB) - $36.58/mo
  • iPhone 6s Plus (64GB) - $40.75/mo
  • iPhone 6s Plus (128GB) - $44.91/mo
"After 12 installments, you can get a new iPhone and start a new iPhone Upgrade Program. No more waiting for your carrier contract to end. Just trade in your current iPhone for a new one, and your new program begins."
The program will begin to roll out on September 12, allowing potential users to register their interest. To be a part of the program, it is a requirement to visit a US Apple retail store and sign up using a personal credit card. Once your first device arrives, it must be activated with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon.

Apple announces new Apple TV with 'tvOS', universal apps, improved remote, Siri, and more

Although we didn't see a new Apple TV make its debut at Apple's "Spring Forward" event, Apple has just announced its new TV alongside the iPad Pro, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus at its "Special Event", as expected.
Touting that "the future of TV is apps", the Apple TV will have an App Store, with the company release a Software Development Kit (SDK) for third-party developers to build apps and games to be used directly on the TV. However, as previously reported, the company still hasn't announced its streaming service, which obviously would have been a significant addition to the device.
An overhauled user interface integrates Siri voice controls for the first time, allowing you to scroll through menus and playing movies and more by simply using your voice. The Apple TV also display time-based screensavers. During the day, it will showcase screensavers based on morning shots, while at night hours, the corresponding images will be played.
But for those who prefer a more tactile experience, the Apple TV remote has received a massive redesign, incorporating a touchpad as well. Moreover, the company has also integrated Siri with it as well, allowing users to speak to their remote to make use of the "Universal Search" feature to find movies, shows across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime. Apple has announced that it'll be adding more channels to this list over time. Along with the standard control buttons such as volume and menu toggles, users will be able to use the remote as a gaming controller for several games such as Rayman, Guitar Hero and even Crossy Road. Surprisingly, the TV itself doesn't seem to feature a power button.
Powered, by 'tvOS', apps and games will be able to send you notifications. Similar to Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, Apple will be focusing on continuity across devices as well, allowing synchronization of apps between users' devices.
The Apple TV will be The device will be powered by the 64-bit A8 processor, similar to the one currently being used in the iPhone 6 and will support Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and IR receiver. Its remote will also include Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, gyroscope and will apparently work for three months on a single charge.
The Apple TV will cost $149 for the 32 GB version and $199 for the 64 GB version and will be available starting October. Moreover, the tvOS developer beta will also be available from today.

Deeper integration between Office documents and Outlook for iOS

Today, we are excited to announce deeper integration between Outlook and our other key Office apps for iPhone and iPad—Word, Excel and PowerPoint—designed to make it easier than ever to collaborate on and share Office documents on the go. In many organizations, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents capture the bulk of the knowledge and experiences that information workers produce—strategy documents, sales presentations, contracts, market analyses, etc. In our personal lives, these documents contain to-do lists, travel itineraries, monthly budgets and more. This information is then frequently shared with others in email using Outlook.
Outlook for iOS now opens Office documents sent as attachments directly in their respective apps, replacing the simple viewers we previously used. We’ve also streamlined the steps required to collaborate on files sent as attachments. These updates, combined with Outlook’s Focused Inbox, tight integration with calendar, customizable swipe gestures and predictive search help you get more done, even on the smallest screen.
Let’s take a look at these new features.

Open attachments right from Outlook

Editing Office documents sent as attachments is now quick and simple. Tapping on an attachment in Outlook will open the file directly in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, ready for editing in the richest and most powerful authoring apps for iOS. If you haven’t yet downloaded the Office apps, Outlook will load a built-in viewer and provide a link to download the app in the App Store.
You can tell which apps are installed by noting the Open in <app name> text underneath the title of the attachment.
Deeper integration between Office documents and Outlook for iOS 1
The Open in Word text indicates Outlook will open the file directly in Word. If an Office app is not installed, Outlook opens the file in a simple viewer and provides a link to the App Store.

Collaborate with attachments in email

A common scenario for many is collaborating on attachments and sending edits in email. To date, this activity was almost exclusively done at a computer, due to the many manual and sometimes confusing steps necessary when using the built-in Mail app for iOS. Outlook and the other Office apps make this process a breeze.
With the latest updates, once you’ve opened a file from Outlook and finished making your changes, a single tap on the Back button closes the document and returns you to Outlook, automatically adding the now-updated file as an attachment in your reply.
Deeper integration between Office documents and Outlook for iOS 2

Sending attachments with Outlook

Editing and sharing Office documents doesn’t always start from your inbox. While the best experience for collaborating on a document with others is to save and share the file from OneDrive, sometimes an attachment is necessary. Word, Excel and PowerPoint now include a “Send with Outlook” option in the “Share” menu. This button will bring up the Outlook “Compose New Email” pane with the document attached and ready to share.
Deeper integration between Office documents and Outlook for iOS 3

Productivity on the go

Together, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook for iOS bring together the core tools you need to get things done, even on the smallest screen. Download the Office apps for iPhone and iPad for free today and let us know what you think of our latest updates.
The teams are always hard at work making improvements, and we want your feedback to make Outlook better! Please share your comments within Outlook by going to Settings > Suggest a Feature.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is this capability available for Office for Windows and Android?
A. Office for Windows has had rich integration between Outlook and Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents for decades. We expect this capability to be available on Android in the next couple of months.
Q. When is OneDrive for Business support coming to Outlook for iOS?
A. Outlook for iOS connects to OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and Box. We will be updating Outlook for iOS to connect to OneDrive for Business later this year.


What will September’s new iOS 9-based Apple TV bring to the living room?

Apple plans to hold one of its annual fall media events on Wednesday, September 9th to introduce the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus with Force Touch, and after many fits and starts, it appears that the long-awaited next-generation Apple TV will also be unveiled. We’ve been reporting on this upcoming model since 2014, as Apple has been planning to update its set-top-box with support for an App Store for quite some time.
Earlier this year, Apple had locked in a June WWDC debut for both the new Apple TV hardware and software upgrades, but the company ultimately decided to delay the introduction until the fall. While some had speculated that the announcement was pushed back due to a lack of content deals, we are told that the delay was internally attributed to a concern over compromising iOS 9 engineering resources, as the latest OS release is focused at least as much on polish as on new features.

Why would the new Apple TV potentially take away resources from iOS 9? According to sources, this new Apple TV model, codenamed J34, will be the first model to run a full-blown iOS core. Specifically, the new Apple TV operating system will be a TV-optimized version of iOS 9. In addition to the new hardware inside, running iOS 9 will give the new Apple TV a series of benefits over the current model. Below, we explore what users can expect from Apple’s next-generation living room product.

New Device Hardware Design

After living with the same external look for over five years, a new industrial design for the next-generation Apple TV is a lock. We’ve heard that the new model looks like the prior Apple TV, but it is slimmer and slightly wider. As the Apple TV is a product that needs constant connectivity to wireless standards such as Wi-Fi networking and Bluetooth, it is likely that a mostly plastic body will be retained in order for the best compatibility with routers and Bluetooth remotes.
New Dedicated Remote Control

Speaking of remotes, another lock for the new Apple TV is a brand-new remote control. As we first reported, the new Apple TV is planned to include a larger remote control with new and more tactile keys. In addition, as indicated by both our sources and findings inside of files hidden within recent OS X 10.11 El Capitan developer betas, the new remote control will include touch-based input and gesture support. With Apple’s integration of Force Touch across MacBooks, Apple Watches, iPhones, and future iPads, perhaps the technology will make an appearance on the Apple TV remote as well.

