Archive for the ‘iOS Blog’ Category

Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer [iOS Blog]

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Google on Thursday updated Gmail for iOS with a trio of notable new features: quick actions, the ability to email files from other apps and a new attachment viewer. Gmail users on iPhone and iPad can now attach photos and documents to Gmail from other apps such as Instagram using the updated in-app share sheet, and open attachments from Gmail into any app.

Gmail for iOS 4.0
Taking advantage of Apple's addition of interactive notifications in iOS 8, quick actions enable Gmail users to archive or reply to emails directly from a notification without leaving the app. The functionality also works for notifications in Notification Center and on the Lock screen. The latest release of Gmail for iOS pushes the app to version 4.0 on the App Store.
What's New in Version 4.0
• Take quick actions - Archive or reply to messages directly from a notification
• Email files from other apps - Attach photos and documents to Gmail right from your favorite apps
• New attachment viewer - Open attachments from Gmail into any app
Gmail for iOS [Direct Link] is free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.






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Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

apple_watch_back Apple may give customers the ability to engrave personalized messages onto the upcoming Apple Watch, according to French Apple and tech site iPhonote [Google Translate].

According to the website's source, who remained anonymous due to their "involvement at Apple", the company would offer an engraving option similar to that of products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines.

The contact, however, remains unsure of whether the feature would be available on the Apple Watch's launch date or not. They remain "almost certain", however, that the customization option will emerge for the device eventually.

An engraving option certainly makes sense for Apple's new fashion-focused wearable, especially considering that essentially all of the company's mobile products include the personalization option, but the small footprint of the Watch does raise questions on where the actual engraving would be located.

The heart rate sensor located on the device's backside takes up nearly all of the real estate of the 38mm or 42 mm device, although drastic character count limitations could perhaps fit truncated messages around the sensor. There's also a possibility that more room could be found on the device's side opposite the digital crown, but until Apple officially announces the engraving service, it remains to be seen where the personal messages would fit onto the wearable.

Despite being announced nearly six months ago, a number of details on the Apple Watch have yet to be revealed in the lead-up to its April launch. Last week, the company sent out invites for the "Spring Forward" media event to take place Monday, March 9 and for which most evidence points towards a heavy focus on pricing and launch day details for the new wearable device.

(Photo: aBlogtoWatch)






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Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

apple_watch_back Apple may give customers the ability to engrave personalized messages onto the upcoming Apple Watch, according to French Apple and tech site iPhonote [Google Translate].

According to the website's source, who remained anonymous due to their "involvement at Apple", the company would offer an engraving option similar to that of products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines.

The contact, however, remains unsure of whether the feature would be available on the Apple Watch's launch date or not. They remain "almost certain", however, that the customization option will emerge for the device eventually.

An engraving option certainly makes sense for Apple's new fashion-focused wearable, especially considering that essentially all of the company's mobile products include the personalization option, but the small footprint of the Watch does raise questions on where the actual engraving would be located.

The heart rate sensor located on the device's backside takes up nearly all of the real estate of the 38mm or 42 mm device, although drastic character count limitations could perhaps fit truncated messages around the sensor. There's also a possibility that more room could be found on the device's side opposite the digital crown, but until Apple officially announces the engraving service, it remains to be seen where the personal messages would fit onto the wearable.

Despite being announced nearly six months ago, a number of details on the Apple Watch have yet to be revealed in the lead-up to its April launch. Last week, the company sent out invites for the "Spring Forward" media event to take place Monday, March 9 and for which most evidence points towards a heavy focus on pricing and launch day details for the new wearable device.

(Photo: aBlogtoWatch)






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Apple Patents Waterproofing Method ‘For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture’ [iOS Blog]

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a patent created by Apple, detailing a method for the extensive waterproofing of various components within a device, possibly an iPhone, thus creating a completely waterproof smartphone without the need of a special case (via Patently Apple).

Originally filed in September of 2013, the patent describes a "hydroponic coating" to be layered onto integral parts within a device, like its printed circuit board. Apple describes achieving this using a "plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) process" that would adhere the coating substance onto the surface of the printed circuit board in such a way as to not take up much additional room in the already small casing of a smartphone.

waterproof patent
In the bigger picture, immersing electronic devices in water generally has predictably negative results. Through testing it has been determined that high voltage power components are more likely to short or malfunction after only brief exposure to liquids or moisture. More specifically, exposed metal areas having high voltage differentials in close proximity can easily experience short circuit events when corrosion or water immersion bridges the gap between such areas.

By providing an insulating layer or barrier around these highly susceptible parts, water resistance can be substantially increased without obscuring functional openings leading into a device housing of a particular electronic device. A thin hydrophobic (i.e., water resistant) conformal coating having a thickness between at least one and ten microns can be applied to a substrate using a plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (PACVD) process. The PACVD process charges the surface of the substrate so that the coating can be bonded to the charged surface.
Though not completely waterproof as Apple's new patent intends a device to be, Tim Cook recently stated that the company's upcoming Apple Watch will in fact be a bit more water resistant than previously thought. He stated that he wears his personal Apple Watch everywhere, "even in the shower." If so, the Watch will be the company's first device with such a water resistant claim.

