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Apple releases iOS 11 with improvements to HomeKit, new App Store, updates to Camera, Siri and more

After months of betas, Apple has released iOS 11 to the general public. Coming mostly as it was advertised at WWDC, the new operating system features a long list of updates, including new HomeKit compatibility thanks to AirPlay 2 capabilities and improved controls for timers, location triggers, speakers and sunrise/sunset times. For devices with cameras that support it, Portrait mode has been expanded to include image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash, and all photos and videos will take up half as much space thanks to Apple’s new photo and video formats. Maps gain support for indoor details of some larger buildings — like airports and malls — and Apple Music will gain new social features, adding a new “Friends are Listening to” section in the Music app. The Control Center has been completely reimagined and Siri has gained new natural male and female voices built using deep learning along with a new visual interface.

Apple drops prices on iPhone SE, raises them on AppleCare+, iPad Pro models

As Apple prepares to release its high-priced latest additions to the iPhone family, the company has dropped the prices on its entry level iPhone SE, cutting prices on both the 32GB and 128GB models by $50. The SE has proven popular among those who don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the current slate of larger iPhones, and Apple has been quietly improving the deal for customers, most recently by providing a memory boost at no increased charge.

Apple releases eighth developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4

Apple has released an eighth set of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, continuing to address a number of issues in the prior developer previews as we inch closer to their expected release next month. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will also likely follow within the next day or so.

iOS 11 beta shows Control Center interface, new swipe gestures; tvOS 11 beta hints at 4K video

New betas have been released for iOS 11, tvOS 11 watchOS 4 and macOS 10, and developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered a couple of gems amid all the bug fixes and minor improvements. In ios 11, Rambo found one video that seems to show off a new swipe-up gesture used to activate the iOS app switcher and another that runs through changes to the lock screen interface. Swiping down brings the lock screen up from anywhere in the operating system, and while a left swipe still brings up the device’s widgets, a right swipe now seems to bring up the phone’s Control Center instead of activating the camera as it does in iOS 10. Swiping up from the bottom — which activated the Control Center in iOS 10 — now turns on the iOS app switcher, which previously was accessed by a home button double tap or by swiping right after pressing down on the left edge of the screen; the latter method has already been removed from iOS 11

iOS 11 introduces way to prevent Touch ID from opening device with fingerprint

Those testing the iOS 11 public beta have discovered pressing an iPhone or iPad’s lock button five time or opening a Medical ID now disables Touch ID and forces a user to enter their passcode to unlock the device. A source told 9to5Mac that the behavior is intentional, claiming it’s aimed at protecting people who have fallen unconscious from having their fingerprint used to access their private information. However Apple ends up presenting the feature, it can also clearly be used to protect information from police if used before an arrest, as at least some judges have proved willing to compel suspects to allow their fingerprint to be used to discover data that could incriminate them.

ESPN tvOS app now streams 4 games at once; Walmart’s streaming service coming to Apple TV

ESPN’s Apple TV app has been upgraded to include a new MultiCast feature that allows users to view up to four streams at the same time, according to Variety. EPSN typically features 30 or more live events on a given day, all of which will be available for simultaneous viewing. The company has also released an update to its iOS app, adding a “Watch” tab that provides live streams of events and shows. In other tvOS app news from Variety, Walmart’s streaming service will be landing on Apple TV next week. While Apple TV users have previously been able to use AirPlay to play Vudu’s movies and TV shows, the dedicated Vudu app is expected to become “widely available” starting August 22.

Apple releases developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4; public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a sixth series of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, adding new icons for Maps and the App Store as well as addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. Public betas were made available for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 too, breaking with the usual process of waiting a few days after the developer release to roll them out. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending.

Apple releases fourth round of public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a fourth series of public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11, allowing end users an opportunity to get an early preview of what’s coming in the new operating systems this fall and provide their feedback to Apple. With this round, Apple has also taken the unusual step of sending out e-mail notifications to at least some registered developers letting them know that the public beta is available, although it’s unclear whether this was intentional or not. Users can enroll in Apple’s public beta program by visiting the company’s Apple Beta Program website.

Apple releases fifth round of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4

Apple has released a fifth series of betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, as usual addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will likely follow within the next day or two.

Judge allows FaceTime lawsuit to proceed

A federal judge has ruled that iPhone 4 and 4s users can pursue their class action lawsuit against Apple for intentionally disabling FaceTime on iOS 6 devices, Reuters reports. After losing a patent lawsuit to VirnetX in 2012, Apple was forced to discontinue its direct device-to-device mode for FaceTime, greatly increasing the fees it had to pay to Akamai Technologies — dropping as much as $50 million in one six-month period according to court documents. In developing iOS 7, Apple engineers were able to include a method of peer-to-peer FaceTime communication that didn’t infringe on the VirnetX patents, however, Apple was either unable to unwilling to bring these improvements into an iOS 6 update. Based on internal emails and sworn testimony from the VirnetX case, the new class-action lawsuit claims that Apple made plans to deliberately “break” FaceTime on older iOS versions by forcing a key digital certificate used for FaceTime to expire prematurely.