The files indicate that the new remote control will include both Bluetooth technology and an infrared sensor, which suggests superior control responsiveness as well as the potential for backward compatibility with non-Bluetooth home AV equipment. As our Jeremy Horwitz noted earlier this year, the introduction of a new remote control could help open up the door for improved gaming. With an integrated touchpad, in addition to the Apple TV SDK we’ll discuss later in this article, Apple could open up the remote to developers looking to bring gaming to the Apple TV box. Critically, this new remote will likely pack enough technology to deter users from losing the controller, which happens often with the older Apple TV remotes.

The aforementioned El Capitan files also indicate that some sort of audio technology wil be integrated into the new remote control, and we believe that this raises three possibilities. First, it is possible that the new remote integrates a small speaker to augment the sound experience of the new Apple TV, which could be important for gaming. Next, perhaps the new remote will include an audio jack to connect to headphones to enable private listening/viewing, similar to the latest Roku models. Last and most likely, the audio feature could refer to a microphone that enables Siri support.
Siri Support

We’ve been hearing for a while, as also reported by John Paczkowski at BuzzFeed, that this next-generation Apple TV will include support for Siri. Currently, there are two main ways to control an Apple TV: the Remote app on iOS devices, and the small aluminum remote that makes typing characters difficult. Utilizing a microphone in the new physical remote, the Apple TV could make searching for content or beginning playback simpler by using the voice-based Siri system. For example, users will likely be able to search up a James Bond movie by saying “Search for Goldfinger,” or begin playback of an Apple Music playlist by saying “Play my Party Mix.”

Improved Proactive-Based Search

Speaking of search, it sounds like one of the reasons behind making the new Apple TV software directly based on iOS 9 is for its new Proactive search support. In iOS 9, Proactive search brings new, more powerful and accurate system-wide search support. AsJeremy Horwitz also noted in March, one of the biggest omissions from the current Apple TV is system-wide search support. For example, a user cannot search for “James Bond” and see results across the iTunes Store, Netflix, the Crackle app, and the Apple Music library. Apple is said to be planning to fix that with the next-generation Apple TV software, but we are told that the company may wait to integrate the new search features until the Apple TV is populated with third-party applications.

App Store + Developer SDK

Third-party applications support plus a full Software Development Kit for the Apple TV will be two tentpoles of the new device. This means that developers, just like with the iPhone and iPad, will be able to build apps for the Apple TV. These applications will likely be able to be downloaded via a dedicated App Store accessible via the new Apple TV.

We are told that Apple’s focus on Apple TV App Store apps has been video-centric applications, which would allow media companies to release new channels on the Apple TV on their own schedule, and not on Apple’s. Apple has slowly added channels to the current-generation Apple TV on a sporadic basis, ranging from every few weeks at times to every several months. Of course, gaming apps, news applications, and others could make sense on the Apple TV as well, but don’t expect opportunities for content creation akin to the iPhone and iPad.

More Storage + Faster Processor

In order to support additional content, new search features, the new remote, additional wireless technology, and apps, the new Apple TV will include a new processor, a dual-core variant of the iPhone 6’s A8 chip in all likelihood, which BuzzFeed also noted. This will be a substantial improvement over the single-core A5 chip driving the current 1080P Apple TV that was introduced in 2012. In order to provide better caching for video content in addition to space for App Store apps, a big leap in storage space should also be expected. The current Apple TV features 8GB of flash storage and 512MB of RAM, but we would expect that RAM count to at least double to 1GB (if not to the 2GB from the next iPhone), and flash storage to at least quadruple to 32GB. Perhaps there will be multiple storage tiers like with the iPhone now that the current 8GB Apple TV sits at the entry-level $69 price point.
Refreshed User-Interface
To go with the new iOS 9 core and redesigned hardware, we are told that the new Apple TV will include a refreshed, more iOS-like interface. While the new system is likely to improve the current scrolling list of large icons, we are told that the general aesthetic will be similar to the current look. We’ve received one tip indicating that the new operating system looks somewhat like the mockup above, which is to say it will look more like an iOS Software product. When Apple launched the redesigned Apple TV operating system in 2012, it brought the new look to earlier-generation models, not only to the new 1080P box, so perhaps Apple will port over at least some new features to existing models. We are told that the new Apple TV iOS 9 builds internally run on both the current J33 Apple TV and future J34 model, but internal testing does not always accurately forecast public launch plans.

No Live Cable-Replacement Service (Yet)
Lastly, as we first reported early this year, the new Apple TV will not launch with Apple’s long-in-the-works Cable TV replacement service. Apple’s discussions with TV networks indicate that Apple wants to launch a $40/month plan for Apple TV users that allows customers to get their favorite channels without the need of a cable connection. The content would be streamed from the web and integrated with iTunes on the new Apple TV. Sources say that internal prototypes of the next-generation Apple TV are fully designed to unlock content via cable networks in the same manner as current and past Apple TVs, so it appears that the new TV service won’t launch until at least next year.

Wrangling all the Apple devices in your workplace just got a lot easier

Bushel is a cloud-based solution for managing all the devices used for doing business

If you’re running your business on Apple machines, it’s probably because you want to keep things clean and simple. But wrangling desktops, tablets, phones and the employees who use them isn’t as easy as syncing your calendar.
Emails, point-of-sale operations, apps, security settings — an enterprise of any size can quickly present a symphony of stresses that’s too much for any business owner to orchestrate.
That’s where Bushel comes in. This easy-to-use Apple device manager saves you time and gives you total situational awareness over all the Macs, iPhones and iPads deployed by your business.
No matter where you are, critical information about each device — its users, settings, contents, contacts, capacity, even warranty status — is available for easy viewing and interaction.
Think of Bushel as a web-based alternative to hiring an IT department (or a tool for streamlining the work done by your existing IT staff). Trust us when we say a few minutes trying out its clean and intuitive interface will show you exactly how an Apple-integrated workplace should work and feel.

Take control of your Apple devices the easy way

Once you’re signed up, Bushel’s step-by-step guides help you onboard all your business’ devices. Each is shown along with its user info and operational details, giving you intuitive control as you quickly set up your digital infrastructure.
You can automatically configure all your devices according to your preferences, with custom settings for each individual user or device if desired. Don’t want Phil to have access to the company’s financials? You can decide to take the Mint app off his iPhone, iPad or Mac. (I never trusted Phil anyway.)
Maybe you’ve got separate email accounts for different departments or people. Normally that would require loads of effort — or filing a ticket with IT, waiting and preparing for more than a couple snags before everything is set up.
Bushel makes it as easy as selecting the devices you want a given email stream to go to, then getting back to the work you’d rather be doing. Bushel also interfaces neatly with the App Store’s Volume Purchase Program, so you can instantly add new apps to all enrolled devices.
In fact, you never even have to touch a device to get it up and running to meet the needs of your company — an employee can have their new phone, tablet or laptop up to speed before they’ve even left the Apple Store.
Conversely, with security being a constant concern for company computers and mobile devices, Bushel includes the option to remotely lock or even wipe any device if some jerk swipes it.
All the critical business-related functions of a company’s devices are accessible through Bushel’s clean, intuitive interface, with a responsive design that looks and feels great on any device. Basically, anything you need on, off or transmitted between your business devices can be channeled through the app.
The first three devices you enroll with Bushel are free, by the way, and it’s just two bucks for each additional one after that. Plus, with the Bushel Affiliate Program, if you recommend the program to somebody who signs up more than three devices, you’ll get a discount on your own subscription.
For ease of use, simplicity of setup and time saved, we confidently recommend you give Bushel a try.

Newly discovered OS X bugs could get your Mac hijacked

A new day, a new OS X exploit.

Just a week after Apple patch several OS X vulnerabilities, a security researcher has already discovered two new exploits that could allow an attacker to remotely gain access to your Mac.

