Jun 22, 2013

The iPhone Blog

The iPhone Blog

Airmail for Mac updated with Google Drive support, Droplr integration, and more

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 03:31 PM PDT

Airmail for Mac updated with Google Drive support, Droplr integration, and more

Airmail for Mac was just updated to version 1.0.4 and brings with it lots of new features, improvements to existing ones, and bug fixes. Most notably, Airmail now has Google Drive support and also allows both Droplr and CloudApp support for attachments in addition to Dropbox. You can also now choose to delay sending an email if you'd like.

I've been using Airmail now for about a month and I've been really impressed with the way it handles accounts and how quick it is. If you're a current user and you've been experiencing a few crashes here and there, you'll definitely want to grab the update as it may address certain crashes and bugs users have been experiencing.

There's also a long list of new shortcuts and preferences included in the update. Hit the link below to grab the update and view all the changes in this version.


Facebook blogs, emails people about potential bug that allows access to contact information

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 03:19 PM PDT

Facebook blogs, emails people about potential bug that allows access to contact information

Facebook just disclosed that that their White Hat program has discovered a potential bug that could allow contact information, including email and phone numbers, to be accessed by other uses who have some type of existing connection. You can see a copy of the email above, which they're proactively sending affected users. In a blog post, though buried after several paragraphs of mitigation, Facebook said:

Because of the bug, some of the information used to make friend recommendations and reduce the number of invitations we send was inadvertently stored in association with people's contact information as part of their account on Facebook. As a result, if a person went to download an archive of their Facebook account through our Download Your Information (DYI) tool, they may have been provided with additional email addresses or telephone numbers for their contacts or people with whom they have some connection. This contact information was provided by other people on Facebook and was not necessarily accurate, but was inadvertently included with the contacts of the person using the DYI tool.

It's a lot to unpack, so read it carefully. If you received an email, read it doubly carefully. Then let us know what questions, concerns, and overall thoughts you might have.

Source: Facebook


Now that there’s iOS in the Car, what are the odds of iOS on the Camera? [Poll]

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 01:53 PM PDT

Now that we have iOS in the car, how about iOS on cameras? [Poll]

Should Apple bring iOS 7 to cameras? At WWDC 2013 Apple announced a new feature called iOS in the Car, which pushes iOS interface and interaction from a connected device to a car's in-dash display. There were a number of companies signed up for the program, so it should see at least some level of sunlight. While this might not be the same type of to-the-metal integration Microsoft Sync or BlackBerry QNX or even embedded Android enjoys, given Apple won't license iOS or start building automobiles or even cameras any time soon, it does offer a possibility...

Nokia is flirting with giant camera on Windows Phones like the rumored EOS, Samsung is making both Android phones with giant cameras like the Galaxy Zoom, and cameras that run Android like the Galaxy NX. Could Apple strike a deal with Canon or Nikon or several companies in the DSLR and micro 4/3 space to either connect to iOS devices, or do a similar interface and interaction projection?

I'd love to be able to sync, share, and post the pictures I take on my DSLR as easily as I do from my iPhone, but I'm not the biggest fan of Samsung's or Microsoft's user experience. Apple loves photography, but there's a limit to the potential of an iPhone camera, especially if you want interchangeable lenses. Is there a world where Apple could take the same type of system they're working on for cars, and push it to cameras? Would you want them to?


Color Zen for iPhone and iPad review: Gorgeous mosaic puzzles that are as tricky as they are beautiful

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 01:45 PM PDT

Color Zen for iPhone and iPad review: Gorgeous mosaic puzzles that are as tricky as they are beautiful

Color Zen is a gorgeous puzzle game that's designed for both iPhone and iPad. The premise of the game is to twist, turn, and flick mosaic tiles that are all colored and shaped differently in order to fill the screen with the same color. When two like colors meet, they'll recolor the screen that shade. Seem easy enough? Don't be so sure!

The levels of Color Zen start off easy enough and allow you to get a feel for how the game is played. You'll notice that each level has a border color. The goal is to make the entire screen the color of the border. If you flick a red piece into another red, they will absorb and disappear, leaving the screen colored red. Move on to the next mosaics you can match in order to completely clear the board leaving only the tiles that match the border.

Color Zen gets difficult rather quickly and you'll have to think several steps ahead in order to plan for the border color to be the last mosaic tiles you have left to match on the board. I got stuck on one level that took me about a week to finally pass. A large part of me prefers puzzle games that offer up a challenge so I don't fly through them as quick leaving me waiting for more levels. You do, however, have the option to unlock all the levels via an in-app purchase if you would like to skip around or get stuck on a particularly hard level.