While the patent doesn't specifically state what device the waterproof process could be attributed to, it's easy to see the company reasoning the method for use on iPhone and iPad. Although, like with all other patents, the practicality of a completely waterproof iPhone launching anytime soon is highly unlikely, it's always an interesting glimpse behind the scenes regarding what the company may be considering for its future.






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Apple Watch Site Lets Users Explore Different Band and Casing Combinations [iOS Blog]

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Ahead of Apple's upcoming "Spring Forward" event that is expected to see the company unveiling more information about the Apple Watch, a new website has been launched that allows users to explore all of the different casing and band combinations for the device.

Using images taken from Apple's Apple Watch website, MixYourWatch lets users pair each of the six different Apple Watch casings (stainless steel, space gray stainless steel, aluminum, space gray aluminum, gold, and rose gold) with the 16 different bands made of fluoroelastomer, leather, and steel.

mixyourwatchsite
Rumors have suggested that Apple plans to allow users to purchase extra bands to wear with their Apple Watch devices, but the band options for the various models will be limited. For example, on Apple's website, the Leather Loop band is only listed as being available for the 42mm Apple Watch, while the Modern Buckle is only available for the 38mm Apple Watch.

Some of the combinations are not particularly attractive, like the space gray aluminum Apple Watch paired the green fluoroelastomer band, and the site gives an excellent overview of how different Apple Watch combinations will look before the device's launch.

mixyourwatchgreenspacegray
Another site, launched yesterday, is also worth checking out. Watch Aware's Apple Watch apps site offers an interactive Apple Watch app experience, giving us a look at what apps will look like on the Apple Watch.






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‘iPhone 6s’ Could Have 2GB of RAM and Pre-Installed Apple SIM

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The next-generation iPhone is expected to ship with 2GB of RAM and could also have a pre-installed Apple SIM, according to sources for AppleInsider. The so-called "iPhone 6s," and presumably the "iPhone 6s Plus," would be adopting both features from the iPad Air 2, which also has 2GB of RAM and a pre-installed Apple SIM.

iphone6-stock
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and all previous models dating back to the iPhone 5, have 1GB of RAM and must be used with a SIM card obtained from an individual carrier. Apple SIM, introduced alongside the iPad Air 2, allows you to choose between a variety of carriers without locking into long-term plans. Participating U.S. carriers include AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
"The same source also told AppleInsider that Apple is strongly considering shipping its next-generation handset with the Apple SIM pre-installed. That piece, which also made its debut with the iPad Air 2, allows consumers to sign up for mobile data plans from any participating carrier directly from the Settings app without long-term contracts and to switch providers at any time."
While the report claims that Apple is strongly considering including a pre-installed Apple SIM on the next iPhone, the company's vice president of iPhone, iPod and iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak downplayed the idea last year because of the higher number of iPhone customers that purchase their smartphone directly from a carrier.
"It's about the customer experience," he said during an appearance here at Re/code's Code/Mobile conference. "We ultimately don't know who you are going to use as the carrier, [and] we want to make it as easy as possible."

Joswiak said Apple has not discussed putting the Apple SIM into iPhones, but said that because of the way most customers buy an iPhone--through a carrier directly--the Apple SIM is not as well suited. "I don't think you're going to go to the Verizon store and say, 'Can you hook me up with AT&T?,'" he said.
These rumors are rather predictable given that Apple typically improves the hardware specifications of iPhones and iPads each year, although the addition of a pre-installed Apple SIM may still not materialize due to tough opposition from carriers. Verizon, for example, was notably absent as a participating carrier for Apple SIM when the iPad Air 2 was released last year.

Apple is expected to announce its next-generation iPhones in September per usual. The "iPhone 6s" was also rumored to have 2GB of RAM and Force Touch in January based on sources within Apple's supply chain. Few other details about the upcoming iPhones are known, asides from a disputed claim that the devices will include a DSLR-like dual-lens camera system.






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Apple Watch Magazine Tour Continues in Chinese Fashion Magazine ‘YOHO’ [iOS Blog]

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The international debut of the Apple Watch in magazines across the world continues this week with the wrist-worn device making a cover appearance on Chinese fashion magazine YOHO. The upcoming April issue of the magazine features actor and pop icon Archie Kao wearing an Apple Watch Sport with a white band on the cover and showcases other fashion shots of the wrist-worn device in a related story.

Yoho China Apple Watch
Kao has been acting in Hollywood films and TV shows for nearly two decades, making regular appearances in series such as Chicago P.D., Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The actor was born in Washington D.C., but splits his time between living in Los Angeles and Beijing. He married Chinese actress Zhou Xun at a charity event in Hangzhou, China in July 2014.

Apple has been marketing the Apple Watch in a number of magazines over the past few months, including Self, Vogue, Style and East Touch, as it continues to position the wrist-worn device as a fashion item. Apple is expected to provide more details about the Apple Watch at its highly-anticipated "Spring Forward" media event on March 9th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.