Italian developer Luca Todesco uncovered two new zero-day vulnerabilities that leave Macs susceptible to a combination of attacks that corrupt memory in the OS X kernel. The exploit currently works on OS X 10.9.5 all the way through the recently released OS X 10.10.5 update.
According to Todesco, the memory corruption can be used to circumvent kernel address space layout randomization, which acts as a defense technique for stopping exploit code from running. Once a machine gets corrupted, an attacker can gain access to a root shell.
Todesco published his findings on GitHub, along with a patch that fixes the bugs so would-be attackers can’t use it. It’s not an official fix, but for now it’s the best way to keep your Mac safe from the exploit.
Fortunately for Apple, the bug doesn’t appear to be available in OS X El Capitan, which is scheduled for release later this fall. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the new exploit to see if a fix is on the way, but are still waiting to hear back from them.

Opinion: What to expect from Apple’s A9 chip

Less than a month from now, Apple is expected to officially unveil its new A9 chip. This will be the ninth A-Series processor including the original A4, which powered the first iPad, iPhone 4, fourth-generation iPod touch, and second-generation Apple TV. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the A-series chips to Apple’s devices, as they’ve helped the company to achieve everything from major processing leaps to impressive power efficiency and — often taken for granted — guaranteed UI smoothness for every year’s newly-launched devices.

With the iPhone 6S just around the corner, we’ve started to receive tips purporting to reveal how much better the A9 will perform than the A8 processors found in the latest iPhones, iPad Air 2, and iPod touch. While we wouldn’t characterize the numbers we’ve seen as reliable, they led us to look back at the history of A-series chips, and consider what can reasonably be expected from the A9. Read on for our thoughts…

How Each Year’s A-Series Chips Have Progressed
Most of the time, Apple introduces two new A-series chips in a year — for instance, the A5 for iPhones and the A5X for iPads, which were followed by the A6 for iPhones and the A6X for iPads. Every year’s chips improve on the prior versions, with slightly different priorities for the iPad and iPhone. The iPhone version is designed to be more energy-efficient and at least a little less powerful, while the iPad version generally runs faster and has more power, offset somewhat by the need to drive a higher-resolution screen.

Processor:Single-Core Score:Multi-Core Score:
A7 1.3 (iPhone)13542500
A7 1.4 (iPad)14672652

As the table above shows, each year’s upgrades vary considerably in performance jumps, but one thing’s constant: every new flagship iPhone’s A_ processor is a step better than the last flagship iPad’s A_X processor. The A6 offered huge performance jumps over the A5X, and the 64-bit A7 did the same relative to the 32-bit A6X. By contrast, the A8 respectably outperformed the faster iPad version of the A7, though there wasn’t an A7X to compare against.

What Will The A9 Be Like?

We’ve already seen photos of the A9 processor on an early iPhone 6S motherboard, and superficially, it doesn’t look much different than the A8. But under the dark gray exterior, a lot has changed under the hood. Apple’s chip partners have moved from a 20-nanometer process to 14/16-nanometer FinFET manufacturing, enabling the A9 to squeeze even more transistors into the same surface area. This will let the A9 offer greater performance and improved power efficiency at roughly the same size as the A8.

An unsubstantiated tip suggests that the A9 inside the iPhone 6S achieved a Geekbench single-core score of 1921 points, and a multi-core score of 4873 points. For single-core performance, this would be a roughly 19% jump over the A8, and a 6% improvement over the A8X, versus a nearly 69% multi-core jump over the A8 and almost 8% over the A8X. (Note that the A9’s purported single-core improvement would be nearly identical to the A7 to A8 jump, and around 4.4 times larger than the A7 to A8 multi-core improvement.)

These numbers could be completely fabricated, which is why we haven’t run them in a news story. But they are in line with changes we’ve seen from Apple each year, and as such, a reasonable basis for contemplating what’s likely to actually happen. Again, as the table above suggests, there has never been a flagship iPhone that scored lower on Geekbench’s single-core or multi-core tests than the prior year’s flagship iPad. If there was going to be a first year for that to happen, it could easily be this year, as the A8X’s multi-core score is dramatically higher than the A8’s, thanks to both a third processing core and a faster clock speed.

To beat the A8X in both categories, the A9 would need to evolve from a dual-core processor to at least a triple-core processor — achieving a multi-core score superior to the A8X with a dual-core A9 would be virtually impossible. So it’s interesting that the purported multi-core score of 4873 is right in line with what we’d expect from a triple-core A9 with a single-core score of 1921. However, the same tipster claims that the A9 will feature two 1.7GHz cores and two 1.2GHz cores. It’s possible that Apple’s design does use two faster cores and two slower ones to achieve a comparable top speed to a triple-core design, while switching between cores as necessary to conserve power. That’s the type of compelling energy-efficient innovation Apple would be proud to unveil.

What Does All Of This Mean?

It’s possible that the next iPhone’s chip will fall below last year’s flagship iPad in performance, but Apple’s chipmaking history suggests that’s unlikely. As a result, we’d expect to see the iPhone 6S sporting some major performance gains over the iPhone 6. The extra power could be used for even more impressive games, processing 4K video, and running apps that are even closer to OS X-class. If the A9 matches or comes close to the numbers above, it will be in the same league as 2009 iMacs, 2010 MacBook Pros and 2011 MacBook Airs, all of which are still viable computers. Yet the iPhone will be profoundly more power-efficient, and unlike any of those Macs, capable of fitting in your pocket without any cooling fans.

This also bodes well for the A9X, which has reportedly been under development alongside the A9. If Apple follows its normal pattern, the next iPad will be on par with entry-level 2010-2011 iMacs, and quite possibly a step better than the entry-level 2015 12″ Retina MacBook. The key question will be whether Apple aims to close the performance gap between its tablets and laptops, or continues to limit the next iPad’s performance in the name of conserving battery life.

You Can Now Run Windows 10 On Your Mac

Thanks to Apple updating Boot Camp, that is. If you have had a hankering to try out Microsoft’s latest operating system — and I can recommend at least taking it for a spin — now’s the time.
Apple’s full directions here are worth your time, but the broad strokes are simple: If you have a Mac no older than ‘mid 2012,’ and are running the most recent build of OS X, you should be able to get Windows 10 running without too much bother.
Boot Camp will also let you upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 if you have a prior build running on your machine at the moment. If you don’t have Windows installed already, you will probably have to buy yourself a copy of the code. Microsoft is providing a year of free upgrades, after all, not a free ride for everyone.
TechCrunch’s initial impressions of the first, “final” Windows 10 build remains: Lots of promise, more polish than Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, and a return to desktop preeminence. That and it’s still a bit buggy.
Here’s the full list of compatible Macs, via Apple:
Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.48.07 AM
Microsoft likely doesn’t mind Apple making it easier for Mac users to run Windows 10 — after all, it has to reach that billion device threshold. I doubt the software firm cares much about what device is running Windows 10, provided that it is in fact running the code.
It’s Friday, so if you were going to play around at your desk and call it work, you now have a prime excuse. Good luck.

Apple Introduces New Apple Watch Link Bracelet Kit, L/XL Sport Bands to Fit Larger Wrists

Apple today introduced a new Link Bracelet Kit, which is equipped with six additional stainless steel links to make the 42mm Link Bracelet able to fit wrists that exceed 205mm. The six links expand the band by up to 40mm, for a maximum size of 245mm. 

The Link Bracelet is Apple's only modular band, with size that can be adjusted by adding or removing links. That makes it the only band that can be expanded in this way, and with six additional links, it'll be the band best suited for wrists larger than 215mm, which is where the Classic Buckle maxes out. 

Apple has also introduced new sizing options for the Apple Watch Sport Band, introducing an L/XL sizing option for 42mm Apple Watches. Apple Watch Sport Bands are now sold in two configurations: S/M & M/L, and M/L & L/XL. The new L/XL size option is available in black or white and expands the size range of the Sport Band to 245mm. 

