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Tip of the Day: Navigating through songs and videos at finer intervals

While it’s been around since iOS 3.0, you may not realize that you can actually vary the speed at which you adjust the position – known as “scrubbing” – through a song or video to allow you to navigate to a specific position with greater precision. This works in most of the built-in iOS apps such as Video, Music, and Podcasts, although it may not be available in third-party apps depending on the playback methods they use.

When you’re playing a video or listening to a song or podcast, you can of course adjust the position by placing your finger on the playhead within the scrubber bar that appears to show you your relative listening/viewing position. However, if you slide your finger down after you place it on the playhead, the scrubbing speed will be reduced, first to half-speed, then quarter-speed, then “fine” scrubbing as you continue downward; text below the scrubbing bar will indicate the current speed at which you’re scrubbing, and you can then move your finger left or right from that position to scrub with much more granular control.…

Daily Deal: PhoneClean iOS Cleaner

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Tip of the Day: Suspending or removing Apple Pay via iCloud

Apple takes security pretty seriously, particularly when it comes to Apple Pay, and authentication features like Touch ID and Wrist Detection help to ensure that only you can use your device to make payments. However, if you’ve misplaced your iPhone or Apple Watch, you may not be entirely confident in relying solely on these features to protect your credit cards or bank accounts, so Apple provides several ways to remove your Apple Pay information from these devices even when they’re not in your hands.

Apps: Apple Store, Asphalt 8, Magnetized, PCalc

Apple Store (free) — Apple has been unusually slow to update its own store app for the iPhone to take advantage of some of the newest hardware features, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see Touch ID support finally arrive in the Apple Store app, along with support for Apple’s two-factor authentication for additional security. Touch ID can now be used to quickly access order history, EasyPay receipts, and make reservations, although you’ll still need to enter your Apple ID password to actually access your other account information and make changes. It’s a welcome addition considering how many other third-party apps have already embraced Touch ID for authentication, but if you want to revert to using your password, you do have the option to disable Touch ID support. With this update, the Apple Store app also makes its debut in 20 additional countries.

Asphalt 8: Airborne (free) — Gameloft’s highly acclaimed racing game gets a nice content update, adding a new location in the form of the tropical island of Tenerife with four new tracks, as well as a collection of eight new cars including the Lamborghini Aventador and Audi R8 LMS Ultra, and revamped multiplayer events that allow you to compete against up to 12 players instead of 8. The app also gains 64-bit support, and, in one of the more questionable applications of the Apple Watch, provides widgets for receiving updates on upcoming events, new cars, and special offers.

Magnetized (free) — You can grab this cool little retro physics puzzler for free right now as Apple’s App of the Week pick. Providing 80 total levels, Magnetized provides a nice classic arcade look and feel while challenging you to guide your object though a maze using nothing but magnets to adjust its course, avoiding the walls and collecting objects along the way. The game is trickier than it looks at first, since magnets can only pull the object closer, and only the closest magnet will take effect, requiring careful planning and coordination to ensure that you maintain a steady course and get to the end of each maze.

PCalc/PCalc Lite ($10/free) — One of our favorite iOS calculator apps comes to the Apple Watch, allowing you to make quick calculations right from your wrist, with a full calculator app, a tip calculator, and the ability to see your most recent iPhone calculations at a glance.

Report: iOS 9 will bring new security features, improve legacy device support

A new report by 9to5Mac provides some insight into Apple’s plans for iOS 9, expected to debut at WWDC early next month. As previously reported, iOS 9 will focus primarily on stability and optimization, however this new information reveals some new details about some of the features and improvements Apple is working on, particularly in the areas of security and legacy device support.

A new security feature, dubbed “Rootless,” is expected to significantly improve iOS security at the kernel level by preventing even “root” level administrative access to certain protected files on Apple devices. Sources have also indicated that Rootless will be a major deterrent to jailbreaking on iOS, making it much more complicated to hack iOS devices and install unauthorized apps. Apple is also said to be working on leveraging iCloud Drive for more of its back-end services. Services such as Notes — which currently uses IMAP to store notes on an email server — and the CalDAV-based Calendar and Reminders are being re-architected to store their data directly in iCloud Drive, which will provide better end-to-end encryption and faster and more reliable syncing services. A new “Trusted Wi-Fi” feature is also under development to improve security by allowing iOS devices to more transparently connect to specific, authorized wireless routers, although it’s unclear whether this last feature will be incorporated into iOS 9 or pushed back until a future point release or beyond.