If you'd like to add more levels to Color Zen, there is currently a nature pack available as well for another $0.99 in-app purchase. The standard levels will probably keep you busy for quite a while though.

The good

  • Easy game play that functions as a good time killer
  • Levels get hard fast, meaning you won't clear the game in just a few hours and be left looking for another puzzler as quick

The bad

  • The ability to buy even more packs would be a welcome addition

The bottom line

Color Zen is a great way to kill some time either quickly or when you want to lay around and play for long periods of time. I've found myself picking it up when I have just a few minutes to kill or when I have an hour. It's easy to put down and pick back up at any time which makes it a likely candidate for me to choose when I want to weed through games to play.

If you're a fan of puzzlers, Color Zen is definitely one you should add to your list to try out.


YouTube for iOS updated with support for video suggestion overlays

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 12:39 PM PDT

YouTube for iOS update with support for video suggestion overlays

YouTube for iOS has been updated with support for overlays with suggestions for what to watch next. These banners come up from the bottom of the video that you are currently watching, suggesting a video for you to watch after your current video is done. Suggestions can be dismissed with a tap of the 'x' button on the right side of the banner. It does not happen automatically, and content providers will need to implement the feature for the banners to appear on their videos.

This update also contains closed captions for live videos along with the usual stability improvements and bug fixes.


How to disable video auto-play in Instagram for iPhone

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 12:12 PM PDT

How to disable video auto-play in Instagram for iPhone

If you haven't already heard, Instagram was recently updated to include support for videos. Just like Vine, Instagram can auto-play those videos as soon as you scroll past them. For many of us, this feature may be more annoying than it is useful. As it happens, there's a way to disable it. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Instagram app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. In the bottom navigation, tab on the Profile tab which is the furthest to the right.
  3. On your profile screen, tap on the Settings gear in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Scroll down a ways and they'll see an option for Auto-Play videos. Tap to turn the slider to the Off position.

That's it. Instagram will now not play videos automatically as you scroll past them unless you actually tap on them to play them.


Apple once again tells developers iOS 6 has a 93% adoption rate, dares them to compare to Android

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 10:56 AM PDT

iOS 6 used by 93% of iOS customers

Apple has updated part of its developer website to highlight that the vast majority, 93%, of iOS customers are using iOS 6 or higher. iOS 5 is still in use by just 6% of customers, while 1% use iOS 4 or below. These statistics were measured using App Store visits from iOS devices over a two-week period. Apple CEO Tim Cook also talked about this during the keynote at WWDC 2013 last week.

The obvious message here is one of comparison to their leading competition, Android, where a much smaller group of users, just 33%, are running a version of Android released within the last year, with just 4% using the a version of the latest major release, Jelly Bean. Google's measurements of these numbers come from the same two-week period as Apple's.

Showing that 93% of iOS users are on some version of iOS 6 let's developers plan app roadmaps better. If they can count on such a large percentage of users being on the latest version of the operating system, then they can take advantage of the APIs that were not a part of the previous version. And as we head towards iOS 7, developers will need to decide if and when they're going to release app updates that require iOS 7, and these numbers might help them decide to do that sooner rather than later.

Source: Apple iOS Dev Center, Android Developer Dashboard


First trailer for 'Jobs' the movie now available online

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 10:47 AM PDT

The first trailer for the upcoming Jobs biopic is now available online to the public. It's our first look into Ashton Kutcher's role as Steve Jobs and a general idea of what the movie will cover. Originally slated to be released in April, the movie will finally be available in theaters on August 16th.

The movie received mixed reviews when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Now that we've got our own look, however small it may be, what do you think of the trailer? Do you plan on checking it out when it hits theaters in your area?

Source: MacRumors



Posted: 21 Jun 2013 09:52 AM PDT

It's Talk Mobile Apps week and today we're talking all about making great apps and selling great apps. That comes down to dealing with app stores, social networks, blogs, and more. So what does everyone want, and how do we get it?

Join Kevin Michaluk, Phil Nickinson, Daniel Rubino, Simon Sage, and Rene Ritchie for the Hangout!


iOS 7 and the state of the jailbreak: Is there still a need?

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 09:45 AM PDT

iOS 7 and the state of the jailbreak: Is there still a need?

When Apple announced iOS 7 last week at WWDC, I wasn't surprised to see that many jailbreak concepts had again made their way into stock iOS. If anything, this year more than ever, Apple took lots of cues from jailbreak tweaks new and old and made them their own in a way that only Apple can do. iOS 7 is one of the biggest overhauls we've seen since its inception and that may leave a lot of people wondering if there's a place for jailbreak anymore.