While Apple Watch bands were initially designed to fit a range of wrist sizes from 135mm to 215mm, there have been complaints that the Apple Watch bands are not large enough for bigger wrists. Quite a few people on Apple's support forums have requested XL-sized bands, and Apple's effort to introduce a kit for the Link Bracelet and new sizing options for the Sport Band is its first move towards offering an wider range of sizes. 

Apple's Link Bracelet Kit is priced at $49 and available for purchase immediately through the company's online site. It ships out in 5 to 7 business days

Another Report Claims No iPad Air 3 Launching in Near Future

Apple is expected to announce new iPhones and iPads over the next month or so in preparation for the holiday shopping season, but it remains unclear which iPad models in particular will be unveiled. 


It is widely believed that a new iPad mini 4 will be announced, but rumors about the iPad Air 3 and so-called "iPad Pro" and their respective release dates have been inconsistent thus far. 

A new report from Taiwanese blog DigiTimes offers some further details, corroborating a previous rumor that Apple is not planning an iPad Air 3 right now and focusing its efforts on the iPad mini 4. 

The report claims that Apple's upstream supply chain is readying components for the fourth-generation tablet, noting that it will only have minor upgrades over the current iPad mini. Recent reports suggest the upcoming 7.9-inch tablet will likely be a slimmed down version of the iPad Air 2 and support split-view multitasking

DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, so its latest report should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt. Moreover, the more reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara reported in July that an A9-based iPad Air 3 is still possible for 2015, so Apple's roadmap remains unclear and could change between now and the forthcoming iPhone and iPad event. 

Apple has faced six consecutive quarters of declining iPad sales year-over-year as the broader tablet market continues to decline. 

Apple Live TV Service Not Coming Until 2016

Bloomberg reports that Apple will be unable to deliver their rumored live TV-over-internet streaming service for the Apple TV until 2016. Content negotiations are reportedly stalling the launch of the service, which Apple had hoped to be ready for their rumored September 9th media event.
The company wanted to introduce this year a live TV service delivered via the Internet, but is now aiming for 2016, said people familiar with Apple’s plans.
Apparently, pricing of the new TV service is one of the main hurdles in the negotiations.Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to offer "a package of popular channels" for $40/month, a significant discount from the average cable bill. 

A new Apple TV set top box, however, is still said to be ready for release. The new Apple TV is rumored to have a touch-based remote control and full app store. Apple is expected to announce the new Apple TV on September 9th.

Apple Releases iOS 8.4.1 With Apple Music Improvements and Bug Fixes

Apple today released iOS 8.4.1 to the public, roughly six weeks after releasing iOS 8.4with the new Apple Music service and one month after first seeding the first iOS 8.4.1 beta to registered developers for testing purposes. 

Today's iOS 8.4.1 update is Build 12H321 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the using the Software Update tool in the Settings app on iOS devices. 

iOS 8.4.1 is a minor update that includes under-the-hood performance improvements, bug fixes, and security updates. Throughout the testing period, no outward-facing changes were discovered in the beta, and Apple's release notes specifically mention only Apple Music improvements and fixes.
This release includes improvements and fixes to Apple Music.

- Resolves issues that could prevent turning on iCloud Music Library
- Resolves an issue that hides added music because Apple Music was set to show offline music only
- Provides a way to add songs to a new playlist if there aren't any playlists to choose from
- Resolves an issue that may show different artwork for an album on other devices
- Resolves several issues for artists while posting to Connect
- Fixes an issue where tapping Love doesn't work as expected while listening to Beats 1
It's likely iOS 8.4.1 will be one of the last updates to the iOS 8 operating system. iOS 9, iOS 8's successor, has been in testing since June and is on track to be released in the fall alongside new iPhones. iOS 9 builds on the features introduced in iOS 8 and adds both new content and underlying performance improvements.

Apple Releases OS X 10.10.5 With DYLD Vulnerability Patch, Bug Fixes

Apple today released OS X Yosemite 10.10.5, an under-the-hood update that introduces bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements. OS X 10.10.5 is being released to the public after two developer betas and one month of testing


The OS X 10.10.5 update can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. 

Today's update notably includes a fix for theDYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE privilege escalation vulnerability that could allow malware to gain root access to a Mac. Earlier this month, a DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE exploit was found to be in use in the wild, so this is an update that all Mac users running Yosemite will want to install as soon as possible.
This update:

- Improves compatibility with certain email servers when using Mail
- Fixes an issue in Photos that prevents importing videos from GoPro cameras
- Fixes an issue in QuickTime Player that prevented playback of Windows Media files.
OS X 10.10.5 is likely to be one of the last updates to OS X Yosemite, which will soon be retired in favor of its successor, OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Currently in testing, OS X El Capitan builds on the features introduced with Yosemite, focusing on improving performance and user experience. 

Once OS X El Capitan is available for download, OS X Yosemite will see only minor maintenance updates designed to fix security flaws and other major bugs. OS X El Capitan is expected to be released to the public in the fall. 

Update 10:33 AM: Fixes and improvements for Apple Music are available in a separateiTunes 12.2.2 update also available through Software Update in the Mac App Store. 

Update 11:20 AM: Apple has also released Security Update 2015-006 for Mavericks andMountain Lion users, as well as Safari 8.0.8 for Yosemite, 7.1.8 for Mavericks, and 6.2.8 for Mountain Lion.

Apple releases iOS 9 beta 4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to developers

iOS 9 iPad iPhone
Roughly two weeks after the previous build with Apple Music support included, Apple has released iOS 9 beta 4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to registered developers. iOS 9 includes new or redesigned built-in apps including the Flipboard-like News app and an overhauled Notes app, powerful iPad multitasking features, and a new system feature built around search and intelligence called Proactive. The previous beta included the first look at Apple’s News app, support for Apple Music and Beats 1, and other changes including Screenshots and Selfies albums in Photos and 4×4 app folders on the iPad. We’ll dig in to today’s release and update with changes in the latest beta.

– iOS 9 beta 4 is now available through the developer center and OTA through the Settings app for registered developers
– Beta 4 measures in between 300 and 350 MB depending on device and features build number 13A4305g
– Xcode 7 beta 4 with build 7A165t also available for developers
– Notifications icon changed from gray to red, square battery icon fixed
– Home Sharing once again available with Music as promised, high quality on cellular setting moved
– Updated Handoff UI (was previously a card rather than banner) on both iPhone and iPad

– Apple’s Podcasts app now supports Picture-in-Picture feature when playing video and multitasking on iPad
– New HomeKit notification options
– New photo picker UI for the web
– Larger artwork plus heart and radio options when sharing Apple Music content
– Bing Web Results can now be disabled in Spotlight Search settings
– Volume button as shutter button for Camera now functional again
– Activity indicator moved to right side when Back button from other apps is present
– Updated icons for iPhone, Apple Watch on Battery widget
– Double clicking the home button to launch Wallet from the lock screen only shows passes with barcodes now


Apple releases OS X 10.11 El Capitan beta 4 to developers

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 11.54.02 AM
Apple today has released the fourth developer preview of OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The operating system carries the build number 15A226f. Two weeks ago, the company pushed the third beta build to developers after initially introducing the operating system at WWDC last month. Beta 3 brought about a variety of minor changes, including changes to Mission Control, the Photos app, and the Calendar app.

In addition to allowing developers to test El Capitan, Apple is also offering public beta of the operating system and will also make it available to all retail employees to try.
As new features and changes are discovered in OS X El Capitan beta 4, we’ll update this post. Last month, we broke down some of the features in iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan and noted some improvements Apple could make to the functionality of the features before launch later this year.
Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 2.21.41 PM

AppleInsider podcast talks new iPod touch, thoughts on an 'iPhone 6c,' 'iPad Pro' rumors & more

On this week's all-new AppleInsider podcast, we discuss the refreshed iPod lineup, including a new A8-powered iPod touch. Neil talks about the possibility of an "iPhone 6c," Dan details gaming benchmarks for Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 6, Victor tells us how he really feels about Touch ID and Apple Pay, and it's unanimous that no one should install Adobe Flash.

