When iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks debuted about two years ago, one of the smaller features that made its way into Safari was support for “Shared Links” — an aggregate of all of the links in the user’s Twitter feed that could be accessed from a third panel over from the Bookmarks and Reading List sections. While the feature received little fanfare even then compared to the overall UI design and other sweeping changes, when iOS 8 came along, Apple even more quietly snuck in support for adding RSS feeds into the Shared Links section. Although RSS — short for Really Simple Syndication — has gradually started to fall by the wayside with the advent of social media services such as Twitter, many people still find it to be an indispensable way to keep up with headlines from their favorite news sites, and iOS 8’s integration of RSS into Safari can provide a nice lightweight alternative for those who might not really need all of the features in a dedicated third-party newsreader app.
Adding an RSS feed into Safari’s Shared Links section is actually really simple, although it’s somewhat hidden as the button for this feature only appears when visiting sites where an RSS feed is actually available. When you’re on such a site, an “Add to Shared Links” button will appear as an action in the lower row of the iOS 8 Sharing Sheet; tapping this will add the RSS feed published by whatever site you’re on right into your Shared Links section, where articles will appear in stream with your Twitter feed, if enabled.…
We first saw Griffin’s new accessories for wearables at CES, and most of these products are now available. All of these products work with existing fitness trackers, enabling the trackers to be worn on different areas of the body while adding a bit of flair. Ribbon Wristband ($20) is a nylon ribbon which securely hides a Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One, or Sony SmartBand. Sleep Sport Band ($20) is compatible with six different trackers and is designed to be worn during sleep, Shoe Pouch ($15) allows a variety of trackers to be worn on a shoe, and Tracker Clip ($15) allows a Fitbit One or Fitbit Flex to be clipped onto an article of clothing.
New images found on Weibo and posted by HDBlog.it may reveal some additional details about the rumored larger “iPad Pro” expected to be coming later this year. The images claim to show the edges and parts of the rear cover of the new iPad, ostensibly revealing a second Lightning port on the left side, a rear camera with the volume adjustment buttons, and the headphone jack and speaker grid. While the veracity of these images is completely unclear, the idea of a second Lightning port is not entirely unprecedented — early rumors for the original iPad suggested that the device would have an extra Dock Connector on the side for docking in either portrait or landscape mode, and an early iPad prototype with a second Dock Connector also later appeared on eBay, suggesting that Apple at one point considered the idea even for the original iPad. Apple has eschewed docks with more recent iPad models, however, it’s entirely possible that Apple may re-introduce a standalone dock or similar solution for the larger-screened iPad Pro.
Apple’s rumored expansion of its iPhone trade-in program to include non-Apple devices went live today in the U.S. and Europe, French blog MacPlus reports. The U.K. website for Brightstar, a third-party company that handles Apple’s trade-ins, indicates Apple is now offering Apple Store credit in exchange for select handsets from Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, NTC and LG. The change to Apple’s exchange program was handled with little fanfare in the U.S., with the announcement buried on individual store pages according to 9to5Mac. This would seem to imply U.S. stores are accepting non-Apple devices for trade-ins, but it’s unclear when Apple’s website will provide a link to allow online U.S. users to get an estimate for the value of their Android phones.
Alleged photos of an alleged “iPhone 6c” rear shell have been posted on Future Supplier. The housing — which Future Supplier claims to have found but neglects to disclose from where — is similar to that of the iPhone 5c, but with an oval-shaped opening for the rear camera’s flash, matching the iPhone 5s flash instead of the round opening on the iPhone 5c. The purported iPhone 6c images also show two speaker grilles on the bottom while the similar 5c model only has one. Again, this is a closer match to the iPhone 5s. If the shell is real, this leads one to believe the 6c will be closer to an 5s, but within a plastic “c” body. A recent report claimed Apple is planning to release an iPhone 6c alongside an iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The 6c’s four-inch screen size would offer an alternative to the larger iPhones.
iLounge has recently added a new section: Gear. This section will further highlight products we’ve received that have often “slipped through the cracks” in the past — items that don’t fit into our Reviews section. We’ve already featured some new bags and a small battery pack. Apple Watch bands will also have a home in Gear.
Also, for those who haven’t noticed, we’d like to point out that we’ve moved to the popular Disqus system for comments. Our comments system was neglected for far too long, and we’re proud to open the site back up again for feedback. Personal attacks and coarse language still won’t be permitted, but intelligent, reasonable discourse is encouraged.
With the Apple Watch poised to launch Apple into the health care industry, the Food and Drug Administration is doing its best to stay out of the way, Bloomberg reports. Current FDA guidelines leave mobile applications geared toward wellness and fitness tracking mostly free from scrutiny, focusing more on technology used to diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses. The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on apps making dubious claims about diagnosing illnesses, but Bakul Patel, the FDA’s associate director for digital health, said his agency is a long way from scrutinizing the Apple Watch and other wearables. “We are taking a very light touch, an almost hands-off approach,” Patel said. “If you have technology that’s going to motivate a person to stay healthy, that’s not something we want to be engaged in.” Patel said the level of future FDA regulation will depend on how devices are marketed and whether a product is being promoted to aid doctors in making medical decisions.
Leaked documents confirm Apple Stores won’t be selling Apple Watches to walk-in customers when the product launches on April 24, according to MacRumors. Customers will have to make an online “Product Reservation” to purchase a specific model at their local Apple Store, with Apple noting that even making a “try-on appointment” doesn’t reserve a specific Apple Watch for purchase. New training documents for Apple Store employees state, “If a customer walks in and wants to purchase a watch, offer the option to try on a watch. Then help them place an order online or through the Apple Store app.” This confirmation isn’t a big surprise, however, as Apple’s initial press release about the device’s launch noted that “On April 24, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan.”
During checkout, customers who have an Apple Watch reserved for purchase will be offered accessories and an upgrade to AppleCare+, adding a second year of hardware protection for aluminum and stainless steel models. The gold Edition comes with two years of protection standard, jumping to three years with AppleCare+. This information comes from 9to5Mac, which also reports that Apple has plans for a combined coverage program for customers buying both a new iPhone and Apple Watch from an Apple Store, but no official details have been released.
This week is your last chance to pick up the Wireless Bluetooth Cloud Buds for only $24.99 in our iLounge Deals. Providing a truly hands-free listening experience, the Bluetooth Cloud Buds provide up to thirty feet of Bluetooth connectivity and feature an integrated mic for taking calls while on the go. The package includes a noise-cancelling outer shell, optional ear hooks and multiple sizes of gelled ear buds and caps so you can fit these in with maximum comfort.
In an op-ed column for the Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook says pro-discrimination “religious freedom” laws popping up all over the country are dangerous. Cook sees a law passed last week in Indiana which allows individuals to use their religious beliefs to refuse service to customers — and another in Texas taking the pay of clerks issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples — as transparent efforts to legalize discrimination. “These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality,” Cook said.
In keeping with Apple’s commitment to “empower and enrich” the lives of its customers, Cook is adding his voice to the growing group of public figures and businesses opposing the Indiana law and similar legislation being considered in other states. Citing examples from the 1960s civil rights movement, Cook said the debate isn’t political or religious. “This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous,” he said.