This year a few different staple jailbreak tweaks got sherlocked by Apple. Let's take a look at which ones did, which ones didn't, and where that leaves the state of the jailbreak when it comes to iOS 7.

The most obvious jailbreak tweak that made an appearance (finally) in iOS 7 is SBSettings, which has been redesigned and refined by Apple in the form of Control Center. SBSettings has been around almost since the inception of jailbreak itself and it's typically one of the first tweaks any veteran jailbreaker installs.

Not only does SBSettings give jailbreakers access to basic settings toggles, it also allows you to install more based on what you need. You can then organize them, delete ones you don't need, and more. Control Center is pretty much SBSettings in Apple form. It's a place where you can have quick access to common settings without having to actually go into the native Settings app. While SBSettings does offer a few more options than Control Center will, such as managing memory, odds are most users will be happy enough with Control Center that they'll have no need for SBSettings unless it's somehow tweaked to work in conjunction with Control Center.

Then there's Auxo. When Apple showed off the updated version of multitasking, I instantly thought of Auxo. For those not familiar, Auxo is a neat little tweak that will show live previews of the apps you have open in multitasking. Auxo makes it possible to see a saved state than looking at an app icon that told you absolutely nothing about what you were doing inside that app.

In usual Apple form, the multitasking that will make an appearance in iOS 7 looks very much like Auxo but with a better coat of paint and larger preview windows.

Outside of Auxo and SBSettings, a lot of iOS 7 dealt primarily with updating the interface and adding new visual elements.

So what does that mean for jailbreak?

It most likely means that jailbreak will probably still play a real role if and when an iOS 7 jailbreak is released. I say this mainly because some of the things we want to be able to do with iOS we still can't, unless we jailbreak. Items such as quick reply messaging are still MIA in stock iOS and it's something apps like BiteSMS have been able to solve. As far as Notification Center goes, there is still a lot of work to be done on Apple's part. While they've managed to segregate it a little better, I still don't have the fine tuned control over it like I do with jailbreak apps like IntelliscreenX or LockInfo.

Then again, Apple has only released one beta so far and a lot could change from now to public release.

Regardless what the public release brings in its final form, one fact remains the same; as iOS continues to improve, so do jailbreak tweaks and apps. Our wants grow larger and we find new things that we want our devices to be able to do. More often than not, it's jailbreak developers that find a way to implement those wants before Apple releases them to the masses. Sometimes the gap between jailbreak and iOS offerings can even span years.

If anything, I'm not disappointed by iOS 7 gaining functionality, I'm excited to see what jailbreak developers make of it and to see the interesting things they'll be able to create.

With all this being said, do you still plan to jailbreak iOS 7 when it becomes a viable option? Why or why not?


Inside AltWWDC with Judy Chen and Rob Elkin

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 09:07 AM PDT

Some of the most interesting things to come out of WWDC last week didn't actually happen at WWDC, but at the nearby SFSU dowtown campus, where altWWDC happened. To find out more, I spoke to two of the show's coordinators: Judy Chen and Rob Elkin.


Rich Dev, Poor Dev: Why some succeed where others fail - Talk Mobile

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 09:00 AM PDT

Both iOS and Android are rapidly approaching the million app mark. It's an absurd number of apps, and making a living in that vast sea is a tough prospect. Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 are both over 100,000 apps, which on its own is also an absurd number. How is a developer supposed to get noticed when there are thousands upon thousands of other apps in the same store?

A developer can rely on search and word-of-mouth, but that's only going to get them so far. How is a developer supposed to get their app featured on the platform storefront? How are they supposed to tell users and publications about their app? And just how can they convince users to actually download the app? Is it better to be flashy or funny, informative or intriguing? Does it matter what audience you're targeting?

Just bobbing up and down in the waves of a million other apps is counting on an impossible stroke of luck to get noticed. Developers can be their own best advocates - but how does somebody who specializes in code and interface design come to understand what it takes to market their wares?

Let's get the conversation started!


Iterate 48: iOS 7 design special (Part 1)

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 07:26 AM PDT

Iterate 48: iOS 7 design special (Part 1)

Loren Brichter, Sebastiaan de With, Marc Edwards, Rene Ritchie, and Dave Wiskus discuss iOS 7 and the new design language Apple unveiled for it at WWDC 2013, including icons, fonts, physics, interactions, and more. (Part 1 of a 2 part special edition.)