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Apple Watch Wins Renowned iF Design Award Before Release [iOS Blog]

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

While Apple Watch could be more than a month away from a public release, it has won a 2015 iF Gold Award from the International Forum (iF) Design in its annual industrial design competition. The jury called the Apple Watch design "an icon".

applewatch
The idea of combining classic materials such as leather and metal with state-of-the-art technology to create a very individual fashion accessory has resulted in a delightful product offering a holistic user experience. The Apple Watch scores highly for each design detail and is an altogether extraordinary piece of design. For us, it is already an icon.
Apple Watch was one of only two telecommunication products out of 64 recipients to earn the "Gold" designation. Out of the 1,624 products recognized, only 75 of them received a Gold Award.

The iF has been hosting its renowned design awards since 1953, and its jury evaluates products on a set of criteria that includes workmanship, choice of materials, environmental friendliness, design quality, safety, brand value, ergonomics, workmanship, degree of innovation and functionality.

Apple has won a number of iF Design Awards, for major products like iPhone 6, iPad Air and iMac to accessories like EarPods and Apple Keyboard. In total, Apple has won 118 iF Design Awards, but only 44 have earned a "Gold" designation, with Apple Watch being the most recent.

The design of Apple Watch is one aspect of the device that Apple has been marketing thus far, with design chief Jony Ive talking about the challenge of designing the smart watch and it appearing on fashion magazines in both interior multi-page spreads and cover features.

Apple will provide more information about the Apple Watch at its March 9 media event.






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New Site Offers Interactive Look at Upcoming Apple Watch Apps [iOS Blog]

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

AppAdvice recently launched a new site dedicated to the Apple Watch called WatchAware, and today a new feature was introduced that showcases upcoming Apple Watch apps in an interesting, interactive way.

The site's Apple Watch Apps section offers a selection of apps that are displayed on an Apple Watch interface, with different views for "Apps," "Glances," and "Notifications." For example, for the upcoming Twitter app, which was shown off at WWDC, WatchAware allows users to click to see both what the app itself will look like and what an incoming notification will look like.

Many of the apps on the page use imagery from the apps that Apple showcased when the Apple Watch was first announced, so there may be some significant interface changes, but overall, the site gives a good look at what one might expect to see from the different types of Apple Watch experiences developers can create.

watchawareapps
As outlined in the WatchKit API provided to developers in November, developers can build Glances, actionable notifications, and Apple Watch apps that are powered by the iPhone. Actionable notifications are notifications that allow users to taken an action or respond directly on their wrists with the Apple Watch, while Glances are somewhat simpler, giving users quick information at a glance like news, weather, and more.

Apple Watch apps are even more in-depth than notifications and Glances, letting users perform tasks like reading tweets and sending messages. Apps, which are built-into and installed via the iPhone, run entirely on the iPhone, with an interface that's beamed to the Apple Watch. By running apps on the iPhone, Apple is able to conserve battery and provide a seamless experience transitioning from watch to phone. Apple has promised apps that run entirely on the Apple Watch will come later in the year.

WatchAware currently features popular apps like Twitter, Facebook, Maps, American Airlines, Pinterest, and CityMapper, which were featured by Apple at WWDC, but there are also several other apps that have been showcased by developers like Deliveries, Run 5k, and Todoist. The site plans to add additional Apple Watch apps as they become available.






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AT&T Modio LTE Case for Wi-Fi iPad Mini Launches March 20 for $49.99 with Contract [iOS Blog]

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Following its unveiling at CES earlier this year, AT&T today announced that its new Modio Case for iPad Mini, which enables Wi-Fi only iPads to connect to 4G, will be available for purchase March 20 for $49.99 with a two-year agreement.

att_modio_ipad_smartcase
The March 20 release is set only for the iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, and iPad Mini 3 compatible cases, with a launch for the iPad Air models planned for later in the year. As detailed at its CES reveal event, the Modio smartcase will allow iPad owners with Wi-Fi models to connect to AT&T's 4G LTE network using data available on a user's Mobile Share Value plan. The case connects to the network when prompted, and automatically disconnects when the folio is closed.

Available for $49.99 on a two year contract, AT&T also plans to sell the new case on the AT&T Tablet Installment plan of $10 per month for 20 months. Those wishing to simply buy the Modio outright with no annual commitment can expect to pay $199.99. All Modio users will be required to pay a $10 monthly access charge for using the case on a Mobile Share Value plan.
“The AT&T Modio LTE case is both convenient and a great value for our customers. The case’s durability also makes it a natural choice for iPad mini with Wi-Fi users. Connect your iPad mini with Wi-Fi to AT&T’s 4G LTE network – the nation’s strongest LTE signal – and protect it at the same time.” – Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Device Marketing and Developer Services, AT&T Mobility.
The case also includes a 4,600mAh battery that'll give users "up to 16 hours of continuous use" and a micro SD slot that supports up to 32GB of storage. The case needs to sync up with the AT&T Modio Data app, which monitors data usage and various data plans, to function. After the first set-up, the case will remember a user's iPad and preferences upon subsequent usage.


The Modio LTE Case will be available in AT&T retail stores, AT&T's official website, and at "select retailers" across the country on March 20.






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