AppleInsider staff members Daniel Eran DilgerNeil Hughes, and Victor Marks discuss the top stories:

  • The new iPod touch with an A8 chip

  • A rumored "iPhone 6c"

  • Apple is allegedly being "cautious" placing orders for the "iPad Pro"

  • Bogus sounding rumors on the death of the iPad mini

  • It's time to uninstall Adobe Flash

  • iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S6 gaming benchmarks

The show is available on iTunes and your favorite podcast apps by searching for "AppleInsider." Click here to listen, subscribe, and don't forget to rate our show.


Apple releases first public beta of upcoming OS X 10.10.5 update

Apple on Thursday released the first public beta of OS X 10.10.5, following quickly on the heels of a matching developer beta, which was issued on Tuesday.

Both betas share the same build number, 14F6a, implying identical code. Apple is typically more cautious about releasing public betas however, presumably because developers need the absolute latest code and are more prepared if something goes wrong.

In notes for the update, Apple says only that 10.10.5 fixes stability, compatibility, and security issues with OS X Yosemite.

The software is available through the Updates tab in the Mac App Store for people registered in theApple Beta Software Program. Apple recommends backing up before an installation, and installing only on a Mac or drive partition that can be erased in case of failure.

OS X 10.10.5 will likely be the last major update for Yosemite. The operating system's successor, El Capitan, is due to launch sometime this fall as a free download, and is already available in a public betaof its own.

Apple Starts Early Production on Next-Generation iPhones With Force Touch

Apple is starting production on its next-generation iPhones, reports Bloomberg, and the new models are equipped with Force Touch capabilities. Force Touch, first introduced with the Apple Watch, is a feature that's able to distinguish between a light tap and a harder press, enabling a range of new gestures. 

The two new iPhones will retain the same 4.7 and 5.5-inch display sizes, with an exterior design that's largely unchanged. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested the addition of Force Touch could make the iPhone 0.2mm thicker, but it is unclear if that rumor is accurate. 

Apple Inc. has started early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, which senses how hard users are pressing down on a screen, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Its newest iPhones, in the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions as the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, will have a similar exterior design, the people said. Volume manufacturing is scheduled to ramp up as soon as next month, they said.
Because the design of the new iPhones will remain the same, Bloomberg's sources believe final assembly will go smoothly, but caution that production volume could be impacted by the supply and yield of displays for the devices. Apple has been working to add Force Touch across its product lineup since unveiling the Apple Watch and has thus far incorporated the feature into the trackpads of the Retina MacBook and Retina MacBook Pro. 

Apple is expected to debut its next-generation "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" in September. Other rumors about the device suggest it could include an improved camera,7000 series aluminum, and a new rose gold color option.

OS X El Capitan Code Hints at 4K 21.5-inch Retina iMac

Apple's newest OS X El Capitan beta, released on Tuesday, contains code that may hint at some upcoming Apple product updates. Shared by Pierre Dandumont (via 9to5Mac), the code references a Retina display with a 4096 x 2304 resolution, potentially referring to a future 21.5-inch Retina iMac with a 4K resolution. 

There's also a mention of Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200, the graphics chipset that accompanies Intel's newest line of Broadwell processors. Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 and a Broadwell/Skylake processor could potentially be destined for a 4K 21.5-inch Retina iMac, but the chipset is also suitable for a number of notebooks. There's a further mention of AMD Radeon M380 - M395X graphics, which could be used in high-end iMac models. 

Apple has updated its 27-inch iMac with a 5K Retina resolution, but the 21.5-inch iMac has thus far remained untouched as Apple has had to wait on appropriate chips for the machine. Apple's plans for the 21.5-inch iMac remain unclear, as Intel has only released two desktop-class Broadwell chips and does not plan to release additional desktop chips. For that reason, a 21.5-inch Retina iMac update could still be months off should Apple opt to wait for Broadwell's successor, Skylake. 

In addition to pointing towards a potential 21.5-inch iMac upgrade, code in the latest El Capitan beta also hints at a revamped Remote with a multi-touch trackpad that supports scrolling, a dedicated Bluetooth chip, and audio support, potentially for Siri commands.Details on the remote, which will likely accompany the upcoming Apple TV, were first shared in May.

Benchmarks Show iPhone Performance Difference When iOS 9's Low Power Mode is Activated

With iOS 9, Apple introduced a Low Power mode, designed to extend battery life when an iPhone's power is running low. According to the feature's description, Low Power mode works by reducing an iPhone's performance and cutting down on background activity. 

Geekbench 3 has just been updated to work with iOS 9, letting us get a more detailed look at how Low Power mode works and how much it throttles an iPhone's CPU performance when activated. 

Without Low Power mode activated, an iPhone 6 Plus scored 1606 on the single-core processor test and 2891 on the multi-core processor test. When Low Power mode was turned on, the same iPhone 6 Plus scored 1019 on the single-core test and 1751 on the multi-core test, suggesting there's a significant performance reduction when Low Power mode is enabled to save as much battery as possible. 

Results were similar on an iPhone 5s, with performance reduced by about 40 percent. We saw single/multi-core scores of 1386/2511 without Low Power mode and scores of 816/1405 with Low Power mode turned on. 

Low Power mode activates when an iPhone is at 10 or 20 percent battery level, providing a popup that lets users toggle it on quickly. It can also be turned on via the new Battery section of the Settings app. When it's turned on, in addition to lowering CPU speeds, Low Power mode also disables Mail Fetch, Background App Refresh, motion effects, and animated wallpapers. 

Indicated by a yellow battery icon, by limiting performance and disabling battery draining features, Low Power mode can extend an iPhone's battery life by up to three hours. Other performance improvements in iOS 9 extend the iPhone's battery by an hour even when Low Power mode is not enabled. 

iOS 9 is currently available to developers and will be released to the general public in the fall. 


AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch Now Covers Batteries That Retain Less Than 80% of Original Capacity

Apple has updated the terms of its AppleCare+ Protection Plan for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch to cover batteries that retain less than 80% of their original capacity within the extended warranty period, whereas it previously covered batteries that retained less than 50% of their original capacity. The change applies to AppleCare+ purchased for iPhone, iPad, iPod and all Apple Watch models on April 10, 2015 or later. 

AppleCare+ Apple Watch iPhone
Apple will replace defective batteries that do not live up to the 80% specification free of charge as long as the device is within its AppleCare+ coverage period. Otherwise, the iPhone maker charges $79 for out-of-warranty battery service for all Apple Watch batteries that retain less than 80% of their original capacity per Apple's diagnostic testing, plus a $6.95 shipping charge if required. 

The new battery terms of AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch:
"If during the Plan Term, you submit a valid claim by notifying Apple that (i) a defect in materials and workmanship has arisen in the Covered Equipment, or (ii) the capacity of the Covered Equipment’s battery to hold an electrical charge is less than eighty percent (80%) of its original specifications, Apple will either (A) repair the defect at no charge, using new parts or parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (B) exchange the Covered Equipment, with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability."
AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPad and iPod 

AppleCare+ for iPhone extends the smartphone's warranty coverage to two years from the original date of purchase and provides up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage for a $79 service charge each time. Without AppleCare+, iPhone customers are covered by a limited one-year warranty and 90 days of complimentary phone support. 

AppleCare+ iPhone iPad iPod
AppleCare+ for iPad and iPod have the same terms and conditions, although the accidental damage service charges are $49 and $29 per incident respectively. 