Show notes



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Virgin Mobile USA adds iPhone 5 on June 28

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 07:00 AM PDT

Virgin Mobile USA adds iPhone 5 on June 28

You've been able to get an iPhone 4 through Virgin Mobile USA for a while, and the company announced Friday that starting next week, you'll be able to get the iPhone 5 too. It's priced starting at $549.99, and Virgin's offering a discount that nets you voice and data for as little as $30 per month.

Virgin Mobile USA is a subsidiary of Sprint. The company focuses on pre-paid voice, messaging and mobile broadband services in the United States. It was almost exactly one year ago that Virgin began selling the iPhone 4 and 4S. The 4 and 4S remain available as 8 and 16GB models, for $297.49 and $382.49 respectively.

The iPhone 5 provides access to Virgin Mobile USA's LTE data network. The company is offering its "Beyond Talk" plans, which include 2.5 GB/month of full speed data. The plan starts at $35 per month for 300 minutes. Like all of Virgin's services, there's no contract, so if you sign up for automatic monthly payments, they'll cut the price down to $30 per month.

The 16GB iPhone 5 will be available in black or white for $549.99. The 32GB and 64GB models will also be available - online only - for $649.99 and $749.99, respectively.


802.11ac Airport Extreme Time Capsule unboxing and first impressions

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 06:44 AM PDT

Extruded. That's the word Apple's SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, used to describe the new 802.11ac Airport Extreme and Time Capsule at WWDC 2013. Tall also came to mind immediately. Its footprint is smaller now, like the redesigned Airport Express, but for an internet router and base station, its height is significantly exaggerated. 3.85-inches square, it juts 6.6 inches up now. So, is it both less and more...?

The biggest advantage to the new design, as far as I'm concerned, is that the power supply is now built-in, and I have one less brick dangling behind the gear table (which in my case, since I have a cable modem, is shoved ingloriously behind my ironically cable-cut TV). The Airport Extreme and Time Capsule (which is an Airport Extreme with built-in hard drive) now also share the same exact body. There's enough space to fit 2TB or 3TB of platters inside the tiny tower, if you want super simple Time Machine backups, or simply remote storage along for the ride. (Though you can't add an internal drive to an Airport Extreme later, so you'll need to decide that up front.)

Apple claims the new form factor takes up less desk space, which is true provided you weren't trying to cram it under something, but also puts the antennas at the top, giving them a slightly higher profile. There are six of those antennas now, by the way, 3 each for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. There's also 3-stream 802.11ac, which Apple says maxes out at 1.3Gbps, and double the channel bandwidth, at 80MHz.

Lastly, Phil Schiller's favorite new feature -- and admittedly my own -- is beamforming. That means instead of blanketing an area in coverage, it detects 802.11ac devices coming onto the network and then shoots its signal directly at them. Think of it like a lightbulb that can turn into a flashlight. Or, you know, the Eye of Sauron.

The only downside for me is that Apple didn't take the opportunity to add more ethernet ports. The new Airport Extreme has just three, same as the old Airport Extreme. While 802.11ac should make for better wireless, Battlestar Galactica types like me, the ones who prefer plugging in Apple TVs, Macs, PlayStations, Xboxes, and more, will have to make hard choices, or add often sucky or noisy additional routers into the chain. Also, the USB port -- great for printers and (non performant) hard drive expansion, remains depressingly USB 2.

I've also picked up one of the new 2013 MacBook Air's and will be putting the two parts through their paces together. The new air is currently the only device Apple makes that supports 802.11ac but it's hard to imagine the next generation of Mac and iOS devices both won't ship with this speedy new technology as well.

So, in the meantime, if you have any questions or want to make sure something specific gets covered, hit the comments.

  • $199 - Airport Extreme - Buy now
  • $299 - Airport Extreme Time Capsule 2GB - Buy now

WWDC: Tipbit CEO explains the "smart mobile inbox"

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 06:40 AM PDT

Tipbit is billed as the "world's first smart inbox for people on the go." The software, currently in development for iOS, helps you get to know the people you meet and connect with using their social media footprint. CEO Gordon Mangione sat down with me at WWDC to explain what makes Tipbit different.


Deal of the Day: 35% off the Seidio ACTIVE Case with Multi-Purpose Cover for iPad mini

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 06:17 AM PDT

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This dual-layer case for iPad mini features a compact and lightweight polymer with a precisely positioned hard skeleton for added protection on the corners and sides. Included is a built-in kickstand that allows for up to 10 different viewing angles in landscape mode and portrait orientation. Features non-slip pads and comes in black, blue, red and white.

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