Apple releases third round of public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a third series of public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11, as usual addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending. To enroll in Apple’s public beta program, visit the company’s website.

Apple releases fourth round of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4

Apple has released a fourth series of betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, as usual addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will likely follow within the next day or two.

Apple releases iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, watchOS 3.2.3

Apple has released minor updates to iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3, focused exclusively on bug fixes and security improvements. iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, and watchOS 3.2.3 will likely be the last updates to be released prior to the rollout of iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4 expected in September, although it’s possible Apple may release one or two more very minor iOS 10 patches in the future for legacy 32-bit devices such as the iPhone 5 that won’t be capable of running iOS 11.

Apple showcases new emoji headed to iOS, watchOS, macOS later this year

Apple has released a sneak peek at the new emoji coming to iOS, macOS and watchOS later this year. The update includes more mundane changes like adding a sandwich to the food items and a bearded face alongside more socially conscious changes like a woman in a headscarf and a breastfeeding mother. A T-Rex has made his way into the animals section and zombies and elves will make their first appearance. To further celebrate World Emoji Day, the company is highlighting apps to create or utilize emoji in the App Store and has replaced some movie titles with emoji versions over in iTunes.

Apple releases third developer betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11

Apple has released third betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11, addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending. A new beta for watchOS 4 has not yet appeared. Apple released the second set of betas on June 21, followed by very minor updates a week later, immediately prior to the release of the public bets for iOS 11 and tvOS 11.

Apple’s Greg Jozwiak reveals strong developer uptake in new ARKit tech

In an interview with The Australian, Greg “Joz” Jozwiak, Apple’s VP of iOS, iPad, and iPhone Product Marketing, provide some insights into Apple’s new ARKit technology that will be rolling out in iOS 10, describing the rapid uptake by iOS developers has been “unbelievable,” and describing some of the applications that he’s already seen rolling out for the new technology: “They’ve built everything from virtual tape measures (to) ballerinas made out of wood dancing on floors. It’s absolutely incredible what people are doing in so little time.”

Apple releases first iOS 11, tvOS 11 public betas, updates to developer betas

For those willing to accept the risks associated with installing a beta OS on your device, Apple has rolled out its first public iOS 11 and tvOS 11 betas. The iOS 11 update provides a greatly expanded and customizable Control Center, the ability to record what’s happening on your screen, a Maps app that includes indoor maps for airports and malls, and new HomeKit functionality, among other improvements. On iPad, iOS 11 provides a new dock and better support for the Apple Pencil. The tvOS 11 upgrade comes with some new bells and whistles as well, including an automatic setting for toggling between Light and Dark Mode, and the ability to store your Home screen layout in iCloud — along with your installed apps — so that this information can be synced across multiple Apple TVs or restored should you ever have to reset or replace your Apple TV. For anyone not already enrolled in the public beta program, you can get started on Apple’s website.

Indoor Maps for Airports and Malls now appearing in iOS 11 betas

Early signs of Apple’s new Indoor Maps feature in the iOS 11 Maps app have begun appearing for specific airports and shopping malls as of the second beta of iOS 11 released earlier this week. According to MacRumors, indoor maps are now available for Philadelphia International Airport, Mineta San Jose International Airport, Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, California and Westfield San Francisco Centre in San Francisco, California. The new feature, similar in design to the indoor maps feature introduced in Google Maps in 2013, provides detailed floor plans airports and shopping malls to allow users to help locate way to key points of interest ranging from stores to facilities such as washrooms, boarding gates, security checkpoints, baggage claims, information kiosks, and more.

Apple releases fourth betas of iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2 to developers

Apple has released fourth developer betas for iOS 10.3.3 and tvOS 10.2.2; a new beta of watchOS 3.2.3 has not been released at this point. As with the last round of betas, these all include only minor updates and bug fixes, alongside the iOS 11 developer releases that are currently in beta with major new features, expected to be debuted in the fall.

Apple releases second set of betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4

Apple has released a second round of betas for iOS 11, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11, addressing a number of issues in the initial developer previews released during WWDC. As only the second betas of major new OS releases, however, the release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending. iOS 11 beta 2 also enables the new Do Not Disturb while Driving feature, which was not implemented in the first beta, as well as Hindi dictation in Siri, a new sync system for Safari Bookmarks and Reading List, and several other developer changes under the hood.

Particularly noteworthy is that, for the first time Apple has taken the unusual step of listing compatibility issues with several third-party apps in the iOS 11 release notes, including Tweetbot, VSCO, Square Cash, Citi Mobile, KakaoTalk, SlingTV, Kindle Books, Skype, Pinterest, and Facebook Messenger; it’s unclear why Apple has chosen to single out those particular apps out of the two million apps available on the App Store, since it’s normally expected that problems will occur with third-party apps when using early betas for major iOS releases.

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