AppleCare+ for Apple Watch 

Apple has designed the Apple Watch battery to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at1000 complete charge cycles, which gives the watch's battery a lifespan of about two-and-a-half to three years based on fully charging the wrist-worn device once per day. Apple Watch has all-day battery life of 18 hours on a single charge based on mixed usage, and lasts up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode

AppleCare+ extends an Apple Watch's warranty coverage to two years from the date of purchase for the Sport and Watch, and three years for Edition, and provides accidental damage coverage for up to two incidents. Without AppleCare+, purchases of the Apple Watch Sport and the stainless steel Apple Watch are covered by a limited one-year warranty and 90 days of complimentary phone support. 

Apple Watch AppleCare
AppleCare+ costs $49, $59 and $1,500 for the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition models respectively, while accidental damage coverage is subject to an additional service charge of $69 for Sport, $79 for Watch and $1,000 for Edition. Apple also sells AppleCare+ combo plans for Apple Watch and iPhone for $149 (Sport and iPhone), $169 (Watch and iPhone) and $1,600 (Edition and iPhone).

Apple announces OS X El Capitan

At its WWDC event in San Francisco today, Apple announced the newest version of OS X, named El Capitan.
The update includes several new email features, including natural language search, meaning you can look for “email I ignored from John,” and El Capitan will find it for you. The compose window also now allows you to have multiple tabs open at the same time.
Spotlight search is also more powerful. It will be able to search for weather and sports scores, while Safari allows you to pin the sites you visit most often so they are always available and up to date.
The update also takes a leaf out of Windows 10’s playbook, allowing you to snap a window to either side of the screen. Like Windows 10, it will also suggest apps you can use to fill up the remaining space. You can also move apps to a new desktop by dragging to the top of the screen.
Of course, Apple claims the new OS X is now faster than ever, with app launches 1.4 times faster than previously. Switching between apps is also said to be done in half the time.
El Capitan also makes use of Apple’s Metal 3D API to speed up graphics performance compared to Open GL – including in apps. Metal was first introduced for iOS at last year’s WWDC.
El Capitan is available to developers starting today. A public beta is coming in July, and the final version will arrive this fall.

iOS 9 release date, features and rumors

Next week, in between the April's Apple Watch launch and September's iPhone 6S unveiling, the next big project for the Cupertino company is iOS 9.
Its annual mobile operating system update is set to make its official debut, in beta form at least, during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday.
Yes, iOS 8.4 may take center stage at first, but when WWDC 2015 starts on June 8, you can expect an iOS 9 tease during the software-focused keynote.
The new iOS is going to favor new features, apps and stability over drastic visual changes, according to the latest rumors. Here's what we anticipate next month.

iOS 9 release date

Apple's WWDC 2015 runs from June 8 to June 12 in San Francisco, and the company always has its keynote on day one of this five-day conference.
That means registered Apple developers can expect to see and then download the next iOS update on June 8, at least if everything holds to the same-day delivery pattern as past years.
The latest unofficial news seems to indicate that the company may first launch iOS 8.4 instead, debuting an artist-driven social network as part of its fresh Apple Music app.
Soon after that, there may be an iOS 9 public beta too, given all of the iOS 8 problems a year ago, and everyone else should expect the final version in September along with the new iPhone.
That three-month wait can be a good thing. iOS 9 beta 1 will be buggy and unfinished. The best features typically don't launch until the gold master version in September anyway.

iOS 9 compatibility

Will this be the first iPhone and iPad software update to require a lightning cable?

iOS 9 release date
Next: Cross iPhone 4S and iPad 2 off Apple's list?

iOS 8 muscled out iPhone 4 compatibility last year, and iOS 7 said goodbye to iPhone 3GS two years ago. iPhone 4S could be on the iOS update chopping block.
That makes sense. After all, the company is gearing up for its lightning-port-required Apple CarPlay infotainment system and Apple Watch has the same compatibility chart among phones.
On top of that, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C first introduced 1GB of RAM, up from the 512MB in the iPhone 4S. It's time to retire these 30-pin dock devices.
All is not lost. New rumors indicate that these older devices may see a "core version" of iOS 9, which seems to suggest it'll be feature-limited, but not as buggy or slow on the aged hardware.

iOS 9 'Force Touch' for iPhone 6S

It's like my Uncle Ben always said, with new hardware comes new software responsibilities. That's exactly the prophecy that iOS 9 may fulfill when the new iPhone comes out.

iOS 9 release date
iOS 9 may provide the software iPhone 6S wants and needs

iPhone 6S is supposed to get a Force Touch display with haptic feedback, just like the new MacBook and Apple Watch. Press harder to drop new pins in Maps and scroll through media players.
Looking up word definitions in a dictionary or adding new Calendar events? That could also become a shortcut of this pressure-sensitive input. We just may not see it demoed until September.

New iOS 9 keyboard

Apple launches what it called its "best keyboard yet" with the iOS 8 QuickType keyboard, but it may very well one-up that statement with the iOS 9 keyboard.

iOS 9 release date
Better than Apple's best may not be too hard

iPhone's confusing shift key will give you a better idea whether or not it's on or off, proclaims 9to5Mac. You can fINALLY Stop tYPING like this.
Though the next iPhone display size is likely the same, Apple is said to be prototyping a longer keyboard design that fits in more shortcuts, even in portrait mode.

Beats Music integration

Apple hasn't forgotten about its $3 billion deal with Dr. Dre and company. It's reportedly readying an iOS 9 music streaming service backed by Beats.

iOS 9 release date
Apple isn't Facebook. It's going to do something with its multi-billion dollar acquisition

It seems like the iPhone maker's answer to Spotify and Google Play Music All Access, with a paid tier and some free trials to get people hooked.
To get them to stay, Apple Music is supposed to include an artist-driven social network, according to code found in iOS 8.4. It could very well launch ahead of iOS 9 at WWDC.
Apple is said to be taken an aggressive stand on its music streaming service, lobbying record companies to drop Spotify's free tier to better compete at the paid level. That's some NWA stuff right there.

Apple Maps with public transit

You may not know this because you've already (wisely) switched over to Google Maps and haven't looked back, but Apple Maps still doesn't have public transit directions.

iOS 9 release date
Somehow there's still no public transit directions

Commuters can rejoice however, because bus, train and subway routes may finally make their way into iOS 9, at least if you are in one of six support cities.
San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Paris and Berlin are expected to be the first metropolitan areas with public transit directions when iOS 9 launches.
More ambitiously, we've also heard rumors that Apple is working on an augmented reality view that uses your camera to highlight points of interest on your screen. This could explain all of the camera-equipped Apple vans roaming the streets.

Siri update

Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant is reportedly receiving a small upgrade in iOS 9 to match the Siri found on Apple Watch.

iOS 9 release date
Siri on iPhone may match the Apple Watch version

The silent smartwatch version of Siri has a little more color to its wavy lines at the bottom. That's all we know so far based on last month's rumors.
But there's a good chance if Siri comes with new looks, it also comes with more smarts. After all, Apple's assistant needs to compete with the more-accurate Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana.
There's a report that Apple is working on Google Now competitor codenamed "Proactive" for iOS 9. This could be tied into Siri, if it comes to pass.
If anything, Siri just needs to stop answering to "Hey, Siri" when we don't say actually say that command prompt. That'd be a step in the right direction.

Small iOS 9 download size

There are still plenty of iPhone and iPad users left behind in the transition from iOS 7 to iOS 8 simply because they don't have enough internal storage to make the update.

iOS 9 release date
We shouldn't have to decide between keeping photos and updating

These deprived 16GB phone and tablet owners need up to 5GB of free space to install iOS 8, and that means deleting precious apps, photos, videos and music.
With the iPad Air 2 syphoning off 3.4GB for the operating system alone, this leaves users with a paltry 12.6GB and, if you factor the 5GB needed, that's just 7.6GB for all of their content.
iOS 9 is expected to change this frustration, which has made paying for iCloud storage seem like a punishment. iOS 8.3 and iOS 8.4 beta are setting a good example with a slightly smaller footprint.