In contrast to earlier reports which speculated that iOS 9 could possibly drop support for all but 64-bit devices, Apple is apparently optimizing iOS 9 to run more efficiently on older iPhones and iPads, even going so far back as the iPhone 4S and original iPad mini. The company is said to have restructured its software engineering process to ensure older hardware is better supported with iOS updates, building a “core version” of iOS 9 targeted at older devices and enabling features individually, as opposed to the former approach of building iOS 9 for newer devices and then disabling features to try and improve performance.

Review: Apple iPhone Lightning Dock

Apple's new iPhone Lightning Dock ($39) is the company's first since 2013's iPhone 5s Dock and iPhone 5c Dock. As one would expect, this new dock is compatible with the company's newest iPhones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While the previous two docks placed the Lightning connector in a recessed slot, the Lightning connector here is extended, allowing for greater case — and device — compatibility. Also included on the back of the dock is an audio-out port — the port uses the phone's headphone volume controls for connected headphones or speakers. The dock doesn't come with a Lightning cable, so you'll need to supply your own, which is accommodated by an input on the back of the dock.

Report: Apple’s push for local content may delay Apple’s TV service

Apple is endeavoring to include access to programming from local TV stations as part of its new streaming television service, Re/Code reports; a move which may delay the launch that was originally expected to occur later this year. The move would help to significantly distinguish Apple’s streaming televisions offering from rival companies, most of which only offer major network programming and in some cases local programming in select major cities. Industry executives who are familiar with Apple’s plans have revealed that the company is looking to provide much more widespread access to programming from local broadcast stations in “cities around the U.S.” However, the move is said to have complicated negotiations with networks due to the varied ownership, affiliate, and franchise system in place between broadcasters and local stations.

The report notes that past attempts to secure rights for showing local programming and commercials can be time consuming, citing the example of ABC’s two-year quest to get the rights to show live programming in its Watch ABC app, with the resultant programming still limited to viewers in only eight cities. Infrastructure concerns are also noted, with many local affiliates not presently having the necessary streaming capabilities in place. Industry executives have also noted that they “don’t believe Apple has signed any TV programmers up” for the new service, making an announcement at this year’s WWDC very unlikely. Despite these hurdles, TV executives who are in talks with Apple are reportedly optimistic that the service will eventually launch, with money being the most significant hurdle, rather than technical limitations.

Daily Deal: Blur Premium Privacy Protection Lifetime Subscription

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Adobe dropping Photoshop Touch in favor of more focused apps

Adobe has announced that it will be discontinuing its Photoshop Touch app, preferring to focus instead on its family of more focused apps tied into its Creative Cloud program. A post on the company’s Photoshop Blog highlights Adobe’s other more recent offerings such as Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Sketch as examples of how the company believes it has produced better user experiences through “laser-focus” on specific and traditionally complex workflows for specific subsets of tasks, rather than the more ambitious approach of trying to replicate all of Photoshop’s capabilities in a mobile app. In a similar vein, Adobe has already started work on a new “serious retouching” app to add the the collection, dubbed “Project Rigel” which is expected to be available later this year.

Photoshop Touch is scheduled to be removed from the App Store on May 28th, and no further updates will be provided. Users who have already purchased the app prior to that time, however, will be able to continue using it on their devices or even reinstalling it from their purchase history “for the foreseeable future” – likely meaning for as long as it remains compatible with future iOS versions.

Tip of the Day: Manually refreshing Passbook passes

Have you ever wondered why some of your Passbook passes don’t show correct balances for your accounts? While passes in Passbook are supposed to update automatically, for whatever reason this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Fortunately, if you find that your balances are out of date on some of your passes, the good news is that you can refresh them manually.

Simply bring up the pass in Passbook and tap on the “i” in the lower right corner to view the “back” of the pass. At the top you should see a date or time when the pass was last updated; if it looks like it’s been a while, simply pull down on the pass to force a refresh. Passbook will go out and update the pass information, along with your balance — and the screen should show “Updated Just Now” at the top. Note that while all passes will show an “updated” date at the top, “static” passes that don’t include a refresh option will simply show the date that they were first installed, and pulling down won’t have any effect.…






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