Stability improvements

The No. 1 new, but boring feature we're going to see from iOS 9 is stability. iOS 8 has been plagued with false starts, glitches and continuing Wi-Fi and battery drain bugs.

iOS 9 release date
No more sidling up to the router, please

Apple's Health app made a unfashionably late debut in iOS 8.0.1, a botched update it pulled, and its message boards are full of complaints, which Apple alluded to during the iPad event.
iOS 9 is reportedly receiving a lot of under-the-hood attention to prevent the same issues from reaching the post-beta masses in September.
With the quick adoption rate that Apple devices have over Android, there's really no time for such widespread bug-testing.

More interface shortcuts

iOS 9 is likely to open up new shortcuts, allowing you to quickly navigate menus on your iPhone and iPad with simple taps or gestures.

iOS 9 release date
There is still room for more shortcuts

Apple did a good job of this with iOS 8 via interactive notifications, frequent contacts listed in the "multitasking" menu, inline audio and video messaging and a bunch of mail app tweaks.
iOS 9 could save us even more time. We'd love to see Command Center host shortcuts to individual settings: holding down the Wi-Fi on/off switch should lead to the Wi-Fi menu, the Bluetooth switch to the Bluetooth menu, etc.
That's much faster than closing the app and heading to the settings menu to make a simple change, like pair a new Bluetooth device. Android has been able to do this trick for years.
Another Google-inspired menu change involves keeping media in the notification menu, not just on the lockscreen. Actively streaming a movie should put the controls at your fingertips.

he list of iOS 9 feature seems rather thin at the moment mainly because no one can officially confirm much else ahead of next month's announcement.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of other updates we'd like to see added to Apple's iOS 9 beta, which is widely expected to launch this summer.
Not all of them may actually become reality, of course. But there is a strong push from users for the following ideas.

Home screen widgets

We've been crying out for widgets for years and with iOS 8, Apple is sort of giving us them... sort of.
They live in Notification Center with basic functionality at-a-glance. Pulling down this hidden menu reveals sport scores, OpenTable reservations and a Calendar preview, for example.
But what we'd still love to see is home screen widgets. Apple has kept its interface clean and that's presumably one of the reasons why widgets have taken so long to arrive in any form.
Empowering users to customise their home screens can only be a good thing, though, and if Apple doesn't want to go as all-out with it as Android has, it could always look to Windows Phone for inspiration and simply make its icons "'live."
This doesn't have to be completely different to what's there now, but folders that tell you more information about changes to the apps held within is our top ask for iOS 9.

Guest and kids mode

Does someone else in your family like to get their grubby little hands on your iPad? Kids love playing games on the tablet, which is more accessible than PS4and Xbox One.

iOS 9 release date
Family Share came to iCloud Drive. Why not multiple user profiles per device?

Letting a spouse or child borrow your expensive Apple device wouldn't be as much of a problem if there was a proper guest mode and, better yet, kids mode.
Sure, there's a very limited "Guided Access" option that restricts usage to one particular app, but a system-wide guest account for family members would be ideal for the family iPad.
Coupling this proposed guest mode with an instant Touch ID login would be even better and would one-up Google's existing multiple account interface found in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Actual multitasking

Let's be honest: using two apps at once is true multitasking. Switching between two paused apps is not true multitasking.

iOS 9 release date
You could visit both TechRadar AND GamesRadar. Win-win!

Apple could upgrade iOS 9 from the latter, fulfilling the side-by-side app functionality that always seems to be rumored but never actually pans out every year at WWDC.
You could visit both TechRadar AND GamesRadar. Win-win!
A 12-inch iPad Pro would give mobile power users enough space to work with two or more apps at once, and the speculated 2GB of RAM for upcoming devices would back it up.
iOS 8 code had suggested that Apple was testing out some sort of multitasking, so it isn't very farfetched that the feature could make its official debut in iOS 9.

iCloud price drop

Ready or not, everything is being saved to the cloud these days and there's no easier way to back things up on an iPhone and iPad than iCloud Drive.

iOS 9 release date
Doesn't Apple want to lock us into its cloud ecosystem?

Apple's cloud-based ecosystem automatically saves photos, video and documents exactly like every other file hosting platform out there - except it costs more.
Yes, there's 5GB of free storage space, but that's not even big enough to remotely back up a 16GB iPhone. Paying for 20GB isn't big enough if you own more than one Apple device.
1TB of space from Dropbox and Google Drive is half the price of iCloud Drive and that really needs to change with iOS 9's native cloud storage system.

Ability to default to third party apps

Apple still has the largest and most diverse selection of apps of any mobile OS, but it largely keeps them at arms-length and keeps the core smartphone operations fairly locked down.

iOS 9 release date
It's a tough life preferring Chrome and Gmail to Safari and Mail

There aren't any third party SMS apps for example and while there are alternatives to the "Mail" app, there's nothing built into iOS to let you make one of them the default email app.
Even if iOS 9 doesn't let us open up more APIs to developers, it'd be nice to at least be able to open up a Mail webpage link in the Chrome browser instead of defaulting to Safari, or use Siri to call look up directions in Google Maps.

Hide apps that can't be uninstalled

Apple clearly doesn't want people deleting the stock apps that come with iOS, yet we'd wager we're not alone in saying that we don't use all of them - they clog up the home screen.

iOS 9 release date
These apps are shaking in their boots, but there are no Xs to delete them

Android has its app drawer and we don't expect as major an addition as that, but maybe just a 'hide' option against them in the settings screen. Then you can always go back in and unhide the forgettable apps if and when you decide that you do want to use them.
This is a feature that would become even more important if Apple let us change the default apps as suggested above.

Less reliance on iTunes

Liking iOS doesn't necessarily mean liking iTunes and it definitely doesn't mean liking being forced to use it whenever you connect your iPhone and iPad to a computer.

iOS 9 release date
We've expanded our music libraries beyond iTunes. iOS 9 should do the same

It's a rather divisive piece of software and there are times when simply being able to mount your iDevice as a drive, wade through its folders and cut and paste things would seem an easier way to go about managing it, so it would be great if Apple let us do just that with iOS 9.
It doesn't have to ditch iTunes, just give us the option to use something else.

Embrace jailbreaking rather than trying to prevent it

Apple has always done its best to prevent jailbreaking. Of course, determined users always find a way. There are numerous advantages to having a jailbroken device and we're not talking about the illicit ones.

iOS 9 release date
Open the gates of the walled garden just a crack

Escaping lockdown opens up new apps and features that Apple won't allow in its walled garden. Often these are things that other operating systems already provide or which Apple will later add.
For example folders were possible on jailbroken devices long before they were added to iOS and SBSettings pre-dated the long-overdue Command Center by five years.
Of course when Apple does add these features they're normally a lot more polished and stable, but adventurous users should have the option to get new functionality early.
We're not saying Apple should build in the ability to access these things, just that it shouldn't block it, much like Google makes no attempt to stop users from rooting their devices.
We don't see Apple ever doing a 180 on this but we'd love it if the Cupertino company did make things more lax in iOS 9.

iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus, smaller apps, Rootless security, legacy iPhone/iPad support

For the first time in several years, Apple is changing up its annual iOS and OS X upgrade cycle by limiting new feature additions in favor of a “big focus on quality,” according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s operating system development plans. We first reported in February that iOS 9, codenamed “Monarch,” would heavily feature under-the-hood optimizations, and we’ve now learned that Apple is taking the same approach with OS X 10.11, codenamed “Gala.” Sources have revealed additional new details on how Apple will optimize the new operating systems for improved stability and performance, add several new security features, and make important changes to its Swift programming tools for developers…

According to sources within Apple’s software development departments, Apple engineers have been pushing executives for a Snow Leopard-style stability focus in 2015, following numerous bugs that clouded the launches of both iOS and OS X. Apple directorsREPORTEDLY opposed a complete pause on new features, but agreed to focus on quality assurance by holding back some features that were initially planned for the latest operating system launches. One source explained, “I wouldn’t say there’s nothing new for consumers, but the feature lists are more stripped down than the initial plans called for.”

New Features For iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

Apple’s broader and deeper quality assurance testing includes stricter stability and polish guarantees before new features are officially added to iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. WeREPORTED

 that iOS 9 is expected to include the Apple Watch’s new San Francisco typeface as its system-wide font, while a new Home application for managing HomeKit devices, split-screen iPad app views, and an upgraded Apple Maps application with mass transit directions are also in the cards.

As for OS X 10.11, we are told that Apple has realized that annually adding new features to the mature Mac operating system is more challenging than with iOS, so 10.11’s upgrade list may be slimmer than iOS 9’s.


But that does not mean OS X 10.11 will be feature-less: we’re told that the new operating system will have system-wide interface tweaks to continue the work done in OS X Yosemite, as well as the San Francisco font from the Apple Watch and iOS 9. Additionally, Control Center has been planned for inclusion in OS X 10.11, after appearing in some early beta seeds of last year’s OS X Yosemite, only to be left out of the final release. Control Center moves many of the controls from the Mac’s Menu Bar to a pane that slides out from the left side of the Mac’s display, adding on-screen music controls and other iOS-influenced features. However, Control CenterREPORTEDLY

 has been in flux during development, and could be pushed back again.

Security Upgrades – Rootless, iCloud Drive + Trusted Wi-Fi
Marquee features aside, Apple has been working on significant enhancements to the security fundamentals of both operating systems, ranging from a major new initiative called “Rootless,” re-architected Apple apps with iCloud Drive file encryption, and a new feature called “Trusted Wi-Fi.”

Sources within Apple are particularly enthusiastic about a new security system called Rootless, which is being described internally as a “huge,” kernel-level feature for both OS X and iOS. To prevent malware, increase the safety of extensions, and preserve the security of sensitive data, Rootless will prevent even administrative-level users from being able to access certain protected files on Apple devices. Sources say that Rootless will be a heavy blow to the jailbreak community on iOS, though it can supposedly be disabled on OS X. Even with this Rootless feature coming to OS X, sources say that the standard Finder-based file system is not going away this year.
Screenshot 2015-05-21 20.10.51

iCloud Drive
In order to make its syncing apps more secure for consumers, Apple is in the process of converting many of its core applications to an iCloud Drive back end. Currently, Apple applications such as Notes, Reminders, and Calendar utilize an IMAP-based back end for syncing content across devices, whether you’re using an iCloud, Gmail, or Yahoo account.

With iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, Apple plans to transition this sync process to iCloud Drive, which offers better end-to-end encryption and faster syncing than traditional IMAP servers. As an example of how this will work, when a user launches Notes in either of the new Apple operating systems, a splash page offering to move content from the IMAP server over to iCloud Drive will appear, making the transition easy for users.
The promotion of iCloud Drive will also likely pull some users away from competitors, and move them over to Apple’s cloud services. According to sources, Apple is also upgrading its iCloud Drive and CloudKit servers to sustain the expected uptick in usage when more core applications move to a pure iCloud foundation. A dedicated iCloud Drive app to view files has also been developed, but it may remain for internal use only.

Trusted Wi-Fi
Last on the security front, we are told that a new feature dubbed “Trusted Wi-Fi” is in development for release as soon as later this year, but that it could be pushed back to next year’s iOS and OS X releases. Trusted Wi-Fi would allow Macs and iOS devices to connect to authorized wireless routers without additional security measures, but would instate a more heavily encrypted wireless connection for non-trusted routers. Apple has been testing its own apps and third-party apps to ensure that they will still work over various wireless networks with this feature enabled.

Older Device Optimization – Good News for iPhone 4S + iPad mini
While some users of older iOS devices have speculated that Apple’s recent operating systems were built to encourage the purchase of new phones and tablets, the company has actually been working on ways to make legacy iPhones and iPads more efficient while running the upcoming iOS 9.

In what will come as a surprise to many people, our sources note that even A5-based Apple devices, including the original iPad mini and discontinued iPhone 4S, will be able to run iOS 9. In order to avoid the sluggishness and bugginess that was most notably seen in iOS 7 for the iPhone 4, Apple has restructured its software engineering process to better support older hardware.

Instead of developing a feature-complete version of iOS 9 for older hardware and then removing a handful of features that do not perform well during testing, Apple is now building a core version of iOS 9 that runs efficiently on older A5 devices, then enabling each properly performing feature one-by-one. Thanks to this new approach, an entire generation (or two) of iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches will be iOS 9-compatible rather than reaching the end of the iOS line.
Swift 2.0 + Smaller App Sizes
Besides re-organizing its development process to improve older iOS hardware, Apple is preparing a major upgrade to its Swift programming language. Swift was first introduced at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, and the new version will benefit both developers and users.

Since Swift is still evolving as a development language, Apple previously did not include Swift programming “code libraries” within iOS. For this reason, developers who choose to write App Store apps with Swift must include the code libraries inside each of their apps. Consequently, App Store applications written in Swift carry approximately 8MB of additional code, and the more Swift apps you have, the more storage space you lose to code library copies.

With iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, we are told that this will change: Swift is planned to reach what is known as “Application Binary Interface (ABI) stability,” and its code libraries will therefore be pre-installed within the new iOS and Mac operating systems. This means that Swift applications updated for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 will
 less space and consume less data when downloaded over a cellular connection. Users with lower-capacity iPhones and iPads or non-unlimited cellular data plans will see at least small improvements over time.

While Swift is planned to reach ABI stability in version 2.0 at WWDC 2015, Apple will apparently not ship Swift versions of its own iOS and OS X applications this year. Instead, we are told that Apple currently plans to convert its own apps over to Swift in 2016 via iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, unless unforeseen roadblocks emerge over the next year.


iOS 8.4 Beta 3 Released for Developer & Public Beta Testing

iOS 8.4

Apple has released the third beta version of iOS 8.4 for testing, arriving as build 12H4098c. The new release is available for both public beta testers and registered iOS developers, and runs on all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models which support iOS 8.
The simplest way to download iOS 8.4 beta 3 is through the on-device Over the Air mechanism available from Software Update. The OTA update is fairly small. Users can also opt to download the release firmware for their appropriate device from the iOS Developer Center website.
It should be noted that iOS 8.4 for Public Beta users is versioned as Public Beta 2, whereas iOS 8.4 for developers is versioned as Beta 3, nonetheless, they are the same version and share the same build number.
iOS 8.4 beta 3
iOS 8.4 seems primarily focused on a redesigned all-new Music app, which brings a new user interface and some new features to the media player on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The redesigned Music app is shown on an iPad in the video below, courtesy of MacRumors:
Presumably iOS 8.4 will also include other small feature improvements, bug fixes, and other enhancements to the mobile operating system.
Though it’s mostly speculative, the final version of iOS 8.4 may arrive at the Apple WWDC event, which begins June 8. Currently, the most recent version of iOS available to all users remains iOS 8.3.

OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 Beta 3 Released for Developers & Public Beta Users

Apple has released the third beta version of OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 for Mac users who are part of the Mac developer program or participating in the OS X Public Beta. The new build arrives as 14E17e and is compatible with all Macs that can run OS X Yosemite.
The release notes accompanying the beta of OS X 10.10.4 suggest a focus on Photos app and Migration. There are no obvious new features, suggesting the release will primarily be aimed at bug fixes and improvements to the Mac operating system.
OS X Yosemite